With the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) live for 2023/24, we welcome our team of Hall of Famers and guest writers for the new campaign. Below, Zophar, a seven-time top 10,000 ranker, takes his regular weekly Q&A from the questions posed on his hot topic and beyond.
Our writers will provide regular articles throughout the new season, and only Premium Members will be able to access each of them.
You can sign up here for the new campaign and still get the pre-season price: once you’re on board, you’ll have locked in your Premium Membership price forever, as long as you don’t cancel!
Q: Given the Reece James news, is Robert Sanchez the better option on defense next to Ben Chilwell? Or Bad Taste, on the basis that I can go back to being a £4.0m bench player when James returns?
A: The length of reece james‘ (£5.5m) absence is unknown as of now, but rumor has it that he is out for at least this weekend with a hamstring injury. bad taste (£4.0m) was bought in January to serve as a backup for James, so it’s likely he’ll take his place in the side, but we really don’t know much about him yet and I don’t think he’ll offer as much in attack as he does. James.
So, I wouldn’t jump on him right away. I would like to see who is the third best option in the Chelsea squad with ben chilwell (£5.6 million) and nicolas jackson (£7.0 million) the clear first and second options. Malo looks like a great bargain at just £4.0m, but I’d be worried about missing out on a third-place finish at Chelsea as I’m still waiting for an attacking midfield option to emerge. I think this would be a better route to your big encounters. The same applies to Roberto Sanchez (£4.5m) as I think we can find similar ‘keepers’ to match Sanchez’s PPM value.
Q: What to do with Gabriel Magalhaes? Keep or sell?
TO: gabriel magalhaesThe exclusion (£5.0m) from Arsenal’s starting line-up came as a surprise to many, as the Brazil international was just as nailed as he was in Mikel Arteta’s previous selections. In the postgame press conference, Arteta indicated it could be a horse-for-race approach he takes more frequently this season. So I think Gabriel returns to the team with vital aerial ability of his against Crystal Palace.
the injury to jurrien wood (£4.9m) also means Arteta has fewer options and I think in a tough away game he will appreciate the Brazilian’s leadership. He would at least give this match up as a Gameweek really isn’t a large enough sample to make a conclusive judgement, and they have a good home match against Fulham next. So he’s definitely a support for me, especially now that James isn’t available. That said, if you can move Chilwell in one fell swoop, he would, since you’d want the left-back long-term anyway.
Q: Who would you prioritize in Gameweek 3: James Maddison or Nicolas Jackson? I bet on Kai Havertz, but it’s likely the sacrifice of one of these two.
A: Chelsea play Luton, Forest and Bournemouth in Game Weeks 3-5, while Spurs take on Bournemouth, Burnley and Sheffield United. There really isn’t much to break up the accessories on paper and they both look like amazing choices for that period. I think it really depends a lot on who you would sell to; I think personally I’m looking to lose Ollie Watkins (£8.0 million) for Jackson.
The tricky part, obviously, is that someone like Bruno Fernandes (£8.5 million) or Mark Rashford (£9.0m) have a good game that week, as do Arsenal’s midfielders, so would be reluctant to sell Kai Havertz (£7.5m) at home to Fulham. Obviously I’m biased as a Chelsea fan but I would recommend buying Jackson over james madison (£7.5 million). Ideally, I want both.
Q: Given Kevin De Bruyne’s injury, would you keep Phil Foden? Or trade Bryan Mbeumo, for example?
A: Manchester City really don’t have that many attacking options with Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez out and kevin debruyne (£10.4m) injured. They are looking to recruit in the transfer window with Lucas Paqueta (£6.0 million) and jeremy doku both linked but with Bernardo Silva (£6.5m) also a doubt I think Phil FodenThe (£7.5m) place is the safest in a long time. Pep Guardiola can of course do anything, he’s the type of guy who likes to play square pegs into round holes, but I think Foden will probably start and play a more central role. The run after Newcastle is also very, very good for Man City, so it’s worth keeping him for that.
Q: Keep faith with the Manchester United attackers or is a switch to James Maddison or Richarlison on the cards?
(via The Sociologist)
A: Manchester United were very disappointing on Monday, so I can understand the impatience around their attackers. I own Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes but I think one week is not a big enough sample to make a judgment and the game against Spurs is likely to be very different compared to the game against Wolves.
Spurs look like a much more attacking team and, as we saw against Brentford, they offered the wingers plenty of space back, which Rashford could take advantage of. I see that it is a very open attacking game, with something like a 2-2 scoreline, so I would give it one more week. That’s when the Spurs’ hot streak really starts and we might as well have some more insight into who’s the better option between Maddison and richarlison (£7.0 million).
Q: Would you rate the transfer of Alexander Isak as a ‘knee’ decision considering Newcastle United’s next three games are all difficult?
A: Newcastle were absolutely electric against Aston Villa so I understand the temptation with alejandro isak (£7.6 million). They are a very good team that will give the best teams a run for their money, but again, as has been the topic of this article, I would wait another week. They then play Man City, who are the best defense in the league. Villa played to Newcastle’s strengths, and I don’t think that’s always the case.
Apart from this, there is always a concern about turnover; callum wilson (£8.0m) is lurking around and usually appears around the 60th minute. Once the Champions League kicks off, we’ll be sweating it out on their squad sheets every weekend.
Q: For owners other than Salah, is Luiz Diaz a viable captain alternative or too far a punt?
A: If you don’t have Mohamed Salah (£12.5 million), I still think Erling Haaland (£14.0m) is the best captaincy option this week. Newcastle conceded 19 goals in their away games last season, kept just five clean sheets and ranked sixth in shots conceded, so they aren’t as good away from home as they are at St James’ Park. While I think the Egyptian has the highest ceiling, I don’t see any other player I’d want to back against Haaland’s consistency at home.
That being said, the only other Liverpool attacking player I can be sure will start on Saturday is luis diaz (£7.5 million), with Diogo Jotá (£8.0 million), Cody Gakpo (£7.5 million) and Darwin Nunez (£7.5m) all fighting for the other position. So if you fancy a clearance, I like Diaz as Liverpool’s next best option.
We discuss what we learned from Gameweek 1 and the outlook for Gameweek 2 in this week’s episode of The FPL Wire. You can find it here.
Thanks for reading and see you next week!
#James #replacements #sell #Gabriel