Fantasy Premier League – Key Notes & Lessons Taken From GW3
Written by: FPLijah
Gameweek 3 was a very poor one if you decided to go a touch template with your squad, especially if you went for a premium defense (in my case, Trent, Robertson, James, and Cancelo combined for a total of two points after eating £27.5m of the £100m initial squad budget). If you didn’t watch any of the matches and need a quick summary, well, then the image below of the Team of the Week is self-explanatory in how bad it actually was, with Perisic being the most popular pick amongst the 11 FPL assets to have made the team.
For the second time this season, this article will highlight the key notes and lessons taken from the previous gameweek to help us decide on transfers, likely captaincy, and strategy. The information below will have a combination of the ‘eye-test’ as well as statistics, which encompasses the best of both worlds in the debate of ‘Grass FC’ vs. ‘Analytics FC.’
Tottenham 1 – 0 Wolves
The first match of GW3, and those who took the punt on captaining Kane, would’ve been bricking it at half-time. The Spurs looked fairly quiet, only taking one shot within the first 45 minutes. Once the second half began, the entertainment factor certainly increased, with both teams having a combined 31 shots at goal throughout the match, Wolves surprisingly took 20 shots.
xG: 1.67 vs. 0.71
Shots: 11 vs. 20
Shots on Target (SoT): 4 vs. 3
Big Chances (BC): 2 vs. 0
Kane played central, with Son alongside him. Between the two, I’d still back Kane based on form after scoring the winning goal yet again. Kane took four shots in the box whilst also hitting the woodwork once. Son owners were left frustrated for another gameweek, taking three shots in the box and hitting the woodwork once.
Kulusevski played a touch wide, which wasn’t the best from an FPL perspective. He ranked 7th in the match in terms of xGI, but going forward; I still think he is a great option ahead of Nottingham Forest in GW4 (was in my transfer thoughts as a Mason Mount replacement, but if you follow me on Twitter, you’d know that I have already made one transfer heading into GW4, with one more transfer still likely to occur). For those who took the punt on Perisic ahead of GW3, well done! Perisic looked amazing, ranking 2nd for xGI in the match (behind Kane). Playing essentially as a left winger and on a few corners as well, Perisic came away with a clean sheet, assist, and all three bonus points.
From a Wolves FPL perspective, the only asset that was worth having going into GW1, was Neto, and for a 3rd straight gameweek, Neto has blanked. He played wide, with no shots in the box, but created three chances. Neto is a strong SELL at present.
Crystal Palace 3 – 1 Aston Villa
I think it’s fairly safe to say that this could’ve been a bloodbath by Crystal Palace, with six big chances in the match. Aston Villa looks quite open in defense, and one could actually choose to target them going forward.
xG: 2.69 vs. 0.90
Shots: 15 vs. 11
Shots on Target (SoT): 9 vs. 5
Big Chances (BC): 6 vs. 1
Zaha has yet again shown that he is the main man, adding another performance that may warrant a place for him in our squads. He did miss a penalty but scored the rebound in the process. Zaha scored a brace in GW3 after scoring against Liverpool in GW2. He faces a strong Manchester City in GW4, but as we’ve seen, Manchester City can be open at the back too, after conceding three against Newcastle, with Zaha being fixture proof. I’d personally wait a week before jumping onto him, but if he looks lively in GW4, he will be a serious transfer target ahead of GW5.
Eze was creative, as he usually is, whilst on set pieces and three chances. Mateta scored Palace’s 3rd goal.
From an Aston Villa perspective, Watkins was the furthest forward and looked like the most likely to score, which he then proved by scoring Aston Villa’s only goal in the match (assisted by Bailey). A chance at goal fell to Leon Bailey, who hit the post with his only effort. I would avoid Villa players at present. Surely they have to come good in time, as the squad has quality, but until then, it’s definitely an AVOID.
Everton 1 – 1 Nottingham Forest
Going into GW3, Everton needed the win a touch more than Nottingham Forest, but the spoils were shared. Everton fans would’ve been left disappointed after Gordon missed a big chance quite late on in the match.
xG: 1.51 vs. 0.99
Shots: 19 vs. 14
Shots on Target (SoT): 8 vs. 5
Big Chances (BC): 2 vs. 1
Definitely a fun game from a neutral perspective. From an FPL perspective, there are a few assets worth monitoring. Firstly Neco Williams (who should already be in your squad if you aren’t going for a starting XI with five at the back) looked good yet again, as he was high up the pitch, on set pieces, creating two chances, one shot in the box, and took one direct free kick as well. Neco looks to be a steal this season. I’m sure the many FPL managers who started him ahead of Andreas Pereira from Fulham were left fuming after conceding in the 88th minute.
