Fantasy Premier League 2017/18: Top picks for Gameweek 23
With the wildcard available and a long break before the next round of fixtures, here are some players who can help bolster your FPL team.
The heavily congested run of fixtures in the festive period have come to an end. A lot of events that have affected FPL have taken place over the past few weeks.
For starters, the first double gameweek of the season took place albeit it was an underwhelming one, especially for the unlucky 100,000-odd managers who trusted Harry Kane with the triple captain chip. The strenuous bombardment of fixtures saw a lot of players picking up not only knocks and niggles, but also serious injuries. Managers used rotation frequently so as to duly rest their players, which led to unforeseen disappointment among a lot of FPL managers.
The January transfer window opened recently, and a lot has happened already, particularly at Anfield. Coutinho's unavoidable move to Barcelona for £142 million became the second-highest transfer fee of all-time. Liverpool signed Virgil van Dijk from Southampton (no surprises there!) for £75 million, a world record fee for a defender.
There have been some other transfers, most notably including Ross Barkley to Chelsea and Adrien Silva to Leicester, but they shouldn't affect the FPL managers in us too much.
One major update in FPL is that the second wildcard can now be played. Though it can be activated now, it's advisable to hold off from using it until at least the end of the transfer window. However, at the end of the day, the manager knows best! The wildcard should be used now only in case of dire need. If there is no need, the ideal time to use a wildcard will be one week before a double gameweek so as to maximize returns.
With all these things in mind, let's move on to our top picks for the upcoming gameweek:
Goalkeeper: Adrian - West Ham (£4.3)
Taking over from Joe Hart in gameweek 15, Adrian has been really impressive between the sticks for the Hammers. He has managed to pull off seven saves in a game on two separate occasions in the last three Premier League games.
West Ham's next five fixtures read Huddersfield (Away), Bournemouth (Home), Crystal Palace (Home), Brighton (Away) and Watford (Home). There is immense clean sheet potential in all of these fixtures, and at £4.3, Adrian is certainly a bargain.
One to watch: Matthew Ryan - Brighton (£4.5)
Brighton have kept a clean sheet in three of their last five games. Ryan even managed to get the maximum three bonus points against Burnley to register his first double digit FPL return. Brighton face West Brom, Chelsea, Southampton, West Ham, Stoke and Swansea in their next six fixtures.
All of these apart from the home game against Chelsea are promising clean sheet potentials, and with an ownership of only 2.1%, Ryan could be an excellent differential in the upcoming weeks.