Norwich are the surprising source of Fantasy Premier League optimism entering gameweek 10 and the first in a friendly run of fixtures.
The Canaries prop up the Premier League, have scored only two goals all season and have just been beaten 7-0 by leaders Chelsea.
But in the PA news agency’s Transfer Score, combining form, cost, ownership and upcoming fixture difficulty rating (FDR), the latter category helps give several of Daniel Farke’s players some unusual fantasy appeal.
Tim Krul had back-to-back clean sheets and nine-point hauls before the Chelsea debacle, while his seven saves even saw him emerge from that game with one point while his defenders recorded minus figures.
His transfer score of 68 comfortably leads all goalkeepers this week, with the help of maximum points for FDR as Norwich’s next five games – Leeds at home, Brentford away, at home to Southampton and Wolves and away at Newcastle – are all rated two out of five, the lowest rating ever used except in truly exceptional circumstances.
Edouard Mendy and Illan Meslier have impressed for Chelsea and Leeds respectively and are the next two stoppers on our list this week.
Overall scores this week are far lower than usual, thanks largely to Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah‘s ludicrous form of 16.7 points per game – Chelsea full-back Ben Chilwell ranks second in that category with 11.7 but earns a form rating of only 70 for his efforts.
That is enough to make him the week’s top-ranked player with a transfer score of 73, the only player to break 70, with team-mate Trevoh Chalobah second among defenders and third overall behind Krul on 64.
Form accounts for 50 per cent of a player’s transfer score so that depressed scoring trend may go some way to explaining the Norwich quirk, with price and FDR having an increased influence, and Dimitris Giannoulis is the beneficiary in defence with a score of 62.
Salah’s form does not translate into transfer score dominance this week – he is the most expensive and most-owned player in the league and scores low on FDR to rank 11th among midfielders and 27th overall, but should obviously still be considered if you can free up the money and are one of the 31 per cent of managers not already on board.
Chelsea and Norwich again feature among the alternatives, with Mason Mount‘s hat-trick against the Canaries vaulting him to top spot in the position with a transfer score of 60.
Phil Foden, often operating as a false nine for Manchester City and with three goals and two assists in their last three games, edges out Norwich’s Kenny McLean for second place.
Four goals in six games sees Wolves’ breakout star Hwang Hee-chan top the attacking recommendations, though rising ownership and the Salah effect on his form limit his transfer score to 59, while Norwich provide the other two recommendations.
Teemu Pukki was an FPL darling during his previous season in the top flight and will look to the upcoming fixtures as a chance to add to his two goals this season and regain the love of armchair managers.
He is actually edged into third by team-mate Josh Sargent, who is slightly cheaper at £5.4million and is selected by barely 10,000 of the games 8.5million-plus players – the American is a very cheap two-point bench player with fixture-related upside.