In before his (hopefully) regular contributions next year, self-styled “everyman” of Fantasy Premier League @FPLGoops provides his season reflections.
To catch up on his introductory piece, please click here.
That’s it then. All done.
Curtain down on another cracking Premier League season.
Shame about my FPL performance, though: mini league payouts few and far between this year.
Final Gameweek Review
After a season of unnecessary and damaging hits (20 in total!), a rare treat of two juicy free transfers awaited in the final few days leading up to GW38.
The irony was, it’d been so long since that happened that I didn’t know how to use them!
I had to remove Son, but was not tempted with the sideways move to Pogba.
As a fixtures man, I wanted to ensure I had Southampton representation for their plum final home fixture vs Huddersfield and had Redmond in mind all week: good choice, right? Well done me.
I then agonized over the two remaining things: the final transfer and the captaincy.
For the transfer, I was happy to remove Jimenez who I didn’t expect to perform away at Liverpool and, whilst I deliberated over Zaha, Wilson and Arnie, I had money in the bank to do most things except bring in golden boot chasers Aguero and Aubameyang.
But I decided to go back to an old favourite I love to hate – Jamie Vardy. Chelsea’s extra time victory midweek, and Leicester’s great form, led me to conclude that Vardy could take advantage and end the season on a high.
On the captaincy I wavered between Mane and Salah. The stats pointed to Mane, and the FOMO to Salah…. guess which emotion won through?
Sums up my season – so many captain fails when the obvious call often stared me in the face. Don’t overplay Goops!
A par final day 60 (a small red arrow) helped me finish on 2225 points, and final OR of 193k.
At least I managed to stay in the top 200k having broken back in last week…. Small mercies.
As the dust settles it’s very easy to reflect on the ‘what might have been’, but I’d prefer to focus on the lessons learned and look at how we might apply them to kick start next season…
Goops 3 Key Lessons Learned:
- Go Big at the Back
Robertson and Van Dijk both broke the 200 point threshold from a starting price of 6m, with yet another clean sheet on the final day. For context, that was more than Aguero (201) and Aubameyang (205), with the Gabonese ultimately sharing the golden boot with Mane (231).
21 clean sheets and extraordinary attacking returns may be unprecedented, but, as Nick and Tom went in to in their wrap up pod, this is a very clear example of the way FPL is developing and I expect more of it next season.
It will be intriguing to see if FPL Towers start to price premium defenders at 8m+.
We probably couldn’t argue with it if both Robbo and VVD are priced at 8m next season (and TAA too, for that matter); based on this season’s outcome you can’t argue with having them both, and it will still make your budget go much further than choosing one of them alongside Salah and Mane.
Look at the permutations
Salah (13) + Mane (11) + Robbo (8) = 32m
Mane (11) + Robbo (8) + VVD (8) = 27m
Think what you can do with that 5m elsewhere in your squad!
Goops’ Tip: 3 premium defenders £6m+ will make the template defence in GW1
- Death of the Three-Pronged Forward line
Be honest, how many of you have always preferred to play 3-4-3?
WGTA have been are the forefront of advocating to pick bench fodder for your third striker and play 4-4-2 or 3-5-2 formations, but despite what the boys say I normally can’t resist finding space for a third striker in my first XI.
Next season I’m going to break this habit. However, we have to wait to discover who will be reclassified next year.
It might finally be Salah, in which case I believe the premium striker position comes down to a choice between Salah and Aguero – with Auba in the picture too.
All the more reason to have 4.5 fodder in the front line.
I think 4-3-3 is no longer tenable, unless you pick 3 mid range forwards like Jimenez, Wilson and Rondon, for example.
Goops Tip: Default striker selection – one premium, one mid range and one budget striker next season.
- Choice conundrum – between premium assets
Partly due to the expected investment in the backline, and partly due to reclassification of key assets, I’m expecting an even bigger choice conundrum between the key premium assets especially in the midfield and especially between the top 2 teams.
Tom will write more on this in the summer, I’m told.
Due to inflation, I’d say it’s highly unlikely to impossible we’ll see many teams with Salah, Mane, Sterling & Aguero.
Top 5 expected choice conundrums:
Salah vs Mane (if both midfielders)
Salah vs Aguero (if both strikers)
Aguero vs Sterling
Kane vs Salah (if both strikers)
Eriksen vs Son
More than ever, FPL managers will have to accept missing out on major hauls from some traditionally high scoring players as they make hard choices on which of the key premiums will deliver the best value.
There could be heavier emphasis on the City and Liverpool assets in the template.
It still amazes me Sterling never had greater than 25% ownership at any point this season.
Goops tip: To make room in our budgets, the likes of Maddison, Richarlison and Jota become the de facto options in the template
Goops’ Unexpected Star of the Week
There was such a massive end of season bandwagon directed towards Zaha that his strike partner was completely ignored in the reckoning for last day returns.
Whilst Zaha did certainly deliver for those cleverly picking this fixture to spark the end of season goal fest, it was indeed Batshuayi who finally delivered on his promise with 2 great goals. It also didn’t go unnoticed that his parent club failed to score on the final day.
Could he still have a future at Chelsea?
Goops’ Weekly Season Pick
I didn’t fare too well with my last weekly pick – Mitrovic. I mean, honestly what a total fail! Remind me to avoid avoid avoid if he does get picked up by the Saints or other mid/lower level PL club next season.
It’s therefore a blessed relief I can’t choose one for next week. So instead I’m going to pick out my FPL player of the season.
Don’t worry this isn’t another POTY pick from the usual suspects making the FPL or Barclays PL Team of the Year. I’m picking this player on the basis of the incredible form that he’s shown and the points he’s delivered even though he wasn’t first choice at the start of the season and that’s Trent Alexander Arnold
If the season had continued 3-4 more gameweeks, he might have been the highest scoring defender and surpassed Robbo.
He ended on 185 – quite incredible with 2 more assists on the final day proving his class.
The fact these were his 12th and 13th assists of a breakthrough season which, by the way, is more assists in one season than Jesse Lingard has managed in all his time at Man United. Says it all.
I’ll be back in July once the fixtures and prices have been released to reflect on my plans for a fast start and offer my thoughts on the value picks.
Follow me @fplgoops on twitter – and have a great summer.