2020/21 Premier League: GW3 Retrospect

No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it. Thus is the common theme experienced each year when a new Premier League seasons starts. This year, after just three weeks has been…different, but familiar but unexpected. ” It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key,” so spoke Winston Churchill in a radio broadcast in October 1939. The FPL game isn’t Russia, but sometimes the understanding is indecipherable or impossible to foretell. Ahead of the game week, I activated my wild card and felt confident in the decision but won’t be able to judge the effectiveness of my actions for weeks to come.

Looking at FPL Statistico I had a net seven point increase over my original team had I not activated the wild card. Living in the now, that’s a short term win, picking up 51 points on the week, a green arrow and jumping to 479k. Three players I brought in appeared to make inroads to my final score. The addition of Emiliano Martinez, Jack Grealish, Andrew Robertson and Richarlison combined for 32 points!, compared to 15 points from the fours players who were moved during the wild card. The loss of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Callum Wilson, Kyle Walker-Peters and Alex McCarthy scored 27 points, just a 5-point difference, but one that worked in my favor.

DEFENSE

I pride myself in a defense that isn’t built around budget players. While they can impact a season (Wan-Bissaka last season), its not common in the game. This season, suprisingly it’s Ezri Konsa Ngoyo of Aston Villa, now on 21 points after two clean sheets and a goal in his first two games. Will it continue? Hard to say, but the Villain’s defense is much improved! As it will be all season, I plan on holding the double Liverpool defense and it doesn’t matter which wing back pairs with Virgil van Dijk. Into the wild card, I made the move from TAA to Robertson in order to gain an additional 0.5 ITB. While the Reds conceded a goal, TAA and Robertson made up for it at the attacking end. Scoring 12 points between VVD and Robertson was as good as a CS by the team.

What the hell happened to Wolves at London Stadium? Nuno’s boys were battered, as new boy, Nelson Semedo got the start, a bit of punt on my part but I brought him in for the Wolves purple patch, which is now looking like a bruise after their 4-0 thrashing. Rest assured Nuno will have them ready to play next game against league whipping boys, Fulham. Semedo contributed just a point to my final score. My budget option at 4.5 is Charlie Taylor as Burnley suffered a tough 1-0 loss against the shirthousery that is Southampton. As FPL goes, this is “typical” isn’t it? The week I move McCarthy and KWP, they pull a clean sheet (12 points). A home loss to a poor and struggling team didn’t help, as Taylor posted just two points.

I know that Villa hasn’t really played any strong teams. Sheffield United in GW2, who lack a real goal scoring threat and this week, Fulham. While the Cottagers do have Aleksandr Mitrovic, the Serbian was shut down. Still starting the season with back to back clean sheets is a confidence booster for the Villians who now Liverpool and Leicester City in the next two weeks. Expectations? Very low for any points return from Martinez, but the keeper could collect save points against these high powered attacks.

MIDFIELD

Unless your crystal ball had you captain, Jamie Vardy or Bruno Fernandes, captained by just 3.7% each across FPL, your week probably resulted in a red arrow. None of the big premium midfield options hit. My captain, Mo Salah, picked up an assist, finishing on 10 points, which was better than Kevin De Bruyne, as City took it on the chin in a 5-2 loss to Leicester. Bet that doesn’t happen again this season.  James Rodriguez was effective in Everton’s win, but didn’t post any attacking points. He still looks a great option at 7.6 million. I did punt on Jack Grealish, who scored and posted eight points against Fulham, chances are he will be moved out for the next two games.

FORWARDS

Expectations were high that Raul Jimenez could get behind that high line of Man City, but it never happened. The Mexican had nine penalty touches but just two attempts. Not what anyone expected this week against he team he’s been good against in the past. Still with Wolves FDR being favorable, I plan on holding him through GW7 as they do play Fulham and Leeds United around the international break. Richarlison has started the season very well, scoring 22 points, which included his first goal in GW3. I had the option to go with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but opted for the more expensive option, as he is more involved, has a higher BPS baseline and is more dynamic in the Everton attack. Don’t get me wrong, you can’t go wrong with DCL his goal threat numbers are fantastic, but feel Richarlison has a higher ceiling this season.

OVERALL

Any week you can walk away with a green arrow is a successful week. As for the wild card, it wasn’t an ill advised move. In hindsight, maybe I should have taken my lumps through GW3 and considered activating it out of the international break. We know there are always injuries and in this time, coming off a season delayed by three months, with a very short turnaround time, who knows how players will recover out of the first break.

As mentioned, I do plan on moving Grealish out this week for a Leicester midfielder. Initially I had planned in Harvey Barnes, but James Maddison picked up 21 minutes. FPL managers know how instrumental he was last season to the Foxes and I expect a stronger showing this season with the addition of Castagne and Justin bombing forward. Barnes still a very strong shout, just need to see what Brendan Rodgers says in his presser ahead of GW4. Other 7 million-ish options include Mason Mount but I am not sold on Chelsea at this time. They haven’t looked good, even though they came back from 3-0 against WBA. Lots of time to think about it ahead of this weekend.

 

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