Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 38 transfer tips and captain picks as Arsenal & Man City battle for title

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Our high-flying manager’s final FPL advice column of the season looks at the best moves you can make before Gameweek 38.

Well, this is it. Last fantasy stop. End of the imaginary line. The Fantasy Premier League season draws to a close this Sunday, and all of our mini-leagues and hopes and dreams end as well. Alright, maybe that’s a little melodramatic – but we do have just one more week of transfers and tweaks to get through, and then we can finally rest. So to help us all get through the process as smoothly as possible, I’m back with one last FPL advice column for the season. Hopefully it will help me to finish in the Top 1,000 and you to hit your goals as well.

Our deadline this week is, of course, on Sunday 19 May at 14:30 BST, 90 minutes before the final games of the campaign kick off. There’s really no excuse for missing this one, is there?

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Final day thoughts

Before I get started on my advice for the best transfer and captain choices this week, I think it’s worth noting that much of my advice will be generic and geared up at the player who just wants to hit the highest score possible. For those of you who hope to win mini-leagues, you’ll need to factor in what your opponents are doing.

Differentials will be key for a lot of you, and while I covered the topic in more depth in this piece from a few weeks back, here’s a quick refresher for less experienced players: If you’re trying to catch someone up, you need to do everything possible to have as many players that they don’t own as you can. If you’re trying to hang on to a higher rank, you need to try and make your team as similar to those below you as you’re able. Those considerations will trump any advice I offer here!

For those who need more general tips, though, the best piece of advice I can offer is that the biggest difference-makers will be found in teams who didn’t have double gameweeks in GW37. So many players pushed hard to maximise their squad for that week that you’ll find plenty of big-ticket players have much lower ownership rates than you’d expect – so Arsenal players like Bukayo Saka and Kai Havertz are absolute gold dust this week, rather than assets that huge numbers of active players own.

Arsenal are definitely the place I’d go to first for teams who are maxed out on Manchester City, Chelsea and Spurs and the like, but Wolves’ recent form has been shaky enough that I quite like Liverpool’s biggest assets too and I wouldn’t bet against another big week for Crystal Palace either – their opponents, Aston Villa, may well be on the beach having secured Champions League qualification. The likes of Jean-Philippe Mateta and Michael Olise could be huge differential players.

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Of course, bringing the right players in is one thing, but taking them right ones out matters, too. The good news is that anyone who went hard at last week shouldn’t need to make too many changes to have a great team – Manchester City have the title on the line and don’t look much like choking, Chelsea are a point away from Europe and play a slightly off-key Bournemouth side and Tottenham Hotspur wrap their season up against Sheffield United. There’s no reason to move any of their assets on, and you’d have to be direly desperate for a differential to lose faith in a Cole Palmer or a Phil Foden at this stage.

I’d probably be fine with keeping hold of the better Newcastle United and Manchester United players too, although I’d rather shift one of them than a Chelsea, Spurs or City player. They play away to Brentford and Brighton & Hove Albion respectively – not the hardest games, per se, but these are two teams who seem to be generating their own banana skins at the moment. Brighton players, if you have any from last week, are the easiest to ditch.

There are, in my opinion, a couple of possible traps to avoid walking into. Villa assets are one – Ollie Watkins has had a fabulous season, but Villa are on a five-match winless streak and he’s only scored once in the last month. Throw in an away day against in-form opposition, and Villa aren’t the best bet available.

I’d also generally avoid players on teams with precious little to play for, especially defenders. The last day of the season always throws up a couple of faintly freakish results, usually as a consequence of teams who have nothing to play for taking it a little easy. A couple of months ago, betting on Rodrigo Muniz to score against Luton Town would have been pretty safe. On the last day of the season, all bets tend to be off.

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Still, I’m not going to advocate for anything too leftfield when it comes to picking your captain. Erling Haaland is still the safest bet and Cole Palmer is still the guy who can turn in a ton of points, albeit slightly less reliably. If you need a differential captain, I’d look at Foden (as most City captainers will go Haaland) or someone like Saka or Mohamed Salah who won’t be as widely owned. It will, of course, depend on who your opponents have.

3 Added Minutes FC

Finally, another quick update on my example team, whose 123 point score has proven that it’s pretty tough at the top – despite beating the average score by 40 clear points with my bench boost, I still dropped around 1,000 places to sit just outside the top 2,500. That’s a pretty big dent in my Top 1K ambitions, and means I’ll need a big final week.

I’ve got one free transfer, and I think a defender is the easy change – Diego Dalot will make way, likely for Ben White. Sadly, Trent Alexander-Arnold is a little way out of reach. The other decision is which midfielder or attacker to bench, and I’m leaning towards Anthony Gordon over James Maddison as it stands simply because I think more players ahead of me will play Gordon. The yellow triangle helps the decision, of course…

That’s all for this week and indeed this season. Thanks so much for reading and I hope these columns have been useful – I will, no doubt, be back next season to help guide you through another year in the FPL. Until then, I wish you all the very best of luck on the final day.

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