With so many transfer trends and varying levels of form impacting the strategies of FPL players around the world, ahead of each Gameweek we will be providing our top ten selections in each position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) for standalone rounds of games. Our player selections will be based purely on our opinion of those players on our watchlist any given week, with may positively sway FPL or Draft players with their own thoughts and decisions heading in to a Gameweek. All aboard.
Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 18 Deadline
For the 2016/17 Premier League season, the FPL deadline will be one hour before the commencement of the week's first game. The Premier League website lists each FPL deadline, you can always ask on social media, and you can also view a real time countdown on our Weekly Hype page.
FPL Gameweek 18: Goalkeeper Selections
1) Ederson (MCI): £5.8m - vs. Crystal Palace (A)
2) Martin Dubravka (NEW): £5.0m - vs. Fulham (H)
3) Alisson (LIV): £5.8m - vs. Wolves (A)
4) Alex McCarthy (SOU): £4.5m - vs. Huddersfield (A)
5) Bernt Leno (ARS): £4.8m - vs. Burnley (H)
There's one glaring omission right off the bat in our Positional Rankings for keepers this week, and that is leaving Lukasz Fabianski out of contention, despite the Polish shot-stopper earning a 3rd clean sheet of the season in a comfortable 2-0 away win at Fulham. We believe that there is a higher ceiling ahead of Gameweek 18 for sure-fire clean sheets, as Watford's visit will pose considerable questions to The Hammers defence as they've got some attacking gems in Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra to bank on.
One side that is struggling for goals is Fulham, which puts a defensive keen Newcastle on the radar for a clean sheet this weekend. Martin Dubravka has arguably been Newcastle's best player this season and the dominant keeper just kept a 5th clean sheet of the clean in a 1-0 away win at Huddersfield. This could be a swansong week for Dubravka however as a trip to Anfield begins another rough patch of fixtures for Rafa Benitez's side.
Talking of Huddersfield, they're back to their old ways of looking like they'll go 20 games without a goal, a trail of momentum that might favour Alex McCarthy in a visit north. Southampton last kept a clean sheet in a 0-0 home draw against the aforementioned Newcastle during Gameweek 10, so time is due for Ralph Hasenhüttl's maiden shut-out in the Premier League.
The list of contenders is rounded off by Arsenal's Bernt Leno, with Arsenal entertaining a Burnley side that look like they're rediscovering their defensive steel, though problems in attack continue to mount. Leno recently kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 home win against Huddersfield and we can see a similar pattern in the Burnley game - a low scoring gritty affair that favours defensive assets.
Ever presents, Alisson and Ederson are also in prime contention, though Ederson's more than testing the patience of his loyal 25.7% ownership. A quarter of FPL players will be hoping and praying that Man City end a rot of no clean sheets in 4 games, and just 1 shut-out in 6 Premier League matches, will come to an end when Crystal Palace visit the Etihad.
As for Alisson, his 21.7% of owners would have cursed in unison when he fumbled a cross in Liverpool's 3-1 home win against Man United, ending hopes of another home clean sheet when Jesse Lingard fed on scraps to score a lone effort for the manager-less visiting side. Liverpool are well within their remit this Friday to pick up their defensive habits when they visit an in-form Wolves side, however, so faith hasn't been lost in the only Goalkeeper to reach 10 clean sheets this season.
Others in contention:
Kepa Arrizabalaga (CHE) and Lukasz Fabianski (WHU)
FPL Gameweek 18: Defender Selections
1) Marcos Alonso (CHE): £7.0m - vs. Leicester (H)
2) Andrew Robertson (LIV): £6.5m - vs. Wolves (A)
3) Virgil van Dijk (LIV): £6.2m - vs. Wolves (A)
4) Aymeric Laporte (MCI): £6.1m - vs. Crystal Palace (H)
5) Kieran Trippier (TOT): £6.1m - vs. Everton (A)
6) Jamaal Lascelles (NEW): £4.7m - vs. Fulham (H)
7) Fabian Balbuena (WHU): £4.4m - vs. Watford (H)
8) David Luiz (CHE): £5.7m - vs. Leicester (H)
9) Sead Kolasinac (ARS): £5.1m - vs. Burnley (H)
10) Jan Bednarek (SOU): £3.9m - vs. Huddersfield (A)
A landmark was reached this season after Gameweek 17, with Chelsea's Marcos Alonso the first Defender in the game to reach 100 points. With defensive assets doing very, very for themselves this season as dual attacking and defensive outlets, the only place to start this week is with Alonso. Despite just 2 attacking returns since Gameweek 4, the Spaniard is still looking likely to be in the mix at the end of each 90 minutes to score or assist due to his advanced position on the field. Leicester at home is another opportunity for a minimum of 6 points to be bagged, with an even higher glass ceiling.
