Blank Gameweek 36 thrusts the likes of Leeds United and Manchester City into contention for our Fantasy Premier League teams, while Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.6m) is rivaling Harry Kane (£11.8m) and Mohamed Salah (£12.7m) for the captain’s armband.
And Fantasy managers are wondering what to do with their Manchester United assets. Following their three matches in Gameweek 35, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s men are one of four sides without a fixture in Gameweek 36 along with Arsenal and FA Cup finalists Chelsea and Leicester City.
There are only three rounds to go and after a Friday deadline of 18:30 BST, a heads up that Gameweek 37 kicks off on Tuesday evening.
Top of the captain poll and with attacking returns in each of his last five starts, Mohamed Salah would appear the sensible option for the captaincy. A motivated Liverpool side, chasing a top-four spot for a place in next season’s Champions League, face an already-relegated West Brom.
In addition, Salah has personal motivation as he tussles with Harry Kane for the Golden Boot, the pair currently tied on 21 goals apiece.
There is, however, some difference of opinion over who might be the best alternative captain for those looking to take a risk and claw back lost ground in the rankings.
Both Jan and Neale favour a Man City player, with Riyad Mahrez (£8.0m) and Phil Foden (£6.0m) their preferred options in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne, while David, Tom and Andy all back Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Although David questioned the explosive potential of Calvert-Lewin on this week’s Captaincy Video with Joe, pointing out that only three times this season has the Everton striker produced more than one attacking return – a key consideration for our armband holders.
While Andy, despite picking Calvert-Lewin in third, promoted the credentials of Foden and Mahrez:
Both [Foden and Mahrez] look like great explosive options but Mahrez would be ahead for me, given that he averages 5.4 points per match this season and has great underlying numbers.
Mahrez has more than double the expected goal involvement of Foden over their last six matches (2.72 vs 1.34) and could be on penalty duties.
When backing the Algerian as his top differential captain, Jan pointed to a weakness in the Newcastle defence that could bode well for his attacking prospects:
Another reason why a Mahrez captaincy could turn out to be successful is Newcastle’s inability to defend the left side of the pitch. Three of their last five goals conceded came from the area Mahrez usually excels in.
Time to let Iheanac-go?
A blank followed by a trip to Chelsea and the final day visit of Tottenham Hotspur is leading many to consider selling the in-form Kelechi Iheanacho (£6.3m). The Foxes forward has scored or assisted in eight of the past nine Gameweeks, albeit against generally easier opposition.
Looking to cement her position in the top 50k, Sam has made her mind up:
Selling… Kelechi Iheanacho is a more painful decision. The Nigerian international has been the height of consistency so far, returning in his last five Premier League matches. However, Blank Gameweek 36, followed by the league’s best defence in Chelsea in Gameweek 37 means he has to make way.
The Spurs fan plans to bring in Calvert-Lewin as her replacement, but for fellow Pro Pundit Andy, Everton’s matches after their enticing home encounter with Sheffield United mean he is looking elsewhere. The Toffees face Wolves and Man City to close the season.
Similarly priced to Iheanacho, Patrick Bamford (£6.4m) and Michail Antonio (£6.5m) were the two candidates he considered. But with both Leeds and West Ham playing Southampton and West Brom in Gameweeks 37 and 38, Andy feels that Bamford has the better fixture in this round. West Ham’s opponents Brighton have been defensively sound and are unlikely to be pushovers despite the loss of Lewis Dunk to suspension.
But fixtures aren’t the only reason behind Andy’s decision:
Antonio’s injury record, which may mean another transfer before the season’s end, and Bamford being on penalties.
Thank you for the good times
It may seem a little harsh to discard Bruno Fernandes (£11.5m) after the most-popular player in FPL rewarded his owners with 19 points across his three appearances in Gameweek 35, but there’s no room for sentiment at this stage of the campaign.
I think it is perfectly fine to ditch your Manchester United players now.
Man United fans Lateriser and Andy agreed that there could be an advantage to be gained by selling.
Bruno Fernandes to Son Heung-min gives you pretty much three starts over the next three Gameweeks; Fernandes may only get one.
As Lateriser pointed out, Manchester United play their Gameweek 38 fixture three days prior to the Europa League final, which could mean rests or at least limited minutes for their main protagonists.
A switch to Son Heung-min (£9.6m) could prove profitable. The South Korean has a goal in each of his last three matches and is included in the Scout Picks:
We fancy him to continue that run against Wolves given the weaknesses they have shown on their right-hand side of late. During the last six matches, Nuno Espirito Santo’s men have conceded 11 chances on their left, 14 through the middle and 21 down the right.
– Scout Picks
A trio of full-backs have been highlighted by our experts ahead of the deadline.
Seamus Coleman (£4.9m) headlines Tom’s differential picks, with the Pro Pundit revealing how a recent formation change to 3-5-2 has given the Irishman license to get forward.
Over the last six Gameweeks Coleman’s 11 chances created is level with that of his colleague on the opposite flank, Lucas Digne (£6.2m), who impressed David against Aston Villa:
[Digne] laid on three key passes at Villa Park, more than any other player.
And Duncan Young (aka Statto99) believes there’s only one option to consider among Leeds United’s backline:
Even at his current price, [Stuart Dallas] represents great value with a points-per-match average (4.5) better than any defender not playing for a Champions League finalist.
Enjoy the run-in
Seb looked for the positives from a disappointing campaign as he shared his thoughts on how to play the final Gameweeks for those in a similar position:
Experiment with transfers, selections or captains you may not usually go for. See what works, what does not and what could be added to your repertoire for next time.
While for Sam, a rare points hit is on the cards:
One thing is certain, fielding 11 players for me will be the right thing, even if that means taking only my second -4 of the season.
Community Competitions and Head-to-Head Fixtures
RedLightning will bring us his regular community competitions update shortly, but for now he can reveal our cup winners:
The FFS Open Cup winner is Genovoze, who scored 133 without the aid of a chip and defeated Mince n Tatties by a single point after the latter scored a Bench Boosted 136(-4).
The third-place play-off was won by Jambo17 (aka Callum Croal), who won 112-106 against FPL Bielsa.
The FFS Members Cup winner is Mohd Rodzi, who beat EUG 132-121.
The third-place play-off was won by Rossaldinho, whose 122 points proved sufficient to defeat SUNFLOWER. The latter’s wildcard only returned a disappointing 100 points – normally an excellent Gameweek score, but not this time!
The Head-to-Head fixtures for Gameweek 36 can be found below.
The scores and tables update every night on the Head-to-Head Leagues main page so you can keep track of the action as the Gameweek unfolds.
May your arrows be green!
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