Points haven’t been at a premium in the first two gameweeks of Fantasy Premier League with average scores of 69 and 56 so far. Most of last season’s top players have carried on from where they left last season making life easier for FPL managers who normally spend early season trying to figure out who the new standout players for that particular season are.

West Ham assets have led the way with Antonio and Said Benrahma being the top points scorers in so far beating FPL giants like Mohamed Salah and Bruno Fernandes who have had also had good starts to the season.

Chelsea and Liverpool defenders are doing well too but their prospects this week aren’t too great considering the two sides meet at Anfield in an early high-stakes clash.

Heading into Gameweek 3, FPL managers though would have one eye on the happenings in the transfer window and how new big signings could affect their plans for the rest of the season. Are you going to bring in Cristiano Ronaldo right away? (Yes, that happened last night). What are your plans for Romelu Lukaku? Does Harry Kane’s decision to stay at Spurs affect your plans?

But sometimes it’s better to not look too far ahead and deal with the immediate task which is putting out a team for GW3.

Fixture Difficulty

There’s no team with a fixture difficulty rating of less than 8 indicating that no team has it all easy in the next three weeks. However, Brentford, Everton, Leeds, Manchester City, Tottenham, Watford, West Ham and Wolves have relatively easier games between GW3-5.

Aston Villa, Brighton, Crystal Palace, Chelsea, Norwich and Southampton have the toughest run of games on paper.

Fixture Difficulty Ratings

Team Combined Difficulty rating for GW 3-5 GW3 opponent GW4 opponent GW5 opponents
Arsenal 9 (5, 2, 2) MCI(A) NOR(H) BUR(A)
Aston Villa 10 (2, 4, 4) BRE(H) CHE(A) EVE(H)
Brentford 8 (3, 2, 3) AVL(A) BHA(H) WOL(A)
Brighton 10 (4, 2, 4) EVE(H) BRE(A) LEI(H)
Burnley 9 (3, 3, 3) LEE(H) EVE (A) ARS(H)
Chelsea 10 (4, 2, 4) LIV(A) AVL(H) TOT(A)
Crystal Palace 10 (4, 2, 4) WHU(A) TOT(H) LIV(A)
Everton 8 (3, 2, 3) BHA(A) BUR(H) AVL(A)
Leeds 8 (2, 4, 2) BUR(A) LIV(H) NEW(A)
Leicester 9 (2, 4, 3) NOR(A) MCI(H) BHA(A)
Liverpool 9 (4, 3, 2) CHE(H) LEE(A) CRY(H)
Man City 8 (3, 3, 2) ARS(H) LEI(A) SOU(H)
Man Utd 9 (3, 2, 4) WOL(A) NEW(H) WHU(A)
Newcastle 9 (2, 4, 3) SOU(H) MUN(A) LEE(H)
Norwich City 10 (4, 4, 2) LEI(H) ARS(A) WAT(H)
Southampton 10 (2, 3, 5) NEW(A) WHU(H) MCI(A)
Spurs 8 (2, 2, 4) WAT(H) CRY(A) CHE(H)
Watford 8 (4, 2, 2) TOT(A) WOL(H) NOR(A)
West Ham 8  (2, 2, 4) CRY(H) SOU(A) MUN(H)
Wolves 8 (4, 2, 2) MUN(H) WAT(A) BRE(H)

Transfer window impact

Romelu Lukaku was the third-most transferred-in player last week and he proved why with a goal on his second Chelsea debut. Signed by Chelsea just before the season, many FPL managers ignored him due to the quarantine he was placed under. But happenings in the transfer market that saw Harry Kane, last season top goalscorer and assist provider, commit his future to Spurs have turned FPL managers’ heads.

Some FPL managers may want to think even ahead and find ways to accommodate some United newbie named Cristiano Ronaldo but for now, there is time to worry about that. Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane could also get started at Manchester United this week.

While Lukaku’s fixture and a high price tag may put off FPL managers, Kane is a tempting prospect given his proven track record and the fixtures that Spurs have in coming weeks. He scored for Spurs in the midweek win in the Europa Conference League and could open his account at the weekend.

For most FPL managers, bringing in these big guns may require a major reshuffle which wouldn’t be possible without a wildcard, getting these assets early comes with an added advantage. So FPL managers who haven’t had the best of starts and are looking for an early wildcard or those who have not invested their full purse in their squad yet could jump to get in either Kane or Lukaku.

The big ins and outs

Said Benrahma and Antonio are the obvious leaders of the most transferred in players followed by Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku. Brighton’s budget defender Shane Duffy is also popular among FPL managers after his goalscoring exploits while Liverpool left-back Tsimikas is still finding new owners despite the return to fitness of Andy Robertson. (Less surprisingly he is also among the most transferred out players).

