Aston Villa provided the shock of the Premier League season so far – but should you bet your FPL fortunes on them?
Ollie Watkins and Jack Grealish starred as October 4’s 7-2 win over Liverpool maintained Villa’s 100 per cent record and left them second in the table.
And the PA news agency’s Transfer Score metric has faith in Dean Smith’s side to continue to produce in the fantasy game as the season resumes.
Keep it claret and blue
A player’s transfer score combines his form, cost, ownership and upcoming fixture difficulty rating (FDR) to produce an overall rating out of 100, based 50 per cent on form with the other categories weighted equally.
That allows us to produce a top three recommendations at each position – and for gameweek five, Villa players fill six of the 12 slots. They face fellow high-flyers Leicester this week but managers tempted to wait should balance that with the likely rise in their ownership.
Emiliano Martinez is our top goalkeeper – his pedestrian 60 rating beating out Leeds’ Illan Meslier (55) and Crystal Palace’s Vicente Guaita (52) as goals continue to rain in around the league – while Tyrone Mings (65) and Ezri Konsa (64) have been consistently among the defensive recommendations this season and are this week’s top two.
Grealish is the second-ranked midfielder – and third among all players – and is joined on the list by team-mate John McGinn. The Scot ranks seven points behind Grealish’s transfer score of 71, with his form not matching up after Grealish’s three assists and two goals against Liverpool, but McGinn is cheaper by £1.6million and owned by only 1.1 per cent of managers.
Watkins unsurprisingly makes it onto the attacking podium after his hat-trick and an assist against the Reds, though managers will look for more consistency to raise his form rating from 53 in our system.
Spurs pair continue to rise up ranks
Son Heung-min and Harry Kane are the top two points-scorers in FPL this season, with Son one ahead on 45, and as our form rank shifts to reflect this season alone the Tottenham duo are also the top two in transfer score this week.
Son rates ahead of Grealish in midfield with a transfer score of 76, though the South Korean’s £9.1m price tag will limit your options unless you are in wildcard mode.
England captain Kane’s 74 is the top transfer score among strikers, with Brighton’s Neal Maupay (71) his nearest challenger followed by Watkins.
Club-mate Serge Aurier also cracks the defensive podium, with a lowly 58 rating boosted by a goal and an assist in the 6-1 win over Manchester United.
The Hammer comes down
West Ham are another team in form, having gone into the break by handsomely beating both Wolves and Leicester – but the fixture list begins to bite on their return to action.
Games against Spurs, Manchester City and then Liverpool give them the toughest FDR of any team, capping the transfer score of their star men.
Aaron Cresswell is our fifth-ranked defender despite that, just a point behind Aurier, while Jarrod Bowen and Pablo Fornals might both have threatened the midfield list with a more favourable schedule – managers may instead wait until after Halloween for the horrors to end.
Crystal Palace, by contrast, have the easiest upcoming run – enough to vault Andros Townsend and Cheikhou Kouyate into the top five midfield picks with matching transfer scores of 62.