Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 15: tips, price rises and captain picks as Man Utd face Chelsea

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Transfer tips, captain picks and price change updates ahead of Gameweek 15 in the FPL from our top 1000 manager.

Welcome back to our regular Fantasy Premier League advice column, providing you with some handy hints and transfer tips for Gameweek 15 courtesy of our resident top 1,000 manager. Let’s hope we can keep using that top line for a while longer…

It’s a sudden midweek gameweek this time around, which is bound to catch a lot of players out, but if you’re reading this then don’t be one of them – your deadline is 18:00 BST on Tuesday 5 December. Or “today” as some people are calling it. Anyway, we’ve suggested some smart targets for your transfers below and made some recommendations as to who you should avoid, as well as providing you with all the latest injury news and updates to help you make your decisions. Then, finally, a quick update on our example team, just so we can gloat about our lofty ranking a little bit.

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Top transfer and bad buys

Last week, we went over our strategy for players who still have their first wildcard intact, so if that’s you we recommend reading that to catch up on our ideas on when to use it – but we’ll focus more on the many managers who don’t have the luxury of a spare chip to burn this week, and suggest some buys and some swerves for the month ahead.

And remember that it is a full month before you get another wildcard to use up, and that you really don’t want to use that for a while either – unless your team is in great shape, try not to bring in too many players who you’ll want to ship out again in the immediate future. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and with the festive frenzy of midweek fixtures starting up it’s also worth remembering that you’re going to get hit by rotation and injuries more often now. That makes it less rewarding to have swingy players you want to start one week and bench the next, and more rewarding to have nailed-on, full ninety every time types.

Speaking of which, let’s start with a player we’d avoid – Darwin Núñez. Earlier in the season he was bouncing in and out of the side while putting up fantastic underlying numbers, but over the last month or so he’s finally been getting regular 90s only to see his production and xG drop off a cliff. He’s mercurial enough to bounce back at some point, but although Liverpool have some tempting games to target over the next couple of weeks he simply isn’t a reliable source of points and the Reds’ fixtures turn for the worse pretty soon. Similarly, we don’t really love players like Cody Gakpo and Luis Díaz, as they’ll play and score one game and get a big fat 0 the very next.

We’re also not so keen on Manchester City assets, at least outside of Erling Haaland. Pep Guardiola’s boys have a blank gameweek in a few weeks’ time, which massively reduces the value of their players – and don’t underestimate Aston Villa away in terms of how tough a game it could be. We’d keep Ollie Watkins in the starting line-up, for instance, and move any City defenders you may have on. Their back line has been surprisingly porous this season and doesn’t look like to tighten up in the immediate future. Brentford, by the way, are the other team with a blank in GW18, so don’t extend your Bees buy-in past Bryan Mbeumo if you can avoid it.

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Another team who we think people are over-buying on is Arsenal, and particularly their defenders. After the game against Luton Town, they face Villa, Brighton & Hove Albion and Liverpool in a row, all teams who rarely fail to find the net. We think one Arsenal defender is fine, but two is probably an unwise indulgence. Also, Gabriel Martinelli is absolutely not worth buying in at this point – his last five games have produces no goals, no assists, and a combined xG of 0.5. Give him a very wide berth, and sell him if you can.

As for players we actually do like – well, we love Alexander Isak even though Newcastle United’s injury crisis doesn’t seem likely to soften any time soon. The Magpies have a relatively kind run of games and Isak’s form has been top-notch – we still like players like Kieran Tripper, Jamaal Lascelles and Anthony Gordon, too. We reckon Spurs will keep the goals flowing through their injury issues too, so Son Heung-Min remains a great player to have access to, while we have Brennan Johnson and Giovani Lo Celso down as interesting cheap flyers at just £5.8m and £4.8m respectively. Dejan Kulusevski, by the way, is one to avoid. His xG and xA just aren’t high enough for £7.0m.

Bournemouth also have some pretty soft games over the next month or so and while we can’t imagine a world in which we invest in any of their defenders, both Antoine Semenyo and Dominic Solanke can be good boosts to the front line at a relatively low cost. We also like Hwang Hee-Chan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, who’s on great form, looks reliable, and will benefit from what should be some eminently winnable games in the coming weeks. Definitely worth a shot, and we think he’s better than, say, Cole Palmer.

Crocks, price changes and captain picks

The good news this week is that there aren’t too many fresh injury worries for players with high ownership – not that the number is zero. Gordon joins Jérémy Doku, George Baldock and Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the yellow triangle club this week. Suspensions are more of a problem, and we’re firmly in five-booking territory now with Rodri, Jack Grealish, Conor Gallagher and Jordan Beyer all unavailable for the midweek fixtures.

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Keeping an eye on players who are approaching five yellow cards isn’t a bad strategy over the coming weeks – knowing, for instance, that Bruno Fernandes, Matty Cash and Lucas Digne are all very likely to miss a game in the near future can make a tough transfer decision much easier. Hwang, Kieran Trippier, Destiny Udogie and Raheem Sterling are all on four yellow cards too. Avoiding having too many such players isn’t a bad policy, just in case several of them miss a match at the same time.

As for price changes, there won’t be any more before the deadline of course but be aware that Isak, Vitalii Mykolenko and Kostas Tsimikas are all liable to rise in the coming days, with Hwang not too far behind and Mbeumo, João Pedro and Tomas Souček likely to jump at some point too. Ben White, Moussa Diaby and Gakpo headline the players nearing a drop in value.

For your captaincy chip this week, we recommend Mohamed Salah again if you have him. Haaland outscored him last week but Sheffield United are about as vulnerable as it gets right now and Salah is as reliable as they come when it comes to returns. Son and Bukayo Saka are solid choices, too, although we’d probably stick to Haaland as our second choice even if his game isn’t the easiest.

3 Added Minutes FC

Lastly, a quick status update on our team, who picked up 70 points last week and are now up to 788th overall, and we’re really beginning to get a nosebleed. Hopefully we can keep the form up, but we do have a slight conundrum over transfer this week – we want to move Diaby over to Hwang and would like to turn Yoane Wissa into Isak, but already have three Newcastle players. Our first planning slip of the season, perhaps.

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Fantasy Premier League

Chances are that we’ll take our profit on Lascelles and run to give us space to bring Isak in next week – but deciding on our new defender isn’t easy. We’ll wait for the managers’ press conferences before deciding, of course, but we might ignore our own advice and bring in another Arsenal defender, largely because we’re still planning to wildcard in GW17. Hopefully Oleksandr Zinchenko can bag a few points against Luton to make it all worthwhile. Sadly, there really aren’t many tempting defensive options anywhere for the next fortnight or so, so we’ll just have to take our chances somewhere.

That’s all for this week – may all of your defenders actually score some points regardless of the odds stacked against them, and we’ll see you on Thursday for some more advice ahead of Gameweek 16. Good luck!

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