Utilising the fixture ticker and underlying stats from the Fantasy Football Scout members area, we pick out some of the FPL top picks for Gameweek 18. Considering team and player form, fixture difficulty and stats will help us shortlist some of the best assets for the round ahead.
Looking at the FPL top picks for Gameweek 18 can be extremely useful to managers in their quest for success. Knowing which players to target for the round ahead can help with important decisions like transfers and captaincy.
Goalkeepers – Kepa Arizabalaga
Buying into the Chelsea defence could be vital over the coming weeks. The Blues have shown signs of solidifying at the back but also face Nottingham Forest, one of the worst attacks in the league next and have a double Gameweek coming up as well.
The cheapest and safest way into the Chelsea defence is Kepa Arizabalaga (£4.5m). Finding budget goalkeepers from strong teams can be difficult so when the game throws us an opportunity to select one, we should grasp.
Newcastle continue their fantastic start to the season as they currently sit amongst the top four in the league. Although offensively brilliant, it is their defensive qualities that standout. Amongst all teams in the league, Newcastle are the best for clean sheets and goals conceded.
For the reasons above, buying into the Newcastle defence should be an easy decision for fantasy managers. One way we could do that is to select Nick Pope (£5.3). Pope has managed eight returns this season including two double-digit hauls.
Crystal Palace have had a turbulent season and results have been up and down. However, they have shown good defensive capabilities in periods. They face one of the worst attacks in the league in Gameweek 18, Bournemouth.
The newly promoted side rank the worst for attempts on goal, the worst for shots in the box, the worst for big chances total and the second worst for shots on target. For those reasons it could be a good idea to look at Vicente Guaita (£4.5m) this week.
Defenders – Marc Cucurella
Chelsea showed that against poor attacks they can keep clean sheets in Gameweek 17 against Bournemouth. The Blues face a Nottingham Forest side who rank the second worst for goals scored, the second worst for attempts on goal and the worst for shots on target.
Because of the above, doubling up on the Chelsea defence has to be considered going into the new round. With Reece James now injured and a doubt moving forward, the easiest and safest option could be Marc Cucurella (£5.1m).
Liverpool face a team that were comfortably dismantled by Newcastle in Gameweek 17, Leicester. The Reds have been struggling to maintain any sort of defensive consistency this season but they also have some of the most attacking fullbacks in world football.
Andy Robertson (£6.8m) surpassed an incredible feat in Gameweek 17. The Scotsman broke the record for assists created, highlighting his potential. Robertson has racked up three assists in his last two matches so if Liverpool do settle at the back, we could see plenty of potential moving forward.
Man City remain as one of the best defensive units in the league. As well as facing a side (Everton) that rank the third worst for goals scored they also have two double Gameweeks coming up, so investing in their assets could be key for managers.
There can be plenty of rotation amongst the backline but one player who seems nailed to the line-up is Joao Cancelo (£7.4m). The Portuguese full back spends the majority of his time in the opponents half and has more touches in the opponents box than any other defender in the game this season. Joao Cancelo has bags of potential in any given match and has to be considered amongst the top picks for Gameweek 18.
Taking into consideration the quality and consistency of the Man City defence it could be wise to double up on the backline. The appeal of that is only increased with the fact Man City have two double Gameweeks ahead.
Kyle Walker (£4.8m) has fully recovered from his recent injury. Although lacking offensive ability, Kyle Walker does offer up a very cheap way into the Man City backline. After his gametime in the World Cup, he should be raring to go.
Newcastle’s defensive dominance in the league should not be ignored by fantasy managers. Results and performances continue to improve and one player detrimental to that is Kieran Trippier (£5.9m). Currently sitting as the highest scoring defender in FPL, Trippier is owned by a huge 66% of the game base.
As well as the clean sheet potential, Trippier creates plenty of opportunities to bag attacking returns. Amongst all defenders in the league he ranks first for crosses, first for successful crosses, first for chances created and first for big chances created.
