This week signaled the start of the hectic, holiday period as we saw Gameweeks 13-15 inside the last seven days. On the back of 5 green arrows I went into Gameweek 15 with high expectations, after bringing in Eden Hazard for the midweek fixture, only to see him benched, wearing the captain’s armband. Sticking to my conviction, I kept the armband on Hazard, who ended up leading my starting XI in another great gameweek.
After the midweek fixture I contemplated my FT, but none of the players I was considering would have started. In the end, I rolled my FT to Gameweek 15 and started the same lineups from midweek, finishing on 55 points, 11 points above the weekly average. For the season I have 830 overall points, now up to 171k in the overall ranking.
If there is an Achilles heel on my squad now, it’s the goalkeeper. I brought Lukasz Fabianski in Gameweek 5, paired with Rob Elliot for £8.5 in rotation. Fabianski hasn’t done bad, recording 63 overall points (3rd best among GK) but this week, he had a tough call away to Stoke. Went looking for a clean sheet, but ended up with just a single save and conceded 2 goals for just 1-point. Fixtures are about to stiffen for Swansea City, but I don’t want to burn an FT on a goalkeeper until I have my attackers sorted out.
Based on the fixtures, my defenders could have posted 3 clean sheets, but Marcos Alonso, Kyle Walker and Sead Kolasinac all conceded goals, scoring just 5 points. Not the sort of return I expect from these premium defenders against teams like Newcastle and West Ham. I can accept the 3-1 Arsenal loss to Man United.
The first match of the day provided confirmation of “the right move” last week, along with the captain’s armband this week. I moved on Eden Hazard and the Belgian excelled at Stamford Ridge, on the back of 2 goals and 3 bonus points. He scored 30 points wearing the armband, my best captaincy return this season.
Hopes were also high for Mohammad Salad against new boys, Brighton, who had played well this season, especially at the Amex. Five goals later, fantasy managers were left scratching their heads as Salah had some great passes, but was left returning just a single assist on the day for 5 points. His teammate, Philippe Coutinho looks like a great buy moving forward.
Richarlison and Pascal Groß rounded out the 4-man midfield, both had challenging days. The Watford man, hit the post and appeared to have won a penalty twice, but neither were called. Just a single point on the day after a late yellow card. Groß is suddenly a question mark on my squad and I gear up to move to a 5-man midfield and his services may no longer be required.
Brighton are navigating a challenging period, facing Man United in GW13, Liverpool in GW15 and Spurs in GW17, followed by Chelsea in GW20 and GW24. However Brighton did create chances this last weekend, which keeps Groß in the picture, temporarily. Either he or Richarlison could make way, however Watford have stronger fixtures through Christmas.
Up front, the second of two transfer midweek, saw Alvaro Morata hit for a goal and 2 bonus points for 8 points. A great return of 38 points on the Chelsea lads for the week! However, it was another disappointing week for Jamie Vardy (2 points) and Callum Wilson (1 point), off the bench.
Both forwards have been a cause of frustration since being introduced to my squad and have made mention for a few weeks. Vardy will most likely be on his way out this week in favor of a premium midfielder and a budget forward, as I will run with only Morata in a 4-5-1 formation.
Very pleased with how the season is progressing, on the back of 6 green arrows in a row and a total value of £103.3! Currently I am averaging 55.3/PPW, which is less than 5 points off the average of 60 that I set as a preseason goal. Again, I point to the lack of captaincy points, just 140, which contributes 16.87 to my overall score. To think, “What if…”
Looking forward to what Gameweek 16 brings, as I roll into the week with 2 FT to use in order to bulk up on another premium midfielder. The possibility is still there to retain Vardy for another few weeks, but the lure of players like Coutinho and De Bruyne might be too great.