Here’s our fantasy premier league suspended article where we look at how a few of the FFGeek contributors have been treating the suspension period as the FPL site continues to let gameweeks continue during the suspension period. In this article we have Rob Reid, Ben Wooton, Andrew Whitfield, Kev from Canada and Sergio Torija. Plus I put in a quick word as well.
fantasy premier league suspended – what the FFGeek contributors are doing?
Some background basics
The Premier League has announced that there won’t be any PL games until the end of April at the earliest.
The fantasy premier league site announced that despite this GW31-GW35 would go ahead despite no matches taking place. There’s no guarantee that it will resume in GW36 or even at all and obviously no guarantee as to how the FPL site will deal with the mass postponements.
FPL managers will continue getting a free transfer every week. Obviously you can only hold a maximum of 2 transfers at any time.
You may have seen in my 10 top FPL managers article of yesterday how these managers have been treating the suspension and whether they have been making transfers and to whom.
Just so you can see what the Contributors are doing I’ve asked those who are able to provide some info on what they have done since the suspension and if they want to on their personal circumstances during the Covid 19 pandemic.
I’ll start first with what I’ve been doing
Geek – 1693 points, overall rank 31k transfers available 2
You may remember that I used a transfer before the GW30 deadline after I knew the games were going to be postponed. I took out Rico of Bournemouth who appears to have lost his place for Basham of Sheffield United who seemed to be the best pick of the £4.5m players.
Since then I haven’t made a transfer and I’ve wasted 1. The situation seems so unclear as to whether the game will start in GW36 or at all and how the fixtures will be dealt with, that it’s difficult to know what to do unless you have an obvious transfer of an injured player or one who’s lost his place.
If I wanted to replicate the template of the 10 top FPL managers as of yesterday I would be looking to bring in Jimenez and Pope.
I’m not sure about Pope or the Burnley defence to be honest. I think Pope is a pretty hopeless GK with a pretty hopeless save %. Burnley are 9th in xG conceded and 10th in goals conceded with bith numbers being very close. The plus is that they have held their opponent to under 1 goal xG conceded on 9 occasions which suggests they are either hopeless defensively or very good. Still my current GK is McCarthy where I have even less faith in their defence so it’s not as if I’m sacrificing much. So that could happen.
The other template player I don’t have is Jimenez. Interestingly Calvert Lewin has now snuck into template status so that would mean sacrificing either Firmino or Vardy. Firmino is a player who I think is a hat trick waiting to happen. He just can’t keep collecting xG without it paying dividends. He’s now 7 goals scored benhind his xG. Those chickens have to come hoome to roost surely? I would also find it difficult to take Vardy out after scoring twice, admittedly against Aston Villa but he could be the sacrifice for Jimenez which would allow McCarthy to Pope.
Mahrez is the other guy I could get rid of in the round. Fernandes seems to be the flavour of the month although he’s not template yet. You may have seen my focus article on him by the way.
Anyway it’s the start of the week so I have some more thinking time still. It’s pretty amazing that even in a time of premier league suspension that I still find a way to procrastinate over transfers.
Here’s my team as it stands;
Rob’s last 5 seasons overall rank were 148k, 94k, 22k, 4k and 7k
1688 total points, overall rank 36k transfers available 2
Hi everyone – hope you are all ok at the moment wherever in the world you are. Geek has asked us to put a few notes together as to what our current plans are during the FPL shut down in the hope that we can give people a small something to take their mind off the challenging circumstances we all face at the moment, even if only for a few minutes.
Current team and plans
For my team, I’m currently at 36k and have 2 free transfers going towards the ‘GW32 deadline.’ I used both my available transfers in ‘GW30’ which interestingly cost me 30 odd places in terms of overall rank! These transfers were Ings to Calvert-Lewin and Grealish to Fleck. The idea was to free up some funds so that I can then upgrade Traore to Fernandes this week. I find United’s new midfielder an intriguing prospect. The stats kind of scream at me that this early from is unsustainable, but he’s good on the eye and may be one of these players who can maintain things – a bit like Eden Hazard used to be. I’m 0.1m short of a direct move at the moment, so I plan to either change Henderson to Pope or Gomez to a Sheffield United defender to give me the cash I need. The latter transfer could be a prelude to downgrading Aubameyang and trying to work Mane into the midfield but I’m not sure on this yet and will give it some further thought through April.
