In this article, I’d like to highlight some of the players who performed well and bagged points in the last Gameweek but who fell under the radar – call them the “Fantasy Forgotten.”
A “Fantasy Forgotten” is different from a differential in that the particular player may be heavily owned but was not covered, or forgotten, by the “experts” in the FPL community “bubble.”
I am not denigrating any person or any FPL site in this article as I have been guilty of forgetting or dismissing many of the players below myself. Please do leave your comments and tell me what you think. Alternatively you can reach me on Twitter @FPL_Fetish. Without further ado, here is the list:
Sam Johnstone (£4.5m)
West Brom have been designated whipping boys since the start of the season, but their record against the teams around them in the table continues to impress. Johnstone’s haul (including two save points and three bonus points) against Sheffield United mirrored his nine pointer vs Burnley in Gameweek 5.
Save points against the likes of Chelsea, Spurs and Man United only add to his luster. Attractively priced and in a season dominated by coronavirus (COVID-19), have we found the ultimate backup goalkeeper who can warm our FPL benches and reliably do a job if/when he is required to play?
Benjamin Mendy (£5.9m)
This choice may be a stretch. Prior to his 14-point haul vs Burnley, Mendy appeared only twice in the previous eight Gameweeks (one point vs Wolves in Gameweek 1 and one point vs Leeds in Gameweek 3). Injuries no doubt have played a part in Mendy’s meagre participation, but his exploits this past Gameweek reminds us all of his potential for points as well as for disruption. We thought we’d struck gold with the discovery of Joao Cancelo (£5.6m), but Pep Guadiola’s infamous roulette will have you gambling away all our newly found wealth in no time.
Angelo Ogbonna (£4.9m)
We’ve all come to appreciate the new West Ham – organised, efficient and dominant both on the counter and on set-pieces. I do not have the number of set-piece goals they’ve scored this season at hand, but I am sure it is a large number. It should come as no surprise with the likes of Arthur Masuaku (£4.5m), Vladimir Coufal (£4.6m), Aaron Creswell (£5.2m), Jarrod Bowen (£6.3m) are crossing for the likes of Michail Antonio (£6.2m), Sebastien Haller (£6.1m), Tomas Soucek (£4.9m), Fabian Balbuena (£4.4m) and, last but not least, Angelo Ogbonna. Ogbonna has now scored five, six and nine points in the last three Gameweeks – the ultimate fantasy forgotten. West Ham’s fixtures continue to appeal all the way to springtime.
Kyle Walker (£6.2m)
The last edition of this article was for Gameweek 7 (apologies for that, I have been busy). In that edition Kyle Walker was included after his big haul vs Sheffield United. He picked up only one point in each of the subsequent games against Liverpool and Spurs, but was back at it against Burnley with nine points, and he has a great run of fixtures ahead of him. Yes he’s a premium asset, but as we discussed with Benjamin Mendy (see above), Walker is perhaps the only Man City defender we can be sure will start. For many a FPL manager, that may justify the increased outlay.
Riyad Mahrez (£8.3m)
The hype pre-Gameweek revolved around Man City and their fixture swing. Most of the pundits (and most of humanity) punted on Kevin De Bruyne (£11.7m) and Raheem Sterling (£11.4m). Some others kept the faith in the likes of Phil Foden (£6.5m) as a cheaper alternative. At the end it was Riyad Mahrez, coming out nowhere, with a hat-trick and three bonus points for a mega haul. His 12-point haul in Gameweek 3 vs Leicester City being his other big contribution of note. He may not bag a hat-trick every game, but Mahrez is the type of player who, when on his game, can reward his patient owners with big scores.
Pedro Neto (£5.6m)
Wolves best fixtures are behind them and so a punt on Pedro Neto may be too late now. The Portuguese still deserves a mention due to his excellent form and his attractive price. While most of the FPL world focused on the likes of Daniel Podence (£5.4m), it is Neto who has proven to be the more consistent as well as the more nailed-on player. His point hauls since Gameweek 1 read: 6-2-2-8-3-2-7-2-6 before finally getting the 13 points vs an ultra-defensive Arsenal side this past Gameweek.
Jarrod Bowen (£6.3m)
As mentioned when discussing Ogbonna above, West Ham’s prowess in the air is well attested. It was interesting to see Bowen taking the corner that Ogbonna converted. Bowen owners must have been pleased to see their man taking set pieces on the right hand side of the pitch (Creswell takes the ones on the left). It was a little more surprising to see Bowen then get on the end of a cross and head in a goal himself. The result was a cool 13-point return for the West Ham winger.
It was also good for Bowen owners (and the rest of FPL managers generally) to see Antonio making a return to the starting line-up. West Ham and the system they play is much more effective with Antonio spearheading the attack. Expect Bowen to run in behind the defence more and take more chances on goal with Antonio feeding him after receiving the ball from deep. The same applies for Pablo Fornals (£6.5m) as well.
James Ward-Prowse (£6.1m)
Ward-Prowse is another player who made it to the last edition of this article (way back in Gameweek 7). And he’s popped onto our radars again after another of his set-piece master-shows. It is now three double-digit hauls in five games for David Beckham’s heir apparent.
Although Southampton have not had a penalty since Danny Ings’s (£8.3m) injury, it quite likely Ward-Prowse is the nailed-on deputy. Apparently Ings is close to a comeback, but if not (and even if he is) then David Beckham the Second should not be forgotten.
Edison Cavani (£8.0m)
Trivia time! Which football player has scored more goals since March 2007 other than Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi? The answer is Edison Cavani and we got a glimpse of that prolific streak in just 45 minutes of football at Southampton.
His 15-point haul included an assist as well, adding to his goal in Gameweek 8 against Everton. Interesting to note too is that Cavani was not available in FPL until only Gamweek 5 and only made his debut against Chelsea in Gameweek 6. While Man Utd have a lot of midfielders and traditional forwards (Anthony Martial (£8.7m) & Marcus Rashford (£9.5m)), a predatory/in-the-box-type striker in the mould of Cavani was missing from the United squad, if one discounts Odion Ighalo (£6.2m). If Cavani can match the understanding reached between Martial and Bruno Fernandes (£10.9m) from last season then it could get ugly…
When the billionaire cockney southerner, Mike Ashley, bought Newcastle United FC, his unpopularity among the Geordie faithful was palpable. In an attempt to appease his critics he did what all good football club owners do: he went and bought an expensive striker in the shape of Joelinton for a record £40 million.
He scored exactly two goals in his Premier League debut season and now, in his second season he’s finally off the mark at the tenth time of asking. He also got an assist in the same Gameweek for a total haul of 11 points. His performance has won praise from his manager, Steve Bruce, and it’s likely to mean that he will be the preferred strike partner to…
Callum Wilson (£6.5m)
Nobody is advocating a Newcastle double up and so if you had to choose, then Wilson should be the one, especially in the short term. Indeed Newcastle (assuming they can eliminate the COVID-19 plague that is infesting the club) are top of the Fantasy Football Scout “Fixture Ticker.”
Eight pointers against West Ham and Spurs (Gameweeks 1 & 3), a 16-point mega haul against Burnley (Gameweek 4) and two 12-point hauls against Everton and Crystal Palace (Gameweeks 7 & 10), Wilson will not be a fantasy forgotten for much longer assuming he can stay fit and healthy.
Has anyone noticed something about the players I have chosen? They all come directly from the Kings of the Gameweek XI team of the Fantasy Premier League website. If you had picked all these players you would have come out with a cool 139 point Gameweek return and that’s even without selecting a captain!
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