Gameweek 15: The Six Best Signings
Not sure who to bring in for Gameweek 15? Here are:
Gameweek 14 was a mixed bag for the Six Best Signings. Darwin Nunez blanked, though he did go on to score in the Champions League, as did Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Antony didn’t play because of injury, while Bukayo Saka went off injured after grabbing an assist, leaving owners devastated by seeing his replacement score a brace and grab an assist, knowing they could easily have claimed those points. Meanwhile, Narrative Pick Leandro Trossard scored against Chelsea, and Form Pick Miguel Almiron got a goal and an assist. It’ll be interesting to track the six types of pick over the season and see which gets the most points. I’ll add an ongoing total to the bottom of the article.
Anyway, enough chitter-chatter, let’s get to the Six Best Signings for Gameweek 15.
The Statistics Pick: Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.9m)
Mitrovic is perhaps a surprising pick, given Fulham are away at Manchester City in Gameweek 15, perhaps the hardest fixture in English football right now. However, the statistics show that it could well be a fruitful weekend for the Serbian sharpshooter. Manchester City only kept two clean sheets in their last seven home league games last season, and they have only three from six this season. It’s a run that includes five goals conceded to Watford, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace; teams around the level of Fulham, but with far less of an attacking threat.
That threat comes from Mitrovic, who is third in the Golden Boot race, just one behind Harry Kane, who has played an extra game and an extra 137 minutes. His nine goals include a brace against Liverpool, as well as strikes against Arsenal, Spurs and Brighton – 3 of the top 4 teams for expected goals against this season. Now, he has the opportunity to add the top team to his list of scalps.
Mitrovic has the most shots in the league, with 56 attempts in 1,086 minutes, roughly one every nineteen minutes. He is behind only Haaland and Kane for shots on target. What’s more, we are just two gameweeks away from a World Cup that every Manchester City defender will be expecting to play in. The last thing they need is to succumb to an injury, and there are few more physical players than Mitrovic. He has already proven himself the man for the big occasion this season. Expect Fulham to lose to the champions, but for Mitrovic to enhance his reputation further in the process.
The Form Pick: Callum Wilson (£7.5m)
When it comes to FPL, there are few better assets than a fit and in-form Callum Wilson, who is as close to a guarantee of goals as you can get for under £8m. Newcastle are the team in form, and a case can be made for several of their players as the form pick, not least Miguel Almiron, who was Gameweek 14’s Form Pick and who enhanced his record last time out. For me, though, the choice has to be Wilson.
The Newcastle hitman has 6 goals and 3 assists from his 9 appearances this season. Since his return from injury in Gameweek 9, he has 4 goals and 3 assists in six games. In his last two appearances, he has smashed home 3 goals and assisted 2 more for a total of 24 points. Since his return from injury, Newcastle average 2 goals a game away from home, and now they go to Southampton, who are behind only Fulham for expected goals conceded at home. What’s more, Wilson has only plundered more goals against two teams in the Premier League, and he spent six years at Bournemouth, one of Southampton’s biggest rivals.
With the World Cup looming, Wilson has all the motivation needed to produce, and he has the form to suggest he will. Newcastle are looking irresistible at the minute; you need to have their players in your team, and after Kieran Trippier, the man you should prioritise is Callum Wilson.
The One Gameweek Punt: Rodrigo (£6.3m)
Leeds remain inconsistent this season, with few real FPL assets among their ranks. The one standout has been Rodrigo. Starting the season with a bang, he scored 35 points in the opening three gameweeks, plundering four goals and an assist. That remarkable run saw him rise £0.5m in price by Gameweek 5, when he was struck down by injury.
Since his return in Gameweek 9, he has struggled a little for minutes, only achieving two appearance points for three out of his six appearances. However, if you’re looking at a one-gameweek punt, there are few better options in Gameweek 15. Rodrigo averages a goal every 103 minutes this season. He has scored two goals in the last two gameweeks. There is a possibility of him being on penalties, with the only other person in the Leeds squad to score one in the last two seasons, Klich, having only played 188 minutes this season. He plays Bournemouth, who have the third-worst expected goals against in the Premier League, and who will be crushed by Gameweek 14’s stoppage-time defeat to Spurs, having led 2-0. Leeds, however, enter the tie on a high after a famous Anfield win.
