Apologies for missing a few weeks guys. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes work (and life in general) just gets in the way of fantasy football.
Anyway, this will hopefully just be a quick catch up post to fill you in on how the blog team has been doing these past few weeks.
GW5 – Wildcard Success
Readers who also follow me on twitter will know that I deliberated long and hard over the FPL overhaul team during the international break, and was aware that many of you were doing the same. Therefore, I hope my last post managed to address some of the relevant issues and maybe provided some help along the way.
In respect of the wildcard team itself -and following on from that post – I ditched my premium goalkeeper in Ederson, bought into the left-back revolution by getting Alonso, and held on to Mo Salah. I backed the watchlist heavily by bringing in Patrico, Hazard, David Silva and Callum Wilson into the starting eleven, while also tidying up the bench.
Now, I realise that part of this whole SkyFF strategy was to ignore the bench, as that format doesn’t have one at all. However, one of the first points I noted when starting out on this experiment was that minimal funds would be spent on the bench, in order to allocate the maximum funds available to the starting eleven. Therefore, with the emergence of another playing £4.0m defender in Ryan Bennett, along with the value lost by Hojbjerg in the opening weeks, it meant it was possible to get another £0.6m onto the field. As far as I’m concerned, it would have been remiss of me to use the wildcard and not take that opportunity.
A score of 83 was an ideal start for the new lineup. With the average being only 47 for the GW5, that saw the team leap a considerable 70k back up the rankings to sit around 23k overall, and correct its recent slide between GW3 and GW4.
While Eden Hazard blew Cardiff away with a hat-trick and Sky MoM performance, almost everyone else pitched in with at least some sort of return. The unlikely trio of Alonso, Robertson and Salah were the only ones who struggled, but I’ll admit that I did get somewhat fortunate with Bennett coming in for Mendy. There had been no reports or suggestions of an injury to the City left-back at that point, otherwise he would have been ditched on the wildcard, so to still get a clean sheet in his place just goes to highlight the strengths of a fully playing bench…………regardless of whether you aim to use it.
GW6 – Consolidation
After the highs of GW5, I was happy to see the team just about manage to consolidate the gains by finishing just 8 points above the gameweek average.
Transfers Remaining: 36/40
Maintaining that rank would once again come at a cost though. Frustratingly, it seems like I’m making a transfer every week just to cover some sort of injury or suspension, and that curse struck again as the Mendy situation rumbled on. Was it his knee, his ankle, his 5th metatarsal? Only Pep knew and he wasn’t telling, so at the very last-minute, Trippier was drafted in from the watchlist for his games against Brighton, Huddersfield, and Cardiff. It would have been a perfect move too had Spurs kept their heads deep into injury time. Still, I’ll take the assist points thank you very much.
It’s becoming repetitive now, but the defence continues to pull me back from the brink on a weekly basis. However, it’s not the ‘Big 3’ that have impressed me the most, although they’ve undoubtedly played a big part. No, it’s young Aaron Wan-Bissaka at Palace that’s stolen the show ahead of his premium counterparts. GW6 saw him register his 3rd clean sheet and maximum bonus, as well as a 3rd tackle and 2nd MoM bonus in Sky. In fact, he’s currently averaging 5.6 points per appearance and that includes a sending off – amazing value for a player that started the season at just £4.0m.
As for the captaincy, the Salah/Aguero rotation continues to reap rewards. It was a close call between the two (as is always the case), but the team is yet to come out on the wrong side of that choice with Aguero not quite as prolific away from the Etihad. Given that so many people took the ‘No Salah’ option on their wildcard, I’m actually a little disappointed that he didn’t further punish those that lost the faith in the Egyptian, especially having seen the opportunities that came his way.
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. Many of these players came into the side on the wildcard so it’s taking some time to re-form, especially as I was away last weekend and didn’t see any football. For anyone that’s interested, the previous list can be found here.
GW7 – Transfers
Going back to Pep and City, they provided yet another source of frustration last weekend by leaving David Silva’s magic touch on the bench in a game where they duly ran riot over Cardiff. The fact that he was deemed surplus to requirements in a game that they were expected to win big is a now a worry, especially as his replacements cleaned up in his absence. With a must win game in the Champions League on Wednesday, and a trip to Anfield to follow, will Pep even bother to risk him against Brighton in GW7? Another week, another City based headache!!!!
With the wildcard played, and a transfer already used on Mendy since, I had hoped to preserve my transfer count over the coming weeks. Strictly speaking, I should be holding onto Silva against lower league opposition as there’s every chance that if he plays, he scores well. That’s the smart play, but that nagging feeling of doubt is there and I can’t seem to shake it.
The other problem I have, is that his likely replacements have their own good fixtures this week, ramping up the pressure to the move earlier than anticipated. Richarlison returned from his ban against Arsenal and looked impressive, taking 4 shots with 2 being on target. In GW7 he comes up against a Fulham side that have allowed a league high of 43 shots on target, and only Cardiff & Huddersfield have conceded more than their 13 goals. With Marco Silva talking up his potential to play as a striker, he’s definitely a huge draw this week.
The other player catching my eye is Heung Min Son. He returned to the Spurs starting line-up last week after his exertions with South Korea, and I expect him to keep his place with Eriksen having been ruled out through injury (note: reports since are suggesting Dele Alli will also miss out). He had 3 attempts on goal versus Brighton, and comes up against Both Huddersfield and Cardiff in the next two. As stated above, they have conceded the most goals in the league so Son couldn’t ask for a better run to get his season underway. The only problem with Son is the competition he faces for starts from the likes of Lucas Moura and the fit again Erik Lamela. In a limited transfer game, that makes him far from an ideal target, but could those immediate fixtures offset that?
As of yet, I’m yet to make either move as I stubbornly debate the merits of holding onto David Silva. That steadily reducing transfer number is really putting me off, but should I make any moves then I will post this on twitter nearer to the deadline. Another week going to the wire!!!!
Another straight-forward decision on the captaincy this week. No player has taken more than Sergio Aguero’s 31 shots and his record at home is unrivalled. In his last 10 starts at the Etihad, Aguero has registered 14 goals and 3 assists, and comes up against a Brighton team without a win in their last 16 away games. With my other captaincy options facing each other this weekend in Hazard and Salah, Aguero is the obvious choice to improve on his 4 goals so far this season.
Transfers Remaining: 36/40