Weekly Picks

Fuzzy Logic: Week 34 Rankings

Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Oh Romelu, Romelu. Wherefore art thou Romelu?

 

There is a reason most FPL managers elect to field a 3-5-2 formation just about every week. Attacking players generally yield more lucrative point totals than defending players. The top six players in the FPL game are either midfielders or forwards when it comes to total points this season and no one can forget the 25 point haul Sergio Aguero had back in October. With defenders, attacking points can be a rare achievement and gone are the days of dependable returns from the likes of Leighton Baines or Branislav Ivanovic. It comes down to predicting clean sheets, which can be a real headache. So when the Crystal Palace v Everton match was rescheduled as part of a double gameweek, the first such double of the season, naturally fantasy managers were focused on getting the best attacking players between those two clubs in anticipation of a big score. No player seemed to fit the bill better than Romelu Lukaku, who entered the round with the third most goals scored on the season.

 

As per usual in this sometimes unforgiving hobby of fantasy Premier League, things did not go according to plan. Lukaku entered Week 33 as the third highest owned player in the FPL game. He was the armband choice for an overwhelming number of managers, and many of those managers played their triple captain chip on the Belgian. He played every second of Everton's two games and returned absolutely nothing, save for two points in each game by playing over sixty minutes in each - the same production one could have enjoyed from teammate Gareth Barry, who is not a fantasy prospect in anyone's imagination. The real production came from defensive points. For the same price as Barry, 4.2m, you could have had an 18 point return from Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey. For 4.3m, Toffee shot-stopper Joel Robles put up a healthy 14 points. With Palace keeping clean sheets in both of their games and Everton managing one, this would have been a good week to play the seldom-seen 5-4-1 formation, tripling up in the back with five defenders and a goalkeeper selected among the two double gameweek teams. Oh, if only there were a time machine.

 

Some managers decided to play their wildcard and watched in disgust as steady earners they dropped, such as Dele Alli, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jamie Vardy and Sergio Aguero, all came good with goals. Instead, they witnessed the Lukakus, Barkleys, Lennons and Bolasies of the world disappoint their plans. There is good news and bad news with loading up on these players. The good news is - each of these clubs have another double gameweek coming up next round, so investment may still pay off yet. The bad news is - managers are kind of stuck with their investment, sink or swim. It would be difficult to rationalize using precious transfers to replace any of these players. So, if things go sour again in Week 34, and they just might for a club like the Eagles as they play two tough away fixtures to Arsenal and Manchester United, it could lead to severe psychological damage. If you invested in many of these players and know a therapist, make sure you have them on speed dial.

 

Will we see a repeat of double gameweek blues in Week 34? The odds are extremely low that we will. With only two clubs playing twice last week, the outcome, while not expected, wasn't extremely bizarre. Now we have ten clubs on a double. Half the league will be playing twice and surely names like Sergio Aguero and Alexis Sanchez will appease their owners. It is only a matter as to what degree. If you are playing the FPL game, anything short of nine double gameweek players will have you immediately behind the eight-ball. More wildcards will be played this week, many will be using their bench boost chip to squeeze even more juice out of thier squad and the triple captain chip will also be activated, perhaps more so than in any other week this season. We have had about a month to plan for this week and it is finally here. It is time to aim for that coveted triple-digit round score.

 

This week, the rankings are going to consist almost entirely of double gameweek options. Some names may seem out of place, but that is the nature of the double gameweek. There is a reason I ranked Wayne Hennessey as the top keeper choice last week. All one needs to consider is how many points per game these players average and double it. Riyad Mahrez is at 6.9 ppg on this season, the top average in the game. His teammate, Danny Drinkwater, averages 3.5 points. Double Drinkwater's average and suddenly he's more productive than Mahrez. Also factoring into my rankings is the probability of DGW options starting each of the games. Manuel Pellegrini ruled David Silva out last weekend because he said his midfielder isn't fit enough to play two matches in a short amount of time. Manchester City only have two days off between their matches in this round, so that all but guarantees Silva is starting only one. This is a big week for all of us, so let's get down to business with a look at the fixtures first... 

