After a let down in game week 14, anticipation of the mid-week fixtures was running high. For my squad, I made a hasty decision on Monday evening, while podding with Casey, Garf and Gabe, as part of Academica Vertex and too a 08 point hit, my first hit of the season. To be completely honest, I really didn’t have much of a plan at the conclusion of Sunday’s fixtures. While I did have a few player concerns ahead of the mid-week fixtures, I had planned on make any potential change on Tuesday
Garf was the “pusher” I needed, as we discussed our teams, ahead of the live stream. Once on air, he wasted no time making the decision to take a points hit to bring a group of new players in an attempt to improve his OR of 600k. That’s traditionally where I have been at, rather low, struggling, attempting to put together a plan to make some headway up the ranking. This year, out of game week 14, my score was above the weekly average, but saw a small red arrow, down to 97k. Still, I was pleased with my result and looked ahead.
While much of this season has been predicated on “patience” while following the ownership percentages of the top 1000 managers, the Monday “knee jerk” was done to inject a bit excitement into my otherwise boring season. Now, boring isn’t always a bad thing, but it felt there were some players who weren’t performing to their potential. While I don’t want to bad mouth Mo Salah, my most consistent performer, I agree with many on Twitter, he wasn’t playing up to his £13.0 price tag. Sergio Aguero was similiar, priced at £11.5, but some consistent returns up to game week 13.
While both players were still owned by a majority of the managers in the top 1000, I was hesitant to move off either player. Garf, really didn’t talk much sense into me, but as we discussed ahead of game week 14, fixtures were turning and teams like Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea were coming into some favorable runs. Was it worth moving stalwart players who had got me to my 97k ranking?
There was almost no thought ahead of my -8 point hit. I didn’t put much effort into reviewing stats or considering alternate players. When I pulled up my squad, I immediately dropped Aguero, Salah and Marko Arnautovic. The West Ham forward had struggled with just two returns in seven weeks, looked more like the walking dead, rather than a £7.0 forward. In their place I brought in Harry Kane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Leroy Sane. Remaining ITB, 0.0. I had enough and we were on the verge of a price increase that would see Aubameyang increasing. Decision rendered, I clicked the notice I was about to take negative points for the additional transfers.
Now, as we approach the Wednesday evening games, the move appears to have paid off. Sane finished on 7 points, nearly making up the -8 point hit I took. Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson each returned 12 points. Unfortunately, Man City conceded very late to a struggling Watford, as Ederson was yellow carded. Between him and Aymeric Laporte, just three points. At this point, I have no intentions of moving either Man City asset. Sure, they have Chelsea on the weekend, but after that a strong run that should see the back get back into good form. My punt on Pascal Groß probably would have paid off, but Shane Duffy went and got himself red carded, which changed the formation, as Groß was substituted after 30 minutes for a painful one point performance. That saw a 24k green arrow to 73k, my highest rank ever in FPL!
Add to that, it’s been three price increases for Aubameyang, as the “template” appears to be shifting in the top 1000, as Aguero has dropped out, also see Arnautovic going the same way, soon to be replaced. Raheem Sterling has also moved into the template, but at his price, I am unable to gain his service. His midfield partner, Sane also increased in price this week. Another player on my list in the next two weeks, Felipe Anderson, but need to drop Will Hughes and grab a £4.5 midfielder, Victor Camarasa or Pierre-Emile Højbjerg. That move, ahead of game week 16 will give me enough to upgrade Groß, who’s fixtures turn to get Anderson.
I will consider myself very lucky ahead of game week 15. It’s been a very strange week and we still have games to be played to round out this fixture. Could be some big changes coming ahead of the weekend. Good luck to all those FPL managers!