There is a very obvious move to make in Fantasy Football this week and nearly one million managers have already made it.
Newcastle striker Callum Wilson is hot property after his 19-point haul in the 4-0 win against Aston Villa but, as Statman Dave was explaining in the latest Fantasy 606 podcast, it’s not just a knee-jerk reaction after one hot gameweek.
Wilson has scored four goals and provided four assists in his last six games, he seems to have shaken off his injury problems and is playing in one of the best teams in the league with the added motivation of trying to earn a place in England’s World Cup squad.
You’d certainly back Newcastle to score in their next two games away to Southampton and at home to Chelsea and he’s also the ideal replacement for Ivan Toney, who is not only suspended for Brentford’s trip to Nottingham Forest this weekend but then returns with a very difficult game away to Manchester City before the break.
Other managers like myself will be bringing Wilson in for Aleksandar Mitrovic, who is one yellow card away from a suspension and is up against Manchester City and Manchester United in the next two gameweeks. You’ll need a little bit of extra money in the bank to make that switch though with Wilson having already gone up £0.2m to £7.5m this week.
For the second week running we are waiting to hear more from Pep Guardiola on Erling Haaland’s fitness, although we have seen pictures of the Norwegian back in training before Manchester City’s game against Fulham on Saturday. We’re also wondering whether Phil Foden is going to be sitting on the bench for the third gameweek in a row.
Captaining a City player against a vulnerable Fulham defence looks like the way to go in gameweek 15 and Haaland is the obvious choice but if he were to miss out, or if you don’t think he’s going to start, then your next best bet would have to be Kevin de Bruyne, who was given a rest for the first 70 minutes of the game against Sevilla on Wednesday.
He might not be the easiest player to get to at £12.5m unless you’re a Mohamed Salah owner, or a Son Heung-min owner with a bit of extra cash in the bank to help you upgrade.
You could always do it by making a couple of transfers but I would be wary of taking any points hits when we’re so close to unlimited transfers during the World Cup.
The strategy all depends on that Manchester City team sheet on Saturday and it’s worth keeping an eye across FPL accounts on social media just in case there’s any early team news leaked ahead of the 13:30 GMT deadline which might tell us who’s starting and who isn’t.
If we don’t get any whispers then I’m sticking with Foden for what it’s worth – he’s been one of Guardiola’s favourites in the Premier League this season until the last couple of weeks and could easily start those next two games against Fulham and Brentford, where big points hauls certainly seem possible.
There are so many other excellent midfield choices in these last two gameweeks before the break and they’re all such great value too.
Miguel Almiron, Marcus Rashford and Leandro Trossard are probably at the top of that list but if you fancy a little differential punt to try and move up the rankings then Anthony Gordon, Philip Billing, Harvey Barnes and Brenden Aaronson are all currently owned by less than 2% of managers in the game and all of them have two fixtures which look promising for points.
It’s always more fun to take a risk on signing an attacking player but a nod to my Fantasy 606 colleague Chris Sutton who brought in Aaron Cresswell and Diogo Dalot a long time ago and they certainly look like good picks for the next couple of weeks.
The same goes for Cresswell’s West Ham team-mate Kurt Zouma, who always offers a goal-scoring threat at set-pieces, and Pervis Estupinan, who shone for Brighton at left-back in their 4-1 demolition of Chelsea last weekend.
I also see in Chris’ predictions column on the BBC Sport website that he’s gone for Liverpool to win 2-1 at Tottenham in Radio 5 Live’s commentary game at 16:30 GMT on Sunday.
It’s such a tough game to call given the fluctuating form of both teams this season but I agree with him that both will score in that one so I’d stick with the likes of Harry Kane, Salah, Darwin Nunez and Roberto Firmino if you’ve got them.
Alistair Bruce-Ball presents the Fantasy 606 podcast alongside former Premier League winner Chris Sutton and Statman Dave.
The latest episode previewing gameweek 15 is available on the BBC Sounds app and the code to get your FPL team in the Fantasy 606 league is ‘ahrsf2’.