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Weekly Monster Gameweek 7 – Preview

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As Premier League Gameweek 7 looms, join me (@FPLRatchet) as I lay out my €50,000 Weekly Monster side, whilst hopefully providing some helpful insight along the way to help you rise up the ranks this week!

What is the Weekly Monster?

The Weekly Monster is a weekly competition held on Fanteam.com where players choose a starting XI (no subs) from the teams playing that Gameweek from a budget of 100.0M, with the objective of scoring as many points as possible. Players score points using the same system as in the €1M season-long game – a scoring system that will feel very familiar to those who have played FPL.

Players are priced in accordance with the match odds for each given fixture. This means that the price list will differ every week, and will often read very differently to the season-long game, as prices are brought up or down depending on the quality of the fixture, and the form of the player.

Goalkeeper

My starting GK for this week is Aaron Ramsdale (4.6M) facing Man City away from home.

This week I’ve gone with the cheapest available keeper in the whole contest. I believe the value here is excellent for a few reasons.

The first reason being that I feel that Manchester City aren’t quite in gear yet this season. Without having terrible results, City just haven’t looked like the free-scoring team we’re used to that can cut open opposition defences at will.

The second reason is that, whilst they have undoubtedly suffered a drop-off in performance levels from last season, I think Sheffield United are unfortunate to find themselves where they are in the table currently, and so their potential in this match is being somewhat underestimated.

Finally – Man City take a lot of shots, and Ramsdale is a good shot-stopper. Even if Sheffield United don’t get a clean sheet, at 0.5 points per save, Ramsdale could rack up a good amount of save points, whilst being cheap enough to facilitate a powerful attack.

Defenders

With the trend of high-scoring fixtures continuing, so does my trend of picking a cut-price defence and redistributing my budget to my midfield and attack. With no bonus points in Fanteam’s scoring, premium defenders just don’t quite offer the same value in my opinion.

My first defender is Semi Ajayi (6.6M), facing Fulham away from home.

It’s a rare opportunity to pick up a defender with both clean sheet and attacking potential for so cheap in this contest – and Ajayi has both. Whilst West Brom’s defence hasn’t convinced so far, neither has Fulham’s attack. Fulham sit bottom of the table having scored just 5 goals so far – the 3rd worst total behind only Sheffield United and Burnley.

Ajayi also poses a goal threat from set-pieces, registering himself an impressive 5 goals in the Championship last season.

My next defender is Federico Fernandez (5.9M), up against Everton at home.

With the form Everton have been in of late, there’s no doubt this is a risk, but Everton looked almost toothless in failing to score against a leaky Southampton defence last week as a result of Richarlison’s absence, and James Rodriguez’s questionable match fitness. Calvert-Lewin is in fine form, but he isn’t really the type of striker to make his own chances. If Rodriguez still isn’t back to his best, I think it’s possible we could see a repeat of last week with Everton struggling to create chances.

As with Ajayi – Fernandez also offers attacking threat. He is a set-piece target, and managed 2 goals and 2 assists in the Premier League last season despite missing part of the campaign through injury.

My third and final defender this week is James Tarkowski (5.0M), facing Chelsea at home.

I’m surprised Tarkowski is as cheap as he is, to be honest. 4 attacking returns in the League last season, and despite Chelsea’s midweek Champions League success, their new look attack is still suffering some teething problems. Playing at Turf Moor, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Burnley clean sheet here.

Midfielders

Now, on to the juicy stuff… Choosing defenders with poor fixtures on paper has allowed me to spend big on attack, with a mouth-watering front 7 lined up for this Gameweek!

My first midfielder is Mohamed Salah (14.6M) facing West Ham at home.

Yes, I know, I pick Salah every week pretty much. That’s because in my opinion he’s the most explosive asset in the game – especially at Anfield. I think there will be plenty of weeks this season where not including Mo will almost guarantee you missing out on those profit positions.

Whilst he didn’t return last week – he was desperately unlucky. He had a brilliant goal ruled out by a tight offside, had a penalty appeal turned down, and chipped the ‘keeper to hit the post in a situation where you’d usually expect him to score.

