Sky Sports continues its weekly column bringing you essential tips from the best Fantasy Premier League managers in the world.
In our latest column, we discuss how to replace the injured Reece James, what to do with our Arsenal and Manchester City assets and much more!
The Gameweek 12 deadline is earlier than usual at 6pm on Tuesday and it’s not too late to join the official Sky Sports Fantasy League with code e7ft7m.
How do you negotiate the Arsenal and Man City blank?
Many Fantasy managers are in a position where they have at least three Manchester City or Arsenal assets.
A template has emerged which has included City trio Erling Haaland (£12.2m), Joao Cancelo (£7.3m) and Kevin De Bruyne (£12.3m) while Gabriel Martinelli (£6.7m) has been one of the must-have players this season.
If you have also recently backed Bukayo Saka (£7.9m) and Gabriel Jesus (£8.0m), it could be that you have to take a minus eight hit in order to field a starting XI in the best-case scenario of having two free transfers. Hardly ideal.
If you are one of those in this position of having not paid too much attention to forward-planning, then using the Free Hit chip makes sense, so that you revert straight back to having those City and Arsenal assets in GW13.
Given the price rises involving Haaland and Martinelli, it would be advisable to retain these players in your squad to avoid having to pay a much higher value in order to bring them back.
So who do you sacrifice?
Going without De Bruyne ahead of the World Cup break could well be the route to go down – even if only for a week – given his value has not risen exponentially. There are premium options as a direct replacement or you could restructure your side with a couple of players in the £8m-bracket…
What to do with James Maddison?
After being booked against Crystal Palace, James Maddison (£8.2m) will now miss Gameweek 12 as Leicester host Leeds.
It could not have been a worse gameweek for Maddison to get the one-match ban with benches already filled with Man City and Arsenal players.
For me, it makes Maddison a clear sell with Leandro Trossard (£6.9m), Wilfried Zaha (£7.5m) or Harvey Barnes (£6.9m) viable alternatives.
West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen (£8.1m) has produced 13 shots in the box in the last four Gameweeks, more than any other midfielder in Fantasy – but it’s Liverpool away up next.
With Haaland and Jesus absent, who can provide the goals?
If you are thinking of transferring out Gabriel Jesus, bringing in Callum Wilson (£7.3m) could pay instant dividends. He was denied a penalty in the 0-0 draw with Manchester United and he has had previous success against this week’s opponents, Everton.
Wilson has scored six goals in his last four Premier League games against the Toffees, who have lost more away league matches (15) than any other side since the start of last season.
Two other striker picks who have proven very popular this term could now become options.
Ivan Toney (£7.3m) is a man in form, amassing 31 points in his last three home matches, after scoring five goals and earning six bonus points, with Chelsea up next at home.
Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.7m) has scored five of his seven goals this season at home. The Fulham forward averages 7.0 points per match at Craven Cottage, where Aston Villa are the visitors on Thursday.
Is De Bruyne to Salah the natural switch?
Mohamed Salah (£12.7m) is the most-bought player in Gameweek 12, earning 347,000 transfers in as of 6pm on Monday evening on the back of four goals in his last two matches in all competitions.
Kevin De Bruyne (£12.3m) has had a price drop ahead of the deadline with 434,000 owners transferring him out at the time of writing.
Manchester City’s fixture difficulty ranking is pleasing on the eye between now and the end of the year (five of their next six games rank no higher than two), but the blank gameweek has convinced many managers to come off the Belgian.
De Bruyne’s 19 chances created on the road ranks highest among all players in Fantasy, but a relatively subdued performance at Anfield coupled with the need for an obvious captaincy choice has seen the herd flock to Salah again.
There is logic to the switch, as recent displays suggest Salah could be about to return to his lethal best having been deployed more centrally in his stunning hat-trick appearance at Rangers and in deciding the game against City.
Salah has scored nine goals in 10 Premier League games against West Ham – against no side has he scored more – while Liverpool have won 48 of their last 49 league home games against the Hammers.
Liverpool face Nottingham Forest this weekend followed by a home encounter against Leeds – two games that on paper are very appealing for new Salah owners.
Is it time to get behind Bournemouth?
It has been quite a turnaround in fortunes for Bournemouth. Since the 9-0 defeat at Liverpool in August, they are the only side in the Premier League that has remained unbeaten.
With Southampton the visitors to the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday, there is differential potential brewing.
Goalkeeper Neto (£4.5m) is 0.4 per cent owned, but the Brazilian has been very solid since replacing Mark Travers as the club’s No 1 choice stopper.
Neto’s form has been crucial in Bournemouth’s six-game unbeaten run, with his two clean sheets both coming in home games. What is more, the Saints haven’t scored in any of their last three away league games.
At the other end of the pitch, all of Dominic Solanke’s (£5.8m) attacking returns this season, two goals and four assists, have been produced in Gary O’Neil’s six matches in charge.
Who to captain in Haaland’s absence?
It could well be that managers double down on Salah by handing the Egyptian the armband having brought him into the side, but this week offers a refreshing opportunity to look elsewhere for a different captain.
Trossard offers a strong skipper option for Gameweek 12, the Belgian producing five goals and two assists in his last seven matches. Nottingham Forest visit the Amex Stadium on Tuesday and have not scored in three successive away defeats, conceding 11 goals in the process.
There are other enticing options.
Crystal Palace host a Wolves side that haven’t scored in four straight away games. Zaha has blanked just once in his last four home outings, earning 26 points thanks to three goals and an assist.
Mason Mount (£7.7m) has returned with a vengeance having failed to inspire backers in the opening nine Gameweeks.
The Chelsea midfielder – so often a streaky player – has delivered both his season-high hauls in Fantasy in the last two Gameweeks, totalling 27 points thanks to two goals and two assists, with Brentford next up at the Gtech Community Stadium.
There is always the safe pick of Harry Kane (£11.4m).
The Tottenham striker is Mr Consistency, delivering attacking returns in each of his last nine fixtures. He has nine goals and two assists in that run, averaging 7.8 points per match since GW2.