We’re obviously not sure what shape the rest of the season will take at this stage. There are suggestions that the Premier League could restart in early May behind closed doors. At the moment this looks difficult considering the overall state of the nation, but looking at things from a medical point of view I can see ways in which this could happen. Teams and their support staff would need to be tested regularly and almost kept in protective bubbles but if this is done correctly, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility. Of course, you have to debate whether in the grand scheme of things if ethically this is the right thing to do, but if it could happen safely it would certainly give the nation a much needed boost.
What has surprised me a little is that FPL haven’t simply suspended the game. I’m sure there’s an IT reason for this which is way beyond my tiny computer knowledge but it leads me to think that are we just going to have one big final bumper gameweek at the end or could they feasibly add in a GW39, 40, 41 etc. We’ll see I guess – we can only speculate at this stage.
Non FPL life
As for me personally, I’m based in Northern England and at Vet. I’m continuing to work in clinic at this time although on an altered and reduced service to the one we usually offer. We are in a position where we still have to provide emergency care for people’s pets and the biggest challenge with this is continuing to do so while keeping our vets, nurses and support staff safe. Our clients thankfully have been very understanding and willing to work with the measures we have put in place and I would certainly encourage everyone to respect the workers in all sectors who at this time are potentially putting themselves at risk by trying to make sure the world continues to run in some shape or form and that we still have functioning public services and food on the table each day.
That’s all from me for now, look after yourself everyone and try and stay positive. This isn’t going to be forever and when we return to normality, we should all appreciate the world we live in (and the occasional green arrow!) that much more.
You can follow Rob on twitter here
Here’s Rob’s GW31 “points team” as it stands:
Ben’s last 3 seasons overall rank were 61k, 26k and 31k.
1731 total points, overall rank 7k transfers available 2
Fantasy football is on hold in the UK. I am taking the positive and that my rank cannot drop.
However it’s a strange time. Transfers and no games make strange bedfellows.
For me the key point is you need to remember to use them, set a reminder of sorts. Working from home if my kids don’t know what day of the week it is then I am worried I will forget.
We don’t know how games will pan out yet, how we can utilise wildcards etc so I think my aim would be to rebalance my team and remove injuries or weak points.
So far I’ve just made Fernandes in and Maddison out before the GW30 deadline.
I aim to carry two moves a week from this point just in case a restart comes quick. This would give me maximum flex for any deadline.
My other main aim is to move to two Liverpool midfielders in Salah and Mane for the restart and lose a Liverpool defensive double. I think even with a drop in form they are gonna wanna wrap things up quickly.
Here’s Ben’s GW31 “points team” as it stands:
Andrew finished with an overall rank of 6k last season and 19k in 17/18
1620 total points, overall rank 240k transfers available 2
Firstly, with the incredibly difficult times that we are all going through, football really isn’t important. This horrible pandemic is bringing unprecedented issues, with the loss of so many jobs including whole job sectors. The number of deaths is sharply on the rise. We all need to heed the advice of government and do all we can to support our key workers and to stay at home unless absolutely necessary. Stay safe and keep your families safe.
It’s certainly weird having no football in March, both on tv and attending live games. No excuses to have that garden looking immaculate and to spend quality time with your kids. But football will return, sooner or later. When it does, it will give us a tonic that we all need. Sport plays a big part in people’s life and sport can bring people together and be a comfort to all of us.
What to do about FPL ??
– FPL is still live. The gameweeks are still ticking along, with free transfers each week. Whether that’s a conscious decision or the technology doesn’t exist to halt it, I am not sure. I just hope that when games do return, the technology exists to create gameweeks beyond GW38, or it could be one hell of a GW38 for those bench boosts !!!
– Many won’t have touched FPL since the league stopped. Personally, I am looking to take advantage of the opportunity to make weekly changes to my squad. Effectively, over a period of weeks, this amounts to a “free wildcard”. Why wouldn’t you use it if offered ??
– Strangely, those doing nothing are now getting small green arrows and those making transfers are seeing small red arrows, because when thousands of people are on the same points, “fewest transfers” is the differentiator. Free transfers are not costing points. The small rank adjustments are a small price to pay for getting your team in better shape.
