Goops’ Blog: Festive Roundup

Tom’s good mate FPL Goops is writing an FPL blog for us this year from the perspective of an “FPL Everyman”.

See his Intro Post here. Follow him on twitter @FPLGoops.

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.

Happy New Year everyone.  The gameweeks came so thick and fast it was impossible to draw breath, let alone write a blog – I’ve been kept busy by the kids and our new puppy!

It’s good to be back though.  It’s impossible to give a week by week review so I’m going to sum up my overall reaction to the Christmas fixtures and the choices I made… good and bad!

Generally, I must say, I’m a great fan of Christmas with so many games in double quick time.

However I’m not a fan FPL-wise.

It’s so hard to navigate the twists and turns of rotation and getting your captain right can often be the difference between a decent and terrible performance for your team.

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Gameweek 18-21 Review

Let’s cast our minds back to GW18 before Christmas – and to the Liverblank – it seemed like we spent ages planning for that and now it really feels a distant memory.

Here’s some overall thoughts on the Christmas period.

  • Double Spurs attack looked a great way to counter the Liverblank but you can’t legislate for red cards.  To make matters worse, I captained Son so it really stung.
  • Playing the usual form vs fixtures game doesn’t tend to play out the same way over Christmas; I felt more inclined to hold my transfers and rely on my bench even if this meant a backline of Lundstram, Kelly and Rico!
  • Like many others, I tried to be too clever with Liverpool assets around the blank. Big mistake! As soon as I sold him, TAA punched above his weight and smashed home a 24 point Boxing Day haul to punish a whole host of sellers
  • It’s important to learn from your mistakes – last year when I missed the Salah haul at Bournemouth I blindly kept faith with my replacements and refused to just reverse the sale. I haven’t made the same mistake twice, putting TAA straight back and have been rewarded with 2 clean sheets in a row. He’s going nowhere now
  • Talismen are still so vital to our success in FPL as so often touted by WGTA. Whilst Villa have been struggling for form, Grealish has remained a potent attacking force returning 8, 6, 1 and 13 over the 4 games – an average of 7 ppg. Keep faith!
  • Christmas rotation is something we knew we’d have to cope with. By and large it didn’t work out too badly for me.  Vardy missing 2 games meant even Captain Reliable was off the table. However, many of my bench assets – including this season’s ultimate troll, Todd Cantwell – delivered
  • I’ve fared much worse over Christmas in previous years, meaning I’m  delighted with scores of 45, 59, 62 and 65. My rank fluctuated as ever over the period but I’m into the top 250k for the first time this season, cut my rank by a net gain of 100k since my last update, and I’m well set for the 2nd half/business end.

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Doodle Corner – Xmas Rotation

Jeremy (aka fpldoodles1) has continued to entertain the FPL Community with his sharp-witted Doodles pulling apart the weekend action.

We all got stung by Christmas rotation to a greater or lesser extent – well done if you were able to navigate smoothly and largely unscathed.  Jeremy perfectly sums up how dead bench assets can suddenly be thrust into action.

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H2 Planning

The January transfer window is now open and will be fascinating to see the movers and shakers – especially with new managers installed at Arsenal, Watford, Everton and West Ham.

Medium term injuries to Kane, McTominay (and Pogba… allegedly), plus season enders for several Villa players might see more clubs reaching deeper into their pockets than normal.

Chelsea no longer have a ban to contend with so you can imagine some activity there, especially in the forward line.

Even with Laporte due back soon, you wonder if City may take the plunge on a defender to give them a fighting chance of winning the coveted Champions League which would certainly save their season.

With this in mind we need to start planning for the run in and the optimal chip strategy.

First, however, we have the small matter of the Liverdouble – as a natural outcome of the aforementioned Liverblank – scheduled for Gameweek 24. We must ask ourselves are Salah and Mane now looking essential to double up or should Robbo and TAA along with one of the heavyweight midfielders be the best tactic now that Liverpool have remembered how to keep clean sheet? And is the TC chip during this week pretty much nailed on?

Personally, and despite plenty of evidence to suggest the double at the back is the right call, on balance I still prefer the attacking route.

I need to figure out how I’d make it happen given their respective prices.

West Ham under new (old) stewardship might actually be worth covering for the double gameweek – and the best option looks to be Fabianski in goal. A save machine – he’s already rewarded those who brought him straight back.  The double does tempt me as Burnley’s Pope no longer looks a long term keep, though he has served me well.

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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 12 – Don’t overthink it. Sometimes the obvious choice is the best

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

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Bit of a breather with the FA Cup this weekend – think we all need a reset before we go again.

ML’s, cash leagues and season end rank will be on your mind – time to plan ahead.

Good luck for GW22.

Goops