Uncertainty and speculation ahead of DGW34 have caused me to abandon my initial DGW34 strategy after unexpected injuries to Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mohammad Salah. The return of Harry Kane to fitness does not but add to the confusion. lLet’s not forget about Man United’s “flat track bully” ahead of favorable match ups for the double gameweek. It’s challenging moving ahead without the use of a Wild Card or Free Hit chip.
Last week after reading a few tweets from Ben Crellin, I made the decision to rewards his efforts and pay for his spreadsheet service to finish out the season. I’ve been highly impressed with the two versions I have used within four days of each other and really hope he provides this service next season, as I find it useful. Armed with a new tool, I input data from my spreadsheet to Ben’s version and wasn’t liking what my potential team was looking like. Initially, I was looking to go heavy on defense with the likes of Marcus Alonso, Eric Bailly and Ederson. However, injuries and fear appear to have gotten the better of me and I am reconsidering how to proceed.
Like fantasy manager rolling over many iterations of their wild card team, I have been reading, researching and skimming Twitter for the “right” answer, to which there is no “one size fits all” answer. I knew this, but after a week of speculating and wavering on my FT, I believe I have come to a plan for DGW34/GW35, which I am playing together as a single gameweek.
This is my 15-man squad ahead of Gameweek 34, as I’ve take back-to-back -4 point hits, gaining 22 overall points (14 after the -8 point hit). It’s worked to my advantage. The decision to move Mkhitaryan was a tough call, but with no return date, it was an easy decision to make. Salah departing the ECL due to the thigh injury had be reconsidering the Egyptian’s place on my squad. After a few weeks to think on it, I will keep #AlwaysCaptainSalah in my midfield. More on him later.
Jamie Vardy and Heung-Min Son were brought in last week, totaling 10 points. Both feature in DGW34 and DGW37, with great potential based on their fixtures. However, both could make way for this week’s transfers, as the fear of potential has got the better of me. Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku have driven me crazy this week. Kane’s midweek crybaby antics got him a “ghost goal” he didn’t touch on the way into the goal. Lukaku has been hit and miss all season, starting like gangbusters the first 7 weeks, but going on the side of a milk carton from GW8 to GW27. He’s back with 3 goals/2 assists in the last 5 games and his reputation as a “flat track bully” has him being brought in by 71k fantasy managers this week (3rd best behind Kane and Vardy).
To make matters worse, it seems Kane will do ANYTHING to make sure he keeps that boot golden, even if he doesn’t get a touch on a ball. However, it could be the Spurs midfield who feed Kane like a starving dog to make sure he gets the Golden Boot, especially if his crying and antics got the goal reversed 3 days after fixtures ended. The fear of his potential is scary, but his actual performance this season for me has been piss poor. Honestly, I don’t want to bring him back and worse I don’t feel he deserves the captain’s armband. His failures on my squad outweigh his successes.
So what does this all mean? Probably a whole lot of nothing. Avoiding social media and FPL support sites would probably not have swayed my decisions, but consider me swayed. Unless news breaks that Salah won’t start against Bournemouth, I plan on taking a third -4 point hit to bring in Kane, Lukaku and a fifth midfielder. Kane at 31.3 TSB% and Lukaku at 29.8 TSB% have me worried that NOT owning either or both of these players could really have an adverse affect on my overall rank. Currently sitting at 153k and on the back of five green arrows in a row, my squad is peaking at the right time. Thus adding these two premium forwards seems to be the logical selections.
Bringing these two forwards in would see Vardy and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang depart my squad. the Arsenal forward has been excellent since GW32 with 3 goals over those games. Vardy picked up a late consolation goal last week to give him three in three games, as I have owned him for just a single week. The midfielder to be transferred out comes down to Mahrez or Son. The Algerian has a strong upside and high ceiling, but not sure how fantasy managers can trust a team who’s already on the beach, even though Mahrez needs to showcase himself for a big contract this summer. Son comes with a rotation risk with Erik Lamela. Son, scoreless in the last 2 games still has good underlying stats with and without Kane playing, but will he see both games this week?
Based on fixtures and form, my decision would be to move Mahrez to free up enough budget to bring Kane and Lukaku into my starting XI. That leaves £5.7 ITB for a fifth midfielder. Possible players include, Kenedy (£4.8), Johann Gudmundsson (£5.1), Ashley Young (£4.8), Lewis Cook (£4.3) or James Ward-Prowse (£5.0). If Sean Dyche can be trusted, Gudmundsson would be the best option with a DGW34 and a fixture in GW35, that’s one less transfer next week., leaving £0.6 ITB. Young is also a possibility, playing OOP as a left wing back, who likes to get forward, has recorded 5 assists on the season. Kenedy is a good shout, Newcastle in form, but not fond of the match up with Arsenal.
One of these listed midfielders will be brought in, as I will run out a 3-5-2 formation with 7 DGW players in my starting XI. It seems to the best option I can come up with that could carry a huge potential reward depending on how Kane and Lukaku finish. Still, the wild card to the week is Salah, it will be news from @AnfieldExpress and the starting XI for Liverpool that will make my decision for me. Risky? Hell yes, but also reeks of big points in this double gameweek.