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Weekly Picks

Fuzzy Logic: Week 32 Rankings

by Steve Rothgeb
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Let the run-in begin.

 

The final international break of the season is behind us and, with seven gameweeks left, we are officially entering the home stretch. There was plenty of drama over this final break worth mentioning, despite the fact that European countries were playing friendlies that had little to nothing on the line. For the United States however, there was much on the line. Engaged in World Cup qualifiers, the break began with the US losing to Guatemala and seeing themselves behind the eight-ball in their qualifying group. Fortunately for the Americans, they bounced back strong against Guatemala in their second meeting of the week and have positioned themselves better after a 4-0 win. Yes, Brad Guzan kept a clean sheet, but don't get any clever ideas. After a rare taste of playing in a side that dominated their opponent, Brad will be back this weekend with relegation-bound and, now, manager-less Aston Villa.

 

England v Germany offered plenty of drama, despite only being a friendly that served as a tune-up for the upcoming Euros this summer. After falling behind 2-0 to the Germans, England stormed back to win 3-2 with the match-winner coming in stoppage time. Jamie Vardy looked very comfortable playing for the national team, scoring as a substitute against the Germans with a beautiful backheel finish, then scoring as a starter a few days later against the Netherlands. Four Tottenham players were included in Roy Hodgson's XI, two of them scoring - Harry Kane and Eric Dier. On a sour note, Jack Butland picked up a season-ending ankle injury that will likely spoil his chances of featuring in Euro 2016. With Joe Hart currently sidelined, it gave Fraser Forster an opportunity to play for the Three Lions after looking so impressive for several weeks when he returned from his own injury. Speaking of goalkeeper injuries, Newcastle United's misfortune continued when their current #1 Rob Elliot suffered a major knee injury while playing for Republic of Ireland, ending his season. The Magpies will now have to stave off relegation with another influential piece missing from their squad.

 

Getting back to league play is what we are most excited about though, at least until someone invents a "fantasy international break" game. This coming weekend will be somewhat normal, in that we will have the typical slate of ten fixtures on tap. Starting next week, things really get interesting as the first of three double gameweeks in the remaining six rounds comes into play. There is also a gameweek with blanks for several clubs that must be navigated around still to come. This is where a fantasy manager can save his season in the FPL game, making a late surge up the rankings. Should you still have a wildcard in your possession, along with two important chips - bench boost and triple captain - you could be in store for a couple of triple digit round scores in the near future. At this point, any transfers made in the FPL game should be with double gameweek planning in mind. Be careful though with how you shape your side for Week 34 though, as many clubs playing twice in that round have a blank the following week. If you do not have a wildcard and have filled your team with players from these clubs, then much of the positive gain you may achieve in Week 34 could be immediately lost in Week 35.

 

For those playing in draft leagues, we are getting to a stage where players you might normally have held on to could potentially begin to be dropped. For example, I am in such a league and had been holding onto Gerard Deulofeu. He had been fantastic when he was getting regular pitch time, particularly with the scoring format of this league, but the kid is simply not playing these days. I am not quite sure what he did to become such an afterthought for Roberto Martinez. Whatever the reason, I could not burn a roster spot on him anymore. Salomon Rondon was sitting out there on the free agent wire, and I dropped Deulofeu like a bad habit. Perhaps the Barcelona product comes back into regular playing time before the season ends, but we are at a stage in this fantasy season where you have the roll the dice a bit more and, in draft leagues, be willing to part with talented players if the opportunities or the form simply are not there for them. You may think dropping a Theo Walcott would be madness. But, if you had done so a week or two ago and picked up someone like Max Gradel as a replacement, odds are you will be looking back at the end of the season and realize you made a very wise move.

 

I, for one, am eager to get this run-in started, so let us take a look first at the matches coming up this weekend as we enter Week 32... 