Midfielders – Mohamed Salah
Liverpool rank first for attempts on target, first for shots in the box, first for big chances total and first for shots on target in the last six matches. Because of that it could be beneficial to invest in the Liverpool attack.
The standout option for Liverpool is without a doubt Mohamed Salah (£12.8m). The Egyptian looks back to his best after a goal and assist secured his owners a double-digit haul of 12 points. Salah can take advantage of a Leicester defence that just conceded three goals to Newcastle. With fantastic recent stats and in good form, Mohamed Salah walks into the top picks for Gameweek 18.
Manchester United have been improving and that can be reflected in their recent stats. In the last six matches they rank second for attempts on goal, third for big chances total and second for shots on target. This could indicate investing in their attack a good idea.
Man United face a Wolves team who have conceded two goals or more in four of their last six matches. The player many will be looking to is Marcus Rashford (£6.7m). As well as sustaining some great recent offensive stats, Rashford picked up a goal and an assist in his previous match.
Newcastle are firing on all cylinders so investing in their attack could be very beneficial to fantasy managers. They face a Leeds side next who rank joint worst for goals conceded and the third worst for big chances conceded in the last six matches.
The cheapest and most effective way into the attack could be Miguel Almiron (£5.8m). The midfielder picked up his sixth consecutive return in a row against Leicester in the previous round and ranks joint third for shots in the box in the last six matches amongst midfielders. In great form and playing for a consistent team, Miguel Almiron makes the top picks for Gameweek 18.
Kevin De Bruyne
Man City have dominated the offensive data for years now and they continue to maintain high levels of that in the current season. One of the key contributors to that is Kevin De Bruyne (£12.6m). The Belgian has racked up 10 returns in 16 of his matches so far this season.
Amongst all players in the league, Kevin De Bruyne ranks first for assists, chances created, big chances created and expected assists. With a game against Everton next, we could see De Bruyne run riot and for that reason, makes the top picks for Gameweek 18.
Chelsea have been worryingly inconsistent this season, even after a manager change. However the Blues did put on an offensively convincing performance against Bournemouth in Gameweek 17. Another promoted side lay ahead for Chelsea.
Amongst all teams this season, Nottingham Forest rank the third worst for shots in the box conceded, the second worst for shots on target conceded and the fourth worst for big chances conceded so targeting their defence with a player who loves to shoot like Mason Mount (£7.5m) could be a good move.
Forwards – Erling Haaland
At the time or writing, amongst all teams in the league Man City rank first for goals, second for attempts on goal and second for big chances total. Investing in the Man City attack is detrimental but investing in Erling Halaand (£12.2m) is critical.
Haaland sits as the highest owned and highest scoring player in FPL so far. Amongst all players in the league he ranks first for goals scored, second for attempts on goal and first for big chances total. Haaland faces a team that concede more shots in the box than any other team in Gameweek 18, Everton.
We have already looked at some of the poor defensive stats Nottingham Forest have conceded this season. Their defence is there for managers to target and one way we could do that is to put our trust in Kai Havertz (£7.7m).
Some managers may hold a grudge after the huge captaincy swing between Mohamed Salah and Kai Havertz last season, but it’s time to let go. Havertz bagged two goals for Germany in the World Cup and that form translated into his first match back for Chelsea as he racked up a goal and an assist against Bournemouth. The German looks set to lead the Chelsea line and taking all of those factors into account, Kai Havertz makes his way into the top picks for Gameweek 18.
Fulham have proven they can score against most teams in the league this season. They face a very inconsistent Southampton in Gameweek 18. This season the Saints rank the third worst for goals conceded. As well as this, Southampton have conceded three goals in their last three matches on the bounce.
Aleksander Mitrovic (£6.9m) punished sellers with a goal and an assist in Gameweek 17 but his overall offensive stats are fantastic. Amongst all players in the league he ranks first for attempts on goal, first for shots in the box and first for headed attempts on goal. Aleksander Mitrovic has bags of potential and eases his way into the top picks for Gameweek 18.
Which players do well against their Gameweek 18 opposition? Find out here.