– Of course, we don’t know how the fixtures will eventually be scheduled and in what order, so we can’t prioritise short term fixtures, and we can’t be sure who will be fit, and “form” goes out the window. But we can strip out players who have not been starting, and we know from the fixtures still outstanding, which teams have the most favourable remaining games.
– It’s highly likely that we are going to get multiple “double gameweeks “ for the rest of the season, to catch up. Certainly those free hits and bench boosts ( and triple captains ) will be crucial, to load up on teams with tasty looking double gameweeks. I was set to play my free hit in blank GW31 but we won’t see many blanks now. My free hit will probably now be used to maximise players in a double gameweek. My bench boost will be used when my bench all have multiple games. I don’t have my wildcard but perhaps that’s less important now to set up for the doubles. Maybe it will be even more vital if we have “triple gameweeks”.
Here was my squad before the season was halted:
My squad is always closely aligned with the highly owned players amongst the top 10k owners. This is currently – Salah 91%, Trent 89%, De Bruyne 81%, Jimenez 65%, Ings 62%, Pope 48%, Fernandes 42% and Aubamayang 40%. That’s eight players who can seriously damage your rank if not owned. I like to own 6-7 of the top 8, definitely anyone over 50%. Then look for 4-5 differentials alongside them. With the exception of the keeper, I own 6 of the top 7.
Things to consider in my team:
– Grealish. He is trying to single handedly keep a very poor Villa side in the league. Villa have awful fixtures. He is a priority sell.
– Traore. His shoulder has dislocated three times at least this season . He has been a regular cameo from the bench. As exciting as he is, I don’t feel I can rely on him as a 4th mid.
– Saka. I brought him in for the Arsenal double gameweek that wasn’t. He also offered a cheap, nailed option. But the return of Tierney and Kolasinac will change all that.
– Robertson. That impregnable Liverpool defence suddenly crumbled over the last few games before the break. I favour a 343. Trent Alexander Arnold and Boly are nailed in my defence. Lascelles and Stephens provide good options as back up. Robertson is an easy switch out to raise funds, which also frees up that third Liverpool spot in case I can find away to pair up Mane with Salah !!
– Danny Ings. Is he broken. Six blanks in seven games. Or will the break rekindle his form.
– Aubameyang. If I am going to get anywhere near Mane, then Auba would have to be switched to a budget option. Having Auba creates an easy switch to Aguero or Kane. Arsenal have great fixtures.
– Two keepers or one. I have never liked the two keeper strategy. Invariably your bench keeper scores most points. McCarthy’s 12 points last time was a prime example !! I switched to two keepers in my GW25 wildcard with a view to the blanks and doubles and bench boost to come. But with Henderson at 5.1M and McCarthy at 4.4M, it’s a potential source of funds to go with just McCarthy and a non playing keeper. But I will need two for the bench boost and it might be valuable to have two options, if teams have doubles rather than singles, or triples rather than doubles.
Who would I like:
– Bruno Fernandes is my number one target. He seemed to have transformed United in his short introduction to the league. He is on pens, corners, free kicks, shoots on sight. And United have great fixtures.
– Mane. He is the real opportunity to climb the ranks – Explosive scorer, low ownership. Difficult to get in but definitely on the radar. Not sure I want to lose De Bruyne though to get to him. Getting Mane would mean a lot of sacrifices.
– Calvert Lewin. He is the ideal replacement for Ings. He looked like scoring every time he touched the ball before FPL was halted.
– Harvey Barnes. I still have egg on my face for my comments before his 19 point haul !!!
– The return of the Lord ?? Mr Lundstram is still owned by 33% of the top 10k. 20 points over his last three fixtures was a reminder of what he can do, even off the bench. His 12 pointer in the last gameweek , together with Barnes was brutal to my rank.
My changes so far:
– I have made the switch from Grealish to Fernandes which was my priority transfer. It cost me 2.2M so something had to give. That leaves me with Salah, De Bruyne and Fernandes which I am happy with as a strong midfield three.
Realistically, Robertson to Lundstram was my only route, which also raised the required 2.2M.
