Last night Casey (FPL_Tornado), Gabe (FPLLens) and I recorded Episode 21: Save My Wild Card, live on Google Hangouts for the Academica Vertex. Casey was on his wild card and we were looking to give advice and opinions ahead of game week 14. I thought I was done and ready for the Premier League action, until I got received a DM message that put a dumbfounded look on my face, as if I had never played FPL before. I was lost, like a ship without a rudder in a sea of green, not sure what to do. When that’s that case, holding and rolling the FT is usually the best option.
I will be the first to admit I have done two things differently this season, which sees me at 92k, just 17 points away from top 50k! The first, playing boring. I have been big on the key metric, VAPM (read FPL Key Metrics) or ‘value added per million,’ it was a Reddit thread that caught my interest in pre-season and have continued to use the stat. The second, watching TSB% of the top 1000 managers, which varies greatly with all managers across FPL. Ahead of my transfer this week, I have have 9 out of 15 players owned by the top 1000 managers, key players missing, Richarlison and Eden Hazard.
Now, boring can sometimes be equated with patience. Yet, looking back to my game week 3 wild card, with little data to go on, Richarlison could have been seen as “chasing points” but the Brazilian had three goals in two games and was a hot commodity. Unfortunately 40 minutes into game week 3 and he was red carded, what ensued, knee jerking in Theo Walcott as a Richarlison replacement for game week 4. On the back of two assists, he trolled all fantasy managers.
I got sucked in again, in game week 7 on the back of Lucas Moura, who had returned two goals and an assist with good looking fixtures. He would go on to score a single goal, that one game week (GW11) I benched him. While I don’t recall the circumstances around the Moura selection at this time, he has been the most frustrating player to own this year. But what comes next could be a similar vein as these two transfers.
On the back of a “reliable source,” who’s FPL opinions I value, with a strong track record of high finishes, I brought in Brighton’s, Pascal Groß. While the Seagulls midfielder returned last week, putting in 81 minutes and having a goal disallowed due to an offside call, the midfielder can bang, as we saw much of last year, at a budget price (£5.9), finishing on 7 goals and 8 assists, 10 clean sheets and 24 bonus points. An amazing 164 total points!
I have also done something I don’t like doing, I brought back a player I started with. Groß was in my opening day lineup (with Eriksen) but dropped during the wild card (GW3) has he wasn’t featuring for all 90 minutes. Then an ankle injury in game week 4 and he’s missed the last eight games, but returns to face an away trip to Huddersfield, who’s conceded 22 goals on the season, but winners of two out of three.
This move goes against everything I’ve been about this year! However, Moura hasn’t exactly been returning attacking points. Brighton’s fixtures over the next three weeks include; hud/CRY/bur. A very favorable run, which could have people looking at Groß as a midfield option. While his tenure on my squad could be short lived, his TSB% of 1.6 makes this a low risk selection, as Moura appeared to be losing out on pitch time with Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Heung-min Son all back and returning to fitness.
He also bridges a nice into a few future options, including a Spurs midfielder and/or Gylfi Sigurdsson when Everton come out of a bumpy patch of fixtures, into a nice run starting game week 19. I’ve also said, if he this this week I will have the name of a new Friday features for the remainder of the season.