What a week! We still have one game week to go as I feel like I am in the back of a pink Cadillac with Thelma and Louise heading towards the edge of the Grand Canyon. While I am not Irish (maybe it’s because I listen to the Fantasy King Podcast), it seems luck could not have struck at a better time. I came out of game week 14 last weekend on 54 points (avg. 49 points) and a small red down about 5k to 97k in the OR. This week had the appearance of train wreck in the making with rotation hitting many fantasy managers hard.
One of the keys to navigating the Festivus period, a playing bench. It cannot be stressed enough leading up to this period in the FPL season. The reason behind this is simple when key players, like Sterling, Salah and Aguero don’t play you might be able to recover a few points. Now, the likes of Hughes, Gudmundsson and Wan-Bissaka will probably never completely cover the points lost from the premiums, but in a game week, where players aren’t performing, clean sheets were nil and attacking returns were few and far between, ANY points you can score is good.
For me, I took a calculated gamble ahead of the mid-week fixtures and brought in Kane, Aubmeyang and Sane. Sunday during the Academica Vertex, on the back of Garf (FPL Shark) pulling the trigger on a -8 point hit, I took one of my own. If there was anytime to make a change, this was the perfect implementation of that play. I grabbed 33 points with my new transfers, while Salah hit for only 4 points. A difference of 29 points in my favor. Talk about “luck of Irish” as stare at Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate)!
Over the course of 14 games my team had been built on a stout (nice beer reference, eh?) defense. While I have no intentions of dropping any of my premium defenders at this points this was the first week I saw ZERO clean sheets returns, rather surprised, to be honest. Thankfully, Virgil van Dijk rescued me with his second assist in two games (5 points). Ederson, Marcos Alonso and Aymeric Laporte combined for three points. City SHOULD have kept a CS against Watford. They had gone 85 minutes, but didn’t look their best, up 2-0 before a late scramble resulted in a cheeky Watford goal, a swing of 9 points.
While I am still a big Mo Salah fan, it was time. While I won’t rule out Salah returning to my starting XI, his £13.0 was starting to be restrictive, especially watching City destroy teams. While I was not out to get a City mid when I contemplated my transfers last Sunday, I had just enough (£9.3) to get Sane. It was a great move, as he returned 7 points on the day. A week earlier I had picked up Pascal Groß as an uber differential (1.6 TSB%), but he was substituted on 30 minutes after a Shane Duffy red card. It was Ryan Fraser who finished on a goal and assist in the Cherries 2-1 win over Huddersfield. Big points in a big week.
Up front, I feel more at ease seeing Harry Kane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Callum Wilson in my starting XI. Kane was a move I had contemplated a few weeks earlier but the fixtures still looked a bit prohibitive, unlike the 2-week punt that I wrote about when Spurs played Brighton and Huddersfield, starting in game week 7. Spurs have an outstanding run with only Man United in game week 22 to trip them up, this could be Kane’s time to shine. That is just what he did with 12 points, let’s not forget the armband, doubling his haul to 24 points.
While Aubameyang looked excellent last weekend, he was unable to muster any attacking return against United, however Alexandre Lacazette, off the bench picked up a goal. Aubamyeng had a few good chances. Arsenal still have a good run and he’s still got great form. Then there was Wilson, a player I had considered moving as I didn’t want to go into Bournemouth’s rough patch with a double. At this point, I am willing to ride it out as I feel both are essential at their price points. Wilson, like his teammate finished on 12 points.
I finished the week with a total of 67 points, an excellent haul on the back of a very ugly week for many. Figure in the -8 point hit and I was still scored 59 points (avg. 45 points) and saw a 16k increase to 81k! That makes it it three green arrows in the last four games. More importantly, I continue to see prices rises that has taken my team value to £103.3!