GW15 – Bench….What Bench?

Blog Team, Posts

Transfers Remaining: 30/40

GW14 Summary

Not a bad week for the team considering the rest and rotation that was mooted going into the weekend. Concerns over Hazard’s injury meant that I took the plunge and moved him on for the in-form Raheem Sterling. The City winger has been imperious in recent weeks, and despite maintaining a place on my watchlist for months, had been ignored for far too long. He could easily turn out to be this years Mo Salah and given how that turned out last season, it’s a train that I didn’t want to miss.

With house renovations underway though, I do regret rushing into the decision. Not in terms of getting Sterling in (he outscored Hazard by 3 points so I’m already up on the deal), but in terms of who I was removing. Despite the doubts, all the information suggested that Hazard would play against Fulham, so in hindsight I can’t help but feel that Salah may have been the way to go. Klopp looks to have changed things at Liverpool, having reduced the levels of pressing and tweaking the positioning of both Firmino and Salah. But despite it gaining the desired results, it just doesn’t seem to favour either player in an FPL sense. For the first time this season, I feel like he’s just not producing enough for his £13m outlay, and considering the value available elsewhere, will be something that will need monitoring going forward.

Regardless, an overall score of 66 was a pleasant surprise given that captain for the week Aguero missed out through injury. It’s becoming a bit of a theme for the blog team now, but it was the defence that once again bailed me out with a massive 37 points, helped in part by Wan-Bissaka replacing Aguero from the bench. And what can I say about that Van Dijk assist with practically the last kick of the final game of the weekend? Totally unbelievable (even he had given it up), but I’ll certainly take it. Just a shame his teammate Salah couldn’t contribute as my vice-captain. No matter though, 17 points above the average pushes me back towards that top 1k after drifting out of it the week before.

Rotation Ahead?

Two days on and we’re already back to it as the Christmas fixture pile-up begins in earnest. Including last weekend, there are SEVEN gameweeks for us FPL managers to navigate throughout the month of December; eight if you add-on the usual New Years day games. And that’s just the Premier league. There’s European and domestic cup ties to be fitted in amongst that!

Even by Premier League standards, that’s a ridiculous stretch, and its the period of the season I’ve been dreading the most. Changes will be made to line-ups en-masse as the likes of Pep, Jurgen, Jose et al. attempt to keep their teams fit and fresh, and all you’ll hear from experienced FPL managers in the community is to “make sure you have a good bench”. It’s great advice, if not common sense, and it’s definitely something I’ll be looking to do in my personal team (Aguero and Bennett are out for anyone that’s interested).

However, having taken the Sky FF approach for the blog team and completely ignored the bench since the Wildcard after GW4, this month is going to be a pretty big problem. I got lucky with Wan-Bissaka this week having had him since GW1 anyway, but the likes of Danny Ward and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are unlikely to provide much in the way of back-up. Arguably the money saved on such a budget bench has helped get the starting XI to its current rank, but I have the feeling that December will be a case of taking any slide on the chin as the more flexible teams around me prove their worth.

If I can offer any wisdom at all over this period, it’s to accept that rotation is inevitable and realise that it’s not just your team that suffers. If one of your big name players misses out, chances are a big proportion of active players are in the same situation and you’re probably no worse off for it. The Sky game forces you to learn that fairly quickly, and the sooner you’re able to make peace with it, the less stressful the game tends to become.

Watchlist

I’ve not managed to maintain the watchlist of players as much as I’d hoped recently, so I apologise for that. The list of players has also dwindled slightly as the team has taken shape, so that will be something I need to review in the coming weeks. However, the players on there do still appear to be relevant so I’ll continue to base my transfers upon this group. The not so recently updated list can be found here.

GW15 – Transfers

Due to the sheer number of games coming, I’m fairly glad that I’ve managed to keep the self-imposed transfer limit to a minimum up to now. As stated above, December will be difficult for everyone, so with 30 transfers remaining there should be enough scope to make a few changes and keep the team as competitive as possible this month.

That being said, I have two in mind for this week. Firstly, I think I need to address the issue of Sergio Aguero. He missed out on the weekend, and looks almost certain to miss out again midweek. While Pep has given little indication that there’s a serious problem, the fact that he seems likely to now miss two games on the bounce suggests there might just be something more to it, much like the Mendy situation earlier in the season. Plus, with such an able deputy in Gabriel Jesus waiting in the wings to ease the burden anyway, it seems wise to alleviate the risk and move him on for now.

