Tom’s good mate FPL Goops is writing an FPL blog for us this year from the perspective of an “FPL Everyman”.
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.
Sometimes patience can be rewarded.
There were some tasty fixtures in GW17, and whilst I had team coverage to cope with most of them, I was a bit worried that doing nothing when many others were making bold transfers might backfire.
I had always had it in mind to roll the transfer to have the flexibility for the much anticipated GW18 “Liverblank” when Liverpool would be away at the Club World Cup.
Thanks mainly to Kevin de Bruyne’s brilliance (see Doodle corner later) I reached the heady heights of 72, a very steady green arrow and rank climb of 100k up to 375k. It’s been a good few weeks.
The weekend heralded decent returns from the Three Kings – Salah, Vardy and KdB. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.
Gameweek 17 Review
I was at the FPL drinks co-hosted by WGTA and FFHub on Friday night, and a lot of the talk was about Salah’s resurgent form.
Now they are the same price, it genuinely becomes a straight choice: which do you prefer going into the Christmas schedule?
I’m not ruling out having both, but it may mean too many sacrifices elsewhere.
Salah’s brace on Saturday continued his hot streak – he certainly looks in the mood – but let’s not forget Mane was a hair’s breadth away from a goal and assist himself. So, pick one and take the gains where you can. Mo’s 16 pter definitely rewarded those who have patiently hung on through his ankle knack.
It was the first week of the FPL Cup too, and my opponent not only owned Salah but had the foresight to captain him vs Watford ahead of my (and seemingly everyone else’s) pick of Vardy vs Norwich.
Here’s how the rest of the weekend went down:
- When Vardy’s initial goal was awarded as an OG and Salah went on to cheekily backheel a second goal from Origi’s terrible scuffed effort, my cup dreams looked over and, with it, potentially my FPL momentum stifled.
- My high hopes for Tammy versus a depleted Bournemouth (see Rico 3rd bench again!) came to nothing. Time to divest?
- I had no Rashford on Sunday, with United’s boy wonder another player who had been a key topic of conversation at the FPL drinks and a clear dose of FOMO. As it was, as a United fan I was both devastated with the draw and relieved that Rashford had blanked – a peculiar contradiction of emotions that only we FPL players with club allegiances can relate to.
I’d given up on the FPL cup tie at this point. At 66-44 behind going into the Sunday fixtures, my main differential hope lay with KdB.
… and what a response it was from Sir Kevin (see Doodle Below) with a 19!
I witnessed him deliver a virtuoso performance that more than justified my faith in the best player in the league.
He would have had a hat trick but for a great fingertip save from Leno.
And in one fell swoop I overhauled my cup opponent who must have been peeved he’d surrendered such a lead to top off a satisfying weekend of FPLing – from Xmas party to qualification!
Doodle Corner – Sir Kevin the Magnificent
Jeremy (aka fpldoodles1) has continued to entertain the FPL Community with his sharp-witted Doodles pulling apart the weekend action.
Last week it was all about King Kane. He reverted to type this week and in his place arise Sir Kevin the Magnificent.
What an incredible performance (against an albeit hapless Arsenal defence). I think you’ll agree Jeremy captures the sentiment rather well.
Gameweek 18 Planning
So I’ve put the aforementioned 2FT to good use already, mainly to avoid even more price rises for my target players due to the pesky Community with their fingers constantly on the trigger.
My moves are bold.
Having got away with Rashford’s blank last week, I still believe he’s got the fixtures and form to make hay over the Christmas fixtures and should be nailed on. I’ve taken a bit of a risk removing Tammy to accommodate him but I have high hopes the move will be rewarded.
I’ve also been following Grealish with some interest since seeing his talismanic performance at Old Trafford. The risk with him was picking up that 5th yellow and a suspension but he’s avoided that and with great home fixtures vs Saints and Norwich I couldn’t resist. He then has Watford so he’s a potential hold through the whole festive season.
Cantwell made way which frankly is a blessed relief. What a troll he’s been.
Now…to enable those 2 upgrades, I had to compromise on a significant downgrade. I’ve been thinking what I should do with my Liverpool assets.
Mane is a hold for me. So the other option is TAA. Liverpool have started to keep clean sheets but I think they were lucky that Watford’s front men are so devoid of confidence they missed some sitters.
I think it’s a worthwhile risk over Christmas to take TAA out. I had budget for anyone 4.3 or under – so no one I’d really want.
I was tempted to just go bargain basement with a 3.9 non player but with rotation likely I’ve actually broken my own rule of never investing in United’s defence by taking a small punt on Brandon Williams – I don’t think Luke Shaw is fit enough to play so many times back to back and Williams might get the Boxing Day game at home to Newcastle. He’s just an enabler but it might pay something back.
The captaincy choice this week is far from straightforward with Spurs playing Chelsea and City at home to Leicester.
I’ve seen many touting Rashford at Watford, but I’m not sure I’m ready for a deep end plunge and I quite fancy Son to fire for Mourinho vs. the team his reputation was built with – should be some battle. I just hope it’s not attritional.
Goops’ Unexpected Star of the Week
I’m giving this award to a whole team this week, not just a player.
Given the context of their terrible form and ill fortune with injuries including their best defender, Ake, it was a truly exceptional performance from Bournemouth to not only shut out Chelsea but also have the audacity to smash-and-grab a win.
A shock result that defies logic but credit where it’s due – that was gutsy.
Goops’ Weekly Pick
Poor old Grealish – I made him my weekly pick and he promptly missed a penalty! Jinx! (I hope not as he’s in my team now)
My one to watch this week is Stag’s fave Leandro Trossard at Brighton.
He was hugely unlucky to lose out on the full spoils in the M23 derby. Trossard makes Potter’s side tick and he looks due a decent haul soon.
Sheffield United are good at the back but I have a feeling Trossard will breach that defence.
Gameweek Lessons Learned
I’m compiling a list of my personal key learnings each week. I’ll put them through at the end of the season, but for now here’s my most recent five:
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
Gameweek 17 – Keeping faith with your expensive FPL assets is one of the toughest decisions, but often patience is rewarded
A final word: for the first of four back-to-back fixtures, give yourself some decent bench options to navigate the inevitable rotation.
This can be a time of year when you make significant gains, though you may see a red arrow or two along the way. Either way, don’t panic.
I’ll be back over Christmas, enjoy the Liverblank!