Premier League: GW29 Retrospect

Two surprise moves ahead of Gameweek 29 resulted in a mixed bag at the end of the play. After weeks of planning towards BGW31 and DGW34, it seems I tossed it out the window and made a late transfers, thanks in part to FPL_Guidance. I also changed gears and attempted to rely on Harry Kane and not #AlwaysCaptainSalah on the weekend. Let’s just say I had a feeling, but it was not one to be goal filled.

One thing that all fantasy managers can agree upon, clean sheets have been hard to come by recently. Over the last 5 gameweeks I’ve only recorded four clean sheets. I’ve also shifted my budget from “big at the back” to attacking midfielders and a second premium forward. Unfortunately, the results haven’t been what as expected.

It’s just two green arrows in the last five weeks as I continue to turn my FPL season around. I fear my best run has been ran (GW7-15), where I gained 958k to top out at 171k. Since then it’s been a slow, downward death spiral with 14 red arrows since that time (just 5 green if you are keeping score). No matter the moves made, I just can’t seem to break out of the 500k.

Captaining Salah doesn’t benefit me, neither does Kane, but both need to be owned and one captained every week. Not sure I will see the expected jump come the DGWs, as I continue to plan for DGW34, attempting to hold transfers, but needing to play for the now, rather than wait for the later.

That said, David Silva was brought in for Marc Albrighton, who hadn’t been returning many attacking points. With £3.3 ITB ahead of GW29, I made a later Friday night decision to bring the City midfielder back in. Against Chelsea, he looked in form, however he will blank in GW31. Silva returned 9 points on an assist, clean sheet and 3 bonus points. At £7.9 he’s a bargain buy, especially those fantasy managers still on Paul Pogba.

Defensively, Virgil van Dijk provided just his second return since being introduced in GW23, with a clean sheet, in a 2-0 win over Newcastle. Intentions were to move van Dijk for Robertson to save budget, but I believe my attacking plans are in flux and a third premium forward might not be the best decision.

Ahmed Hegazi, Nathan Ake and Alfie Mawson combined for just 6 points. All but Mawson will feature in BGW31, thus the reason they are still being held, however expectations are very low for next week.

David de Gea failed to keep a clean sheet for Man United as they visited Crystal Palace, conceding 2 goals, first time in 5 weeks. It’s more apparent that it might be time to move off United’s defense, especially with the Lindelof/Smalling paring, which didn’t provide much help for de Gea. United has recorded one clean sheet in the last 5 gameweeks.

What do fantasy managers do with Arsenal assets? I brought Henrikh Mkhitaryan in during my wild card and it looked to be a great move, as he bagged 3 assists in GW26, but since then it’s been nothing. He could of had a few, but a missed header and saved penalty makes Mkhitaryan expendable. While the Gunners have great fixtures, their form is toilet (Thanks Always Cheating!) They don’t play in BGW31. Not sure they can beat Watford at home in GW30, which means I might just end up dropping the Gunner and not looking them for the run in.

Riyad Mahrez scored a stunner of a free kick to grab a late draw against Bournemouth, scoring 10 points. He’s potential captain material in GW30, but moving forward, he will play an important role. Currently he’s owned by just 8.9% of fantasy managers. Leicester don’t feature in BGW31 as well.

I moved off Mohammad Salah for the first time in 5 gameweeks and now I remember why I don’t want to give the armband to Kane. He continues to troll me when captained. I don’t see 10 points as a worthwhile return when captained. Sadly, that’s the second highest return he’s had for me, to date. As for Salah, the man is a machine and continues to be a model of consistency, regardless of his opponent.

As mentioned, David Silva looked excellent against Chelsea and he looks to return to form for City over the next few games. While he doesn’t feature in BGW31, fantasy managers are expecting good returns moving forward. I wasnt’ considering a City assets, but might keep Silva in my starting XI, take the hit for GW31 and plan for DGW34.

Up front Roberto Firmino chipped in for an assist and clean sheet (5 points) in Liverpool’s win. Future planning had me moving him for Jamie Vardy or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but those plans are now on hold. Vardy doesn’t fair well against the lower division clubs who crowd the box, not allowing Leicester counter attack. Aubameyang could have made a solid case IF he would have hit from the spot, but an easy save by Ederson has me reconsidering him in the starting XI.

For the week, it was 57 points, nine points better than the 46 point average. That saw my overall ranking climb 52k to 556k as I continue to claw my way up. It’s been very challenging to make any ground, as I continue to struggle.

The success of this season will come down to the DGWs and the results with the Triple Captain and Bench Boost chips. Planning continues, but it continues to change as we await the results of the FA Cup after Gameweek 31. I’ve been tentative plans, but even now I can’t be guaranteed the moves I make now will be viable in 5 weeks. It could also means I use more hits than expected. Currently I had figured in a total of -12 points to bring in 3 additional players, but that could jump as much as -8, to -20 depending on the direction I go. Could be a case of two steps back to get that one giant step forward? We will have to wait and see.

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