As we look forward to what promises to be another exciting weekend in the Premier League, it is time for Fantasy Premier League managers to start making some tough decisions.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£6.2m)
Priced at £6.2 million, and owned by only 13% of managers, Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been firing from all cylinders in recent weeks. The 22-year-old has scored an impressive four goals in his last five Premier League outings, also notching an assist in the process.
Calvert-Lewin’s recent uplift in form is no doubt a direct result of the veteran manager Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival in Merseyside, but things might not be plain sailing for the Toffees in the coming weeks. Everton host Manchester United at Goodison Park on Sunday before visiting Ancelotti’s old stomping ground, Stamford Bridge. Then comes the Merseyside Derby, where they face a Liverpool side that is currently enjoying an 18-game winning streak in the league.
Despite this daunting run of fixtures, there are signs that managers who are willing to gamble on Calvert-Lewin may well be rewarded. The England Under-21 international scored twice in Everton’s 3-1 win over Chelsea back in December and was a constant thorn in the side of the Arsenal defence on Sunday, scoring the opening goal of the match in the process.
John Lundstram (£4.9 Million)
Hailed as ‘Lord Lundstram’ for his FPL heroics in the first half of the season, it appears as though Sander Berge’s arrival at Bramall Lane — late in the January transfer window — has disrupted John Lundstram’s place in the Sheffield United starting XI.
Lundstram has only received one attacking return since Gameweek 17 when he scored off the bench in a 2-1 win over AFC Bournemouth in Gameweek 26. This is largely accredited to the fact that the last time the 26-year-old played 90 minutes was in the 2-0 loss at Anfield in Gameweek 21.
On top of this, the Blades have no fixture in Gameweek 28. This means that it might be time for long-term owners of the Liverpudlian to cash in before his price drops even further.
Bruno Fernandes (£8.2 Million)
Having recently arrived at Manchester United from Sporting Lisbon for a reported £67 million, Bruno Fernandes (£8.2 Million) has wasted no time making an impact on the pitch.
The Portuguese midfielder has already recorded one goal, one assist and three clean sheets; earning an impressive 22 points from his opening three games for his new club. Fernandes’ ability to pick the right pass and unlock a defence is just as important as his ability to sit in front of the defensive line and provide an added element of protection. Also, with Paul Pogba injured and players like Fred and Jesse Lingard underperforming, United have been in desperate need of a player like Fernandes for some time now. Despite his recent introduction to English football, Fernandes is already owned by 7.5% of managers — a figure that is likely to continue rising for weeks to come.
Lucas Digne (£5.7 Million)
There is a lot to be said about Lucas Digne (£5.7Million). His dead ball ability makes him a tempting prospect for any FPL manager, and Everton’s recent run of form only increases his appeal. However, the Spaniard missed Sunday’s clash with Arsenal due to a muscle strain and it is unknown whether he will be fit to return for what promises to be a tough fixture against Manchester United on Sunday.
What’s more is that Everton’s upcoming tough run of games may prove to be too much of a challenge for a defence that has been unable to keep a clean sheet in its last five games (all 5 opponents were lower ranked in the league table at time of KO). The daunting prospect of facing three of the Big Six in the next three weeks, including Jurgen Klopp's free-scoring Liverpool, coupled with the question marks over Digne’s fitness suggests that it could well be time to invest elsewhere.
Willy Boly (£4.7 Million)
One of Nuno Espirito Santo’s most consistent performers, Willy Boly (£4.7 Million) has recently returned to fitness after suffering a fractured ankle in an October training session, and his presence is instantly noticeable.
Since his return, Wolverhampton Wanderers have played three matches in the league, keeping a clean sheet in all of them. Also, four of Wolves’ next five fixtures rank two on The Fixture Difficulty Rating (FDR) — a sign that there may be plenty more clean sheets to come.
Although it is difficult to predict whether Wolves can maintain such an impressive defensive record over the next few weeks, at just 3% ownership, Willy Boly could well be the differential needed to propel hopeful FPL managers further up their mini-league rankings.
Raheem Sterling (£11.7 Million)
Pep-Roulette. It is every FPL Manager’s worst nightmare, and just one of the reasons that it may be time to move on from Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling. Having scored no attacking returns since Gameweek 19, and being currently priced at £11.7 Million, Sterling owners are set for another unhappy week, with City being one of four teams with no scheduled fixture this weekend.
The 14.9% of FPL Managers that still own Sterling may get more value for their money in cheaper alternatives such as Richarlison or Anthony Martial, both of whom are registered as midfielders on FPL but are playing as strikers for their respective clubs this season. As well as this, both of these options will leave managers with a little extra cash to play around with.