I want to welcome back all FPL managers to the FPL season. What a great way to start the season, some very big scores, as many Twitter accounts I follow all put in an excellent shift to the start of the season. It’s just one game week, but getting off to a strong start is key to a good season. For me I posted my best GW1 result, finishing on 84 points, achieving that “strong start” and exceeding my PPW average.
For much of the preseason, my starting XI went unchanged, as I was set up with treble Liverpool on defense and treble City midfielders. As the days counted down to the Friday kick off, change was under way and in the end, I moved off a 3-5-2 and rolled my those stalwart players into a more formidable 4-4-2.
Starting at the back, I pushed “guaranteed” premium goalkeeper to a cut rate option, selecting Nick Pope at Burnley, as tom Heaton was transferred to Sheffield United. At £4.5, he’s got huge potential, as the Clarets posted a 3-0 victory over So’ton. Could this be the Burnley defense we saw two years ago?
Defensively, I got off to a strong start. One of the changes consider ahead of the game week was the uncertainty surrounding John Stones and Oleksandr Zinchenko starting in the back line. I had options to double up on Man United with Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bisska, but opted to hold the City assets, as I couldn’t trust United after how they finished last season. City with the 5-0 win over West Ham got me 12 points from the defensive double. Liverpool didn’t fair as well Friday night, as Teemu Pukki got in behind the Reds defense and broke the clean sheet. The saving grace, a headed goal from Virgil van Dijk, finishing on eight points, but my punt in Joe Gomez, didn’t return. Still 30 points from my defense is a great average!
The midfield got off to a strong start on the back of Mo Salah, with the captain’s armband score 24 points (1g/1a/2BPS). Shifting budget to the forward line, I had to change the midfield strategy and drop both Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva. I was able to retain Kevin De Bruyne, at £9.5 he’s not a budget but a bargain, based on his potential and returns in previous seasons. He looked fit and in form, picked up an assist and bonus point. Red Devils out of position midfielder, Anthony Martial picked up a late goal in United’s 4-0 thrashing of Chelsea. Another bargain at £7.5 if he continues his run of form.
The only disappointment, after being talked up and on the back of a great season, Ryan Fraser. Last year priced at £5.5 but started at £7.5 this season, there are huge expectations for “Weeman” to excel. He returned a single point, picking up a yellow card. Looking over the FDR, Bournemouth has excellent match ups through GW10 with just Man City to content with at home in GW3.
Up front I made the decision to start Raul Jimenez and Harry Kane. One reason for this change, I didn’t like the £6.5 options at the position. It was a continual rotating door with Josh King, Diogo Jota and Gerard Deulofeu. I couldn’t make a decision, until I transferred out Sterling in favor of Kane and freed up some budget. Kane, hit for a late brace, finishing on 13 points, as my vice captain. Jimenez, in my opinion looked better then his counterpart, Jota but neither Wolves attack was able to find the back of the net.
Overall, 84 points and an OR of 669k. Unlike last season, I am not discouraged with the OR, ignoring it and building on my game week result. My point total is 21-24 points above where I want my week point average to finish (60-63 PPW). Looking over my squad, I have no doubts that Jimenez and Fraser will turn it around, both have good fixtures this week to post returns. The bigger concern is Man City hosting Spurs in GW2, a replay of the Champions League Semifinal.
Looking over my starting XI, there are no issues to address, as I plan on rolling the FT. Had I stayed on the £6.5 forwards, I would be concerned, but their lack of output could have been made up with the Sterling hat trick, but I can’t say I would have had the armband on the City midfielder. GW2 will hinge on the City vs Spurs fixture and need some sort of return from Kane.
More later this week in the 2019/20 Premier League GW2 Transfers article.