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FPL Gameweek 5 Buy, Sell, Keep

16 Sept. 2023

As the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) deadline looms closer, it is time to decide what to do with our precious free transfer(s). Aside from playing chips or selecting a captain, our transfers are the single most important aspect of our FPL campaign.

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In this article we crunch the numbers, analyse the fixtures, take advice from the Algorithm, and decide which player to buy, which player to sell, and which player to keep for Gameweek 5.

BUY: Son Heung-min

  • Cost: £9.1m
  • Selected by: 12.2%
  • Projected Points (next 6 GWs): 27.3

This Gameweek is far from straightforward in terms of transfer decisions, but one name keeps cropping up… Son Heung-min (£9.1m).

First off, let’s look at the schedule. After a hat-trick against Burnley, Son finds himself with another mouth-watering fixture, this time at home against Sheffield United. This not only makes him a good short-term pick but a valid captaincy alternative for those who don’t fancy giving the armband to Erling Haaland (£14.1m) who is away to West Ham.

Beyond that, Spurs endure back-to-back games against Arsenal and Liverpool. This is putting off many managers – although, it has to be said, Son is currently the number one transfer target according to Transfer Analytics. While these fixtures look challenging on the surface, they may not be quite as bad as they seem. The North London Derby is quite often a goal-fest and Liverpool’s defence, while not terrible, is ranked 8th for xGC (6.49) and 11th for shots in the box conceded (38). With Ange Postecoglou playing such flowing, attacking football, these fixtures, while difficult, are likely to be very open with plenty of scope for goals from both sides.

Son Shot Map

Left: Gameweeks 1-3, Right: Gameweek 4

While managers may be forgiven for feeling the move to Son is something of a knee jerk, especially in light of the fact that his only goal involvements came in Gameweek 4 against weak opposition, there is more to the story. Son was moved to centre-forward against Burnley and absolutely excelled in this position. He is also a confidence player, and those three goals will have gone a long way to unleashing the potential we all know the South Korean international has. While it is not guaranteed that Son will continue as a centre-forward, it would seem strange for Postecoglou to stem the momentum by putting him back on the wing.

SELL: Kaoru Mitoma

  • Cost: £6.5m
  • Selected by: 40.0%
  • Projected Points (next 6 GWs): 23.2

The five midfield spots are a minefield in FPL at the moment and there are good reasons to both sell and keep many of the popular midfield options. This recommendation isn’t so much about Kaoru Mitoma (£6.5m) per se, but more about reducing the number of Brighton assets in your squad. There is an argument to say that Pervis Estupiñán (£5.3m) – who, at 63.9%, is even more highly owned than Mitoma – should be on the chopping block instead. However, Mitoma occupies a precious midfield spot and hence his removal has greater benefit. It is also fair to say, that Estupiñán is playing so advanced, it is almost like owning a midfielder, only at a reduced price.

Fixture Planner

Brighton’s fixtures started to turn sour in Gameweek 2 and are set to get even worse. Between now and Gameweek 9, they face Manchester United, Aston Villa, Liverpool and Manchester City. Mitoma has the skill to return in any of these matches, but a points haul is unlikely. Even if you don’t mind a Brighton triple-up, there are currently better options within Brighton. According to Opta Stats Sandbox, Mitoma is ranked third amongst Brighton players for both FPL points (23) and xFPL points (20.67).

KEEP: Nicolas Jackson

  • Cost: £7.2m
  • Selected by: 18.6%
  • Projected Points (next 6 GWs): 22.3

Transfer Analytics

The #1 most transferred out player is Chelsea’s Nicolas Jackson (£7.2m). According to Transfer Analytics, the majority of managers (39.3%) are making the switch to Julián Álvarez (£6.7m). But, despite his three out of four blanks, this move may be a little hasty.

Only one player (guess who?!) has managed to accumulate more xG than Jackson’s 3.94. The Chelsea forward is on 26.41 xFPL points, compared to his 10 FPL points, this represents the biggest under-performance against underlying data of any player.

Opta Stats Sandbox

But, we have been here before, haven’t we? What does this underperformance tell us? Is he a poor finisher, or has he been unlucky? This is a judgement FPL managers must make. But the underlying data and fixtures currently favour Jackson, and it certainly feels like a big return is on the cards.

Sellers could be about to enter a world of pain, if Jackson begins to realise his attacking threat and converts these high-quality chances into goals.

By Matt Whelan

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