From an Everton FPL perspective, Gray and Gordon were standout performers. Gray scored whilst also recording six shots in the match, with two chances created. Gordon is on set pieces and looked fairly dangerous, taking five shots in the box and missing a big chance at the death. Patterson continues to show good value at his price points, as he looked quite advanced. As my £4.0m bench fodder that may occasionally come in, I still prefer Neco Williams.
Fulham 3 – 2 Brentford
After a brilliant game of end-to-end football, Fulham snatched this one in the 90th minute with a Mitrovic winner.
xG: 2.54 vs. 1.80
Shots: 18 vs. 13
Shots on Target (SoT): 9 vs. 5
Big Chances (BC): 5 vs. 3
The usual suspects from both teams came to the party, with Mitrovic, Andreas, Toney, Mbeumo, and Jensen all looking great.
Mitrovic was central and dangerous, taking seven shots in the box and missing an insane four big chances! He undoubtedly deserved his goal, but it could’ve been a mega haul. Andreas came away with an assist and all three bonus points, rewarding those FPL managers who started him ahead of the likes of Neco Williams (like myself, FPLijah). Andreas played quite forward, creating four chances. He is undoubtedly the best enabler in midfield at his price point. Switching between him and Neco Williams is a strategy that many can look to implement if you’re going premium heavy.
On the Brentford side of things, Toney was the standout performer, as expected. He scored one but also had a goal ruled out. He is definitely a transfer target ahead of GW4, as Brentford has great fixtures going forward, as seen below. Mbeumo and Jense both looked creative, with 3 and 2 chances created respectively. Jensen came away with an assist.
Other players involved in the goals include: De Cordova-Reid, Palhinha, Stansfield, Mbabu, Nørgaard, and Wissa.
Leicester 1 – 2 Southampton
Although Leicester scored first, Southampton was well and truly clear of Leicester in this fixture. I’ve not seen a Leicester side as leaky as they are at present, and those managers who went for the double up of Ward and Iversen, have truly been punished (yes, I’m crying internally too). To make matters worse, Iversen has dropped in value to £3.9m, but I definitely would not be surprised to see him start in GW4 ahead of Ward after a decent performance in the Carabao Cup, saving three penalties and sending Leicester through to the next round.
xG: 0.29 vs. 0.92
Shots: 6 vs. 9
Shots on Target (SoT): 1 vs. 3
Big Chances (BC): 0 vs. 3
James Maddison is the only Leicester asset worth getting in Fantasy Premier League after scoring yet again (this time from a direct free kick) – however it has now been confirmed that he is injured and will be out for a number of weeks. Vardy didn’t take a single shot in the game. It’s looking quite bad for Leicester at present.
James Ward Prowse always looks great on set pieces, creating four chances, with two big chances created in the process. Adams could’ve easily scored a hat trick in under 30 minutes after scoring a brace and hitting the post. Although he looked great, Adams faces a Man United side that will be pumped up after their win against Liverpool, followed by Chelsea. I’d avoid assets from both these teams currently.
Bournemouth 0 – 3 Arsenal
Top of the table, Arsenal continued in brilliant form, scoring three and keeping a clean sheet in the process. A double-up in attack and one in defence really was the correct decision heading into GW1, if we’re talking about hindsight.
xG: 0.28 vs. 1.32
Shots: 6 vs. 14
Shots on Target (SoT): 1 vs. 6
Big Chances (BC): 0 vs. 3
Bournemouth didn’t cause too much trouble, with just one shot on target. Hopefully, you don’t have any Bournemouth assets in your FPL team, as I really don’t see any prospects as I type this article, based on the first three gameweeks.
Arsenal, however, have some great options for FPL: Jesus, Martinelli, Odegaard, Saliba, and Ramsdale. I’m sure if you own Saka, you’re asking why I haven’t listed him here. Well, at his price, he just isn’t worth it, playing much wider than the likes of Martinelli, whilst both share some set pieces. Saka just doesn’t offer enough, with his teammates offering tremendous value. Saka could come good soon, and then we could have a re-think, but for now, he isn’t in my thoughts
Martinelli is the player that impressed me the most, and he truly should have as high ownership as Jesus if we’re being honest. Martinelli took three shots in the box, had one big chance, and came away with an assist. To my surprise, Martinelli’s average position was much higher than even Jesus’, as can be seen in the image below (Martinelli = 11; Jesus = 9).
