FFGeek contributor Scott Hargadon (aka Cesspool) discusses his FPL team and strategy


Here’s last seasons FFGeek contributor Scott Hargadon (aka Cesspool) with his FPL team and strategy.  Scott finished with an OR of 70k last season and 21k in 16/17

FFGeek contributor Scott Hargadon (aka Cesspool) discusses his FPL team and strategy

Overall Strategy

I believe in a balanced squad with a minimum of two excellent attackers who can be counted as captain choices in almost every game week and at least one player who can be an occasional captain pick for an easy home fixture. I also believe that defenders, who cost less than mids and forwards, but return more points per million of costs are worth the money. I will allocate my preliminary budget as follows:

GK 5.5/4.0 or 4.5/4.5

DEF 6.0 6.0 5.5 4.5 4.0

MID 13.0 (Salah) 9.5 (Mané) 6.5 6.5 4.5

FWD 11.0 (Aguero) 7.0 4.5

The players noted are the ones I know I must have.

The most important consideration in the initial drafting of players is to minimise risk. Own, if you can, players that have high ownership and captain probability for the first few weeks; make sure you have players who are starting (other than a £4.0m backup goalkeeper); and try to avoid rotation players if you can, although that is harder and harder with every year. Try to establish roster spots with a certain budget where you can flexibly swap out a player if you need to.

For example, unlike last year, there are a number of decent forward choices at around 7.0: Zaha, Arnautovic, Josh King, Mitrovic or even Iheanacho may turn out to be wise choices. If you pick one of these players, you know you can have an exit strategy without having to use two transfers, particularly if you have saved .5 in the bank for flexibility. The same situation applies for Aubameyang and Aguero, Richarlison and Jota and many others.

So who are my choices? I will finalise the roster late Thursday U.S. time, but for now this group is looking solid, risk averse and flexible:


Aguero (£11.0m).

He appears to be a starter for City for at least a few games. I made the mistake last year of not getting him when he was assured starts during the period in which Jesus was hurt. If he is rotated I will drop him for Aubameyang or even Kane. I worry about Kane though — not only because of August droughts in previous years, but the cumulative effect of him having played so many minutes and having incurred so many injuries the past two seasons.

J. King (£6.5m).

King was injured at the start of last season and did not develop his rhythm until late in the season. Bournemouth have some good early fixtures (CAR, whu, EV, LEI, bur) so he is my choice over Mitrovic (not sure how offensive Fulham will be) and Arnautovic (really bad fixtures). I tentatively plan to bring in Arnautovic later in the year, sooner if he proves he can score against the top teams.

Kamara (£4.5m).

Cheap filler who does not play.


Salah (£13.0m).

With 50% ownership, playing on an offensive minded squad now with a better defence, and playing WHU at home in week 1, he was never off my team sheet. I have no expectation he will equal last year’s stats but he still is the most important player in FPL right now.

Mané (£9.5m).

I think Mané will have the chance to have an outstanding year. Defences have to shift to Salah’s side to stop him, which leaves more room for the Senegalese attacker. He also may take penalty kicks for Liverpool because he did twice in preseason.

Richarlison (£6.5m).

Everton has not looked good in preseason, but I have faith in Marco Silva that he can get returns from this young, athletic player. The Toffees’ schedule looks good too. The opening game at Wolves will be an interesting one for FPL players.

Bernardo Silva (£7.5m).

Pep seems to have given him the seal of approval for a start or two. At 7.5, he is one of the cheaper City mids and could prove good short term value. I am also watching Loftus-Cheek to see if he goes to Palace once again; I think he is great value at 5.5 if he plays regularly.

Cairney (£5.0m).

Seems nailed as a starter and could get assists. Stephens (4.5) is the default choice. I was also on Masuaku (4.5) who gets forward a lot and takes corners but his starting place may have been taken back by Cresswell.


Robertson (£6.0m).

Cemented his place last season. I expect more clean sheets with a full season of VVD and now Allison. He consistently got forward and made excellent passes and crosses.

Mendy (£6.0m).

Very similar to Robertson. Great crosser of the ball who has excellent speed. Also, I don’t see Fabian Delph offering nearly as much quality.

Luiz (£5.5m)

Surprise defender of the season. Looks to be starter at CB in a four back set. Consistently started every preseason game and praised by Sarri. Having a defender on the team with Kanté and Jorginho ahead of him can’t be all bad, even if Chelsea are a work in progress at this early stage.

Cedric (£4.5m)

As a wingback, he consistently gets forward and involved offensively. I thought his play for Portugal showed his quality. Now it is up to Mark Hughes to harness it.

Wan-Bissaka (£4.0m).

We have been told that he has beaten out Joel Ward for the right back slot. If he does, his £4.0m salary is a gift given Palace’s early fixtures. Might upgrade here to Tompkins for security of starts but not sure yet.


DeGea (£6.0m).

Another high ownership player. I think it is smart to have at least one United defender to cover DeGea’s high ownership. Do I want to spend 6.0 for a keeper? No. I had Ederson in for a while but having a City double up on defence felt too risky. Plus, the United back four seems very unsettled and Bailly has a knock. Better to see if cheaper alternatives present themselves later. I am hoping eventually to get the new Chelsea keeper Arrizabalaga for £5.5m and pick up a United defender for £5.5m in lieu of Luiz; I don’t think Luiz will get many bonus points.

Hamer (4.0m)

Only £4.0m GK to start week one. Will be replaced later by a £4.5m if I can afford it.

