With a week of soccer behind us and the European Super Cup out of the way, it’s time to focus on another week of Premier League games. Week one was a weird one and I’d like to start off with a few takeaways.
- Manchester United was good, but temper your expectations
- Tanguy Ndombele is no a goalscorer despite what his thunderbolt may lead you to believe
- The Sheffield United defense is for real
- Leicester and Wolverhampton will figure out the goal scoring thing this weekend
- Norwich will score goals versus anyone in the league
- Don’t dump your Bournemouth attacking assets
- Sébastien Haller looks to be worth the money
Top Transfer Targets will take a look at the ownership tiers breaking down the best option for each. The tiers will be broken down into 25-40 percent owned, 15-24 percent, 10-15 percent, under 10 percent and will also include each week’s Punty McPunterson who is a player under five percent that I’m backing to score each week. This article will also include players to offload, some due to injury or being dropped by their teams, and others due to performance.
Let’s look at this weekend’s fixtures:
Saturday 17 August
Arsenal vs Burnley
Aston Villa vs Bournemouth
Brighton vs West Ham
Everton vs Watford
Norwich vs Newcastle
Southampton vs Liverpool
Manchester City vs Spurs
Sunday 18 August
Sheffield United vs Crystal Palace
Chelsea vs Leicester
Monday 19 August
Wolves vs Manchester United
Players to offload:
Alisson (GK Liverpool 5.9m, 17.1%): Leaving the match versus Norwich with an unfortunate calf injury, Alisson will miss between four and eight weeks. Being too expensive to hide on the bench means that he’ll need to be offloaded for another shot stopper. This is leading to pivots to Ederson but I’d recommend saving some money and moving to David De Gea or Matt Ryan who I’ll profile more in depth later.
Marcos Alonso (DEF Chelsea 6.5m, 4.3%): The world may never know why so many managers started with Alonso in their FPL teams but with Emerson getting the nod ahead of him at left back, it’s time to pivot to better defensive options. If you must have Chelsea defensive coverage (not that I can see why anyone would want that) Andreas Christensen is 5.0m and can allow multiple upgrades. Better defensive options would be Jack O’Connell or Kyle Walker-Peters.
This week, Mo Salah has now joined Virgil Van Dijk as players who are over 40% owned that you’re playing with fire by not having in your team. (Join me in the frying pan).
Don’t get caught out in the crowd (25-40 percent owned at the time of writing):
Lucas Dinge shadow rank. As stated last week, he will be the first name on my team sheet and he’s still not owned by enough teams.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (FWD Arsenal 11.0m, 27.8%): With most of the top owned players being Liverpool defenders or playing against each other in the case of Sterling and Kane, that leaves Aubameyang with a tasty fixture versus Burnley. Considering the ease at which arsenal worked balls into the box to feed their danger-man, Aubameyang was unlucky not to score more. He took four shots putting two on target and scoring one. While the Clarets have a stout defense and are coming off of a good win of their own, the Arsenal buzz saw will break their back line.
Worth your consideration (15- 24 percent owned):
Marcus Rashford (FWD Manchester United 8.6m, 22.1%): A brace versus Chelsea and the confidence boost of being the unquestioned starter for Manchester United will set Rashford up for a great year. The midfield behind him could use some work but more balls like Pogba’s pass to set up his second goal could see five to seven goals supplied solely from Pogba. Playing a Wolves team that will pile on the pressure, Rashford will have his chances to put the ball in the back of the net.
Ryan Fraser (MID Bournemouth 7.5m, 17.4%): After earning some unwarranted transfers out following his blank versus Sheffield United, I’m backing Fraser for success versus Aston Villa. A better day from his forwards and Fraser could have had one or two assists versus the Blades as he was involved in everything. While the Aston Villa defense held for large portions of the game versus Tottenham, an early goal from the Cherries will put Fraser off to the races.
