With just eight teams in action in Fantasy Premier League (FPL) Gameweek 30, Free Hit usage is about to spike again.
Not far off 40% of the site readers in our sidebar vote said they are planning to activate the 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 and most discussed options in each category.
You can read a rundown of the stand-out goalkeepers and defenders here.
All stats taken from this article are from our Premium Members Area.
SON HEUNG-MIN/DEJAN KULUSEVSKI
For tried and tested, look no further than Son Heung-min (£10.9m). The South Korea international has hit 20 or more attacking returns in each of the last five seasons and is well on the way to repeating that feat in the current campaign.
Son has 12 attacking returns in 13 matches from Gameweek 14 onwards (only Jarrod Bowen (£6.8m) has more), averaging 6.7 points per start in the process. Notably, only team-mate Harry Kane (£12.4m) and Salah can better his non-penalty expected goal involvement (non-pen xGI) figure in that time.
Dejan Kulusevski (£6.2m), meanwhile, is certainly a name to consider in the mid-price midfield pool, having bagged his sixth attacking return in five starts at Old Trafford last weekend. The in-form Swede has actually registered more shots in the box (9/6) and penalty box touches (29/18) than Son during that period, but does trail his more expensive team-mate for things like big chances and expected goal involvement (xGI) since his first start:
Faith in Tottenham Hotspur players is shaken by five defeats in their last eight Premier League matches, but opponents West Ham United will be coming off the back of a demanding UEFA Europe League second leg against Sevilla, while there are still question marks over their backline, with just one clean sheet arriving in the last 10 away league matches – and even that was against goal-shy Burnley.
With three goals and six assists in his last 13 Premier league appearances, two of which were as a substitute, Harvey Barnes (£6.5m) is an appealing midfield differential.
During that time, he has produced 22 shots in the box, while his 0.41 xGI per 90 minutes tally is narrowly ahead of team-mate James Maddison (£6.7m) and just behind positional rivals Bowen and Philippe Coutinho (£7.5m).
The main drawback is concerns over rotation. The 24-year-old winger is not just competing with others for his place but one of the natural fall guys when Brendan Rodgers decides to go winger-less in, say, the 3-5-2 that he used in Gameweek 22.
However, Barnes has now completed 90 minutes in four of the Foxes’ last five matches, and given Maddison’s new-found rotation risk status, is the stand-out Leicester option for their home clash against a Brentford side without a shut-out on the road since Gameweek 5.
BUKAYO SAKA/GABRIEL MARTINELLI
Bukayo Saka (£6.6m) is averaging 6.5 points per match over his last 11 starts. During that period (from Gameweek 16 onwards), he’s second for shots, joint-seventh for chances created and 13th for xGI among men, and many of those ahead of him are much more expensive in FPL.
He’s also, in theory, the securest route into an exciting Arsenal attack – his only two benching’s this season have come off the back of fitness concerns.
A creator of chances from open play and prominent at dead-ball situations, Saka’s minutes-per-xGI figure over the course of the season is also better than those of Martin Odegaard (£5.5m) Emile Smith-Rowe (5.7m). However, it does fall short of cut-price option Gabriel Martinelli‘s (£5.3m) total, which isn’t bad considering it costs £1.3m less.
With Smith Rowe recovered from Covid, it’s probably best to monitor Martinelli’s minutes at the Emirates on Wednesday before committing, but he has started each of the last 12 Premier League matches he has been available for, producing four goals and three assists.
Arsenal’s matchup at Aston Villa does feel very hard to predict, especially with the Gunners facing a demanding clash with Liverpool less than 72 hours before they travel to Villa Park, but they are bang in form, having won their last five Premier League matches in a row.
Philippe Coutinho has settled well at Aston Villa following his January arrival, having produced four goals and three assists in his first nine appearances for the club.
During that time, he ranks top among colleagues for shots, with 24, while he has chipped in with 14 created chances too, another team-leading total.
Averaging 9.25 points per match at Villa Park, the Brazilian will be key in unlocking an Arsenal backline which has conceded just three goals in their last four matches on the road. However, Watford caused them real defensive problems in Gameweek 28, with Steven Gerrard’s side arguably possessing more firepower, which is more encouraging for those backing Villa’s attacking assets.
If funds are tighter, Jacob Ramsey (£4.8m) offers a cheaper alternative, who has netted four goals across his last nine appearances.
Rafinha (£6.5m) has somehow racked up the highest xGI figure of any Premier League player over the last four Gameweeks, with the previously below-par Brazilian looking more like his old self on Sunday.
Notably, only six FPL players, all of them much more expensive, have scored more goals than Raphinha (nine) this season. The winger is also among the top three in his category for both goal attempts and chances created in 2021/22.
The downside is a trip to Molineux, which is far from straightforward, given that Wolves have conceded just 12 goals on home turf all season.
Dead-ball specialist Christian Eriksen (£5.5m) is an another intriguing Gameweek 30 differential, with opponents Leicester City vulnerable defending free-kicks and corners all year.
In fact, it was the Dane who assisted Ivan Toney‘s (£6.6m) first goal against Burnley with a sublime cross, while also providing the pass that led to the forward being fouled for his injury-time spot kick.
Eriksen has created a modest three chances in his 218 minutes of pitch-time at Brentford but with his set-piece expertise and Leicester’s related weaknesses, he could thrive.
There probably won’t be too many takers for Daniel Podence (£5.5m), but he has registered two goals and 11 shots in his last four matches at Molineux and will be up against the division’s worst defense. Should Hwang Hee-chan (£5.4m) be ruled out through injury, that will further his game-time prospects.
Team news will also be important this week: Jarrod Bowen (£6.8m) Michael Antonio (£7.5m) could both be absent for the Spurs game due to injury, which may spell more game-time for the previously peripheral Said Benrahma (£5.7m), who impressed when delivering attacking returns on Sunday.
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