Just behind the allure of Alonso is the ever-reliable duo of Andrew Robertson and Virgil van Dijk. Jose Mourinho's parting words with Man United this week were in fact compliments aimed at Andrew Robertson - calling the Soctland captain an intense player who can do 100m sprints each and every minute whilst on a football field. A trip to Wolves will test Liverpool's title credentials, though there's no reason to doubt the points potential for Liverpool defensive assets, after all Jurgen Klopp's side have kept 10 clean sheets in 17 games.
Aymeric Laporte, who like Ederson has been the beneficiary of just 1 clean sheet in 6 matches, rounds off the top-half of our defensive list - our heavy hitters both in the bank and on the field - with Kieran Trippier, whose recent return from injury is a massive boost for Spurs ahead of a difficult tie at Everton.
Just outside top defensive contenders this week have have some differential gems in Newcastle's Jamaal Lascelles. With Federico Fernandez out injured, if you don't own Dubravka, Lascelles is a route to points as he's always in the BPS conversation when Rafa Benitez's side shut-out an opponent. Fulham are struggling and we back Newcastle to keep back-to-back clean sheets for the second time this season.
There's a few punts in Fabian Balbuena and Marcos's Alonso's defensive partner, David Luiz, as tempting home ties fill out an otherwise tricky week to call clean sheet potential, whilst 4.2% of players will be sweating on the availability of Sead Kolasinac ahead of a favourable home fixture against Burnley. Sould Kola overcome a thigh complaint which ruled him out of the 3-2 defeat at Southampton, he's got potential to deliver at both ends of the pitch as Arsenal will look to exploit Burnley's full-backs.
Surprisingly, Jan Bednarek rounds off our defensive selections and is here partly due to his price, coming in at a steal priced at £3.9m in the FPL. Huddersfield could have played for 10,000 hours without scoring against Newcastle last weekend and Southampton could benefit massively from another indecisive week in front of goal.
FPL Gameweek 18: Midfielder Selections
1) Raheem Sterling (MCI): £11.6m - vs. Crystal Palace (H)
2) Leroy Sane (MCI): £9.7m - vs. Crystal Palace (H)
3) Eden Hazard (CHE): £11.0m - vs. Leicester (H)
4) Mohamed Salah (LIV): £13.1m - vs. Wolves (A)
5) Sadio Mane (LIV): £9.6m - vs. Wolves (A)
6) Felipe Anderson (WHU): £7.4m - vs. Watford (H)
7) Anthony Martial (MUN): £7.3m - vs. Cardiff (A)
8) Ryan Fraser (BOU): £6.3m - vs. Brighton (H)
9) Heung-Min Son (TOT): £8.5m - vs. Everton (A)
10) Henrikh Mkhitaryan (ARS): £6.7m - vs. Burnley (H)
There are some familiar faces in our midfield picks, so we don't think we really need to delve into some of the reasoning. The only options who might not start this weekend are the North London duo of Mkhitaryan and Son, with rotation everywhere with Arsenal and Spurs midfielders so far this season.
There's a few mid-range midfield picks, all wingers, who look primed for strong performances this weekend, with Anthony Martial the one to watch if he is given license to play at Cardiff under Ole Gunnar Solskjær.
The rest of the list covers the power options from City, Chelsea and Liverpool, with a wealth of likely midfield options in Hazard, Salah and Sterling. Take your pick.
Also in contention:
Paul Pogba (MUN) - though we'd wait to see how United line up against Cardiff before making the plunge.
FPL Gameweek 18: Forward Selections
1) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ARS): £11.5m - vs. Burnley (H)
2) Salomon Rondon (NEW): £5.8m - vs. Fulham (H)
3) Javier Hernandez (WHU): £6.4m - vs. Watford (H)
4) Callum Wilson (BOU): £6.9m - vs. Brighton (H)
5) Danny Ings (SOU): £5.4m - vs. Huddersfield (A)
With some notable Top 6 omissions this weekend in Kane, Aguero and Lukaku - with all 3 having some hurdles and doubts this weekend, the best Forward picks this weekend come at a cut-price deal - all except for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who could prosper this weekend at home against Burnley.
Salomon Rondon is one name that comes to the forefront of attention this week having returned in 3 consecutive matches. Fulham have conceded 12 times in the last 5 games and look like they might struggle against the one man wrecking ball, Rondon at the weekend.
Danny Ings, Callum Wilson and Javier Hernandez all have favourable fixtures and have form on their side. Ings in particular could be a real diamond in the rough this week as Southampton travel to a Huddersfield side lcking at both ends of the pitch, and fresh of a double against Arsenal, Ings could really relish some consistent appearances in Ralph Hassenhuttl's side.
Others in contention:
Harry Kane (TOT), Sergio Aguero (MCI) and Romelu Lukaku (MUN)
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