Updated: Nov 12, 2021
We ain’t afraid of no ghosts. In fact, we seek them – ghost points, that is. Ghost points are fantasy points that do not come from attacking returns or clean sheets. These can come in the form of key passes, successful dribbles, interceptions, accurate crosses, and aerials, among others. Identifying these points is essential for your Fantasy EPL prospects, and our Gameweek 12 Ghost Point Hunters article is here to help!
Gameweek 12 Ghost Point Hunters
This week's edition of GPH is a vanity project. The author highlights a few players who just happen to be some of his all time favorites and are also currently on his roster. A few under the radar ghosters are also flagged - happy now? We are talking about James Ward Prowse, Emi Buendia, & Matty Cash/Matt Targett. The honorable mention crowd consists of Kurt Zouma/Craig Dawson, Milot Rashica, & Bryan Mbeumo. Meanwhile, the Dr. Peter Venkman Award goes to...Heung Min Son. After all this Conte hype, Spuds need to be knocked back down a peg, no? Cool, let's get it.
James Ward Prowse (JWP)
Ghost Points Per 90: 8.2
Ghost Points This Past GW: 16
Prospects: Only a red card suspension can keep this iron man off the pitch. Set, forget, enjoy your Nando's.
Verdict: This was his biggest ghostly performance of the season. GPH wants more but never a bad idea to get JWP in, especially right before Norwich. Try opening with someone like Rice 1:1 (add a +1 if need be).
Where to begin? By now, most of you know that JWP has been on the CNFC roster at some point every season since 2015/2016. He is Mr Reliable, a warm blanket. The guy you'd want to marry your daughter. I digress. JWP is arguably the greatest set piece taker in the Premier League and/or the universe. Fantasy-wise, this usually provides a nice floor of points. However, he has had some off games this season, hence his slightly subpar ppg (around 9) according to his standards (he has averaged over 10.4 ppg the past 2 seasons). Nearly half of his starts this season have resulted in 5 or less points.
JWP was back to being JWP, though, this past GW v Aston Villa. He dropped a mouthwatering 16 ghost points from nearly every available category (and he had the pleasure of taking what seemed like 38 corners; 10 in reality). The ghosties consisted of 4 Key Passes, 1 Shot on Target (forced an amazing save from Martinez), 2 Tackles Won, 3 Accurate Crosses Not Corners (ACNCs), 2 Clearances,1 Blocked Shot, & 2 Aerials. In short, this is what you would hope and expect from JWP. His rosterers want to see this continue and hopefully it won't be an aberration. With Southampton gaining some momentum, there is no reason that it can't. Either way, he'll always be loved.
Team: Aston Villa
Ghost Points Per 90: 7.6
Ghost Points This Past GW: 13
Prospects: Due to injuries and/or his talent/price tag, Dean Smith has been adamant about slotting in Buendia of late. It is likely that the new manager will also be keen to get Emi firing on all cylinders.
Verdict: Despite a few ghostly performances/starts on the trot, he still has underwhelming general stats & uncertainty remains. It could still be buy lowish time for Buendia. Try a 1:1 for Fornals or similar to above w/ JWP.
Buendia is a draft fpl community legend. When you drop nearly 25 ghost points in a game for a team struggling with relegation (he scored 32 with an assist on New Year's Day 2020 v Palace), you'll get a cult following real quick. Emi was at the heart of everything Norwich City did as they dominated the Championship last season and gained promotion to the Premier League. So when Buendia got his move to a bigger club, Aston Villa, over the summer, many predicted even bigger things. I liked him but I thought that him going first round, where he went in many drafts, was a big stretch.
Unfortunately, it just hasn't happened for him (under 8 ppg is very disappointing for a 1st/2nd Round pick) or Villa yet. He and fellow new signings, Danny Ings and Leon Bailey, have yet to adequately fill that giant-calved shape hole in the Villa attack left by former talisman Jack Grealish. They have looked unsurprisingly disjointed. But Buendia has shown flashes of his former self in recent weeks, rattling off scores of 10.5, 11, & 13 in his last 3 starts, despite coming off early in each match. And most of these are ghost points, which gives me all the feels. In his most recent outing v Southampton, he posted 13 scary scores, stemming from: 4 Key Passes,1 Shot on Target, 2 Tackles Won, and 1 Successful Dribble. He's still got it. He just needs to play regularly and for more than 60 minutes to start producing what was expected of him pre-season. Hopefully the new manager (likely Steven Gerrard, who prefers a 4-3-3 or potentially a 4-2-3-1) will find a way to get Buendia going, whether that's at RW or in a more central/#10 role. The potential is certainly there. It could be tough to get a deal with a Buendia truther to over the line regardless of stats or uncertainty. Give it a shot.
