- LazyFPL | The FPL Newsletter
- ⏰ BGW18: the moves to make ✅
⏰ BGW18: the moves to make ✅
Dinner is served.
🚨 The stuff you should know 🚨
⏰ Blank Gameweek 18’s deadline is Thursday 21st December, 18:30 GMT (that’s 9 hours from the send time of this email).
❌ Brentford and Man City will not play.
🤕 Haaland in training but has had no involvement in the Club World Cup. Still not certain for Gameweek 19.
🤝 Nuno Espirito Santo becomes new Nottingham Forest manager.
🤦♂️ Gordon forced off midweek again with a “nasty knock”.
🚑 Isak out of the Newcastle squad but absence “precautionary”
🔴 Solanke (plus every Luton/Bournemouth player) points voided. Gameweek 17 finally closes.
This is the highly anticipated sequel to last night’s panic email.
One impressive thing about FPL is that it’s always finding new and creative ways to screw over those of us who are silly enough to play it.
Obviously - and it is obvious - the main concern last Saturday for everyone with a semblance of empathy was the health of Tom Lockyer which, according to reports, is stable and improving.
But that doesn’t mean Solanke owners can’t feel aggrieved at the near-farcical bad luck of bringing in a player - possibly for a hit - who scores a perfectly legal goal in a game that goes on to be abandoned.
Most of us are complex organisms, and thankfully it’s possible to harbour both a sincere concern for Tom Lockyer and an incredibly petty bitterness about Solanke’s lost points in unison. That doesn’t make you insensitive; it just means you’re normal.
Get well soon Tom. And get back in my team Dom.
Let’s do what we should’ve done about 14 hours ago and crack on with a proper look at Blank Gameweek 18.
The latest injuries.
Here’s an update on a few of those injuries that you find yourself Googling in the early hours. The sort of injuries that take you to dubious websites like “ManchesterWorld.com” and “GeordieBootBoys.com” in search of answers.
Erling Haaland has returned to training. At least, that’s what it looked like after Man City posted pictures of him in training.
They’ve since deleted those images. In fairness, all they really illustrated is that Haaland is fit enough to kick a ball and sit down whilst wearing unfeasibly short shorts. Hardly an indicator that he’ll be ready for Gameweek 19.
Guardiola also said yesterday that he can’t train, so either the picture is duplicitous or Pep is duplicitous. My hunch is that, somehow, both of those things are true.
Anthony Gordon was forced off again in midweek, this time with a “nasty knock”.
A knock is usually good news. It’s the footballing equivalent of “merely a flesh wound”.
But a nasty knock? What could that mean? And what makes it so much nastier than a regular knock?
Gordon is flagged. Once again, he’s a doubt for the weekend.
Alexander Isak was unexpectedly absent from Gameweek 17.
Howe has said that the Swede has a problem with his groin. Don’t we all, Alex.
It’s minor - probably fatigue related - but it needs to be monitored.
I don’t think you’re ready for this Crellin.
Ben Crellin is to FPL what The Oracle is to the Matrix. But a white, male version whose uncle happens to be Bronn from Game of Thrones. That’s true btw.
His latest series of tweets lays out how the fixture calendar will look until March.
The accompanying tweet is long but worth relaying in full:
“Chelsea vs Spurs will be postponed in GW26 if Chelsea beat Middlesbrough in the two-legged EFL Cup SFs.
Man Utd vs Fulham will be postponed in GW26 if Fulham beat Liverpool in the EFL Cup SFs.
Liverpool vs Luton will be postponed in GW26 if Liverpool beat Fulham in the EFL Cup SFs.
GW26 postponements will definitely become Blanks if either side reaches the FA Cup 5th Rd, and they might still become Blanks if both sides fail to reach the 5th Rd.
Man City vs Brentford should move to GW 21/25/28. GW28 is probably the least likely of those three GWs.
If DGW21 is going to happen then it should be announced tomorrow or Friday.
It's harder to predict when Bournemouth vs Luton will be rescheduled to because they both have lots of free midweeks.”
In short, Gameweek 26 is likely to be a Blank Gameweek of some sort, and Gameweek 21 or 25 are the most likely candidates for a Man City/Brentford double.
Man City and Brentford are Blankers
Not much to say here, but it’s worth repeating: Man City and Brentford have done a Deborah Meaden and declared themselves out of Gameweek 18.
If you’re unaccustomed with a Blank Gameweek (although you shouldn’t be, because we had one in Gameweek 2), it means one or more teams miss out on a fixture, which renders their players about as useful as a TV psychic.
Cystic Greg returns.
Speaking of TV psychics, Cystic Greg was once a contestant on Mastermind.
His specialist subject? Blank Gameweek 18.
Q: I have Gordon. What do I do?
A: I don’t like to comment too much on injured players because it might expose me as a fraud, but it does seem like Howe will either kick the shit out of his players until they can’t play another second or give them a much-needed break.
For that reason, I reckon it’s likely that Gordon will either start against Luton or miss the game entirely. It’s a good enough fixture to roll the dice on him, but make sure you have a solid first sub.
Q: How will Nuno Espírito Santo impact Nottingham Forest from an FPL perspective?
A: It’ll take time to gauge how the team play under new management, but in the short term it means we probably shouldn’t bet too boldly against them. Teams tend to play better immediately after a managerial swap, as evidenced by this article.
Q: Should I be planning for the possible blanks and doubles already?
A: Not with any serious aggression. There should be enough notice to plan your moves accordingly, but even if we’re ambushed by a blank or double, we’re all in the same boat.
The worst case scenario is that we disrupt our team for an eventuality that never materialises.
Q: Who’s scoring the most points in Blank Gameweek 18?
A: Weird one but it’s Andreas Pereira.
Blank Gameweek 18’s Best Captain
It’s Ollie Watkins. He plays Sheffield United, he’s in great form, he’s the bookies’ favourite to score and Aston Villa have been incredible at home this season. He’ll also likely be the most popular captain amongst active managers.
Exhibit A: our Premium captaincy poll.
Salah and Son are interesting differentials, but over the last four gameweeks, Arsenal have the best (i.e. lowest) expected goals allowed (xGA) in the Premier League.
Everton have the third-lowest.
The key stats.
We shared the key stats last night, but here they are again.
The Professor’s team.
The Prof enjoyed yet another green arrow last gameweek, making it 10 from the last 11.
He’s had to move early due to price changes: an uncharacteristic decision forced by the cruel economics of FPL.
Darwin > Watkins
Here’s what his team looks like post-transfer, courtesy of Fantasy Football Hub’s MyTeam.
Btw, just to illustrate how powerful MyTeam is, it suggested Darwin > Watkins this week too. It’s a lot more than just a hipster way to view your team.
Fancy trying it? Fantasy Football Hub are running a 30-day free trial, with 30% off after that. It’s a beast. Try it here.
Other stuff we found interesting.
There is no confirmed date for the rearranged Bournemouth vs Luton match yet.
Douglas Luiz revealed that Pau Torres is not fit for Friday…on his Twitch stream.
Christopher Nkunku finally played his first game for Chelsea on Tuesday, a year after signing for the club.
A reminder that the Asian and African Cups begin just before the Gameweek 21 deadline.
Okay, better late than never, right?
We’ll be back in your inbox on Christmas Day at 11am GMT for a LazyFPL Christmas special (and a look ahead to Gameweek 19).
The LazyFPL Team.
How did we do?