Gameweek 11 cannot possibly be worse than Gameweek 10, where only two of eleven players registered returns.
Despite a number of big hitters producing the goods, blanks for Chelsea and Tottenham in particular proved costly for multiple FPL managers. A low average score of 44 evidences a struggle across the board in FPL.
However, struggles can present new opportunities. Transfers in are always exciting and ahead of Gameweek 11, here are five players of real interest.
Reece James – Defender – Chelsea – 5.1m
Reece James has established himself as Chelsea’s first-choice right-back. Despite competing with Cesar Azpilicueta for a slot in the side, the young Englishman’s solid defending combined with his phenomenal crossing ability have seen him usurp Chelsea’s club captain as Frank Lampard’s favoured option at right-back.
This makes him a very viable FPL asset. He is a more cost-effective option than Ben Chilwell. Valued at 5.1m compared to Chilwell’s 6.2m, James is a cheaper route into the Chelsea defence. James averages 1.6 crosses per game, as well as 1.3 key passes, highlighting his attacking potential. Despite only registering a single assist, James’ underlying statistics are notable. Combining this with Chelsea’s newfound defensive resilience and decent upcoming fixtures, Reece James is arguably the best mid-value defender in the game. He should be atop most manager’s thoughts in terms of defensive reinforcement.
Kevin de Bruyne – Midfielder – Manchester City – 11.7m
With a fixture at home to Fulham in Gameweek 11, Kevin de Bruyne is the outstanding option for captaincy. The Belgian did not feature in the Champions League and should come back into the side.
De Bruyne has one goal and five assists in the league this season, representing a slightly disappointing return for somebody of his quality. However, with two assists against Burnley last time out, de Bruyne appeared to have returned to his creative best, with three key passes and dribbles on top of those two assists.
There’s not much else to add when it comes to Kevin de Bruyne. Fulham at home is one of the most attractive fixtures on the calendar. It is the right time to bring in the player many consider to be the league’s best.
Diogo Jota – Midfielder – Liverpool – 6.9m
Jurgen Klopp simply cannot leave Diogo Jota out of his Premier League line-up with his recent form. Jota has been a revelation for Liverpool since his £40m move from Wolves. Four goals in five games epitomise just how valuable the Portuguese has been for Liverpool amidst their injury-ravaged squad.
Jota was highlighted as a gamble in GW8 but now, he is a very reliable pick, particularly for managers playing a 3-5-2. As a fourth or fifth midfielder, Jota represents superb value at 6.9m. The Portuguese should be considered as a fantastic option for the Fulham game in GW12, particularly for managers who don’t have Mohamed Salah.
He is a very viable route into the Liverpool attack, arguably the most reliable on current form. Jota is a far better option than the likes of Wilfried Zaha in the similar price bracket.
Raphinha – Midfielder – Leeds – 5.4m
For those looking for a fifth midfielder in the low-price bracket, an exciting selection in upcoming weeks could be Raphinha. The Brazilian was outstanding against Everton last time out.
Four shots and two key passes highlight the influence he had on Leeds’ attacking play. He got the goal his lively performance warranted to win the game for Marcelo Bielsa’s men. Bielsa’s expansive attacking game and aggressive man-marking system ensure that Leeds are a goal threat no matter who they play. Fixtures should not prove a barrier to entry for Leeds’ attacking assets and for anybody that doesn’t have Patrick Bamford, Raphinha is emerging as the next best option.
At 5.4m, Leeds’ Brazilian winger could be that cheap fifth midfielder that FPL managers crave. For those using wildcards, Raphinha should be at the back of the mind both for his potential returns and as a balancing option for any squad.
Olivier Giroud – Forward – Chelsea – 6.7m
Many will ask why a player with zero Premier League starts this season is in the five to watch this weekend. However, Olivier Giroud’s four-goal salvo in the Champions League make him a worthwhile FPL gamble in GW11.
Giroud is almost guaranteed a selection after his performance in midweek. Despite limited league minutes, the Frenchman averages a goal every 26 minutes in the Champions League. Four goals from five shots in addition to one key pass against Sevilla means Giroud must start against a Leeds side who, for their attacking quality, give up chances.
For those in a position to do so, Giroud could be worth a gamble in upcoming weeks. He quickly usurped Gabriel Jesus as the most attractive forward with low ownership. If you’re satisfied with your squad and have a reliable bench to fall back on, Giroud provides an exciting differential at only 0.6% ownership. Those who take the plunge could be rewarded handsomely.
Gameweek 11, headlined by the North London derby, features the return of fans to Premier League games. Let’s hope the return of fans creates excitement across the league.