Up next in our ‘What to do’ series, we look at the blanks of Gameweek 33. Specifically, should FPL managers keep or sell these players?
What to do?
Although many recent transfers have brought in Philippe Coutinho, Raphinha, Matty Cash and Wolves defenders over recent weeks, FPL managers may be ready to quickly sell now that it’s been revealed that their teams will blank in Gameweek 33.
A large part of their popularity was due to all three participating in the shortened Gameweek 30. Conor Coady, Jose Sa and the Wolves back line were halfway towards a third successive clean sheet when Raul Jimenez was sent off. Then, the numerical advantage spurred a Raphinha-less Leeds to a brilliant 3-2 comeback victory. Saturday brought a blank for Coutinho and Cash as Aston Villa lost 1-0 to Arsenal.
Within the top 10k, there are four other players with over 10% ownership: Lucas Digne, Jacob Ramsey, Romain Saiss and Max Kilman.
Here is the form of these ten players over their own recent appearances, as opposed to their team’s games. Kilman, Jimenez and Raphinha have all been victims of rotation of late.
Both top fours are the same. Cash capitalised on his strong underlying stats by adding attacking returns to Villa clean sheets. Then Coutinho hauled against both Southampton and Leeds, with Ramsey taking over the goal scoring at West Ham the following week. 14 points from Coady at Everton due to success at both ends.
These are the remaining fixtures for the trio, with Wolves and Aston Villa about to face each other.
Despite the obvious problem of blanking in Gameweek 33, Leeds and Wolves actually have good games surrounding this. Those managers planning to Free Hit suddenly have no rush to sell, unless they’ve already lost faith in Raphinha and the suspended Jimenez. The immediate schedule doesn’t look good for Steven Gerrard’s side, although sellers may like the later run between Gameweeks 35 and 37, especially as Villa have two games-in-hand compared to the others’ one.
Being so cheap, Jacob Ramsey could easily just be on FPL benches that week, depending on squad depth.
Wolves and Villa defenders ideally get replaced by an asset from Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal or Spurs. These are the seven back lines to keep the most clean sheets this season. Nobody else stands out, unless the prospect of Burnley’s double-double lures managers towards Connor Roberts or Ben Mee.
In midfield, Raphinha and Coutinho are within the competitive £6.0m – £7.5m midfielders category. Chelsea’s strong fixtures will tempt many into going either for Mason Mount or Hakim Ziyech, with Leicester’s quantity of matches adding appeal to James Maddison and Harvey Barnes Elsewhere, Bukayo Saka and Dejan Kulusevski have been in great form of late.
As for replacing Raul Jimenez, the lack of enticing forward options has been a real FPL problem this campaign. Sellers can either downgrade to in-form Cucho Hernandez, find a way to upgrade him into Harry Kane or transform him into a Double Gameweeker like Wout Weghorst or Allan Saint-Maximin.