Top 5 FPL picks – Watford
Disclaimer: The Transfer Window is still open and things could dramatically change for some, or all players mentioned in the Article. The content is however of substance at the time of publishing.
Watford are the second Championship team that gained promotion from the automatic places to the Premier League along with Norwich, who won the Championship season last year. They have another thing in common with the Canneries, both Norwich and Watford were relegated in 2020 and both came back right up in the first time of asking by finishing winner and runners-up in the Championship. Most Premier League watchers would remember the memorable match from the year ago against Liverpool in February, 2020 where they defeated the eventual Premier League champions and ended Liverpool’s unbeaten run of 44 top-flight games in a row and 18 victories in a row.
Watford is a team that won matches based on its astounding defensive performances. They had the league’s best defensive record and considerable above average attacking numbers. History has been a witness to the fact that numbers in the Championship, however, if you have to bet on anything, it has to be the defence of Watford with the outliners in attack.
We will first analyse the opening set of fixtures and the proceed with the top 5 picks from Watford as per our team in order of preference –
1. Daniel Bachmann: £4.5M (GK)
Strange that a goal keeper is the top FPL pick from a team right? Well, firstly, because Watford boast a brilliant defensive record and secondly, Bachmann is the person assured of starting all matches when fit.
Bachmann has confidence inspiring stature in between the sticks and had decent shot stopping ability. Back in the Championship, he kept 13 clean sheets in the 23 matches he played, where he only conceded 13 goals by making 35 saves in the process.
With a decent opening run of fixtures, we can see Bachmann getting us some clean sheet points, which will be boosting your FPL ranks as ownership of the Watford goal keeper is currently in the single digits (2%).
2. Francisco Femenía: £4.5M (DEF)
Femenia isn’t a total newcomer to the Premier League, however, his previous seasons haven’t seen him light up the Premier League. However, once again back in the Premier League, we look forward to seeing Femenia bomb down the right flank for Watford. One notable thing throughout the 20/21 Championship season was the chemistry on the right side of the field at display between Femenia and Sarr.
The reasons to pick Femenia over other Watford assets, or even other comparable £4.5M defenders are-
a. Guaranteed Starter
Femenia had the third highest gametime in the Watford team and the most in between the Watford defenders. He is often the first name on the team sheet and therefore is likely to start most matches in the Premier League when fit.
b. High attacking potential
Femenia chipped in with 4 assists in the championship season with 118 crosses made. He regularly joins the attacks with good runs down the right flank.
c. High clean sheet potential
The astute defending of the Watford team has already been discussed earlier. However, he is also one of the reasons why Watford have a good defensive record as he has the second most Interceptions and the second most Tackles won in the Watford team.
d. Promising fixtures
Also discussed above, the fixtures mean that multiple Watford players are decent picks.
e. Low ownership
Femenia has a surprisingly low ownership at just 0.5%, which makes any, and all FPL points he earns as only and truly yours.
3. Ismaila Sarr: £6M (MID)
Listed as a Midfielder and massively under-priced at just £6M, Sarr is a very easy and simple pick for the most FPL managers for the start of this season. Although the sample size is less, but in the 19/20 Premier League season, Sarr played 2023 minutes and made sizeable attacking contributions with 5 goals and 7 assists that gave him a total of 107 FPL points. If Sarr is to repeat playing at the levels of his two year younger self from a Watford that were relegated, he will prove to be a must have player in all FPL teams.
His last season in the Championship was however even further explosive. Sarr topped almost all attacking charts at Watford last year as he scored 13 goals and assisted another 4 goals. Playing almost as a forward, Sarr is the talisman in the attack for Watford as he made by far the most attacking contributions for the team.
Given the numbers on display and the price at which Sarr is being offered, he is almost a low risk pick for the first few game weeks before we can see all teams settling in and the better performers coming up.
4. João Pedro: £5.5M (FWD)
Pedro is young, promising, energetic and he is Brazilian. The striker, just 18 years old, got plenty of game time with Watford in the Championship and he returned the favour to his manager by scoring 9 goals and assisting another 2 goals. The numbers may not be swashbuckling, but are promising for a youngster who is still finding his feet in the game and played for a fairly pragmatic side who does not count attacking flair as its USP. Moreover, he had his minutes shared last season with Andre Gray (1278 minutes) and Troy Deeney (1275 minutes).
This season, Pedro is a year more experienced and the alternatives are a year further older. In the 21/22 campaign, Pedro will still face a lot of competition in the starting berths with the two older strikers he challenged last year, along with the new signing, Joshua King.
Note: King is also £5.5M, and who maybe our choice from the Watford team if he finds himself starting above the others.
5. Ken Sema: £5.5M (MID)
Ken Sema, to put it mildly, is the Ismail Sarr on the left flank. Watford may not be the most attacking side in the Premier League this season, but Sema provides an explosive option priced at just £5.5M.
Kema was one of the least rotated player in the Watford team, playing the second most minutes. He also multiple other underlying stats on his side playing as an out and out winger for the Watford team that finished runners-up in the Championship last season.
The stats show how he can possible be an explosive option, and which is what makes him our #5 pick from Watford over the other options from defence.
In conclusion, a pick from Watford defence is very good, considering the fixtures and inexpensive pricing. This pick can either be Femina or the goal keeper, Bachmann. Up front, Sarr provides excellent value and potential above all other Watford options and even above most other fantasy assets in the similar price range.