Goops’ Blog, 20/21 Flying High (DGW26-DGW27)

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.

You can tell from the title of this week’s blog that I enjoyed a successful Double Gameweek 26!

You might be fooled into thinking I’d had a blinder using my Bench Boost to maximum effect.  But no….I performed well in spite of my chip!  Which was a total failure.

The truth is I did have a great week overall – 111 points – but only 8 of them can be attributed to the Bench Boost. 8!  That’s embarrassing.  I’d say a par BB is 16 points 4 x 4 points for appearance points alone.

I’ve had more than 8 points from first bench alone at least 10 times this season – most often from Soucek!  So yes the BB was pitiful but my first XI was a different story.  Some fantastic, unexpected hauls has seen me continue to rise up the ranks.  At one point I had even snuck inside the top 100k for the first time this season but alas I ended up just outside.

Best of all, though, is that this was off the back of a decent purple patch that has landed me February manager of the month in 2 ML’s and my rather modest ambitions of finishing in the top 100k are very realistic now.

I checked my recent performance to chart this meteoric rise and it’s impressive – 9 green arrows in the last 10 gameweeks since I entered the top 1m. 445 points in February alone on top of 346 in January.  I’ve taken 5 hits in that time too so I’m going for it and so far it’s a strategy that’s paying off:

With my Free Hit and Triple captain still intact I’m hoping to make some greater strides.  It’s still only an average season but it feels so much better right now. I could – and probably should – aim higher.

So where did it all go right?

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GW26 Review

I want to start with Richarlison.

I’ve talked at length how much I love Dominic Calvert Lewin and I was most fearful of a major haul from my man who I couldn’t fit in because I already owned his strike partner.

You may recall that I benched his goal last week at City – an understandable move – and whilst he had good form going into the double gameweek it was really DCL I wanted.  I was truly jealous of almost every other rival in my leagues who were in a position to make this signing – I could only achieve it via a minus 8 or if I played FH ahead of the BB.

In hindsight if I’d played FH I would have picked DCL OVER Richarlison and would be crying right now into these pages.

I wanted 2 things – the first was Richarlison to score, the other was for him to at least match DCL.  For him to get 17 points vs DCL’s 4 is, for me, the stuff of dreams and should Everton get the fabled DGW28 I’d be hard pressed to choose DCL when I already have the star player – though maybe it will be different next time

The second saving grace is that City didn’t record a clean sheet over these 2 games.  There are so many doubled up at the back and my ‘punt’ for this phase of the season was to double up in midfield with Gundogan and Sterling.

Sterling, in particular, had the potential to be a real trump card.  It didn’t work though (he was benched vs West Ham, a team he loves playing against) and he could have had a major haul vs Wolves and so it was a great relieft that the cleanies got wiped.

The Kane/Son double up worked a treat though with so many triple captaincies on Kane, it was better for my rank that he didn’t smash the gameweek.

Double digit hauls from Emi (what a signing he’s been!) and Shaw were both very welcome (albeit United were absolute dross over this period) and the Stones winner to match the Dias goal in the game vs West Ham kept my rank moving in the right direction.

I even managed a Neto assist which made that move worthwhile just about.

The less said about the Bench Boost itself the better.  Needless to say 2 clean sheets for Palace and neither of them registering for my guy Mitchell was a kick in the teeth but you can’t win them all1

Oh and finally Salah and Bruno blanks were both helpful to my cause.  All in all, things went pretty well.  111 points.  Happy and relieved.  Also glad the BB chip has gone – I never use it well – even though this was clearly the right time to play it.

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DGW27 Preview

I’ve taken 5 hits in 10 gameweeks and whilst on the whole it’s worked it might be time to slow it down and carry an FT.

I’m tempted to follow my nose and the fixtures though – it’s how I’m wired right now.

The options are

1) Move in Rudiger – an absolute steal at 4.6m and if I miss the boat he could be 5.0 before I know it.   A hugely surprising double clean sheet haul from 2 difficult fixtures suggests Tuchel has found his rhythm and that rhtyhm is defend defend defend.  Chelsea’s fixtures look great going forward and without a wildcard to address it jumping on now makes a whole lot of sense

2) Swap Bamford to Antonio.  I’m not set up for 29 so need to use the Free Hit chip – this does mean I’m not obliged like many others to hold Bamford.  Antonio is fit again and looks hungry.  Against Leeds he could get a big score.  And he’s another player I love.  I’m genuinely tempted  – it’s more upside chasing but why stop a winning habit.

It’s a compelling case… but there’s literally no interest.

I just hope you’ve all missed a trick and I inadvertently land on the best scoring gameweek player but, of course, I’m scared out of my mind that my boy will deliver the goods and I couldn’t make the move.

My team is in decent shape – Lowton vs Arsenal I have no real fear playing. Shaw to the bench makes sense.

In the front 7 I have to leave out one of Neto, Richarlison or Bruno.

Dare I bench Bruno?  His ownership is so high that any sort of return at City is a rank killer.

However his form is wretched and City’s is magnificent – I can’t see him doing anything and both Neto and Richarlison are getting points but then the latter is at Chelsea.

Tough call – but I suspect I’ll chicken out and bench Neto who probably has the best chance to score points.

As for the captain – well this shouldn’t be a hard decision.  City, the best team in the league, in magnificent form, have 2 home games – vs Man United who can’t hit a barn door and Saints who can’t plug their leaky defence.  Gundogan or Sterling surely for the captaincy you’d think, right?

And yet for every City fixture now Pep Roulette is in overdrive with a fully fit squad to choose from we simply cannot know with any certainty who will play when and so you have to treat all assets as single gameweek players.

With that in mind surely Kane vs Palace, even Antonio vs Leeds if I moved that way is a better bet than punting Sterling’s one game vs United?

Gundogan probably has a better chance of playing both and it’s double the chance of a haul but I think my head says Kane.  Palace are terrible and Kane can exploit that despite their 2 clean sheets in a row.

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The games keep coming.  I’ll be happy with a bit of consolidation this week after the recent whirlwind.

Don’t let Pep’s inevitable benchings upset you.  It’s just part of the game now!

Good luck all.

Goops!