🏁 GW38 | How to finish with a bang 💥

It's the last gameweek. We won't cry if you don't.

The Stuff You Should Know

Gameweek 38’s deadline is Sunday 19th May, 14:30 BST.

😍 Every game starts at 16:00 BST.

🫤 Howe “not 100% sure” about Gordon’s availability.

🦵🏻 De Bruyne will be assessed after an early sub in DGW37.

🤕 Ederson misses Gameweek 38 with eye socket fracture.

⬇️ Burnley relegated, Luton need a miracle.

🎁 Check out our sponsor, FPL Merch, for end-of-season memorabilia.

Keep reading to find out what’s next for LazyFPL.

Alright?

If you’re reading this, you’ve made it.

Whether you’ve had a good season or not, you’ve succeeded in doing what so many other FPL managers couldn’t: you’ve stuck it out to the bitter, sticky end. You’ve battled through injuries, suspensions, squad rotations and even that time in Gameweek 3 when Erling Haaland missed a penalty against Sheffield United.

Whilst you probably won’t be getting a knighthood anytime soon, your heroics aren’t lost on us. It’s been a pleasure to wade through the shite alongside you.

Still, we’ve got around 2.6% of the season left to play, and we’ll be damned if you drop the ball now.

It’s time to examine Gameweek 38, so unzip and join us for one last romp behind the skip.

FPL is a mug’s game.

This week’s sponsor is FPL Merch.

For full transparency, we own FPL Merch. As such, all proceeds go towards the food, shelter and excessive amounts of toiletries that this newsletter demands.

There are three things we sell on there:

1) Commemorative victory mugs. The subtle-brag for anyone with a decent rank this season.

We expect to sell 0 of the “top 100” mugs, but f**k it, you never know.

2) Joke mugs. For the mini-league winners and losers with a sense of humour.

3) Our semi-famous FPL chips. People go strangely mad for these FPL overall rank poker chips. They are incredibly satisfying to own.

Because of shipping and that, these are only available to UK-based residents (for now!). Sorry, rest of the world, but you’ll have to buy your FPL TatMerch from somewhere else.

Gameweek 38’s Fixtures

One homogenous block.

The “f*ck it, it’s Gameweek 38” midfielders.

Given that the season is about to turn 38, it’s primed for a mid-life crisis of sorts.

But it won’t be buying a shiny new sports car or getting its left nipple pierced. Oh no, instead it’ll be experimenting with a range of players that would ordinarily never see the light of day.

For FPL managers, Gameweek 38 is unique for three key reasons:

1) You don’t have to own your weird differential for longer than one gameweek.

2) Teams tend to concede more goals in Gameweek 38 (we’ll examine this phenomenon shortly).

3) Depending on your current position, you might as well go for it now.

___

With Anthony Gordon and Kevin De Bruyne doubts at the time of writing, we’re going to focus on differential midfielders. Given their high potential upside, they’re arguably the most exciting position too.

According to this thread, over 60% of Premier League goals scored on the last day of the season are scored by the home team. That’s an easy filter, particularly given the calibre of the away teams in Gameweek 38 happens to be lower.

1) Leandro Trossard vs Everton

He might look like he needs a good night’s sleep, but Trossard has excellent f*ck it potential. He’s scored in four of his last five games, and with 17 goals, is second only to Bukayo Saka for goals scored in an Arsenal shirt this season.

With Everton’s Premier League survival a certainty, it’s a good time for Arsenal to play them. You don’t need us to tell you that Arteta’s men need a win if they’re to lift the Premier League trophy, so Trossard feels certain to start. Kai Havertz will also be under-owned in Gameweek 38.

2) Michael Olise vs Aston Villa

Olise has one of the highest goals per 90 of any player in the Premier League this season:

You know that version of Crystal Palace that always seems to score three goals at the Etihad every season? That’s how they play all the time now.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa cannot move in either direction from 4th. With their fate already determined, it’s unlikely they’ll be the ones to buck Palace’s impressive scoring trend. Besides, their defence was never that good to begin with. In the last 10 gameweeks, only five teams have a worse expected goals conceded.

3) Harvey Elliott vs Wolves

Poor Wolves haven’t kept a clean sheet since hosting Sheffield United back in February, and they’ve conceded eight goals in their last two.

Mathematically they’re still within reach of a top-half finish, but striving for that rather ambitious target could increase their thirst for a goal at the forfeiture of their defensive stability.

Though Liverpool don’t have skin in the game from a league position perspective, they have something arguably more potent driving them: sentimentality.

It’s Klopp’s last home game. The home crowd’s rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone will be a few decibels louder. The atmosphere a little more raucous. Who better to step up than Harvey Elliott, signed by Klopp as a 16-year-old and now a first-team regular.

Until xSentiment becomes a reliable metric, we’ll have to use more objective measurements. With three attacking returns in his last two, and three consecutive starts, murmered suggestions of an England place for the 21-year-old are rife. Elliott has his own agenda here, and the stage is nicely set.

