Think Different: GW6 5Man Defense Starting XI

Oddly comforting is how I describe this 5-man defensive adventure I have set out on this season. As I’ve mentioned all week on the Pitch & Pint Podcast, as well in numerous articles on 6thGoal, this team is playing well. Honestly, can you ask anymore from a week to week than green arrows? Four of them! Count them, four with very little thought or effort, one would think this game was easy. Okay, I won’t go that far. While OR is the indicator FPL managers base their team success on, one could argue this team isn’t successful because of their 1.5M rank. Honestly, that’s one week of good football and remember we’ve been without Kevin De Bruyne, who missed GW5 and who’s two prior games were both no returns. This team isn’t that far off from where my expectations lie. Continue reading “Think Different: GW6 5Man Defense Starting XI”

Think Different: GW6 Transfers

Unlike my 6thGoal squad, where the transfers came fast and furious, while the Merseyside Derby was still going on, I have decided to take my 5-man defensive team and approach it a bit more rationally. There was no knee jerk transfer for Virgil van Dijk during the week. Add to that the news that James Rodriguez won’t play and I decided to hold Kevin De Bruyne last week instead of transferring in Heung-min Son. This team is not without its share of problems, with a FT in my pocket and just 0.3 ITB. This team is also on a run of green arrows to start the season and who thought you couldn’t be successful with an all premium, 5-man defensive team? Continue reading “Think Different: GW6 Transfers”

Think Different: 5-Man Defense GW5 Retrospect

It feels as if I am living in DC Comics, fictional, Bizarro World (Htrae), which in popular culture has come to represent a situation or setting which is weirdly inverted or opposite to expectations. Take my first ever attempt to field a 5-man defense, over a 38 weeks Premier League schedule in a season where clean sheets are down and goals are up. Right there, it’s got the making for something that resembles a horror movie, fitting as we are nearing the end of October and Halloween is right around the corner. Who knows, maybe a “Freddie” or  “Jason” could potentially carved up some points for my starting I. Continue reading “Think Different: 5-Man Defense GW5 Retrospect”

Think Different: GW5 Transfers

Coming out of the break my 5-man defensive team has two free transfers to potentially use. This team is…different, three green arrows just 216 points and a OR of 1.7 million. They picked up 63 points in the last game week and I am hoping that can spawn something in this squad. It’s been two weeks over 60 points, but two weeks in the 40-something range. I head into this transfer period with just £0.1 ITB and decisions to be made with a perennial favorite at the back, Man City. Continue reading “Think Different: GW5 Transfers”

Think Different: 5-Man Defense GW4

Clean sheets this season seem to be a rarity, even though we saw four more bringing the season total to 17 across the league. That is one fewer than last season (18) and three off the start of the 2018/19 (20). Numbers are fairly consistent over this time frame, even though Liverpool stand out with three clean sheets to open the 18/19 season. Never did I think I would see Aston Villa, Southampton and West Ham each on two cleans to start this season. Intentions going in this season was to buy “big at the back” but that seems to be a bit of a determent at the moment. Defensive points have been very difficult to come by, as witnessed by game week four, as my squad has posted just six clean sheets by my defenders. Continue reading “Think Different: 5-Man Defense GW4”

Think Different: 5-Man Defense GW4

Can’t argue with two green arrows to star the season, but there is a bit of disappointment having scored just 153 points (51 average) over three weeks, which is well off my goal of 60 points per week. This COULD be the week that figure changes, as I really am backing many of the matches this week. The wild card was beneficial last week and allows me some flexibility as I roll into the weekend knowing I will have two transfers, if I need them out of the break. This week will be unchanged in my starting XI, playing a 5-3-2 formation and looking for the premiums to have a banger of a weekend. Continue reading “Think Different: 5-Man Defense GW4”

