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.
When all is said and done, the tinkering is complete and you catch your breath, all you want is to avoid disaster.
The FPL season is a marathon, not a sprint, but a poor start has you chasing your tail from the start and can be deflating after putting in all those hours of research.
Fortunately I got off to a decent start. Solid, not spectacular but a good base from which to aim high.
As we so often say, if you get your captain right the rest falls into place.
I didn’t take any undue chances in GW1. Mo Salah, home against a promoted team, was Captain No 1 and he duly delivered. Half my points in fact! Those who pivoted to Auba were left a little frustrated even though that captain pick was totally sound but the majority still had Mo’s 20 to fall back on.
As for those who were brave enough to go without Mo… well, that kind of backfired.
Wouldn’t you just know it – always better to stick with the tried and tested. Salah, Vardy and Auba all registering well on GW1 – the MoVardybang.
In the case of those first two – not 1 but 2 penalties each. Bit greedy!
Vardy’s haul in particular is tough for non owners with a penchant for FOMO like me.
I had Vardy in all my early drafts but the Werner love and 0.5 saving just about swayed me.
As for the big guns scoring most of their points from penalties. I witnessed the raging debate on whether ‘pens’ count with disdain. Come on folks! We actively choose our assets on whether they are pen takers. This has been most prevalent in the Bruno Fernandes debate and is the clear and obvious reason why Salah rather than Mane, at the same price, is a no brainer choice.
Elsewhere in my team there was little to write home about. Ings blanked but in his place I got 6 points from a 4.0 Palace defender – probably better for my rank all things considered!
Doherty as a premium defender was a disappointment but at least it stopped me from bringing in Mitrovic. All our picks are interlinked – we can’t talk in isolation about a player who has hauled or blanked – we’ve chosen a formation and a strategy and if the majority of it works then bravo.
Biggest surprises of the week?
Saints lack of firepower – Ings and Adams were the talk of preseason – you had to own one vs an inept Palace.
Everton looking hot to trot with their new look midfield paying instant dividends. Very sound investment by the Toffees and both Hamez at 7.5 and DCL (by nature of getting better service) at 7.0 – well 7.1 now look like gift horses we shouldn’t overlook with a plum game vs WBA upcoming.
In my case two boxes were ticked. A captain haul. A handsome one. And a top 500k rank designating a positive start. That’s all we need care about right now.
I reserved 0.5m in the bank to give myself options for GW2.
My main plan to turn Ings into Martial and Ings blank in GW1 reinforced that. However the strong Everton performance ahead of a stupendously kind schedule has made me pause and reflect.
Last week I said this:
I’ve got my eye on Hamez Rodriguez priced at 7.5 coming into a strengthened Everton midfield with a better record than we all think. Also he loves Carlo. That’s why he’s made the switch to a non top 6 club. It could be gold but I’ll wait and see on that.
Well I called that right – he didn’t haul but he did look every inch the asset at that price point which screams BUY BUY BUY.
There’s no easy way for me to do it. I could take Ings to either of Richarlison or DCL instead of Martial.
To get Hamez, I need to move Mason Greenwood straight across. The same Mason Greenwood who I bought and benched in anticipation of two great fixtures. The same Mason Greenwood who has been sent home in disgrace for breaking Covid rules on England duty and subsequently had ‘historical’ pictures of inhaling laughing gas.
It’s a tough one. If I make that switch I then have no United vs Palace.
If I make both moves I’ve taken a hit. Do I belive Hamez outscores Mason plus a hit. I don’t think so, no. Will I regret it when Hamez is 7.7 in 5 days time? Possibly.
What do they say? You can’t have them all…
Ings to Martial it is. I think Martial is a great asset to have for GW2 and 3 and (whisper it quietly) it then sets me up nicely to get Jimmy in for Wolves stupendous upcoming run
The other thing I said last week
I’m keen on Havertz too, truth be told – it’s probably between Havertz and Martial or Werner and Greenwood. Well…at least that way I can have both Ings and Martial together!
Well actually Havertz looked off the pace didn’t he – I suspect he will punish a few sellers over the next couple of weeks but I have now landed with Greenwood, Werner and Martial! That could be very tasty.
Goops’ Unexpected Star of the Week
I was really impressed with one Chelsea player this week and not one I was expecting – a certain marauding right back called Reece James. In a team whose defence has been dodgy, and though competing against Azpi for a starting role, he was on my radar but not at the top. That might have changed now after he came up with the sort of swashbuckling full back performance I tend to love and, at 5.0, is an affordable way to good defensive points.
Goops’ Weekly FOMO Pick
The legendary Goops FOMO is never too far from the surface. It’s definitely an Everton player this week with a gimme looking fixture at home to the Baggies.
It’s a bit of a toss up between Hamez, Richarlison and DCL. Let’s stick with Hamez. At his price in midfield I do think he could be a real gem.
Enjoy GW2 folks.
It will either be amazing… or we’re all headed for an early Wildcard.