So after all the planning and deliberation post-world Cup, the first gameweek couldn’t have gone much better for the blog team. It’s my best ever start to FPL and has provided some much-needed optimism for the season ahead.
Transfers Remaining: 40/40
Gameweek 1 Summary
The team got off to an absolute flyer in gameweek 1, racking up 97 points – well above the average of 53. Almost every player picked up significant returns, with only Aguero and Mahrez failing to produce. Theres no complaints though, as I always felt that Arsenal at the Emirates could be a tough opener.
(Note:- Coincidentally, this was the same opening score as my Sky team which included 6 of the same starting 11 above)
Looking at the team itself, I was particularly pleased with the Crystal Palace contingent given how strongly I backed them in my previous post. Wan-Bissaka certainly looked capable of holding down the right-back slot as he gave the lightning quick Ryan Sessegnon the run-around at Fulham. For a meagre 4.0m outlay, I expected to get the benefit of the odd clean-sheet, but with assists and MoM potential now in his locker too, he’s definitely shaping up to be this years gift from FPL Headquarters. Barring injury, he could be a season keeper for the blog team as I look to minimise transfers in defence.
As for Sakho, you may remember that I referred to him as a ‘beast for bonus’ and this week he proved it once again, earning yet another bonus point for his performance despite the likes of Wan-Bissaka, Van Aanholt, and Zaha all producing attacking returns around him. If he can stay fit this season, I predict that he could challenge the elite in that defenders bracket and prove to be a bargain at only 5.0m.
Liverpool certainly seem to have picked up where they left off last season. The triple up of Salah, Mane, and Robertson looked absolute dynamite as they combined for 3 goals, an assist, a clean sheet, and 5 bonus for a total of 43 points. It was a 50/50 call with both Van Dijk and Firmino also under consideration, so I’m delighted to have come out on the right side of that one. The only disappointment is that you can’t have more than three players from one team in FPL.
The riskiest pick of the lot was Richarlison, but it seems Marco Silva definitely has the magic touch when it comes to the young Brazilian. He’s already reached 40% of his goal tally from last season, and if he can remain as clinical with his finishing (two shots, two goals), then he should far exceed the measly 4 bonus points that he attained across the whole of 2017/18. He’s already amassed 3 for his MoM display, and even picked up tier 1 tackling for those of you also playing Sky. Given his style, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him playing as an auxiliary striker as the season progresses, so at 6.6m at the time of writing, he’s one to keep an eye on if you don’t already own him.
Oddly, my only regret in gameweek 1 comes from Manchester City. However, this isn’t down to Aguero missing when through one on one, or Mahrez getting hooked on 59 minutes, as both looked good during various periods throughout the game. Mahrez’s domination of set-pieces was rather pleasing in fact. No, the regret is that I didn’t give Benjamin Mendy more of a consideration. The City left back played the majority of the match as a secondary winger, and his link up with Sterling caused all sorts of problems for Hector Bellerin and the Arsenal defence. I can only hope that having Ederson in goal will be enough to cover the majority of his points prior to the wildcard.
Given the self-imposed transfer limit and the success that the team had in GW1, I shouldn’t really be considering a transfer for GW2. However, those of you that caught my GW1 post will know that I held back 1.0m for the sole purpose of upgrading Mahrez to Kevin De Bruyne once it was obvious that he was available. His appearance from the bench had all but guaranteed his place in the team this week until news of a serious knee injury ended any hope of that.
That being said, I don’t really have anything planned now in terms of transfers. Already owning three City players means that a move for Mendy is out, so I’ll likely save unless there’s any other unexpected news to follow. My only real concern going into GW2 is my double Palace defence up against the deadly Liverpool strike-force. If I didn’t have a transfer limit to consider, I might have switched Sakho for someone like Mee or Tarkowski, who have a better fixture. However, I knew this game was an issue when selecting the team so I’m willing to ride it out.
To help me with transfers in the future, I have started to compile a watchlist of players based upon the stats I gather from the games, as well as some who pass the eye-test when I manage to catch them on tv. I will update it as the season progresses, but can be found here for anyone interested.
It’s a tough decision on the captaincy this week. 15 Goals in 18 home league games last season suggests that Aguero at home to Huddersfield should essentially be a no-brainer. If he starts then the ceiling for points could be huge! Therein lies the problem though; he plays for Pep Guardiola in a City team that has so many options its frightening.
Conversely, despite having an awkward fixture away at a more resolute Crystal Palace, Mo Salah is the epitome of consistency. He’s a nailed on option who, although he didn’t exactly pull up any trees against West Ham, still left there with his name on the score sheet and was only inches away from getting more. It’s a continuation of what we saw last season in that he delivers points whenever he plays.
However, the team’s start good start in GW1 means I can afford to take a slight risk, so unless there’s bad news from the press conferences, then I’m currently leaning towards Aguero. The bookies have him at 1.40 to score anytime (compared with 1.73 for Salah) so put simply, if you can’t stick the armband on Sergio against Huddersfield at home, then when can you?!