The obvious replacement at this time would seem to be Harry Kane. Spurs have excellent fixtures and has little/no risk of rotation, making him a strong captaincy option each week. His underlying stats have been improving, and also has a history of hat-tricks during the Christmas period. No brainer right? The problem is, I removed him from the watchlist a few weeks back as something just doesn’t seem right with him, and nothing I’ve seen recently has changed my opinion of that. He hasn’t been the same since his injury last season, continues to drop deep to collect the ball, and seems to be shooting from distance in the main. For £12.4m, that’s not good enough at the moment, especially while some of his peers are performing for less.

So who comes in instead? That would be the only Gunner on my watchlist – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Since coming to the league almost a year ago, he’s played 27 games, netting 20 goals (nobody has more), 7 assists, and 28 bonus for a total of 178 FPL points. Narrowing that timeline further, he has 10 goals, 3 assists and 16 bonus in his last 11 matches – not bad for someone still relatively new to the league! Fresh off a brace against Spurs in the North London derby, he’s the form striker in the league and comes in at a more budget friendly £11.0m at the time of writing, making the move from Aguero a simple one. Arsenal also have a fixture swing coming now, which see’s them face Man Utd, Huddersfield, Southampton, and Burnley in the next four. It’s very feasible that he could match Kane through this tough period so I’m happy to take my chances with Auba until Kane can convince me otherwise.

The second transfer is one I wasn’t planning on, but feel could now be necessary. I generally hate making goalkeeper transfers, but the form of Wolves has forced me to rethink the position. There’s no denying Patricio is an excellent GK, but teams apparently seem to have finally figured Wolves out. The fixtures are mixed at best for the forseeable future, and there have been no clean sheets in the last six games. The losses to both Huddersfield and Cardiff in the last two have only served to compound my thinking that he needs to be moved on.

It’s an easy decision here though. Lukasz Fabianski has outscored Patricio this season, despite only registering 2 clean sheets thus far. He’s a monster in terms of saves, having made 57 for a total of 16 save points. Given that the West Ham defence give up so many chances to opposing teams, that also means that he’s always in contention to pick up bonus points, leading the way for goalkeepers with 8, and second only to Anderson and Arnauovic (9 each) within the Hammers lineup. As highlighted by the watchlist, what makes him the stand out GK now is his fixtures. West Ham top the fixture ticker for defensive difficulty between now and GW21, which would comfortably see us through the festive period and into mid-January.

Captaincy

An easy selection given I’ve avoided the temptation to get Kane. Mo Salah is 2nd for goal attempts behind Aguero this season, and comes up against a Burnley side that have conceded 37 more shots, and 27 more shots in the box than anyone else in the league. Surely that should present the Liverpool forward with plenty of opportunities to get back on the scoresheet, and the bookies tend to agree having him as 1.73 to score anytime. Only Kane has shorter odds this week.

B2BF4810-7D96-4D18-8A5C-7A07FF698286Transfers Remaining: 28/40

GW8 – Time for Kane?

Blog Team, Posts

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.

Transfer deliberations

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.

Watchlist

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.

Captaincy

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.

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Transfers Remaining: 34/40

GW7 – Catching up……

Blog Team, Posts

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.

E2BB56DE-17A2-4ABB-94F8-1F90AF3910BA

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.

Watchlist

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!!!!

Captaincy

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.

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Transfers Remaining: 36/40

GW4 – A Quick Review

Blog Team

I must say, it was very much another average gameweek to take the team into the seemingly endless and dull international break. Thankfully, the Sky game is now in its first overhaul period, which means for this FPL team it’s also Wildcard time!

Transfers Remaining: 37/40

Gameweek 4 Summary

A promising start which exceeded all expectations seems to have really hit the buffers in GW3 and GW4. An uninspiring 47, for another fall in rank of around 24k, wasn’t quite the way I had hoped to bounce back from last weeks below par effort. I know these sorts of weeks often happen, and have been playing fantasy football long enough to know that generally everyone suffers when they do, but it almost feels like the FPL gods are trying to redress the balance after allowing us to set off with a bang.

