This article is part of our FPL Transfer Watch series.
Here we are, the penultimate week of the season. Leicester City's improbable title challenge has come to fruition, a topic that's been covered at length just about everywhere else. Aston Villa, one of seven clubs that have participated in every Premier League season since its inception in 1992, is guaranteed of relegation after amassing 16 points in their first 36 matches (for context, 40 is typically the benchmark to safety). Beyond that, three London sides and two Manchester clubs round out the top six, albeit in a different order and with the notable omission of Chelsea, leading to a particularly wild Premier League season.
This is the final gameweek that sees some sides playing two matches to catch up before the final day of the Premier League season on May 15. The eight teams playing two matches include (from top of the table to bottom): Manchester United, West Ham, Liverpool, Chelsea, Everton, Watford, Sunderland and Norwich City. For recommendations as to who to transfer in, we will stick with players from that octet of teams while transfers out can come from any of the 20 clubs.
Whereas Saturday's schedule doesn't feature much in the way of marquee matchups, Sunday's selection includes Spurs against Southampton as well as a matchup for third place in Manchester City hosting Arsenal. Tuesday has a matchup for what very well could be the guaranteed Europa League spot in West Ham hosting Manchester United while Liverpool hosting Chelsea rounds out the docket. Without further ado, let's climb down the rabbit hole and see three players who are being transferred in and three who people can't get rid of fast enough.
Mark Noble (MID)
54,629 transfers in, most overall, first midfielder
The West Ham skipper has been on an absolute tear of late, as the team has found a new gear offensively. While the Hammers have scored at least two goals in each of their past seven matches, including at least three goals four times during that undefeated (3-4-0) run, Noble has finally gotten in on the action. He had all of two goals in 33 matches across all competitions last season, but has netted a brace in each of his past two.
With that being said, it would be difficult for Noble to keep up this kind of form—having scored 31 fantasy points in the past two matches after needing the 10 previous matches to score 33. With a small price (£5.5) and an extra match this week—the Hammers face Swansea at home before hosting Manchester United—there are certainly worse options, though his play throughout his career suggests nothing of the sort that he'll keep up this recent form.
Eden Hazard (MID)
22,086 transfers in, sixth-most overall, third midfielder
Hazard has had a dreadful season, suffering from drops in fitness and form that saw no Premier League goals before April 23. However, over the past two matches, He has three goals, including a wonder strike that reminded the world just how good the 2015 PFA and FWA Player of the Year can be. While Sunderland's defensive record of late has been strong, Liverpool's has been rather suspect. At £10.8, even with this recent form, adding Hazard is a tough ask, but if you've got the spare funds available, you're almost getting two players for the price of one thanks to the double gameweek.
Jermain Defoe (FWD)
19,271 transfers in, seventh-most overall, third forward
In 2013-14, Defoe was a sparsely used substitute for Spurs, scoring one goal in 14 Premier League appearances. A shift with Toronto FC in Major League Soccer gave him confidence as a striker again, scoring 11 times in 19 matches before moving to Sunderland and scoring four times in the final 17 matches of the Premier League season. However, no one could have seen this renaissance of form from the 33-year-old striker coming.
In 31 matches, Defoe has 14 goals—the second-highest figure of his career—which is good for seventh in the Premier League, ahead of names like Alexis Sanchez, Diego Costa and Anthony Martial. The typically defensively stout Chelsea are conceding 1.37 goals per game, right in the middle of the pack, while Everton concede 1.40 goals per game. With that pairing of teams awaiting the Black Cats, who are one point from safety, Defoe is a strong option for this week, particularly at just £5.3.
Sergio Aguero (FWD)
37,131 transfers out, second-most overall, first forward
How good has Aguero's form been over the past 30 days? His 8.2 fantasy points per match is second-most over that span, trailing only Andy Carroll, despite not playing last week. With a key match coming up against Real Madrid for their Champions League lives and a weekend fixture against Arsenal, Aguero will almost assuredly be on the pitch for both. While he's expensive at £13.5, it would be reckless to drop the 23-goal scorer simply because he didn't play last weekend, even if Arsenal have the third-best defensive record in the league—allowing less than one goal per match. However, away from the Emirates, the Gunners allow 1.28 goals per match.
Alex Iwobi (MID)
14,649 transfers out, eighth-most overall, fourth midfielder
After bursting on the scene with goals in each of his first two Premier League starts, followed up by two assists in his next match, it looked as if the Nigerian teenager could do no wrong. However, over the past four matches—against bottom-half sides—Iwobi has hardly looked the part of key Premier League contributor. With the Gunners returning closer to full fitness, Iwobi is certainly at risk of falling out of the starting XI, a move that would probably be beneficial for all involved as he still needs time to develop his game. With a tough match against Manchester City at the Etihad on the docket, it makes dropping Iwobi an even easier decision.
Danny Drinkwater (MID)
11,201 transfers out, 13th-most overall, seventh midfielder
Drinkwater was sent off late in Leicester's match against Manchester United thanks to his second yellow card. With that comes an automatic suspension, holding him out until the final match of the season. With the title locked up, it's unclear what kind of sides manager Claudio Ranieri will send out regardless come the final match, which means you can safely drop Drinkwater for good. His diminutive price tag (£4.7) makes him tough to replace, but Joshua King of Bournemouth (£4.3) or Ashley Westwood of Aston Villa (£4.2) have both been in excellent form of late.