Tom’s good mate FPLGoops is writing an FPL blog for us this year from the perspective of an “FPL Everyman”.
He’s also teamed up with Jeremy, otherwise known as FPL Doodles, to bring you an exclusive “Doodle Corner” every week. Follow Jeremy on twitter @FPLDoodles1.
Just when your best laid plans are starting to take shape, an FPL stalwart comes back from the dead to steal the limelight and make you question whether your focus is misplaced.
Congratulations to those who took the punt on Kun Aguero. A player who has hauled for us all over the years but just hasn’t been viable this season…until now.
All this when we were all sidetracked in the lead up to the Liverpool double gameweek.
The majority of FPL chatter has centred around which Liverpool triple up should we reshape our squads to accommodate – and our attention has been diverted away from City’s prominent return to form. And it’s been at our peril.
With Tom away in Australia, Anthony (FPL Stag) will be supporting this blog with some editorial license and sharing via the WGTA website. Stag captained Aguero so I’m expecting him to enjoy this first one he’s reviewing (Ed: He did).
Gameweek 22 Review
I was quietly confident of a decent score this week from my forward line with Vardy, Rashford and Jimmy all with winnable home games.
Rashford duly delivered against a crumbly Norwich defence. However, Leicester’s surprise capitulation against the Saints, who exacted revenge for their horrible 9-0 reverse in this equivalent fixture in the Autumn, and Jimmy’s blank at home to Newcastle put a dampener on proceedings.
At the other end of the park, I had bullishly replaced Pope with Fabianski who, as we know, is a save machine and also has an upcoming double gameweek, albeit with difficult fixtures. Surely a no brainer . Oh my. Off injured on 13 mins and slim chance of recovering for the 2nd game of the DGW….against Liverpool. Mistress of FPL – you are so cruel.
I’d used my 2nd FT to switch Grealish to Maddison. I’ve not owned Maddy and watched him light up a number of games, especially in Vardy’s absence, and felt the time was right. Removing Grealish was a potential risk but I felt that with so many key Villa players injured, their form would drop off and Grealish can’t do it all on his own – and with City in town, I felt it was time to jump off.
With Maddy in place, I was heavily invested in Leicester and just didn’t see that defeat against the Saints coming. I felt the psychological scars from that 9-0 humiliation would weigh on the Saints and, being a non-Ings owner, I hoped that this was one game I might get away with it. It was such an incredible virtuoso performance from Ings on the day. It has left me certain of one thing – he is a must own. And in fact, the move from Jimmy to Ings was one I didn’t hesitate to make.
On Sunday, City proved they are the form team – even ahead of Liverpool who continue to grind out wins. KdB’s 2 assists helped my total score but harmed my overall rank as he was well captained.
His 9 pointer helped me over the 50 point mark – but short of the average and a small red arrow has checked my forward momentum from the last few weeks.
Doodle Corner – Are you sitting Kunfortably
Jeremy (aka fpldoodles1) has continued to entertain the FPL Community with his sharp-witted Doodles pulling apart the weekend action.
Another week, another all hail City legend performance, just as our attention is diverted towards Liverpool. A barnstorming hattrick against a hapless Villa defence. A cheeky assist to boot and 20 points.
Double Gameweek 24 Planning
I moved Jimmy to Ings (it just had to be done) with my 1FT even though I have a keeper dilemma with Fabianski’s setback.
The keeper move is part dependent on budget to finance the ‘Malah’ move for GW24. McCarthy at Saints is very much on the radar but I think, budget willing, I favour the move to Mat Ryan. I do like the look of Brighton’s next 4 and he’s the next best save machine after Fab.
Either way one thing I’m definitely doing is benching Rashford. Injured or not. He might be the talisman but away at Anfield I’m expecting nothing – whereas his replacement, Cantwell, is at home to Bournemouth. Might seem mad to many, but for me that’s a no brainer.
Captain wise I’m currently undecided between Vardy and KdB. Burnley have been poor lately but they are at home and Leicester’s form has dipped. However this is Vardy and I can see him thriving. On the flip side City are in tremendous form and captaining KdB does at least cover the inevitable Kun haul.