£99.5m spent and £0.5m in the bank. Ready to go – but given all the player movement rumours, I expect to make a change or two prior to Friday.

Here’s how it looks:

fpl team

Here is the latest draft of the FFGeek FPL team

And some of the FFGeek contributors teams in FPL

Jordan Sadlers team

17th overall finisher Prakhar Patels team

Rob Reid’s team

Joseph Crilley’s team

Yaniv Saloman’s team

Joe Armiger’s team

Mikael Hietala’s team

top 1k finisher Andrew Ferguson’s team and thoughts

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14 thoughts on “FFGeek contributor Scott Hargadon (aka Cesspool) discusses his FPL team and strategy

  1. I like it. However im more swayed to having a 3rd 6.5/7m striker over a 4th playing def. Eg- Given the fixtures palace having zaha surely outweighs this?

  2. King has the form over wilson. King scored a number of goals in preseason while wilson did Not. King also played no matter If wilson Defoe or no other striker was on the pitch.

  3. As the question oF why a 4.5 third striker—i wanted to get in Bernardo Silva or david silva rather than zaha or ARnautovic. That has given ne more City coverage while i can play a wait and see game on whether the third striker or the fourth mid is the better place to invest. That brings into contention not only zaha and Arnautovic but jota, mkhi, mitrovic, inheanacHo and maddison, wHich iS only a pRtial list. Given the template quality most teams have it is the lower price points where teams fet ahead.

  4. Hi,
    Could anyone on here help me pleAse, I do the FaNtasy iteam & wondered if anyone could suggest the best faNtasy league to follow With regards to tips whIch suits the fantasy iteam fOrmat as European & cup games dont coUnt.

    Thanks Tom.

  5. Scott:

    Sorry for the all caps, technical problem (my keyboard?)

    I always appreciate your column, great insights/strategy.

    My team is the same with these exceptions:

    De Gea vs Foster……….(or another 4.5 of your choosing, I’ll be upgrading my 4.0 GK to 4.5 (I have the 0.5 in the bank) later, Foster has such good fixtures at first, to maximize fixture rotation. De Gea is a good choice but – given the plethora of top experts that use a 4.5 plus 4.0 / 4.5 keeper I judge there is enough debate on this that I can save on keeper £ to use elsewhere.

    Cedric vs Schelotto……..I’d rather have Cedric, of course, but the cost is not having Austin

    Kamara vs Austin………(or another 6.0 to 7.0 forward). This is the payoff from saving £ on the other two positions

    In essence I play Austin (with Schelotto on the bench) and you play Cedric (with Kamara on the bench).

    (I am considering substituting Zaha for King, probably not, however this is not a key difference in our squads, since you too have the funds to do so. But what that proves is there are £ to choose a different forward than Austin)

    Seems to me that at GK my switch would lose 10-20 points over the season vs a 4.5/4.0 or 4.5/4.5 strategy (DeGea 156 vs Ryan 136 or a two 4.5 strategy of 146), but the loss in points is more than made up for in the 60 point gain from Austin vs. Cedric (147 vs 87)

    (That switch keeps me with Southhampton, if that matters to you)

    Points for these players over the next 6 GW improve from 35 to 45:


    De Gea


    Both player total 35



    Both player total 45

    What am I missing? I think the £ are right, and hope my math is too.

    Thanks for your thoughts. I value your opinion.


  6. For the last two seasons, I went with rotating keepers based on early fixtures and significantly under performed. So the choice for me was either to spend more on a “set and forget keeper” or to pick the 4.5 I thought was best and use just him. Given that I feel cover for United’s defense is critical, and that I could not identify a MU defender I felt was safe for more than two games, I elected to cover with DeGea. I plan on downgrading him when I can; I will be watching to see in particular if Patricio is the solution. As to the third forward, go for it it you have the funds. As I stated in my article, I favor defense and as to Zaha in particular, we need to see how he reacts to not transferring to Chelsea as he wanted and whether he is playing out wide.

    And thanks for reading my article.

  7. hey, thanks for your article.







  8. Scott:

    First, thanks for the Zaha thoughts, I’ll stay with King.

    you plan to downgrade de gea and imo that means £ at that time – therefore the difference between our teams is timing.

    MU coverage is only critical if you get good points. on aveage the switch to 2 x 4.5 GK and a quality forward gets 10 more points in the first 6 gw. or 40-60 on an annualized basis. that’s a hefty price to pay for more mu coverage.

    I too believe in spending on defense, it took looking at these numbers before i made the switch

    I respect your opinion. maybe i’m low on the points cedric will score, or high on the forward’s points. (Note, all the points I used are from fantasy football scout). but it’s too big a gap.

    so, unless you can come up with more fpl points, it’s too big a difference for hedging mu doing well, especially given their preseason.

    I’m willing to bet you will do better than me this year, so i say these things with respect. but, as you know we say in america, its the math (not the maths).


  9. Your response is interesting and could be right. As we all know though, it is the players you pick and the timing of those picks which make all the difference (particularly with captain choices and double game week choices). The latter KILLED me last year. Perhaps the difference is really timing because I try to be extra cautious this time of year; being in the US I do not have access to Championship games so I have yet to see the promoted sides play for example. I feel I know what I am getting from a defender coached by Mourinho or an offensive player coached by Marco Silva. And if not for the very difficult fixtures, I probably would have chosen arnautovic off the bat.



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