So a second month of Premier League football has passed and FPL is starting to heat up. August is usually somewhat of a guessing game, due to the unpredictable nature of the season’s opening weeks, but with September now out of the way, the picture is starting to become a little clearer.
But what did we actually glean from September’s action? Who were the standout performers? And how do you decide whether to pick players based on their recent form or upcoming fixtures? Below, we make sense of all that and more.
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No Stopping Liverpool
One of the biggest FPL takeaways from September is that Liverpool once again look like an unstoppable force. They’re the only Premier League side who, not only remain unbeaten, but maintain a 100% winning record.
While the obvious FPL picks, Mo Salah (£12.5m), Sadio Mané (£11.6m) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.2m) continue to shine, another player worth monitoring is Roberto Firmino (£9.6m).
The Brazilian striker is often underappreciated in real life and he’s starting to mirror that through his FPL point returns. Currently, Firmino is the second highest Liverpool points scorer, notching an impressive 46pts – more than Mané, despite being a whole £2m cheaper.
Overperforming Budget Defenders
Another interesting debate centres around defenders. After last season, many FPL bosses started this campaign with defence-heavy teams, given the high value for money they previously offered.
Well, two months in and we’re already seeing a shift away from that tactic. The two most sturdy backlines from last season, Man City and Liverpool, have only kept four clean sheets between them out of a possible 14!
In addition, some of the highest point-scoring defenders have been budget picks – see John Lundstram (£4.4m), Erik Pieters (£4.8m) and Joel Ward (£4.5m). All this is beginning to make more and more managers take funds out of their defence and sprinkle it across the midfield and attack.
Player of the Month
This award is given to the player with the highest points tally over the month. As a caveat, GW4 split across the 31st August and the 1st September, meaning that some players technically got an extra game to grab more points.
With that in mind, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m) is September’s FPL Player of the month with a grand total of 36pts. Kevin De Bruyne (£10.0m) would have collected the award with 40pts, however, his 13pt haul against Brighton came the day before September commenced. Gutted.
Arsenal’s frontman has returned in every single gameweek so far and blitzed his way through September, scoring a huge five goals in four games. Aubameyang’s brightest display came at Vicarage Road in GW5, where he netted a brace against Watford.
Fixtures vs. Form
Last month, we tackled the question of whether or not to pop your wildcard early. This month, we thought we’d delve into the age-old debate of picking players on recent form, or upcoming fixtures.
In truth, there’s no definitive answer here. Both factors should play a part in your decision making process. So, having already discussed some of the players who are in red-hot FPL form, let’s take a look at which sides have the best upcoming fixtures…
Chelsea are the obvious ones to look at. Their next five fixtures read: Southampton (a), Newcastle (h), Burnley (a), Watford (a) and Crystal Palace (h). The club may not be the relentless winning machine from years gone by, but they are still creating a lot of chances.
Tammy Abraham (£7.6m) and Mason Mount (£6.7m) both have impressive points returns when up against non-top six clubs this season, so the duo will be expected to continue scoring big over the months of October and November.
Looking into the mid-term, it's clear that Leicester assets are a sound pick too. They face Liverpool (a) this weekend, but after that, the only top six side they play is Arsenal (h) in GW12 across their next nine gameweeks.
The Foxes are flying this season and currently sit third in the table. Jamie Vardy (£8.9m) has been thriving against the lesser sides, with all five of his goals coming in matches against Sheffield United, Bournemouth and Newcastle. Ricardo Pereria (£6.1m) is the highest scoring FPL defender to date too, and represents another great pick.
And there you have it, another month of FPL action all neatly summarised in one place. As mentioned at the start of this article, if you’re keen to hear from us on a weekly basis, subscribe to our FPL newsletter.
See you next month, COPAFam!