Apologies if you’re maxed out on coverage and advice for the Liverdouble in 24 but I can’t close out this blog without featuring my view. So here goes…
- This isn’t just any old double gameweek. It features the league’s best team. It’s highly likely the triple captain chip will be activated so if you don’t own the assets who fire, you could see a rank nosedive
- FOMO is the main driver for FPL managers and we’re ripping up our teams to accommodate expensive assets – I’ve personally been working up to the ‘premium option’ of Salah, Mane and TAA for a few weeks now. It’s still my plan but there are pros and cons to all moves
Some nuggets to bear in mind as we finalise our decisions
- Having confounded those doubled up at the back early season, recording only 2 clean sheets in 13, Liverpool are now on a run of 6 straight clean sheets. Old habits die hard
- Popular wisdom (or FOMO based on effective ownership) points to the ‘Malah’ heavyweight midfield combo with their higher ceiling but the form attacker is currently Bobby Firmino
- Rashford’s injury potentially opens up a forward slot and getting Bobby in probably requires less surgery. However he’s a troll, a bit streaky, and unreliable
- Bobby has a better record away from home. We tend to see more from Salah and Mane (in particular) at home. Liverpool’s 2 fixtures are both away
- The fact that both games are away from home will make most managers less certain of Liverpool keeping clean sheets and favour the attackers. Their fixtures are against Wolves and West Ham – both are in patchy form but in Jimmy and Haller they have goalscorers who could land a blow
- Lately Salah and Mane have rarely hauled in tandem – it’s usually been one or the other. However which one? Dare we take the risk. Salah’s form has arguably been better. Mane still wins the eye test, just
- TAA vs Robbo. TAA’s 24 point haul makes him favourite if going with just 1 defender, but we know Robbo could just as easily outscore him over 1 gameweek
- VVD – surprisingly still has huge ownership – over 40%. Central defenders tend to do surprisingly well in double gameweeks (remember Laporte last season – TWICE)
- A lot of Community talk suggests that post the DGW, the ‘better’ set up will be to double up on defenders from The Reds – presumably to leave some budget to double up the City attack. If that’s the case, is it not better to set this in stone for the DGW and just leave it?
There’s no right or wrong. Part of our decisions are dictated by our current set up and formation. I think we all have to go with our gut. No amount of advice can predict the outcome. So good luck everyone when we get there – there will be a likely divergence in the force.
Goops’ Unexpected Star of the Week
I’ve been incredibly impressed with the job Nigel Pearson has done so far at Watford. They looked dead and buried before Christmas but that win against United has set them on a tremendous path of recovery.
Absolutely central to this has been the positional switch of long time FPL Favourite, ‘The Duke’ Doucoure, playing at no 10 in behind Deeney and with 3 hauls in a row including a magnificent 14 pointer away at the freefalling Cherries in GW22.
At 5.6m, he is a great 4th midfield option for the next few. I can’t seem to fit him in, but I think those who do will be handsomely rewarded.
Goops’ Weekly Pick
Newcastle’s form has been a little hit and miss of late but one player has finally started to fulfil his potential – Miguel Almiron – who has now scored in 3 successive games.
The Paraguayan arrived from the MLS with a big reputation, and despite passing the eye test, he has struggled to convert this into FPL returns. He’s got some form now and his upcoming fixtures look decent. Chelsea aren’t pushovers but with a fervent home crowd behind him, we could be seeing the birth of a new cult hero.
Gameweek Lessons Learned
I’m compiling a list of my personal key learnings each week. I’ll start running out of space soon so just going to show the last 5 Gameweeks from now on:
Gameweek 13 – When you rediscover your form, don’t dither. Go for the jugular
Gameweeks 14-16 When the games come thick and fast, acting decisively on impulse can be the best way to navigate the period
Gameweek 17 – Keeping faith with your expensive FPL assets is one of the toughest decisions but often patience is rewarded
Gameweek 18-21 – However Christmas went for you, put it out of your mind and start to think ahead. Still plenty of time to go
Gameweek 22 – Target the weaker defences. Villa’s capitulation was extreme but perhaps not surprising given their troubles. Target them and the Cherries over the next few
Good luck for GW23 and enjoy it before we get immersed in the DGW TC debate for one more week. Wishing you all green arrow and rank jumps.