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Weekly Picks

Fuzzy Logic: Week 35 Rankings

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

A-C-A. Always. Captain. Aguero...or at least Alexis Sanchez.

 

Gameweek 34 lived up to the hype, and it continues to do so as of this writing with Arsenal currently playing West Brom to wrap up the week and Alexis Sanchez is already on a brace against the Baggies. There were many surprises in the team news, plenty of twists and turns, but a fantasy manager's success can be summed up by whether they gave the armband to Sergio Aguero, assuming they owned the all-world striker to begin with. Only about one out of every three managers owns the Argentine and many dropped him last week to try and cash in on the back-to-back double gameweeks for Romelu Lukaku. Suffice it to say, that move was a significant blunder. Sanchez was the other prime captaincy option and his ownership is below 17%.

 

There were many unfortunate outcomes with this crucial round in the fantasy season. Some managers dropped single-gameweek Tottenham players like Harry Kane or benched Dele Alli in favor of a double-gameweek option, with the Spurs duo each bagging a brace. Everton investment was a major dud, as the Toffees only scored one goal in their two games and that was by Ramiro Funes Mori, who promptly gave many of those points right back in the second game of their round by being sent off. Crystal Palace were the other club that were playing their second consecutive double gameweek and they offered very little in return as well. Timothy Fosu-Mensah had plenty of buzz entering the round as a cheap and lucrative investment for Manchester United's two tasty fixtures, and he played a grand total of one minute for the Red Devils. Surely, there is at least one FPL manager that had a high scoring #1 substitute left on their bench, but Fosu-Mensah's mini-cameo ruined any chance of those points being had. It was a roller-coaster ride for those investing in Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp started two completely different sides in the round, save for Roberto Firmino, but if you took on players like Daniel Sturridge, James Milner or Philippe Coutinho, you still came away with something. Even Watford managed to produce a big score, as Heurelho Gomes went bananas.

 

Unless you are truly gifted or astonishingly lucky, it would be safe to say at least some decisions went wrong in building your team for the double gameweek, but as long as you captained Aguero or Sanchez, it would be hard to complain. For those that decided to go with their Triple Captain chip on either of those two, the world is your oyster. Now, a very different kind of gameweek lies ahead, one in which only twelve of the twenty clubs play. Manchester City and Arsenal are among them so, if you don't already have one of Aguero or Sanchez in your side, you had better hurry up and grab them. They will both be transferred in massively before the Week 35 deadline and both look like great armband choices once again. In fact, many of the best fantasy options over the course of the season look to be set for a lucrative return this weekend as the top four clubs are facing some very average to below-average competition. Keep in mind, Jamie Vardy will not be among those choice options, as he will be suspended for Leicester City following his sending off against West Ham.

 

For many managers who were not looking ahead to this truncated gameweek, it will be difficult to field a full XI without spending points on additional transfers. There were three ways to prepare for this round. You may have carefully brought in players over the past several weeks that were double gameweek options in Week 34 and still played in Week 35. This would have meant avoiding over-investing in players from Everton, West Ham, Watford, Manchester United and Crystal Palace. You may have played your wildcard with the same strategy, filling up on Gameweek 34 doubles but avoiding too many with blanks this gameweek. Finally, you may still have your wildcard and can use it to fix your side if you did over-invest in those who have no fixture this week. Keep in mind that if any of these methods apply to you, you are in a very advantageous position going forward, even if you didn't captain one of the two FPL giants this past round. Week 35 could prove to be a very productive one for fantasy managers then. Yes, we all like the giant scores that a double gameweek can provide, but a fantastic round can only be measured in comparison with everyone else. If the average round score for Week 34 is, say, 88 points and you finish with 104, you will have a more valuable round in Week 35 if the average score is 42 and you score 70. 

 

One thing is certain - if you cannot get enough Premier League, there is no better time of the season. Between Weeks 34 and 35, there will have been matches played on nine different days of a ten day stretch. Lovely stuff. Let us take a look then at the fixtures to come this weekend...

