FPL Community Questions: David Silva replacements, Mohamed Salah and Marcos Alonso feature

I’ve teamed up with Sham from the 2 Guys 1 Cup FPL Podcast, to answer the community’s hottest Fantasy Premier League questions with regard to the upcoming Gameweek 17

Welcome back to our ‘Community Questions’ series where I (Simon), usually have my say on the FPL communities conundrums in an attempt to provide a different perspective, or perhaps some statistical information or insight some of you may not have thought about.

Each week, I’m going to set up a thread and ask the community what questions they have and I’ll pick the interesting ones, or the questions that apply to a wider majority, to feature on this article where myself and a guest/guests from the FPL Twitter community will join me in providing you with our own answers.

This week, I’m joined by Sham from the 2 Guys 1 Cup Podcast!

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Sham has been a part of the FPL Twitter community since mid last year and has been playing FPL for 6 years, with this being the year he’s been converted into ‘FPL Geek’ status. He joined the FPL Twitter community with his close friend to form an FPL Podcast and has been running this ever since. His previous best rank was 71k overall but with his current rank at an impressive 952, I’ve a feeling he’s going to just about beat his previous best.

If you’d like to follow his progress and sample the excellent content he provides through the podcast, you can follow him here >> https://twitter.com/FPL2Guys1Cup

Re-evaluate Marcos Alonso with David Luiz scoring well?

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Simon (FPL Connect):

A lot of FPL managers in the community seem to be unhappy with Alonso – I personally can’t figure out why. He’s still the 4th highest scoring player in the game for just £7.0m, with most of us paying less than that for him. To put that into the correct context, the 3 players that have outscored him are priced at £10.9m or more, which means he’s far better value than them.

It’s almost like everyone expected him to keep up his ridiculous 11pt a game average of the first 4 games. David Luiz, whilst offering good value (13.0 pts per million), still isn’t offering as good value as Alonso is offering (14.1 pts per million). When he’s not playing that well, he can pick up clean sheets and when he is on form, he can get you goals and assists on top of a clean sheet – what is there to discuss? Stop panicking and hold.

Sham (2 Guys 1 Cup Pod):

Alonso is one of those streaky players that will go on a run of 5/6 games without providing an attacking return and will then hit a run of form when we’ve just transferred him out! The crucial thing though, is he is still providing defensive returns with 3 in the last 5 fixtures. In direct comparison to Luiz, Alonso has 8 attacking contributions this season compared to Luizs’ 1.

Whilst over recent Gameweeks Alonso’s underlying stats don’t look promising, one stat that does jump out to me is touches in the opponent’s half. Over the last 4 Gameweeks, Alonso has 90 compared to Luizs 11.

The other thing you need to bare in mind and this is a crucial point, is that Alonso’s ownership is 46%, the highest owned player in the game. Going without him will be costly if he hauls. So in answer to you question what to we do with Alonso, in my opinion I think we hold, but if there’s a slot for another defender on your team then Luiz is a great option at £5.6m, but not instead of Alonso.

Keep Mohamed Salah or swap to the cheaper Raheem Sterling? 

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Simon (FPL Connect):

I wouldn’t be taking Salah out if you’ve held this long. He looks like he’s just hit top gear and now should be the time you own, not the time you sell. With Mendy out and some other injuries at the moment, Sané should get plenty of games over that time and he can definitely match Sterling if not beat him for value over that period.

The fixtures do look a little tricky for Liverpool in comparison to City’s, but having gone top of the league and qualified for the latter stages of the Champions League, Liverpool will be feeling 100% – combine that with an in-form Salah, and we should see fireworks.

Sham (2 Guys 1 Cup Pod): 

It’s a classic case of form Vs fixtures. Going into this Gameweek, my plan was to swap Salah to Sterling but with Salah’s current form, it’s really difficult to take him out.

For me, it comes down to what you plan on doing with the extra £1.4m. If you’re doing a double move and it helps you get a player in from the likes of Arsenal/Spurs who have a great run of fixtures, then I think it could be worth it.

Similar to Alonso, Salah is highly owned, so if you’re looking to consolidate your rank, I would hold, but if you’re going for broke then the Sterling move could pay dividends.

