Having no Wild Card or Free Hit Chip, I have downplayed the last week or so, showing little interest in FPL. Not to mention the AFL kicked off the Premiership season in Australia, so my attention has been diverted. Maybe that’s a good thing, as I have not concerned myself with many happenings in in FPL or on Twitter, if it hasn’t been #FPLBeerClub related.
I did spend a few hours listening to a handful of podcasts that addressed the impending DGW34, followed by BGW35 and how to navigate this tricky run of fixtures, while keeping an eye on DGW37 and the remaining fixtures that need to be slotted in to round out the EPL season.
Initial thoughts for the rest of the season will be to field the best players available, while minimizing point hits. First thought was the play the remainder of the season out in two parts, GW32-GW35 would comprise the first part, followed by GW36-GW38. However, I felt vulnerable for BGW35, if I loaded to heavily on DGW34 players, so my strategy has shifted its scope.
Looking ahead I am going to build for a squad around BGW35 and DGW37 and let the chips fall where they may for DGW34. I did retain the Triple Captain and Bench Boost for double gameweeks, but looking at the numbers, we have already seen, you don’t need to save the TC for a DGW. Mohammad Salah post out of this would numbers (58 points) as a captain in BGW31. He’s at the top of my Triple Captain list with some outstanding fixtures remaining, none of them a DGW.
Based on a piece from Peter Blake at Mathematically Safe, I have decided to hedge my bet, defensively rather than offensively when it comes to the DGWs. “Goalkeepers and defenders will over-index in terms of points gained in the DGWs,” Peter writes. From GW1, I have been defensively minded for the entire season, it’s paid dividends as well. For DGW37, I still plan on fielding as many DGWs players as feasible, knowing right now I will keep Salah in my 15-man squad.
This isn’t the first article I have written on this subject, but hopefully it will be the last, barring any sort of wrench tossed in by the scheduling of the remaining EPL fixtures. I turn my attention to defense, as I alluded to earlier as I look to build my DGW37 squad. Ahead of GW32, here’s my current squad, which was put together during my second wild card, activated during GW23. Since then I have rolled a few FTs and brought a few players ahead of BGW31. Currently I have no FTs banked, which leaves me a total of 5 FTs to get my squad in order for DGW37.
With David de Gea (£5.9) already in place as my starting GK, I will ride out the next 4-5 gameweeks with Jordan Pickford as my backup before. Pickford will give way to Ederson (£5.6) for DGW37, which will give me four opportunities as posting clean sheets. Man United visit Brighton and still have to make up games with West Ham and Bournemouth, both away from from home. Ma n City, should have the league won, but Ederson is the stalwart, facing Huddersfield and Brighton, both at home.
As mentioned, I have no problems spending my budget to build a strong defense. Marcos Alonso (£7.2) and Eric Bailly (£6.0) will anchor my back line as Matt Lowton (£4.4), Wes Morgan (£4.4) and Paul Dummett (£4.2) all offer budget friendly prices to invest in the DGW. Alonso wasn’t in the initial planning, but I had enough ITB and felt it was worth downgrading Harry Maguire to Morgan in order to add the Chelsea man. However, Leicester’s defense has been horrendous, so with £0.1 ITB, Morgan would be seen as a question mark.
While Salah (£9.9) will be the premium defender for the run in, we know Liverpool do not have any double gameweeks. However his form and scoring this season have tagged him as “essential.” Riyad Mahrez (£8.7), HUeng-Min Son (£8.3) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (£7.4) will round out the midfield, while Kenedy (£4.7) will replace Luka Milivojevic as my budget fifth. Son’s inclusion is contingent on the availability of Harry Kane (ankle). If the front man returns, I might look elsewhere for a differential to field in DGW34, with Willian (£7.1) being top on the list.
Up front, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang is already in my 15-man squad, which has looking for two other forwards who double. Not at all impressed with Jamie Vardy (£8.8), I plan on bringing him in just for DGW37. Tentative plans also include Charlie Austin (£5.8), as So’ton has two games to make up. But, much like the midfield plans, Austin could be rolled out and Marcus Rashford (£7.4), on a punt could be brought with money saved from shipping Son.
WEEK BY WEEK TRANSFERS
GW32 (FT plus -4 hit)
IN: Aubameyang, Lowton
OUT: Niasse, Hegazi
GW33 (FT plus -4 hit)
IN: Hadergjonaj, Son
OUT: Tarkowski, Silva
DGW34 (FT used)
BGW35 (FT used)
GW36 (FT used)
DGW37 (FT plus -4 hit)
IN: Ederson, van Dijk
OUT: Pickford, Alonso
This is the tentative plan, depending on what happens to the remaining fixtures that have yet to be scheduled. It could be this plan will be up for change, should the remaining games be scheduled outside of DGW37.
As for chip usage, I am currently planning on using the Bench Boost Chip in DGW37, as all 15 players will have a double gameweek. The Triple Captain Chip isn’t as clear cut. Currently, I am considering Salah in GW34 (BOU), GW36 (STO) or GW38( BHA). Even have some thought of GW37, away to WBA. The DGW players I am currently considering are Aubameyang, Mahrez or Austin.
Be curious to hear your thoughts, ideas or just general comments.