Brentford striker Toney who was tipped to be the ultimate budget forward this season hasn’t lived upto expectations so far. Leicester striker Kelechi Iheanacho who is struggling to get into the eleven and Manchester United defender Luke Shaw are the others on the list. Surprisingly, perhaps because of the fixture and perhaps a sign of managers brining in other big-hitters, Salah is on his way out of plenty of teams.

Most transferred (in) players ahead of GW3

Position Player Club
MID Benrahma WHU
FWD Antonio WHU
FWD Lukaku CHE
DEF Tsimikas LIV
As per official website on Saturday morning

Most transferred (out) players ahead of GW3

Position Player Club
FWD Iheanacho LEI
DEF Tsimikas LIV
As per official website on Saturday morning

Top picks for Gameweek 3

Whether you bring them in through transfers or (luckily enough) have them in your squad already, these are the five hottest selections for GW2:

Antonio (West Ham): The Hammers forward is the top scorer in FPL so far with three goals and three assists to his name. He is also top of xG (Expected Goals) charts in the Premier League. Against a struggling Crystal Palace at home, Antonio is pretty much a must-have given his numbers and form.

Son Heung-min (Tottenham): The Spurs midfielder netted the winner against Manchester City and also scored in the midweek Europa Conference League win. With Kane still finding his feet in the new campaign, the South Korean is the man to own especially considering Tottenham’s fixtures are turning for the good.

Vladimir Coufal (West Ham): The Hammers are top of the league and given a decent fixture run, it might not be a bad idea to double up on their assets. They haven’t kept a clean sheet yet this season but against Palace who are yet to score this season, it may happen. Coufal though offers a lot more than just defensive points. He has the habit of popping up with an assist every now and then and thus also brings in bonus points. He could be among the top defenders in GW3.

Danny Ings (Aston Villa): The Villa forward has scored two in two and could continue his run against Brentford. Ings has been extremely consistent over the last few seasons and could even improve on his goal tally in a Villa team that has no shortage of attacking talent. Ings is also a possible alternative to take penalties and thus is an important player for GW3.

Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City): Pep Guardiola loves to rotate his attacking players but Mahrez has been his go-to player especially in big games. He has been in good form in pre-season and also scored one off the bench last week. Even in the game against Spurs he missed a good chance to get on the scoresheet. Against Arsenal who have been poor defensively, Mahrez might be about to come good. His numbers are encouraging as he is in the top ten players for xG in the Premier League.

Other Notable players: Said Benrahma (West Ham), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Paul Pogba (Manchester United).

Top differential picks for GW3:

Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City): The Brazilian forward has made a good start to the season and Pep Guardiola has said that he is part of his plans at the Etihad. He provided two assists against Norwich and is top of the Expected Assists (xA) charts in the Premier League. With just over 4% ownership, Jesus could be a big differential player for GW3. Especially given the City transfer plans are not panning out.

Callum Wilson (Newcastle United): The Newcastle forward is a seasoned goalscorer in the Premier League and has already opened his account in GW1. He is sixth in the Premier League in the xG charts and up against Southampton who have the second-worst xGA(Expected Goals Against) in the Premier League, he could be a key player especially with just 6.2% ownership.

Pablo Fornals (West Ham): Antonio and Benrahma are top FPL assets from West Ham at the moment, but if you are looking for someone differential and cheaper, Fornals is a good option. He has returned in both games so far and is fifth in the Premier League xA chart. He is owned by less than 1% of FPL owners.

Captaincy Conundrum

With Liverpool facing Chelsea, a lot of usual suspects have been driven out of the captaincy equation. Fernandes remains an option but they face a tricky trip to Wolves who have a good record against them.

So on current form, West Ham’s Antonio emerges as a top candidate for the armband along with teammate Benrahma. If you are looking for a more established option, Son or Kane could also be great alternatives that would also offer some differential value.

The Field’s FPL team

Gameweek 2 points: 59

Having no West Ham assets hurt in GW2, so we have done the needful even by taking a hit and brought in the explosive due of Antonio and Benrahma for the injury doubt Maupay (who repaid our faith for one week) and Wilfried Zaha. We were tempted to bring in Fornals or Dele Alli as differential players but eventually settled for Benrahma who is in top form.

We also wanted to bring in Son Heung-min but that would have needed us to take a bigger hit which would have defeated the purpose. So instead we have chosen to believe in what we have invested in since the start of the season. We know, we know.

Here’s our team for Gameweek 3:

FPL Deadline for GW3: 3.30 pm IST, Saturday, August 28, 2021.

(Stats Courtesy: FPL website, Understat.com and WhoScored.com. Ownership % as of Friday)