The Digest articles make a welcome return to Fantasy Football Scout in 2023/24.
In these pieces, a player, team and talking point that have attracted interest in the weekend’s matches are discussed.
Five-time top 1k finisher Tom Freeman will be taking the reins this season, producing regular Digest articles, with only Premium Members able to access every single one.
THE PLAYER: OLLIE WATKINS
Three goals and two assists in Aston Villa’s stunning win over Brighton and Hove Albion continued Ollie Watkins’ (£8.0m) recent return to form.
Having scored in a 1-0 win at Chelsea the previous Gameweek, the 27-year-old served up a whopping 23-point haul on Saturday – his highest ever in Fantasy – to take his tally to four goals and six assists in seven starts.
After failing to find the net from 14 shots and 2.38 expected goals (xG) in the first five Gameweeks, Watkins has since taken eight shots with an overall xG of 1.01, scoring four, emphatically answering his doubters and charging to the top of the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) player rankings in the process.
Aston Villa have now won 10 consecutive Premier League games at Villa Park since the start of March, and with some outstanding fixtures ahead, it could persuade many Fantasy managers to opt for a full quota of Unai Emery’s men.
Watkins and Moussa Diaby (£6.7m) look like prime targets, with Matty Cash (£4.9m) an option at the back ahead of a schedule that pits Aston Villa against just one of the current top six in the next seven Gameweeks.
However, it’s worth noting Emery is a coach who, as he put it after Saturday’s win, “demands a different tactical game plan” every week.
Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United – both of whom Villa have struggled against in recent times – will therefore pose very different challenges to Brighton, who they were able to hurt with a direct approach and lots of quick midfield transitions.
Still, Watkins’ rise under Emery is notable and given his previous, it suggests he can deliver regardless of opponent.
WATKINS UNDER EMERY
|Points per start||6.6|