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
Nick Pope (£5.4m) shoots right up to the top of the Watchlist with Burnley playing 11 fixtures over the next seven Gameweeks. The Clarets are the only team to have two doubles in the next three Gameweeks and are still fighting for Premier League survival.
Aaron Ramsdale (£5.1m) drops down the list with injury doubts and his double in Gameweek 33 not particularly being attractive from a defensive standpoint.
Kasper Schmeichel (£4.8m) features on this list for the first time this season, with Leicester City getting most of their first-choice backline fit and, like Burnley, having the joint-highest number of fixtures to reschedule. There are some concerns about the defenders getting rotated with Europe a priority but the same does not apply to the Dane.
David de Gea (£5.1m) Fraser Forster (£4.4m) see upward movement with their ‘double’ in Gameweek 33 and decent fixtures either side.
There are some illness doubts surrounding Martin Dubravka (£4.4m), meanwhile, but if he is fit then I fancy him to do well in Gameweeks 32-34 with three home matches and a fixture against Norwich City.
THE WATCHLIST: BEST FPL DEFENDERS
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£8.4m) drops out of the Watchlist for the first time this season due to his hamstring injury. There is hope that he could be fit for the Gameweek 32 fixture against Manchester City but there is no confirmed news on his progress yet.
It was a close call between Trent Robertson (£7.3m) Joao Cancelo (£6.9m) for top spot but the Scot edges it slightly with his imperious form over the last few Gameweeks.
Rece James (£6.2m) is back in training for Chelsea, meanwhile, and is a great pick-up for the run-in.
Matt Doherty (£4.8m) looks to have cemented his place as first-choice right-back in north London and has the potential to deliver despite the lack of a double for Tottenham Hotspur in the short term.
Fabian Schar (£4.3m) offers great value for the Magpies’ favorite run mentioned earlier, providing the injury he sustained on international duty was as minor as first reported. The center-back has a significant goal threat to go with clean sheet potential.
Kyle Walker-Peters (£4.8m) looks the most secure of the Saints’ full-backs, with Tino Livramento (£4.4m) struggling to play games in close proximity.
James Tarkowski (£4.9m) Raphael Varane (£5.5m) are the preferred options from their respective teams; while I would prefer one of the Manchester United full-backs, I am not sure yet which of Alex Telles (£5.0m) or Luke Shaw (£5.0m) is more secure for game-time.
THE WATCHLIST: BEST FPL MIDFIELDERS
There is no change in the top three, with Mohamed Salah (£13.3m), Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m) Son Heung-min (£10.9m) all warranting their spots at the summit.
Bruno Fernandes (£11.6m) slots in fourth with the Portugal international fresh off scoring a brace for national side in their World Cup qualifying game in midweek. He has been afforded five big chances over the last six Gameweeks, so there is plenty of goal threat there to go along with his stellar creative numbers.
No player who doubles in Gameweek 33 has taken more shots (21) than Bukayo Saka (£6.7m) over the last six Gameweeks and he is also third for attempted assists (14) from that player pool. James Maddison (£6.8m) v Harvey Barnes (£6.6m) was a tough one but I’ve decided for the former as, when fit, I think he offers more routes to points than the winger.
The lure of an ‘out position (OOP)’ of often too hard to resist and Kai Havertz (£7.9m) makes the Watchlist despite not having any double in the short term. The fixtures are still great and he is in a rich vein of form.
Ryan Fraser (£5.3m) has picked up where he left off at Bournemouth and has become Newcastle United’s creative talisman, chipping in with five attacking returns in his last six starts.
James Ward-Prowse (£6.5m) has supplied 16 opportunities for teammates and created six big chances over the last six Gameweeks but has failed to register a single assist. Surely he’s ‘due’…?
Anthony Gordon (£4.5m) is the only player I’d consider from Everton at the moment, keeping his budget price tag in mind.
THE WATCHLIST: BEST FPL FORWARDS
Harry Kane (£12.5m) has been in ridiculous form over the last few weeks and despite the lack of a double, he is simply the top forward asset in the game by a significant margin.
Manchester United’s elimination from the Champions League means no longer turnarounds between matches, so this should benefit Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.2m). No player who doubles in Gameweek 33 has been afforded more big chances (six) than the Portugal captain over the last six Gameweeks.
Despite abysmal underlying numbers, Burnley’s two doubles over the next three Gameweeks and a fixture against Norwich sees Wout Weghorst (£6.4m) come in third, ahead of Alexandre Lacazette (£8.4m). The Frenchman has been one of the most underperforming players in terms of xG delta over the last few weeks and has been relying on assists for FPL returns.
Che Adams (£6.9m) has established himself as the clear first-choice striker ahead of Armando Broja (£5.5m) and unlike the Albanian, can feature in Gameweek 32 as well.
There are some doubts regarding Dominic Calvert-Lewin‘s (£7.7m) fitness but if he is declared available then I think he is a much better option than Richarlison (£7.5m), as Frank Lampard will likely tailor his gameplan around him.
Jean-Philippe Mateta (£5.2m) has established himself as Palace’s first-choice striker and, at a budget price, he is worth a look despite difficult fixtures in the short term.
Joe Gelhardt‘s (£4.6m) minutes will likely come off the bench but with Patrick Bamford (£7.7m) ruled out for the season, he is a great budget option for those who have already used their Bench Boost and are looking to save cash.
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