The weekend is nigh upon us and as the Premier League returns to enthral all and sundry, there’s a flurry of activity around the footballing world as Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers scramble to assemble their team before Gameweek 13’s deadline.

From an entertainment perspective, the English top-flight gives you bang for your buck as almost every week, there’s a massive upset and/or a goal-fest that has commentators going gaga.

However, the intrepid souls who brave FPL would want results to be more routine as deciding who’s worth your hard-earned virtual money is no laughing matter.

While The Statesman can’t control the outcome of the results, we can help assuage your selection dilemma with an insightful article on who to buy each gameweek.

The indicators are:

Teams in BOLD are top 4 contenders.

Prices (in £ million) marked in Green indicates a rise in Base Price.
Prices (in £ million) marked in Red indicates fall in Base Price.

Goalkeeper

Fraser Forster

Team: Southampton
Fixtures: Everton (H), Man City (A), Bournemouth (A), Arsenal (H) and Leicester (H)
Price: 5.1
Score: 53
Ownership: 8.8%

Why yes: Everton will be without their in-form striker Oumar Niasse (suspended for diving) for the tie at St Mary’s. The Toffees are yet to win on the road this season and it looks unlikely they will be able to buck the trend against the Saints.

Why no: Goal-shy Southampton are in a bit of a rut, having lost their last two on the trot. Burnley keeper Nick Pope (£4.6m) and Huddersfield custodian Jonas Lossl (£4.6m) are more cost-effective alternatives.

Fraser Forster, Southampton F.C., Premier League, Fantasy Premier League
The 6’7 Forster is among the best keepers in the English top-flight!

 

Defenders

Davinson Sanchez

Team: Tottenham Hotspur
Fixtures: West Brom (H), Leicester (A), Watford (A), Stoke (H) and Brighton (H)
Price: 6.0
Score: 35
Ownership: 0.6%

Why yes: Spurs’ record signing has been impressive since his arrival in London and the Colombian has firmly established himself in Mauricio Pochettino’s first-team plans. The Baggies are manager-less at the moment and shouldn’t be able to trouble Spurs’ backline, which has been among the stingiest the past couple of seasons, and the Lilywhites have some routine fixtures ahead. Could prove to be a massive differential.

Why no: Since Sanchez plays in Spurs’ back-three, he is unlikely to score or assist, like wing-backs Kieran Tripper (£5.7m) and Ben Davies (£5.7m). The 21-year-old’s price could put off most FPL managers, who would rather buy a Manchester United or Chelsea defender with the money.

Davinson Sanchez, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur F.C., Premier League, Fantasy Premier League
Davinson Sanchez (L) is touted as world-class prospect, such has been his form since signing for the Lilywhites this summer! (Photo: AFP)

 

Antonio Valencia

Team: Manchester United
Fixtures: Brighton (H), Watford (A), Arsenal (A), Man City (H) and Bournemouth (H)
Price: 6.7
Score: 63
Ownership: 15.6%

Why yes: Manchester United have the best defence in the Premier League, period. And Valencia, who was rested in their mid-week loss to Basel, will be among the highest-scoring defenders in FPL for sure. United have turned Old Trafford into a fortress and newly-promoted Brighton might just get hammered on Saturday.

Why no: Among the most expensive defenders in FPL, Valencia may not be as good value as the likes of Chris Smalling (£5.4m). The Red Devils have tough fixtures after Brighton and considering the right-back isn’t extremely productive up front, he may not score the points you would want. United keeper David de Gea is a clean sheet machine, but it would be a risk to have both in your FPL team.

Antonio Valencia, Manchester United F.C., Premier League, Romelu Lukaku, Fantasy Premier League
Valencia (R) has been in excellent form for the past two seasons! (Photo: AFP)

 

Midfielders

Paul Pogba

Team: Manchester United
Fixtures: Brighton (H), Watford (A), Arsenal (A), Man City (H) and Bournemouth (H)
Price: 8.0
Score: 43
Ownership: 13.8%

Why yes: Pogba’s return from injury has galvanised United and the flashy Frenchman represents excellent value, considering his impressive stats this season. So far, the United midfielder has scored thrice and provided four assists in five games. Buy him before his price shoots through the roof.

