Premier League: GW18 Retrospect

Much of my attention has been focused on adding the final touches to my premium 5-man midfield. While I could have provided a retrospect yesterday, I felt it necessary to hold off until all points were finalized and leagues were updated. Gameweek 18 brought the return of a green arrow following back to back red arrows and a drop of 308k. A return of 62 overall points this week, not including a -4 point hit that didn’t pay off saw a small green arrow of 6k, now sitting on 955 overall points and an overall rank at 479k.

When a fantasy decision is made, I can’t point fingers at other pundits, fantasy manager or information outlets that swayed my decision. In the end I have a final say to my squad. This week, my score would have been better, but a late minute decision to bring in David de Gea and Arthur Masuaku for Lukasz Fabianski and Aaron Cresswell cost me 9 points, but now have a stronger defense moving forward DDG in place.

Masuaku still posted 5 points, on the back of West Ham’s third CS in a row but it was the pace and play of Marcos Alonso that reminds us why he is so expensive. A clean sheet, goal and 3 bonus points for 14 points led all defensive players for my squad. I continue to be disappointed by Watford and their lackluster and stupid play. A third red card in as many games had Kabasele and the defense on the run, as they gave up 4 to Huddersfield. Still going to hold Kabasele, but he’s lost his starting spot in my XI.

The midfield was a mixed bag, but was to  be expected. Richarlison, playing with 10-men couldn’t post a return. Now just 2 assists in his last 6 game, his days on my squad might be at an end. It will be Pascal Groß joining him as he returned no attacking points, which made it 6 scoreless for him as well. Both have had outstanding seasons up to this point, but haven’t show that same spark we saw earlier in the season. In defense of Richarlison, if it were not for my grand plan, he would be staying in my 15-man squad, but it’s a simple upgrade to Paul Pogba. It’s as simple as doing the math.

Elsewhere in the midfield, it was a last minute captain change that saw Mohammad Salah tagged as the vice-captain, while Eden Hazard got the armband. I thank the missus for that move, as I asked her opinion. Guess I know better for next time, right? Hazard with an assist and CS scored 12 points, while Salah hit for a goal and CS for 8 points. It was Phillipe Coutinho with the hot…foot, a goal and assist with 2 bonus points. At this point, Coutinho (11.2 TSB%) was brought in as a differential with Salah (57.7 TSB%). The only time I make ground up in the ranking is when Salah is captained. It has not happened yet this year.

Up front, the trials and tribulation of Alvaro Morata continue. I thought he was the answer to my Harry Kane inefficiency, but a back problem and lack of service and he hasn’t been a good replacement. On the back of not playing in GW17, he had a 17 minute cameo at So’ton. Charlie Austin also disappointed getting 29 minutes in the match, but I plan on holding Austin as he has some good fixtures and rotates well with the plan I am proposing.

Moving forward my plan can be seen as creative or risky, maybe a bit of both. My plan does not include a premium forward, as I sell Morata this week in favor of Laurent Depoitre. Stay with me here. In conjunction with that savings (£5.2) I will sell Richarlison and Groß for Paul Pogba and Raheem Sterling. It means an 8 point “investment” (thanks James Egersdorff for that word) to bolster an already potent midfield. With neither Kane of Morata this is an attempt to “think differently” and take advantage of midfield players that are in form and scoring weekly.

This plan is not without risk. I can already hear fantasy manager with their “I told you so” if and when Kane FINALLY hits for a hat trick or back to back returns. Spending his savings and that of Morata have allowed me to remain big at the back with 3 premium players, with 5 premium midfielders and a mid-priced, in form Wayne Rooney to rotate with Charlie Austin in a 4-5-1 formation through Gameweek 25. You can read more on my plan at Fantasy Football Geek on Wednesday.

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