Since those red cards for Wan-Bissaka and Richarlison in gameweeks 2 and 3 (thanks guys….sigh!!), the team has really suffered a drop off in form that not even a few transfers have been able to abate. Of the three changes made, only Mendy has produced a score more than 2; a record that is radically in need of changing if this experiment is going to succeed.

Last weeks transfer of Mkhitaryan produced nothing more than a one minute cameo, and this weeks ‘obvious’ move for Walcott ended in tears as he hobbled from the field before reaching that magic 60 minute mark. In fact, when it comes to old Theo, history tells us that nothing is ever obvious apart from his ability to pick up injuries, and I really should have listened! Plus, the surprise news of an injury to Wilf Zaha just compounded issues, as we all know that Palace are seemingly incapable of winning without him these days and they duly delivered.

All things considered, I guess I should count myself lucky that the team has managed to tread water through another difficult week, and that once again it was the defence that has kept me afloat. With an assist apiece, both Mendy and Robertson have developed a knack of picking up points even when their respective teams concede (….well-played Alisson), so having only a single clean sheet from Luiz was far from the disaster it should have been. Actually, combined with another 2 bonus points for the Chelsea man, the team continues to edge closer to an average of 5 points per defender, so it’s no wonder that people are starting to focus on the ‘left-back revolution’. Even without Alonso, that’s almost the equivalent of a clean sheet for every defender, every week, for 4 straight weeks for the blog team – that’s astonishing stuff!!

Unsurprisingly given the no-shows mentioned above, it was a fairly sub-standard showing from the team’s attackers this week. Aguero’s history versus Newcastle is why he was handed the armband, so stats of zero shots on target and a solitary assist is far below what was expected from a striker whose team finished the game with over 78% possession. Never the less, I’m happy that this obligatory attacking return against the Magpies maintained a 100% record for the captaincy picks over the first 4 weeks.

For the second time in four weeks, Sadio Mane was the star of the show. He put away the Robertson assist for his 4th goal in as many games, and gained another 3 bonus points in the process. That takes his overall bonus tally to 8, which already equals his output from the entirety of last season. Seeing as Mo has yet to register a single bonus in FPL, this goes a long way to giving the Community’s ‘No Salah’ movement further credibility. For £3m less of an outlay, can Mane really continue to outperform the ‘Egyptian King’?? Personally, I’m not so sure, but there’s definitely a decision to be made for those on a wildcard!

Gameweek 1-4 Review

Despite not hitting any great heights during the last two weeks, a total score of 273 has the team averaging just over 68 points a week. This is likely to be unsustainable given the parameters of this experiment, but given that last years FPL winner finished with an average of around 66 then I have to be happy with how things have gone so far. It’s quite difficult to assess what would constitute a successful score at this early stage, but if I can manage to keep the team somewhere around a 50 point weekly average then that should hopefully give me a decent finish.

Watchlist

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 the last weekend of fixtures, but for anyone who missed it, the updated list can be found here.

GW5 – Transfers

As I mentioned earlier, the Sky game is currently in its first overhaul period. That means the blog team has its wildcard active, and is in a constant state of flux. After nearly two weeks of tinkering, there are still plenty of decisions remaining unresolved and much will depend on the upcoming manager press conferences to hopefully clarify some injury situations. Because of this, I won’t detail the changes I’m looking at just yet, but suffice to say, the majority of the players will have come from the watchlist.

I will try to put out another post before the weekend to give my views on the major issues facing wildcarders, and to reveal the final team.

Note of Thanks

Since starting the blog back in August, the response from the readers and the twitter community have been amazing. In just over a month, the twitter account alone has managed over 100 new followers, so I can’t thank everyone enough for their continued support. Cheers all!

 

 

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GW 4 – Reds……Good and Bad!

Blog Team

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.

Watchlist

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.

Captaincy

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!

1446ADB9-FCFC-4583-A21D-FAE8C5A5ECF7Transfers Remaining: 37/40

 

GW3 – The Fallout from Guardian-Gate

Blog Team

So another good weekend for the blog team to build on its positive start in GW1. However, it wasn’t without incident and may have come at a cost in terms of my early planning.

