Sky Sports continues its weekly column bringing you essential tips from the best Fantasy Premier League managers in the world.
In our latest column, Holly Shand, FPL Family (Sam & Lee) and Wes Prickett (FPL Heisenberg) discuss the best Aleksandar Mitrovic replacement, whether it is time to ditch premium defenders and if Erling Haaland can break the FPL’s scoring record.
The Gameweek 10 deadline is at 1.30pm on Saturday and you can also join the official Sky Sports Fantasy League with code e7ft7m.
Will Haaland break the FPL record?
Holly Shand: While Haaland has made a phenomenal start, his biggest barrier to breaking the all-time FPL scoring record is staying fit for the entire season. The World Cup break will certainly help him: Pep Guardiola has tried to protect him thus far. His current point projection is 456 points: a far superior tally than the leading tally of 303 points Mo Salah amassed in 2017/18. While it’s unlikely, we could easily see him reach 350-400 points, provided he doesn’t miss a significant period through injury.
FPL Family (Sam & Lee): The sky’s the limit with Erling Haaland. He’s only nine away from beating Mo Salah and Heung-Min Son’s Golden-Boot winning total of 23 last season – which at the current rate he’s scoring is only a handful of games away! I think we will see 40+ goals from him this year and in all likelihood, a number of Premier League records. We have a new FPL King!
FPL Heisenberg: As incredible as Haaland is, there’s no guarantee he’ll break the record if he gets injured, or if in the latter stages of the season Pep starts saving him for Champions League games. Having said that and assuming he does stay fit, I do think he’ll beat the record comfortably.
Who is the best Mitrovic replacement?
Holly Shand: Aleksandar Mitrovic is one of the top strikers in the Premier League so far this season, so only sell him if we receive concrete news that he is set to be out for more than two weeks: benching him for a couple of absences would be preferable. Dominic Solanke is the best option at a cheaper price, with favourable fixtures on the way for Bournemouth. Meanwhile, Anthony Martial could be an excellent differential as he returns from injury to lead the line for Manchester United.
FPL Family (Sam & Lee): Depending on the length of the injury, you may not want to replace him at all – but if you do, you may need to find a bit more cash to move to Ivan Toney or Ollie Watkins. If you’re strapped for cash, then the incoming manager at Brighton will inject a new-found flair for attacking the opposition – as we have already seen at Anfield. Perhaps Danny Welbeck can make that centre-forward slot his own under Roberto De Zerbi, with the front-man already confessing his excitement at the prospect of playing under the Italian.
FPL Heisenberg: We need to wait for injury news before deciding on the best strategy for dealing with Mitrovic as there’s a few different ways you could play it. I’m personally looking at benching him and rolling a transfer if his injury is only short term. If he’s out for a longer period of time then consider Callum Wilson, Dom Solanke or even a wild punt on Diego Costa.
Is it time to ditch premium defenders?
Holly Shand: Trent Alexander-Arnold is deservedly one of the most sold players this week, after being a key contributor to Liverpool’s poor defensive performances so far this season. However, players like Reece James and Joao Cancelo still have the potential to rack up significant scores this season, plus Kieran Trippier who is a key player for Newcastle United when it comes to set-pieces. I see more potential for clean sheets from the defences that they form a part of.
FPL Family (Sam & Lee): Not altogether, no. I’m keeping faith in Reece James after an excellent attacking performance in the Champions League for Chelsea and I still think Cancelo can keep clean sheets and produce attacking returns for us in FPL. With two difficult fixtures coming up for Liverpool, though, I think I would move on Trent Alexander-Arnold and look to save some money by bringing in cheaper options like Tripper or William Saliba.
FPL Heisenberg: No – Reece James and Joao Cancelo are both coming off the back of a solid performance in the Champions League and both have a great fixture in Gameweek 10, I’m expecting decent FPL returns from both this week. Beyond this week there’s an argument to remove Cancelo before he travels to Anfield in Gameweek 11 and then blanks in Gameweek 12.
Which low-ownership players have you got your eyes on?
Holly Shand: Thiago Silva has caught my eye: he has assists in consecutive games, with fixtures against teams struggling for goals over the next two, in Wolves and Aston Villa. In midfield, Joe Willock impressed last time out, with two assists against Fulham. He had four shots on goal, as well as creating four chances. Up front, Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins had six shots in the box in his last fixture and now faces Nottingham Forest who have the worst goal difference in the Premier League.
FPL Family (Sam & Lee): Leicester City’s form this season hasn’t been good, that’s a fact, but they got their first win against Forest last GW and now have the fixtures to put a bit of a run together. James Maddison’s the obvious pick, but keep an eye on Timothy Castagne, who got two bonus points in the 4-0 win last time out and loves to get forward into dangerous areas as we’ve seen in previous seasons. At the time of writing, less than 2 per cent of FPL teams have the Belgian defender.
FPL Heisenberg: Rodrigo, Jarrod Bowen and Miguel Almiron. These three midfielders are all huge differentials that can propel you up the overall ranks if they score well. Rodrigo is back from injury, looking sharp and we all know how well he was doing before his injury. Bowen is back in the points and will be looking to kick on with a decent set of fixtures. Almiron is a decent budget-enabler and looks like a much bigger goal threat this season, a tight offside call was the only reason he didn’t take home the match ball in Gameweek 9!
Maddison, Zaha, Bowen or Foden?
Holly Shand: A move to a five-man midfield could facilitate owning all of this quartet. Right now I have James Maddison and Wilfried Zaha in my squad, with a view to adding Phil Foden soon. Right now, I believe Foden to be the biggest enabler in the game: he’s well trusted by Pep Guardiola this season, starting every Premier League game and his link-up play with star man Erling Haaland is translating into significant fantasy points.
FPL Family (Sam & Lee): Decisions, decisions! Lots of value suddenly in the mid-price midfielder bracket. They got off to a slow start, but are now coming to the fore. Zaha is the one I’m happy to have in my team. The fixtures are superb between now and the World Cup. Statistically though, Phil Foden jumps out. A non-penalty xGI (expected goal involvement) of 0.73 per 90 mins. This means that we would reasonably expect him to be involved in either a goal or assist, every time he takes to the pitch – and he has that explosive nature, that we saw against Manchester United. The form he’s showing right now, I wouldn’t expect Pep to drop him.
FPL Heisenberg: Very tough to choose between these, all great options. If I had to pick one right now it would be James Maddison due to his season-long form being decent despite Leicester struggling and he ran the show in Gameweek 9 at home to Nottingham Forest. I’m expecting big things from him now as he looks to force his way into England’s World Cup squad.