Odegaard scored two, with Saliba scoring as well. Saliba at £4.6m offers incredible value into the Arsenal defense, with many FPL managers opting to find a bit of cash to upgrade Neco Williams to him, and it’s completely understandable, as he is such a goal threat as well.
Going into GW3, Jesus vs. Salah were the prime candidate for the captaincy. Jesus fans can count themselves unlucky, with just the one assist, after having a goal disallowed for the tiniest of offside decisions. Jesus is yet again a captaincy option ahead of a trip to Fulham in GW4.
Leeds 3 – 0 Chelsea
DEMOLITION! In the shock result of the weekend (well, at least one of them, because we’re still going to chat about Manchester United vs. Liverpool), Leeds absolutely outplayed Chelsea in a 3-0 win.
xG: 2.22 vs. 0.88
Shots: 12 vs. 14
Shots on Target (SoT): 6 vs. 3
Big Chances (BC): 3 vs. 0
Rodrigo is by far the standout option from Leeds, amassing five shots in the box, scoring one and assisting another. Both Harrison and Aaronson look great if you’re considering a Leeds double-up, both scoring a goal as well, with Harrison grabbing himself an assist in the process. Aaronson was top for xGI with 1.07, followed by Harrison with 0.64 and Rodrigo with 0.57.
Leeds have a great run of fixtures (see image below), and the form of their assets really can’t be ignored. Get one, in my opinion! Mount has made way from my team, with Rodrigo coming in.
From a Chelsea FPL perspective, I firstly cannot understand why Reece James is being deployed as a right CB instead of his usual position as an RWB. Whenever Reece has played in the position he thrives in, Chelsea are far more likely to score, and after three matches, Reece still sits top for xGI amongst all Chelsea assets. I know we’re complaining about FPL, and we aren’t Tuchel, but still, it’s quite crazy to have someone with so much talent in his natural position take up a different role. If Reece continues to play an RCB role, he will surely be leaving many FPL teams, including my own.
Like me, many Fantasy Premier League managers have had enough of the frustration over Mason Mount. He had the highest xGI amongst Chelsea players in GW3, and also was the furthest up the pitch according to his average touches in the game, but at £8.0m (now £7.8m), he hasn’t started the season as we’ve expected. Three blanks from three, but he does face a very leaky Leicester defense, coming into the game without Maddison as well, and I would not be surprised to see Mount score.
Mount’s stats amongst Chelsea Players:
- xG – 4th
- xA – 4th
- xGI – 6th
- Shots – 1st
- Pen Area Touches – 2nd
- xGI Delta – 15th
15th in xGI Delta essentially tells us that he has been a touch unlucky and has underperformed. If you’ve kept the faith in him for GW4, he could deliver, but for my sake, I hope it’s yet another blank.
Sterling had a goal disallowed, which would’ve been a Cucurella assist. I would double up in defense, if you already have Reece James, and at present, Sterling isn’t worth his price tag in FPL.
West Ham 0 – 2 Brighton
Brighton have clearly upped their game attacking-wise this season, with West Ham struggling, as they sit at the bottom of the Premier League table in 20th.
xG: 0.89 vs. 1.71
Shots: 13 vs. 11
Shots on Target (SoT): 3 vs. 2
Big Chances (BC): 0 vs. 3
West Ham didn’t offer much in the match going forward, with a few chances here and there. Antonio hasn’t lived up to his form from last season. Cresswell created two decent chances from set pieces.
Brighton, however, have been dangerous in attack! Pascal Gross racked up more FPL points after an assist, following his two goals from GW1. He is on corners and the creative playmaker in the squad. Trossard (‘Bossard’) scored his first goal of the season and looks dangerous, taking five shots in the box. His heat map is a lot more central than that of Gross, and if you have the additional cash, he may be worth the punt ahead of Gross, with attractive fixtures to come.
I’d avoid West Ham players and get one of Gross or Trossard (depending on your budget).