Transfers Remaining: 40/40

Gameweek 2 Summary

It was pretty much a case of ‘as you were’ for the team as many of the same players returned for a second week in a row, racking up 83 points to follow up the 97 it picked up in GW1. This was always going to be the toughest of the first 4 weeks for the team given that Liverpool we’re going to Palace in a game where I had six participants, including two Palace defenders. Expectations were fairly low, so to come out of it relatively unscathed is extremely encouraging. A slight drop in rank but that’s unimportant at this stage.

From only 4 shots across the first 2 games, Richarlison notched his 3rd goal for Everton to maintain a level of efficiency that nobody would have imagined possible given his tribulations last season. He didn’t quite get the 3 bonus that Sky clearly thought he deserved by giving him the MoM, but the 2 he did receive has already seen him topple last seasons bonus total. It represents quite a shift for the young Brazilian, and I for one am hoping that it continues for a while yet considering his upcoming fixtures.

As I alluded to earlier, the Crystal Palace v Liverpool game was always going to be an issue for the team – two Palace defenders against that lethal Liverpool attack?? Understandably, I received a few inquisitions on this going into the gameweek, but it had been a decision I had made prior to the season and one that I was willing to ride out as it served the initial strategy. I figured that if I came out of it with a positive score then I’d be happy, and although it took until late on, the Liverpool trio duly obliged by doing what they do best. I’m particularly pleased with Robertson who has now picked up consecutive bonuses of all kinds across both the FPL and Sky formats. Captaincy aside, I would argue that he will be a far more valuable pick in the long-term than both of his esteemed attacking colleagues.

As for Man City, I guess I should address the main talking point of the weekend and that’s ‘Guardian-gate’! After I had published the blog on Friday afternoon with my reasons for an Aguero captaincy, along came a chap from the Guardian newspaper to cause mass panic. The headline read “Pep Guardiola considers dropping Sergio Aguero” and despite not having any direct quotes from Pep himself, it sent the FPL community into complete meltdown! A simple retweet from a City ITK meant that the article was dissected over and over, with opinions ranging from “no-smoke without fire” to “it’s nothing but click-bait”, and managers flip-flopped between captaincy options as a result.

I’m not going to pretend that it didn’t create some element of doubt for the blog team, but come Saturday morning I had made the decision to stick with Aguero. Whether substantiated or not, the article was not telling us anything new. We know that Pep considers dropping all of his players on a weekly basis, so selecting any of their players comes with a risk – just ask owners of Sterling, Sane, Mahrez and Walker. The simple fact of the matter is that City are an attacking machine, and this was a plumb fixture. Sergio was the standout pick before the article, it’s why we paid 11.0m for him, so why should that change?!

Don’t get me wrong, it was a nervous wait until Sunday (the vice captaincy was firmly planted on Salah just in case), and seeing his name pop up on the teamsheet at 12:30pm was a huge relief. All fears had been alleviated, and from the moment Ederson set him up via a long ball for his first goal (yes, City are even getting attacking returns from their GK now!!), the decision to stick with the Argentine had been vindicated. A total of 40 points courtesy of a hat-trick, assist, and a MoM performance just shows how deadly he can be on his day.

Now, I’ll admit it felt great to come down on the right side of such a big call. In my opinion, it’s these instances that are the reason why we have such a love/hate relationship with the fantasy game. However, it’s important to note that these decisions will not shape your entire season. Many managers, some who have far better records in this game than myself, have freely admitted to being swayed by the Guardian article. Yet, they are good at the game because they realise it ‘s just one of many to decisions come.  The actual reality is that by taking the less risky option of captaining Salah over Aguero, those managers came out of it only 11 points down. That’s nothing in the grand scheme of things and can easily be made up over the next 36 weeks!

GW3 – Transfers

Coming from Sky, the biggest bug-bear I have in FPL is the price changes. I understand it’s a fundamental part of the game, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. The smallest change of 0.1 in either direction means an entire strategy can become worthless overnight. In contrast, the Sky game allows you to plot and plan your way through the season with only form, fixtures and injuries being of concern, so it’s a difficult scenario to comprehend.

As I stated in my first post, I had intended to totally ignore the price variations, but by Monday it was already becoming a problem for me. Those of you who have been following my watchlist will know that Alonso has been sitting on there since GW1. So after he continued his attacking display against Arsenal, I had intended to upgrade Luiz using the 1.0m ITB to do so……..happy days. However, it seems that plenty of managers don’t share my notion that waiting for the gameweek to finish is a good idea when making transfers. I had already been priced out of a move before the Liverpool game had even kicked off! Is it only me that finds this crazy???

