Oh how things have gone terribly wrong since activating my second wild card after the start of BGW33. Based on how I approached the end of the season, I still feel it was the appropriate time to active the wild card, in anticipation of big points and green arrows. Now, a week later I am not sure of anything FPL related. DGW34 resulted in a small 2.5k red arrow, but I was able to maintain a top 15k spot.
Looking over my squad and discussing it on Thursday evening with the lads at the FPL Roundtable, as we recoreed, Episode 2: Damage Control. I am not sure what compelled me to transfer in, some of the players I did. At the time, my strategy and plan appeared solid on paper. As we know the games are played on the pitch and rarely do we want to consider the “what if” scenarios. What if Deeney gets a red? What if Duffy and Ryan don’t return? Many FPL managers, like myself only saw potential returns, not landmines.
Puttin’ on the Hits
All season long I have prided myself on the fact I have taken 2 hits for a -8, gaining 177 points on my 36 transfers I’ve made. Massive return this season when it came to making positive returns on my transfers. Now, in order to “fix” my starting XI and give myself a higher probability of returning points with the Bench Boost enabled, I am staring down the cost of -16 points to potentially right this listing ship.
If I were to run with my original plan, I line up in a 4-4-2 formation, with Duffy, Deulofeu, Deeney and Ryan on the bench, with the Bench Boost Chip activated. Looking at the the bench, I feel the chip is being wasted this week, maybe scoring 4-6 points, if Deulofeu plays and with the Deeney suspension. Not high on the Brighton assets after their dismal performances last weekend.
The Fix is In
Anything broken can potentially be fixed. The wild card is that tool that allows us to repair our FPL squad when players we have are out of form, flagged or facing difficult fixtures. Sitting here Friday, revisiting my starting XI and bench boost potentially and it doesn’t come up smelling like roses. I believe the problems outweigh what can be fixed with a single free transfer.
I’ve resided to the fact I will hold Ryan and Duffy, as they have a double game week, but expectations aren’t high on their returns. I’ve got big concerns over Deulofeu and his ability, returning to fitness (ankle) that he will play parts of either or both games, limiting his returns. Deeney, as mentioned will play no part, as he is suspended due to the red card against Arsenal.
It’s unfortunate that I will need to drop Jamie Vardy and Christian Eriksen, but combined with Deeney, Deulofeu and Jota will free up enough budget to rebuild, much like Oscar Goldman’s famous quote, “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology.”
The Players Invited
The starting point, £1.2 ITB combined with the five transfers frees up £37.1 to bulk up an ailing midfield and provide my team with better bench boost options, if I decided to play the chip in DGW35.
It’s massive changes that really bolster the midfield, bringing in both Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne, who were stunning in the UCL game against Spurs. It does cost me Eriksen, but the potential ceiling is increased. Deulofeu, who’s been heavily talked about on Twitter, ends up not featuring and is replaced by David Brooks. Again, it could appear to be a knee jerk decision, after Bournemouth’s 5-0 win, after looking no better then a pile of steaming dog shit leading up to last weekend. It’s a gamble I am willing to take because of the premiums it gets me.
Where I feast, in the midfield, it’s a bit of a reach up front, as Vardy gets a big downgrade to, fuck me for even saying this name, Fernando Llorente. In all honesty, he has NO BUSINESS being in my thoughts, much like Shane Duffy was last week. The lure of no Harry Kane, injury to Sissoko means Llorente could see a fair amount of playing time, not only during the double game week, but through the end of the season. However, for the short term, I need him to feature, with a single return for this game week.
The final piece of this rebuild was one I debated for much the six hours it’s taken me to write this article. With the remaining £5.7 I must pick up a third forward and at this point point, the pickings are thing. It came down to a few names; Danny Ings and Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Comparing these two players, Ings had the better overall stats on the season, plus he’s got the potential double in GW35. While I’ve been talking up DCL for a number of weeks, he faces United this week, but Everton have no doubles. The call seems to be a no-brainer, leaving me £0.3 ITB.
Here’s the thinking behind such a large hit, just a week after I activated my second wild card. First, these changes allows me to bench boost, as Ryan, Duffy, Brooks and Ings will make up my bench and all play twice this week with a potential of 16 points, which is two points per appearance. Based on Ryan and Duffy last week, expectations are reduced to a combined 4 points. This leaving the main players as Ings, who if lucky gets the better part of 120 minutes and Brooks, as the Cherries play Fulham and he’s coming off a 12-point performance. So let’s say Brooks scores 10 points, Ings grabs a goal, together with the Brighton lads, I am looking at 20 points for the Bench Boost Chip. That means I’ve already covered the -16 point hit and I’ve not even spoke about KDB, Sterling or Llorente.
Going solely off the UCL game, the City lads could easily combine for 20 points, while Llorente is sort of a crapshoot. For argument sake, Llorente gets 3 points. This gives me 43 points for a 16-point hit, that’s a pretty good return on my investment, given I have only take two hits on the season. It will tough to watch early on, but I have no doubt the premiums will shine and make up for the hits.