After the Triple Captain and Wildcard chips took center stage in Gameweek 26, the Free Hit is about to see widespread usage in Gameweek 27.
Almost 40% of the site readers polled in our sidebar vote said they are planning to activate their Free Hit chip this week, so it’s with this in mind that we have produced a position-by-position guide to pick out the best Fantasy Premier League (FPL) options in each category.
You can read our rundown of the standout guards/defenders and forwards here.
All stats taken from this article are from our Premium Members Area.
Tottenham Hotspur’s struggles under Antonio Conte continued on Wednesday, as they recorded a fourth defeat in five against Burnley. Chances were few and far between in Lancashire, although Son Heung-min (£10.8m) came within inches of an assist when Harry Kane (£12.2m) nodded the Korean’s free-kick against the bar.
Conte’s remarkable post-match comments don’t suggest a happy camp, but the one positive to cling onto is that it’s Leeds United next, who have the division’s worst defense in 2021/22 and also on current form: they’ve shipped 36 goals in their last 11 matches alone. During that time, they rank bottom for big chances conceded, and are clearly missing the influencer Kalvin Phillips (£4.7m) in midfield, who has been absent through injury since Gameweek 15. Notably, since the beginning of last season, Leeds have lost 16 of their 22 Premier League games he hasn’t been available for.
As for Son, he has already produced nine goals and seven assists in 21 appearances this term, averaging an impressive 6.1 points per match, which is second only to Mohamed Salah (£3.1m) amongst all1s.
Elsewhere, at a cost of only £6.0m, Dejan Kulusevski is a cheaper alternative in the Spurs ranks. The 21-year-old has delivered a goal and assisted in four matches since his January move, but there is competition for places, with Lucas Moura (£6.4m) Steven Bergwijn (£5.9m) also vying for starts alongside Son and Kane up front.
BRUNO FERNANDES / JADON SANCHO
With successive double-figure returns against Brighton and Hove Albion and Leeds, Bruno Fernandes (£11.7m) now welcomes a Watford side who shipped four goals at home to Crystal Palace on Wednesday night.
The Portuguese has amassed 22 points in those encounters, producing two goals, an assist and five bonus points, and has seemingly found his feet in Ralf Rangnick’s 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 formation, where he is able to roam and create from deeper or more advanced areas. Notably, he looked lost for large periods of the game against Atletico Madrid in midweek, but once again popped up with an assist for Anthony Elanga (£4.8m), who himself is one of the better budget enablers on offer in Gameweek 27.
However, the ever-improving Jadon Sancho (£8.9m) is worth a shout, too: he’s joint-top in the Premier League for non-penalty goal involvement (non-pen xGI) over his last four matches.
Following their 4-2 win at Elland Road in Gameweek 26, Manchester United are now unbeaten in their last seven Premier League matches. Performances have been mixed, but they do rank second for expected goals (xG) using the ‘last six matches’ filter, which is encouraging for their attacking assets in Gameweek 27.
KEVIN DE BRUYNE / RAHEEM STERLING / RIYAD MAHREZ
For those on a Free Hit, Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m), Raheem Sterling (£10.7m) Riyad Mahrez (£8.7m) are excellent options in midfield. They are all still relatively low-owned, too, with 10.3%, 4.8% and 5.2% ownerships respectively.
De Bruyne’s worst 14 shots and 15 created chances in his last six matches both rank among the top two players for Man City, while he could prosper at set-plays, given that opponents Everton have one of the records from free-kicks and corners this season.
Sterling, meanwhile, is another appealing option with five attacking returns (three goals, two assists) in his last three starts. However, Mahrez is undeniably the man in form, averaging 9.0 points per match over the last 10 Gameweeks and producing nine attacking returns in just seven appearances in that spell. On penalties and having already had a tactical breather last weekend, the Algerian is a tempting buy.
It must be said there is potential for Phil Foden (£7.9m) to do well, too, although Jack Grealish (£7.5m) Gabriel Jesus‘ (£8.4m) recent return to training does increase the options at Pep Guardiola’s disposal.
Gameweek 27 puts Southampton at home to last-placed Norwich City who, although they have improved under the guidance of Dean Smith, have been unable to build upon two successive January wins. The Saints are a team in form, too, having tasted defeat just once in their last nine matches (a tricky run that included Spurs, West Ham and both Manchester clubs) and scoring 18 goals in the process.
James Ward-Prowse (£6.5m) has eight attacking returns in nine starts, while Stuart Armstrong (£5.8m) is an intriguing alternative who we covered in this week’s Spot the Differential column, which you can read here.
Burnley are, of course, the only team with a double-header this week, so fixtures and form are on their side, given that they have lost just one of their last six matches, despite a tough run which has included games against Liverpool, Man Utd, Arsenal and Spurs.
The goals aren’t flying in, it must be said: Sean Dyche’s side are the second-lowest scorers this season and even during this six-game purple patch against admittedly tough opposition, they are still scoring at a rate of less than one goal per match.
As a result, most Fantasy managers will be eyeing up their backline options, plus January signing Wout Weghorst (£6.5m), but given that opponents Crystal Palace and Leicester City have shipped goals aplenty from set-plays in 2021/22, dead-ball specialist Dwight McNeil (£5.7m) could flourish, Though admitted he is a punthaving produced just one assist all season.
Maxwel Cornet (£5.9m), unfortunately, heads into the weekend as a doubt, after sitting out Wednesday’s home win over Spurs with a foot problem.
“Maxwel’s foot injury, touch and go, see how he is tomorrow, it’s not a really serious one but a bit sore still” – Sean Dyche on Maxwel Cornet
Elsewhere, Jarrod Bowen (£7.1m) has been a fixture of many of our FPL sides over the last few months, but such is Wolverhampton Wanderers’ defensive strength – they have the division’s third-best backline – that there has to be a degree of concern about a West Ham United side that has started to flounder in the last five Gameweeks, losing to Leeds and Man Utd, squeaking past Watford and gaining barley-deserved draws against Leicester City and Newcastle United. Bowen, of course, has still racked up three goals and an assist in that time, but on a Free Hit, there are certainly weaker defences to target.
Wilfried Zaha (£6.8m) Conor Gallagher (£6.2m), meanwhile, both returned at Watford in midweek, though Burnley have made life tough for their opponents of late, which dents the appeal of James Maddison (£6.8m), too, who faces Sean Dyche’s side on Tuesday.
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