Tom’s good mate FPL Goops is writing an FPL blog for us this year from the perspective of an “FPL Everyman”.
Follow him on twitter @FPLGoops.
My Gameweek 2 summary reads something like this:
I hate it when my team doesn’t achieve the base yardstick of 50 points.
It’s usually down to a captain fail – yes I’m looking at you, Mo!– and fewer than average attacking returns.
When you get a gameweek with just two clean sheets then you know it’ll be a struggle.
To me, this early period of FPL needs to be a time for patience and reflection… however, it’s bloody hard when everyone around you is trigger happy, taking mini wildcards or even popping the actual chip left, right and centre.
Reflecting perhaps what the boys said on their podcast this week, I’m often bemused that a sample of 2 gameweeks is enough to convince even the savviest players to ditch their premium assets.
Don’t forget, many of these were a “total lock” just 3 weeks ago in the final planning!
Remember folks, we all thought long and hard about our Gameweek 1 teams and most of us did it with the first 5-6 weeks in mind.
Chips are there for emergencies only this early on.
We need to trust our early instincts.
Of course I’m tempted to join the Pukki Party, though. His price is going through the roof and he knows how to finish – but is he suddenly a 20 goal a season striker in the PL? With ‘tough’ home games vs Chelsea and City next will he continue to smash it? Maybe, but we can’t be sure yet.
In sum, we need some perspective and we need more data.
Another question lies in targeting tactics: should we be targeting assets playing Newcastle as captain?
Kane in GW3 seems too good an opportunity to resist even though City have a tasty fixture on the South Coast.
Gameweek 2 Review: Mo or Raz Captain?
Let’s revisit Gameweek 2 quickly.
I was always going to roll the transfer to give myself some flexibility for GW3, which has proved wise.
So my biggest dilemma was: who should get the armband?
It was either Mo Salah vs Saints or Raz Sterling vs Spurs.
On paper, the Saints fixture was more appealing – they had looked ordinary in GW1 when being turned over by Burnley, and Liverpool had got off to a fast start.
However , they had also over exerted themselves in the Super Cup in midweek and the return journey to Istanbul needed to be factored in.
As for Sterling? Well, fresh from an opening gameweek hat trick, he’d made a pretty formidable case even if the fixture was against a fellow top 6 heavyweight with City at home and purring.
It was genuinely 50:50 decision.
Ultimately my previous season experience of NOT captaining Salah reared its ugly head to propel Mo to the front of the queue.
This led to first captain fail of the season.
My Gameweek 2 outcome
A par 45 pointer (4 above average at least) was rescued to acceptable levels by Luca Digne’s assist, cleanie and some bonus. He really is FPL gold.
I think we’ve put the Digne vs Coleman debate to bed.
Elsewhere, Pope performed admirably in a tough fixture at Arsenal, but there were no other clean sheets and only 4 out of front 7 got any returns.
A damp squib, however the low average shows that, unless you owned a combo of Mane, Pukki and Lundstram, most basically had a poor show.
All in all a very meh week – but a green arrow is good and OR means very little right now.
It is rather concerning how quickly my rank drops when United assets perform – that’s one to keep an eye on.
Gameweek 3 – investing my free transfers
Having rolled an FT, I had the luxury of 2 free transfers to shake up my lacklustre team ahead of next Gameweek.
The biggest disappointments in my squad to date are Ryan Fraser and Ayoze Perez.
The latter probably deserves patience – they were two relatively tough opening fixtures – but I need the budget to afford Kevin De Bruyne.
KdB is a diamond.
My rational fpl brain goes into reverse when I watch him play – so elegant, such incredible poise and natural ability.
And I’m a United fan for goodness sake – I think he transcends all that.
With him fit and firing I think City will be uncatchable – he hardly played last year and they still won the league.
With him in this mood and some very tasty fixtures coming up, I had no hesitation in getting him in my team.
The makeweight move was Perez to Tom’s cousin Todd Cantwell.
Before the beginning of the season, you may have asked: who?
Well, Cantwell is Teemu Pukki‘s assist machine – he looks talented and probably the best 4.5 option in the game ahead of Dendoncker as he plays advanced for a very attacking team.
I think he could do well and it somewhat makes up for no Pukki… that’s what I’m telling myself, anyway.
Here’s my Gameweek 3 set up then:
Fingers crossed – Harry Kane, whose tumultous inclusion I mentioned on last week’s blog, gets my armband.
No Sky Blues – A Quick Digression
Whilst FPL has been ordinary at best, I’ve made a rather decent start to my debut season playing the Sky FF game.
Those chaps on FFHub who play both games to a high level and release excellent content for both games convinced me to have a go (I promise Tom has not paid me to write that!)
Two gameweeks in I’m ranked 6k (it’s not directly equivalent to FPL but it’s a decent start) with 200 pts.
The key difference is you can change your captain each gameday within each gameweek.
So if, like this week, you have games Saturday through to Monday you can have 3 captains.
My captains were Auba vs Burnley on Saturday (ahead of both Mo and Raz), Maddison vs Chelsea on Sunday (assist and MOTM bonus), and Jota vs United on Monday.
The other main difference is there aren’t any price rises to contend with – everyone is fixed.
It was a decent week but actually it was my GW1 which was spectacular with 123 point haul.
If my fortunes continue on Sky, you may find me re-balancing this article in its favour!
Goops’ Unexpected Star of the Week
Imagine a fairly advanced midfielder playing for a newly promoted side, comically mis-classified as a defender and given the 4.0 base entry price point.
Imagine then, that on his home debut he bangs in the winning goal, keeps a clean sheet and bags some bonus.
That would be BUY BUY BUY all day long.
Well done John Lundstram – you were definitely close to being in my squad before I defaulted to Diego Rico as your own fans didn’t think you’d last in the team.
And well played to all of you who have him – commiserations to those who benched him.
Goops’ Weekly Pick
I hope I do better this week. Last week’s pick Moise Kean last week didn’t even start!
I still think he has promise, though!
This week I’m going for a slightly maverick pick in Shane Duffy.
Lewis Dunk, his defensive partner, has taken all the early season plaudits but the Irishman has the knack of popping up with the odd goal or two.
This week’s fixture vs Southampton is ideal for him to get on the board.
I’m not sure I’ve quite forgiven the (triple for some!) captaincy horror from DGW35 last year, but I’ve got a feeling he’ll deliver this week.
At time of completing this article, c. 500,000 wildcards have been activated.
That’s a lot of folk attending the Pukki Party this week.
Good luck if you’ve jumped on board, ’til next week!