Fantasy football: Five questions answered ahead of GW22 including whether to bring in Coutinho

Newcastle and Aston Villa have already added to their squad this January, but are the new arrivals going to hit the ground running, or is an in-form Jarrod Bowen the way forward?

It seems a lifetime since we last made changes to our fantasy teams, with the FA Cup and League Cup ties wedged between the latest Premier League's fixtures.

The week eventually finished with West Ham beating Norwich 2-0, with Jarrod Bowen continuing his superb form with a brace.

Elsewhere, both Newcastle United and Aston Villa have made early moves in the January transfer window, the former bringing in both Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood, while Steven Gerrard has added Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne to his ranks.

It's certainly a lot for fantasy managers to digest, with new player prices popping up frequently.

So with problems to solve and decisions to make, we're back to answer five fantasy football questions ahead of Friday's deadline.

Can Jarrod Bowen keep on hammering home?

David Moyes believes Jarrod Bowen's performances warrant an England call-up

West Ham's winger stole the headlines again this week during his double gameweek against Crystal Palace and Norwich, registering an assist in his first fixture before adding a brace against the Canaries on Wednesday night.

The 25-year-old racked up 21 points in the process, rewarding the 318,000 people who transferred him in this week.

It takes his season total up to 115 points and makes him the second-highest scoring midfielder, with only Mohamed Salah's 177 topping him.

He's been in superb form of late, with his last seven matches totalling an impressive 55 points.

That's not even mentioning his further contributions in other competitions after he scored late on against Leeds United in the FA Cup.

With Salah absent at the African Cup of Nations, Bowen has filled the void quite nicely for those who own him.

For those who don't, it'll be extremely tempting to bring him in, so the question is whether he can keep up his form, or if he's simply experiencing a purple patch.

Well, with Leeds, Manchester United and Watford up next, there's certainly no harm in bringing him in, especially priced at just £6.7million.

Plus, with 21.9% of the game already owning him in their teams, he's too good to miss out on right now, and you can't afford falling further behind if he does carry on hauling in the points.

Will Armando Broja keep striking for the Saints?

Armando Broja Southampton from Chelsea Oct21

Southampton's young gun scored again this week against Brentford, earning him a nifty eight points.

It marked his fifth goal of the season for the Saints, taking his season's total points up to 60.

That's more than Callum Wilson, Ivan Toney, Raul Jiminez and Harry Kane have scored this season, so at £5.3million, why is he still only owned by 6.3% of managers?

Well, it's certainly a baffling stat, but while this may sound like I'm trying to convince you to get him in - I'm actually not.

Southampton's fixtures look bleak in the coming weeks, with a trip to Wolves being followed by clashes with Manchester City and Tottenham.

All three of those teams have thrived defensively in recent weeks, meaning Broja's run of form could quickly come to an end.

Following their tricky run, it does get easier for Ralph Hasenhuttl's side, though, with Everton, Norwich, Aston Villa and Watford on the horizon.

That's the time when you should be looking towards Broja, not this week. So as hard as it may be, my advice is to resist the urge to bring him in.

Can Coutinho reward early investors?

Aston Villa, Coutinho, 11 January, 2022

The major transfer news this week has been Villa's signing of former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho.

Before departing for Barcelona in 2018, Coutinho was a major part of Liverpool's attack, and was adding goals to his game.

In the 14 matches he played in his last Premier League season, the Brazilian star produced seven goals and seven assists.

If he is able to replicate that at Aston Villa under Gerrard, then the 29-year-old will be quickly finding his way into fantasy teams.

But, after struggling to perform in Spain, his ability has been cast into doubt, making it a gamble to bring him in straight away.

On top of that, Villa face Manchester United this week, a mirror match-up of their midweek fixture when the Red Devils came out on top.

Having signed so recently for the Villans, it's not guaranteed he'll start in Saturday's clash.

So, while the £7m-rated midfielder is an enticing option, it's best to wait for now and see Gerrard's plans for his new man, and then look to invest in him before Villa face Everton and Leeds next week.

How you can take advantage of the double gameweeks

James Maddison, Fantasy football, Leicester City

With the Premier League still struggling to catch up with Covid-19 postponements, there are eight teams facing two games this week.

It's an opportunity that shouldn't be missed, with Bowen's 21 points last week exemplifying how effective it can be to benefit from the fixture scheduling.

So, in order to guide your managerial decisions, let's run through which teams play twice this week, and which players to keep an eye out for.

Firstly, Tottenham, Chelsea, Leicester City, Watford, Manchester United, BurnleyBrighton and Brentford all have two games this week, making their players great choices for Gameweek 22.

But, with a free transfer or two up our sleeves, we can cherry pick players that face two favourable fixtures, hopefully maximising how many points we'll pick up.

With that said, my first suggestion is James Maddison (£6.9million). The Leicester midfielder has been in great form of late, picking up 55 points in his last six games.

That alone makes him a worthwhile transfer target, but add in games against Burnley and Tottenham, and suddenly he looks like a potential captain pick this week.

Elsewhere, Emmanuel Dennis (£6.1million) and Josh King (£5.8million) look like great options up top, with Watford facing Newcastle and Burnle in back-to-back relegation dogfights.

Are either of Newcastle's new arrivals worth a look?

Newcastle United's Kieran Trippier reacts during the Emirates FA Cup third round match at St. James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne. Picture date: Saturday January 8, 2022.

Newcastle have come to terms with their new-found wealth, and started splashing the cash this week, with both Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood joining Eddie Howe's squad.

The former has been given a £5million price tag, while Wood remains at the £6.7million mark.

So, with the Magpies looking to mount a survival push in the second half of the season, are either worth a gamble on this week?

In short, yes. Newcastle will be buoyed by their recent activity in the market, and with more arrivals expected imminently, there's a real feel-good factor around St James' Park.

With new additions comes a new wave of confidence, and with Watford, Leeds and Everton up next, Newcastle can really make a statement in the coming weeks.

Considering Newcastle have the second-worst defence in the league behind Norwich, investing in Trippier seems foolish. However, with more defenders set to come through the door, their resilience will improve.

Meanwhile, with Callum Wilson out, Newcastle will immediately look to Wood as their focal point up top, and with the supply coming in from Allan Saint-Maximin and Trippier, he could hit the ground running.

READ MORE: January 2022 Premier League transfer window ins, outs and latest signings

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