The Watchlist takes a medium-term look at the more desirable Fantasy Premier League (FPL) transfer targets, rather than concentrating on just the upcoming Gameweek as the Scout Picks does.
We’ve recently had our weekly refresh, with the main changes explained below.
ABOUT THE WATCHLIST
Players are selected and ranked according to factors such as form, club injuries, forthcoming fixtures, Rate My Team’s points projections and whether or not the player in question is likely to be a bargain in FPL.
Arrows before the name indicate whether a player has climbed or fallen in our reckoning since the previous update or if they are a new entry into the tables.
We typically toe the line with FPL’s definition of ‘form’ (average points accrued in matches played over the last 30 days), which in this case incorporates Gameweek 23 onwards.
The key for the factors you’ll see in the below tables is as follows:
THE WATCHLIST: BEST FPL GOALKEEPERS
Out with the old Brighton number one, in with the new. Jason Steele (£3.9m) replaces the ousted Robert Sanchez (£4.6m) in the Watchlist, although the budget shot-stopper enters at a modest fifth place.
It seems too good to be true: a sub-£4.0m goalkeeper with as many as five Double Gameweeks still to come, playing for a side with the fourth-best rate of non-penalty expected goals conceded (xGC) since Roberto De Zerbi took over.
The hesitation to promote him higher up the rankings is less about Blank Gameweek 28 (and 32) than it is about how secure Steele is in his role in the medium term. De Zerbi didn’t completely close the door on a future Sanchez recall (“I think Robert can work to arrive at the same level”) when discussing his team selection last weekend, even if he was hinting that Steele could get a run in the side.
The last three Gameweeks have seen Newcastle United host Liverpool, blank, then face Manchester City at the Etihad. The schedule gets more favourable for the Magpies now, with five of the Premier League’s six lowest scorers to come in Gameweeks 27-34.
Nick Pope (£5.4m), still the division’s leading goalkeeper for clean sheets, also has a guaranteed fixture in Blank Gameweek 28, a double immediately after the March international break and then another as-yet-unscheduled double to follow.
THE WATCHLIST: BEST FPL DEFENDERS
Many of the key medium-term defensive targets of Gameweek 26 are the same this time around, something that will likely be reflected in the template Wildcard squads of Gameweek 27.
Where this week’s Wildcarders may differ is their take-up of Chelsea defenders.
Graham Potter’s switch to a 3-4-3 in the nervy win over Leeds United last weekend unleashed Ben Chilwell (£5.8m) as an attacking force, with the under-fire Chelsea boss sticking to that wing-back system against Borussia Dortmund in midweek.
Chilwell, on a share of set plays, assisted goals in both matches and was heavily involved in the opposition box, while Reece James (£5.8m) was back from (another) injury on Tuesday evening to play his part on the opposite flank – and declared in the mix for penalty-taking duties by his manager!
“It was him or Reece, sometimes you have to let the lads on the pitch sort it, we’ve got confidence in Kai.” – Graham Potter on Kai Havertz’s midweek penalty
There are caveats, to keep the pair midway down the Watchlist.
Chelsea’s progression to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals means that there’ll be a two-legged European tie after Gameweeks 30 and 31, so there is always the risk that Graham Potter spares his key assets in the Premier League with precious little to play for domestically.
A possible Blank Gameweek 32 then follows.
Double Gameweek 29, meanwhile, features two league fixtures barely 72 hours apart, the second of which is against Liverpool. Potter has previous for handling James with kid gloves when the fixtures stack up, with the Chelsea boss keen to avoid re-injuries. An international break precedes the first Gameweek 29 fixture against Aston Villa, so perhaps any minutes logged with England will partly dictate whether or not the two Blues wing-backs face the Villans.
Away from Stamford Bridge, we’ve replaced Gabriel Magalhaes (£5.2m) with Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.2m) as our go-to Arsenal defender. The Brazilian has done little wrong but Zinchenko’s all-round attacking potential is hard to ignore, as he sits second and joint-third among FPL defenders for shots and chances created in his last six matches.
THE WATCHLIST: BEST FPL MIDFIELDERS
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