Goops’ Blog: FPL Frenzy (GW 15&16 Review/GW 17 Preview)

Tom’s good mate FPLGoops 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.

There comes a time when you look at your FPL team and are really satisfied with the way you’re set up. You have a good bench, have options and any moves you make are not necessarily to escape poor performers but enhance what you have.

After GW14 that’s exactly how I felt, but with 2 new gameweeks following in quick succession the bubble has burst a little with 2 red arrows in a row, albeit small ones.

Both weeks yielded two mid 50’s scores in a row but a handful of players I don’t own found form to stall my momentum

I’m in decent shape overall – back in the top 500k after nearly falling outside the top 2m just 6 weeks ago.

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Gameweek 15 & 16 Review

For GW15, having narrowly lost out to Tom in the cash prize stakes it was time to reset and get set for a bumper December.

I rolled the transfer and the captain choice of Vardy was obvious – despite Mane being a credible option against a woeful Everton and an off the wall option of Pulisic.

Tammy was not under consideration for the captaincy as it was unclear if he would even be fit to face his former club.

For once, the safe option did not prove to be the most lucrative with Mane firing a 15 point salvo and Tammy recovering to haunt Villa with a tidy 12 point return.

Pulisic, despite strong underlying stats, again failed to deliver despite 2 very juicy fixtures and high expectation to provide an excellent differential haul.  Sometimes, even with form and fixtures both in evidence, the FPL gods fail you.

The less said about Rico’s 9 pointer, 3rd on my bench, achieved because he was hooked just after the hour, the better.

Ahead of GW16, Alli’s continued rejuvenation under new management was making a move to him and away from a misfiring Pulisic more enticing.

Rashford’s form was also making many ponder a switch from VAJ to VAR, but for me this just wasn’t easily affordable.

When there’s no time between Gameweeks, you have to be opportunistic in FPL.

I  had 2 FT in my locker and quickly realized that the Pulisic to Alli move could be enabled by removing Tomori (somewhat reluctantly, he’s been my man) for Martin Kelly at Palace for exact change.

It was one of those perfect moments of budget equality and, emboldened by my recent rank surge, I acted decisively.

And what’s more, after that wonder goal from Alli at Old Trafford, I thought he deserved backing with the captaincy.  This would mean breaking my faith in Vardy, who had delivered 4 captain hauls in a row.

It was risky – but I thought Alli had the better fixture.

Alli got the weekend off to a decent start and many Vardy captainers had to wait until Sunday to see if FPL’s current main man could continue his amazing goalscoring form.

Leicester were in the mood away at Villa and, when Vardy ran off the shoulder of the last man to slot home his second, the ‘risky’ captain move had failed to pay the highest dividend.

No matter, Son’s majestic solo run and finish along with Alli’s form had justified the Spurs double up. All in all, I’m well set for the Liverblank when Leicester’s fixtures toughen up and Vardy will no longer be the obvious captain choice.

Elsewhere, FPL luck deserted a number of us last weekend.

Firstly TAA, initially rested, came on for a crocked Lovren just a few minutes AFTER the 30 minute mark thereby missing the clean sheet points that Liverpool duly delivered for only the third time in 16 Gameweeks.  To add insult to injury, had TAA not come in, new signing Kelly’s 8 points would have flown off my bench to add respectability to my weekly total.

To compound all of this, when Mane was rotated out and rested for the full 90, Cantwell (in great form) had the chance to score vital points off the bench. I was less than impressed when Farke decided Cousin Todd needed a rest and parked him on the bench for 73 minutes and his cameo also ruined the chance to get Kelly’s 8 points with him 2nd on my bench.

Just grin and bear it – rotations will bite and you need to pray luck will even itself out as long as you have bench fodder who will get guaranteed minutes.

Doodle Corner – King Kane

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

What I love about Jeremy is he can capture the essence of a topic with simplicity and this week is case in point.

Kane has been written off as an FPL asset, and then he comes back to smash a brace and 16 pts.  That guy just knows where the goal is – no doubt about that.

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Gameweek 17 Planning

For weeks now, the sagest advice has been to hold 2FT as you enter GW18 when Liverpool miss a fixture and Man City host Leicester.

The max flexibility of 2 frees or a mini wildcard could help us FPL managers make up key ground in mini leagues.

I’m in this position, and have a squad deep enough to navigate this week with transfers intact.

Yet, when you look at the GW17 fixtures in isolation, it’s easy to focus on the here and now and not worry about that 18/19 period.

Absolutely majestic fixtures for some leading clubs means even triggering the Triple Captain chip isn’t out of the question.

  • Leicester at home to Norwich
  • Liverpool at home to Watford
  • Chelsea at home to Bournemouth
  • Even, dare I say, Man United at home to Everton.

I’ve only got one attacking asset in place for those top 3 games – a double up is tempting.

My V-A-J frontline has been operating well enough though one keeps missing the haul.

Also, someone talk me out of it but Iheanacho’s emergence is making me consider removing Jimmy for Nacho as it also enables Cantwell to Grealish for GW 18. I kind of like it – though it’s very short termist.  Nacho to Maupay in 18 is an easy out and perhaps fruitful transition given Brighton’s upcoming fixtures and Potter’s MO to attack with numbers  – and it moves me a little away from the template…

Here’s the bus team anyway:

It’s also the first week of the FPL cup – I never seem to make it through and my opponent scored 96 last week with Kane captaincy.  I feel the need to take a punt.

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Goops’ Unexpected Star of the Week

When Duncan Ferguson was appointed interim manager after Marco Silva’s inevitable sacking, the player with the most to prove was likely to be the incumbent no 9 with big shoes to fill.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin certainly has talent but has not kicked on as expected. However, the early signs are great:  2 well taken goals and Big Dunc as mentor and manager on the sidelines = instant returns.

A great little option as 3rd striker at 5.7, especially if that enables other players elsewhere.

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Goops’ Weekly Pick

When up at Old Trafford recently. I saw two Villa players put in really first class performances. On that evidence they could easily slot in at United in years to come.

One was John McGinn, who was the best midfielder on the park playing in a more orthodox CM role. He dictated play, but is sadly no longer an FPL Prospect.

His partner in crime on the day, Jack Grealish, was outstanding. He scored a magnificent goal but, more than that, led by example and showed real talisman prowess.

He can’t stop scoring and, with a favourable fixture run, I expect it to continue this week and over that crucial 18/19 period.

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Gameweek Lessons Learned

I’m compiling a list of my personal key learnings each week.

Gameweek 10 – Every once in a while you have a terrible week.  You are entitled to wallow in self-pity briefly. but remember next week YOUR differential could smash it. Back yourself.

Gameweek 11 – When it all slots into place, especially when you least expect it. Remember to ENJOY IT.

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.

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Some really good looking matchups to come this week – I can see a goal fest or two.

Let’s just hope it’s my players banging them in!

Enjoy,

Goops