Premier League: GW15 Draft Retrospect

It was with some disappointment I realized I was the most active manager playing draft in my 8-team league. The top team appears to be active, making 15 transactions on the season, but the other 6 managers are all inactive. While my squad continues to perform, there isn’t any real competition. Too bad it took 15 weeks to figure this out. Not sure if I will continue to post draft information, as the game just doesn’t hold the attention like its traditional counterpart we know and love.
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Premier League: GW13 Starting XI

With a Friday fixture in the fold, fantasy managers must make their decisions a day early. Having spent the better part of my work week finalizing my holiday strategy I have decided I will roll my FT over to Gameweek 14, in anticipation of introducing Chelsea assets to my squad. After rolling last week’s FT, which I burned in a knee jerk reaction to Callum Wilson’s hat trick, I didn’t feel change was necessary after posting 84 points, a season-high, last weekend.
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Premier League: GW12 Draft Retrospect

I’ve mentioned it before, but the FPL Draft game doesn’t hold the same excitement and thrill as the traditional game does. Maybe that was to be expected, this the inaugural year with fantasy mangers looking at the game from a different perspective. While I am not a fan of the draft, I have continued to actively participate, with weekly transactions, I am still pushing to finish at the top of my  8-man league.
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FPL Draft: Strategy GW12

As we approach the start of Gameweek 12, attention turns towards the FPL Draft squad. Currently the Go ‘Orns sit in second place on 473 overall points, 49 points from the top spot, but with lots of football remaining, it’s not time to panic. However, I am a bit concerned with his forward line of Lukaku and Morata but his midfield, led by Eriksen and Mkhitaryan have been off their mark for some time. I’ll consider myself lucky I have not lost more ground to date.
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Premier League: GW7 Draft Retrospect

We are not 7 weeks into the EPL season and FPL Draft isn’t holding the sort of thrill and excitement I thought it would. Initially, I felt there could be some interesting aspects to the game. Considering I come from a fantasy (NFL) football background of 38 years, this draft game did show some early promise. To date, I am just not impressed. Maybe my thoughts would be different if the 8-team league I play in were local friends and not some unknown Internet alias.

That said, I climbed into 2nd place in my draft league after a strong-ish showing this past weekend scoring 44 points, which was second highest in the league. After 7 weeks I have scored 305 points, which is now 36 points off the top, which I expect to take in the coming weeks after the international break.

Its interesting to not as we get further along in the season, the more transactions I am taking through the week. I stated the week with 3 waiver claims; Hoedt, Chicharito, Mustafi. I ended up getting all three of the on Thursday and dropped Mendy (inj), Benteke (inj) and Lascelles. But that wasn’t enough, the merry-go-round continued into Friday, adding Niasse, Richarlison, A. Carroll, Cresswell and Choupo-Moting. In the end Richarlison and Niasse, along with Stones, Jese and Joselu were dropped.

On the week I started Fabianski in goal over Ederson because of the match up. Only a late goal by West Ham denied Fabianski his 4th clean sheet on the season, but he did scoop up a bonus point. Defensively, my squad is sound, as I started a 5-4-1, tripling up on West Ham. Mustafi, Cresswell, Alderweireld and Azpilicueta combined for 20 points, with only “Dave” not keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 loss to Man City. My fifth starter was Hoedt, who was benched in favor of Van Dijk, which mean Pedro was slotted in.

The midfield looks good on paper, but Alli continues to struggle, posting another no return, while Coutinho continues to look good in the Liverpool midfield with another goal and 10 points. The new boy, Choupo-Moting (5 points) was a late add over Richarlison, but he secured an assist, his first of the season. Pedro was the first player on the bench and I had no intention of starting him against Man City but felt he had a better chance than Ritchie to gain points. I was wrong, Ritchie scored 2, Pedro, just 1 point.

With Aguero now sidelined and down a bench player, I moved both my struggling forwards and doubled up on West Ham; Hernandez and Carroll. That move failed to pay off as they combined for just 3 points. The Hammers still have some favorable fixtures; bur/BHA/cry out of the break, but I am not sure if they will retain their starting spots or not.

With 2 weeks to plan and make moves, the waiver wire is open until Friday, October 13, which means we have a lot of waiting to do. I have put in a claim for Fellaini, even though they face Liverpool out of the break, followed by Huddersfield. The other wire claim I put in is for David Luiz, somewhat surprised he is out there, as it SHOULD be a Chelsea CS when they come out of the break against Palace.

Premier League: 1st FPL Draft

Let’s get this out of the way, I won’t be adding a second draft team to my resume this EPL season. In fact, I was having reservations to even participate in yesterday’s draft, as the game is losing a bit of its luster and reminding me too much of fantasy (American) football, which features the same snake style draft in order to build your unique team.

