The following Fantasy Premier League advice is tailored toward players of Togga's Perfect XI. It's a weekly game in which every Premier League player is eligible to be selected into a 4-4-2 formation. There is no salary cap, no squad restrictions and you pick a fresh XI every week.
Coming out of the second international break of the season, fantasy Premier League managers must take advantage of early trends. Seven weeks of data may not be much, but with careful evaluation savvy FPL managers can identify which players will have the best opportunity to post big returns this weekend.
If you're playing in a season-long league, the best result coming out of the break is for your squad to retain full health, but if you're playing in a weekly league like Togga's Perfect XI the break presents a unique opportunity.
With that in mind, we've provided our selections at each position for Gameweek 8. Selecting the Perfect XI each week isn't an easy task and even the best-laid plans can use a Plan B, so we've provided alternatives for each position. Those designated (d) are differentials–players we expect will be owned by fewer than 5% of FPL managers.
Here are this week's picks:
Hugo Lloris (at West Brom)
Key Stats: Lloris has recorded just 13 saves this season and travels to face a West Brom squad that has scored five goals in three home matches. But Spurs have allowed only three goals in the opening seven and the shot-stopper will benefit from a full-strength team playing in front of him.
Plan B: Tom Heaton (at Southampton); Jordan Pickford (at Stoke City); Fraser Forster (d; vs. Burnley)
Heaton and Forster will face each other in Gameweek 8. While Heaton has recorded more than three times the saves Forster has, the Saints are finding form.
Hector Bellerin (vs. Swansea); Curtis Davies (at Bournemouth); Virgil van Dijk (vs. Burnley); Danny Rose (at West Brom)
Key Stats: Only two clubs, Tottenham and Manchester United, have allowed less than a goal per game. With that in mind, planing on a clean sheet isn't recommended. But with comprehensive scoring across 18 Opta-scored categories, defenders can earn points for clearances, tackle and aerial duels. This means center backs like van Dijk have plenty of potential, enough to justify a place with the attack-minded fullbacks atop our weekly ranks.
Plan B: Daley Blind (vs. Liverpool); Nacho Monreal (d; vs. Swansea); Nathaniel Clyne (d; vs. Manchester United); Patrick van Aanholt (at Stoke City)
Monreal trails defensive teammates Laurent Koscielny and Bellerin in ownership week over week, but provides a similar level of value. With significantly fewer chances created, Nacho doesn't provide quite the attacking upside but remains a quality play. Clyne and Blind will face each other, with the expectation that the clash of rivals will be high-scoring. Don't let that scare you away from selecting two of the best in the game this weekend.
Dimitri Payet (at Crystal Palace); Dusan Tadic (vs. Burnley); Willian (vs. Leicester City); Dele Alli (at West Brom)
Key Stats: You want to find players as capable of scoring from midfield as they are making chances for their teammates. All four of the midfielders we've picked this week are capable of scoring from anywhere on the field. Payet, Tadic, Willian and Alli are members of the "double-double" club–players expect to chase double-digit returns in both goals and assists this season and all have match-ups that favor adding to those tallies this weekend.
Plan B: Jason Puncheon (d; vs. West Ham); Robert Snodgrass (at Bournemouth); Santi Cazorla (vs. Swansea); David Silva (vs. Everton)
Both Puncheon and Willian are quality 'buy-low' targets in season-long leagues, and each merits strong consideration in your Perfect XI this week. The reason? Chances created. Puncheon leads all players with 27 chances created, including three assists. Willian has created 23 chances this season, and no player has created more without being credited an assist.
Alexis Sanchez (vs. Swansea); Diego Costa (vs. Leicester City)
Key Stats: It's not just the goals that Alexis (four) and Costa (six) are piling on, it's the shots on target. The Arsenal playmaker has recorded nine shots on target while Costa's 13 trail only Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the league lead. While Leicester proved difficult to break down in its title-winning campaign, Costa is still a good bet. He leads the Premier League in goals scored and has a knack for popping up at the last minute to snatch the points and the plaudits. If you start him you'll likely do the same.
Plan B: Troy Deeney (at Middlesbrough); Jermain Defoe (at Stoke City); Charlie Austin (d; vs. Burnley); Kelechi Iheanacho (d; vs. Everton)
Sergio Aguero could miss out on selection this week after he reported leg discomfort while on international duty with Argentina. If he misses City's match home vs. Everton, Iheanacho is a massive value play. Pay attention to lineups as they're announced this weekend, knowing you can make a substitution to your Perfect XI right up until kick-off.