My next midfielder for this week is Heung-Min Son (13.6M) against Brighton at home.

After stubbornly ignoring Spurs assets for a few weeks due to a phobia of Mourinho’s attacking philosophy at Spurs – I’m now believing that they really may have turned a corner. They’ve developed from a team that never really looked like they wanted to score more than 2 goals, to one of the League’s most potent attacks, with Son and Kane at the heart of it all. The introduction of Tanguy Ndombele in the number 10 role has also contributed in my opinion, adding a creative spark that had been missing in that area for some time.

Next up is Jack Grealish (10.5M), against Southampton at home.

Despite the clean sheet last week, I still don’t like the Southampton high defensive line. Not through an aversion to high lines in general – I just don’t think their Centre backs have the pace, nor the tactical know-how, to operate it successfully on a consistent basis.

Grealish looks to me like exactly the type of intelligent player capable of exploiting the risks taken by this defence. He’s been in fine form this season so far with 6 attacking returns in the League so far – 5 of which coming against another high defensive line in Liverpool…

My fourth and final midfielder is Ademola Lookman (8.0M), facing West Brom at home.

Whilst I knew Lookman had talent – I’ve been pretty blown away by his short time in the Premier League so far. Scoring against Sheffield United on his first start, then hitting both posts last week when he got his second start.

He’s very direct and very explosive, and I think he’s got the talent to catch this West Brom defence off guard and haul in this match if things fall his and Fulham’s way.

Attackers

Completing my team this week is another pricey front 3. Let’s hope the investment pays off with some big points returns!

The first attacker for me this week is Harry Kane (13.7M) facing Brighton at home.

Harry Kane potentially looks like the best asset available in the league right now. He offers the huge goal threat he always has, but this season is offering far more assist potential than he ever has before, and is linking up brilliantly with Heung-Min Son on that left flank. He now has a frankly ridiculous 13 attacking returns in just 6 games so far in the league – and his assist total of 8 is already better than he has ever achieved in the League over the course of a whole season… If that crazy statistic won’t convince you, I’m not sure what will!

My next attacker is Danny Ings (9.8M), facing Aston Villa away.

Ings has enjoyed a fast start to the season – with 4 goals to his name already. Seemingly on penalty duty now for the Saints, he could even do the unthinkable and outscore last season’s staggering total goals if he can manage to keep himself fit all season.

Whilst his strike partner was always changing last season, he also looks to be developing some chemistry with new mainstay strike partner – Che Adams, which could help to increase his assist potential further.

My final attacker of the week is Callum Wilson (7.7M) facing Everton at home.

Whilst Newcastle don’t create an abundance of chances, when they do create, you can be confident Wilson will be involved – with 62% goal involvement for the club in the PL so far. Looking at players’ average positions explains lots of the story there – Newcastle’s favoured 4-5-1 setup leaves Wilson as their furthest forward player on the pitch by a distance. With penalty duty to his name as well, 7.7M looks a potentially great value price against an unconvincing Everton defence.

Captaincy

Whilst captaining one of the Spurs boys is very tempting, I’m keeping the faith this week with the Egyptian king and captaining Mohammed Salah (14.6M) once again. He’s consistently the most reliable asset in the game when he’s playing at home, on penalties (even when James Milner is on the pitch now, it seems), and the West Ham defence are still slightly hot and cold, despite the improvement on last season. Another drubbing from Spurs last weekend may have swayed me to Kane, but Spurs didn’t create much in the game. Harry Kane (13.7M) Vice-captain it is then.

Strategy

I’m sticking with the all-out-attack strategy this week, aiming to cover the three assets with the highest points ceiling in Salah, Kane and Son, whilst maintaining some differentials such as Lookman, and some of the defence. Missing out on that one or two players that explode in a Gameweek can ruin your rank in a contest like this, and that’s what has burned me multiple times already this season – mostly damage from not including Kane or Son… 

I’m trying to learn from these mistakes this week and cover the most crucial assets, then my differentials returning could hopefully see us in those payout positions. Good luck this week as always!

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