Updated: Jan 10
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 20 Ghost Point Hunters article is here to help!
Gameweek 20 Ghost Point Hunters
Thick and fast is becoming a tiresome term but it's very apt to describe the current conditions of the festive season. Games, when not postponed at the last minute of course, are happening almost every day. And we managers have to be ready. GPH is here to bring in the new year with a bunch of ghosties. No more attacking return-dependent mugs in the year 2022. In that spirit, here is your lot: Joelinton (back for the first time), Francisco Sierralta, & Will Hughes. Over in honorable mention, we have 2017's Matt Doherty, Yves Bissouma, Jan Bednarek, & Joao Pedro. In a twist of fate, the Dr. Peter Venkman award goes to another Spud, Emerson Royal. Weird.
Ghost Points Per 90: 8.2
Ghost Points Last GW (GW19): 14.5
Prospects: Has become an essential part of Eddie Howe's tactical plans. Will be nailed on.
Verdict: Pick him up or try trading a DEF3+MID5 or FWD3 for him.
Over here at GPH HQ, we don't like to duplicate efforts. We try to avoid highlighting a ghost point warrior more than once. But Sir Joseph of Lintonshire's dismantling of Manchester United forced us to break protocol. The giant Brazilian has received a lot of criticism since he arrived on Tyneside. He is not your grandmother's Brazilian - he is big and physical, although he also isn't too shabby with the ball at his feet. This is all to say that Joelinton hasn't really made the Newcastle #9 role his own. So why not slot him into the midfield? An odd proposition but Eddie Howe has done just that. The Newcastle manager has noted that he was forced to do so when Newcastle went down to 10 men versus Norwich City. And he hasn't looked back.
Joelinton has been impressive in his newfound role. He was always a very capable ghoster (over 8 ghosties per start is great for a FWD) - hence his previous appearance in this article - but his introduction to the midfield opens up more opportunities for other types of ghosting. His 14.5 scary scores against lowly Man United in this position came from a myriad of sources: 4 Key Passes (wow), 1 Tackle Won, 3 Interceptions, 1 Successful Dribble, 2 Blocked Shots, and 1 Aerial. He is clearly an integral figure in Eddie Howe's plans and should be one of the first names on the team-sheet. The injury to Callum Wilson may shift Joelinton back up front but he is a keeper regardless of where he is on the pitch. Act accordingly.
Ghost Points Per 90: N/A; not enough starts
Ghost Points This Past GW (GW 20): 18
Prospects: Finally back from injury, should be a regular starter barring another knock.
Verdict: Pick him up!
A Drafterthoughts favorite coming into the season, Sierralta has had a rough start to life in the Premier League. Oft-injured and part of a defense hemorrhaging goals, he had only started 3 games prior to this past GW versus West Ham. Now he's back...and putting up supernatural scores. In his first game back in months, the Watford defender somehow conjured up 10 points despite conceding a very Watford-esque 4 goals. This is a long way of saying that Sierralta dropped 18 ghost points. These largely came from an absurd 9 Aerials & 8 Clearances. In stark contrast to his colleague Adam Masina, the Chilean was able to overcome the goals conceded by ghosting out of his mind. If he can keep this up, he becomes a very attractive proposition, especially in decent matchups. One to watch.
Team: Crystal Palace
Ghost Points Per 90: N/A; not enough starts
Ghost Points This Past GW: 12.5
Prospects: Has started back to back games - could be the starting playmaker in this team.
Verdict: Pick him up!
Will the real slim shady please stand up? An Eminem-lookalike who looks like he uses peroxide but actually doesn't, Will Hughes has been an enigma since emerging as a wonderkid at Derby County all those years ago. It didn't work out for him at Watford and now he's in South London. He's recently been given his chance to start in the engine room for Vieira's Palace and has shown glimpses. Fantasy-wise, in his last 4 starts, Hughes has averaged over 10 points a game. Not too shabby.
He is central midfielder's central midfielder who can create and pick a pass. And he also takes some set pieces. This past GW, admittedly against a very poor Norwich City, Hughes dropped a tasty amount of ghosts, in addition to his assist/penalty drawn. These stemmed from the following: 3 Key Passes, 4 Tackles Won, 2 Blocked Shots & 1 Aerial. Slick Willy won't set the world on fire but he is definitely worth streaming in a good matchup or rostering as a MID5 for now.
Matt Doherty (Tottenham DEF; 13.25 ghosts): Came on for Reguilon at the half and ghosted out. However, in true Doherty fashion, he missed some great chances and was pretty bad in reality. Sigh.
Yves Bissouma (Brighton MID; 15.5 ghosts): The defensive MID has had stretches of fantasy competence but those days seemed to be long gone. He was back to his best vs Chelsea; let's see if it's an aberration.
Jan Bednarek (Southampton DEF; 26 ghosts in past 2 GWs): Whisper it but Jan Bednarek is becoming a solid DEF2, if the recent data is anything to go by. A sneaky pickup for the weekend.
Joao Pedro (Watford FWD; 10 ghosts): Came on for a 45 minute cameo and ghosted. Worth keeping an eye on.
Dr. Peter Venkman Award:
Emerson Royal (Tottenham DEF; 0.75 Ghosts): Well, well, well, yet another Spud heading to the podium this week to receive the dreaded Dr. Peter Venkman award. Dropping less than 1 ghost against a ten man Southampton squad warrants the name and shame. Swooping the ex-Barcelona man, Emerson Royal, in the summer window was supposed to be a coup for Tottenham. But it hasn't really worked out that way. Royal hasn't really shown much offensively or defensively. GPH was admittedly excited about the ghosting mantle of true fantasy royalty, Serge Aurier, being usurped by another Spuds RB. Granted, it's early days, but GPH doesn't see it happening. A 30+ point explosion versus a ten man Crystal Palace the previous GW notwithstanding, Royal has been average fantasy-wise and hasn't really passed the eye test. This past GW, he was awful. Even against another depleted squad, he could only muster 3 clearances. That's it. Maybe Conte gets him firing. More likely, Spursiness claims yet another victim.
***Click here to view the full Ghost Point Tracker table!***
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