Welcome to the festive period, games fast and furious this week, as we roll or stumble out of the midweek fixtures and into the week with high hopes. After a -8 point hit last week and a green arrow up to 81k, I look to keep that holiday cheer jolly as I go into the week unchanged.
As I sit, contemplating my starting XI, any move I make this week doesn’t appear it will benefit me, which leads me to think that rolling the FT is the best option, to set myself up for next weekend. It would allow me to see what happens to the starters I have this week and give me potential to replace injured players, God forbid that happens.
In reality, I am setting myself up for multiple moves to improve my midfield. Unfortunately, I am can’t do that with one FT, it will cost me Johan Berg Gudmundsson, who’s been a bust since coming in GW12. I’ll admit he was a bit of a punt option, but does contribute to many of Burnley’s goal. In another surprising move two weeks ago, I decided to added Pascal Groß, just back from injury. He looked good in GW13 and Brighton had a run of three fixtures. Last week, he was hauled off after 30 minutes due to the Shane Duffy red card. He’s got one week left, away to Burnley, but he won’t be on my squad after this week.
Dropping Gudmundsson and Groß will free up £12.6. If I consider it’s a £4.5 (or £4.6) players it comes down to Victor Camarasa (£4.6) or Pierre Emile Højbjerg (£4.5). Neither great options, Camarasa possibly edging out Højbjerg, due to the fact he’s on PKs reportedly. When coming the statistics, it’s Højbjerg. Realistically, they are a fifth midfielder who won’t see much, if any playing time. So why not save that £0.1?
That leaves £8.1 ITB for a second midfielder. Son at £8.4 looks tempting, but do I need a second Spurs attacking option with Harry Kane in place? Bernardo Silva (£7.5) would provide that second attacking option paired with Leroy Sane, but I would need to transfer out Aymeric Laporte or Ederson and downgrade. Not sure I want to mess with a defense that has been very good all season for me. Sure, in the last few weeks there have been lost clean sheets but over the remainder of the season, they will keep another 10-12 clean sheets.
Other options to consider are Everton’s Glyfi Sigurdsson (£7.5), priced £0.4 more than Richarlison, who I have already owned and been burned by early in the season due to a red card. I already made the mistake going back in on a player (Groß) I previously owned and not sure I want to make the same mistake with the inconsistent play of the Brazilian. I know that’s not in line with the majority of FPL owners, but I feel Sigurdsson is a stronger call due to PK responsibility and the dead balls/set pieces he’s on. I think Felipe Anderson (£7.2) and James Maddison (£6.8) are both options, Anderson a bit higher due to their fixtures. The question that needs to be answered for West Ham is how are they going to get on without Marko Arnautovic up front? Anthony Martial (£7.6) is carrying a flag, but based on fixtures might be a worthy shout.
Bottom line, I will have two weeks to look these players over, break down the stats and see what direction I want to go. I might even change direction, as I am now big at the back and up front, while many fantasy managers continue to push millions into their midfield.
Bernd Leno (£4.8/1.9 TSB%)
Now is the time to get in on Arsenal defense, as they host a struggling Huddersfield squad, not known for an explosive attack, but have scored six in their last five games. We have been looking at the attack, but this is one of those games that could define the Gunners defense as viable or not. Leno has looked good, but the Holding injury might prove costly.
Sead Kolasinac (£4.9/1.6 TSB%)
Much like Leno, Arsenal defenders could provide good value this week. The Holding injury hurts the defense as a unit, but Kolasinac has been bombing forward. I still don’t see much in the Terriers team to worry this defensive unit. They might get a bump with the return of Monreal, but favor the big guy.
Stuart Armstrong (£5.1/0.8 TSB%)
Going to give a run out the kid, who’s popped for three goals in his last three games. Seems to have a hot foot and has looked worthwhile of a punt. Over the last three games, he’ put 12 attempts on goal, with five from inside the box. The Saints play a weak Cardiff team that are leaky, could be a great chance to get a cheeky return.
Salomon Rondon( £5.8/2.0 TSB%)
The Newcastle front man seems to have found form in the last four games, scoring three goals, as they face the flying Wolves offense, who picked up a win against Chelsea, but still haven’t been great in the last four games. I like Newcastle to return some attacking points this week and Rondon is their target; 11 penalty touches and 10 goal attempts, six inside the box.