Should Erling Haaland be ruled out of Gameweek 15, then Julian Alvarez will be a one gameweek punt many people take. They may well be missing a trick by overlooking Rodrigo.
The Long-Term Fixtures Pick: Marcus Rashford (£6.6m)
Even though we are only two gameweeks from the post-World Cup clean slate, I still think it’s worth having one eye on the longer term. However, with only one more week until prices lock for the winter, you want someone with the potential of a double price rise in one gameweek. With a game against Fulham in Gameweek 16, and fixtures against Forest, Wolves and Bournemouth when play resumes, Marcus Rashford has that potential.
His hundredth Manchester United goal at the weekend gave him the headlines, and when discussing that milestone, he talked about the ‘complete different energy around the club, that puts me in a better headspace. I feel really motivated.’ A motivated Rashford is a dangerous Rashford – 17 goals and 8 assists in 2019/20, followed by 11 goals and 11 assists in 2020/21 shows that – and with him finding both the right mindset and the right form, he has the fixtures to fire you up the rankings while boosting your squad value. With Antony an injury doubt, Rashford should be nailed – he has played all but ten minutes of the last three fixtures – and games against Villa and Fulham are perfect for him to make his case for inclusion in England’s World Cup squad. Interestingly, he does take direct free kicks, and all of his free kick goals have come away from home. With the onus on the Villa and Fulham to attack in front of their own fans, they will also leave the spaces for Rashford to exploit. He will be a popular signing in Gameweek 15, and I back him to reward his owners.
The Narrative Pick: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£8.8m)
There can be no doubt as to who is the Narrative Pick for Gameweek 15. Aubameyang hasn’t really done anything to suggest he’s worth a selection yet. He hasn’t even nailed down a starting place, though Graham Potter seems to be starting him in every other league game, so it should be his turn to start in Gameweek 15 against his old club – assuming his selection against Dinamo Zagreb doesn’t go against him. Arsenal top the table, just two points ahead of Manchester City. Now, they go to Stamford Bridge, home of the striker they unceremoniously bombed out less than a year ago.
Arsenal have the joint-second-best defence in the league for goals conceded, and the second-best defence for expected goals conceded. However, they are a club who he may well feel humiliated by, after stripping him of the captaincy, forcing him to train alone and flogging him to anyone who would take him, all while being filmed by Amazon for All or Nothing.
At his best, there are few better strikers in the world – indeed, for over two seasons after joining Arsenal, he was the highest-scoring striker in FPL. His best days may be behind him, and he has been struggling for form, with only a solitary Premier League goal to his name. Still, his two Champions League goals show his instincts remain intact, and there is no fixture he will be more motivated for than Arsenal. The start of the season has been the stuff of dreams for the Gunners; the narrative suggests it is Aubameyang who turns those dreams into an FPL Nightmare, and in the process, opens the door for Manchester City to take top spot.
The Gut Feeling Pick: James Tarkowski (£4.4m)
This is another player who could make a case to be the Narrative Pick, given that Leicester decided against signing him on a free transfer in the summer, despite having previously bid £30m for him. The reasoning was apparently his style of defending and lack of pace, and though Leicester have tightened up in recent gameweeks, you have to think that they wouldn’t have conceded the third-most goals in the league with Tarkowski in their ranks.
It’s the sort of snub that has a tendency to come back to haunt teams, and with Leicester third-worst for goals conceded from set-pieces this season, and the worst record at defending set-pieces last season, the stage is set for Tarkowski to punish their rejection even further. Coming into the game with back-to-back clean sheets, Tarkowski has potential to get returns at both ends of the pitch. My gut feeling says he punishes Leicester for overlooking him. With a game against Bournemouth to come next week, and with four of last season’s top six playing each other in Gameweek 15, Tarkowski at £4.4m represents great value for someone wanting to take money out of their defence and put it in their attack. For someone with two free transfers, switching to the Everton man from a Liverpool defender frees up the funds to upgrade someone like Andreas to Rashford or Solanke to Wilson. It’s definitely something to consider.
* Defenders over £6m, attackers over £10m and players with over 30% ownership excluded *
Ongoing scores (Gameweek 14 onwards)
Statistics Pick: 2 points.
Form Pick: 12 points.
One Gameweek Punt: 4 points.
Long Term Fixtures Pick: 0 points.
Narrative Pick: 7 points.
Gut Feeling Pick: 2 points.
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