No matter how much I wanted Alonso, I suppose the patient approach actually worked out in a way. That Monday game came at a significant cost to the blog team with Wan-Bissaka getting red carded for a professional foul to deny Salah a goal. His bargain price was an essential part of the strategy going forward and a 1 game ban is far from helpful. There is nobody else at his price point worth a precious transfer, so had this been in the Sky game then I would have just left him in the team and suffered his zero points for the week. He’s not a captaincy option so no problem.

However, instead of letting the bench pick up the slack (it’s not an option in Sky so I’m not allowing it here), I have decided to use this as an opportunity to resolve a few issues that I had hoped could wait until the intended Wildcard after GW4. Firstly, Mahrez has become a problem. He came off before the hour in GW1, and didn’t even start in GW2. I really would have liked to give him more time as I still believe he will score well in that City attack, but that brings me to a second issue that I highlighted last week – I don’t have Benjamin Mendy! As opposed to the to the City midfield who all seem interchangeable, he seems to be a lock at left-back, and I’m not sure I can watch him boss yet another City game without him in my team. My three City slots were taken so I’m sorry Mahrez, but room has to be made.

Lastly, there is now a distinctive fixture swing coming for both Arsenal and Chelsea that I definitely want some part of. Alonso was meant to be the man to take care of that until his price rise, so in order to accommodate Mendy, I turn to the midfield instead. Both Pedro (2 goals in 2 games) and Mkhitaryan (1 goal and assist in GW2) have impressed in recent weeks, and only just missed out on the watchlist due to having a potential rotation threat looming. However, given that Mkhitaryan leads the league for key passes with 7, and actually matches Aubameyang for attempts at goal, then I’m willing to throw my hat in with the Armenian. Arsenal’s fixture list is excellent, and with none of last seasons top 6 until GW11, I’m backing him to start racking up the points fairly quickly.

Watchlist

Last week I started a watchlist of players based upon the stats I gather from the games, as well as those who pass the eye-test. Anyone who follows me on twitter will have seen the updates I have made over the weekend, but for anyone who missed it, the updated list can be found here.

Captaincy

It’s a tough decision on the captaincy again this week with both Salah and Aguero having reasonable fixtures versus Brighton (h) and Wolves (a) respectively. Both teams have conceded 4 goals across the first two games, although Wolves seem to have been the unluckiest of the two considering they lead the league for the lowest number of shots conceded.

I think the simple fact that Liverpool are playing at home actually sways it for me this week as both are more than capable of big scores. The corresponding fixture last season finished 4-0 with Salah picking up a goal and assist, so there is a history there too. The bookies have him at 1.44 to score anytime, compared with 1.60 for Aguero, so it’s Salah’s turn to take the armband for GW3. Would another hat-trick be asking too much?

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Transfers Remaining: 38/40

 

GW2 – And We’re Off!

Blog Team

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.

Transfers

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.

Watchlist

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.

Captaincy

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?!

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The Blog Team – GW1

Blog Team

So it’s finally here. After weeks of planning, drafting, tinkering, and tinkering again, gameweek 1 is now only a matter of hours away. I’m more or less there with my team and will discuss my choices below.

Twitter Poll

Before I get into that though, I recently ran a twitter poll to help me decide on a transfer strategy for the season. I was unsure whether to allow bonus transfers for formation changes, or to stick with the 40 limit as with Sky. Thank you to everyone that voted and the result ended with 67% of you choosing to stick with the 40 limit.

I’ll be honest, I had secretly hoped it would go the other way, but the people have spoken so that’s what I’ll be working with. It will no doubt be restrictive as the season progresses, but as good friend of mine kindly pointed out – “You don’t get the benefit of the chips in Sky” – so I guess it’s only fair.

The Strategy

As explained in the previous post, Sky’s Overhaul kicks in during the international break after gameweek 4 so I’ll be aiming to using the Wildcard at the same point. It just makes sense with all the uncertainty surrounding the World Cup players, and the bedding in of any new transfers sealed before yesterday’s transfer deadline. Plus, the two weeks thinking time will come in handy in order to regroup after a manic few weeks.