Is Eden Hazard essential over the Christmas period? 

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Simon (FPL Connect):

I wouldn’t use the word ‘essential’ personally, but I would say that I think he’s a fantastic choice for that period and the rest of the season. I think FPL managers were being a little too harsh on Hazard with his lull in returns before the last 3 GWs. It was a period where he had 2 injuries and Chelsea played some difficult fixtures and weren’t at their best.

Now back to 100%, he’s returned 20pts in his last 3 GWs ahead of some lovely festive fixtures. He’s also much less likely to be left out of the squad/benched like we know the City boys can. He’ll get rests in the Europa League match tomorrow and the Carabao Cup games which should leave him fit and firing for the Premier League matches.

Moreover, he’s on set-pieces, including penalties, so even if he isn’t having the best match, he can still provide good returns. He also has the highest goal involvement of any of the premium options, with him contributing to 62% of his teams goals.

Sham (2 Guys 1 Cup Pod): 

If you don’t fancy any of the other big hitters in the game, then Hazard is a great option but not essential for me. I’d wait to see how he performs against the other players like Sterling, Salah, Kane etc before you decide to jump on. One of the key factors in having a big hitter in your team is the captain reliability of them, at the moment I don’t think Hazard is reliably captain material.

Which bench players to consider for the festive period?

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Simon (FPL Connect):

Aside from the obvious two cheap gifts in Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Ryan Bennett, I’d also look at centre back Sean Morrison (£4.7m) for Cardiff. He already has 4 assists to his name this campaign and over the last 4 GWs, has registered 23 penalty area touches (only Kolasinac has more) and has had 7 goal attempts inside the box, more than any defender in that timeframe. Elsewhere in defence, I’d look at Christopher Schindler (£4.4m) simply for the chance of a clean sheet given Huddersfield’s excellent fixtures coming up.

In the midfield, I’d be looking at Callum Paterson (£5.3m). He’s playing out of position up front for Cardiff and they have fairly good fixtures. If you can stretch to this price, then Robert Snodgrass (£5.3m) has to be of consideration given his form over the last 3 GWs that has seen him notch a goal and 3 assists. If you can’t, then I’d opt for Victor Camarasa (£4.6m) who is nailed on and plays 90mins most times. He hasn’t returned much so far, but Warnock has now confirmed he’s on penalties which adds to his appeal.

Sham (2 Guys 1 Cup Pod): 

Defenders – Doherty £5.0m – For me he is a season keeper, nailed on and offers great attacking returns. Digne £4.9m, great underlying attacking stats, after the the next two fixtures Everton go on a great fixture run, playing no top 6 sides in the next 8 fixtures.

Mids – Mcarthur (£4.7m). Ive been looking at him for a couple weeks now, he always seems to be in attacking areas and with 2 goals in 3, he is in good form. Some tough games coming up, but as a 4th/5th midfielder he’s a great option.

Pritchard (£4.8m) – Hudderfield have 5 great fixtures in the next 6 games, 11 goal attempts in the last 4, and passes the eye test.

Attackers – Kamara (£4.3m) 3 great home fixtures in the next 4. Not nailed on to start but as a 3rd sub he is a great option with 2 in 2.

Who to replace David Silva with? 

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Simon (FPL Connect):

This one is simple for me. I’d go for Felipe Anderson.

Felipe Anderson is mid-priced asset flourishing at the moment in Pellegrini’s system. He’s bagged 5 goals and 1 assist in his last 6 PL games. On set-pieces, with a decent direct free-taking ability, Felipe has a good mix of chance creation and goal threat for his price. Over the last 5 GWs, West Ham have created 15 big chances (1 more than Man City), so they and him are in great form and they face Fulham, Watford, Southampton, Burnley and Brighton in their next 5.

Sham (2 Guys 1 Cup Pod): 

If you don’t have any City cover, I’d be looking to move to Mahrez, yes there will be some rotation but that is expected with City. If you already have someone from City, then it depends on whether you need to improve the rest of your team elsewhere.

