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.
Well then…what a week it’s been. Double gameweeks are eagerly anticipated and dreaded in equal measure.
They can be feast or famine. You can really boost rank or experience a horrible nosedive. There are so many games, and so many routes to points. Chips are activated all over the place. You just don’t know until it gets going if you’ve perfected the balance.
After surviving the blank gameweek 18 relatively unscathed, I felt emboldened enough to drop my original plan to Free Hit the double and take a hit to work my way through and protect the chips to help with fixture congestion later in the season.
In a week when Bench Boosts and Triple captains were being activated, it was a bold strategy given my rank but I didn’t feel I needed major surgery. That said, my expectation was damage limitation rather than major success – surely a rank jump would be too much to expect when playing against those with 13-15 DGWkers. Sacrilege almost.
I’m beside myself with glee. I set the bar as 100 points being par – 100-120 a damn good week and 120+ as stellar.
And I’ve come out the other end with 125. Let me remind you – that’s without using a chip!
For once the stars aligned for me. I had doubled up at the back with City for the Free Hit and carried that over with 2 clean sheets likely vs Palace and Villa.
When that first John Stones goal went in, I did a little jig and when he got his second I was in dreamland. There is precedent for City defenders to boss double gameweeks. Last season (and maybe even the one before) I had seemingly been the only one NOT to own Laporte when he mega hauled in not one but 2 double gameweeks.
It was my turn this year with Dias living up to his billing as well and a monster 45 points from the pair was the baseline for my excellent total.
It didn’t stop there. James Justin, an ever present in my squad, has been one of the finds of the season at his price. Leicester had 2 decent games and all the talk was how many might Vardy score but JJ did me proud with 2 cleanies and 2bps to claim 14. A back 3 giving me 59 points alone. Great work.
Up front you may recall I was undecided on Antonio or Watkins. Antonio had markedly the better fixtures but hasn’t been fit and there were doubts he would play 2 games in such quick succession with his dodgy hamstrings being tested. Watkins may have had Covid as part of the Villa outbreak – we don’t know – so it was a tough decision.
As often is the case for me, I chose fixtures over form and went with Antonio. 18 points is a fantastic return and justifies my choice when so many others had Soucek only and he got 2 blanks. Of course.
I’d hung onto Kane in prep for the double. With a favourable fixture vs bottom club Sheffield United, I didn’t want to go in without a Spurs asset even without the double and Kane came good with a 9 point haul, more than many with a double managed including the likes of Bruno and KdB.
A lot of people had triple captained KdB for these 2 promising fixtures – understandably – and I definitely had my armband there. He seemed an absolute must. Possibly 50+ points as TC. A solitary assist in a big win vs Palace was probably unlucky but he had one more chance vs Villa and this is where FPL can haunt us – an in game knock seeing him replaced on 58 minutes – 2 performance points alone wiped out, it must have been devastating for triple captainers.
24 points for TC is below par – I think you have to accept 30+ to justify it but remember last year we saw Mane get 3, Sane the previous season the same so 24 is something. I’m just relieved I still have the chip intact and get a bite of the cherry in another gameweek.
Salah was also heavily captained and with 2 home games – one against Burnley – there was high expectation he would rediscover his scoring touch.
The 0-0 vs Man United, a game that United really should have won – was Salah and indeed Liverpool’s 3rd blank in a row. Incredible given only 6 games ago they absolutely ripped through Palace to win 7-0.
Surely Salah would help Liverpool to batter relegation threatened Burnley. Unbeaten at home for 68 games. Salah is rotation proof, right? What a coupon buster. Salah benched. Ashley Barnes scoring a late pen to bust the title race wide open and break Salah captainers hearts.
An incredible result on so many levels. Salah getting a paltry 4 points across the 2 games. A TC score of just 12 – wow!
The one regret – Saka 9 points left gathering dust first bench but never in a million years would I have logically played him ahead of Soucek with 2 games and in great form. Soucek is turning into one of those shithouse assets who only scores when I bench him and the player I bench for invariably only scores when they are benched! For Podence then see Saka now.
And so here we have it. I started the gameweek c. 800k rank. I’ve more than halved it to 386k. A season changing week – and 4 chips still intact. It really couldn’t have gone much better. With apologies to those who had a rough double, I’m absolutely buzzing.
Aside from FPL for a second I’m also buzzing at the exciting title race taking shape half way through the season. The league leadership changed hands 3 times during the double with my club United holding firm, but City are hot on their heels and look favourites right now.
Preparations for GW20 have been thrust into turmoil following the announcement of 2 significant injuries.
KdB’s injury is not minor after all – he’s expected to be out for 4-6 weeks and that opens up some cash to reinvest elsewhere but puts doubts on City’s already limp attack – is the defence still the best place to invest – I think so.
Vardy is also out and that’s a blow as the KdB cash could easily have been reinvested in the Leicester talisman. It’s also a blow for the Foxes title ambitions, you have to think.
I have to deal with KdB but I don’t own Vardy – and I very nearly did for the DGW but wasn’t willing to take a -8 to move Kane when he had such a good fixture. I’m glad I didn’t succumb to that FOMO for many reasons.
Suddenly the premium options look few and far between – you can’t trust the Liverpool assets anymore which is very confusing for us FPL stalwarts who have spent the last few years double or tripling up. Son and Kane will again prove hugely popular but I’ve had my eye on Gundogan for a little while and believe his creativity at his price for the next 2-3 games could be ideal. And it gives me money in the bank to upgrade Saka (or Soucek!) to Son next week.
The other option is to invest in Man United – Bruno has to stay but he does look tired and perhaps one of Rashford, Cavani or even Pogba is worth investing in, over the medium term. One to watch but Rashford’s niggle (at least that’s what I hope it is) means I’ll stay off United beyond Bruno who is an easy choice for the armband.
Right, happy days – onto my next adventure to climb up towards the top 200k.
Good luck everyone.