Another week is gone and midweek madness is coming! Beware, beware because rotation madness is upon us. A question was asked by @Manwiththejam on Twitter on if we should expect a lot of rotation in the upcoming games and how to deal with it. This is a wonderful question as December will see a perfect storm of competitions, holidays and more to give fantasy managers a test leading up to Liverpool’s blank in gameweek 18. It's a time of the year where you can make up for a bad start or succumb to a tumble down the standings in your leagues. But how to deal with it?
Number one, is your bench will need to go at least two subs deep as no amount of planning can ensure that you have a full XI on any given week. Roll transfers whenever possible to have insurance against injuries. If making transfers ahead of midweek fixtures, be sure to target players who are rarely rotated, this is why guys from midtable sides with good fixtures such as WilFred Zaha and Jack Grealish are all the rage at the moment. Transferring in guys involved in Champions League play can end in heartbreak during the holidays. My current bench is Jetro Willems, John McGinn, Matt Ryan and Matthew Lowton. Nothing flashy but I can feel confident that if a starter doesn’t play that I’ll get points off of the bench every week.
Last but not least, you need a little luck as always with FPL.
Top Transfer Targets will take a look at the ownership tiers in FPL breaking down the best options in each. The tiers will be broken down as 25-40 percent owned, 15-24 percent, 10-15 percent, under 10 percent and Punty McPunterson, a player under five percent owned who I’m backing for success each week. This article will also include players to offload, some due to injury or being dropped by their teams, and others due to performance.
Let’s look at this week's fixtures:
Tuesday 3 December
Crystal Palace v Bournemouth
Burnley v Manchester City
Wednesday 4 December
Chelsea v Aston Villa
Leicester City v Watford
Manchester United v Tottenham
Southampton v Norwich
Wolverhampton v West Ham
Liverpool v Everton
Thursday 5 December
Sheffield United v Newcastle
Arsenal v Brighton
The 40 Percent club is made up of Jamie Vardy, John Lundstram, Kevin De Bruyne, and Sadio Mané this week. And My FPL team is now happy to welcome Jamie Vardy into the fold giving me three of the four heading into the festive period (I am without Mane).
Don’t get caught out in the crowd (25-40 percent owned at the time of writing):
James Maddison (MID Leicester 7.6m, 24.7%): A matchup with managerless Watford is either the best fixture for the Foxes this season (including dropping eight on Southampton) or a massive trap. Considering that Maddison essentially took the game off facing Everton, he should be ready for this midweek fixture. Considering that Watford have the worst goal differential in the league and almost everyone with an FPL team will be captioning Jamie Vardy, what better time to bring in Maddison who is among the best options in his price range. He has also scored the most direct free-kicks in the Premier League since the start of last season with four.
Worth your consideration (15 - 24 percent owned):
Todd Cantwell (4.6m, 17.6%): The Pukki (Cantwell) Party is back! While Norwich’s fixtures aren’t amazing with Southampton this week followed by Sheffield United and Leicester City but when Cantwell is on form, he’s fixture proof. Also, at 4.6 million, he’s a perfect midfielder five for teams looking to maximize their other spots.
Christian Pulisic (7.5m, 15.4%): Pulisic is becoming one of the best midfielders in the Premier League on a Chelsea side with a wonderful run of fixtures. Aston Villa, Everton, Bournemouth, Tottenham and Southampton in the next five is mouth-watering for attacking players and Pulisic has moved into the top spot for shots in the box in the last four gameweeks. I’m torn between transferring Anthony Martial out for Pulisic or Dele Alli and at the moment, I’m leaning to Pulisic and not just because he’s American.
Solid if not stellar (10-15 percent):
Heung-Min Son (9.8m, 14.8%): Tottenham have scored six goals in the Premier League in their last two fixtures. Son has been involved in four. It doesn’t take much math to figure out that this is a very good thing for his FPL prospects. Tottenham has a good run of fixtures and due to his fitness levels, he will rarely be rotated which is perfect for FPL.
Rolling the dice (under 10 percent):
WilFred Zaha (MID Crystal Palace 6.7m, 9.6%): After doing absolutely nothing for the first half of the season, Zaha has scored in back-to-back games. Opta Joe said it best but the Eagles have the best run of fixtures in the Premier League during the festive period and its not particularly close. Getting forward with ease and with Jordan Ayew being the only other true offensive threat, get Zaha and run with him.
Dean Henderson (GK Sheffield United 4.7m, 6.7%): Sheffield United will have a chance at clean sheets in their next five games and with Nick Pope facing Manchester City this week, this is a very simple lateral transfer to make.
Lys Mousset (FWD Sheffield United 5.1m, 5.9%): He may not be playing 90 minutes per game but Mousset is in the form of his life and will be facing wafer-thin defenses in the next five. As far as budget forwards go, it doesn’t get much better.
Punty McPunterson: James Ward-Prowse (MID Southampton 5.8m, 1.4%): Fresh off of winning the game for Southampton in the hot seat Darby versus Watford, Ward-Prowse has now scored in three of the last four games. Considering that almost every Saints goal comes through JWP or Danny Ings, it makes sense to bring at least one into your side as Southampton pushes to leave the relegation zone.