Why no: Having him and Romelu Lukaku (£11.5m) both would be an ill-advised strategy for United aren’t expected to be free-scoring in big games. Anthony Martial (£8.0m) plays a more advanced role for the Red Devils and is worth a dekho. Considering he’s just come back from a hamstring injury, Jose Mourinho may not play Pogba the full 90 minutes every game.

Paul Pogba, Manchester United F.C., Premier League, Fantasy Premier League
Pogba’s return has lifted the mood in the United camp! (Photo: AFP)

 

Eden Hazard

Team: Chelsea
Fixtures: Liverpool (A), Swansea (H), Newcastle (H), West Ham (A) and Huddersfield (A)
Price: 10.6
Score: 44
Ownership: 5.6%

Why yes: Hazard is in sensational form and if you can’t afford him, make room somehow. For the diminutive Belgian is playing just off Alvaro Morata, which would effectively mean he is more of a striker than a midfielder. Liverpool’s defensive woes is news to no-one and a rejuvenated Blues side should be able to breach their backline on multiple occasions on Saturday. Games after Liverpool should be a cinch.

Why no: Chelsea’s recent record against Liverpool isn’t good (winless in their last seven outings) and Hazard is extremely pricey. Teammate Alvaro Morata (£10.5m) is banging in the goals up top and having both in your FPL team would mean close to 20 per cent of your team budget is dependent on one team’s attacking fortunes.

Eden Hazard, Chelsea F.C., Premier League, Fantasy Premier Leauge
Hazard just can’t stop scoring at the moment! (Photo: AFP)

 

Forwards

Christian Benteke

Team: Crystal Palace
Fixtures: Stoke (H), Brighton (A), West Brom (A), Bournemouth (H) and Watford (H)
Price: 7.6
Score: 10
Ownership: 2.0%

Why yes: The wildcard pick of the week, Christian Benteke is bound to break his duck sooner rather than later. Stoke have been porous at the back under Mark Hughes and the Eagles, who have shown encouraging signs of late, are likely to make their encounter a goal-fest. Their next few fixtures are probably the easier they are likely to get this season.

Why no: The pressure will continue to mount the longer his goal drought continues. Winger Wilfried Zaha (£6.8m) is the Eagles player one should have, honestly.

Christian Benteke, Crystal Palace F.C., Premier League, Fantasy Premier League
Benteke is a beast in the air, but can score with either foot as well! (Photo: Facebook)

 

Gabriel Jesus

Team: Manchester City
Fixtures: Huddersfield (A), Southampton (H), West Ham (H), Man United (A) and Swansea (A)
Price: 10.5
Score: 62
Ownership: 15.6%

Why yes: City continue to rack up win after win and their trip to Huddersfield shouldn’t throw up a surprise. Jesus didn’t start in their mid-week win over Feyenoord (UEFA Champions League) and that would suggest he is a sure-shot starter for tie against the Terriers. On the whole, they have a routine run of games ahead. Jesus’ impressive record in 2017 speaks for itself.

Why no: He’s still not a confirmed starter for the Citizens and with Pep Guardiola’s affinity towards rotation, Jesus is likely to see some bench time as the fixtures come thick and fast. City wingers Raheem Sterling (£8.1m) and Leroy Sane (£9.0m) are worthwhile options as well, as is midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (£10.1m). Considering their free-scoring form, it’s tempting to have multiple Sky Blues attackers, but which one do you go for?

Gabriel Jesus, Manchester City F.C., Premier League, Fantasy Premier League
Jesus is seen as the future for Manchester City and Brazil both! (Photo: AFP)

 

PS: The Gameweek deadline is Friday, 7.30 PM GMT/ Saturday, 12.30 am IST.