fantasy premier league strategies – thinking differently in FPL by Stephen Toumi

Here’s regular commenter and contributor to the site Stephen Toumi with his 4th fantasy premier league strategies article in the series of thinking differently in FPL. He’s continued his focus on the 5-2-3 formation 

fantasy premier league strategies – thinking differently in FPL by Stephen Toumi

You can see Stephens last article when he used his wildcard with this link

If there is one quality I have employed this FPL season, its patience. Through 8 game weeks, I have continued to run out a 5-2-3 formation to take advantage of the clean sheet possibilities to start the year. To date, my 5-man defense (and goalkeeper) have kept 23 clean sheets, by way of comparison, the overall number one has kept just 18, conversely, I have struggled to find the net, bagging just 20 goals compared to his 29. A 2-man midfield will do this! When looking back to last season, I am 31 points better off (440 vs 409) this year, but 346k lower in the overall rankings (634k vs 288k). While the season is still young, there are many questions left unanswered, but remaining consistent is what I am after.

fantasy premier league strategies

Advantages of 5-2-3

“Thinking differently” has allow me to look at my fantasy squad without some of the problems plaguing fantasy managers; finding that budget, 5th midfielder or 3rd forward to provide offensive returns and having non-starters on the bench to maximize other positions. Going into the season starting a 2-man midfield has allowed me to budget more on defenders (£30.3m) and forwards (£31.7). Based purely on budget, I feel I have a “balanced” squad, allowing me to transfer premium players at each position without having to completely rebuild my squad. Unfortunately, a single goal coupled with no attacking return can quickly add up, ruining a game week when your attacking players have put in a noteworthy performance.

While I continue to plan 3-5 weeks out, rarely have I been able to follow those expected moves to maximize points. Then again, no one thought Man City would be lights out scoring, as they have been the last 4 out of 5 games (24 goals)! That fact, coupled with players like Eric Maxim Chuopo-Moting, Richarlison and the reemergence of Zaha have me reevaluating the viability of shifting to a 3-man midfield.

What about 5-3-2?

There has been some thought to moving to a 5-3-2 midfield to capitalize on in-form players. It’s very difficult to ignore what Silva, De Bruyne, Sterling and Sane are doing at City. Even though they won’t bag 7 goals per game, it’s at a point where attacking returns outweigh Pep’s rotation decisions. However, I am not sure I want to triple up on City, as I already own Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus.

The thought of introducing Kun Aguero to partner with Jesus and Harry Kane and Jesus up front is tempting. He’d posted 5 goals in 3 games prior to injury, compared to Jesus’s 4 goals. Yet, I stop short of pressing that ‘Make Transfers’ button as the thought of Pep creeps in, whispering “rotation…rotation.” We know it will happen, but chances are even with managed minutes City attackers are going to get their attacking returns.

The other third forward option, partner the fit again, Alvaro Morata with Kane and Jesus. Now down to £10.2m, it would cost me two full transfers dropping Ben Davies in favor of Phil Jones and Jamie Vardy for Alvaro Morata. I would be getting back into Jones just 3 weeks after moving him because of the upcoming fixtures. This move would exhaust any remain budget ITB, relying on the in-form Christian Eriksen and Pascal Groß. While Brighton has favorable fixtures through Gameweek 12, they have accounted for just 6 goals on the season but has been involved in 5 of those (2 goals/3 assists).

While there is some concern over Groß and his offensive potential, I would like to move on Watford’s, Richarlison, playing in an advanced role for the Hornets, he’s been a popular choice behind 3 goals/3 assists through 8 games. To bring him in would require moving Davies for Stephen Ward, which would leave me £0.7m ITB. At £6.4, I could transfer Richarlison and still have £0.3 ITB for future moves.

Clean sheets continue but attacking returns stall

Defensively many fantasy owners consider £30.0m spent on defenders crazy! That’s £5.0-6.0m that could be applied to a stronger, more robust midfield, yet Eriksen and Mkhitaryan proved to be strong picks before the injury to Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini. Gameweek 8 was the worst defensive performance, just 12 points, since Gameweek 4 when defenders and goalkeeper combined for 6 points. Knowing just a single goal ruins a 6-point performance, it’s a risk I continue to take.

Only Davies has offensive returns since GW4, which is concerning but continuing to see clean sheets roll has helped me post 4 green arrows out of the last 6 weeks. It’s a situation that must be monitored. Marcos Alonso and Sead Kolasinac not returning is frustrating, as is Kyle Walker scoring an own goal, but their track records as attack-minded defenders are what I continue to bank on.

For now, I am governed by patience. I don’t want to get too excited by the high-flying Citizens or worry about a lack of offense returns from my wing backs

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2 thoughts on “fantasy premier league strategies – thinking differently in FPL by Stephen Toumi”

  1. Great article again Stephen! I am waiting every week for your article.
    I like your squad and like the 5 man defense, i would maybe transfer out sometime Grob as I think Brighton will not score alot of goals at all, and maybe Davis out due to rotation with Rose, I think Alonso and Walker was just bad luck. Good luck,

    As for me I had another green arrow but only 300k

    GW1 74 5 593,421 0 0 74 593,421 £100.0 new
    GW2 52 11 1,216,893 1 0 126 525,847 £100.3 up
    GW3 47 12 1,641,817 1 0 173 496,268 £100.6 up
    GW4 48 13 1,901,715 1 0 221 378,532 £100.6 up
    GW5 56 9 2,877,260 2 4 273 792,262 £100.8 down
    GW6 72 6 1,067,663 1 0 345 535,495 £101.3 up
    GW7 68 11 577,288 2 4 409 332,691 £101.4 up
    GW8 48 11 1,376,880 0 0 457 298,987 £101.9 up

    I used my 2 ft to bring in Fonte and Sterling instead of Bailly and Tadic.

    My team for GW9:
    DDG (Elliot)
    Trippier Cedric Fonte (Dawson Mee)
    Ericksen Richalson Moting Sterling(c) (Carrol)
    Luk Kane Vardi

    Good luck for both of us with green arrows..

    • Thanks Yaniv. I am pleased with how the team is coming together, but lack weekend’s lack of wing back returns is a big concerning. I continue to preach patience and not knee jerk players in and out, this include City players. I have two currently, but don’t want to move to get a third if it’s going to cost me -4 to -8 points to get a starting XI.

      Much like the start of the season, I made a last minute change before the start of GW8. In fact I was looking 5-8 gameweeks out and moving premium players out, but only if I could get them back in. The move was supposed to be Chuopo-Moting coming in last week, but with Morata close to fitness and hazard returning to Chelsea I had to reevaluate my position.

      So it was GroB over Moting and even with good fixtures and GroB being highly involved, you are right, Brighton doesn’t score much and he’s just a stop gap until I move him in the next 2-3 weeks.

      Richarlison is on my short list, as is Moting, but I don’t plan on playing 3 midfielders at this time. Defensively I am considering moving Davies next week, now that Rose is fit it will be interesting to see how Poch works both players in. I don’t think Rose walks back in after how well Davies has been but Daniels, Ward and Femenia are budget options I am looking at. I wish I would have stuck with Valencia from GW1, but moved to Jones for budget reasons.

      Up front, I will continue to keep the faith in Kane, we know he is going to be there in the end and his home woes can’t continue. Can they? Stats are still good and it’s hopefully just a matter of time, but at his price tag, he should be outscoring all other fantasy players. Morata is the only forward I am looking to add. Vardy hasn’t worked out as expected, but still has some potential with a new interim manager in place.

      We will see how it goes…good luck!

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