Transfers Remaining: 35/40
GW7 – Wildcard success….continued
After a week of consolidation in GW6, it was great to see the team kick on again in GW7 . A score of 68 was 17 points above the average and enough to push the team up around 8,500 places in the overall rankings. It’s also the 3rd consecutive green arrow since wildcarding, which tells me that the timing of it was well suited to this particular team.
In attack, Eden Hazard maintained his excellent form with a goal and 3 bonus points against Liverpool. He’s now the no.1 player in-game and has managed 33 points in the three weeks since joining the blog team. His scores have often been inconsistent in the past, but he seems to be thriving in Sarri’s system and another 200-250 point season is not beyond the realm of possibility on current form. In my opinion, he’s as close to a must own as you can have at the moment.
As for the rest of the team, they continued to pitch in from all areas. Aguero kept up his consistent start to the season with another goal and 2 bonus points to extend the teams 100% captaincy record. Zaha and Wilson both managed an assist a piece, and maybe should have got more. Trippier pulled in the score that he came so close to getting the week before, and although I hadn’t expected much from Robertson and Alonso in defensive terms, it was disappointing to lose Alonso’s clean sheet so late on.
One of the most pleasing things to come out of the wildcard has been the form of Rui Patricio. I discussed the issue of premium goalkeepers prior to wildcard game, and the Wolves stopper has done nothing but reaffirm my belief that the money can be better used elsewhere. A combination of clean sheets, saves, and bonus points has seen Patricio out-score the other top 10 goalkeepers over the last 3 gameweeks. Only Ederson of City has been able to match his 19 points over that timeframe and it’s taken a perfect record of 3 clean sheets, so there’s very little justification for the extra £1m outlay.
Last weekend went down to the wire in terms of my transfer for the gameweek. I weighed the pro’s and cons, followed the news, and watched the forums right up to the deadline, but in the end I just couldn’t shake the nagging doubt over David Silva and Pep’s rotation roulette. At the time, bringing Richarlison in as a replacement made complete sense given his plum fixture against a leaky Fulham. Unfortunately, despite registering 5 shots on goal, he was unable to make his mark and the transfer provided a zero point net gain as Silva duly started for City without return.
That’s not to say the transfer was wasted, as the Brazilian is a relatively long-term pick for the team. In retrospect though, I do feel that I could have shown greater patience with a player of Silva’s quality, and I undoubtedly would have under normal circumstances. However, with me taking the Sky approach to the game of not having a bench to provide cover, I felt the increasing pressure to remove that element of doubt. By the time the deadline had ticked down, I had cracked and make another precious transfer.
I’ve now managed to review and maintain the 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.
GW8 – Transfers: The Sky v FPL approach
As with last weeks transfer, it’s becoming increasingly obvious just how much the Sky approach to transfers actually differs to that of a normal FPL player.
Up to this point, most of the transfers I’ve had to make have been reactionary and have been dictated by injury, suspension and rotation worry. Yet this week provided the opportunity to finally attack the fixtures with the emergence of Harry Kane. While the other major captaincy options from Liverpool and Man City face up to each other on Sunday, Spurs come up against a Cardiff side that has conceded a league high of 16 goals, 14 of which being in the last 4 games. Couple that with the fact that Kane seems to have picked up some form in recent weeks (3 goals in his last 2 games) and he’s the obvious pick for the armband. So, with money in the bank to spare, bringing him into the blog team was a no brainer right?
Again, had this been a standard FPL approach, then Kane would now be sitting front and centre as the focal point of the team. In fact, I even took a 4 point hit to bring him into my personal team last week in anticipation of his games against Huddersfield and Cardiff. However, with transfers at a premium under the Sky approach, a more careful consideration was required.
Not owning Kane could really hurt the overall rank come Saturday afternoon, but bringing him in now would have to come at the expense of one Sergio Aguero, who is currently spearheading a free scoring City team that is capable of decimating anyone on their day. Yes, I could transfer him in just for the Cardiff game, and then bring back Aguero further down the line……no problem. But that would cost me 2 transfers at least, while tying up the extra £1.3m that could be used to strengthen the team in other areas.
Also, a big focus of the Sky game is on the captaincy, and looking ahead at the fixtures I just can’t see myself captaining Kane after Saturday. It would take until GW15 before he would be a consideration for the armband ahead of the likes of Salah, Aguero, and Hazard. So can spending £12.5m on a future non-captain option be justified for the sake of one week? I guess I’ll find out on Saturday after coming out from behind the sofa, but for now I’m sticking to the longer term game plan.
That being said, the transfer for this week is with the future in mind. Wilf Zaha has yet to set the league alight with his usual explosive performances, and is now entering a horrific run of fixtures that includes Wolves, Everton, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs and Man Utd. With Palace yet to score a single goal at home, it’s difficult to see fortunes improving for Zaha, so he has been replaced by a new addition to the watchlist in Marko Arnautovic. The talismanic Austrian is in fine form after dominating Man Utd last week, and in total contrast to Palace, West Ham’s fixtures are easing considerably. Of last seasons big 6, the Hammers face only Spurs & Man City between now and early January, so they have the perfect opportunity to extend their improving results.
A fairly straight-forward decision on the captaincy this week. For the first time this season, the Aguero/Salah rotation will be broken as Eden Hazard takes the armband. Games like Liverpool versus City can go either way and are extremely difficult to predict, so despite being top scorer in the game, the Belgian gets it by default against a Southampton team that has conceded 7 in the last 4 games.
Transfers Remaining: 34/40