Thank you as always for reading and for your continued support.
After a nice little period of rest and relaxation, we will be back in action this weekend. But make no mistake, despite the apparent calm waters and blue skies, we’re heading straight into a massive storm of uncertainty and disruption as we head toward Gameweek 31 and beyond. There will be blanks, there will be double Gameweeks, and there will be blood. Trusty servants will have to be jettisoned in favor of assets from teams like Crystal Palace as Gameweek 31 approaches.
But for now, despite the ominous clouds building on the horizon, we’re still in relatively calm sailing waters that will last from GW 28 through GW 30.
Enjoy the next three Gameweeks but make no mistake: Something wicked this way comes.
Now that I have your attention, let’s take a quick look at three Togga players in white-hot form that you can ride for the next three Gameweeks, three players who’ve gone stone cold on us, before concluding with my own Gameweek 28 Togga Perfect XI picks!
Hotter than Phoenix in July
The four hottest players over the last three Gameweeks are all usual suspects: Sergio Aguero, Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah. Rather than spend any of your valuable time on “Master of the Obvious” observations, let’s take a look at three less-heralded players in great form.
The on-loan winger from Barcelona has been a wonderful addition to Watford’s front line and Togga front lines. For those of us who remember his Everton days assisting Romelu Lukaku, none of this will come as a surprise. Simply stated, Gerry D is a high floor, high ceiling player who should be starting on any team in 10 and 12-team leagues. He’s also a very good option in 8-team leagues, particularly on teams with middling midfield depth or those that prefer to play 3-4-3.
Let’s take a look at what Deulofeu has done since rejoining the EPL in GW 25:
GW 25: 13 points (88 minutes); @ Stoke City
GW 26: 30.5 (89); 1 G 1 A; Chelsea (H)
GW 27: 8.5 (75); @ West Ham
That, dear reader, is great production. As of this writing, the Watford forward is 74% owned in Togga; if he is available in your league, then you really need to run (don’t walk) to claim him off waivers. Deulofeu also has very nice upcoming fixtures through GW 30: Everton (H); West Brom (H); @ Arsenal.
Deulofeu’s teammate, midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure has also been in good form of late.
The Brighton midfielder has been a frustrating Togga pick: too good to drop, too inconsistent to start.
Brighton, however, has seen its patchy form stabilize over the past few Gameweeks, and the German’s form has risen along with his team’s fortunes.
GW 25: 4.5 points (83 minutes); @ Southampton
GW 26: 29.5 (83); 1 G, 1 A; West Ham (H)
GW 27: 12 (79); @ Stoke City
While not a full 90’ player these days, the German has been nailed-on lately after a period of inconsistent playing time during the middle of the season. His upcoming fixtures through GW 30 are similar to Watford’s, which is a very good thing: Swansea (H); Arsenal (H); @Everton. I think we can safely expect an average of 11-13 points, which is solid production for a 3rd/4th midfielder in deep leagues.
Groß’s teammate, forward Jose Izquierdo has also been in excellent form recently.
Newcastle’s Senegalese international midfielder is doing his very best to join Liverpool’s Sadio Mane at the World Cup in Russia. Since earning Rafael Benitez’s trust and being named a consistent starter since GW 19, Diame has been an extremely underrated Togga player. Over the past three Gameweeks, Diame has elevated his game and has become a player that should be owned and started in 12-team leagues, and should be strongly considered in many 10-team leagues:
GW 25: 12 points (90 minutes); Burnley (H)
GW 26: 13.5 (65); 1 G; @ Crystal Palace
GW 27: 15 (90); Manchester United (H)
Diame has shown consistency against all manner of opponents home or away; he is fast becoming a player that I trust. His upcoming fixtures are pretty decent too: @Bournemouth, @Liverpool; Southampton (H).
