In our Watchlist series, we pick out the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) players who are the best medium-term targets in each position based on fixtures, form and value.
Unlike the Scout Picks, we’re not just focusing on the upcoming Gameweek with these articles.
Seven-time top 10k finisher and Scout regular Zophar is taking the reins for this series in 2021/22, producing a fortnightly piece and discussing the rankings by position, and talks us through our latest update here.
ABOUT THE WATCHLIST
Our regularly updated Watchlist, which is visible on the sidebar, ranks players in each position for the month ahead – or rather, the next four Gameweeks (and beyond if appropriate).
This allows site users to get a longer-term view on recommended players beyond the weekly Scout Picks.
Players are selected according to factors such as FPL’s form rating*, club injuries, club morale, forthcoming fixtures and whether or not the player in question is likely to be a bargain in FPL.
The table displays the player name and club, along with the abbreviation for the factors that played a part in their ranking. A key for these factors can be found below the player in the table and looks like this:
Arrows before the name indicate whether a player has significantly climbed or fallen in our reckoning since the previous update or if they are a new entry into the tables.
*points divided by a club’s matches played over the last 30 days
THE WATCHLIST: BEST FPL GOALKEEPERS
With the most doubles of any team and the only tricky fixture over the next seven Gameweeks away to Tottenham Hotspur, Kasper Schmeichel (£4.8m) goes to the top of the Watchlist. The goalkeeper is nailed on to start even if Leicester do rotate with Europe in mind and with first-choice players such as Jonny Evans (£5.4m) and Wesley Fofana (£4.3m) back, the Foxes’ backline should see significant improvement.
Aaron Ramsdale (£5.1m) comes in second after his return from injury and has two doubles but I am a bit worried about how the injuries to Kieran Tierney (£5.1m) and Thomas Partey (£5.0m) could affect their stability. The short-term fixtures are good and his position will be reassessed after Gameweek 33.
Emiliano Martinez (£5.5m) is another goalkeeper with two doubles coming and there are some good fixtures there for clean sheets, as well, once the blank in Gameweek 33 is out of the way.
Vicente Guaita‘s (£4.6m) next two matches aren’t ideal but after that, he looks a great budget pick for the run-in, with Patrick Vieira’s side showing no signs of being on the beach.
Like Schmeichel, Ederson (£6.1m) is safe from rotation and after the Liverpool fixture is passed, the fixtures look prime for clean sheet potential. Edouard Mendy (£6.1m) is another one who would likely be immune to the rotation that the rest of the Chelsea backline will likely suffer.
Ben Foster (£4.1m) is included as a budget pick: he’s a great option for those looking to Bench Boost in Gameweek 36 or just save cash between the sticks.
THE WATCHLIST: BEST FPL DEFENDERS
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£8.4m) rightfully takes back his spot at the top of the pecking order for defenders with the other two premium picks, Joao Cancelo (£7.0m) Andrew Robertson (£7.3m), in second and third. Matt Doherty (£4.9m) makes it above Rece James (£6.2m) as he is unlikely to get rotated and has a ridiculously high ceiling.
Fabian Schar (£4.3m) is one for the shorter term: the next three fixtures for Newcastle are vital to secure their Premier League survival and the center-back has great attacking potential from set-pieces and free-kicks.
If the Foxes do go out of Europe, James Justin (£4.9m) looks an outstanding pick. He has looked far more advanced than Timothy Castagne (£5.3m) when he has played and is available at a budget price.
A trio of centre-backs – Marc Guehi (£4.5m), James Tarkowski (£4.9m) Ben White (£4.6m) – round off the list.
THE WATCHLIST: BEST FPL MIDFIELDERS
There is no change amongst the top four, with Mohamed Salah (£13.3m), Kevin De Bruyne (£11.7m) Son Heung-min (£10.9m) all keeping their places. Bruno Fernandes‘ (£11.6m) next two matches are particularly appealing, against Everton and Norwich, who are rooted to the bottom of the table.
Kai Havertz (£7.9m) continues to be the only Chelsea player who looks like he can score a goal and I see him starting most of the league games over the run-in. A great ‘out-of-position’ option.
Bukayo Saka (£6.8m) retains his spot but I am slightly concerned about him moving to left-back with the injury to Tierney. But until we see otherwise, he remains a great option to consider ahead of their upcoming ‘double’. James Maddison (£6.8m) remains over Harvey Barnes (£6.6m).
Ryan Fraser (£5.3m), like Schar, is one for the short term. Wilfried Zaha (£6.8m) is the preferred Palace pick with penalties in his locker and an audition in the shop window for next summer.
THE WATCHLIST: BEST FPL FORWARDS
In a season where forwards have struggled, there is no doubt that Harry Kane (£12.5m) is the undisputed king.
Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.2m) should benefit from Manchester United’s lack of midweek matches, like Fernandes, and has a great pair of fixtures coming up.
Jean-Philippe Mateta shoots up this list: he looks like he has nailed down the striker spot for Palace, where there has been rotation for most of the season, and at a price of £5.2m, he looks a bargain.
Jamie Vardy (£10.3m) appears to be farther from a return than initially thought and in his absence, Kelechi Iheanacho (£7.0m) is likely to often lead the line for the Foxes. If Leicester do go out of Europe and Vardy is still struggling, he becomes even more attractive pick for their run-in.
No forward has scored more goals (five) than Ivan Toney (£6.7m) over the last four Gameweeks and the introduction of Christian Eriksen (£5.5m) has benefited the striker massively.
Ollie Watkins (£7.5m) is preferred over Richarlison (£7.5m) despite the surprising revelation of the latter being on penalties; Villa’s short-term schedule is far more favourable.
Like Foster, Cucho Hernandez (£5.1m) is a great option for those looking to Bench Boost in Gameweek 36.
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