4) Brennan Johnson vs Sheffield United (AWAY)

Though not a home fixture, this is a decent enough away trip to warrant some acknowledgement. As The Professor tweeted yesterday (he’s on X now, give him a follow for insight and occasional team leaks), Brennan Johnson could be under-the-radar.

The Gameweek 38 goal-fest.

Yes, the rumours you’ve heard are true. The last gameweek of the season is consistently more prone to goals than the average gameweek tally.

And given that more goals have been scored this season than in any 20-team Premier League season in history, it could be a feast.

According to this 2015 article from - you guessed it - Harvard Sports Analysis - there is roughly a 0.3-0.5 increase in the average goals per game on the final gameweek of the season. Which works out to around 6-10 extra goals. Sure enough, the data holds as firm now as it did back then.

Why is this?

Well, the most posited reason is that many teams are already resigned to their season’s fate, which can mean less of a desire to win coupled with more squad rotation. Once more, those “on the beach” sides can often find themselves up against opponents who very much still have something to play for.

When we look at the match-ups this week, there aren’t really any true dead-rubbers. There are some vegatative rubbers, sure. But they still have a pulse.

But crucially, the teams with something to fight for aren’t playing each other either.

Nearly every indicator suggests the land is fertile for goals. If I know this season like I think I do, that’ll mean it’ll be record-breakingly barren.

What’s next for LazyFPL?

With the season over, you’d be forgiven for assuming we take a three-month hiatus until the start of next season.

Fat chance of that.

From the first Sunday of June, we’ll switch to our Sunday Service, an email every Sunday that’ll keep you up-to-date on stuff like:

  • Managerial changes

  • Injuries

  • Transfers

  • Friendly results

  • Euros

  • Pre-season prep: bargains, promoted team analysis, Gameweek 1 drafts etc.

It’ll be an easy, lazy way to keep in-the-loop without exerting too much effort, which, if you haven’t got the memo, is what we’re all about. See you there.

One of your biggest predicaments this week will likely be who to bench.

As already discussed, there’s a lopsided home-advantage in Gameweek 38, so if you’re 50/50 between two players, pick the one playing at home. Newcastle attackers, in particular, struggle on the road.

70% of Alexander Isak’s Premier League goals have been scored at St James’ Park this season, whilst Anthony Gordon has only managed two Premier League goals away from home compared to nine in front of Newcastle fans.

If all of your options play at home, we like to use stats to make the final call. As The Professor often argues, using stats almost exempts you from any decision-making responsibility because they’re objective and indiscriminate.

This expected goals vs expected goals conceded graphic from @RobTFPL illustrates the potential statistical opportunities neatly, and should serve as a guide for benching predicaments:

CS% stands for clean sheet probability.

The Best Captain for Gameweek 38

Erling Haaland is the safe bet, but nearly any player could be a captaincy option on a week like this one.

We thought it might be helpful to illustrate this via a scale, depending on how you’re feeling going into Gameweek 38:

For anyone comfortable with their position, going for a green captain makes the most sense. Haaland will, as is so often the case, be the most popular pick.

But for those who need a miracle, edging towards the more orangey assets is the play. What have you got to lose?

Ranked at 85k, The Professor is on the precipice of achieving another remarkable consecutive top 100k finish.

Nobody would blame him for playing it safe: captaining Erling Haaland and avoiding any wreckless hits.

But The Prof didn’t climb from 4.6m to 85k by playing it safe, and he doesn’t intend to start now.

His plan is to take a -4 to remove James Maddison and Alexander Isak and replace them with Mohamed Salah and Rodrigo Muniz.

And he’ll be captaining Mohamed Salah too.

It’s a gutsy move, not least because an Erling Haaland haul could knock him out of the top 100k.

This is how his team will look if he makes those moves, built with Fantasy Football Hub’s AI-powered MyTeam tool. Try it here and you’ll be helping us out too.

The Key Stats for Gameweek 38

Other Stuff We Found Interesting

  1. According to this Reddit post, Brighton have a decent chance of playing without any of their back four this Sunday.

  2. This great analysis on the last gameweeks over the past eight years.

  3. Arne Slot announces he’ll be taking over from Klopp at Liverpool.

  4. Phil Foden named player of the season.

  5. Cole Palmer looks set to be the season’s highest FPL points scorer: one of the greatest FPL bargains of all time.

Whether you’ve read one email or all 38 of ‘em, thanks for being lazy with us this season.

As explained, we’ll be back on the first Sunday of June with our Sunday Service, where we’ll update you on the latest post-season news and seek to make sense of what has been a tumultuous season.

Until then, good luck for Gameweek 38 and rememeber, stay lazy.

The Lazy FPL Team.

Have you enjoyed LazyFPL this season?

We read all your feedback, so if you're going to respond to any poll, let it be this one.

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.