 

 

 

 

Week 34 Fixtures


Norwich City v Sunderland

Everton v Southampton

Manchester United v Aston Villa

Newcastle United v Swansea City

West Bromwich Albion v Watford

Chelsea v Manchester City

AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool

Leicester City v West Ham United

Arsenal v Crystal Palace

Stoke City v Tottenham


Additional Double Gameweek Fixtures


Newcastle United v Manchester City

West Ham United v Watford

Liverpool v Everton

Manchester United v Crystal Palace

Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion


 

When analyzing double gameweeks, you want to look at the most productive clubs for a source of points and you want them playing weaker sides, preferably at home. All of that criteria fits Arsenal this week, with two games at the Emirates against Palace and West Brom. Tripling up on Gunners is pretty much mandatory. Manchester United also play twice at home to lower-table sides. They host the Eagles as well and they also get Aston Villa. With as poor as Villa are on both sides of the ball, just that game alone is as good as a double gameweek. The Magpies play at home twice, but it is difficult to have confidence in their prospects, though Georginio Wijnaldum has done virtually of his damage this season at St. James' Park. Liverpool's attack is in great form and, with the one road fixture among their two games coming against the Cherries, they look another solid source for fantasy returns, though Jurgen Klopp is doing a lot of shuffling to his XI with the congested schedule of playing in Europe. Manchester City play twice away from the Etihad but one of those games is against Newcastle, so there is still plenty of upside there. The match of the week has to be West Ham's trip to King Power Stadium to take on title-chasing Leicester. They have the talent to pull off an upset on the road and if they don't, they have another game to do damage and reward fantasy managers. Watford and West Brom may not seem the best route to points, but each club are bound to have one or two solid plays this week.

 

 

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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) David de Gea 

2) Petr Cech 

3) Adrian

4) Joe Hart 

5) Simon Mignolet 

6) Joel Robles

7) Ben Foster

8) Heurelho Gomes

DEFENDERS


1) Hector Bellerin 

2) Chris Smalling 

3) Laurent Koscielny

4) Nacho Monreal 

5) Aaron Cresswell 

6) Nicholas Otamendi 

7) Seamus Coleman

8) Aleksandar Kolarov 

9) Alberto Moreno - read more about him in this week's Bargain Hunter

10) Marcos Rojo

11) Timothy Fosu-Mensah

12) Nathaniel Clyne

13) Craig Dawson

14) John Stones

15) Angelo Ogbonna

 

 

 

MIDFIELDERS

 

1) Alexis Sanchez 

2) Mesut Ozil 

3) Dimitri Payet 

4) Kevin de Bruyne 

5) Phiiippe Coutinho 

6) Roberto Firmino 

7) Yaya Toure 

8) Manuel Lanzini 

9) Alex Iwobi

10) James Milner

11) Michail Antonio

12) Georginio Wijnaldum

13) Juan Mata 

14) Gerard Deulofeu

15) Jason Puncheon

16) Yannick Bolasie

17) Stephane Sessegnon

18) Adam Lallana

19) Riyad Mahrez

20) Gylfi Sigurdsson

 

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

 

 

 

FORWARDS

 

1) Sergio Aguero 

2) Romelu Lukaku 

3) Anthony Martial 

4) Daniel Sturridge 

5) Danny Welbeck

6) Andy Carroll

7) Troy Deeney 

8) Marcus Rashford 

9) Divock Origi - read more about him in this week's Bargain Hunter

10) Odion Ighalo

11) Aleksandar Mitrovic

12) Saido Berahino

13) Jamie Vardy

14) Harry Kane

 

 

 
So there you have it. The best of the best to consider for Week 34. As you can see at the tail end of the midfielder and forward ranks, I began to introduce single-gameweek options. It is inevitable that some single-gameweek players will outperform some of the double-gamweek options ranked here but those who are playing twice deserve to be weighted as such. Keep up with all the latest information, including injury reports that arise from press conferences ahead of the weekend here at Rotoworld, so that you can be prepared for perhaps the most important deadline of the season.
 
 
 
Good luck this week fellow managers, and may your arrows be green.

 


Source URL: https://www.nbcsports.com/edge/article/weekly-picks/fuzzy-logic-week-34-rankings