The run of fixtures never relents across Christmas and New Year, so Fantasy Premier League managers are best-served by making changes as soon as they remember to ensure no missed opportunities.
We’re about to head into the second half of the 2023/24 Premier League campaign with transfers ahead and double gameweeks soon to enter the equation too as cup fixtures and the like take hold, making in-game transfers for teams all the more important.
Managers have one final matter to take into account this time around: if you haven’t already used your first Wildcard chip, you’re now in use-it-or-lose-it territory. The first total squad revamp opportunity disappears at the deadline for gameweek 20, so either do it beforehand or forfeit it entirely. For those who have already used the Wildcard chip this season, your second one will become available after the deadline, ahead of the January transfer window.
Christopher Nkunku, Chelsea (7.4)
Back to full fitness and finally on show in a Chelsea shirt, our first forward of two for the gameweek is the French attacker Christopher Nkunku, already with a goal to his name. We tipped him as a pick a couple of weeks ago as an early pick-up if your squad could handle being one light for a couple of games, as his return date was still fluid at the time.
But now he’s ready to show his worth on a regular basis, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see his cost shoot back up – it’s already up 0.1m since our last recommendation and with a nice run ahead featuring Luton, Fulham, Wolves and Crystal Palace among Chelsea’s next five league fixtures, don’t be surprised if that trend continues.
Emi Martinez, Aston Villa (5.2)
Often the choice with a goalkeeper is to find one of the mid-range price, first-choice stoppers who have a favourable run, but as the points hauls show this season, sometimes it’s easier to stick with a top player. Liverpool’s Alisson has the most points of any goalkeeper, but Aston Villa’s World Cup-winner Emiliano Martinez wasn’t far behind until the last couple of games.
While the Christmas run might have caught up with Unai Emery’s team somewhat, they have a favourable few fixtures ahead which could see clean sheets return for Martinez, starting with a home match against Burnley, who average just 2.9 shots on target per away league match this term.
Toti, Wolves (4.4)
We will, however, go bargain-hunting for a new defender – and Wolves’ Toti Gomes is our choice. The 24-year-old has been in good form, left of three in Gary O’Neil’s back line, picking up points at a decent rate: an average of 3.6 across the last five games, during which time the team has only lost once.
Wolves are home to Everton next up, a winnable game after the Toffees have endured back-to-back losses – plus another in the cup – while the hosts themselves are looking confident after beating Chelsea and West Ham. Toti edges out teammates Max Kilman and Craig Dawson in total points as well as recent points form, while also being 0.1m cheaper than both.
Jarrod Bowen, West Ham (7.9)
A very straight-forward line of reasoning to bring in Jarrod Bowen would be that he’s simply very good, in great form and playing centre-forward for West Ham United lately. If he’s not already in your team, the third-highest scoring midfielder (108 pts) of the game might be a huge consideration from January onwards.
But there’s more: the two players above him in the midfield points haul are Mohamed Salah (140) and Son Heung-min (127) – and both are off to international tournaments in January. The Hammers face Brighton, Sheffield United and Bournemouth in their next three; Bowen has three goals and an assist in his last five against considerably more higher-profile opposition.
Darwin Nunez, Liverpool (7.5)
Finally, our second striker pick is partly for the same reasons above: with Salah gone, Liverpool need another source of goals to maintain their title challenge. Luis Diaz is out of form, Cody Gakpo hit-and-miss at best this term and while Diogo Jota has just returned and scored, his injury record makes him a risky pick – plus he’s listed as a midfielder, so while fine for a Salah replacement in an FPL team, for the same spot you’d surely just take Bowen.
Nunez, however, broke his scoring drought last time out and has looked sharper over the last two games for the Reds. While he hasn’t got as many league goals as might have been expected, he still contributes plenty in FPL terms – only five strikers have more than his 72 points this season, which could rise considerably if he plays the full 90 minutes more often once Salah departs.
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