West Ham have the best clean sheet odds in Gameweek 31 with Liverpool the unsurprising favourites to score highest.
As the first big blank-gameweek rolls around, fantasy football managers are either eagerly awaiting the use of their free hit chip or discovering their lineup has more holes than Fulham’s defence. Fortunately for those with broken teams, the bookmaker has implied that Gameweek 31 could be a low scoring one, with goals and clean sheets few and far between.
NOTE: We wanted to get out the team odds (clean sheet odds & 2+ goals odds) as early as possible this week because lots of FPL players have already activated their free hit. We will add the player odds (anytime goalscorer odds) when they become available.
How much do you trust West Ham assets?
The blank gameweek 31 fixture against bottom of the league Huddersfield can be attributed to the increase in stocks of West Ham players in recent weeks. Felipe Anderson, most notably, has rewarded those forward planning with a measly couple of points per gameweek since.
Now that GW31 has arrived, the bookies have unsurprisingly given them the best clean sheet odds (1.83) and second-best odds to score 2+ goals (1.80). But can you trust them? Especially considering their 2-0 loss to 18th place Cardiff last time out.
Huddersfield remain in poor form and their expected stats away from home are a sight for sore eyes, with an average of 0.45 xG & 1.84 xGA from their last six on the road.
Buying a West Ham player is like buying a lottery ticket. You probably won’t win anything, but you have to be in it to win it. Lukasz Fabianski, Declan Rice & Issa Diop are relatively inexpensive defensive options, whilst Marko Arnautovic could be a great differential if he plays. Forget Pep Roulette, this week it’s Pellegrini Roulette.
Which three Liverpool players?
This is without a doubt the hardest decision to make in Gameweek 31. Three very in form defenders in Alexander-Arnold, Robertson and Van Dijk, along with a purple-patch Sadio Mane, are all very hard to ignore. But what about that Mo Salah chap?
Yes, he’s not in the best form, but he is the highest ownership player in the game, so before excluding him remember that he’s essentially the one player everybody has this week (even the 3 million players that don’t play any more).
If you are on a free hit in FPL, then it makes sense to keep him, block your opposition and use your other 10 players to gain points. In daily fantasy, it’s a lot easier to justify his exclusion, so enter a team into the FantasyBet weekend contest instead. It’s free, there’s a £100 prize and you can exclude Salah without suffering huge negative variance. It’s a win-win-win.
Compete for £100 with your fantasy team this weekend. Free entry!
”Ask Eden Hazard to recommend player”
Eden Hazard is no doubt one of the first names on every free hit team and we don’t need to delve into why. Chelsea rank third for both clean sheet odds (2.50) and to score 2+ goals (1.83), so doubling or tripling up their players seems logical from an odds perspective.
The image below helps apply context to the bookmaker’s odds by visualising the overall performance of each team’s defence throughout the year. A blue “1” represents a clean sheet, whilst the yellow sections highlight the teams longest run of back to back clean sheets.
Chelsea has the second best defence of the active teams in GW31 but we can see that, despite picking up 12 clean sheets, they’ve managed none successively in the last 30 weeks. Interpret this how you choose, but it’s fair to say they’re the most inconsistent of the consistent defences this year.
Gonzalo Higuain is the logical attacking teammate to join Hazard, with the defensive options ranging from the nailed on Cesar Azpilicueta to the more recently favoured Emerson. If you opt for the latter on your free hit, make sure you have an active bench defender just in case Marcos Alonso starts over him.