Hello and welcome to Fanteam’s Weekly Monster Preview for Gameweek 10! I’m Kieran (@FPLRatchet) and I’m here to bring you my lineup for Fanteam’s €100,000 Weekly Monster contest ahead of Premier League Gameweek 10, hopefully providing some helpful tips along the way, and what a contest we have this week…
This Gameweek the stakes have been raised – with the usual €50K prize-pool doubled to an eye-watering €100,000! Players have also been given a boost to their budget to 110.0M, to enable players to build even more powerful lineups in the hunt for that €10K first place prize…
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.
My starting GK for this week is Bailey Peacock-Farrell (3.7M) away to Manchester City.
With Fanteam offering 0.5 pts for each save a goalkeeper makes, cheap goalkeepers in seemingly difficult fixtures can often provide good value, even if they don’t manage to keep a clean sheet, primarily through save points. So when Nick Pope was ruled out of the weekend’s fixture, Peacock-Farrell emerged as incredible value – this is the cheapest I’ve seen any player priced all season so far, and Burnley’s defence isn’t quite as bad by the numbers as their position in the league would have you believe – Burnley are 7th best in the league for xGC over the last 5 Gameweeks.
This, combined with the fact that City are yet to truly get it going this season in attack, makes the Burnley Keeper an easy choice for me in goal to enable better players in the rest of my squad.
We’re back to the preferred setup of three at the back this week, with one premium defender and two enablers to allow for more firepower in my attack.
My first defender is Joao Cancelo (10.9M), facing Burnley at home.
Where City’s attack looks to have diminished from last season somewhat, their defence has improved markedly. They’re not conceding the soft, silly goals they’ve been notorious for in recent years, Ruben Dias looks a star at Centre-Back, and Guardiola is finally playing the same back four consistently in the league. This is reflecting in the numbers, as City have the 3rd lowest xGC in the league over the last 5 Gameweeks, behind only Chelsea and, surprisingly, Man United. Cancelo has fantastic numbers himself, boasting the 4th highest xA of all defenders with 1.31, despite making just 5 appearances… The reason for this is that City pivot to a back three in possession, with Kyle Walker dropping into the back three, and Cancelo moving up the pitch to effectively play as a midfielder.
Burnley are also very goal-shy this season, scoring just one goal in their last 5 games. Here’s hoping they’re prime candidates to provide Cancelo with another clean sheet this weekend.
My next defender this week is Ezri Konsa (6.9M), up against West Ham away from home.
Despite Villa stumbling last weekend against Brighton, the scoreline was harsh on them and they did have the better of the game. Despite losing, however, Ezri Konsa managed to pick up another goal. Konsa looks to be Villa’s primary target for aerial set-pieces – you’ll always see him in the opposition’s box for a corner kick. With the quality of deliveries available from the likes of Grealish, Barkley, Targett etc make Konsa’s aerial threat even more potent, and he looks to be a great pick for fantasy sides throughout the season if he can keep his place in the starting XI throughout the campaign.
Finally, my third defender this week is Rayan Aït Nouri (6.0M), playing Arsenal at the Emirates.
With Arsenal still struggling to score, I still see them as a good fixture for defenders facing them, and as I’ve said before in these articles – Wolves are a top class defence. Both teams setting up in a likely five at the back setup means I’m predicting a very low-scoring game with not many chances for either side – especially considering that Wolves most of the time don’t even appear to be at all interested in scoring a goal until the final 30 minutes of a game!
Of the Wolves defenders, Aït Nouri looks the best value to me. He’s the cheapest of the bunch despite playing as a Wing-Back, and already having scored in the league for Wolves – he’s a bright young player who always has the potential to make himself involved in the attack in my opinion.
It’s four in the middle for me this Gameweek – a star-studded list of three top premium names alongside a bit of a throwback differential pick to help climb the ranks!
My first midfielder is Kevin De Bruyne (15.0M), facing Brighton at home.
At 15.0M De Bruyne is certainly not cheap this week, but with the news of Nick Pope and Dale Stephens being unavailable for the game, to go without any City attacking assets feels like suicide, and nobody covers as much of that City attack as Kevin De Bruyne. Seemingly still on penalties, he’s continuing to post up encouraging numbers in terms of chances created and Non-Pen xG this season, even if his points total appears underwhelming. This underperformance is, in my opinion, more a symptom of City’s underperformance as an attacking unit in general, but a Burnley side hurt by injuries at home could well be the fixture to kick them back into gear.
My next midfielder for this week is Mo Salah (13.6M), up against Brighton away from home.
