ONE BIG STAT! – Gameweek 6

This week, on an emotional ONE BIG STAT:

Quique Sánchez Flores reveals that he’s pregnant...with Harry the Hornet’s baby. Ed Woodward and Phil Jones take the next steps in their plan to restore Louis van Gaal to the Manchester United manager’s throne. And Fantasy Premier League managers remain caught in a love quadrangle with “gut feeling,” “the eye test,” and “underlying stats.” All of this and more in...

ONE BIG STAT: Gameweek 6 Edition:

Southampton vs Bournemouth

Callum Wilson (£7.8) – 1 shot

“He can’t keep doing this, right?” FPL managers keep telling themselves as Callum Wilson does, in fact, “keep doing this” while they continue not buying him. Why can’t he just fail already and make this easy? Attacking returns for 6 straight weeks? If he had a bigger name or club, he’d be £8.5. Instead, thanks to Tammy Abraham (£7.4), Teemu Pukki (£7.1), and general disbelief, he’s dropped £0.2. So now what?

As we discussed on our podcast this week, I think the stats suggest his high output seems unlikely to continue.

  • He managed just 1 shot in the match vs the Saints — his goal in the 94.9999th minute of stoppage time. Callum owes Jan Bednarek a nice dinner for such a ridiculous defensive error.

  • He managed more than 1 shot once so far: he took 2 shots vs Everton. He scored 2 goals. Come on.

  • He has 7 total shots for the season — the same number as Scott McTominay.

  • He has 3 FPL assists and 0 real-life assists.

To be fair, the Cherries’ fixtures remain favorable until around Thanksgiving. Plus, he’s driven: Callum is aiming for 20 goals this season and a spot in England’s Euro 2020 squad. But “good fixtures” and “goal hunger” does not equal sustainable performance, especially at the level of efficiency he’s at right now. Having said that, I fully expect a brace from him vs West Ham on Saturday, as he has scored three times against them in their last four meetings.

Leicester vs Tottenham

Serge Aurier (£5.0) – 1 disallowed goal

Remember when Serge Aurier was on pace for at least 8 fantasy points last Saturday? I do. I was in my car and watched on my phone as he scored his goal. I channeled my inner Aurier (a Serge surge, if you will) and celebrated by hitting the armrest in my car so hard, I could have injured my wrist. But this is VAR’s league now, and you know how this story ends. One disallowed goal later, I could only scream at fraudulent pixels on a tiny screen, and watch as FPL points went straight to the King Power toilet holes.

But hey, always look on the bright side of life, right? Serge’s price rose from £4.9 to £5.0 this week, and his performances seem to have locked him in to the starting lineup for now. Yeah, that makes me feel a lot better! The sun will come out tomorrow! I almost don’t hope that the VAR official who drew Son’s offside line gets his fingernails pulled out one at a time, as well as a nasty bout of food poisoning! Man, isn’t life great?

Burnley vs Norwich City

Dwight McNeil (£6.0) – 7 crosses

Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell (£5.0) disappointed you this week, but they had good chances for returns. And yes, preseason Chris Wood (£6.2) finally decided to show up. But I want to throw my support behind Dwight McNeil again. He registered his 3rd assist of the season, thanks in part to one of his 7 crosses in the match. He’s now up to 6th in crosses, supplying 41 so far this season. With their run of favorable fixtures continuing into November, Dwight should be able to continue his good form.

Everton vs Sheffield United

Oliver Norwood (£4.9) – Several things

Yes, the one Blade you want in your FPL side is John Lundstram (£4.4). But if you’re thinking about

two Blades, think about Oliver Norwood. His corner kick led to the Yerry Mina own goal, giving him his first FPL assist. He’s 9th overall in key passes (13 total), and he’s competed 154 accurate passes in the opposition half, a top 25 figure in the league. He’s on all Blade corners, free kicks, and is presumably the first choice penalty taker. 0.3% ownership seems low, especially at his price.

