🏁 GW38 - end your season with a bang 💥
It's the last gameweek. Here's how to end your season with a green arrow.
Summary for the lazy
⏰ Gameweek 38’s deadline is Sunday 28th May, 15:00 BST.
😍 Every match will start at the same time.
🧠 Conventional FPL strategy is out the window.
🤷 Klopp expected to make changes, Pep’s line-up should be “as strong as possible”.
Today we’re covering differentials, teams with something still to play, whether more goals are scored on the last day and loads more.
Well, we made it folks. Together we stand on precipice of achieving what so many others have failed to do this season: manage an FPL team for 38 gameweeks.
There’s a glory in that, regardless of your overall rank or your mini-league standings. You’ve navigated unprecedented fixture fluctuation: doubles, blanks, congestion and even the death of a monarch.
And yet here you are. Poised. Ready. Hopefully sitting on a toilet somewhere. A champion already.
You deserve to finish the 22/23 season with a bang and we’ll be damned if we don’t attempt to lend a hand.
Today we’ll be talking about the unique cocktail of desperation, striving and unpredictability that makes Gameweek 38 so unique, and how that might impact your FPL decisions.
For the last time this season, let’s get into it.
Commemorate your season the proper way
We think we’ve created the perfect way to immortalise a great FPL season. Poker chips.
They’re heavy, beautiful and, based on how long it takes for plastic to degrade these days, will last you thousands of years.
You can back-date them for previous seasons too, but the new 22/23 line has just been released into the wild.
If you order now and use the code [LAZY10], you’ll get 10% off and we’ll give a further £1 per chip sold to Street Child UK.
All profits after that go to making this newsletter bigger and better.
The Formula 1 strategy
The best way to drive the final lap of a Grand Prix will differ depending on where you are in the field.
Those who need to gain positions will drive more aggressively. They’ll take risks. They’ll hedge their bets.
But the driver in first place? He’s more conservative. He blocks his opponents if they’re still in a position to overtake. He doesn’t go hell-for-leather around the corners unless he absolutely must.
We reckon you already have the smarts to understand where you are in this race going into the final lap of the season.
To give you a real world example, I’m currently around 150k in the world. Personally, I’m after a top 100k finish (which is probably unattainable now). Still, I’m going to go for it. There’s little point in me playing it safe. I won’t remember if I finish 150k, 210k or 130k. I will remember if I get a top 100k finish.
The first step to nailing Gameweek 38 is understanding where you are in this race, and where you want to end up.
The best differentials
Earlier this week, the Professor sent an email to LazyFPL Premium members outlining the differentials he’s backing for Gameweek 38 success.
What follows is a triple-distilled, highly-concentrated version of that email. Don’t apply this directly to your skin and consult a doctor if you get it in your eyes, mouth or any other orifice. You’ve been warned.
The clean sheet odds this week are terrible. We’ll talk about why shortly. Differential defenders are hard to come by, but James Tarkowski gets the Professor’s backing. He’s £4.1m, 3% owned and the eighth-best defender for attacking stats since Dyche took over.
More options here. Cody Gakpo (5.2%) is high on expected points and likely to play. Klopp has hinted at rotation so this isn’t quite the selection it might’ve been had Liverpool beaten Nottingham Forest the other week.
Dwight McNeil (0.7%) was also touted. The counter to this argument is that there’s an unconfirmed rumour that Everton will play a back-three on Sunday, which turns McNeil into a bonafide full-back.
That they have something to play for certainly weighs in his favour. Since Dyche took over, he’s the 9th-most productive midfielder for non-penalty goal involvement.
In a parallel world, Son Heung-min (6.1%) isn’t a differential in Gameweek 38. Still, he’s an interesting punt, particularly given he’ll be playing a Leeds team that cannot settle for a draw. The Prof is luke-warm on him because his stats are fairly middling.
Abdoulaye Doucoure (0.1%) is 11th for non-penalty xG since Dyche took over and Eberichi Eze (8.5%) is arguably the most popular non-popular player this week. In fact, he’s the most transferred in asset as I type.
Taken directly from the Prof:
Not only has Taiwo Awoniyi (0.9%) scored the most goals of any Premier League footballer since the beginning of May (5), he’s scored more goals in that period than West Ham, Crystal Palace, Leeds, Southampton, Manchester United, Aston Villa, Tottenham, Wolves, and Bournemouth.
The Prof even has his eye on him for the 23/24 season.
Harry Kane (29%) could also be an option for the truly desperate. Whilst not a differential in terms of ownership, there are still a significant number of top managers who are without the once-essential talisman. If he outscores Haaland and you have him captained, he could be enough to propel you into FPL folklore.
