Let me start by saying, the decision to move Harry Kane after Gameweek 13 has been mistake. Won’t call it a total disaster, but it was difficult to miss out on 6 goals over the last 2 gameweeks. As I pointed out yesterday in my #KANEXIT Comparison, I have lost approximately 78 points from this strategy between GW14-19. Those missed points are the difference between 434k, where I am currently at and 50k, where I could have been.
Ahead of Gameweek 20, there was already a plan in place to reacquire Kane for DGW22. With one FT at my disposal, I knew I would need to roll next week’s transfer in order to help fund my strategy to start Kane. There was some hesitation in selling Stephen Ward, but on the cusp of a drop, while missing out on the Jonjoe Kenny rise, saw me move for the Everton man, who was immediately put into the starting XI.
The morning didn’t start off well, seeing Kane with another 3 goal performance, I knew I would going to be playing catch up all weekend long. However, the strength of my starting XI lies in the a powerful midfield.
MIDFIELDERS (36 POINTS)
Mohammad Salah continues to defy FPL expectations posting 10 attacking returns in his last 11 fixtures! This was the back to back armbands for the Egyptian, who got involved early assisting Liverpool’s first goal. He finished on 18 points. Owning Salah, which 59.1% of fantasy managers do, the only time he becomes a differential is wearing the armband. Thus, my reasoning behind making him my default captain for the remainder of the season, form permitting.
Doubling up on Liverpool by bringing in Phillipe Coutinho has been one of my better decisions to date. Since his introducing in Gameweek 17, he’s scored 37 points (9.25 ppg) as Liverpool continue to score freely, 12 goals in their last 3 fixtures.
Eden Hazard and Paul Pogba continues to frustrate fantasy managers. Hazard was brought in Gameweek 14 as a multi-player move that saw Kane exit. Since that time, Hazard has disappointed with just two returns (15 and 6) with 4 no returns. He continues to receive praise from pundits on his performance, but not necessarily yielding any attacking points. He’s got one more week against Stoke City to make good.
As for Pogba, he’s missed 10 games to date due to injury and suspension, but was averaging 7.0 ppg when on the pitch. Anticipating his return in Gameweek 19 was met with excitement, facing Leicester and Burnley but back to back no returns have removed some of the luster. Fixture against sou/EVE/STO/bur could be all he gets moving forward, as there are other mid-priced midfielders who are more in form than the Frenchie.
The week hinges on Raheem Sterling to continue his amazing scoring record. Coming off back to back double digit hauls (5 on the season), Man City visit St. James. City have scored 12 goals the last 3 times these teams have met, most notable was a 5 goal explosion for Sergio Agüero in October, 2015. This year’s squad is more explosive and any number of player could post big returns against the Toons today.
FORWARDS (8 POINTS)
No surprise, I struggled this week without the goals from Kane, but it’s been that way since releasing him after Gameweek 13, in a strategy that I’ll admit, didn’t pay off. Thankfully Laurent Depoitre has been in form, with 3 goals in his last 3 outings, but he came late, playing 28 minutes, not returning against Stoke. FPL Engineer gets a shout out his differential pick of Callum Wilson, who returned his first goal since hit hat trick back in GW12.
DEFENSE (21 POINTS)
Defensively, it’s been rough going since moving on David de Gea. Just 5 points in his last 3 games is a cause for concern as Man United’s defense is struggling. Injuries to Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and Matteo Darmian make defensive assets questionable ahead of their SOU/eve/STO/bur fixtures. De Gea has let in 5 goals over those 3 games/ At £5.9, I still feel is a great investment, although that opinion isn’t echoed by many fantasy managers, still his ownership is at 44.0%.
A late scratch saw Andreas Christensen bench, as Chelsea posted a 2-0 victory over Brighton. I look upon that as a 6 point loss, but will recover 1-point as Arthur Masuaku will be substituted in his place. Thankfully I have remained confident with Marcos Alonso and he rewarded owners handsomely with a 14 point return on his 5th goal of the season, while Chelsea posted their 9th clean sheet.
New boy Jonjoe Kenny made good, as the resurgent Everton posted a 0-0 draw away to West Brom. That’s 3 clean sheets in the 4 games, as Kenny also returned his second assist of the season in GW18. The Toffees are away to Bournemouth next week before two tough fixtures; MNU/tot.
On the week I currently sit on 65 points, 21 points better than the weekly average of 46 points, but well off the pace of the weekly high, 140 points. I fear with so many fantasy managers owning Man City assets, that 21 point advantage could turn into a deficit, depending on how many City put by Newcastle. Thankfully owning Sterling will help and I can only help he continues his scoring prowess this weekend.
On the season, I have turned around a poor 4 week run with 3 red arrows out of 4 games, currently on a green and an improvement in the overall rankings to 434k (up 92k). Still, not owning kane would have me inside the top 50k. I can only hope that my midfielders continue in form as I look to bring Kane back.
Looking ahead, I am not planning any transfers for Gameweek 21, as I look to roll the FT ahead of DGW22. While no decisions have been finalized, I do plan on reacquiring Kane, since he fulfilled the requirement I set forth, scoring in the fixtures leading up to the DGW. His form appears unstoppable at the moment, this is the Kane we expected to see earlier in the season. While I didn’t consider him essential earlier this season, I do feel he warrants the £12.9 price tag.
As for DGW22, Hazard could be the fall guy, at £10.7 combined with the injured/suspended Austin would allow me to bring Kane back into the starting XI and downgrade to a £6.0 midfielder. The list for potential replacements is rather short, pending any price rises the next 10 days.
Neither have been outstanding as of late, but at budget price, both could be a role in the upcoming fixtures. Doucoure has the more form recently with a goal and assist in the last 3 games, while Groß fell into a dry spell with a single goal (GW19) in the last 8 games. At 12.1 TSB%, Doucoure is the lesser owned player compared to Groß at 18.1 TSB%. Just £0.6 separate the two players, favoring Doucoure at £5.3. Bonus points favor Groß with 17 (vs 12). Looking at their numbers, Groß plays a bigger role (5 goals / 5 assists) for Brighton being involved in 33% of the scoring, while Doucoure (6 goals / 1 assist) has been involved in just 15%.