Playing it this way also means I only need to focus on the first 4 weeks, so focussing on the fixtures is absolutely key. I highlighted Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Burnley, & Everton as having a relatively good start in that respect and most of my initial thoughts have not strayed too far away from that.

The Team

So here we go………..The blog team.

Goalkeeper

I had wanted to start the season with a Burnley goalkeeper. Whoever it is, they always seem to offer the right blend of clean sheet potential, saves, and bonus. I can’t count how many times Nick Pope chipped in with a Man of the Match performance to boost by Sky scores last year, and that seems to translate to FPL too. However, Pope and Heaton’s pre-season injury woes, as well as the arrival of Joe Hart, has clouded judgement there. I’ll be watching keenly to see who gets that spot, but for now I’ve had to look elsewhere.

De Gea was the obvious first stop. He was the top scoring keeper last season, but his price 6.0m price tag proved to be a little prohibitive. Had this been Sky, I would have been looking at him for tonight’s captaincy, but not for FPL. Instead, I’ve switched over to the other side of Manchester with Ederson for a 0.5m saving. He wasn’t that far behind De Gea in the points table and offers a sure-fire way into a City defence that could see huge rotation from Pep this year.

Defenders

The blog team is going to start the season with 4 at the back, following on from some of the excellent ‘value’ articles produced by the community during pre-season. The security of starts (and hopefully clean sheets) means that its worth that little extra outlay, and in a limited transfer game, should reduce the number required in these positions.

Andy Robertson was the first defender name on my team sheet for this season due to his ability to pick up passing and tackling bonuses, which should relate well in FPL’s bonus system too. Once he earned that first team spot last season, he never looked back and generated stats to rival even the mighty Alonso. Van Dijk was another consideration given Liverpool’s great fixtures early on, but the young Scot’s attacking ability just sways it for me.

Next up is David Luiz. This is a bit of a punt given there was very little stats to go off last season, but Sarri has been talking him up and he seems to have forced his was back into the starting 11 after his problems with Antonio Conte. Many of you might ask why not Azpilicueta or Alonso, but they come with premium price tags and the shift to a back 4 seems likely to hinder their output of season’s past. Apart from Arsenal in GW2, Chelsea have some decent fixtures to start so Luiz at a 1.0m saving seems like a risk worth taking, especially if he can take a few trademark free-kicks.

Then comes  Mamadou Sakho.Now, he’s not one that I’ve heard much talk about in pre-season but his influence in the Crystal Palace defence is huge and he’s always a goal threat at set-pieces. At 5.0m, there are plenty of others that might be worthy of selection, but that brings me to the main reason for his selection – the guy is an absolute beast for bonus point collection!! The Sky game has shown me that this is always something to consider, and to give you an idea of just how good he is, he finished 4th overall for defenders. And, that’s having played less than half the minutes of the likes of Azpilicueta and Otamendi due to injury – that’s impressive!!

Now, I brought it up in my previous post that the benefits of an ‘uber-cheap’ starter cannot be overlooked in Sky. If one presents themselves, they will be hunted out to allow for more budget to be pushed up the field. This generally tends to get overlooked in FPL due to the bench, but not by me…..not this season. During pre-season, Aaron Wan-Bissaka seems to have nailed down the Crystal Palace right-back slot ahead of Joel Ward, and from what I’ve seen of him he’s looked decent. Listening to some of their fans, he arguably should have got this position last season so at just 4.0, he could be a bargain.

 Midfielders

These were the hardest positions to select from a Sky perspective. The likes of Kante and Matic, who are huge in Sky for their passing and tackling stats, just don’t seem to translate well to FPL – ridiculous really given their performances and importance to their teams. Therefore, I’ve had to look to the attacking spectrum for the guys who get the goals and assists, as these will be the players that should also get the bonus in this format.

It was an easy choice to start with however – Mo Salah! This man needs no introduction from me after his record-breaking exploits last season, as we all know what he can do. His goalscoring record was exceptional and even earned him a re-classification as a forward in Sky. He remains a midfielder in FPL though, and as far as I’m concerned, he could have priced at 14.0m and I still would have picked him. He’s a captaincy option each and every week and therefore worth every penny!

Second on this list should have been should and would have been Kevin De Bruyne. Wherever he plays in that City team, he’s at the heart of everything that they do. He’s brilliant in every sense of the word and ticks all the point scoring boxes across all fantasy formats – goals, assists, passing, tackling – and is always a Man of the Match Contender. This was underlined by the fact he was second overall in Sky last season, only falling behind Salah.

