The midweek fixtures have come and gone in a blur of goals. While FPL managers agonise over the best possible strategy for the upcoming blank and double gameweeks, Liverpool reaffirmed their title credentials, putting Watford to the sword in a 5-0 mauling at Anfield. The terrific three were at it again, scoring, assisting and clean sheeting for fun.
Even Sadio Mane (£9.7m) got in on the act. All is right again. Well...except for Mohamed Salah (£13.5m), and the 1,139,203 FPL managers who captained him.
SCOUT: Salah is the most-owned midfielder, with 49.4% ownership, and was the most captained in GW28 with 1,139,203 managers handing him the armband— Fantasy Premier League (@OfficialFPL) February 28, 2019
He finishes with 3 points#FPL #LIVWAT pic.twitter.com/VumOTjRCAA
Elsewhere, Arsenal were another team who put five past a visiting club, with Bournemouth on the receiving end of the beat down as both Alexandre Lacazette (£9.5m) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m) scored. Henrikh Mkhitaryan (£6.8m) continued his purple patch with a second double-digit haul in as many weeks, while on the other side of London, Romelu Lukaku (£10.7m) staked his claim for more minutes up front with a brace as Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 3-1.
Oh and Sergio Aguero (£11.7m) scored. Again. What’s new??
The Gameweek 28 optimum squad pulled in quite the haul, netting 84 points thanks largely to our two Liverpool defenders - Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.3m) and Andrew Robertson (£6.8m). The pair registered two clean sheets, five assists and four bonus points between them in Liverpool’s rout of Watford. A shout out must also go to Mkhitaryan. Listeners of our podcast will know the Armenian attacker was selected as the algorithm's differential player for Gameweek 28. Just one round in and it’s already outperformed the lot of us in Team TSZ towers.
A plethora of potential point-scoring fixtures await FPL managers for Gameweek 29. At the back, the top projected defender for Gameweek 29 is Brighton’s Shane Duffy (£4.7m). Brighton welcome the Premier’s league lowest scoring team Huddersfield to the Amex Stadium. With just eight away goals this season, anything less than a clean sheet would be deemed a failure for the Seagulls.
I think im biased by tending towards Shane Duffy as my BRI pick, but its hard argue against the defender this season in #FPL.🇮🇪— FPL Fairy (@FPLFairy) February 28, 2019
He faces HUD on Sat and is currently priced at £4.7m, with 6% ownership. Duffy has scored FIVE times and his underlying stats back up his selection.⚽️ pic.twitter.com/LSuVSv4oWj
The rest of the backline is made up of Newcastle and Chelsea players. From Newcastle, Martin Dubravka (£5.0m) is in goal and Fabian Schär (£4.7m) comes in at the back. The duo have been part of a side that has kept successive clean sheets.
Marcos Alonso (£6.4m) and David Luiz (£5.9m) round out the back four. Chelsea showed that they ARE still playing for their manager with an excellent 2-0 win last time out against Spurs. This week, the team is set to face a Fulham side that is in disarray, having just sacked Claudio Ranieri after a little over three months in charge.
Loading up on Chelsea assets may be a wise investment for FPL managers still uncertain of their strategy for the upcoming blank and double gameweeks. The Blues are one of the few teams that have both a fixture in BGW31 and a potential two fixtures in DGW32.
I think NEW vs CRY would be more likely to move to GW35 because:— Ben Crellin (@BenCrellin) February 28, 2019
If Brighton beat Millwall, TOT vs BHA would move to GW35 (because CHE vs BHA is very likely to move to GW32)...
so TOT vs CRY would then move to GW32...
which would mean NEW vs CRY would have to move to GW35. pic.twitter.com/8EvMAPczev
Strung across the five-man midfield is a who’s who of premium fantasy assets, and Anthony Knockaert (£5.2m), who’s set to play Huddersfield and is projected to score 5.51 points, give or take a decimal or two. At the top of the tree is Manchester United’s Paul Pogba (£8.4m), who captains the side for GW29. Simply put, the Frenchman has been irresistible since OGS took over at Old Trafford, averaging 9.25 points per 90 minutes played.
Pogba was immense today. Playing with 2 very inexperienced midfield partners, always showing for the ball, making tackles and interceptions, always looking forward.— FPL Grape (@FPLGrape) February 24, 2019
Popped up everywhere from RW to LB! Not bad for a virus...
Despite not living up to the hype in previous weeks, both Salah and Eden Hazard (£10.8m) make the projected squad. A word of warning for those FPL managers jettisoning the Egyptian King and still top-scoring FPL player of the 2018-19 season:
Mané vs Salah last night 👀— FPL Chancer (Dan) 🇨🇽 (@fplchancer) February 28, 2019
I totally get why people might want to trade down & save a ton of cash
But these heat maps would make me nervous; we've been here before a couple of months ago 🤔
Mané streaks are fun if you get in early; feels like an end is due to me#FPL pic.twitter.com/GqTeYGenft
Meanwhile, Hazard is set to face Fulham – a team that have conceded 63 Premier League goals already this season at an average of 2.25 per match. Our fifth midfielder is Heung-Min Son (£8.9m), whose form has dipped since the return of Harry Kane (£12.4m) from injury. Still, class does tend to be permanent and a North London derby could be just the ticket to get Son and Spurs over their recent blip.
Englishman Glenn Murray (£6.3m) occupies the loan striker role. The evergreen forward may have only bagged a brace in his last 12 Premier League matches but as discussed already, he faces Huddersfield, which does appear to be a bit of a cure all for FPL players struggling for points.
With Brighton and Chelsea, along with Newcastle, expected to record shut-outs, Mat Ryan (£4.4m) and Kepa Arrizabalaga (£5.5m) are the best of the rest in net. The situation with Chelsea is worth monitoring though as after becoming Chelsea manager last Sunday, Kepa rested himself midweek. Given Willy Caballero (£4.7m) kept a clean sheet, the Brazilian may well stick with Caballero between the sticks against Fulham this weekend.
Breaking: Kepa becomes new Chelsea manager pic.twitter.com/9LF5h0LAFF— Connor Greenaway (@BO55_CMG) February 25, 2019
Southampton’s Angus Gunn (£4.3m), Arsenal’s Bernd Leno (£4.8m) and Manchester United’s David De Gea (£5.7m) are all in the top five on save potential.
Newcastle and Chelsea share the load with the ‘best of the rest’ defenders at two a piece. DeAndre Yedlin (£4.5m), Jamaal Lascelles (£4.6m), Cesar Azpilicueta (£5.9m) and Antonio Rudiger (£5.9m) are not only projected to bring the noise but also the points. Any one of Florian Lejeune (£4.4m), Gaëtan Bong (£4.4m), Lewis Dunk (£4.4m) or Martín Montoya (£4.3m) could have taken the final spot in the projected defenders table, given they’re all projected to score six points from a clean sheet, but Montoya takes the place due to him being £0.1m cheaper. Think of what that money saved could buy!
Fresh from his midweek rest, Raheem Sterling (£11.4m) is projected to score well against Bournemouth. If City are to keep up the pressure on Liverpool then Sergio Aguero (£11.7m) is likely to be at the forefront of any goals scored having had a hand in eight goals in his last five matches. Diogo Jota (£6.1m), along with Raul Jimenez (£6.9m), will be looking to help Wolves bounce back from their surprise defeat to Huddersfield last time out. N’Golo Kante (£5.0m) and Pedro (£6.3m) continue the trend of pick any attacking player who faces Fulham, while Jamie Vardy (£8.9m) continued his own Premier League record of scoring in every match following the sacking of a Leicester City manager.