It’s still early Friday morning and I am mulling over my transfer options. I have a good idea who is leaving and who will be coming in, but I am just waiting until later in the day to confirm my transfers. At this point, not much can be said that will sway my decisions, as these moves should strengthen my starting XI for the short term, while providing me more ITB to cover the long term players I am looking to bring in the next few game weeks and over the international break.
While change is upon my squad, the defensive remains status quo ahead of game week 11. In goal, Ederson will look to make it seven clean sheets in a row, as City So’ton, who’ve lost three out of the last five and coming off two 0-0 draw. Like I have been doing since the start of the season, I am “doubling my pleasure” with City and will look to Benjamin Mendy to continue a run of “good” fixtures, providing returns. I will look past last Monday’s abomination at Wembley and that pitch.
No surprises with my defense as Marcos Alonso and Andrew Robertson round out my starting defense. These two premium defenders, coupled with Mendy are owned by 25.3% of fantasy mangers in the top 1000. No others statistic I need as this has been one of my best decisions on the season.
Up front, I feel confident in the trio of Sergio Aguero, Marko Arnautovic and Callum Wilson to bang on this week. It was a challenge last week after Arnie was a late scratch and Aguero went tits up, while Wilson finished 13 points. Confidence is high for Sergio and Arnautovic at home, but Wilson worries me. Even though Bournemouth are home, they face a resurgent Man United team that appear to be headed in the right direction, taking seven points in their lasts three fixtures.
It’s been a whirlwind 7-10 with Kevin De Bruyne on the comeback trail, but Eden Hazard bothered by a nagging back. Then there is bandwagon extraordinaire, Ross Barkley. Really? Not in my squad. I’d feel more comfortable tossing support in the direction of Gerard Deulofeu at £5.4 rather than Barkley. I feel expectations have skyrocketed at a 17 point showing, which is the exception, not the norm when it comes the Chelsea midfielder. There is considerably more rotation in the Blues midfield than with Deulofeu, just returning from injury, working his way back to 80-90 minutes a game.
That said, I have been playing with a few midfield options in an attempt to bolster a part of the fantasy game that has been scored only 147 points (3.68/PPG). Compare that to the 218 points (6.23) scored by my defense. Something needs to be done. While Mo Salah finally showed flashes of last season, he can’t do it alone. Not completely sold on Ryan Fraser, but he retains his starting spot, even with a run of tough fixtures in the short term.
By far, Theo Walcott and Lucas Moura have been the biggest disappointments since coming into my team. Statistics and opportunity presented themselves, but neither player has stepped up to consider themselves viable options. If it weren’t for the patience I continue to demonstrate, both would have been gone weeks ago. Yet, here were are in game week 11 and I am now getting around to sending them back in favor of players who appear to be in good form with some favorable games upcoming.
While I was hoping to get both Walcott and Moura out this week, it won’t work in my favor next week, if I use both my FTs. James Milner is the sticky wicket, my third Liverpool player. He needs to make way in game week 12, in order to add Virgil van Dijk. That means, this week is a single transfer, as Walcott FINALLY gets dropped and I turn to Will Hughes. The Watford midfielder has been playing OOP on the right flank, but been given the freedom to come inside, playing more of a central role. This requires Kiko Femenia to fill in down the right flank. At £5.0, Hughes has scored just 31 points with a goal and assist, second in minutes played with 820.
This move leaves me with £2.7 ITB and two free transfers next week, which will allow me to bring in van Dijk for Bennett and a £6.2 or less midfielder. Sorry, Ross Barkley isn’t an option but was considering Johan Berg Gudmundsson of Burnley. The Clarets have good fixtures through game week 16, and he’s been effective down the flank.
Slow and steady, take no chances and play boring. That’s my motto this season. Let’s not forget to have patience. I know it makes for unexciting FPL, but it’s seen me climb nearly 800k since the start of the season. With any luck and a correct captain selection, I can be inside the top 100k by the end of the game week. Good luck to all the FPL managers out there.