David De Gea (GK Manchester United 5.6m, 17.3%): One of the top replacements for Alisson, de Gea looks like his old self in front of an improved Manchester United back line. Free safety Aaron Wan-Bissaka made six tackles and three interceptions en route to ensuring that most of Chelsea’s most dangerous attacks were broken down before reaching de Gea. This bodes well for the season as de Gea needed to have otherworldly performances in the past in order to ensure that United kept clean sheets. Wolves pose an attacking threat, but if the defense can make them shoot from wide angles and outside of the box like Chelsea, a clean sheet can be obtained.
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Solid if not stellar (10-15 percent):
Matt Ryan: (GK Brighton 4.5m, 14.5%): Brighton conceded 11 shots to Watford but only three of those found the target. Watford was also dispossessed 18 times showing some of the defensive shifts with Graham Potter coming in. Brighton is moving from being passive defensively and parking the bus to being more of an active defense that attacks the opposition. This means fewer shots will see Ryan and as an above average keeper, he should see more clean sheets this season. Brighton Also holding more possession will limit the amount of work that Ryan has to do. Looking at fixtures, running out Matt Ryan is pretty safe until the week four clash with Manchester City.
Rolling the dice (under 10 percent):
James Maddison (MID Leicester City 7.0m, 9.7%): Another player who blanked in week one who looked good on the ball is James Maddison. Most of Leicester’s issues were down to their 4-1-4-1 being unable to break down Wolves parking the bus. Maddison took four shots and created two chances as one of Leicester’s most active players in the game, it was just down to Ayoze Pérez not being able to properly operate from wide positions. A few formation shifts from Brendan Rodgers and the Foxes will be a-okay. A trip to Stamford Bridge to face a shell of Chelsea is just what the doctor ordered. Maddison scored playing on the left side of midfield at the bridge last season.
Patrick Van Aanholt (DEF Crystal Palace 5.5m, 6.4%): A player backing themselves in FPL is always someone who I want in my team. van Aanholt is always doing bits and with his consistent goal contributions throughout the years, he’ll be a great option both versus Sheffield United (which I see ending in a 0-0 draw) and moving forward for Crystal Palace.
John McGinn (MID Aston Villa 5.5m, 4.5%): Getting down to the budget midfielders brings us to Aston Villa’s most dangerous attacker. McGinn came off of seven goals and nine assists in the Championship and showed versus Tottenham how much of a threat he can be. Latching onto Tyrone Mings’ long ball, McGinn made Danny Rose miss and coolly slotted it home. Operating as one of the more offensive midfielders of a midfield three, McGinn got two shots off scoring one. In what could be an open match versus Bournemouth, the chances will be there and Aston Villa's schedule opens up after this week to make McGinn a viable long term addition.
Yerry Mina (DEF Everton 5.5m,1.7%): Double Everton defense isn't something that I expected to be pitching without Idrissa Gueye but here we are. Coming off of a clean sheet versus Crystal Palace, the Toffees will now host Watford who were steamrolled playing Brighton. Mina also offers a goal threat on set plays which Watford are weak at defending.
Jack O’Connell (DEF Sheffield United 4.5m, 0.4%): Involved in everything for Sheffield United, it’s another player from my 0-0 pick of the weekend. The Blades and the Eagles are both better on the defensive end than they are at the offensive side of things and that leads to O’Connell’s inclusion here. Considering how involved he is in Sheffield United’s overall game, (his 50 passes vs BOU were only bettered by Norwood) I also wouldn’t be surprised to see bonus points in the future for the Blade.
Joelinton (FWD Newcastle United 6.0m, 2.6%): The Norwich defense is possibly the most open in the Premier League and considering that Joelinton was unlucky not to score versus Arsenal, I’m backing him to open his Premier League scoring account this week. Each of Joelinton’s three shots came from high percentage areas versus Arsenal. As he figures out chemistry with Miguel Almirón in the attacking third, the Magpies will have some danger working in their favor on the attacking end.