Here’s an article from regular site visitor Stephen Toumi about thinking differently with fantasy premier league formations. He’s specifically looking at his 5-2-3 formation
Fantasy premier league formations – thinking differently – 5-2-3 by Stephen Toumi
With anticipation and excitement, prices were released for FPL early July and speculation amongst manager was quenched and team building began. During the EPL off season, I spent more time engaged in player movement, as well as discussion with other like-minded managers. Prices at this point were nothing more than speculation. However, as fantasy football articles started to trickle out, as I learned of other enthusiasts who made me pause and look at the upcoming FPL season a bit differently.
Unlike the previous 4 years, I entered the upcoming fantasy with a strategy and a plan. Not that either of those equate to success, but it provides me with a conviction that my 5-2-3 formation can compete with those managers opting to run with the more favored, 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 formations.
Backed by compelling statistics and underlying data, much of my off season was dominated by how to make a 5-defender set at the backline work. Based on the price increases across the board, most notably in the midfield and forward positions, the theme, “you can’t own them all” set the tone for my squad.
Building the defence
Based on early fixtures there were players I wanted to build around. Manchester United, Southampton, West Brom and Manchester City all have early, favorable fixtures I looked to take advantage of. While I was an early support of Chelsea’s, Marcus Alonso, a last-minute change due to their questionable fixtures I opted not to include him in my starting XI.
While I focused my attention on attack minded defenders, my back line went through various iterations costing £28.5m-£30.0m. Much more than a typical budget defense, but I felt confident in my team building. With no plans to transfer a defender through GW6 and strength of schedule in mind, I anchored my defense with Antonio Valencia (£6.5m) and Vincent Kompany (£6.0m). Valencia, nailed on down the right side, plays in an advanced roll and has great offensive potential, as well as clean sheet appeal. Kompany, injury prone the last 3 seasons, is the heart of the City defense. When healthy he can be a monster from set pieces, as witness during the final weeks of the 2016/17 season, as well as double digit clean sheets.
The injury to Kieran Trippier (£5.5) meant I jumped off the bandwagon and went in search of a replacement, selecting on Ryan Bertrand (£5.5m), based on his 2 goals/5 assist and 12 CS in 2016/17. This posed a bit of a problem, as I already had Cédric Soares (£5.0) and Maya Yoshida (£5.0), which meant a So’ton treble in defense. Their early fixtures, promising; SWA/WHM/hud/WAT/cry would allow the Saints to miss top EPL teams and potentially provide big returns.
Adding the attacking players
Starting with the risky proposition of a 5-defender set, I made another last-minute decision NOT to include Romelu Lukaku, putting my faith in back-to-back Golden Boot Winner, Harry Kane. I partnered him with Roberto Firmino (£8.5) and youngster, Gabriel Jesus (£10.5). Jesus was a hot prospect when he started last season, before injury with 7 goals/4 assists. The high-powered City offense should be at the top of the table with goals scored, meaning Jesus should get his fair share. Firmino, now listed as forward, playing out of position, leads a potent Liverpool attack that should see him improve his 11 goals/11 assists this season.
It appeared to be a revolving door in the midfield, while I would only be starting two players, I debated a few different strategies including using a 5-3-2 formation. The change in formation before Gameweek 1 was initiated by the fact none of the “budget friendly” forwards were enticing. Based on strength of schedule, I decided to introduce Kevin De Bruyne (£10.0) as my anchor in the middle. Much like the decision to bring in Kompany and Jesus, City has some excellent fixtures and should return good points
weekly. With £7.0 remaining, it came down to a handful of players; Wilfried Zaha, Willian, Cesc Fabregas and Aaron Ramsey. Community opinion appeared split on the Chelsea midfielders, with many favoring Willian due to the injury of Eden Hazard, still their fixtures were mixed. I saw Ramsey as a part time player for Arsenal and wanted to make sure I could get 90 minutes out of my second midfielder. By process of elimination I was left with Zaha to round out my starting XI.
As for GW1 I scored 58 points, sitting at 1.9m in the overall rankings. Not impressive by any stretch of the imagination, but I am confident in my squad based on the underlying stats. With £1.5m ITB I activated my FT, dropping Wilfried Zaha in favor of Henrikh Mkhitaryan ahead of their next 3 fixtures; swa/LEI/sto.
Thanks Stephen very interesting article
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