Snodgrass and Anderson have very similar underlying stats. Anderson is more nailed-on though, if it’s a straight swap I’d go Anderson. However, if you’re looking to save some funds to improve the rest of your squad then Snodgrass is a great option.

The best set and forget GK for the next 10-12 GWs? 

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Simon (FPL Connect):

Over that time-span, I’d probably back Fabianski to win out in terms of value, based on the fact that Liverpool’s fixtures are tougher and Alisson mainly relies on clean sheets for his pts, whereas Fabianski makes a lot of saves and has good fixtures, so the chances for clean sheets are good with him too.

City do have very good fixtures however, so Ederson should score well, but again with him, it’s mainly 6 pointers. If you want safe, then I’d go with Ederson, but I think Fabianski plus the extra cash is the way to go.

Sham (2 Guys 1 Cup Pod): 

For me, Fabianski provides the best value keeper alongside form & fixtures. He’s second in the game for saves, more than double Ederson and nearly double Alisson.

Which Spurs and Arsenal assets to go for?

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Simon (FPL Connect):

Again, I don’t like to use the word ‘essential’, but for Spurs, I think it has to be one of Son Heung-Min or Harry Kane. Son has recorded the most goal attempts of any midfielder (17) over the last 4 GWs and passes the eye test with flying colours ahead of great fixtures. He’s also at a great price (£8.5m). Kane, whilst expensive, is in good form and will be a popular captaincy option through this period – this is where he typically starts to pick it up. I personally don’t think Eriksen or Alli have done enough to warrant investment.

For Arsenal, both FWDs Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are the ones to focus on. If Emery continues with the 5 at the back system, then this could get the best out of both Aubameyang and Lacazette, as they link up well together and with Kolasinac providing the width from the left, it means Aubameyang can focus his efforts from a more central position rather than sticking to the wing.

I’d probably look to own an asset from both camps. Son is great value, so pairing him with Aubameyang seems a good move if you’re confident of captaining Aubameyang. If not, then I’d get Kane and possibly Laca.

Sham (2 Guys 1 Cup Pod): 

Spurs – Son is the man in form at the moment, with 5 attacking returns in 4 games. At £8.5m he provides the best value into the Spurs attack. In the last 4 Gameweeks, Son has had 17 goal attempts vs Kane’s 11. He also has more penalty area touches than Kane (19 vs 13).

Arsenal – No real Arsenal assets are showing value for money at the moment. However, if you are going to go for any Arsenal attacking asset, then Aubameyang looks the best option. 5 attacking returns in 4 games, 14 goal attempts in the last 4 weeks with 10 in the box, 5 of the next 6 fixtures look great for the Gabonese international.

Get Aleksandar Mitrovic for a hit this week?

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Simon (FPL Connect):

Whilst he is on 4 yellow cards, I think Ranieri making him the captain will give him a greater sense of responsibility and will help to avoid the booking. Even so, it is only 1 game besides, remember what happened the last time there was a discussion on an aggressive striker 1 yellow card away from a suspension? If not, a lot of FPL managers avoided buying Diego Costa a few years back because of this reason and ended up missing out on the excellent run of form he went on.

The hit should pay off with the nice fixtures coming if it’s for an injured player, so I think I would do this under these circumstances, otherwise, you have to analyse what you think the player you’re taking out might return over the period you intend on owning Mitrovic.

Sham (2 Guys 1 Cup Pod): 

Depends who you’re taking out. If it’s for an injured or a bench player, then yes I think it could be worth it. 5 of the next 6 fixtures look fantastic for Mitro with 3 of the next 4 at home. He is the main man at Fulham and when they score, he is usually involved in some way.

Stance on Christmas jumpers? 

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Simon (FPL Connect):

Good question Marz. I think you have to assess many things when coming to a conclusion on this, for example, how they make you act when you have them on: are they making you want to grab mistletoe and gesture a sleazy ‘come here’ to your partner? Is it making you want to sing ‘Mariah Carey – All I want for Christmas’? If the answers to these questions are yes, then you should probably look to avoid over the next 3 GWs.

Sham (2 Guys 1 Cup Pod): 

Get in the xmas spirit – YAY of course!!!



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