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 23 Ghost Point Hunters article is here to help!
Gameweek 23 Ghost Point Hunters
Another endless gameweek in the books. For those of you still about, we've made it to GW23. Some new ghosts have appeared since the previous waiver wire and others are reappearing. Let's have it. On the big board, we have Kieran Trippier, Manuel Lanzini, & new Watford Defenders (see below), Meanwhile, honorable mentions go to: Ben Godfrey, Tariq Lamptey, Pierre Lees-Melou, Emi Buendia (again), Joelinton (again), & Emmanuel Dennis. The Dr. Peter Venkman Award goes to multiple midfielders this week, and good ones at that: Jarrod Bowen & Conor Gallagher. I'll explain later.
Team: Newcastle United
Ghost Points Per 90: N/A (not enough starts)
Ghost Points Last GW (GW22): 17.75
Prospects: Nailed on at right back and given a lot of set piece duty (based on his debut this GW).
Verdict: Wait for a down week/bad matchup and try to trade him in. Early results show a great set piece/ghost point floor. Try to open with a MID4 + DEF3 (e.g., Jensen + Bednarek).
One of the splashier signings of this January transfer window, 2017's Kieran Trippier is back home. While he was quite the fantasy point machine back in his heyday at White Hart Lane, does he still have it? Did his Spanish sabbatical with Cholo Simeone beat the swashbuckling adventurism out of him? Early returns suggest not. Trips used his debut this past gameweek vs Watford to reproduce his fantasy bonafides, dropping 15+ total points despite conceding a goal. He did that by ghosting out of his skin. More specifically, he posted 2 Key Passes, 3 Tackles Won, 1 Accurate Cross Not a Corner (ACNC), 4 Interceptions, 1 Clearance, 2 Blocked Shots, & 4 Aerials.
He delivered a good mix of defensive (did he actually learn how to defend in Spain?) and attacking stats, which bodes well for the future. The fact that Trippier took the majority of set pieces is an even better harbinger of his fantasy potential. Yes, it was against Watford, and somehow almost every defender on both sides scored pretty well in that game (see below). And Newcastle will likely ship more goals to better teams and clean sheets will be hard to come by. However, if these ghosties continue, and GPH sees no reason why they won't, Trippier's scores will be fairly matchup and goals conceded-proof. And at some point his crosses will be met by the fleshy forehead of fellow new signing, Chris Wood. Attacking returns combining with this level of ghost points would make for some explosive scores. Try to get him in.
Team: West Ham United
Ghost Points Per 90: 6.4
Ghost Points This Past GW (GW22): 11.5
Prospects: Has solidified his spot in the midfield but let's see what happens with Benrahma coming back from AFCON & Fornals being reincorporated into the team.
Verdict: Worth trying to trade in. Play up the uncertainty above and offer a FWD3+DEF3.
Talk about a phoenix-like rise from the ashes. Manuel "I Only Score Worldies" Lanzini, everybody's favorite or least favorite streamer, depending on how he did for you that fateful day, is now starting consistently (the last 4) for West Ham United after being largely frozen out at the beginning of the season. And he's scoring pretty well: 10, 25, 7, & 9.5. Lanzini's latest outing vs Leeds resulted in double digit ghosties, which were brought back down by a yellow card. The ghosts came from 2 Key Passes, 2 Tackles Won, 1 ACNC, 2 Interceptions, 2 Successful Dribbles, & 2 Aerials.
Lanzini is playing a very active role in this West Ham attack and is also on penalty duty. All this has fantasy managers asking the age old question - is Lanzini back? It's too early to tell but these are positive signs. GPH wants to see how Moyes sets up the team when Benrahma is back from AFCON. If he keeps his spot, he'll be a nice ROS hold. If not, might have to jump ship. Time to test the waters.
Samir & Hassane Kamara
Rostered: 11% & 4%
Ghost Points Per 90: N/A (not enough starts)
Ghost Points This Past GW (GW22): 15.75 & 15.5
Prospects: The new boys went straight into the starting XI vs Newcastle. Would be surprised if this doesn't continue but worth monitoring. Ranieri wasn't nicknamed "Tinkerman" for nothing.
Verdict: Pick.Them.Up. Norwich beckons.
Pour one out for GPH favorite, Francisco Sierralta. It was short-lived but no one can ever say it wasn't true love. After seeing us salivate over Sierralta's ghosties, Watford manager Claudio Ranieri decided to throw a spanner in the works and toss in new signing, Samir, to replace him in the pivotal relegation clash this past GW vs Newcastle. For good measure, he also gave new Left Back, Hassane Kamara, his debut straight away. Well, they both ghosted like their fallen comrade would have in their stead.
Samir's total points were dented by a yellow card & a goal conceded but he stumped up 1 Shot on Target, 2 Tackles Won, 5 Interceptions, 5 Clearances, 1 Blocked Shot, & 5 Aerials (Sierralta's bread & butter; GPH isn't crying, you're crying). Meanwhile, Kamara dropped 1 Key Pass, 2 Tackles Won, 1 Accurate Cross Not a Corner, 5 Interceptions, 2 Clearances, 2 Successful Dribbles, & 3 Aerials. What the hell was it about this game between Watford & Newcastle - a Defender's dream, the perfect fantasy mix of two bad teams probing leaky defenses without scoring loads of goals? Either way, these guys proved they can ghost and in their own ways (Kamara will be more attacking as a LB and Samir will do the dirty work at the back). Let's see if Samir & Kamara keep their spots this weekend and long term - Masina, when he is back from AFCON, and Sierralta are waiting in the wings. But for now, ride these ghost point stallions to pastures anew in Norwich.
Ben Godfrey (Everton DEF; 13.25 ghosts): Everything at Everton has gone pear-shaped other than Godfrey's ghosties. Posting 9 pts despite 2 goals is impressive. Let's see how the new manager rates him.
Tariq Lamptey (Brighton DEF; 11 ghosts): Maddening to roster as he is rotated and inconsistent but can ghost on his day (e.g., this GW vs Chelsea). We need to see more of this.
Emi Buendia (Aston Villa MID; 18.5 ghosts): The diminutive Argentine has now posted back to back ghost-point laden performances. Hope you traded him in, GPH reckons this will continue.
Pierre Lees-Melou (Norwich MID; 13.5 ghosts): Yes, Norwich played alright and PLM got some nice ghosts. But GPH isn't convinced yet. Stream at your own risk vs Watford.
Joelinton (Newcastle FWD; 10.25 ghosts): Another GPH favorite who keeps doing the business, Joey dropped another double digit ghosting. Now if he can add some attacking returns, we're off to the races.
Emmanuel Dennis (Watford FWD; 10 ghosts): Dennis the Menace put the AFCON controversy behind him and also found some ghosts in the process, which have been lacking at times. Will be an elite FWD ROS.
Dr. Peter Venkman Award:
Jarrod Bowen & Conor Gallagher (West Ham & Crystal Palace; 3 & 4 ghosts): For anybody living under a rock this season, Jarrod Bowen and Conor Gallagher have been two of the best performing midfielders in the league. And both are top 5 mids fantasy-wise. However, given they both scored goals this past gameweek, one would be forgiven for hoping for more than 15 and 14 total points, respectively. Alas, it was not to be. Other than the goals, they did not do much (a few stats largely canceled out by dispossessions). Both can be boom or bust but are the attacking heartbeats of their teams. As such, these performances are likely aberrations - both have fairly tidy ghost point averages (a little over 8 for Bowen & nearly 10 for Gallagher). But, like all of us, they aren't perfect. Forgive and forget.
***Click here to view the full Ghost Point Tracker table!***
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