 

 

 

 

Week 35 Fixtures


Manchester City v Stoke City

Aston Villa v Southampton

AFC Bournemouth v Chelsea

Liverpool v Newcastle United

Sunderland v Arsenal

Leicester City v Swansea City

Tottenham v West Bromwich Albion


 

As mentioned before, there could be some big numbers put up from premium players this weekend. Spurs look in peak form on both sides of the ball and a home game with West Brom looks to keep that trend going. Arsenal and Liverpool have been a consistent source of fantasy production this season and they are both playing clubs currently in the relegation zone. While Newcastle and Sunderland may be playing with a bit more fervor, one has to be keen on the prospects of the Gunners and the Reds this week, especially with so many clubs not playing. Manchester City have been much more dependable at home this season than on the road and they are at The Etihad this weekend to a Stoke side that got punished last weekend and are running out of reasons to play their best. Leicester are home to a Swansea side that got crushed by Newcastle so it is hard to imagine the Swans faring any better against the table-leaders, even without the presence of Jamie Vardy. The Saints go marching in to Aston Villa this week. Southampton are trending up as the season winds down while Villa...well, they turn any opponent into a fantasy goldmine. The only fixture that doesn't appear to be completely lopsided is Bouremouth v Chelsea. There should be goals in that one, though it is becoming a dangerous proposition when investing in the Blues as Gus Hiddink seems set to use the remainder of the season as a proving ground for everyone on his squad and predicting who will start is a precarious task.

 

 

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. Keep in mind that extra weight has been given to Everton and Crystal Palace players because of their double gameweek. If you play in a league that only the originally scheduled fixture, then you need to drop them considerably farther down the rankings. So without further ado, let's get cracking...

 

 

GOALKEEPERS

 

1) Hugo Lloris 

2) Kasper Schmeichel

3) Joe Hart

4) Petr Cech 

5) Fraser Forster 

6) Simon Mignolet

7) Vito Mannone

DEFENDERS


1) Toby Alderweireld 

2) Hector Bellerin 

3) Danny Rose

4) Aleksandar Kolarov 

5) Laurent Koscielny 

6) Christian Fuchs 

7) Eric Dier

8) Robert Huth 

9) Virgil van Dijk

10) Nacho Monreal

11) Nicolas Otamendi

12) Kyle Walker

13) Ryan Bertrand

14) Branislav Ivanovic

15) Nathaniel Clyne

16) Patrick van Aanholt

 

 

MIDFIELDERS

 

1) Alexis Sanchez 

2) Kevin de Bruyne

3) Roberto Firmino 

4) Dele Alli 

5) Christian Eriksen 

6) Riyad Mahrez

7) Philippe Coutinho 

8) Mesut Ozil 

9) James Milner

10) Yaya Toure

11) Sadio Mane

12) Erik Lamela

13) Alex Iwobi 

14) Pedro

15) Gylfi Sigurdsson

16) Cesc Fabregas

17) Aaron Ramsey

18) Marko Arnautovic

19) Josh King

20) Dusan Tadic

 

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

 

 

 

FORWARDS

 

1) Harry Kane 

2) Sergio Aguero 

3) Daniel Sturridge

4) Diego Costa 

5) Danny Welbeck

6) Graziano Pelle

7) Leo Ulloa 

8) Jermain Defoe 

9) Shane Long

10) Aleksandar Mitrovic

11) Shinji Okazaki

12) Fabio Borini

 

 

 
So there you have it. The best of the best to consider for Week 35. With Week 34 just now wrapping up, hopefully you have held off making your transfer decisions. Stay tuned over the next 24-36 hours here at Rotoworld as we cover all the news coming out of press conferences heading into the weekend and any last-minute injury news that may come from it. Keep in mind, there is some inherent risk for clubs like Manchester City and Liverpool when it comes to potential surprises in the XIs this weekend as they have Champions League and Europa League semi-final matches upcoming in the following midweek. I have considered this when compiling the rankings this week, but there is bound to be a big name or two to disappoint investors with a place on the bench.
 
 
 
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.