Fantasy Premier League managers can be forgiven for having trust issues right now.
Not only are many of the premium options struggling to deliver, Everton let their backers down in Gameweek 21 with a surprise 2-0 defeat to Newcastle.
However, Carlo Ancelotti’s men still have appealing fixtures on the horizon, including Gameweek 22 and 24 meetings with Leeds (away) and Fulham (home).
We asked the Scout Network if they still trust Everton assets and whether or not they will be investing in the near future.
After tripling up on Everton in Gameweek 21 against a supposedly suspect Newcastle side, I was left disappointed with the blank from all three players.
I like to think of transferring in players as like getting on a bus. You can choose to get on a bus that’s already running but accept the fact that you’re not going to get the first seat OR get on a stationary one at the bus station with no driver, hoping that it’s about to go somewhere. The latter is a perfect analogy for tripling up on Everton players. At least I’ve got a comfortable seat!
The Toffees’ attacking statistics in the last four matches don’t make for positive reading as they sit third-worst for total shots and rock-bottom for big chances.
Before bringing these guys in, my main caveat for the poor attacking numbers was the missing personnel that combined so well in the early stages of the season. But Everton had most of their best players back against Newcastle and yet were still sluggish in the transition from defence to attack.
They showed signs of brilliance but the overwhelming thought was they struggled to create clear cut opportunities to score. I am hoping it’s just a matter of time before the key players start gelling again.
Everton will need to get their mojo back fast ahead of the midweek clash with Leeds, who have been obliging defensively. Marcelo Bielsa’s side have conceded 51 big chances over the course of the season – only West Brom have conceded more.
It is worth noting that Leeds won this fixture 1-0 at Goodison Park so it might not be all plain sailing for Everton. However, on paper, this is an ideal fixture for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, James Rodriguez and Lucas Digne to kick-start their form but I said the same thing before Newcastle.
With Fulham at home in Gameweek 24 too, there are plenty of reasons to persist with these players until a Wildcard safety net in Gameweek 25. I just wouldn’t rush to buy them until they’ve shown signs of improvement.
Everton’s Luca Digne
Gameweek 21 came around quickly, with the promise of a points bonanza for Everton at home to a much maligned, out of form and under pressure Newcastle team. With Lucas Digne, James Rodríguez and Dominic Calvert-Lewin all back… surely a goal-fest beckoned.
2-0 to Newcastle was the result. Of course. This is the 20/21 season after all.
What does this mean for the Jekyll and Hyde Everton in February?
With five games in three weeks against Leeds, Man Utd, Spurs (FA Cup), Fulham and Liverpool, this is a season-defining period for the Toffees. Those fixtures don’t exactly inspire confidence for FPL managers, but the thing is, it would be really rather nice if Calvert-Lewin could fill the rather large Harry Kane/Jamie Vardy shaped hole in our teams.
For that to happen, Everton are going to need more from James Rodriguez (one goal, no assists since Gameweek 5) and the return of Allan is pivotal (expected back for the Manchester United game). The stability he offers to the Everton midfield is vital for their attacking output.
There are more in form forward options out there in Michail Antonio, Alexander Lacazette and Callum Wilson. Or perhaps with clean sheets occurring with more regularity, it is time to switch your team formation to 4-5-1.
With defence in mind, Lucas Digne at £6.0m needs to be delivering points every other week to justify his price tag. We had high hopes after seeing him on the left wing against Leicester, but Carlo Ancelotti dropped him back into a more orthodox full-back role for the Newcastle game.
The Leeds match in Gameweek 22 looks like a decent prospect for points for Everton assets. Will it be the turning point for the remainder of their season?
Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison
Harry Kane’s injury meant there was an injury in my front-three moving forward and Everton’s fixtures led me to Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
While this didn’t pay off in Gameweek 21 there is plenty of potential for the £7.6m forward to make a return to the FPL points as we became so accustomed to in the early Gameweeks of the season.
Everton lost their way for a while in terms of goals, clean sheets and FPL points with injuries to key players. However, the return of Lucas Digne, James Rodriguez and Richarlison means that Everton are nearly back to having the personal who were so prolific with points returns in the first third of the season. Allan is the only one they’re still waiting on.
For me, Jordan Pickford’s tendency towards a mistake which costs Everton the clean sheet means that I am less willing to invest £6.0m in Digne. However with injuries to Kane and Vardy up top as well as Kevin De Bruyne in midfield, and players like Bruno Fernandes out of form it is worth a look at the Everton attacking asset, especially ahead of a game against Leeds who haven’t kept a clean sheet since Gameweek 16 when they face West Brom.
El Statto Graphic’s from Jumpersforgoalposts.info
Like many other managers, I took the leap of faith on Dominic Calvert-Lewin in Gameweek 21, a decision influenced more by Harry Kane’s injury than my unyielding belief in the player himself.
As you can see from the graphic, all Everton players are deemed differentials apart from Calvert-Lewin and I think there is a good reason for that. They are just too inconsistent right now.
The Toffees’ upcoming games are mixed so I’m not sure I would be rushing to bring in any of their assets. Lucas Digne could be a possible option due to the attacking threat he offers, but with everyone else averaging less than 4.0 points per game I feel there is much better value else where.
What’s happening in the Scout Network?
The next episode of Scout the Gameweek will be released on Thursday when Sam will be joined by Adam from the FPL Experiment Podcast.
It has been an exciting few weeks for Ted Talks FPL. He has appeared on both the Scoutcast with Joe and Seb and on Breakfast Club with Andy.
Ted has also given the video content on his channel a new consistent feel, with his ‘Targets’ series focusing on player picks each week from all different price brackets and positions. Ted then reviews the picks after four Gameweeks. Ted has also increased the number of charts and other graphics on Twitter to help the community with their decision-making.
Sam and Lee have had another busy week with two appearances on the FPL Show as well as an appearance on the official FPL podcast for Sam. Sam also recorded the next episode of Scout the Gameweek.
This week, El Statto completed his latest update to the Transfer Guide on the site, which looks at the number of hauls and returns players produce over the past six weeks, to help identify transfer targets for upcoming Gameweeks.
January was a great month for jumpersforgoalposts.info seeing a 17% increase in traffic to the site. Due to this success El Statto is looking to expand our team of writers, so if you are interested either in a weekly article drop him a direct message on Twitter or Instagram.
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