Fantasy Premier League: Who to pick this game week [29/09]

We’ve teamed up with Ryan Keaney and George Osborn from the 3 Bonus Points podcast to bring you three players to transfer in and three players to ship out of your FPL line-up. For more tips, follow the podcast here.

Who to bring in this week

David Silva, Manchester City, £8.4m
Between 2006-08, Cesc Fabregas helped himself to 97 bonus points for Arsenal. Every week that Arsenal played well, the Spaniard was rewarded with a bonus points return – and ever since then I’ve been obsessed with trying to find someone to replace him.

David Silva is that replacement. In the six games so far this season, he has claimed six assists and been awarded bonus points on four occasions. When City play well, as they have been doing recently, Silva is going to be involved in the game and racking up points.

Sure, they play Chelsea this week, but don’t sweat it. Swap De Bruyne for Silva, and then figure out how you’ll repurpose that additional £1.6 million after the international break. (RK)

Jamie Vardy, Leicester City, £8.5m
Leicester City have had a difficult start to the season. Following an opening six fixtures that included games against Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal, the Foxes sit just outside the bottom three.

However, that tough run is now coming to an end. Leicester have a much easier set of fixtures in the coming five matches, with their trickiest encounter an away trip to struggling Everton. That’s likely to mean solid returns for their main striker Jamie Vardy.

Although he missed a penalty against Liverpool last time out, Vardy has already returned five goals this season and is almost halfway to his 2016/2017 total of 13. He should be well set to return against the likes of Bournemouth, West Bromwich Albion and Swansea.

His price and FPL ownership percentage makes him even more attractive. Although his £8.5m value may seem high compared to other bottom half picks, he offers a saving of nearly £2m compared to someone like Alexandre Lacazette. And with an ownership of just 12%, Vardy could prove the difference for your team. (GO)

Stephen Ward, Burnley, £4.5m
This is hardly the most glamorous suggestion, but Stephen Ward could prove to be an unlikely hero in your FPL side this week. The Burnley left-back has helped Sean Dyche’s side pick up two clean sheets in their last three fixtures, along with impressive draws at Liverpool and Tottenham this season and an opening day win at Chelsea.

Ward’s performance at Stamford Bridge, in which he scored Burnley’s second goal, accounts for most of his 29 points so far – and he could add to that haul at Everton. With the Toffees mustering just four goals in the Premier League, and Burnley shipping only five, another solid performance for Ward and his defensive teammates looks likely.

There’s always the chance he could venture forward down the wing in search of another goal or assist and, at £4.5m, the Irishman should allow you to upgrade elsewhere. (TSP)

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And who to ship out

Phil Jones, Manchester United, £5.2m
There are two reasons to remove Phil Jones from your Fantasy Premier League team this week. If presented with them separately, I’d probably shrug and chance it anyway – but when combined they are enough to be worthy of taking a four-point hit should you already be committed to another change.

Jones picked up a knock against Southampton and is unlikely to play this weekend. It would usually be worth chancing it – with a back-up defender as your first sub – but with United’s next set of fixtures looking particularly tough it’s probably better to look at other options.

After facing Crystal Palace this weekend, United will play Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea in their next four league matches – along with back-to-back ties against Benfica in two important Champions League games.

Leicester’s next batch of fixtures looks much more inviting, so a straight swap for Harry Maguire – the same price as Jones – looks sensible. (RK)

Roberto Firmino, Liverpool, £8.6m
Aside from players missing out to injury, there are few obvious contenders for who to ship out this week. While there are storm clouds on the horizon for FPL managers – particularly in Manchester United’s fixtures after this weekend – Gameweek 7 feels like a week to be cautious.

But if you were considering giving one player a push, Roberto Firmino might be the one to let go. The Brazilian hasn’t delivered a goal, assist or bonus in three fixtures. And while his wide ownership of roughly a quarter of managers means that a poor performance isn’t too harshly punished, it also means there’s an opportunity to reinvest £8.6m elsewhere and gain an advantage.

If you don’t fancy Vardy, it may make sense to invest in a cheaper forward such as Javier Hernandez or Tammy Abraham. They might not score as often as Firmino, but with Coutinho returning at the same time as Alexis Sanchez and Eden Hazard, it could be worth sacrificing Firmino to bring in a top class midfielder. (GO)

Jermain Defoe, Bournemouth, £7.8m
It was supposed to be a fairytale return to Bournemouth for Jermain Defoe, but the striker is yet to really start firing since his move from Sunderland. The 34-year-old has scored just once in four starts and two sub appearances, with the Cherries stuck in the bottom three after six matches.

While they might sneak past Leicester this weekend, who are only a point above them, it looks a mistake to persist with a £7.8m striker with just 15 FPL points to his name.

At £7m, West Ham’s Javier Hernandez is significantly cheaper, and has returned 10 more points so far, with a home fixture against Swansea presenting another chance to get on the scoresheet. (TSP)

Fantasy Premier League: Who to pick this game week [29/09]
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