 

 

 

 

Week 32 Fixtures


Aston Villa v Chelsea

Arsenal v Watford

AFC Bournemouth v Manchester City

Norwich City v Newcastle United

Stoke City v Swansea City

Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion

West Ham United v Crystal Palace

Liverpool v Tottenham

Leicester City v Southampton

Manchester United v Everton


 

Chelsea's season will be seen as a disappointment when all is said and done, but at least in recent times they have gained some respectability as they reach the top half of the table. I'd expect Villa to get trounced once again, and plenty of fantasy hauls among the Blues. Bournemouth and Manchester City looks a very good bet for goals galore and plenty of fantasy returns, as the Cherries are in fine attacking form and City are once again without their defensive anchor, Vincent Kompany. Plenty of intrigue for relegation battling clubs. Norwich against Newcastle head to head has huge implications if one side wins outright. Sunderland have a fixture they need to think is a must-win situation as they play at home to a West Brom side with little incentive. West Ham are gunning for a top four spot and look to do plenty of damage against a Crystal Palace side that have not won in ages. This could be the weekend that the title is truly decided in favor of Leicester City. If the Foxes can tame an improving Southampton attack and Tottenham cannot win at Anfield, one has to think if the gap between the two is widened any further in the table, there is no chance for Spurs, or anyone for that matter, catching the Cinderella story that is Leicester.

 

 

Follow the RotoWorld_PL team on Twitter: Galin | Jeremy | Neal | Nik | Steve | Ben | Rob | Matt | Andrew

 

 

What follows are my top picks at each position. It doesn't matter what format you play, these rankings will help you figure out how players at each position compare with one another, and can help you on transfer decisions in the FPL.com game, who to start or bench in draft leagues, and who is worth putting up the cash for in salary-based leagues. You will also see how I have begun to highlight prospects that are especially valuable in formats like Playtogga, Fantrax and DFS, so that they are given the credit they deserve. At the end of the day though, nothing gets the points flowing more than goals, assists and clean sheets. So without further ado, let's get cracking...

 

 

GOALKEEPERS

 

1) Adrian 

2) Thibaut Courtois 

3) John Ruddy 

4) Kasper Schmeichel 

5) David de Gea 

6) Lukasz Fabianski

DEFENDERS


1) Hector Bellerin 

2) Branislav Ivanovic 

3) Aaron Cresswell 

4) Patrick van Aanholt 

5) Cesar Azpilicueta 

6) Laurent Koscielny 

7) Toby Alderweireld 

8) Christian Fuchs 

9) Timm Klose 

10) Ashley Williams

11) Charlie Daniels 

12) Robert Huth 

 

 

 

 

 

MIDFIELDERS

 

1) Dimitri Payet 

2) Alexis Sanchez 

3) Mesut Ozil 

4) Riyad Mahrez 

5) Cesc Fabregas 

6) David Silva  

7) Gylfi Sigurdsson 

8) Max Gradel 

9) Michail Antonio 

10) Dele Alli 

11) Philippe Coutinho 

12) Marko Arnautovic 

13) Wahbi Khazri 

14) Juan Mata 

15) Matt Ritchie

 

Follow the RotoWorld_PL team on Twitter: Galin | Jeremy | Neal | Nik | Steve | Ben | Rob | Matt | Andrew

 

 

 

FORWARDS

 

1) Sergio Aguero 

2) Jamie Vardy 

3) Harry Kane 

4) Jermain Defoe 

5) Romelu Lukaku 

6) Danny Welbeck 

7) Andy Carroll 

8) Loic Remy 

9) Salomon Rondon 

10) Graziano Pelle 

 

 

 
So there you have it. The best of the best to consider for Week 32. There are several choices that can come into play depending on how injury news shakes out over the next couple of days, so keep up with our updates here at Rotoworld. Petr Cech would be ranked second among keepers this week, and frankly so would David Ospina, if we knew for sure who was starting for Arsenal, but we don't. Philippe Coutinho has replaced Roberto Firmino in the ranks as news hits that the former is in good shape after his long trip back from South America while the latter is considered a major doubt. I hesitated to rank Loic Remy, despite the dream matchup, because I wonder if Chelsea are ever going to get use out of loanee Alexandre Pato, surely it would be in a match against the worst club in the top flight while Diego Costa is unavailable due to suspension. Those in non-FPL leagues that have deadlines closer to the first kickoff should monitor the Chelsea team news Saturday morning. If Pato or Remy starts, they make for a solid plug-and-play option. 
 
 
 
 
Good luck this week fellow managers, and may your arrows be green.

 

Steve Rothgeb
Steve Rothgeb is a contributor for Rotoworld.com and WorldSoccerTalk.com, a self-proclaimed fantasy sports oracle, and Tottenham Hotspur fanatic. He can be found on Twitter @FuzzyWarbles.