Goops’ Blog: Holding Pattern (GW28 Review/GW29 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. 

Sorry about the intermittent blogging.

I’ve just started a new job and it’s been all consuming.  FPL has had to take a back seat.

Since my last blog I’ve fallen into something of a holding pattern.

I’m still in and around the top 150k rank – which is still my high point of the season – but I can’t seem to pull the right rabbit out of the hat to catapult me into the top 100k and finish the season with more of a swagger.

A few wrong turns.  A few where I’d have been better off with differential picks instead of following the herd.   And a few where I’ve resolutely followed my standard MO of fixtures over form. A somewhat annoying period of what might have been, all in all.

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Gameweek 26-28 Review

One of my wildcard strategies was the double Liverpool, double Sheffield United defensive pivot.  Two teams steeped in defensive discipline with good fixtures to come to ensure a solid grounding as my more differential midfield and forward options would help propel me forward.

It’s not quite working.  Both teams have become annoyingly leaky.  They are still winning by and large, but conceding goals along the way. The Liverpool result at Watford was surely a freak(?)

Up front, FOMO was alive and well as I invested heavily in the frontline spearhaded by Kun Aguero after his hauls made him ‘essential’.

I hate that term.  Nobody in FPL is essential. My approach is that you can’t have them all, so I try and focus on the right players in at the right time.

Kun’s captain blank vs. West Ham was incredibly frustrating – investing that budget made him the cornerstone of the wildcard and a cheaper option like DCL would have helped me spread my budget more prudently across my backline.  Sigh.

The Jimmy/Ings combo speaks for itself, though even this has been a touch hit and miss with Ings picking up a mystery knock affecting his gametime.  He remains a hold with nice fixtures but lacking the impressive form that of course I missed.

The one player I don’t own and forcing me to curse myself on a regular basis is the aforementioned Dominic Calvert-Lewin.  Tom has recently returned from Australia to resume editorial responsibility  and will attest that I’m a big “DCL” fan and have been waiting for 2 seasons for him to convert promise to real form.  He’s there and I’m not.  Ridiculous! (shocking – ed.)

This is partly because I chose Richarlison on my wildcard. Initially a placeholder for either Martial or Bruno Fernandes, Ricky is as ever a frustrating player to own but has picked me up 21 points over these last 3 weeks.  Not bad – but in that time Bruno has taken to United like a duck to water and with goals, assists and 6 MOTM performances in a row is very much the real deal. He has utterly transformed United – as a fan I’m chuffed. As an FPL player, once again, I’ve held back too long and missed the boat.

I don’t personally intend to jump on board until GW32 from when United’s fixtures markedly improve – but by then he could be nearly £9m!

Fixtures vs form remains a healthy barometer of how I approach FPL.

Bruno has the form and so does DCL – neither particularly have the fixtures but they both seem must own.  Fixture-proof in other words.

I also moved Grealish to Adama Traore based on both form and fixtures and have watched in dismay as his dodgy shoulder has derailed an otherwise sound pick at the exact point that both Jota and Doherty have really delivered the goods.

For GW28, the Leicester fixtures were set to turn in our favour starting with Norwich, awful at home and seemingly doomed.

Vardy’s injury opened the door for other cheaper assets and given my desire to take a leap forward I used my 2FT to bring in both Perez (a late season stalwart) and Kelechi Iheanacho, the latter purely as a one week punt, again based on fixture.  The Friday night game under the lights – surely destined to give managers a fantastic kick start to the semi blank GW and a boost to rank?  Cue Norwich beating Leicester.

Does anyone else feel they can’t win right now?

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Doodle Corner – Bruno Bruno Bruno!

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

It’s hard to remember the last player to have such an incredibly galvanising effect on a football team. Man United have shown glimpses of the good, the bad and the ugly this season but Bruno Fernandes has come in and totally transformed the mood at the club.  Is there anything he can’t do – He seems equally comfortable as a 6, 8 and a 10.  A proper proper player.

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Gameweek 29 planning

The entire plan for GW29 hinges around the announcement of Man City vs Arsenal to be played on March 11th creating a DGW for both clubs.

There’s already been a major shift to Aubameyang.  In fact bizarrely he was the third most transferred player in ahead of GW28 EVEN THOUGH ARSENAL HAD A BLANK!  Mental.

Though that could be vindicated if he fires during the double.

Nacho was my 1 week punt – it didn’t work but no matter i have no qualms moving him straight to Auba.

I only have 1 FT so should hold but the idea of not having a second City asset for a double gameweek doesn’t sit comfortably.

But who can we trust in the inevitable guessing game that is Pep Roulette.  I have funds to move Richarlison to Mahrez.  In some quarters this is being viewed as madness but it could work – Mahrez could find that spark we know he can deliver.  Equally it could be Sterling who amazes us all with a return to FPL form. So much was expected of him after that opening day hattrick – i’m bemused by his dip in form.

I should probably avoid the hit.  I’m priced out of Traore to Sarr by 0.1m. Another injured player vs. form player conundrum I might end up on the wrong side of.

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Goops’ Unexpected Star of the Week

I can’t really look past Ismaila Sarr.  No one saw that result coming, and certainly not that performance. 19 points!  Smashing the league leaders and ending (thankfully) their inexorable run to an unbeaten season to match Arsenal’s invincibles.  The title is enough, fellas.  Calm down. Calm down.

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Goops’ Weekly Pick

Watching this guy bully the Liverpool backline midweek in the FA Cup, I’m frankly amazed how he has been overlooked so often by Lampard.

Olivier Giroud is selfless – he’s not prolific – but he brings so much to a team.  He looks on it after a decent run of games and with Tammy injured again (he’s made of glass) I can see Giroud finding the necessary form to justify his selection as the French spearheaded in their quest for Euro 2020 glory.  Starting at home this weekend vs Everton

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I’m scrapping the lessons learned segment as I’ve missed a few weeks. I’ll come back with a new segment next week!

Good luck everyone for GW29.  Lots of enticing fixtures, especially at home, and the double for City and Arsenal should help some managers push up the ranks if they take the right risks.

Forza FPL,

Goops