It’s wildcard time. I tried holding off as long as I could, but I was facing an uphill battle without Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son. Last week I finished on 50 points, which should have been a good output but the two wiped out almost one million places worth of gains by combining on one goal. And if you can’t beat em, join em.
Due to that, this will be a special edition of Top Transfer Targets where I walk you through the composition of my wildcard. There are some risks, fading Everton and Manchester City along with going light up top but they’re calculated and the hope is that if I’m wrong, I can easily shift a midfielder to make things easier to deal with.
For Everton, I haven’t had Dominic Calvert-Lewin all season and with Richarlison still suspended, Lucas Digne missing the week due to suspension, and James Rodriguez nursing an injury, this just doesn’t feel like the week to invest. I’ll likely be looking to get onto the DCL train sooner than later but now isn’t the time.
On City, it came down to WilFred Zaha v Phil Foden and Zaha’s early season form wins out. When the fixtures turn for City in-game week 10, I’ll likely look to invest but it will take a little and I’ll either need to bank a transfer or be prepared to take a hit. Let’s get down to the wildcard though:
I don’t think Southampton’s defense is good as their three clean sheets in six games may suggest that it is, but I do trust this defense more than the ones behind every other 4.5m keeper. Occasionally McCarthy will also stand on his head and rack up quite a few bonus points. That’s good enough to be my keeper all year barring injuries.
Andrew Robertson (Liverpool 7.1m, 19.3%), Max Kilman (Wolves 4.2m, 10.2%), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea 5.8m, 18.6%), Kyle Walker-Peters (Southampton 4.5m, 10.8%), Tyrick Mitchell (Crystal Palace 4.2m, 26.3%):
Only one “center back” made it into my final squad and that’s because of Kilman’s passing just as much as the clean sheet potential for Wolves. I finally cut the cord on Trent Alexander-Arnold and while I’m slightly terrified, adding Andrew Robertson helps mitigate the risk. With Ceasar Azpilicueta back in the fold, Chelsea is back to keeping clean sheets and Chilwell looks like their top attacking defender. Bombing forward in a back four, staying forward in a back five, and having a shot at set plays depending on who’s on the field, Chilwell feels like a no brainer pick.
Walker-Peters is a nice addition with McCarthy in net for a double up and Mitchell has a good shot at keeping his place even with Patrick Van Aanholt healthy again. This could easily be another Aaron Wan Bissaka situation at Crystal Palace.
This is where my entire budget was blown.
James Rodriguez (Everton 8.0m, 37.7%), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United 10.5m, 21.9%), WilFred Zaha (Crystal Palace 7.3m, 25.1%), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool 12.4m, 47.5%), Tomas Soucek (West Ham 4.9m, 2.8%)
James and Salah speak for themselves as picks but I don’t see the need to pivot from Salah to Mane at the moment. Both will be close all season but going back and forth from one to the other only leads to sadness. I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Zaha this season and he’s on penalties at times which only raises his value. He’s on a short leash but five goals already this season and a favorable schedule moving forward means that Zaha will stay.
Bruno Penandes (if you know, you know) and Manchester United are finding form. Anthony Martial will serve the final game of his suspension this week and when he returns, Bruno will have a full stable of weapons at his disposal. Moving forward, Bruno should show why plenty of people opened the season with him in their squads even with United blanking to start the season. Soucek hasn’t gotten on the score sheet yet but he’s been getting forward for West Ham and there isn’t a better option in the sub 5.0 bracket. The next closest for that spot is Ademola Lookman for me but… Fulham…
I’ve waited for Bamford to cool down this season and he hasn’t. His movement in Marcelo Bielsa's system means that Bamford is always in the best position to capitalize on a defensive mistake and no number can quantify that ability. Even when his scoring slows down, at his bracket, a return in every 3-4 games makes him worth it. Watkins would be Michail Antonio if not for Antonio’s hamstrings. I love that Watkins is involved in every phase of the build-up for Aston Villa, he just needs to improve on his decision making and strike more balls with a first-time finish.
Harry Kane is back and he’s my captain vs Brighton this week. I’m expecting big things from the leading setup man in the league and with multiple routes to returns and bonus points, Kane should hit double-digit FPL points for the fourth time in seven weeks.