Newcastle 3 – 3 Manchester City
A team that isn’t named Liverpool in the Premier League has finally decided to take Manchester City on! Newcastle showed fight, but as it usually goes, even when down by two goals, Manchester City will always come back, ensuring a draw after being 3-1 down.
xG: 1.81 vs. 2.11
Shots: 12 vs. 21
Shots on Target (SoT): 5 vs. 10
Big Chances (BC): 4 vs. 7
Let’s jump onto the FPL assets!
Firstly Haaland: Although scoring a goal on another day, it could’ve been a huge haul! He hit the post, missed two big chances, and also created one big chance that wasn’t converted. Pep has since come out and said that once Manchester City plays every three days, Haaland will not start every game, which causes concern for such a premium asset, with Harry Kane being an easy direct replacement. I wouldn’t sell him for GW4 just yet, but we can reassess heading into GW5, which is a very turnaround.
My FPL nemesis Gundogan played quite advanced, essentially playing as a striker, with Haaland occupying defenders, leaving space for Gundogan to run into the box. He created four chances and took three shots in the box, scoring one goal as well. Bernado looked good, with two shots in the box and three chances created, scoring one and assisting one. Foden was quite wide and less effective, goal threat wise, by only taking one shot in the box. He shared some set pieces with De Bruyne. De Bruyne was unlucky not to haul, just like Haaland, after creating three big chances and missing one big chance himself (reminds me of last season, when he scored four and hit the post in a single match). The defense looked a touch leaky. I don’t know, but I’m not sure if Cancelo is worth his price tag currently, with consistent options from the Man City backline.
Saint-Maximin was comfortably the best player on the pitch, with the Man City defense struggling to keep up with his pace and skill. His three assists, earned him two bonus points, narrowly nicked up by Bernado, who claimed all three. Wilson looked dangerous, taking four shots in the box and scoring one. He has been confirmed injured and out for GW4, so do not transfer him in. Trippier continues to be consistent by getting more and more FPL points, after scoring a direct freekick. Almiron also made a statement that we should consider him in the near future, taking three shots in the box, and scoring a goal as well.
Newcastle deserved nothing less than a point from this match.
Manchester United 2 – 1 Liverpool
After a jam-packed weekend of exciting football, following Leeds demolishing Chelsea and Newcastle taking Man City on, it was all set up perfectly, for what is considered the biggest game in football in the world, on a Monday night, between Manchester United and Liverpool.
Before the match began, all expectations only went in one direction, a Liverpool win, with Manchester United’s trying to keep the score as possible, but that just isn’t how football works. When the rivalry is as big as this, the form can often go out the window, and a surprise result is always on the cards, as we’ve seen after Manchester United beat Liverpool 2-1.
xG: 1.79 vs. 1.35
Shots: 13 vs. 17
Shots on Target (SoT): 5 vs. 5
Big Chances (BC): 4 vs. 1
Even as a Liverpool fan myself, I can absolutely say that Manchester United deserved their win. Firstly, Ten Haag made a huge decision by dropping the likes of Maguire and Ronaldo to the bench. As we’ve seen in the past, when Ronaldo isn’t involved, other players tend to step up, particularly Bruno Fernandes, who weirdly goes up another level. Bruno created one big chance and had one big chance to score as well.
Rashford played in the central role, taking five shots in the box and scoring a goal. Sancho only took one shot in the box, but it was a beauty after cutting in and dribbling, essentially sending both Milner and Alisson in the wrong direction and slotting it in.
Liverpool were carved open after a single pass time and time again, with Manchester United having four big chances. If you’ve gone for the double with Trent and Robertson, it really hasn’t worked out yet this season, and I’m seeing mass sales for both of them, which I do understand, but a home game to Bournemouth in GW4, as a must-win game is too difficult to ignore. I’d give them one more chance, and if Liverpool concede, I’d get rid of Robbo. From an attacking perspective, Trent is still ranked 1st amongst all defenders for the underlying stats that really matter. I’d keep Trent regardless of whether or not Liverpool concedes in GW4 or not.
Salah scored (the sun is hot, water is wet, gravity exists), but he did look a tad off it, although taking three shots in the box. He is still the prime candidate for captaincy in GW4, followed by Jesus against Fulham. Diaz played wider but still managed two shots in the box, with one big chance.
That rounds up the Key Notes and Lessons Taken from Gameweek 3. I hope it was informative and helpful. When making transfers, keep in mind that the GW5 deadline is just three days after the GW4 deadline, so don’t commit in getting rotation risk players.
For more information regarding all things Fantasy Premier League, as well as maximum interaction, follow/subscribe to FPLijah on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit.