The FPL Watchlist: The players rising and falling ahead of Gameweek 2

In our Watchlist series, we pick out the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) players who are the best medium-term targets in each position based on fixtures, form and value.

Unlike the Scout Picks, we’re not just focusing on the upcoming Gameweek with these articles.

Will (aka TopMarx) is updating the rankings regularly in 2022/23 and we’ll assess his first update of the new campaign proper here.

FPL pre-season: Trossard hits hat-trick from wing-back role 1


Our regularly updated Watchlist, which is visible on the sidebar, ranks players in each position for the next four Gameweeks.

This allows site users to get a longer-term view on recommended players beyond the weekly Scout Picks.

Players are selected according to factors such as FPL’s form rating*, club injuries, club morale, forthcoming fixtures and whether or not the player in question is likely to be a bargain in FPL.

The table displays the player name and club, along with the abbreviation for the factors that played a part in their ranking. A key for these factors can be found below the player in the table and looks like this:

Arrows before the name indicate whether a player has significantly climbed or fallen in our reckoning since the previous update or if they are a new entry into the tables.

*Points divided by a club’s matches played over the last 30 days. These form ratings will become more useful after three to four Gameweeks have passed.


The FPL Watchlist: Which players are rising and falling? 3

We’d generally need a damn good reason to tinker after one solitary Gameweek and that’s exactly the case with the goalkeepers, none of whom shift from their pre-season standings.

Alisson (£5.5m) remains top of the pile ahead of his fellow cut-price premiums from last season: our Rate My Team tool has him not only as the highest-scoring goalkeeper of the next four Gameweeks but also up until the September international break.

Aaron Ramsdale (£5.0m) and Arsenal are top of the Season Ticker over the next four Gameweeks, with favourable fixtures also the primary reason why Jose Sa (£5.0m) features in the above list; another ropey showing from the four-man Wolves backline in Gameweek 2, however, and last season’s xG thwarter will no doubt start to tumble down the list.

Danny Ward (£4.0m) consolidates his place on the list after getting the nod to start in Gameweek 1. With Leicester’s fixtures on the iffy side and the Foxes a soft touch defensively last season, however, he’s low down on the Watchlist despite the affordable price.


The FPL Watchlist: Which players are rising and falling? 2

Our first risers and fallers come in the defenders category.

Lucas Digne (£5.0m) takes a tumble of two places, with Gabriel Magalhaes (£5.0m) and Kieran Trippier (£5.0m) nudging ahead of the Frenchman.

Aston Villa were always a relatively short-term hold anyway, with the fixtures decent in Gameweeks 1-3 but stiffening thereafter. Digne then would have soon slipped down the pecking order regardless of his opening-day returns but that has been accelerated by the dismal Gameweek 1 defeat to Bournemouth.

There was hope that the arrival of Diego Carlos (£5.0m) and Boubacar Kamara (£5.0m) would further solidify a backline that looked promising under Steven Gerrard in 2021/22. That may still happen but with time against Villa as viable FPL assets given the fixtures, it’s something that is perhaps best addressed in Gameweek 8 when the schedule looks more favourable.

Gabriel and Arsenal are top of our Season Ticker for fixture difficulty over the next four Gameweeks, following on from their clean sheet in the curtain-raiser against Crystal Palace. Leicester City’s vulnerability at set plays is something that the aerially dominant Brazilian might be able to exploit in Gameweek 2, as well.

As for Trippier, it’s fair to say that his rise is more to do with Digne’s slide. Newcastle’s defence is looking very promising indeed – that’s now five clean sheets in the last eight home matches – and Trippier’s set-piece threat, creativity and bonus points potential mark him out as one of the best, if not the best, long-term £5.0m defender holds in FPL. But matches against last season’s top two come in the next four Gameweeks, so he’ll not get any higher in the Watchlist until Gameweek 6. If you’ve got Trippier and midfielder Andreas Pereira (£4.5m) in your squad, the budget Fulham asset could at least cover the Newcastle man in Gameweeks 3 and 5.

There’s no kneejerking with premium defenders, who remain as they were, but Jonny (£4.5m) may be on borrowed time should Wolves concede to unfancied opposition yet again in Gameweek 2.


The FPL Watchlist: Which players are rising and falling? 1

We didn’t see enough in Gameweek 1 to alter the midfielder rankings, meanwhile.

The more favourable fixture runs of Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) and Kevin De Bruyne (£12.0m) keep them ahead of Son Heung-min (£12.0m), although we’ll of course keep have to keep tabs on the Egyptian’s output as Darwin Nunez’s (£9.0m) star rises.

Arsenal’s featured midfield duo are knocking on the door of Luis Diaz (£8.0m), who was only a post width’s away from joining the other top five players above in delivering a Gameweek 1 attacking return. Liverpool’s favourable fixtures and Diogo Jota’s (£9.0m) injury keep Diaz high in our estimation, for now.

Mason Mount’s (£8.0m) excellent Gameweek 3-5 fixtures and Leon Bailey‘s (£5.0m) potential value for money sees us keep the faith but with the likes of Dejan Kulusevski (£8.1m) and a promising-looking Brenden Aaronson (£5.5m) sniffing about, we’re not short of Watchlist candidates in the middle of the park.


The FPL Watchlist: Which players are rising and falling?

One ‘AM’ makes an exit and another one arrives on our forwards’ Watchlist.

Erik ten Hag’s confirmation of an injury to Anthony Martial (£6.9m) and the lack of a timeline on his recovery sees us jettison the Frenchman.

In comes Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.6m), fresh off the back of his Gameweek 1 brace; if the Serbian can score against one of the best two defences in the division, the omens are positive – right? We’ve been here before with the Fulham hitman, of course, lured onto the rocks by his prolific Championship record and then left frustrated by his output in the top flight. But he is, for starters, now playing under a more front-foot manager in Marco Silva than he was previously under the cautious Scott Parker.

Gameweek 8 looks a good time to hop on the Fulham train given the fixtures but the schedule from Gameweeks 2-5 isn’t all that bad in isolation, with a suspect-looking Wolves defence and a Brentford side who are themselves two first-choice centre-halves down to come next.

The decision to opt for Erling Haaland (£11.6m) over Harry Kane (£11.4m) as our first-choice forward has only been cemented after Gameweek 1, while we’re not even close to writing off Gabriel Jesus (£8.0m) yet with the pre-season form and the upcoming fixtures too encouraging. And despite another benching, Darwin Nunez (£9.0m) is a name on many FPL managers’ lips after game-turning cameos against Manchester City in the Community Shield and Fulham on Saturday.

Danny Welbeck (£6.5m) was a whisker away from featuring; his injury record, the historic rotation risk at Brighton and the in-form defence of Newcastle just saw him overlooked here but he’s most definitely on the radar.

FPL pre-season: Trossard hits hat-trick from wing-back role 2