As I watched the time count down to the start the of draft I waited to see my draft position and was pleased to be listed as #2. This meant I was ensured of adding a premium forward to build around. It wasn’t long after selecting Kun Aguero with the second pick overall, bypass the likes of Sanchez and Lukaku that I tabbed to another window on the PC to wait my second pick.

When I tabbed back to the draft it should me to be “away” and suddenly it was the 4th round! I had missed two rounds but hadn’t been away for more than about 60 seconds. Thankfully I saw this as a blessing in disguise, as I ended up with Dele Alli and Phillipe Coutinho in those rounds. Not sure I could have asked for anything better. Right?

With a good core built around these three players I watched the draft progress and concluded there were only 3 managers who were participating, thus the quick down and back in the draft where I was picking nearly back to back in quick succession.  Round 4 came down to either Defore or Benteke. Quickly weighing the different factors I selected the journeyman, Defoe as my second forward before returning in round 5 with Pedro. My team was coming together nicely and honestly better than I had hoped.

The decision was made prior to the draft not to select keepers or defenders until the final 7 selections of the draft. While it might mean I wouldn’t get the likes of Alonso, it didn’t really concern me knowing my defense would be rather stout and potentially have a good rotation between the pipes.

The next two rounds  saw Wayne Rooney and new boy, Davy Klassen join my squad. While neither will see much action after GW1, I felt both were some of the best talent remaining on the board as we hit the mid rounds. Speaking of Alonso, he was selected two picks after Klassen as the 49th player taken. Ahead of players such as Lanzini, Willian, Zaha, Ramsey and Fabergas. Lots of £7.0 midfielders, be curious to see how this works out in the draft game, as well as the traditional game.

With Aguero, Defoe and Rooney, my front line was set and I was looking to round out my final midfield position when the draft came back to me for the 54 selection in the draft. I turned to West Ham, and their talented midfield coming down to Lanzini and Arnautovic. While I like what Arnautovic brings to the Hammers from Stoke City, I felt more comfortable with Lanzini to have a break out year running that offense.

The midfield now complete, I looked at who would anchor my 5-man defense and turned to last year’s champions, Chelsea. While Cahill was top on my list, he was drafted prior to my selection of Azpilicueta. Kyle Walker was the other option, but I had some reservation of rotation, so passed for the Chelsea man. However the following round I picked up a former teammate of Walker’s in Alderweireld, which strengthened the defense that would start the season for me.

In reality, I wanted Vincent Kompany but failed to see him just down the list from Alderweireld. In retrospect, Kompany has struggled for fitness over the years, but as healthy Kompany will provide big returns, but can he stay healthy? With Spurs playing at Wembley this year, one can only hope they can repeat the season with 17 clean sheets, a feat I fear they won’t accomplish.

Continuing with defense I contemplated picking up the man without a team, so to speak, in van Dijk but his uncertainty didn’t sit well with me, as I know he won’t pull on a So’ton jersey this season and didn’t want that in my potential third starter. Other options I considered were Stones, who was a potential rotation risk and didn’t shine last season with City, Alderweireld’s partner, Trippier and Mustafi of Liverpool. Looking a few rounds ahead, I was hoping to secure the services of Ederson, so I bypassed Stones and took the Arsenal man, in hopes he’s cemented in a starting role for the Gunners. He played 26 games last season but also caught 11 yellow cards.

My last two defenders I felt were stronger attacking assets than the first three defenders I selected and was pleasantly surprised to see them in the later part of the draft. Charlie Daniels took up the fourth spot, as one of the top returning defenders last season with 134 points! Lastly, I went back to a favorite from 2 years ago from West Ham, Aaron Cresswell, who put up 133 points on 2 goals/4 assists and 11 clean sheets in 2015/16. Like how the Hammers are looking and feel he is real valued added to this squad.

In between the posts I was able to secure the services of the new boy, Ederson for City, a player I was considering when drafting defenders in the earlier rounds. I feel City could put up 18-20 clean sheets this season and Ederson will be a big part of that defensive success. Finally pick to finish out my 15-man squad was for Chelsea keeper, now at Bournemouth, Asmir Begovic. Much like Cresswell, he has been very successful in previous EPL season 144 and 136 points in the 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons.

Pleased with my draft, I feel I have a very competitive team. I have not looked at the other 7 squads in my league, but feel I will be at or near the top all season long with quality and talent; Aguero, Alli, Coutinho, Alderweireld down the center of the pitch.

Here is the full team and how I anticipate I will run them out for GW1. With a solid bench, I will have many good options available. What I don’t like about the draft, the fact there are still playing coming and going in the EPL. Morata and Danilo are still not available in the game. That could potentially be crucial, the same could be said if someone of Sanchez of Countinho quality transferred out of the EPL, could potentially damage a team.

Currently, I cannot put a claim in for either player, but rest assured I would not hesitate to add that quality to an already strong draft team. Not sure how closely I will follow the draft game, as I feel I have the superior team in the league. We will see how I fair and I will follow it weekly with a retrospect, much like I do with the traditional game.