Sanchez: Stick or Move?

Fantasy managers continue to plan for BGW31, but let’s not lose sight of the gameweek at hand and the 3 weeks leading up, which provide time to solidify plans. After a week away from the EPL due to the FA Cup, many manager on Twitter continue to refer to Ben Crellin on Twitter and what the results have done to the upcoming DGWs and BGWs.

Feeling pretty confident about the 8 or 9 players I will field, depending on what I do with Alexis Sanchez. Plans were to move him this week as the second of 2 FT, which Marcos Alonso (£7.2) already dropped in favor of Ahmed Hegazi (£4.7), to free up budget to strengthen the midfielder and the forward position. Roberto Firmino (39.9 TSB%) is too highly owned to be ignore but it will be Sadio Mané (7.4 TSB%) who could be the differential moving forward.

While there will be some planning for BGW31, the short term is what to do with Sanchez. Reviewing his previous 3 games, Sanchez has 24 penalty touches, 9 goal attempts, 7 coming inside the box. Out of the 3 big chances, he’s scored just 1 goal.

Looking at the next 4 games, it’s home games against Chelsea and Liverpool, with an away trip to Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace before a blank in GW31. At £11.7, is he worth retaining for these ugly fixtures? Ownership of 4.8% still dictates he’s a big differential but his recent attacking returns of 2, 5 and 2 say otherwise. At his price, I can invest in any premium midfielder.

Looking at fixtures the next 4 gameweeks using the Season Ticker at Fantasy Football Scout has Spurs with the best fixtures, while their GW31 game against Newcastle is a question mark. Christian Erikson (£9.2) or Heung-Min Son (£8.1) lead the way. Just a single assist between the two players in the last 4 gameweeks doesn’t breed much confidence. If I include Dele Alli (£8.9), they have totaled just 2 assists.

A strong case can be made for Theo Walcott (£7.3), as Everton have a GW31 fixture playing wat/bur/BHA/sto in the next 4 weeks. He’s posted 2 goals, 1 assist since joining the Toffees and has looked looked promising for Big Sam. Everton have scored 7 goals in their last 5 games.

Conventional wisdom would tip a Liverpool player. Sure, they playing Man United in GW30, but are home to WHU, NEW and WAT in GW31. Already owning Virgil van Dijk and Mohammad Salah, the question becomes, Mané or Firmino? Having just one premium forward, Harry Kane, it would be wise to pick up the Brazilian, who’s been in good form, 3 goals, 2 assists in the last 5 games. Not owning him for BGW31 could prove a disaster.

He’s what my squad could look like ahead of Gameweek 28. With £3.6 ITB, I can move struggling forward, Callum Wilson out and bring Firmino in. This gives me a second premium forward, who is in form and has great fixtures ahead of him and will feature in BGW31.

This also allows me to hold Sanchez for another week, even though the Red Devils have a tough home fixture against Chelsea. While I don’t intend on handing him the captain’s armband. FPL_Guidance appears to have made his decision with Sanchez.

With overall points a premium, I can’t justify a -4 point hit to move Sanchez this week. If I had more confidence in Riyad Mahrez, I would bring the Algerian straight in. After the botched January transfer window, he missed 2 games and had just a 28 minute cameo in GW 27 in Leicester’s 5-1 loss away to Man City. At 6.8 TSB% he’s one to watch moving forward.

At this point, I am attempting to best use my FTs, avoiding unnecessary hits and lateral moves (VVD to Mané). While the Wilson to Firmino replaces one BGW31 player with another, I feel it’s worth the risk and should pay off the longer I own him. Still have a few days to reconsider other options before setting my starting XI.

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