FPL managers from around the world will be celebrating the return of the Premier League post the FIFA World Cup, with Gameweek 17 set to commence on Boxing Day. With managers allowed to make unlimited changes ahead of this Gameweek, FPL managers are going full-throttle, discarding, and redrawing drafts to find the ideal one to restart their season.
The last week of FPL action was in Gameweek 16, more than a month and a half back, and it was a surprising one, with Erling Haaland blanking only for the second time this season. Martin Odegaard and Darwin Nunez both netted braces, with Harry Kane also picking up a double-digit haul.
Despite captaining Kane, I ended up with a small red arrow after not owning either Nunez, Odegaard, and Kieran Trippier.
There's plenty to consider before setting up your FPL team ahead of Gameweek 17. Chelsea, Fulham, Manchester City, and Tottenham Hotspur have all confirmed Double Gameweek coming up in the next few weeks.
Whatever your side is, ensure your team is locked in ahead of the deadline on Monday.
Gameweek 17 Deadline: Monday, December 26; 11:00 am (GMT)/ 04:30 pm (Indian Standard Time)
FPL Gameweek 17 Fixtures
Gameweek 17 kicks off with a clash between Brentford and Spurs on Boxing Day afternoon. Liverpool take on Aston Villa at Villa Park later on in the day.
Chelsea host Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening. Manchester United go up against Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford. The Gameweek concludes with Manchester City's trip to Elland Road on Wednesday night.
FPL Team suggested for the previous gameweek
Here's the suggested team for Gameweek 16:
Goalkeepers: Nick Pope (NEW) (£5.1 million), Karl Darlow (NEW) (£3.9 million)
Defenders: Gabriel Magalhaes (ARS) (£5.1 million), Ivan Perisic (TOT) (£5.5 million), Marc Cucurella (TOT) (£5.1 million), Joao Cancelo (MCI) (£7.2 million), Neco Williams (NFO) (£4.0 million)
Midfielders: Gabriel Martinelli (ARS) (£6.6 million), Jarrod Bowen (WHU) (£8.1 million), Kevin De Bruyne (MCI) (£12.5 million), Wilfried Zaha (CRY) (£7.5 million), Andreas Pereira (FUL) (£4.6 million)
Forwards: Harry Kane (TOT) (£11.5 million), Anthony Martial (MUN) (£6.7 million), and Julian Alvarez (MCI) (£6.0 million)
Captain/Vice-Captain: Harry Kane/ Kevin De Bruyne.
GW 16 Average score: 43
GW 16 Transfers made: 2.
Points Scored (- hits): 47 (-4): 43.
Overall Points: 791.
Overall Rank: 4,727,833.
Free Transfers available: Unlimited
Best FPL Team for Gameweek 17
GK - Kepa Arrizabalaga (CHE) (£4.5 m) and Danny Ward (LEI) (£4.1 m)
DEF: Matt Doherty (TOT) (£4.6 m), Reece James (CHE) (£5.8 m), Kieran Trippier (NEW) (£5.9 m), Luke Shaw (MUN) (£4.8 m), and Hugo Bueno (WOL) (£3.9 m)
MID: Kevin De Bruyne (LIV) (£12.6 m), Dejan Kulusevski (TOT) (£8.0 m), Miguel Almiron (NEW) vs (£5.8 m), and Marcus Rashford (MUN) (£6.7 m).
FWD: Darwin Nunez (LIV) (£9.0 m), Anthony Martial (MUN) (£6.7 m), and Erling Haaland (MCI) (£12.2 m).
Gameweek 17 Bench: Danny Ward (GK) vs NEW (H), Luke Shaw (DEF) vs NFO (H), Andreas Pereira (MID) vs CRY (A), and Bueno (DEF) vs EVE (A).
With the power to make unlimited transfers ahead of Gameweek 17, I have been constantly tinkering with my team in a bid to find the ideal combination, but haven't really been able to settle on one. While this is the closest I've come to achieving that, I wouldn't be surprised to see a few changes in the team before the deadline.
I will first talk about the players locked in my team and first on that list is my front line. While Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez are self-explanatory picks, I'm very keen on having Anthony Martial in my FPL team despite knowing he probably won't start all three of these games in quick succession. He has looked Manchester United's best attacker whenever he has played and is a high-value FPL differential.
I'm torn between Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne for the second premium spot in midfield, but due to injury troubles at Liverpool, I feel De Bruyne is the better player to back at the moment. Dejan Kulusevski is another differential I feel could really shine in the next few matches. With Richarlison out injured, expect Kulusevski to shoulder much of the attacking brunt along with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.
Marcus Rashford had a solid World Cup and he looks to be full of confidence heading into the second half of the season. While a United double-up might not seem ideal, I feel it will pay dividends.
I decided to exclude Joao Cancelo from my FPL team, with the Portuguese not providing the same level of FPL returns as he did last season. Instead, I've gone with a combination of budget and mid-priced defenders in Kieran Trippier, Reece James, Luke Shaw, and Matt Doherty. While Doherty is a short-term punt, the other three players are ones I feel have the ability to consistently pick up FPL points in the near future.
Kepa Arrizabalaga and Danny Ward are in goal, with the Spaniard in my side due to Chelsea's upcoming Double Gameweek. Hugo Bueno and Andreas are excellent bench fodder options. I have £0.1 m in the bank after going with this team.
Gameweek 17 - FPL Captaincy
I don't wish to start the second half of the season with a red arrow so I plan to hand the captain's armband to Erling Haaland for better or for worse. While there are some compelling alternatives such as Marcus Rashford, Darwin Nunez, or even teammate Kevin De Bruyne, I don't want to bet against the well-rested Norwegian against a leaky Leeds United defense.
Best FPL XI for Gameweek 17 - Summary
GK - Kepa Arrizabalaga (CHE) vs BOU (H)
DEF: Matt Doherty (TOT) vs BRE (A), Reece James (CHE) vs BOU (H), and Kieran Trippier (NEW) vs LEI (A).
MID: Kevin De Bruyne (LIV) vs LEE (A), Dejan Kulusevski (TOT) vs BRE (A), Miguel Almiron (NEW) vs LEI (A), and Marcus Rashford (MUN) vs NFO (H).
FWD: Darwin Nunez (LIV) vs AVL (A), Anthony Martial (MUN) vs NFO (H), and Erling Haaland (MCI) vs LEE (A).
Bench: GK - Danny Ward (GK) vs NEW (H), 1st Sub: Luke Shaw (DEF) vs NFO (H), 2nd Sub: Andreas Pereira (MID) vs CRY (A), 3rd Sub: Hugo Bueno (DEF) vs EVE (A)
Chips activated: None.
Transfers made: Unlimited Transfers.
Points Hits taken (if any): None
Captain: Erling Haaland. | VC: Darwin Nunez.