Having a plan in place for the holiday period, I was confident in the direction my squad was taking. On the heels of starting the season using a 5-2-3 formation, my team flourished, while my captaincy selections were an Achilles heel that held me back from gaining improvement in the overall rank. A failed activation of the Free Hit Chip in Gameweek 9, 36 points (vs 58 if I didn’t play it) is the only blemish on an otherwise productive period since Gameweek 7 (8 out of 9 green arrows).
With fantasy managers continuing to talk about having 3 starting players on the bench to round out your squad, rotation continues to play a factor for every team. As I looked toward Gameweek 16, I carry 2 FT to improve my squad as I am shift formation to a 4-5-1 relying on Chelsea’s, Alvaro Morata as the lone forward to deliver, after 13 torturous gameweeks attempting to rely on Harry Kane.
This week’s decisions are not clear cut. One thing I am not doing is looking in the direction of Man City. Just last week, in the GW15 Transfers article I was considering Raheem Sterling but I have shifted focus towards Arsenal and Liverpool over the holiday period.
Mohammad Salah has been established in my starting XI since Gameweek 11. Since that point he’s returned 56 points! Unfortunately, with a TSB% over 50, fantasy owners don’t gain in the overall rank when he scores. Looking for a “differential” I turn my attention to Philippe Coutinho, which would double up coverage of Liverpool. Coming off an 18 point return last week, Coutinho looks very sharp. Fixtures over the December include EVE/WBA/bou/ars/SWA/LEI/bur.
The other transfer option this week to replace Tom Carroll in the midfield is Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal. While I wasn’t a big proponent of his (or Salah) to start the season, I have kept an open mind and feel now is the time to add the Gunner to my midfield. He’s scored 52 points since Gameweek 9 and continues to play an important role in the Arsenal midfield.
In order to facilitate this transfer, Leicester’s Jamie Vardy would be dropped in favor of a budget forward. All the chatter on Twitter and the pods I listen to finger Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£5.2) as the budget option to own. Same Allardyce hasn’t changed the starting XI in the first two fixtures (both wins), so some uncertainty could dot our thinking that Calvert-Lewin is nailed on, especially with Oumar Niasse (5 goals) back from suspension and back on the bench last weekend.
The selection at the forward position is somewhat irrelevant, as I don’t plan on starting either, opting for a 4-5-1 formation through the holiday period. Moving Vardy’s £8.5 price tag allows me the necessary budget to pick up either Countinho or Ramsey for Gameweek 16.
These two transactions will bring me closer to a premium midfield as Pascal Groß will undoubted make way for whichever midfielder I don’t pick up this week. That move could require a -4 point hit, mean the under-performing, Kyle Walker (£6.6) would move to Christian Kabasele (TSB% 0.9) saving me £2.4 and bringing my ITB total to £3.9 allowing me drop Groß and pick up a midfield for £9.7 or less.
A word on DGW22 with a little bit of advanced transfer planning. Unless he falls due to injury, I plan on reintroducing Harry Kane for Gameweek 22 when Spurs face swa/WHM. This means I will be rolling an addition FT over to drop a premium midfielder in order to bring Kane in. At this point it’s hard to say if he will remain in my starting XI. Looking at fixture post-GW22, Spurs run into a buzzsaw with MNU/liv/ARS starting Gameweek 25.