Jesus, Vardy, Mitrovic, Rodrigo, Trossard, Barnes and Maddison get honourable mentions but none have stolen the Prof’s heart, largely because of expected minutes.
Are more goals scored in Gameweek 38?
Last week we discussed whether teams with “something to play for” actually play better and, thanks to the little-known research hub called Harvard University, were able to confirm that yes, they do.
Another phenomenon you often hear is that more goals are scored in Gameweek 38. Is it true?
Yes. It turns out that, statistically, more goals are likely to be scored on the last week of the season.
This from the guys at AllAboutFPL:
As you can see, the difference is consistent and substantial.
This is why clean sheets are at a premium in Gameweek 38 and why, if you can, you should probably be opting for three-at-the-back.
Which teams have something to play for?
Having shown that teams with something to play for usually play better, we should probably identify those teams. This graphic, complete with explanations and fixtures, will help.
So Villa, Spurs and Brentford have a shot at the Conference League next season. Elsewhere, two of Everton, Leeds and Leicester will be relegated by Sunday evening.
According to the boffins, that means we can statistically expect better results from those six teams.
City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Brighton, Fulham and Southampton are unaffected by their results, and are probably the most likely to rotate as a result.
Try not to take hits
If you’re chasing rank, you’re probably pretty fired up at the moment. Differentials, going all-out, formula 1. It can be easy to get carried away.
But hold those proverbial horses for a second: the conventional wisdom is to avoid taking any hits in Gameweek 38.
Because ordinarily when we perform the harikari of a -4 hit, the player we’re bringing in has several weeks to patch up the stab wound.
Taking a hit in Gameweek 38 essentially means that the incoming pick has to outscore the outgoing sacrificial lamb by at least four points to justify it.
Over the course of one match, that’s never a sure thing. Go crazy, but don’t go stupid unless stupidity is all you have left.
The best captain for Gameweek 38
Guardiola has said that he’ll be fielding the strongest possible line-up against Brentford which means, on any other week, there’d be a picture of Haaland here.
But, as is the theme of this newsletter, Gameweek 38 is different. The best captain for you might not be the best captain for me.
We usually choose to ignore that cheeky little tickle in the depths of our gut but, if there’s ever a time to trust it, it’s now.
I think Manchester United provide an interesting outlet for a differential captain for four key reasons:
1) you probably already own plenty of their best players
2) they’re a good team who can score lots of goals
3) they could tangibly benefit by winning their final game
4) they play Fulham: one of the few teams who don’t benefit from a result
It’s all about where you are and what you want. This is your captain. There are many like it, but this one is yours.
The key stats for Gameweek 38
The final stats for this season. Take a good look.
The Professor’s Team
Clearly I’m not going to be rolling my transfer this gameweek but I won’t be making it until closer to the deadline tomorrow.
And I still don’t know exactly what I’m going to do.
I think it’s Mac Allister to Eze. But if we get a leak that Firmino is starting or some other gameweek 38 chicanery is afoot, I’ll be reacting to any of that with my FT.
And now we wait for the deadline panic.
Wondering why my team screenshot looks the way it does? I use the BetterFPL tool because it makes me better at FPL. Try it for 30 days using the code [FPLTIPS].
The LazyFPL big bastard survey
For the first time ever, we’re running a proper survey for you lot. Our aim is to get better at sending emails about FPL. Here’s what’s it in for you:
you could win a £50 Amazon voucher
you get the chance to have a good moan about the stuff you want to see improved
We’re always striving to make this newsletter better, and we’re also keen to hear about how your season is going.
🏃♂️Luke Shaw was pictured in training today
🏥Reiss Nelson, Bukayo Saka, and Leandro Trossard are doubts for Arsenal.
🧮Mo Salah is top for expected points this gameweek ...
A note to our readers
We’ve been sending emails every week (sometimes more frequently) for 14 months, and never have we had a reply from anyone complaining about the advice we dish out. Thank you for being normal, reasonable people, even when we haven’t got it spot on.
You’ve probably got better things to do than keep up-to-date with West Ham’s pre-season tour of Australia (yup, that’s happening), but in pre-season we’ll do that sort of thing for you.
Each week during the off-season, we’ll be sending you free updates on transfers, rumours, managerial changes, pre-season friendly results, injuries and early punts as we move glacier-like towards the launch of the 23/24 game.
Once the game launches (it’s usually early July), we’ll be deep-diving into how to build the ultimate Gameweek 1 team, including the best budget options, who to buy from the promoted teams, which new transfers to consider and loads more.
Do stick around and, remember, stay lazy.
Ross, The Professor, James and our last addition to the team, Jamie.
Did you enjoy this email?