The first below par week of the season for the blog team but instead of being downbeat, I’m still maintaining a positive outlook.
Transfers Remaining: 38/40
Gameweek 3 Summary
In complete contrast to the first two gameweeks, the team really struggled to make par for the course in GW3. 46 points and yet another red card wasn’t exactly the result I had expected from a week where the fixtures had looked fairly promising, but I still can’t help but feel quite optimistic about the team and its prospects.
All in all, it’s difficult to be unhappy with how the team has performed as despite its low score this week, the reasoning for the player picks continue to hold true. Mo Salah vindicated the decision to give him the armband, notching his second goal of the season and taking his goal involvement for the season to four in just three games. Being the most expensive player in the game there will always be that nagging feeling of being able to get more value elsewhere, but that sort of sheer consistency is why the blog team were happy to pay the 13.0m for him. A points per game average of 8.33 means he’ll always be a captain option!!
Unfortunately, there were actually very few attacking returns to speak of for the rest of the team. Zaha dusted himself off from some dubious challenges from Watford to pick up his second goal of the season. For someone who is considered inconsistent, that’s now 7 goals in his last nine league games for the Palace talisman. However, after his hat-trick heroics of last week, Aguero hit the woodwork twice but failed to get on the scoresheet against a Wolves team that would have surprised many with their performance against the Champions.
As for the defence, although it could only manage only a single clean sheet from Robertson (that’s now 3 in 3 for Liverpool), as a collective it still racked up a total of 6 bonus points. Robertson, Mendy and Sakho are all now averaging at least a bonus point per game which just goes to highlight their overall involvement and importance for their respective teams. The pleasing thing about this is that at the start of the season, I highlighted the need to seek out those players who regularly attract bonus points (for FPL and Sky) and it has certainly paid dividends for the team. In a poor week, it has boosted my average defender score to 4.5 points per player which is probably something I would take most weeks, let alone in a week with only one shut-out.
Now, I realise that all this positivity may sound a bit strange coming off the back of a below average score, especially seeing as the first two weeks have generated scores of 80+ points. However, in my experience, consistent high scoring weeks like that tend to be the exception rather the norm. In isolation, finishing the week below the average is a little disappointing, but it only takes a quick look around the mini-leagues to notice that it was a fairly average week for everyone else too. Prior to the season starting, if someone had offered me a gameweek average of 75 points for the first 3 weeks then I would have bitten their hand off, so a drop of 27k in overall rank is nothing to worry about in the grand scheme of things.
For the past few weeks I’ve been maintaining a watchlist of players based upon the stats I gather, as well as those who pass the eye-test from the games I get to watch. Anyone who follows me on twitter will have seen the updates I made after last weekend, but for anyone who missed it, the updated list can be found here.
GW4 – Transfers
So another week and another red card (sigh!). Richarlison’s “headbutt” has made it two in two for the blog team, which is about as inconvenient as it comes when working with limited transfers, and just goes to show that trying to plan anything in fantasy football can often be a fool’s errand.
All plans I had of getting Alonso before the wildcard were put to bed early with Wan-Bissaka’s red card last week. Fast forward a week and Alonso resides at the top of the scoring charts after another 11 point haul, whereas my two transfers managed a measly 6 between them. Suffice to say I’m gutted…….thanks Aaron!!
With two transfers already made, I had hoped to preserve my transfer count this week considering I will be overhauling my team (see what I did there Sky users?) with the wildcard during the upcoming international break. But, as Adam Smith hit the ground following the Brazilian’s perceived forward head motion (I suspect my feelings were hurt more than Smith’s head), I once again heard the FPL gods shouting “folly” at my planning.
As I pointed out last week with Wan-Bissaka, had this been the Sky game then Richarlison would have sat in my starting eleven, staring up at me from the screen while awaiting his inevitable chop on the overhaul next week. Instead, as you no doubt noticed from the images above, another precious transfer has had to be spent. Anyone who read the blog last week will know my views and difficulties with the price rises, so this week I’ve not taken any chances. After watching Match of the Day, Theo Walcott was added to the watchlist on Monday, and then to the blog team on Tuesday.
As fantasy players we tend to over think things – it’s part of our DNA – yet it’s often the obvious moves that turn out to be the best. I had seen the arguments for replacements such as Pedro, Moura, Pereyra, Fraser etc., but in truth it didn’t come any more obvious than Theo for me this week. He might not have the underlying stats of the above quartet (or his Brazilian counterpart for that matter), but after his Sky MoM performance against Bournemouth last time out, Everton will be looking to him to fill the void during Richarlison’s suspension.
Despite the stats, Walcott himself has racked up 2 goals, an assist and 3 bonus so far, and the link up play between Theo, Siggy and Tosun has been exciting to watch at times. So at the end of the day, it’s a player from the same team, with the same good fixtures, and his similar price allows the team to maintain its core structure……..this game can be easy when you let it.
In my opinion, it’s a straight-forward decision on the captaincy this week. 14 goals and 3 assists in eleven games against Newcastle make Aguero the standout option, especially at the Etihad where he’s fired in 8 goals in the last two against them. Newcastle look to be in serious turmoil at the moment with Lejeune injured and Lascelles falling out with Rafa, so it wouldn’t be inconceivable for Sergio to repeat some semblance of his 5 goal haul in this fixture from a few years ago.
He already has a hat-trick this season so is in decent form, and that certainly doesn’t bode well for the Toon. The bookies back that up by having Aguero as the clear favourite to score at anytime this weekend at 1.40, so I just hope that he avoids Pep’s wrath after that shisha video from earlier in the week!
Transfers Remaining: 37/40