Wednesday, December 1 2021

Last week saw a few teams put up crooked numbers but not the ones expected as Liverpool, Leicester, Wolves, and Spurs were the top scorers. Romelu Lukaku failed to score again and now finds his way on the way out of fantasy teams across the land after picking up an ankle injury in Champions League play vs Malmo on Wednesday. Why did Thomas Tuchel play almost a first-choice squad in the rain for a game that backups could have won? We may never know but with Lukaku and Timo Werner now injured and being doubts for the weekend, the forward choice decision is wide open.

Steve Bruce has also left Newcastle by mutual consent with Paulo “wing play” Fonseca being the favorite to take over. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because Fonseca was the first name up in the carousal of people who almost became the manager of Tottenham during the summer. If appointed, he’ll improve chance creation as Newcastle will have an attacking plan, but the defensive numbers will take some time as the team doesn’t have bodies currently.

But if you thought this week would be clearer than last week, injuries manager shuffles and lack of squad rotation in Europe are about to make this weekend just as much of a mixed bag when it comes to lineups and performances. So time to captain Mohamed Salah right?

Looking at the NBC Sports league, we had another week with co-managers of the week as Christopher Schulz and Noah Pogue took home the honors with 111 point weeks. Noah rode a Roberto Firmino captaincy along with a clean sweep from his defense and an unlikely source of points in Tim Krul.

Noah rode a Roberto Firmino captaincy along with a clean sweep from his defense and an unlikely source of points in Tim KrulNoah rode a Roberto Firmino captaincy along with a clean sweep from his defense and an unlikely source of points in Tim Krul
Noah rode a Roberto Firmino captaincy along with a clean sweep from his defense and an unlikely source of points in Tim Krul

Christopher took a more conventional route with a Salah triple captaincy while also profiting from Ben Chilwell’s 15 pointer. Jordan Ayew, Roberto Firmino, and Youri Tilemans were the top differentials on that side.

Christopher took a more conventional route with a Salah triple captaincy Christopher took a more conventional route with a Salah triple captaincy
Christopher took a more conventional route with a Salah triple captaincy

Top Transfer Targets will look at the roster 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 which also includes my favorite punt of the week. The 40 percent club includes players who I won’t be writing about as how many teams they are selected in speaks for itself.

Let’s look at this week’s fixtures:

Friday 22 October

Arsenal v Aston Villa

Saturday 23 October

Chelsea v Norwich

Crystal Palace v Newcastle

Everton v Watford

Leeds v Wolves

Southampton v Burnley

Brighton v Manchester City

Sunday 24 October

Brentford v Leicester

West Ham v Spurs

Manchester United v Liverpool

The 40 percent club is made up of Mohamed Salah and Michail Antonio even with blanks in four of the last five gameweeks. Do you hear that, it’s the template breaking into pieces.

Don’t get caught out in the crowd (25-40 percent rostered at the time of writing):

Rúben Dias (DEF Manchester City 6.2m, 29.3%): While Rúben Dias had an unlikely rest last week and an even more unlikely appearance off the bench, that doesn’t lessen his appeal moving forward as a solid City defender to roster. When City keeps a clean sheet, Dias usually gets a bonus point or two and he’s as nailed on as they come dealing with Pep-roulette. Brighton has been struggling to score lately so a matchup with them followed by Crystal palace is a good primer for City’s excellent run later in the season.

Worth your consideration (16-24 percent rostered):

Danny Ings (FWD Aston Villa 7.8m, 16.3%): I wanted to recommend Jamie Vardy but we’re learning that an away trip to Brentford isn’t an easy task at all. In home fixtures, the bees have allowed five goals but three of those were to Liverpool. But enough about Vardy as this is about Danny Ings and an Aston Villa side that is finding their scoring touch again. Last weeks loss to Wolves was a let down but Aston Villa has now scored in three straight games while Ings also scored vs wolves collecting two bonus points. Starting off the week versus an Arsenal side that we don’t know what to expect from, it’s a good time for Ings to continue rediscovering his scoring touch.

Solid if not Steller (10-15 percent rostered):

Tino Livramento (DEF Southampton 4.3m, 15.6%): Livramento has had a clean sheet or an assist in four of the last five gameweeks as he now has a stranglehold on the Southampton right-back spot. Facing Burnley this week with Watford and Norwich on the horizon, there is a good chance for more clean sheets as well while Southampton is becoming a plucky defensive unit. If you don’t act soon on Livramento he will soon be at 4.5m making him much less of a bargain but he’s beginning to rival Shane Duffy for the top spot among defenders who started the season at 4.0m.

Rolling the dice (under 10 percent rostered):

Mason Mount (MID Chelsea 7.4m, 8.7%): With Lukaku and Werner injured, Mason Mount will not only need to return to the starting lineup for Chelsea but he will also need to provide most of the offense during a run that includes Norwich, Newcastle, and Burnley. While Kai Havertz will also be shouldered with those responsibilities, Mount has been the more consistent scorer for Chelsea so I’m more willing to back him to fill my final Chelsea slot.

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