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FPL Barometer: Time to Toss United

Chris Mosinski

Fantasy sports connoisseur and expert soccer prognosticator.

As we head into Gameweek 8 of the Premier League season, we have been able to take a deep breath during the latest international break Through seven weeks there have been very few surprises. Currently, the European league spaces in the table are all filled by teams we would expect to be there, though Burnley lurking in sixth is a bit surprising. A quick look at the fantasy points for each player shows much of the same. The names atop each position read as you would expect with a few exceptions like Richarlison and Abdoulaye Doucoure, who rank fifth and sixth in total points for midfielders, respectively.

Watford have had a favorable schedule through seven weeks, with just two “difficult” matches (Liverpool, Manchester City) and Richarlison and Doucoure have been able to take advantage of the better matchups. Coming out of the international break, let’s take a look at some players worth ditching due to difficult upcoming schedules and the players worth buying in their places.

GOALKEEPER

Sell: David de Gea

Manchester United have a difficult road until the next international break. Trips to Liverpool and Chelsea will book-end a tricky schedule that also includes hosting Tottenham. Additionally, Man United have Champions League matches to contend with. De Gea is the highest scoring and most owned goalkeeper in FPL, and now might be a good time to sell high.

Buy: Fraser Forster
Forster is owned by significantly fewer teams in FPL but ranks only behind de Gea in total points. The upcoming schedule for Southampton is favorable, with just one away match before the next international break and no matchups that should have you worried. Buy Forster now, as there is a good chance the next time we sit down during an international break he could be the highest scoring goalkeeper.

DEFENDER

Sell: Eric Bailly

A significant amount of Bailly’s value has come because of United’s five clean sheets, and we’ve already discussed how the schedule does not set up well for it to continue. For a player who has just three shots and one chance created, Bailly’s value in the upcoming weeks will be low.

Buy: Antonio Rudiger
Chelsea’s schedule is much more advantageous. Sure, they will have to navigate Roma in the Champions League, but in Premier League play they should coast until a match in Gameweek 11 against United just ahead of the next break. Rudiger has not contributed much on the attack, as his lone assist has come on his lone chance created, but his value is much more dependent on clean sheets, of which plenty are to come.

Sell: Charlie Daniels
Daniels’ allure comes not only in defense but his ability to contribute in the attack. He’s struggled with both and his value has been minimized because of it. Despite his low form, he is still owned by more than 10 percent of fantasy teams. Being just £4.9m helps, but there can be value found in other defenders at that price. Bournemouth’s upcoming fixtures should provide much of the same for Daniels, which is not much.

Buy: Aaron Cresswell
Cresswell is just £0.1m more than Daniels and has had roughly the same production through seven matches, but the upcoming schedule for West Ham should help. The Hammers should have great opportunities for clean sheets with their next three matches coming against Burnley, Brighton and Crystal Palace. Look for Cresswell to chip in on the attack as well.

MIDFIELDER

Sell: Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Mkhitarayn set FPL ablaze with five assists through the first three matches. He has since cooled off with just one goal in the following four. This is quickly becoming a sell high on Manchester United players and the schedule is a big reason for it. Mkhitaryan’s current form is more indicative of the fantasy player he is; a combination of Mkhitaryan regressing to the mean and United’s upcoming fixtures mean now is the time to sell the Red Devil midfielder.

Buy: Gylfi Sigurdsson
Since joining Everton, Sigurdsson has tallied a grand total of zero goals and zero assists in Premier League play. Much of that is due to Everton’s brutal stretch of schedule. The last two have been easier and Sigurdsson was unlucky to not make the scoresheet. The upcoming fixture list represents a better chance for Sigurdsson and it would not be crazy to see the former Swan flying high once again.

Sell: Abdoulaye Doucoure
It was fun while it lasted. Three goals through the first seven matches (with one coming in the opener against Liverpool) had owners excited to jump on the Watford midfielder. He still finds himself on a good number of FPL squads but the value might not be there going forward. A difficult schedule could see Doucoure just picking up the participation points for the next few matches.

Buy: Eric Choupo-Moting
Choupo-Moting may cost a little more (£0.4m), but he will certainly be worth the upgrade if you can find the extra cash. Choupo-Moting has been a pleasant surprise through the first seven gameweeks and is still only owned by a modest number of FPL clubs. That should certainly change over the course of the next few fixtures, as it should be expected for him to grow his current goal total. He is a shot machine, and despite the next match being at Manchester City, the schedule opens up nicely to find the back of the net a few times.

FORWARD

Sell: Roberto Firmino

Firmino started hot with two goals and two assists through the first three matches. He has yet to tally either a goal or an assist since and has seen his playing time diminish a bit. Firmino is the third-most owned forward in FPL (22 percent), but now would be a good time to cut ties with the Liverpool forward.

Buy: Manolo Gabbiadini
Gabbiadini showed promise with a goal in Gameweek 2 against West Ham United. Since then he has been blanked and also had his playing time cut, but an injury to Shane Long could reopen the door for Gabbiadini at a very opportune time. The next three matches include two at home against Newcastle and West Brom, both of which are prime goal opportunities.