Thought it would make for an interesting comparison, as this is the first year I am taking to distinctively different approaches to the FPL game. The first team, is the one that is not eight seasons old with 31k as the best finish. It’s the team I put all the time and effort into. The other started during the 2018/19 season when I decided to participate in WGTA zombie league. Last year, I used it in a “red on defense” and “blue on attack,” in regards to Liverpool and Man City. This season, the team has evolved into a 5-man defense that I intended on playing all season long, barring a defender not included in their starting XI.
Tale of Two Teams
Sometimes I wonder what constructive task I could be learning of completely if it were not for FPL. The amount of time put into this damn fantasy game is nothing but a waste. Outside of the friends I’ve made and the beer we’ve shared, like fantasy NFL, I waste time on this pointless game. Why live frustrated because your made a poor transfer or that triple captain on Mo Salah failed. Yet, I can take solace in being able to step back from the game and keep it all in perspective.
The 6thGoal team is where much of my time and energy goes. Like many FPL managers, I plan and strategize, setting up elaborate spreadsheets to track way too much unnecessary shit. But, is it really needed to be successful? This team has secured just one green arrow on the season, GW3, even though the first two weeks of the season weren’t terrible bad (78 & 58 points). However, looking at the the overall standings for each week, this team appears to be struggling like no other, dropping 1.5 million spots since that only green arrow. Where does the problem lie?
When I look at the FPL Beer Mule, my alternate team that plays a dedicated 5-man defense, this team based on total points is even with 6thGoal, sitting on 379 points. Quite surprising given the very different strategies employed to start the season. Team value is separated by just 0.2, giving the 6thGoal a slight advantage. The main difference, the FPL Beer Mule has already activated the triple captain chip in GW6 on Mo Salah, that failed to return any points. However, if you cover up the details and look solely at the red and green arrows, you would think the FPL Beer Mule was having a banger of a season.
The FPL Beer Mule is a “feel good team” right now, the numbers are no better than 6thGoal as both teams are averaging 54.1 points/week. Looking deeper, the 5-man defensive team has scored over 60 points in four of the seven weeks. 6thGoal was doing well until GW6, when a -8 point hit took a bad week of 30 points and decreased it to just 22 points, my work score in 8 years of playing this damn game!
It was another week of the “haves vs have nots” as 6thGoal struggled, to the point I didn’t even want to look at ANY Premier League score. Thankfully I was busy most of Saturday and didn’t have time to, but sticking my head into the FPL Beer Club discussion told me, my week was falling apart. Conversely, the 5-man defensive team picked up a nice boost, scoring 65 on the week Kyle Walker, a goal and clean sheet. Sergio Reguilon pickup up an assist, followed by an illness, while Nelson Semedo recorded his third CS in four weeks.
The big concern was the injury to James Rodriguez, so I transferred him for an American. What a mistake! Christian Pulisic pulled up lame and was benched, meaning Tomas Soucek (still don’t know why I own him) got a rare start and, as expected didn’t return. Mo Salah was captained finishing with a goal and 16 points, while Kevin De Bruyne picked up his first attacking points since GW1. Hopefully the Belgian is back, owned by only 15.8% of FPL. Surprising Dominic Calvert-Lewin with injuries and suspension on Everton still netted for his eighth goal of the season.
In a week where the gameweek average was 53, 6thGoal came up “just a bit short” in the works of Maxwell “Get Smart” (70s TV reference). It was a risky decision to double up on Aston Villa, adding Konsa Ngoyo to my starrting defense, but feel they are hitting a purple patch and he, as well as Emiliano Martinez will come good. Yet Liverpool continues to struggle defensively. With 15 goals conceded, they are the second worst…yes the second WORST defensive team in the Premier League, behind West Brom. However, their 17 goals scored is just one off the league leaders, Spurs. So Liverpool is just a point clear, but its not the defense getting it down for the reigning league champions.
Much like the 5-man defense, this team shares some of the same players in Andrew Robertson, Semedo, KDB, Salah and DCL. Wilf Zaha and Harry Kane are the main differences in the team, but it was Kane the only one providing a return this week. So which team is actually better? Guess that is really in the eye of the beholder.
The 5-man defense will never be a “template” team, as we have seen shades of one forming, especially in the midfield and forwards. Yet, at this point, not many premium defenders are hitting, with team opting to go for a budget back line and push up the number of premiums on attack. Can’t argue with that. Now, neither overall rank is impressive by any stretch of the imagination, but never did I think that after seven weeks these teams would be tied on points
So where do the teams go from here? I honestly can’t tell you, as I’ve put very little time into FPL this week. I was hoping to roll a transfer ahead of the international break, to give me two coming out the back side, but injuries and non-performing players might mean I play for this week an hope that the players I own remain healthy if they are on international duty.