Tom’s good mate FPLGoops is back for another season, writing a weekly FPL diary from the perspective of an “FPL Everyman”.
Follow him on twitter @FPLGoops.
fplgoops: Season 20/21 Episode 14 – GW23/24 Dead Ending
Who else is sick of benching points?
If it’s not Soucek it’s Saka, or someone else.
Last week it was DCL. This the guy who I have long lauded as a great asset, and who spotted his potential early. In my FPL Slack, Goops and DCL are synonymous: we’re toast with butter, we’re fish with chips. It’s unfathomable for me not to own – benching is heresy.
So it serves me right.
12 points that I’ll never see – worst of all 7 of them came from a last gasp equaliser against the team I support. Gutting.
And that’s the thing this year. All this extra money in the bank this season has left us all with really strong squads. I saw some absolute horror stories on Twitter this week of 30+ points benched. And in many cases you could understand the logic behind those benchings. It’s tough to take right now.
Strangely I don’t think I’ll have the benching headache this week as 5 of my squad have yellow flag and are injury doubts picked up during FA cup duty.
The most galling is James Justin – what a legend he’s been in FPL this year. A real source of pain for those who jumped off and an absolute hero for those like me who kept faith.
A confimed ACL today and his season is done – you have to feel for him.
I was going to bench him this week but now he’s not available I’ve got some issues geting a team out – more on that later.
DCL’s benching aside I had another decent week with 78 (-4) on the board. Rank rise of about 35k.
My punt to take a hit to bring in Son v West Brom and captain paid off nicely with 10 x 2 captain points. Bruno only got 7. Salah pitched in with a goal but Gundogan had one of those crazy games where he missed a first half pen and was on -1 at half time only to come back and smash it in the 2nd half with a brace. What value that guy is.
My other punt went less well. I jumped on the Mee bandwagon given the glorious run of fixtures or Burnley and with Mitchell not assured of his place (though he seems to have won it back!) A 1 pointer was not a great return on a hit there.
The aforementioned gem Justin signed off with yet another MOTM performance and a 9 pointer and I will definitely miss the guy. Another 9 points from the indomitable Emi Martinez was enough to cheer me up and another goal for Watkins who I’ve enjoyed owning much more than others who tasted bad luck earlier this season with him on board.
I was quite excited by owning 2 attacking West Ham assets but Antonio strained a hammy (cited as fatigue) and Soucek continued his one man shithousery with a totally undeserved red card in the last minute to land a zero pointer (remember I had 12 DCL points on the bench!) I mean there was no way I was benching Soucek for a game way at Fulham with a record for conceding headed chances. Just no way. So let’s not hindsight it too much but it was painful. Doubly so as in a H2H league I play in I lost this week by 2 points and Soucek prior to the red was on 3 points. Big sigh!
On the bright side 78 (-4) continued my recent form as I surge into the top 250k – is that a thing? Feels quite good right now.
This should have been an easy week to prep for.
Deadending into a GW25 wildcard to maximise my GW26 Bench Boost means in theory I can afford a nice little punt.
And then my team started dropping like flies. Justin was painful from a personal perspective for the lad but the most brutal for FPL is the injury to DCL. Fresh from missing his 12 points, I now have to contend with him missing one or both of the fixtures in a double gameweek.
And let’s face it the City game is not likely to yield much but Fulham at home looked a decent game – I’m pretty sure he got a brace in the away game a couple of months back.
Add to that Dias being yellow flagged causing consternation about whether 2 City is enough for their DGW. And Antonio suffering from ‘fatigue/hammy knack’ which ever you think is the real story.
Charlie Taylor who would have been a useful reserve given Burnley have 2 decent fixtures to keep a clean sheet but he’s not being risked yet.
So the truth is I’m a bit torn and flip-flopping a little on best punt and formation.
If Dias is out then I could use this to my advantage to take him out and bring in a City MF – maybe Sterling whose form is great and a good captain option.
If Dias is fit, then I’d probably start thinking about which of those forwards to remove.
Do I side swipe DCL to Richarlison who looked back to his menacing best in the highly entertaining 5-4 FA cup win vs Spurs? Do I zone in on Cavani who looks set to lead the line and continue my strategy of targeting West Brom?
DCL we know will miss at least Fulham and Dias looks to be back in training (as of Friday) so I think the Sterling move, as appealing as it is will be over-reaching and DCL out to either Richarlison or Cavani is the call.
I’ll agonise over this to the last second I expect and I’m not really losing sleep over benching Son. What could possibly go wrong?
On captaincy, if I bring in Sterling it will be him. If not it goes to the pocket dynamite Gundogan.
Here’s the bus team:
Good luck everyone – next week I look forward to sharing my views on the Wildcard leading into BB – time to play some chips.