– I am considering Ings to Calvert Lewin as a route to switching Traore to Barnes.
– I could switch Aubameyang to Vardy which would allow me to upgrade Boly to Doherty.
– The bold move would be to get Mane and put him in a midfield four of Salah, Mane, De Bruyne and Fernandes. I could achieve that with Aubameyang to Calvert Lewin for a budget front three of Jimenez, Calvert Lewin and Ings, who are all very capable in an exciting “front seven” !! It would also mean a downgrade of Saka to Hayden, Stephens to Williams and going with McCarthy as sole keeper. And I am still 0.3M short !! Maybe I would have to settle for Martial instead of Fernandes if I really want Mane !!
Here is my team as it stands with the two changes I have made so far:
Lots to consider. And to think that FPL is on hold !!
Football will return. Stay safe. Look after yourself and your families. That’s what’s important right now.
Sergio’s last 3 seasons were 596k, 17k and 21k
1709 total points, overall rank 7k transfers available 0
Given the current situation and some craziness at work/life, I have had zero time and motivation for FPL.
It seems ridiculous that they don’t freeze the game, and let us keep doing meaningless transfers.
Anyway, just in case we restart at some point, I’ve used my transfers like this over the last few weeks:
Vardy, Fleck & Noble OUT for Calvert Lewin, Harvey Barnes & Bruno Fernandes IN
No planning or clever rationale behind the moves, just for doing something in 5 minutes.
You all take care, exercise and keep healthy. Limit your social gatherings, and see you in few weeks for a possibly 10game per player crazy GW 38 :(
Here’s Sergio’s GW31 “points team”. Before the Vardy and Fleck OUT to Calvert Lewin and Fernandes IN transfers
Kev in Canada
Kev finished in 6k last season and 195k in 17/18
1618 total points, overall rank 251k transfers available 2
First, please stay safe. Stay in doors. Social distance. Get excersize and be positive. I hope you are all well.
I can’t believe the OfficialFPL have not paused the game. It looks like a weak move on their end. I have heard rumors they can’t shut it down, which would be the only rationale that makes sense to me. However, if that is the case they should say that. Otherwise I just think if looks bad on them that they chose to do this.
I am not sure what will happen with the league. More athletes globally are still getting COVID-19. The numbers are currently still getting worse not better. Other leagues globally are closed until May (WTA Tennis globally), June (NBA North America), etc. However, some are playing behind closed doors (AFL Australia although now suspended). I don’t sports will be resuming for a while, if at all until at least June. My thought is the league wont be void and they will finish it before starting another season, no matter when they resume. Either way, Official FPL are forcing us to make moves or lose free transfers. So let’s talk about my plan.
My thoughts of a transfer strategy:
1. I will make sure that I am rolling two transfers each week and only using the third one that I would otherwise lose, for max flexibility when the time does (maybe) come to start again.
2. There is an urge to get to a cheap second keeper (button) as a small move to free up 0.3M, however we may need to use bench boost right away (who knows). So I will personally wait on that. I think two playing keepers is probably a better move for now with so much uncertainty.
3. Looking at all the remaining fixtures I am trying to get rid of the truly brutal schedules (Villa only have one green fixture left, Bournemouth have 4 red fixtures and Palace have 5 red fixtures). So for an example, even though Grealish has a game in hand on everyone, their fixtures are so atrocious, that I will ditch him.
4. I am resisting assumption that the injured players will be fit until I know they are fit (Son, Kane, Rashford, Laporte, etc.).
5. I am making sure I don’t forget how amazing De Bruyne is. I will NOT sell him for anyone. Hes the real MVP this year (a Liverpool player will get it though). If play resumes and hes being a massive rotator I will change the thinking at that time.
6. I will try to get the players that give me cap flexibilty first.. eg. Ings to Calvert Lewin or something like that.
7. B4 I go and get 3 Man Utd players, I will keep in mind how volatile their season has been. They have been great lately but they are filled with drama and have been HOT then COLD then HOT all year. If Williams is the third player then I am not as worried but tripling Martial/Rashford if fit/De Gea seems too aggressive. I would likely go Bruno/Williams/Confirmed-Fit-Rashford as a 3.
8. If you have 2 Pool Defence and want to turn one to Mané (my situation). I would wait. