Regression, as FPL managers we knew it was coming after many experienced an explosion of points after GW1 that was an extreme high weekly average. Many crashed back to reality in GW2, as the weekly average dropped 23 points. Yet my starting XI came up just three points short of the 41 point average, even if I would have picked those points up, chances were still high it would have been the first red arrow of the season. Defensively, my squad was sighted on the side of a milk carton, missing. Key players misfired, all which led to a very poor week, but the silver lining going forward, after two weeks I am still close to my PPW goal.
I ask the question, “where did I go wrong?” Was the weeks of planning, sharing ideas and community discussion on Twitter ahead of the season? Was it putting together concrete plans and sticking by them, come hell or high water? Or was it just a poor week for FPL managers based on some of the match ups?
One thing I know, I’ve got a solid squad, even with some teams not playing up to their potential. Liverpool is the team I finger, as I opted not to start the season with treble Reds, moving off TAA but introducing Joe Gomez. Unfortunately, Gomez did not start, being replaced by Joel Matip. Let the rotation concerns begin!
At Manchester City, John Stones picked up a thigh injury and missed City’s 2-2 draw last week against Spurs. Looking forward, he should be go ready for the GW3 fixture at Bournemouth, as depth is something Pep is currently lacking in his defense.
Defensively, Nick Pope gets a small, gold star in Burnley’s 2-1 loss, as he picked up a single bonus points. Yet the rest of the defense, with Gomez missing, shifted my formation from a 4-4-2 to a 3-5-2 but picked up just six points. Stones was unable to be substituted, as Connor Wickham would make my starting XI invalid.
The midfield was anchored by Kevin De Bruyne, who continues to tick on, doing fine business on the pitch as he picked up both assists on the goals. KDB finished on 11 points, including all three bonus. He looks to be excellent value in the midfield and has already collected a £0.1 price rise and could be in line for another before GW3!
The out of position, Anthony Martial continues to win over owners, as the United man has now scored two goals in the opening games. Thankfully that was one decision I got right ahead of the season, as he’s picked up £0.2 on his opening price of £7.5! He continues look in form up top, leading the Red Devils attack.
The unfortunate captain fail hurt many managers, myself included. I tabbed Mo Salah at St. Mary’s against a rather, poor So’ton team that head the Egyptian scoreless and picked up a goal, thanks in part to an Adrian mistake. The blank of Salah has many managers getting a hard on for teammate, Sadio Mane, who played all 90 minutes picked up a goal and assist with three bonus points. This debate will rage ALL SEASON LONG! Pick one and stick with them!
Ryan Fraser continues to be a major concern, it was the second week he failed to produce, which leads to the question, does he miss David Brooks presence? The Cherries have scored just two goals in the opening fixtures, while Fraser and his teammates face City at the Vitality this weekend. Fraser is on a very short leash and with other, cheaper options presenting themselves could be moved ahead of their GW3 clash. Fixtures after that look promising, but their attack hasn’t.
Up top I had concern for Harry Kane and Raul Jimenez, as both had challenging fixtures against the Manchester clubs. Jimenez came the closest on Monday sending a headed attempt off the goal post that deflected off David de Gea’s hand and didn’t go in. Kane, as good as he is just ran up against the buzz saw that is Man City, just one penalty touch. Ouch!
At this point, I am not worrying about where I stand in the OR. The score of 38 points is frustrating, but on the season it’s now 112 points, however I misquoted my PPW average on my last podcast. Chalk it up to very poor math on my part, but I am averaging just 56 PPW, which is 5-6 points off where I want to be. Rest assured I will be able to cover that in the upcoming week.
Plans moving forward are not set. As mentioned on Epsiode 46 of The Pitch & Pint Podcast, I could justify activating my wild card, something I did this time last season, as I was without a premium forward on the back of a Kun Aguero hat trick. Yet, just two weeks worth of information isn’t enough to provide reliable data, sifting out the poor players, who seem to be overachieving and those premiums, who have yet to hit their full potential.
There are a few concerns moving forward, the fact I am with two Liverpool defenders and Gomez is no longer a “sure thing” based on how poor this unit has played in the first two games. Second, no Sterling, a player who was owned by 97.6% of the top 1000 managers! That figure speaks volumes when I look at ways to get creative and introduce him alongside Salah, KDB and Kane.
The last midfield concern, Fraser. Rest assured he blanks against City this week, but fixtures improve, could be retain a spot and be a viable options going forward? Lots to look at over the next few days, ahead of the Friday deadline and Aston Villa hosting Everton.