FPL continues to throw us curves out of the international break. Are you one of those managers who’s held their FT or burned it early in anticipation of a price rise? With only a single FT, I have stopped chasing prices in an attempt to roll a transfer as we head towards the hectic holiday period, with 10 game weeks over 7 weeks. The key to this period, having a squad of 15 players who actually see pitch time.
Currently my team has a full complement of starters, but Tom Carroll doesn’t exude confidence in scoring more than 2 points a game. That is a minor concern, as I continue to execute my plan to eventually introduce Alvaro Morata to my starting XI. The last two gameweeks have seen my first 4-point hits of the season, which returned a total of 13 points.
It’s all downhill to a busy Saturday as I contemplate my lone transfer for the week. Until Gameweek 11, I have been promoting a 5-man defense to start the season, running a 5-2-3 formation that has 29 clean sheets to date. However, it came at a cost exceeding £30.0!
Stephen Ward was introduced 2 weeks ago and has scored 12 points on back to back clean sheets for Burnley. Sead Kolasinac and Aaron Cresswell are the next defenders on the list. While I still promote the attacking wing back, Kolasinac might have bought himself another gameweek after his 14-point return in Gameweek 10, however home fixture against Spurs doesn’t give me much confidence the Gunners will post a clean sheet. His attacking returns have come against lower league teams (1 goals, 3 assists), while posting a single clean sheet in a 0-0 draw against Chelsea. His next 4 fixtures; TOT/bur/HUD/MNU.
On the off chance Arsenal/Spurs post a high scoring affair, I turn my attention to Aaron Cresswell. As David Moyes takes control of the Hammers, they have conceded 7 goals in their last 5 games, going 1-2-2 during that stretch. Cresswell has just a single assist on the season and until we see what Moyes can make of that defense, it’s time to secure a defender who’s posted better numbers and more importantly has a better run of fixtures.
Heading into the break it appeared to be a clear cut decision, but the transfer list has grown to four players, two of which will join my squad over the next 2 weeks. Charlie Daniels tops the list, with just 37 points on the season behind a goal and assist, Bournemouth has a sea of green over the next 5 weeks; HUD/swa/BUR/SOU/cry. The Cherries’ luck could be changing as they posted their second clean sheet on the season in Gameweek 11. Daniels bring the attacking potential at the budget price of £4.8
Listening to pundits and following varies personalities on Twitter, the decision to bring in Shane Duffy appeared on the horizon. Sitting on 40 points for the season behind 5 clean sheets, he’s yet to post any attacking returns. Already owning Pascal Groß, I am a bit hesitant to add another Brighton player to my starting XI. The Seagulls next 8 games are mixed; STO/mnu/CRY/LIV/hud/tot/BUR/WAT. Played in spot starts could yield a few clean sheets over that period, which is well worth the investment at £4.5.
Looking to take a punt could yield some question over managerial tactics, as Scott Dann (£4.7) comes to the forefront. Just 12 points on the season and no clean sheets, Palace continues to struggle but showed some resilience in a 1-0 loss to Spurs under new manager Roy Hodgson in Gameweek 11. On the season, Dann has shown good goal threat with 22 penalty touches, 12 attempts, all on goal, 6 of which coming from headers. If Palace is to turn their season around it begins this week home to a struggle Everton, followed by /STO/bha/wba/BOU/WAT/lei/swa.
To start the season I selected a triple So’ton defense that didn’t really live up to the hype of their “easy” schedule to start the season. I hesitate to double up defensively, knowing a single goal is the different between 12 points and 4 points. Burnley, behind Nick Pope has posted back to back clean sheets, now with 5 on the season, could it be a viable strategy to start two defenders?
Ward already instrumental in my starting XI, I turn my attention to Ben Mee. At £4.5 with 45 points on the season Mee has recorded 5 bonus points over the last 2 weeks (6 on the season). Outside of Arsenal in GW13, Burnley has a good run of fixtures through mid-December; SWA/ARS/bou/lei/WAT/STO/bha. The Arsenal game does concern me, but over the last year, Burnley has played well at home, but haven’t kept a CS against a top EPL team this season.
Regardless of which defender is selected for Gameweek 12, the money saved will go toward gaining the necessary budget to introduce Alvaro Morata in Gameweek 14. Until Friday arrives, I will continue to hold my FT until a decision is rendered. What would you do?