Here are our Fantasy Premier League tips and advice on the best transfers to make ahead of gameweek 17.
FPL Deadline: Friday, December 15, 18:30pm BST.
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Fantasy Premier League: Three essential FPL tips for GW17
The big dilemma
FPL managers are facing a major dilemma ahead of GW17: do they sell or hold onto Erling Haaland (£14m)? The Manchester City striker was left out of the matchday squad for Sunday’s win over Luton Town due to injury.
Pep Guardiola explained that the Norwegian had a “stress on the bone” of his foot and would be assessed on a weekly basis. He also said that he hopes the 23-year-old will return in time for the Fifa Club World Cup, which takes place next week.
Haaland, who did not train on Tuesday, currently has an orange next to his name on the FPL site, giving him a 50 percent chance of playing against Crystal Palace at the weekend – but all signs point to him not being ready for that game.
With Man City blanking in GW18 this could be the right time to sell the ultra-expensive forward and spread the funds around your team. The problem is, we never quite know if we can fully trust the news coming from Guardiola and the club, and no one will want to be without him for such a good fixture if he does manage to return sooner than expected.
The FPL community was given a clue as to whether or not Haaland will be out long term, as eagle eyed players discovered that his own father, former Leeds and Man City midfielder Alf-Inge, sold him from his fantasy team.
Haaland's dad is on FPL!!
He sold Haaland + Mbeumo for Isak + Salah 🤯
He's in a Haaland family league, and a Prime league (sponsors Haaland). pic.twitter.com/lsNIzBgqL6
— FPL Focal (@FPLFocal) December 11, 2023
As ever, wait until there is more concrete news about Haaland’s status before making a potentially season-breaking transfer. It’s possible Guardiola will provide a typically vague update ahead of the Palace game, in which case we will all just have to go with our guts and cross our fingers. But this may be the only time in the season where it is advantageous to sell the blond behemoth.
The must-own midfielder
Selling Haaland raises another question: who do you buy with all that money? There are plenty of good options up front – from Ollie Watkins and Dominic Solanke to Julian Alvarez and Darwin Nunez – but purchasing any of them still leaves you with a lot of money leftover.
There is only one player you should be targeting with all those extra funds: Son Heung-min (£9.6m). Only one footballer has more points in Fantasy Premier League than the Korean so far this season, and yet he is only owned by just under 37 percent of managers.
That will no doubt increase after Son returned a whopping 17 points against Newcastle – but that was his sixth double-digit haul of the season, and we’re not even at the halfway point yet.
Now Spurs are heading into a nice run of fixtures, beginning with a poor Nottingham Forest side at the City Ground in GW17. That’s followed by Everton, who are certainly no pushovers, but it is at home, before travelling to a leaky Brighton and hosting Bournemouth before the year is out. Even if the schedule was tougher, Son is practically fixture-proof, as he proved against the Magpies, Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal.
📈🎯Big Chances Conversion % – 2023/24 Season so far:
Son- 8/10~ 80%
Salah- 10/17~ 59%
Wilson- 7/12~ 58%
Gordon- 4/7~ 57%
Palmer- 4/7~ 57%
Doucoure- 6/11- 54.5%
Solanke- 7/13~ 54%
Hee Chan- 4/8~ 50%
Isak- 7/14~ 50%
Edouard- 4/8~ 50%
Awoniyi- 4/8~ 50%
Mbeumo- 6/13~ 46%
— ALLABOUTFPL (@allaboutfpl) December 12, 2023
The issue is that getting to him by selling Haaland means you will need to take a hit, unless you have two free transfers. But in this writer’s opinion, this is one of the few scenarios in which a hit is completely justified. Son is one of the most explosive players in the game, has the best big chance conversion rate in the Premier League, and is on penalties.
If you don’t plan on selling Haaland, then there is likely only one other route to Son that makes sense: selling Bukayo Saka (£9m). That’s a difficult decision that many managers, including myself, have avoided for several gameweeks, but while the Arsenal man is super consistent, he doesn’t have nearly the explosivity of his Tottenham counterpart.
One way or the other, get Son in.
The must-have defender
The one other player I would say is worth taking a hit for right now is Trent Alexander-Arnold (£8.1m), who has been in a fine vein of form in recent gameweeks.
The Liverpool right-back was not justifying his FPL price tag in the first few months of the campaign, making just one assist up to GW12. Since then he has registered two goals and two assists in three games before blanking against Palace, but even then he secured two bonus points.
Over those four gameweeks, no player created more chances (15) or big chances (5) than Alexander-Arnold. He also leads the way for bonus points (8) and bonus point system (141) in that period, while no defender has scored more than him.
The England international, perhaps unsurprisingly given his price, is owned by less than 15 percent of FPL managers, making him a potentially major differential in the game if he can continue performing this way from midfield.
Liverpool face Man United at home next, which, let’s face it, is a very good fixture, before hosting Arsenal, followed by Burnley away, Newcastle home and Bournemouth away.