Kieran Trippier’s (£6.8m) recent return to form has made him a top target for managers in Fantasy Premier League.
After a slow start to the campaign, Trippier is now reminding managers just why he was the top-scoring defender last season.
Trippier's third assist v Sheff Utd
The right-back has collected 38 of his 43 points in the last three Gameweeks, combining four assists with three clean sheets.
Newcastle’s upcoming schedule has added to Trippier’s appeal.
According to the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR), three of their next five matches score just two.
Newcastle's next five matches
The underlying numbers show Trippier has been among the league’s elite creators across the opening seven Gameweeks.
Indeed, his 22 key passes are more than any other player in Fantasy, while his five big chances created rank joint-second with Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes (£8.4m).
Top creators in Fantasy
|Player||Chances created||Big chances created||Assists|
Combined with his defensive contributions, Trippier is well-favoured in the Bonus Points System (BPS), which determines the bonus points in any given match.
This has helped him collect a further eight bonus over the Magpies’ last three contests, underlining his multiple routes to returns.
Certainly, if budget is no object then Trippier has to be the standout pick in defence at present.
He has the form and fixtures to continue rewarding his backers over the next few Gameweeks.
Compromises need to be made
Trippier’s hefty price would, however, impact how managers distribute their budgets across the positions in Fantasy.
Bringing him in cannot be looked at in isolation, therefore, as there are a number of factors to consider.
Most managers this season have mainly ploughed their funds into midfield in a 3-5-2 formation and partnered Erling Haaland (£14.1m) with a mid-priced forward, simply handing the armband to Manchester City’s Norwegian.
Haaland has somewhat disappointed his huge 91 per cent backers recently, though, claiming just one double-figure haul in the last six Gameweeks.
That downturn comes at a time when Man City are set to embark on a tough run of opponents, whereas Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (£12.6m) and Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min (£9.3m) face far kinder schedules that can allow both to outscore Haaland.
Other elements include the fact that having Trippier might stop managers from owning viable captain options for the coming Gameweeks.
|GW8||ARS (A)||BHA (A)||LUT (A)|
|GW9||BHA (H)||EVE (H)||FUL (H)|
|GW10||MUN (A)||NFO (H)||CRY (A)|
|GW11||BOU (H)||LUT (A)||CHE (H)|
Since being moved up front by Spurs’ head coach Ange Postecoglou in Gameweek 4, Son has outscored Haaland by 43 points to 34 in Fantasy.
Son and Salah can provide strong alternatives to Haaland for the armband, which highlights the need for at least one of the premium stars in managers’ midfields.
Combining Salah and Son with budget defenders
For those keen on the Salah/Son midfield double-up, both Aston Villa's Matty Cash (£4.9m) and Spurs right-back Pedro Porro (£5.0m) offer strong attacking threat among defenders and are far more affordable than Trippier.
Cash’s 14 shots, 11 shots in the box and seven shots on target all place top in his position in Fantasy, while Porro ranks second for shots and joint-sixth for key passes.
Although Trippier has been the leading creator, he’s managed only two shots, both from outside the box.
Trippier/Cash/Porro attacking stats compared
|Player||Shots||Shots in box||Chances created||Goals||Assists|
Handily, Villa, like Spurs, have great upcoming schedules to give Cash and Porro the chance to bring in more returns.
According to the FDR, each of Villa and Spurs' next three matches score only two.
|GW8||WHU (A)||WOL (A)||LUT (A)|
|GW9||CRY (H)||WHU (H)||FUL (H)|
|GW10||WOL (A)||LUT (H)||CRY (A)|
|GW11||ARS (H)||NFO (A)||CHE (H)|
Essentially, Trippier, along with Salah, Son and his Spurs team-mate James Maddison (£7.9m), as well as Villa forward Ollie Watkins (£8.0m), could all prove standout picks in Fantasy over the coming weeks.
But owning all of them, as well as Haaland, is simply impossible.
In order to take full advantage of the fixture swings and form players, it may ultimately come down to how managers choose to balance their squads between defence and attack in the coming period, and where they decide to seek out value.
Also in this series
Part 1: Should managers sell Alvarez for Watkins in Fantasy?
Part 3: FPL experts: Is it a mistake to overlook Trippier?
Part 4: FPL experts: What to do with Brighton players?
Part 5: Why Hojlund's arrival has hindered Rashford in Fantasy
View all the latest FPL tips ahead of Gameweek 8 in Fantasy Premier League