In this weeks series, I take to the FPL community ahead of Double Gameweek 34 to answer their questions, with Kane, Lukaku, Salah and the Spurs midfielders all hot on people’s agenda
First of all, let me say thank you to all those who posted their questions. If I haven’t answered your question below, then I will return to the original thread on Twitter to answer them.
Who’s more dangerous NOT to own: Salah or Lukaku?
I think this is an interesting question and perhaps not something some managers have thought about, yet is important to consider.
Salah’s ownership at the time of writing, despite an injury and missing out completely at Everton last week, is a whopping 56.6% at the time of writing and Lukaku’s is 29.7%.
So, looking at those two figures, it would be easy enough to say that it’s more dangerous not owning Salah, but those figures don’t take into account ‘live ownership’ of those players, nor does it take into account ownership amongst certain rank groups (top 1k, top 10k etc).
For example, if you remove the inactive squads (inactive is defined by the user having not made any moves for the last 5 gameweeks), Salah’s ownership greatly increases to 77.5% overall and 79.1% in the top 1k squads.
Romelu Lukaku’s ownership, if you remove the inactive squads, decreases to 21.3% and 27.8% in the top 1k squads.
So, using ownership alone, we can clearly see it’s far more dangerous to go without Salah generally speaking, but this is a different circumstance, in that it’s a double gameweek where Salah only has the one game vs a player who has 2 games, and easy ones at that.Embed from Getty Images
However, Salah this year in this Liverpool side is no ordinary player and isn’t far off doubling Lukaku’s total points total, with him having scored 273 to Lukaku’s 153 so far.
Salah’s also achieved that points total in roughly 2 full games less time than Lukaku has played this year, which all displays that Salah is scoring at roughly twice the points rate than Lukaku.
So, based on all that, it’s easy to see that Salah is by far the more dangerous not to own for this double gameweek, despite Lukaku having an extra game over him.
Which budget striker for Double Gameweek 34?
Without even looking at the stats, it’s an easy decision for me. Ashley Barnes is the man of those 4 names provided by FPL Guidance.
He’s the man providing the best value and is playing in a team full of confidence.
Based on the fact that Wood is £0.9m more expensive than Barnes and is only just outscoring him over the last 5 gameweeks, we can rule him out.
Austin is always worthy of consideration when fit, but Saints are a team that really struggle to create chances for their forwards, despite putting in an admirable performance at the Emirates last week. He’s £0.4m more than Barnes and I don’t think paying that extra money for Austin over Barnes can be justified when Barnes and his team are in much better form.
That leaves Glenn Murray, who has a decent fixture on Saturday against Palace, but then has to play Spurs. Let’s have a look at the stats between him and Barnes over the last 5 gameweeks:
- 18 penalty area touches
- 13 goal attempts
- 11 goal attempts inside the box
- 5 big chances
- 3 goals
- 30 penalty area touches
- 15 goal attempts
- 13 goal attempts inside the box
- 3 big chances
- 4 goals
Whilst the underlying numbers for both strikers are impressive, Barnes is currently performing better at £0.6m cheaper.
Free Hit essentials?
I think there’s a wide variety of choice for this double gameweek, but my ‘essential’ player list/core team structure for those on their Free Hit would be:
- David de Gea
- A Leicester defender
- A Burnley defender
- A Spurs midfielder (Son highest owned amongst active managers)
- One of Kane/Lukaku
Son or Eriksen?
It depends on your situation. If you’re higher ranked and are looking to consolidate rank, then I’d go with Son, as his live ownership is 33.6% overall and 53.9% in the top 1k, but if you’re looking to make gains, then go with Eriksen.
Bench boost or triple captain?
Both chips would be better used in DGW37, but of course we can only use one chip in any given GW.
What I would suggest, is creating a plan of action, plotting your moves each week to DGW37 as if you were bench boosting in that week and seeing what team you’d end up with. Compare what you think you’d get with that team from using the bench boost chip as opposed to a TC on Harry Kane in that week for example, and whichever you think would yield higher points, go with that option for that week and use the other chip in DGW34.
Aubameyang for Lukaku with no Free Hit chip or second WC?
Without a wildcard or a free hit chip left, I would advise holding Aubameyang, as he has a BGW35 fixture (and a decent one at that) and then has a good fixtures in DGW37. Newcastle will be tough to break down, but Aubameyang is in great form and is a quality player. Hold.
Bench boost in Double Gameweek or Single Gameweek, which is more effective?
Theoretically and generally speaking, playing it in a Double Gameweek is the best way of optimising points potential with that chip as, if you structure your team so that you have your entire bench playing twice, you should at least see 15/16 points, which is just for your bench players playing both games.
Of course, having said that, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it can’t work in a Single Gameweek. There are always examples of managers who have used it in a Single Gameweek where they have hit 20-25 points with it, it just depends on which players you pick and of course, it requires a bit of luck.
It ultimately comes down to what fits YOUR team the best.
Based on the above ownership statistics, the fact he’s by far the best player in the game and that he plays the worst defensive side over the last 5 gameweeks, definitely not, unless we get early news from AnfieldExpress (a reliable source on Twitter who haven’t been wrong so far) stating that he’s out.
Mahrez, Alonso, Salah and Aubameyang: who to keep/drop?
- Mahrez – definitely hold. Live ownership is quite high, especially amongst the top 10k managers and could easily post a decent score with the fixtures he has.
- Alonso – not someone I’d be advocating bringing in, but I think if you’ve still got him, you hold. Whilst Chelsea’s defence haven’t been keeping many clean sheets recently, it doesn’t mean it can’t improve and his goal threat is still off the charts for a defender.
- Salah – hold unless AnfieldExpress state he’s not starting. Could go big against Bournemouth.
- Aubameyang – if you have Free Hit, then I think you can sell for one of Lukaku/Kane, but if you don’t have it, then hold.
Sánchez or Lukaku?
If you’re looking to consolidate rank and like consistent returns, then go with Lukaku, but if you’re chasing your ML leader/want to climb ranks and prefer the potential for more explosive returns, then go with Sánchez.
Lukaku or Kane?
Lukaku has the better fixtures for sure, no-one can deny that, but I still prefer Harry Kane.
Spurs create far more chances than United do generally speaking and I think City are going to be vulnerable after their 3 consecutive defeats under huge circumstances. If Spurs get at them quickly, then that game could really open up and then we’re really talking in terms of Kane.
Manchester City have demonstrated in small spurts throughout the season, that if a team attacks them, then they can’t seem to handle it defensively, and it was significantly demonstrated in the last 3 times Liverpool have played them and by Manchester United in the second half of the derby last weekend. Spurs have more than enough quality to attack them and I can see it being a good game for a desperately hungry Harry Kane.
The problem with trusting Lukaku, is that you’re not just relying on him, you’re relying on Mourinho allowing United the freedom to attack, which if they do, they can be devastating as we’ve seen at times this year, but as we’ve also seen (and seen more often) this season, he likes to keep the game controlled.
With Spurs and Kane, you know how they’re going to play under Pochettino (high-press with plenty of width and plenty of feed to Kane) and that’s why Kane is more explosive than Lukaku, with 8 double-digit returns for the Spurs man in comparison to the Belgian’s 3.
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