Here’s Rob Reid (the FPL Vet) with his review of September in fantasy premier league. Rob finished with a rank of 22k last season 4,701 in 2015/16 and 7,810 in 2014/15
Rob Reid (the FPL Vet) with his review of September in Fantasy Premier League
Hi everyone and welcome to the second of my monthly reviews for 2017-18 FPL season. Regular visitors to the site will remember that I ran this monthly series of articles last year and I’m pleased to report I’ll be doing the same this season. With me also doing my weekly Player Picks and showing my team along with some of my fellow contributors each week, I’ve slightly changed the format to this season’s review articles.
You can also see Rob’s Wildcard article
I’ll still continue my series of observations reflecting on the previous month’s action and also looking forward to the next month. These observations are made on some basic stats analysis combined with some personal opinion derived from watching EPL action. I’ll be doing monthly awards again. Player of the Month and Donkey of the Month return but I won’t be doing One to Watch this season as it crosses over a little with my Player Picks article. Instead I’ll be doing a Team to Watch award – the EPL team who I think could provide some strong and possibly unexpected returns over the next month, with a look at their prospects and their players.
Finally, I’ll take a look at some of the high-performing teams from the mini-leagues I’m entered in this year. This month I’m looking at one of the leagues I participate in from the FPL Twitter Community. It’s another very competitive league that boasts 10 Top 10k finishes and a number of Top 50k finishes over the last 4 seasons.
I hope you find this enjoyable and of benefit once again – comments and feedback are of course always welcomed.
Autumn is here and another international window has come and gone. After another seemingly endless break from FPL filled with the usual complaints about England’s big tournament pedigree, yet another near miss from Scotland, disappointment for Wales and a play-off place for Northern lreland, us FPL managers are all busy checking international flight schedules and who’s yellow or red flagged in readiness for GW8. So what happened last month and what’s on the card for October?
Who enjoyed GW6 then? Goals, goals, goals for all the premium options. As such, we rubbed our hands together for GW7 – just how are we going to accommodate all these high value forwards? So here we are looking towards GW8. Aguero is facing 6 weeks for an injury received on his way back from a pop concert. Morata could be out for 2-8 weeks depending on which Instagram feed you believe. And Lukaku might be injured for GW8. But he might not. Who knows. So bascially if you haven’t got him, buy Harry Kane! But then we all knew that anyway (cough, cough!)
Crystal Palace are the new Aston Villa
Ok remember how a couple of seasons back, there was this great captain tactic where you placed the armband on whichever attacking player you had who was playing Aston Villa? Well for 2017-18 simply substitute Palace for Villa! No goals scored, 7 defeats – can it get any worse? Well there’s the small matter of them playing Chelsea next. If only Morata were fit….
Manchester = FPL points
The 2 Manchester teams are an absolute FPL goldmine at the moment. 10 cleansheets and 43 goals between then over the first 7 GWs. If you’ve not got any Manchester assets then I fear for your overall ranking. A word of caution though. United’s fixtures now get more tricky. City’s fixtures look good but of course there’s always the spectre of Pep’s rotation habits. Invest, but invest wisely – look for gametime security and try and cover high ownership players. If they continue with their September form though, expect some more big returns.
I’m going to mention it again…
Defence as a differential. You’re probably fed up of my harping on about this now and I know I go one about this every season! But for those of you who checked out the brief stats analysis in my Wildcard 1st Draft article, defences are performing much better so far this season than they have done in previous years. The average number of clean sheets per gameweek is way up at nearly 8 per gameweek (it’s been somewhere around 5 in previous seasons) with the premium teams in particular all doing well. The best value players (using the FPL value/season marker) are nearly all defenders as well. Don’t say I haven’t warned you!
What’s happening on Merseyside?
So much early FPL promise and so much disappointment! Liverpool looked a great option initially with Mane, Firmino and xG king Salah producing a glut of early season points. However since Mane’s red card in the City game, it’s all been a bit inconsistent. On the blue side, Rooney initially led the way in a hard run of fixtures. But since the fixtures turned good, there’s been little attacking output. And that’s not to mention the dire defending on display from both sides. There’s no doubt that things need to improve for both sides as the vultures are starting to circle for Klopp and Koeman.
Where did all the good Budget Midfielders go?
Watford apparently! While the premium midfielders/attackers and a whole range of defensive players are merrily providing us with a steady stream of point, pickings are rather lean elsewhere. This is most notable in sub £7.0m midfield bracket, which makes filling those last few attacking slots with any hopes of a return very difficult. The Watford pair of Richarlison and Doucoure however have been an exception to this and if they can continue to consistently return, unlike last season’s budget option – teammate Capoue, then they might be the enablers we need. I also really Kiko Femenia in defence – certainly passes the eye test. Generally speaking, I’ve been impressed with Watford so far. Silva showed his mettle at Hull last season and I wouldn’t be surprised to see their form continue all season.
Player of the Month
August has long gone so enter Hurricane Harry for September! 41 points, returning in 3 out 4 games – it was a welcome return to form for those who backed the highest-valued player in the game. Couple that with scintillating form in the Champions League and for England and it’s been a great month for Kane who is surely able to carry this form into October!
Donkey of the Month
This is obviously an FPL site so I can’t nominate Robert Mak of Slovakia for his most comical dive in the World Cup qualifier at Hampden. Dele Alli’s dive against Huddersfield however was nearly as bad as he blanked in the 4-0 demolition of Huddersfield. Add to that his England suspension for ‘flipping the bird’ on international duty and I think he’s a deserving winner this month. Enjoy your Golden Carrot Dele!
Team to Watch
It’s been a good start to the season for promoted Newcastle, especially taking into account all the discontent surrounding their pre-season transfer activity. Benitez is a wily manager and he’s made of the most of his resources with The Magpies looking well organised and drilled. They only face one of the big 6 between now and GW15 so this could be a good time to cash in on the value their assets offer. Elliott in goal looks a must as the cheapest playing keeper. If Mbemba could hold down his place he also offers a a very low budget defensive option. In midfield, Ritchie and Atsu offer low-priced returns and £5.5m striker Joselu has ridiclously high xG stats even if he hasn’t quite demonstrated the finishing prowess to match it as yet.
For my featured mini-league team this month, I’m looking at the September Manager of the Month winner for one of the Twitter leagues I’m participating in this season. It’s been a great month for this manager, who has risen from 1.4 million to and amazing 6529 OR in just 4 weeks; aided by a well-played WC in GW5. He now sits 2nd in this mini-league, no mean feat out of 29 experienced managers. He’s only got 1FT for GW but his team looks very strong for the next few weeks. It’s also interesting to note he doesn’t own Lukaku and hasn’t at any stage. Indeed he doesn’t own any United assets, a stand of defiance against % ownership!
That’s all for the September review of the fantasy premier league season – best of luck for October everyone!
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