With the 2022/23 Fantasy Premier League (FPL) season underway, we’re welcoming back our stellar team of Pro Pundits, Hall of Famers and guest contributors.
Our writers will be providing regular articles and team reveals throughout the new season, with only Premium Members able to access every single one.
Next up is seven-time top 10k finisher Zophar, who shares his thoughts and transfer plans ahead of Gameweek 3.
We now have two weeks’ worth of data to dive into which – albeit small – is 50% more than we had this time last week. In this piece, I will be discussing some of the big questions currently facing FPL managers.
Keep the faith in Andrew Robertson (£7.0m)?
Liverpool have conceded in both of their opening fixtures and they just don’t seem to be having the control they had last year. The injuries at centre-back obviously haven’t helped but the absence of Thiago (£5.3m) is also having a significant effect. I saw a stat on the excellent FPL BlackBox last night where they highlighted the difference the Spaniard makes to Liverpool’s clean sheet potential.
The sample size is fairly large in each case and while there may be other circumstances at play, that
is a significant difference.
What is also worth mentioning is that Robertson has yet to create a single chance this season but is
often being used as a runner, which increases his goal threat significantly. So I guess the increase in
goal threat kind of makes up for the assist potential and I don’t think he’s a hard sell given
Liverpool’s next three to four fixtures.
However, with so many other good value options amongst £5.0m defenders, perhaps that money could be invested in midfield, to upgrade someone like Pedro Neto (£5.5m) to an £8.0m midfielder. Also, if you
don’t own Reece James (£6.1m), I would definitely sell Robertson for him.
Is Marc Cucurella (£5.0m) worth buying?
Cucurella made his first start for Chelsea in Gameweek 2 and head coach Thomas Tuchel made the following comments about his inclusion:
“He has a bit more feeling for the rhythm and intensity of matches than Ben [Chilwell] at the moment. We keep Ben for substitutions because he is a high-speed runner, an intense runner. But, after his long injury, I think he lacks a little bit of rhythm and feeling for the matches. That’s why we go for Cucu today.”
A lot of you will ask why Chilwell started in Gameweek 1 if he wasn’t fit. The reason is that Marcos Alonso (£5.4m) handed in a transfer request and Cucurella only had one training session with the team before the match.
So, with the above comments in mind, I think there is a fair chance we see Cucurella at left wing-back for the next few matches.
When midweek Champions League fixtures come around, perhaps that’s when it will become more of a concern but that’s also when we expect to see Thiago Silva (£5.5m) get rotated, as the Brazilian struggles to play three times a week. So the Spaniard could then deputise at centre-back.
He didn’t have a lot of attacking threat whilst at Brighton and Hove Albion but the setup at Chelsea is very different, with wing-backs afforded much more license to attack. At £5.0m, I think he is a risk worth taking, as his points ceiling is very high with set-piece duties also thrown in.
Stick with Mason Mount (£8.0m)?
Mount is being sold in droves ahead of the deadline and is teetering on the edge of a price drop. Simply put, if you started with him, I would keep the faith and not sell before a fixture run of Leeds United, Leicester City and Southampton. All these sides have conceded plenty of goals and I would argue it’s the
time to buy Mount rather than sell him.
Replacements for Neto and Leon Bailey (£4.9m)?
A lot of us started with at least one of these two enablers in midfield and I think it is a bit unfair to put Bailey and Neto in the same bracket.
Neto is still safe for expected minutes and soon faces Newcastle United, Bournemouth and Southampton. The signing of Mattheus Nunes (£5.0m) also adds creativity to the Wolves midfield. So I would argue there’s no real rush to get rid of this asset.
On the other hand, Bailey absolutely needs to go, especially if he’s your 11th player. Rather than move him to another £5.0m midfielder, I would downgrade him down to a £4.5m and instead move that money towards a defender like Lewis Dunk (£4.5m).
Rodrigo (£6.1m) and Pascal Gross (£5.6m) are perfectly fine options as well if you can afford to look upwards.
My team and transfer plans
We discussed a lot of the topics above and more on this week’s episode of The FPL Wire. Check it out here.
See you next week!