It seems to more difficult each week to put together a transfer plan midweek. Here we are again, on Wednesday, as I look over the upcoming fixtures and my 15-man squad, not know what move to make. Typical that means, don’t do anything, which is actually a consideration this week. Any potential move this week would make weight for a possible midfielder next week. I continue to mull over a few options on direction over this hectic festive period.
Last week, I was ready to bring David Luiz into my starting XI, to get my third defensive double up. I’ve been running with double Man City and Liverpool defense for a few weeks now and it has paid off, as my team continues to post good points because of clean sheets. While that source of points could quickly dry up, I will continue to take anything I can get. Combined, Liverpool and City have conceded just 10 goals on the season, amazing total on the season through 26 games.
While Luiz was on the table, I am reconsidering the viability of Crystal Palace defender, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who continues to post point. In game week 13, from the second bench spot, he picked up 6 points, which was good enough to vault me into the top 100k for the first time in over 3 years, as I now sit at 92k in the OR. The difference this week, AWB didn’t pick up the three bonus points, as he had been doing earlier in the season. Palace play BUR/bha/whu/LEI in the next before a trip to the Eithad, followed by Cardiff in game week 19. I can see three clean sheets out of that run of fixtures.
Holding AWB makes Luiz expendable and I turn my attention to another transfer plan ahead of this game week. Luiz will remain in my thought but not before game week 17. The other option, I turn to bulking up a midfield that has really struggled this season, outside of Salah. I was late to the Fraser party and honestly, he hasn’t been too impressive since I brought him in for game week 6. Over that period, he’s scored by 33 points, averaging 4.12/PPG. At £5.8 during the time of purchase he was good value and probably better value now, priced at £6.2.
The remainder of my midfielder, Lucas Moura, who’s been a complete flop, worst transfer on the year and I continue to ask myself why I own him. Will Hughes, a perennial 90-minute player and highly influential for Watford going forward in attack. Unfortunately, the Hornets forgot how to put shots on target, which has Hughes struggling. Since bringing in Johan Berg Gudmundsson, he hasn’t started, struggling with an injury, when I brought him in two weeks ago and illness this week.
While many fantasy managers are looking at getting City midfielders, they don’t tempt me. David Silva…maybe but I am looking closer at Dele Alli or Christian Eriksen. Now, I usually doing like going back to a player who failed me earlier in the season, but Eriksen is class. I ran him out for two weeks to start the season before I moved him on, as he picked up two returns in three weeks, then struggled with injury. Now he appears to be fit and posted two assists last week for 11 points, including all three bonus.
While £9.2 is a tough price to swallow, it means a decision needs to be made on Marko Arnautovic or Callum Wilson. West Ham has a sea of green through game week 21, but continues to struggle with a knee injury. Wilson, is fit but Bournemouth has terrible run of fixtures that include Man City, Liverpool, Spurs and Man United in the next seven weeks. Just how good is that Cherries offense? Is it good enough to stay doubled up on their attack? Doubtful, meaning one of those attackers departs.
In order to introduce Eriksen, Arnie would need to be sacrificed. If Alli were the selection, I would have £5.6 to place on a third forward. Not many options at that price point, which means I look even cheaper at £4.6, Issac Success. Knowing he isn’t starting for Watford, he has played in every game for Watford, started three, but does seem to get 30-35 minutes. That would leave me £1.0 ITB, limiting my formation options due to the lack of a starting third forward.
If I play it real cheeky, I drop Arnie and bring in Fulham’s Aboubakar Kamara, £4.3 leaving me £3.7 ITB, enough to upgrade to a £9.7 or less third midfielder in place of Gudmundsson. That’s Sane, D. Silva, Mahrez, Alli, Eriksen or Son. Suddenly I am looking at a 4-5-1 or 5-4-1 formation for the holiday period as I would continue to run Aguero out as the lone striker.
At this point, I am not willing to part with Mo Salah (£13.0) or Aguero (£11.5), as their ownership is too high by those managers in the top 1000. It’s a numbers game I continue to play, which equates to template, but to this point it’s got me to 92k on a slow, steady climb. Tactically, playing boring seems to be working.
It appears that whichever decision is made, any transfer this week wouldn’t be included in my starting XI. So, it appears I will be rolling my FT for the week, as I probably start all five defenders, and potentially bench Arnie and Wilson.
As for game week 14, if you are looking for transfer options, here are a few differentials you might consider.
Jonas Lossl (£4.4/TSB% 1.5)
On the back of just their second win on the season, against Wolves, I tap David Wagner’s Terriers to get the job done this week as Brighton come to town. Glenn Murray has a knock, but isn’t as prolific on away from The Amex. Aaron Mooy looked sharp and I feel Huddersfield Town has a bit of momentum, as they had been “close” all season. A win this week would be huge!
Adam Masina (£4.3/TSB% 0.1)
It’s rare I select a Watford player, but with Jose Holebas struggling with a calf injury, I am going to take a punt on Masina to grab the start away to Leicester City. The Foxes are missing james Maddison, which could see the offense struggle. Jamie Vardy doesn’t get too many chances on target. I feel coming off a good showing in a 3-0 loss to Liverpool, the Hornets will get the business done.
Gerard Deulofeu (£5.4/TSB% 0.8)
Going forward, Watford appears more determined, as Javi Gracia has started Deulofeu OOP as a forward. He’s looked excellent in attack, but like the rest of the Watford attackers, none of them can seem to get shots on target. With Harry Maguire missing from the Foxes defense, I think Gerry will net his second on the season. He’s been the most dangerous looking attack since his return.
Salomon Rondon (£5.7/TSB% 1.4)
Not sold on the West Ham defense, in a run that is supposed to be “easy” fixtures. Newcastle is coming off three, count them, three wins in a row! Rondon bagged a brace two weeks ago and got 70 minutes last week. He’s looked good in the last week and see Rafa running him out again against a very suspect defensive unit that conceded four to City but also four to Burnley.