Newcastle United 1-1 Fulham
- Goals: Callum Wilson (£6.6m) | Matt Ritchie (£4.9m) own goal
- Assists: Tosin Adarabioyo (£4.5m)
- Bonus: Wilson x3, Adarabioyo x2, Sean Longstaff (£4.7m) x1
Callum Wilson (£6.6m) was essentially the only Fantasy man in town for Newcastle’s draw with Fulham, and he didn’t disappoint.
The 17.3%-owned striker scored his eighth goal of the season to earn a point for the Magpies in a game long on controversy and a lot shorter on the nicer things of a footballing life, such as ‘interest’ and ‘skill’.
Aside from Wilson, the next most popular Fantasy Premier League (FPL) asset on display was Fulham forward and ‘ghost team’ staple Aleksandar Mitrovic (£5.5m and 4.3%).
But, like the rest of his season so far, the less said about him, the better.
It really was all about Wilson on Saturday night – and not entirely for good reasons.
He earned the penalty that drew his side level by throwing himself down in the area under a challenge from Joachim Andersen (£4.5m).
Referee Graham Scott initially awarded the penalty and although VAR showed what contact there was probably started and finished outside the area, he stuck with his decision and sent off Andersen for good measure.
That prompted one of the more honest managerial comments, from Fulham boss Scott Parker, post-match:
I think there will definitely be an appeal. I’ve gone and looked over the penalty incident and I’m not saying this with emotion or bias: I don’t understand how he’s given the penalty.
The game has changed drastically, hasn’t it, and I think we can see that. For what I have just seen – and I’m not standing here trying to defend it – the contact was made outside of the box and he then goes into the box and dives.
Not that Wilson’s FPL ownership were complaining when he picked himself up off the floor, slotted home the penalty – his fourth of the season – and earned maximum bonus for a nine-point haul.
Wilson is currently the fifth most prolific striker in the game, with 82 points, and only eight players have a better total overall.
In the six games in which he has found the back of the net, he has gained bonus points in all of them.
The ‘Best’ of the Rest
Despite all those points, investing in Wilson over the short term looks ill advised.
Newcastle travel to Manchester City next before there are visits from Liverpool and Leicester City either side of New Year’s Day.
Defensively, they’ve kept just one clean sheet in 12 matches, and the 3,322 brave souls who hoped Matt Ritchie (£4.9m) might help rectify that were treated to a comedy own goal when a wayward header from Tosin Adarabioyo (£4.5m) hit him in the face and went into the net.
As for Fulham, starts for Mitrovic and Tom Cairney (£5.3m) didn’t particularly galvanise the Cottagers’ attack, although the latter did end up joint-top for attempts, with three.
Ademola Lookman (£5.0m) and Bobby Decordova-Reid (£5.3m) spurned their best chances, which has been a recurring theme for the team as a whole this season.
A team that’s scored just twice in four Gameweeks might not worry their next three opponents, Southampton (at home) and Spurs and Burnley (both away), while the loss of the quietly impressive Andersen will be felt at the back on Boxing Day.
Since making his first start in Gameweek 7, he’s helped the side to both of their clean sheets for the season while conceding nine goals in eight games – they’d let in 14 in the first six.
The prospects of Che Adams (£6.0m) returning points appear all the better for Andersen’s unavailability – appeal pending, of course.
Despite the recent upturn in form, a tricky schedule and a Blank Gameweek 18 is unlikely to inspire much investment in this Fulham side, with even their pair of Double Gameweek 19 fixtures involving visits from Chelsea and Manchester United.
Newcastle United XI (4-4-2): Darlow; Dummett (Fraser 79), Clark, Fernández (Hayden 45), Yedlin; Ritchie, Shelvey, S Longstaff, Almirón; Joelinton (Gayle 75), C Wilson.
Fulham XI (4-2-3-1): Areola; A Robinson, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Aina; Zambo Anguissa, Lemina; Lookman (Bryan 90+4), Cairney (Hector 64), Cavaleiro; Mitrović (Loftus-Cheek 76).
Lessons learned from FPL Gameweek 14
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