Last week I intentionally rolled my free transfer to set me up for multiple moves ahead of game week 17. It’s been a real shot in the arm, as my team value has risen to £104.0 on the back of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Leroy Sane, new players into sqaud ahead of game week 16. It has opened the door to potential bolster a stagnant midfield that could use a bit more excitement, as it’s been the Achilles heel of my squad all season long.
I continue to concern myself with one number over all others. That number is ‘1000’. This represents the top 1000 managers in FPL. Why? I feel in order to keep pace with this group, you must do as they do. It seems simple, right? Build your 15-man squad with players who are owned by this group of managers and you should have a competitive squad and one that will be consistent, week in, week out.
In order to get this figure, you must have a membership to Fantasy Football Fix. Without a membership, you can see the top 5000 managers, which should give you a good information to build on. At this point, I can ignore many of the other statistics that are bantered about on Twitter. While I do consult some general statistics on a regular basis, I return to the top 1000 managers to make my decisions.
This week with 2 FT ahead of game week 17 I continue to monitor the status of Bournemouth’s, Callum Wilson, who missed last weekend with a hamstring. Ahead of the game, there was nothing mentioned in the Eddie Howe presser concerning Wilson. Suddenly, a flag and he was benched. Rumor is, he will be fit for a trip to Molineux Stadium. Could be a great match up for Wilson, as Wolves are attack minded, which will allow Wilson lots of room to run in the attacking third. Keep in mind Wolves haven’t kept a clean sheet for eight week and conceded 10 goals in their last six games.
Wilson, now at £7.0 has been excellent all season with 8 goals and 8 assists on the season with 92 points, just six behind Aubameyang. Looking ahead, the Cherries run into a buzz saw of a schedule starting game week 19 with six games in 11 fixtures against the top six in the Premier League. The thought of moving Wilson to fund a shift in personnel could be warranted. However, I am getting a few weeks ahead of myself. A direct replacement for Wilson in two weeks could be Raul Jimenez.
With that information in mind, I take a look at my 2 FTs I look at a midfield that is averaging 3.77/PPG, which is well off the pace of my defenders (5.77/PPG) and forwards (5.13/PPG). Until game week 14 I had Mo Salah in my starting XI, but moved for Leroy Sane ahead of game week 15. Ryan Fraser at £6.3 represents good value, even in the face of fixtures that are soon to turn. There are a few names on a short list to bring in to my starting XI. While I can’t afford the likes of Raheem Sterling, Eden Hazard or even Mo Salah. There have been some in form midfielders that have broke into the top 1000 manager template.
Some of the players I’ve been considering the past few weeks, but due to FDR, I’ve held off bringing in. First and probably most controversial, as I have slagged him much of the season, Everton’s, Richarlison (£7.1). A summer transfer pocketing Watford £44 million should have been enough to keep my smiling as a supporter, but I felt we were still done wrong by Everton. The Brazilian was terrible from mid-season on last year, some of which could have been due to fatigue. After watching him, he still needs to prove he can play a 38-game schedule. That said, you can’t take away the talent he possess and the fact Marco “The Snake” Silva is playing him OOP as a forward.
Another player I’ve started paying attention to, with the injury to Marko Arnautovic, Felipe Anderson (£7.3) has started to assume some of the responsibility with 5 goals and an assist in the last six games. West Ham still in an excellent run of fixtures, he could be a great addition at a good price to an ailing midfield. I’ve looked at Heung-min Son (£8.5) but it would require too much surgery and a downgrade at defender and midfield, something I am not willing to do right now.
Will Hughes is still flagged and while I continue to look at moving him, there are other pressing issues to address before I look for a 90 minute fifth midfielder. He could be downgraded to free up £0.5-0.6 depending on what direction I took adding an incoming player. Victor Camarasa and Pierre Emile Højbjerg are current considerations, but until I have no other issues that are more pressing, Hughes will sit as my third bench, in hopes he’s not called on this December.
Moving Pascal Groß and possibly against my better judgment, Aymeric Laporte would free up £12.7. This would allow me to bring in Matt Doherty and Felipe Anderson this week, leaving £0.3 ITB for future moves. City hasn’t been clean on defense in the last three games, with a single CS in their last six games. Fixtures are strong with only Liverpool in game week 21. Wolves, as mentioned, haven’t been kept a clean sheet in eight games. Defensively, it looks like a wash, but Doherty does have offensive advantage. His three attacking returns over the last three games week has returned 19 points.
The other defensive option would be to bring in David Luiz (£5.6) as opposed to Doherty, shifting my double City defense to double Chelsea. The Blues have the best run of fixtures (based on defensive sorting) over the next 6 weeks. City’s only blemish is Liverpool. Luiz does bring more attacking potential than Laporte but both teams have strong fixtures. This could sound like I’m talking myself out of bringing in Doherty for the upcoming run of fixtures.
Luiz ends up being a bit limiting, as I would end up £0.2 short of going in on Anderson. With £7.1 ITB, it could be a straight move to Richarlison, but Everton’s fixtures are terrible (mci/TOT) and I don’t see returns in either game for the Brazilian. Already owning Fraser leaves me considering;
- Roberto Pereyra (£6.2) 72 points | 2 assists in last 4 gms
- James Maddison (£6.8) 67 points | 2 goals in the last 4 gms
- Robert Snodgrass (£5.3) 37 points | 1 goal, 2 assists in the last 4 gms
- Lucas Torreria (£5.1) 51 points | 2 goals, 1 assist in the last 4 gms
As for transfer options ahead of game week 17, if you are in need of a differential, have a look at some of these options. Conditions for these selections, lower owned (usually a TSB% of less than 5.0 and budget priced)
Ben Foster (£6.2 / 4.0% TSB)
Foster has made 13 saves in his last four games, picking up two bonus points last weekend. While his defense has resulted in a few errors leading to goals, Foster has put together some excellent showings. Coming off a tough draw at Everton, Watford should handle Cardiff with a potential clean sheet.
Christopher Schindler (£4.4 / 3.3% TSB)
Going to back Huddersfield this weekend, as they host Newcastle, who’ve scored just 6 goals away from St. James’. Huddersfield have played better at home than on the road, which gives me confidence they could put together a win or at worst draw with the Magpies. He’s top in tackles and aerial duels won and second in CBI behind Zanka.
Abdoulaye Doucoure (£5.9 / 1.6% TSB)
On the back of two returns in two games, Doucoure has been playing with a new confidence in the Watford midfield. A great go ahead goal against Everton, as he continues to shine in the midfield. I look for Doucoure to put into another strong shift against Cardiff with another attacking return.
Andy Carroll (£5.4 / 0.1% TSB)
Carroll is healthy and played 45 minutes last weekend. Lucas Perez continues to carry a flag ahead of their game week 17 fixture at Craven Cottage. Have nothing else to go on other than a gut feel he could be a viable cut rate option for West Ham against the league’s worst defense.