Manchester City vs Watford

Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.5) – 1 complete absence

Good thing Quique was there! Who knows how embarrassing it could have been if Javi Gracia had still been the manager! Look, there’s nothing FPL-related to say here except that only Raheem Sterling, Kyle Walker, and Oleksandr Zinchenko owners were disappointed with this result. However, only Zinchenko owners should be nervous: Benjamin Mendy (£5.9) was back and played for 45 minutes, and Zinch wasn’t in the side, despite no report of injury, illness, or personal-reason absence. We already knew his matches were numbered; we just didn’t know they numbered less than 6. If you own him, it’s obviously hard to trust him from this point on.

Newcastle vs Brighton

Neal Maupay (£6.0) – 7 shots

This is Neal Maupay’s team now. It’s a unique burden to bear, not unlike carrying a diarrhea-covered gorilla on your bare shoulders for 10 months. But hey, he’s a professional striker, and he does what professional strikers do: he kicks the ball toward the goal. And kick he did against Newcastle, taking 7 shots and putting 1 of them on target. Not the most accurate shooting, but you have to like that volume. Plus, with his low price and Brighton’s not-too-scary schedule for the next month or so, you might want to give Neal a look.

Crystal Palace vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Nothing to see here

I can’t recommend a single player from either of these clubs at this time. If anyone else recommends a player from either of these clubs to you, you know they are trying to trick you, and so you know you can safely avoid them until they come to their senses. Maybe when Wolves crash out of the Europa League, we can talk about Diogo Jota (£6.2), since his FPL price will be even lower at that point. Otherwise, just stay away.

West Ham vs Manchester United

Andriy Yarmolenko (£5.9) – 3 shots, OR Mark Noble (£5.0) – wily veteran stuff

Hoo boy, Ol’ Yarmo & Ol’ Noble are sure giving FPL managers something to think about! Yarmolenko is an obvious choice: not only is his price outstanding, but he scored that excellent goal and led the Hammers in shots vs Man United (3 total). He has just 9 shots for the season so far, but 5 of them have been on target, and he’s not all that different in terms of pitch position than striker Sebastien Haller (£7.4).

Then there’s Mark Noble. Quick! Without looking it up first, who has more fantasy points so far this season: Gylfi Sigurdsson (£7.7) or Mark Noble? If you guessed Mark Noble (19 points), give yourself 2 points. If you guessed Gylfi (17 points), give yourself a stern talking-to and then go to your room and think about what you’ve done. Everyone is buying Todd Cantwell, that’s for sure. But for the same price, you get a wily veteran who’s going to get you the occasional assist, plus you get the Hammers 100% guaranteed penalty taker. Admit it: it’s not as crazy as it sounds.

Chelsea vs Liverpool

Marcos Alonso (£6.2) – 11 crosses

I can only express shame as I type this; I felt the same kind of shame on our podcast this week almost talking myself into buying Marcos Alonso, a player I have repeatedly trashed for almost a year now. This is what I know: Frank Lampard is saying that Emerson (£5.5) will not return until after the next international break thanks to a recurrence of the thigh injury he suffered while on international duty last month. That means Marcos Alonso will likely start for at least two more matches. He was a like-for-like sub for Emerson vs Liverpool. However, against Wolves, he was functioning more as a wingback, but listed as a midfielder. Game flow was certainly a factor vs Liverpool, but he supplied 11 crosses in the match, a key part of the relentless Chelsea attack in the second half. Plan on removing him as soon as Emerson is healthy again, but since Chelsea’s next two opponents are Brighton and Southampton, it’s not the craziest idea to take a shot on Marcos for a couple weeks, especially considering his advanced role (I’m especially looking at you, Lucas Digne [£6.1] owners).

Arsenal vs Aston Villa

John McGinn (£5.6) – 6 shots

If you’re like me, you’re probably hesitant to trust the stats from a match that ended with one of the teams down to 10 men. However, in John McGinn’s case and in this match, that would be unwise. McGinn scored the first goal of the match, before Maitland-Niles’ red card, and had the same number of shots before and after AM-N was sent off. He’s currently tied for 13th in total shots (17), and he’s SECOND in the league with 10 shots on target. At this price, he may be the pick of the sub-£7.0 midfielders.

Gameweek 7 is fraught with peril, but your FPL decisions are now in your hands alone. Remember: normal, Saturday kickoff this week. Good luck to everyone in Gameweek 7!