Today the Premier League (and OFPL) announced the new fixtures for DGW34 at least, with the rest of the information inferred.
As usual, blanks and doubles Godfather Ben Crellin was quick to give us the updated schedule:
Here’s what that’s done to the Schedule:
Confirmed Double Gameweeks = Bright yellow
Expected Double Gameweeks = Light yellow
(The midweek in Gameweek 37 is almost certainly the only slot that the remaining postponed fixtures can be reschedule to) pic.twitter.com/TFmNUNxEOD
— Ben Crellin (@BenCrellin) March 22, 2018
Nick and I will be podding on Sunday to talk about the doubles and our wildcards, but here are some initial points that come to mind on reading the information.
1/ Be like Tim Horton’s and love the “Double double”
With more information available, some assumptions we’ve been working with have now changed.
For example, we’d been assuming Swansea would be the top filler for our wildcards, with them potentially having a decent DGW in EVE SOU in 34. This is now not taking place – meaning it’s the end, potentially, of the likes of Fernandez, van der Hoorn and Ki’s stay in our squads.
Additionally, Arsenal’s potential new lei DGW in 34 has gone, and along with it (potentially) plans for double or triple Gunners. The same is also true of Man City’s potential 34 DGW being written off.
We now, instead, should begin focusing in on teams with the “double double” of DGWs in 34 and 37 as our first port of call for loading up on players if we are wildcarding, or as transfer targets if not.
Of the top tier sides, Spurs, United and Chelsea are now looking pretty worth building a spine from, with players like Son (8.2); DDG (5.9); Kaku (11.4) and Willian (7.0) worth a look. In the mid tier, buying Leicester assets also looks a sound plan, with Vahrez (Vardy 8.7; Mahrez 8.8) looking like they will be widely owned and Morgan (4.4)/Simpson (4.3) offering cheap filler at the back.
I suspect many will pile in on Brighton and Southampton. Both offer cheap assets (Schelotto at 4.4 in the BHA defence; McCarthy a 4.4 ‘keeper) and also the “double double”.
2/ Bench Boost (BB) 34 under question…
The consensus before now was BB in 34 – but the fact that only 4 of the 31 fixtures have been rearranged to 34 constitutes a slight surprise, and perhaps means people are looking at 37’s potential bonanza of fixtures and think “yeah, I’ll BB then”.
Be warned, though: really look in to the “filler” of the team and what fixtures those guys have – for example, HUD have mci che, and BHA have MUN mci. Both teams you’d probably want players from to enable the big hitters you want; but do you really want them coming off your bench for those fixtures?
It’s quality v quantity again, except now applicable to the fixtures in front of us. Yes, there’s quantity of fixtures in 37, but are the details – the players you will own – of sufficient quality to necessitate you pulling your BB then?
3/ … as does TC in 37
People have started looking now at TCing in the smaller DGW – 34 – and eyeing up the options there.
We now know, for example, that Spurs will have a DGW in MCI bha, and that Leicester will in bur SOT, as will Chelsea in sot bur – all perhaps presenting cases for some of their key men.
I think the case is that the abundance of fixtures now looking to be scheduled for 37 has turned many heads and made them think “yeah, I need to spend my TC by 34 otherwise I don’t know when I’ll do it” – but you’ve got to think to yourself: are the fixtures good enough?
4/ Burnley are back!
As the only club with a DGW in 34 and a fixture on BGW35, the Clarets are likely to be snapped up by Wildcarders and (especially) non-Wildcarders alike. Those without a free-hit are advised to load up with triple.
Expect to see the likes of Tarko, Gudmundsson and Barnes holding up many a squad – and Nick Pope owners may think twice about selling now.
They’re great and cut price – the only question is their motivation. They’re now safe, with comparatively little to play for (aside for a late break to the UEL) – can we rely on them as much as we’re probably going to have to?
5/ Variety ahoy!
I for one am really thankful for the schedule falling the way it has done.
It’s made the strategy less of a closed book than it perhaps was before (for me with all chips intact, at least), and means that there could be variety to be had in how people deploy their chips as they implement their own individual strategy for the run-in.
This offers the opportunity of real gains being made – could those who go against the grain and do something slightly different win out against the crowd?
These are just initial thoughts for now and will be discussed more on the pod this week.
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