Goops’ Blog: Railroaded (GW29 Review/GW30 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. 

As I’ve steadily climbed the ranks these last few weeks, regular readers of my blog will have been wondering what’s happened to the FPL Everyman.

He’s doing far too well.

He’s not representing the average FPL player – where are all the lows to complement those highs?  What a fraud!

Well fear not folks – I’ve come crashing back down to earth with a bang with a horrible GW29 (and he’s a nicer person for it – Ed.).

All manner of things have conspired against me and I’m sure many of you too – not least the 11th hour postponement of the double gameweek Man City v Arsenal which many of us took hits to manage.  Oh man – forget Coronavirus, I nearly had a coronary this week as a swathe of managers benefitted from benchings and postponements to fly past me in all my leagues.

But basically a world ‘pandemic’ has properly railroaded my carefully laid plans.

Sometimes there is LITERALLY nothing you can do.


Gameweek 29 Review

The gameweek started pretty badly.  Trustworthy Liverpool – a usually guaranteed source of clean sheets –  conceding to that massive  FPL Troll Callum Wilson before I’d even made it through lunch. My choice of Gomez over VVD was made worse by the latter getting an assist for Mane! Though Robbo’s absence meant many lucked out with a  clean sheet off the bench, Malah owners went berserk

Bye bye 50k rank in the blink of an eye.

I’ve been working up to the blank GW31 to NOT use my free hit chip. I’ve got enough to get out 9 players with a hit – and, despite expert advice saying there may not be a better week to use it, I really want to hold it and ride it out.

As a result, anyone in form but without a GW31 fixture is largely being overlooked.

Yes I’m looking at you Bruno!

Now up to 8.5, and still climbing, I may be forced into a Martial move when the United fixtures pick up 32 onwards.  Bruno, though, is fast becoming hygiene.

At least Sheffield United continued their remarkable defensive record: I was relieved when Enda Stevens made it to 60:05 to bag the clean sheet. Some fortune at least.

I was less amused when Southampton, presented with a great chance for Ings to get back in the groove, were reduced to 10 men effectively blunting his opportunity right there.

There’s been much talk about Ings’ form.  A bit like Vardy, a little niggle unfortunately eroding his explosiveness just when the fixtures were kind. Fortunately Jota, who many moved to, contrived to blank too.

It wasn’t proving to be a great gameweek for strikers with none of DCL, Jimmy nor even Auba getting attacking returns.

Still Auba had a second chance, right?!

I jumped on Sarr after his glorious performance against the Champions-elect, controversially removing Richarlison. It was a pity Sarr blanked, a blessed relief I wasn’t immediately punished and it’s all part of the longer term GW31 plan for maxing out on key assets.

Bruno yet again inspired United to a storming and deserved victory in the Manchester Derby which as a fan was fantastic and it was one game where FPL just didn’t matter – I was willing to take that rank drop – and the loud clamour developing around why on earth I haven’t got Bruno yet.

So then we get to Monday night.  Out of sorts Leicester, fresh from a humbling defeat at Norwich, surely about to exorcise the demons vs woeful Villa.  Nacho (my 1 week punt) had already departed for Auba (no brainer) which meant I only had Perez for this game.

Perez – before I apply Captain Hindsight – did not have the form per se, but we all know he’s capable of bagging a haul.  Vardy still wasn’t 100% fit and Perez does have a history of late season flourishes.  Well… he did in his Newcastle days.

I’d chosen Perez ahead of Harvey Barnes for a reason. That reason was to back the fact he was a more natural finisher, more explosive and tends to deliver late season.  Nobody turned up at Norwich but, my god, what a swing in fortunes on Monday night when Harvey Barnes ran riot with a Sarr-shaped 19 pointer to propel those who turned Left and not Right into dreamland and consigned me to a 1 pter from Adama Traore off the bench.

Heartbreak.  I was really in a bad way at 10pm on Monday night.  Not amused one little bit.

A huge 100k rank fall overall lay there open-mouthed in front of me, taunting me. And it was tough because many of my FPL buddies were rightly celebrating the Barnes haul. It was just horrible to accept in that moment.

The KdB no show and the captain fail with Auba are mere afterthoughts.

Although the former meant I got a Lascelles clean sheet off the bench to add a measure of respectability to my weekly score, a 43 (-4) is really terrible isn’t it?

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.

Coronavirus is now a pandemic. We’re all anticipating lockdown. Liverpool might win the title in front of no fans – it would be horrible for them (he says slightly sniggering).  Anyway until the deed is done, Jeremy amusingly suggests Klopp is taking no chances.  One of my absolute favourite doodles this – thanks mate!


Gameweek 30 planning

Ah Gameweek 30 – the forgotten week as we all plan for the Blank.  I’m keeping this part short and sweet after my GW29 rantathon above!

Whilst it would be easy to kneejerk after such a bad/unfortunate week, I’ve calmed down a little… but I won’t carry the transfer.  I’ve decided Perez has to go immediately, and it’s time for me to choose a differential pick who has decent games in 30 and the blank 31.

I’ve gone with Antonio of West Ham.  Great underlying stats and only 0.8% owned at time of writing – a true differential as mentioned by Tom on the podcast.

It’s time to break free from the crowd.

With a hit in 31 I’ll have 9 viable players and then I can plan to get the United and possibly Chelsea assets in from 32.

I’ll still have both Free Hit and Bench Boost chips to navigate what might now be a congested end of season.  Many others may bemoan the lack of chips left – and I need to use that to my advantage especially with no wildcard intact.

Captaincy is a tough choice for once.  It’s on KdB right now.  I’m cross with Auba and Jimmy is himself off the boil.  I think City will want to find rhythm ahead of the Real Madrid game.


Goops’ Unexpected Star of the Week

The romantic in me is choosing a classic journeyman player who captains his club, has been ever present, prolific scorer through many years in lower leagues and has emerged to very much hold his own with the big boys in his mid 30s with 20 points in the last 3 gameweeks

Billy Sharp – 0.5% owned – I salute you, sir.


Goops’ Weekly Pick

Well I got one thing right last week – Giroud did indeed fire for on song Chelsea.

This week I’m heading back to a classic nemesis who has trolled me over and over again – the aforementioned Callum Wilson.  2 goals in 3, and he plays the blank.  Another year I’d punt on him myself.  This year I’m saving myself the trauma, but it would not surprise me at all if he picks up a brace vs Palace in what is a must win game for The Cherries.


Goops’ Weekly FOMO

Tom will concur that one of my main pitfalls in FPL is major FOMO.

I’ve always struggled to contain that fear so let’s lay it out bare in the blog

This week who don’t I own who I most fear will haul?

I think it’s got to be Jamie Vardy.  Back in the goal, his confidence will be soaring.  Watford are better at home than away but I feel Vardy could make himself a must buy back with another brace, rewarding the most patient of managers – time to wheel


Good luck everyone! Hope the forgotten week actually helps those who had a painful 29 recover sufficiently well to head into the Blank with confidence.