Here’s my latest draft team for fantasy premier league GW1 with some commentary on the current thinking and the transfers since my last posted draft
fantasy premier league GW1 – The FFGeek team update
So since my last team article I’ve spent many an hour changing my team for fantasy premier league GW1 so after 9 transfers and much agonising here’s the new version.
Basically I went for a 4-3-3 as I felt that defenders around the £5.5m to £6m mark had more longevity than if I chose a £6.0m midfield instead who would need to be rotated by groups of good fixtures to maximise returns. I feel that a £5.5m defender can get clean sheet returns from any team outside the top 6 and therefore is more of a set and forget option.
My lack of desire to take point deductions through additional transfers and the seeming abundance of injuries and team rotation/competition for places meant that my transfers were often a reaction to these events rather than moving players around by fixtures. I figured that top 6 team defenders can get a clean sheet against any non top 6 team and therefore can stay in your team without needing to be moved around for good fixture clumps as a £5.5m-£6.0m midfielder would.
That’s the theory anyway.
The defensive theory was 4 top 6 defensive teams and a £4.0m
So I changed £6.5m Otamendi out for £6.0m Mendy in. The City defence for me was the best in the league and will be again with Liverpool. Mendy’s attacking potential and the saving of £0.5m sealed it. Mendy starting in the community shield was a must but playing 90 minutes and getting forward so regularly was a bonus I definitely didn’t expect.
The next defensive change was£5.5m Luiz in for Bellerin out. I wanted a Chelsea defender from the start if I could get one for £5.5m. Luiz, although terrible in the Community Shield, I hope will hold his place given he’s played so much in pre-season. At the moment I’m gambling that Chelsea will be better defensively than Arsenal and certainly having Kante back will help.
The last defensive change was £4.0m Wan Bissaka in for £4.0m Peltier out. I still think Peltier will start. I just think Palace will be the better defensive side.
Bailly held his place in my team although he is an injury watch out. Man Utd have been terrible in pre-season and their defence is over rated given that they relied so much on David De Gea last season who way over performed the expected goals of shots against him. However I still back Mourinho to solve the defensive side of the problem and are keeping Bailly for the moment.
Robertson is going no where from my team. He has excellent attacking attributes and Van Dijk and Allison should improve the team defensively by some margin.
I can see Mendy and Robertson lasting the distance in my team and playing every week subject to injury given they both have clean sheet and attacking potential. In Bailly and Luiz I’m investing in guys with limited attacking potential on the basis of clean sheet potential which given Man Utd’s pre-season and Chelsea’s performance against Man City you could question. However last season the top 5 clubs, of which these were 4, all got 16 clean sheets minimum. That’s 64 points before bonus, attacking points and appearance points. The top £5.5m mid last season was Fernandinho who got 5 goals and 4 assists for an attacking return of 37 points.
A World Cup year has seen less points scored by the league winning team and 17/18 was a better clean sheet for the top 6 season than 16/17 and 15/16 so it’s not a done deal.
Ramsey left my team for Bernardo Silva. You may have seen from my Sunday pre-season article that Pep said that Bernardo was the first name on the team sheet for GW1. I have some reservations about Bernardo Silva given that he just doesn’t produce enough goal threat for me. He is a great price and even if he plays just short term you should see the rewards. I wanted a City midfielder and David Silva would have been my choice but various words from Pep and his no explanation no show on Sunday and the fact that he’s 32 meant for me it was just a bit too far. I am a huge Ramsey fan but for reasons I’ll explain later I ended up with Aubameyang in the side and that meant there was no way I could have 2 Arsenal attackers. It was just too much risk with Man City and Chelsea first and the unknown of a new manager.
Sanchez left the side for Richarlison. Manchester United look to have too many issues to invest £10.5m into the midfield and with Sanchez not being highly owned he’s not a ranking threat either. Richarlison is one of my cheaper fixture picks. Everton have a great set of fixtures and Richarlison has fantastic underlying stats. If he can work out how to put the ball in the net then he will be a big success. That’s a big if as he has little history to go on outside of last season but if you’re ever going to throw the dice it’s with these fixtures.
Gunnarson went out of my team for MacDonald of Fulham. I didn’t want a £4.5m mid but budget forced me too. There are a few good £5.0m mids in Kenedy, Pritchard and Ralls but budget didn’t allow it. I was all set for Gunnarson but then he didn’t play in the last pre-season game and CB Bamba played in midfield. Now I can’t believe a 33 year old CB can track down the likes of Hazard on a longer term basis as a CDM but I didn’t think it was worth the risk so I switched horses. MacDonald likes a card too much but he seems reasonably safe.
Duelofeu moved out to Neves. Playing 4-3-3 is one thing but I didn’t particularly want 2 £4.5m mids. I’ve always wanted to go Kenedy but he hasn’t played much of pre-season due to his partner giving birth. I wasn’t so much worried about GW1 but more if Atsu stayed in the team ahead of him. Neves seems the best of the rest of the £5.0m and could have pens.
Salah stays in my team. His ownership and captain potential multiplying that threat means he is too dangerous not to own even if I had my doubts about him which I don’t
Aguero stays in the team. His Community shield performance helped although to some extent the 4-3-3 or 4-1-4-1 whatever you want to call it could mean rotation. However he is just such a dangerous player and Pep has talked about 3-5-2.
Austin stays. Even with 3-5-2 he still seems a rotation risk and he either seems to do nothing or score which can be quite frustrating. However his overall underlying stats are so good that I just have to go with him.
Aubameyang is in and Jimenez out. In reality it’s more Sanchez out and Aubameyang in. I fiddled around with my team so much and I struggled to end up with anything I liked unless I had Aubameyang in it. He does have 2 tricky fixtures but he also has a great run after that. He also makes it easier to flip him to one of the World Cup returners. Be that Kane, Hazard or Sterling. Other structures just meant a sale of Aguero. Personally I think Aubameyang and Aguero can hold their own in return per value even without being a regular captain necessity.
Budget forced me to go with just the 1 goalkeeper and a £4.0m backup. Patricio stayed and Fabianksi went although I could easily reverse that. £4.0m Stekelenburg is the back up. I’m not sure I agree with the principle of this but save points and the odd 10 pointer from an unexpected clean sheet plus save and bonus can justify it.
Here’s the team then:
A word about a great start
I’m reading alot of stuff saying how essential it is to have a good start. I personally don’t subscribe to the theory. It is always helpful and it’s always better to have the points than not but it’s not the end of your season that’s for sure. There will always be 50/50 captain decisions and different players in your team that will be significantly rank altering.
For me it’s a marathon not a sprint.
A few of you may have read my ebook from a couple of seasons ago. Here were 4 managers ranks at GW20. 432k, 322k, 940k and 293k. Here were their GW38 ranks 22k, 7k, 30k and 18k.
I’ll post my final team obviously on Friday. Anything could happen in the meantime
You can also see some of the contributors teams
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