The only problem with this is that he took Belgium to 3rd place at the World Cup and only returned to training this week, so there’s a chance he might be eased back and doesn’t start GW1. That risk is enough for me to switch focus to his City’s big summer signing in Rihad Mahrez. Being City’s record signing, that should at least see him guaranteed a starting spot while the likes of KdB, Sterling and David Silva are eased back after their World Cup exploits. His qualities are undoubted after what he has been able to do for Leicester (12 goals, 13 assists and 19 bonus points in 2017/18), and a move to such an attacking side as City should see him excel. I have every faith that he will do well, but KdB will be coming in at the first sign of a regular return and have kept 1.0m in the bank to facilitate it.

Sadio Mane fills the third slot in my midfield at 9.5m. Again, this could have been a number of players at that price point. It came down to a toss-up between Mane and Eriksen, and post-Wildcard, I think Eriksen may still take this spot due to his overall scoring and bonus potential. However, while there seems to have been some uncertainty over who Spurs have available for the early gameweeks, Liverpool have the fixtures to come out of the blocks all guns blazing. Mane has explosive potential and has been slotting away penalties in pre-season too, so he’s in.

I’ll explain the reason for going with a 4-4-2 formation, instead of the aforementioned 4-5-1, below. However, the final midfielder in my lineup is Richarlison at 6.5m. He tailed off massively last season after the departure of Marco Silva from Watford, but in the early stages he was registering big chances at a rate comparable to the likes of Salah and was a must own at his price in Sky. Only Kane, Eriksen and Salah himself finished the season with more shots than the young Brazilian. Therefore, with Silva again there to guide him, I think Richarlison could kick-on for what could be an impressive season. Everton certainly have some potentially excellent fixtures to get him started if they can pull it together after a few dicey performances in pre-season.

Strikers

I alluded above to the fact that I have switched from a 4-5-1 to a 4-4-2 formation. The reason being Wilf Zaha. He’s had a re-classification from FPL this year, and seems to be a different animal since Roy Hodgson shifted him into more of a forward role. He was exceptional at the back-end of last season and seems to have hit the ground running in pre-season too with pretty much a goal a game. He’s a Man of the Match bonus hog in Sky, and at 7.0m in FPL I think he’ll provide far better returns than the comparatively priced midfielders.

As for my premium forward, I debated this for while in pre-season. Harry Kane was the obvious go to, but despite notching the golden boot at the world cup, he’s just not looked right since coming back from injury towards the end of last season. Also, we’re all aware of his issues in August by now and with the birth of his baby this week, there’s every chance he may miss the start of the season anyway.

There’s just too many issues there, so that left Sergio Aguero and Aubameyang as my big hitter considerations (I already have 3 Liverpool and United don’t score enough goals). Neither need discussion really, they will both get bucket-loads of goals this season. Aubameyang hit the ground running at Arsenal and his  record at Dortmund speaks for itself. His first two fixtures aren’t, great coming up against City and Chelsea, but I would still think he could get something in both those games. In the end though, the Community Shield made the decision for me……………..it just has to be Agueeeeeerrrroooooooo!

Bench

As stated in my ‘Sky FF Approach’ post, I will be writing off the bench in order to focus on the starting 11. I’ve not given any thought to it at all but as FPL require you to fill it, in come Kamara at Fulham (4.5m), Stephens at Brighton (4.5m), Peltier of Cardiff (4.0m), and Stekelenburg of Everton (4.0m).

So there it is, my Sky Player in FPL team:

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I don’t see this changing before the deadline, but if there’s any last minute injury news that forces my hand, then I’ll highlight it on my twitter feed.

My Captain

At this point, I’m so glad FPL don’t require daily captain changes like Sky do. For the first 4 gameweeks, it allows me to just move between Salah and Aguero depending on who has the better fixture. Salah will take the armband for GW1.

Comments

By all means hit me up on twitter with any comments or thoughts you have on the Sky Player In FPL team, especially if you have any last-minute suggestions. Plus, if you want to follow the progress of the team, there are links to the blog team (and my personal team for anyone interested) listed in the links section.

Hope you all have a great opening gameweek folks and I’ll be back next week for gameweek 2.