With Salah back in action after a week out, there was no way I was going without him this week seeing how impressive Liverpool were last time out against Leicester. Liverpool looked to have their mojo back, creating bags of chances and looking solid at the back throughout. Although I like Brighton as a side, I struggle to see why Liverpool can’t do to Brighton this weekend what they did to Leicester last, and if we have another 3-0 on our hands, there’s surely no way Salah isn’t involved.
Next up is Bruno Fernandes (11.9M), facing Southampton away.
Bruno is continuing to impress despite United as a whole still looking somewhat out of sorts. He’s the creative hub of the team, with most attacks going through him, he takes penalties and other set-pieces, and is an excellent finisher and long shot expert. Despite his points last week coming from a penalty, he created two guilt-edged chances for Martial and Rashford, of which neither were finished, so he could easily have had a bigger haul than he did.
Bruno also performs better away from home generally speaking, and Southampton are a side who can be vulnerable to a counter-attack due to their high line and attacking style. He also scored two goals from open play in the Champions League in midweek, including a 25 yard rocket, so his confidence should be as high as ever going into the weekend.
My third and final midfielder this week is Theo Walcott (7.1M), facing Man United at home.
So here’s the differential! Believe it or not this pick is for more than just old time’s sake – Walcott has been very involved for Southampton since filling in for the injured Danny Ings up front for the Saints. Playing off of Che Adams creates opportunities for Walcott via flick-ons and second balls, as Adams is an aggressive and strong player who’s link up play with fellow attackers seems to be getting better by the week. Whilst we’ve got a cheap out-of-position striker available from an attacking team, I’m going to try and take advantage at just 7.1M!
Its a really premium three man attack for me this week, as I look to target two home fixtures primarily that look to offer plenty of goals.
The first attacker for me this week is Jamie Vardy (13.4M), facing Fulham at home.
The first name on the team sheet this week, Vardy further vindicated this decision by scoring an all important equaliser off the bench in Leicester’s Europa League fixture in midweek. Vardy is exactly the type of veteran Premier League striker to have the nouse and experience to know how to really exploit these Fulham defenders’ weaknesses and make sure they have the hardest time possible containing him at the weekend.
Fulham are 18th in the League for xGC and lack a lot of pace in defence. This will likely force them to play very defensive and deep, until Leicester score a goal or two, in which case they will be forced to attack the game more, leaving more space in behind for Vardy to exploit. Here’s hoping Leicester can score early so Fulham can’t sit back all game and stifle Vardy’s best assets.
My next attacker is Dominic Calvert-Lewin (12.2M), facing Leeds United at home.
With Lucas Digne and Kalvin Phillips seemingly out of this game, I think there’s every possibility that we see a high-scoring game as we have two teams who are better at attacking than they are defending. With their first choice front three all available, Everton look like one of the most potent attacking sides in the league, with Rodriguez and Richarlison seemingly providing consistently good service to Calvert-Lewin for those one-touch finishes we’re seeing with such regularity now.
My third and final attacker this week is Patrick Bamford (8.5M), facing Everton away at Goodison Park.
As I just explained how I can see this game playing out, Bamford at 8.5M looks really good value to me considering his form, and the fact that Lucas Digne is unavailable. Leeds create chances at a really impressive rate, sitting pretty at 5th in the league for xG over the last 5 games. Even despite failing to score against Arsenal last week, they managed 25 shots. These are encouraging signs that the chances – therefore the goals – should keep coming for an in-form Bamford who’s already enjoying a great start to the season.
My captaincy for this week is Jamie Vardy (13.4M). I always like to captain the player with the highest ceiling in these contests, and for this week that player is Vardy. Fulham continue to look leaky at the back and Vardy’s experience will help him make life extremely difficult for these defenders who are no doubt still adjusting to the Premier League to some extent. Being on penalty duty is almost becoming a must for my fantasy captains nowadays, a box which Vardy ticks conclusively. Having the home fixture is another factpr in his favour, and it’s hard to find many reasons why he won’t be a great pick for this week! Kevin De Bruyne (15.0M) fills in at Vice-Captain, but Vardy has the better fixture so I’m yet to see enough from City to stop me capping the Leicester man.
Back to my preferred strategy and formation this week with the return of the 3-4-3. That’s a benefit I found to the 10M budget increase we received for this week’s contest – I’m now less limited to the strategies I can play by my budget, as often in recent weeks my budget constraints forced me into a four man defence in a week I could have been chasing as many goals as possible!
Aside from that, it’s a relatively template team by my standards this week. That’s because my main strategy was to cover these big hitters that all have the potential to haul (Salah, KDB, Bruno etc), as I can really see these guys hitting double figures this week potentially, and they looked to me to be the best options by a distance in their positions. Walcott and Aït-Nouri the only big differentials of note. Good luck as always, managers!