Goops Blog, GW37 – BB = Bit the Bullet

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.

Using one of your FPL chips should generate excitement and intrigue – a chance to boost your rank, aim for the stars and shoot ahead of your mini league rivals.

Truth be told I’ve been dreading using my Bench Boost.  My strategy to use Unlimited Transfers followed by the Free Hit when the game restarted did pay back with a couple of good hauls.

However it came at a cost: to get the right first XI I had to make some sacrifices across my squad and I’ve been playing catch up ever since to head back to a viable 15 players to throw at the BB chip.

Two weeks ago I came to the stark and unwanted realisation that I had too many fires to put out and I’d probably have to activate BB with only 14 players – maybe only 13 starters.  I was expecting a chip fail – a proper damp squib.

Nyland losing his place in the Villa goal and Lascelles picking up a season-ending injury meant I was down to one keeper and I’d have to keep hold of Lundstram who at best is an impact sub.  Three players I had force fitted into my GW30+ restart squad.

The upshot of all of this?  I was compelled to take a -8 to get at least 13 starting players out.

People, this is not textbook FPL chip play.  Not by any stretch.

Starting the gameweek with a rank of 220k the season looked to be fizzling out horribly.

Here’s how it went.

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GW 37+ Review

I’m still pinching myself. My Bench Boost went like a dream, an absolute dream.  109 points.  That’s over 100 net even taking into account my double hit! I halved my rank and put myself back into contention in one of my mini leagues in which I looked dead and buried.

This is why we all love FPL folks.  That out of adversity, the stars do occasionally align and we all remember why we invest so much effort.  We live the highs and the lows.  Well this was a considerable high.

Let’s start with the moves I made. I was carrying 2FT so a mini wildcard would only involve one hit.  Due to the above I had to make 4 changes!

In my last bulletin you’ll recall I was lamenting not owning Sterling.  The form player as the spearhead in a form team.  Enough was enough.  It was time to bite the bullet.  Carpe Diem.

Pulisic to Sterling was my main move – the catalyst for moving the other deck chairs.  I backed it up with the captaincy, staying away from the more popular United options for the armband.

To facilitate this upgrade, I had to sacrifice Vardy. The standout option with the best fixtures, in my view, was Chris Wood of Burnley.  Hardly prolific but a steady option I expected to do well for the BB and crucially for the final gameweek too.

Lascelles went out for a Burnley defender as this was essential to cover. I had a choice of Bardsley or Pieters.  I went Bards.  And finally my keeper had to change to fit the budget. Frankly I’d had enough of Foster and with 2 terrible fixtures to come anyway and could afford Emi Martinez of Arsenal for even money.

And so we were off.  Burnley up first.  Immediate returns for Wood and Bardsley (8 pts off my bench!) as Norwich imploded.  Greedy for my BB to succeed, I was mildly irritated that Wood didn’t add to his tally given they played against 9 for a whole half.

My Wedding anniversary was on Monday so I was only able to follow at a distance!  Baldock losing his cleanie was frustrating – I thought that was a nailed on cleanie and Lord Lunny getting his customary 1 pointer wasn’t ideal, though fully expected.  Fortunately Doc hit the jackpot with a 12 pointer.  Up to 30 points from 5 players (plus that -8). Steady, not spectacular.

Then the fireworks started as we moved to the most crucial fixture of the gameweek. The City game.  Sterling as captain, KdB and Foden in a potent midfield axis.

We’re on holiday this week down in Dorset and Tuesday was glorious so we had a family BBQ planned during the City game.  So I wasn’t watching.  However my phone was pinging every few minutes.  And my heart skipped a few beats.  Captain Sterling on a brace by half time (we’ll gloss over that Foster pen save grrrrr) and when Foden netted from a Sterling assist I was in dreamland.  50 point from 3 players.  I was up to 80 on my BB with 5 still to play!

Those 5 were TAA and Salah for Liverpool vs Chelsea and 3 United attackers at home to West Ham, looking to bounce back from the FA Cup mauling by the Blues. Could I get a big 100 here?

Unfortunately United were badly off colour.  As a fan, failure to rise to the occasion in a game they really needed to win was hard to endure.  A tough watch indeed. However from an FPL perspective, the clean sheet being wiped, and heavily captained Bruno and Rashford restricted to 1 pointers was an unexpected boon and Mason Greenwood, my other United attacking asset, firing an equaliser and max bonus was the ideal way to boost my BB whilst maintaining rank.  Martial getting an assist was a pity as I didn’t own but given Tony held my biggest FOMO, restriction to a single assist was a good result overall.

TAA doing what TAA does (what a player and FPL asset he is!) and Salah getting a fortunate assist saw me pass through the 100 mark and up to a dizzying 109.

Did that really happen?  That was double the weekly average.  An overall gameweek rank of 3,610.  Absolute scenes!

Yes I’m buzzing. I’ve not had the rub of the green this season so this was a huge boost and I’m now in with a shout of breaking into the top 100k and winning some ML cash prizes.

Thank you FPL Gods!

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Gameweek 38+ Planning

And so after an incessant period of football it all comes to an end on Sunday.

I think we all need a breather.  Many footballers are jaded from the back to back games.  FPL players are clearly knackered too.

Let’s get it done and look forward to next season.

I can see quite a few managers have held chips back to attack the final gameweek.  Lots of Free Hits and a few Bench Boosts have been activated. There’s probably a good few Triple Captains to play amongst the active Community.

The smart money is on a City asset. I think the season conclusion hinges around the City v Norwich game.  City don’t resume in the Champions League for another 12 days after the season end jamboree.  You’d think Pep will play a strong team but don’t ask me to second guess.  We may get a team reveal and so many last minute tactics will be employed based on who starts.

The two City players I don’t own are the one’s I fear for a haul this week – Mahrez and David Silva.  The latter playing his final PL game at the Etihad.

If one of my 3 – Sterling, KdB or Foden – is benched I’ll feel compelled to adjust to make sure I’m covered.  I don’t want to take another hit – I’ve taken too many lately – but it might be needed in the final reckoning.

Here’s the bus team.

There’s about 4-5 permutations I can run with depending on that team sheet – it’s too much to outline them all here so you’ll have to wait until I publish my final blog of the season to know which way I zagged.

Wish me luck!

All the very best for all of you to achieve a good final rank of the season and those of you in line for winnings, may the FPL Gods favour each and every one of you.

Goops