Colder than a Scottish Shower
The Obvious Child (Paul Pogba)
Now that Jose Mourinho’s favorite whipping boy Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been run out of town, the France international midfielder Pogba has taken his place in the Portuguese manager’s revolving doghouse. In fairness, Pogba has been equally horrible in real and fantasy futbol of late. I hope you saved one of those motion sickness bags found in airplane seat pouches, because this will make you gag:
GW 22: 30 points (90 minutes); 2 A; @ Everton
GW 23: 28.5 (90); 2 A; Stoke (H)
GW 24: 6.5 (90); @ Burnley
GW 25: 2.5 (63); @ Tottenham
GW 26: 5.5 (25); Huddersfield (H)
GW 27: 2.5 (66); @ Newcastle
Yuck! For the record, I’m backing Pogba for a swift recovery, but there’s no denying it’s been ugly for him of late. My hopes are pinned on Mourinho realizing that his formations haven’t worked since Alexis arrived and that a 4-3-3 is the way to go. Having a second midfielder to help Matic with his defensive responsibilities would, in theory, free up Pogba to run rampant and pick up those Togga points. We shall see.
The Brazilian rookie has been bad since GW 22. I think he’s both tired and slightly figured out by opposing defenses. As high as I am on Deulofeu and, to a lesser extent, Doucoure and Troy Deeney, I simply can’t back Richarlison at this time. Until I see signs of life (13+ points in a Gameweek), I’d only start him in deep 12-team leagues.
I love Ederson and no, I’m not picking on Brazilian newcomers to EPL. Ederson has been just as good recently as he has been throughout his hugely impressive maiden campaign in England — in real life. In Togga, however, his numbers have fallen off a cliff as the save opportunities have dried up and only the best scoring chances are getting past that City defense. This has resulted in a toxic combination for any Togga keeper: few poor-to-ok shots on target + only the highest quality shots on target = low save totals but some goals allowed (i.e., low Togga scores). I’d stay away as there are far better options out there at the keeper position. It may be tough to do, but if you own Ederson in anything except a 12-team league, it may be time to drop him and pick up a free agent. Why not see what Newcastle’s Martin Dubravka can do for you?
On to my Perfect XI picks for this coming Gameweek...
GW 28 Togga PXI Picks
The Young Pope of Burnley is hosting Southampton. I expect Ryan Bertrand and James Ward-Prowse to be active crossers for newcomer Guido Carrillo to put in a few headers on target. Nothing to trouble Pope, who will gladly scoop up the saves points.
The Brighton home game vs Swansea also looks promising from a goalkeeper perspective, so I would be happy with either Mat Ryan or Lukasz Fabianski.
Jan Vertonghen and a Tottenham fullback (@ Crystal Palace); Craig Dawson (Home to Huddersfield); Daryl Janmaat (Home to Everton); Shane Duffy (Home to Swansea)
In a Gameweek when Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City defenders are not advisable, I fancy Tottenham defenders. I’m strongly considering starting two (or even three!). The other spot or two will come from any of the names above.
Riyad Mahrez (Home to Stoke); Kevin De Bruyne (@ Arsenal); Sadio Mane (Home to West Ham); Christian Eriksen (Home to Crystal Palace); Leroy Sane (@ Arsenal); Xherdan Shaqiri (@ Leicester)
GW 28 continues to show us it’s a bit of a tricky one given the matchups. I guess I could live with Eden Hazard visiting Manchester United, but I’d rather not. I do like Manchester City visiting Arsenal and will choose one of KDB or Sane (going against a defensively suspect Hector Bellerin). Mane visiting West Ham is a must, as is Eriksen home to the Eagles. My last pick will come down to Mahrez or Shaqiri; I think there will be goals in this one and expect one of these two to explode this weekend.
Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino (Home to West Ham); Harry Kane (Home to Crystal Palace); Gerard Deulofeu (Home to Everton)
By now it’s become clear that I rate Liverpool and Tottenham as the two big teams to deliver the goods in GW 28. I may decide to line up with both Salah and Firmino up top. More likely, I’ll flip a coin for one while slotting Kane in as the other forward. If I’m feeling a lucky punk on Friday night, I may roll with Deulofeu!
And that’s how I see the Togga world as we go into GW 28. More importantly, I’d love to hear how you see things: Who’s hot, who’s cold, and whom do you rate for PXI this Gameweek? And it’s never too early to start addressing plans for the Gathering Storm that will hit us all come GW 31... how are you planning to ride it out? Share in the comments below!