Think Different: GW4 Transfers

In a very low scoring week I felt lucky to see a small green arrow for the second week in a row to start this season. To be honest, I can’t tell you another time that has happened in eight years playing FPL. While 45 points was quite unimpressive there is a confidence gain seeing that green triangle. On the season I’ve scored 153 points, which is 27 points off a weekly average of 60 points per week, which is a target I always shoot for. One factor leading to a poor start, in terms of overall points the fact we have seen just 12 clean sheets over the first three game weeks. Compare that to 14 during the 2019/20 season and 16 in the 2018/19 seasons. While Liverpool has just one clean sheets I’ve seen a total of five attacking returns that have helped my 5-man defense during this early part of the season. Continue reading “Think Different: GW4 Transfers”

Think Different: GW3 Retrospect

The Think Different series continues, as I look back on the decision to activate the wild card ahead of GW3. This decision wasn’t a “knee jerk” decision, coming off a green in GW2, I was looking to build on a modest 109 points I had scored the first few weeks, about 21 points lower than expected. This week I just scrapped by scoring 45 points, on a week we saw 43 as the weekly average across the game, while the top 1k averaged 42 points. That’s two consecutive weeks, where the the FPL weekly average has been higher than the top 1k, somewhat uncommon occurrence. That tells you how this season is starting. Continue reading “Think Different: GW3 Retrospect”

Think Different: 5-Man Defense GW3

This team just scraped by in GW2 with 61 points, enough to give me a small green arrow but green is always better than red. With just 108 points from two weeks, this team is struggling, yet could be the underlying theme all season long, as I need the defenders to pull their weight with clean sheets. Coming out of GW2, I was running with treble Liverpool that will really make or break every week, but looking ahead I feel there is a big need to get Manchester City defenders in. More importantly, this team started without Mo Salah, which I felt was a mistake, even though I attempted to convince myself it was okay. It’s not and while Arsenal’s fixtures are turning and we roll into fall, it was time to make some big changes ahead of GW3. Continue reading “Think Different: 5-Man Defense GW3”

Think Different: GW2 Retrospect

Much like watching Premier League  players hit for attacking returns one week, then go dark the next, so goes my 5-man defensive team. On the back of a disappointing GW1 score of 47 points, it was difficult to look over my team, especially not owning the man the hot foot in GW1. Now GW2, we see Spurs, Everton and Leicester City get business done convincingly. Yet I owned just two players from those teams. Thankfully, 61 points was just enough to get me over the hump and pull off a small green arrow, up just 150k, but still nearly at 3 million OR. It’s early, but there is no way I am going to turn tail and give up on my 5-man defense. Continue reading “Think Different: GW2 Retrospect”

Think Different: 5-Man Defense GW2

So the 5-man defensive strategy didn’t get off to the best start, stumbling in GW1, while backing treble Liverpool. Yet, their attacking returns helped to offset their lost CS points to some degree. Even more disappointing was the fact I missed out on all clean sheets for my defenders and came up short on the GW1 average points, by just three points (47 vs. 50). I’ve had a flurry of thoughts ahead of GW2. I can’t say I have ruled out a hasty wild card to shuffle players around, but that would be me failing to practice patience. If I ask myself, “do I really need to WC?” The answer is “no” however there is always a but. As in, “but I don’t own Salah.” Continue reading “Think Different: 5-Man Defense GW2”

Think Different: GW1 Retrospect

This Think Different series began a few years back when I was a contributor to Fantasy Football Geek and initially focused on the viability of playing five defenders. While that strategy didn’t last long, the series did last a few seasons, before discontinuing submissions to FFG. This year, I’ve decided to revive the series on 6thGoal.com, posting the first of six articles on August 18, Think Different: An FPL Tale Part I. This series was conceived to follow my second team from pre-season planning and strategy, over 38 game weeks to see how a set and forget 5-man defense can get on in a very attack minded FPL game. Hopefully the first game week isn’t an indication of how things are going to go, but I am confident this team will rebound and finish the season with a respectable OR. More importantly, I am curious to see what I learn from this exercise. Continue reading “Think Different: GW1 Retrospect”