We’re finally here: blank gameweek 18—the gameweek of Alphonse Areola. Why? He blanks every gameweek, of course!
But before I tell you the gameweek 18 tips you need to avoid a red arrow in this heavily congested fixture run, I urge you to subscribe to the free LazyFPL newsletter.
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Who to Buy in FPL Gameweek 18?
My American friend cannot stop calling Oleksandr Zinchenko “Alexander,” but if Zinchenko ever gets the name “Oleksandr the Great” due to his services to my FPL team, I’ll stop complaining.
Zinchenko is more of a long-term buy, as he faces Liverpool this week. Historically, his minutes have been a worry, but with Tomiyasu picking up a knock and then leaving for the Asia Cup, Zinchenko’s only threat is Kiwior.
The last time I heard Kiwior’s name was when I went to a farmer’s market. “Kiwi or?” I ran away, saying I just wanted a Zinchenko, because he gets very advanced with the ball and ranks highly on the BPS system.
If Arsenal get a clean sheet (they are the best defence in the league, after all), I imagine Zinchenko gets 1-2 bonus. Points, galore.
Aston Villa are the most lopsided team I’ve seen in a while. They’re spectacular at home (how can anyone in their right mind call Birmingham a “Villa”?) and they’re slightly less spectacular away.
That said, they are currently seventh for xGA over the season and sixth for goals conceded. They also play the worst attack in the league this gameweek, and have the highest clean sheet odds.
Konsa won’t give you much in the way of goal threat, but a clean sheet this week won’t surprise me.
Sauceda (yes, that’s Pedro Porro’s last name) is the embodiment of the “I’m not the stepdad; I’m the dad that stepped up” meme. If we consider James Maddison’s injury to be what he stepped up for.
Since then, Pedro Porro has taken all set pieces. Over the course of the season, he’s averaged an npxG+xAG of 0.38/90, and in the last six (when Maddison was injured), he’s had an xGI of 0.54/90.
He often finds himself in positions that an advanced 8 would take, and he does very well in the BPS system. He plays as a right-back, and the points will be right-back with you if you buy him. It’s bad juju to go against anyone called Sauceda, in my opinion.
As mentioned in last week’s article, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Gabriel are still great buys.
It’s the festive period, so it’s a great time to give back to the community. This is why we all love Bukayo Saka; after all, he loves to give away penalties!
Saka faces Liverpool (A) this week, but between GW19 and GW22, he faces WHU, ful, CRY, nfo, while being nailed on for at least 75 minutes and the first-choice penalty taker.
The FPL community on Twitter has recently brought notice to Saka’s lack of involvement, but Saka’s npxG+xAG/90 is the highest it’s ever been, at 0.54/90, and points are inevitable.
Once again, I’m back, asking you to hear me out. Is Douglas Luiz an explosive option? Not necessarily. But is he nailed on, playing 90, on set-pieces, and on penalties? I think you know the answer to this.
He plays Sheffield United (H) this week, and if you can accommodate him into your team as an eighth attacker, he’s a very useful asset to own.
From last week’s article, Cole Palmer and Richarlison are still good buys.
Everywhere you look, you see a good Aston Villa asset. It’s like being in Birmingham—everywhere you look, you see something that makes you want to leave. And fast.
He’s nailed on to start and boasts an npxG+xAG/90 of 0.52. His ceiling may not be the highest out there, but his floor is proportionately high, and FPL Review’s massive data model has him as the highest scoring player for the next six gameweeks.
He plays SHU, eve, shu in his next six, and Aston Villa have the 6th highest xG over the course of the season.
Not bad for a man who possibly has the poshest name I’ve ever heard—Ollie George Arthur Watkins? What’s next? A knighthood? In a Waitrose?
From last week’s article, Dominik Solanke and Julian Alvarez are still excellent buys.
Who to Captain in FPL Gameweek 18?
On default minutes, Ollie Watkins is the best captain this week, according to FPL Review’s Massive Data model.
He faces Chris Milder’s (Wilder is simply a name to cover up his side’s incompetencies) Sheffield United side, who are the least dysfunctional thing I’ve seen since… well, since Manchester United were last televised.
Which, unfortunately, was not long ago.
Watkins is the most likely goalscorer this week, and Aston Villa have scored the most goals at home out of any team this season.
Jordan Pickford has recently been having nightmares and incorrigibly singing one particular song:
Here comes the Son, doo-doo-doo-doo
Here comes the Son, and I say
It’s (totally not) alright
If that’s not enough to make you consider captaining the second-best Tottenham forward with “Son” in his name (after Richarlison, duh), then I’m not sure what is.
He’s recently been interchanging with Richarlison as a striker/left-winger, but he’s nailed on to start, and I believe he’s on penalties. His npxG+xAG/90 is the second highest it’s ever been, at 0.67/90, but as he always does, Son has been overperforming what is already exceptional data.
What’s not to like?
Ollie Watkins is the standout captain option.
Son Heung-min is a worthy second choice, but if you have Ollie Watkins, I would captain him anyway.
If you have neither or are trying to be obscenely edgy, Salah is once again your king.
Who to Keep in FPL Gameweek 18?
Trippier: Don’t let the noise distract you; Trippier is still a great option. He plays Luton (A) this week, and aside from having to be in Luton this week, that can only mean good things.
Anthony Gordon: If he’s fit, I wouldn’t sell him this week, as transfers can better be used elsewhere. We may not get concrete news, but we should see training pictures, and Newcastle don’t have many alternatives.
Julian Alvarez: Haaland may not return for GW 19 (he won’t feature in the Club World Cup), meaning Alvarez will play as Manchester City’s talisman.
As always, I’d like to end with a story. It doesn’t paint me in the best light and is slightly embarrassing, but hey, maybe you can learn from my mistakes.
You see, I heard that Nottingham Forest just signed a new manager, Nuno Espírito Santo. I misheard Santo and thought that “Santa” was in Nottingham. Imagine my shock when a certain Portugese man told me to get off his lap and stop asking for gifts.
Surprisingly, he called security. I tried to run away from them but eventually stopped. “Why run this much?” I wondered. “I’m a part of the “Lazy Revolution.”
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