Matty Cash/Matt Targett
Team: Aston Villa
Rostered: 93% & 56%
Ghost Points Per 90: 7.7 & 8.0
Ghost Points This Past GW: 15.25 & 13.25
Prospects: Regardless of who the new manager is, these two should be nailed on at RB & LB.
Verdict: Cash is a bit more valuable after this week but a deal could still be done via MID5 or DEF 3 while Targett could be on your waiver wire.
Let's keep the West Midlands love going. Last week, you got the Burnley fullback 2 for 1; this week, it is the Villa pair, Matty Cash (aka Mateusz Gotowka ) & Matt Targett. This Aston Villa defense has gone from clean sheet warriors last season to a leaky faucet this campaign. And these two have suffered as a result; combined, they have dipped into negative point territory 5 times. They have been the definition of boom or bust, mirroring the erratic nature of this Villa side.
But Cash & Targett have also shown a persistent ghostiness at times this season, particularly this past GW, where they produced over 15 & 13 scary scores, respectively, in a 1 nil loss to the Saints. They came from a variety of attacking and defensive categories. Cash scores the odd goal and Targett takes some set pieces. While the inconsistency and the lack of cleanies have dented their value, they could be prime candidates for a revival under a manager like Stevie G, who favors attacking fullbacks in a pressing 4-3-3. They may be in the buy low category right now (yes, this author dealt Cash right before Smith was sacked; such is life).
Ross Barkley (Chelsea MID; 15 Ghosts): The Hall of fame streamer did it again in his first start this past GW. He won't be a regular starter, of course, but Barkley will certainly get his opportunities over the festive season. He is a must stream when in the starting XI.
Kurt Zouma/Craig Dawson (West Ham DEFs; 10.75 & 13 Ghosts): Big Kurt Zouma has been a disappointment, fantasy-wise, since his move across London, where he has actually supplanted CMFD (Craig Dawson) at starting CB. But both of those dynamics changed over the weekend v Liverpool. Zouma ghosted and scored a goal, while Ogbonna's injury meant CMFD came into the game and also ghosted well. And he could get a few more starts in Ogbonna's absence. Both scored well but they were busy actively dealing with Liverpool's attack, which meant points. Let's see if this continues (I'm skeptical).
Milot Rashica (Norwich City MID; 10.5 Ghosts): Rashica followed up a rare attacking return in the previous game with a nice set of ghosties. If he can keep his spot under a new manager and persist with these scary scores, he could have MID4 value - the Kosovar might be worth a punt if you need midfield help.
Bryan Mbeumo (Brentford FWD; 10.5 Ghosts): These double-digit ghosts have been a rarity for Mbeumo and likely a result of the "Norwich Effect" - playing against the sputtering Canaries can do wonders. This is unlikely to continue but also warrants keeping an eye out.
Dr. Peter Venkman Award:
Heung Min Son (Tottenham FWD; 4 Ghosts): The Ghost Point Hunter (GPH) rarely lets his personal biases blind him in this draft fantasy game of ours. Points are points. But if a Spuds player happens to have a dip in form, it's not the end of the world. Heung Min Son, despite the dearth of attacking verve from Spurs at the beginning of the season, has had some great scores and still maintains a tasty ppg of over 11. However, Son's scores have dried up of late, only mustering 5, 6, & 4 in his last 3. The most recent performance was nearly devoid of all supernatural activity. And his ghost points per start avg is just 7 (decent for a FWD but relatively low for such a good player who is on set pieces). This is not happy reading for Son aficionados. The GPH would love to be able to say that this cold streak will persist but it won't. The rising Conte tide should lift all boats, especially the Korean's, as he makes dangerous runs off of Kane in this new system. And the upcoming schedule is as soft as baby wipes. Buy low.
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