Updated: Oct 21, 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 8 Ghost Point Hunters article is here to help!
This Ghost Point Hunters article is based on the Fantrax Scoring System.
Check out our Ghost Point Tracker page for the full list of Fantasy EPL players and their respective Ghost Point capabilities!
Gameweek 8 Ghost Point Hunters
Another International Break - a mini Spring, a chance for reflection and rebirth. And ghost point hunting. As you know, yours truly usually likes to include different positional assets in the mix. But this edition will shift gears and focus exclusively on one pivotal position - Defender. These three defensive chaps have been getting ready for Halloween: Grant Hanley, Emerson Royal, and Marc Cucurella. And they all have tasty matchups right after the international break. Meanwhile, Conor Gallagher, the only non-Defender mentioned this week, is saddled with the Dr. Peter Venkman this week.
Team: Norwich City
Rostered: 3% (plumbing the depths of the waiver wire)
Ghost Points Per Start: 9.6
Prospects: Has started all 7 games in the Canary defense and will be nailed on barring injury. His ghosts make him an excellent streamer in decent matchups.
Verdict: Pick him up and start him in a pinch and/or against lower level teams.
Anybody heed the GPH's counsel last week and start Hanley v the Goliaths of Burnley? No? No one? Cowards. Well, you missed out on 20+ points. One could forgive you for not exactly trusting the Norwich City defense on first glance - or even eighth glance. They failed to keep a clean sheet prior to the tonic that is a matchup at Turf Moor. But the beauty of Hanley - and he is a beautiful man (just kidding, I've never actually seen his face) - is that he can somehow produce enough ghosts to counter goals conceded. And when the Canaries do have a good matchup that could result in a cleansheet, Hanley can go over 20, just like this past gameweek. He delivered the 3rd highest ghost point tally in GW 7 (15.75), which came from a myriad of sources: 1 Tackle Won, 5 Interceptions,15 Clearances (dear God), 1 Blocked Shot, and 5 Aerials. He seems to be hitting his stride. Hanley posted 9 points the previous gameweek despite conceding 2 goals to Everton. Don't go overboard and think you can start him every week. But he is a gem to stream in decent enough fixtures so act accordingly.
Ghost Points Per Start: 9.7
Prospects: Surely Nuno has learned his lesson and knows that his side needs the attacking verve that Royal provides. We should assume that he will be the starting RB, unless Tottenham face a top team.
Verdict: Pick him up if you're in a lazy league in which he is somehow available on the wire. If not, you'll have to trade him in over the International Break. Try packaging a declining Conor Gallagher (see below) for Royal +1 or a straight swap with a MID4/5 like Willock.
Other than reviving the old Lorde track - largely thanks to our own Joe Williams, this song has been in my head in perpetuity - Emerson Royal hadn't done much since his transfer from Barcelona. That changed this past gameweek vs Aston Villa, where he ghosted quite nicely and was unlucky to not add a clean sheet. Royal dropped a tasty 12.25 scary scores, stemming from 1 Key Pass, 1 Accurate Cross Not a Corner (ACNC), 4 Interceptions, 7 Clearances, 2 Successful Dribbles, & 2 Aerials. This is a healthy mix of defensive and attacking points. He should only get better as he acclimates to the Premier League and to his dreadful club. If Kane ever gets fit and firing again, Royal's crosses could turn into assists, and if they sort out the defense and return to cleaning sheets, he'll truly be off to the races. He is not and will never be the ghost point machine that was his predecessor, Serge Aurier (I miss you every day), but he'll do. Normally, it would help to mention that he has a mouthwatering matchup at Newcastle after the International Break but given his call up from the Brazilian national team and the quarantine restrictions, Royal may not make it back in time for GW8. Get cover just in case. Regardless, this is a good time to buy relatively low.
Ghost Points Per Start: 9.1
Prospects: Has almost come straight into the side, starting the last 4 matches. He should be the first choice LB/LWB for the Seagulls.
Verdict: If your league mates are silly enough to leave him on the wire, pick him up. If not, you'd be trading for him on a high (he balled out v Arsenal & has lowly Norwich in GW8). Try a DEF4 (Zouma) and/or MID5 (Neves).
That hair, that long, curly mane. Marc Cucurella, the transfer from Getafe, may never be known for anything else. But if he keeps up the ghosting, he has a chance. The Spanish left back has been spotty fantasy-wise since coming into this Brighton side - posting scores of 9 (with a cleanie), 9.25 (sans cleanie), and 3.5 in his first three starts. But then Cucurella dropped a 20 spot over the weekend, 14.75 of these points were of the ghost persuasion: 4 Key Passes, 3 Tackles Won, 1 Accurate Cross Not a Corner (ACNC), 1 Clearance, 1 Successful Dribble, and 2 Aerials. He was a menace on that left flank. But will this continue? Just like Royal, as a newcomer to the Premier League, Cucurella should improve as the season goes on. He likely won't be too consistent for awhile but he packs a lot of upside - definitely worth a punt if you can get him in for the right price, especially with struggling Norwich upcoming.
Charlie Taylor (Burnley DEF; 13 Ghosts): Like many others I'm sure, I streamed him v Norwich, which paid dividends. He has ghosted well this season but with Man City forthcoming, back to the wire you go.
Matt Targett (Aston Villa DEF; 15.5 Ghosts): He had a great ghosting game (the own goal was unfortunate) but has been very inconsistent this season. I need to see more before making a move.
Ethan Pinnock (Brentford DEF; 16.75 Ghosts): The guy just won't stop scoring. He has done enough at this point to silence the doubters. After a potential down game v Chelsea could be the time to pounce.
Dr. Peter Venkman Award:
Conor Gallagher (MID, Crystal Palace): The Point Break surfer extra, with his flowing blonde locks (hair has been a central theme this week), started the season like a house on fire. His first 3 matches yielded scores of 10, 29.5, & 21.5. Since then, however, Gallagher has sputtered to 3, 10 (with an Assist), & 4 points. This dip has largely coincided with the Chelsea loanee being taken off set pieces (with Milivojevic's return) and losing his haunting qualities. Gallagher has only managed a handful of ghosties in these latest matches, mustering 4 this past gameweek vs Leicester, dropping his ghost points per 90 average to around 7. He will likely be attacking-return dependent for the foreseeable future. It could be a good time to deal him out.
***Click here to view the full Ghost Point Tracker table!***
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