Expectations for Monday weren’t all that high, as Brighton hosted Stoke City, with Pascal Groß my lone participant. It was a cracker of a match, ending 2-2 on the night as Groß returned points for the fourth time in five gameweeks as Brighton slide to 9th in the EPL.
Going into the game I was hoping Groß would feature with an assist, to build on the five he had posted through 11 weeks. It was a pleasant surprise when he netted his 3rd goal of the season in the 44′. Unfortunately, another assists wasn’t in the books for the evening, but at the conclusion of the game, Groß had picked up 3 bonus points to finish on 10 points for the night. Success!
I finished Gameweek 12 on 84 points, a new season high, besting my previous high of 78 points back in Gameweek 7. This was my third green arrow in a row and fifth out of the last 6 gameweeks, as my season has turned around. The only blemish in that run, playing my Free Hit Chip during Gameweek 9. This on top of rolling my FT to Gameweek 13 appears to put me in a very good position heading into hectic holiday season.
For the gameweek, I improved 420k, up to 349k in the overall ranking on the back of 665 overall points. Again, I finger the lack of captaincy points over the first 11 gameweeks that has put me where I am. Any sort of consistent returns and just 68 points over that period and I would be near the top 10k.
Gameweek 12 was the first time I had started in a 4-4-2 formation, but looking at personnel and fixtures through the end of the season, it’s quite possible this could be my formation of choice. However, the knee jerk transfer of Callum Wilson before the end of Saturday’s fixture could have jeopardized my plan. After Tammy Abraham went down with injury, I was going to need a third forward between Wilson and Everton’s Oumar Niasse. In a blink of an eye, Wilson was snatched up based solely on his hat trick against against Huddersfield. However, it might have been more beneficial to pick up Niasse, saving £0.5 in order to strengthen my midfield, a strategy I mentioned yesterday in Click Click Boom.
Using FPL Statistico reveals some telling numbers when it comes to the roller coaster season I have experienced. Captaincy aside, I have lost out on 9 points, playing the wrong keeper 6 times on the season. Gameweeks 3-5 saw my benched keeper post 26 points, while starters scored only 9 points. The other anomaly, Gameweek 9, a difference of 6 points between my 2 point starter and bench keeper.
The case can be made to spend bigger on David De Gea (68) or possibly Thibaut Courtois (53) at £5.8 and £5.3 respectively, in search of more consistent clean sheets. It’s Jonas Lössl and Nick Pope priced at £4.6 with 56 and 53 points playing just as well. While I continue to see Huddersfield struggle this year, Lössl continues to post good numbers with 6 save points and 5 bonus points on the season. But it’s Burnley’s replacement that has been the keeper to own since GW4 picking up 9 save points and 9 bonus! Burnley, after GW13 have a favorable run through mid-December; bou/lei/WAT/STK/bha.
One notable difference has been captain points per gameweek, which has taken a turn since Gameweek 7. That was last time Kane returned points for me, 26 while wearing the armband. If I would have stayed the course and not activated the Free Hit Chip in GW9, I would have possibly scored another 26 points, as he hit a brace against Liverpool. Since Gameweek 9 and not relying on Harry Kane, I have returned 2 out of 3 gameweeks, riding on the back of Watford’s, Richarlison (2, 14, 16) for 32 points! It’s been a high risk, high reward that has paid off to date, with Kane continuing to falter. Richarlison is the first player to hold a double digit average wearing the armband (10.7).
With a short week upon on, fantasy managers have just 3 days to finalize their transfer plans before West Ham host Leicester City on Friday. With a single FT to burn and multiple players to move, it might be prudent to take a hit or two in order to move the necessary players, in order to set up for the holiday period.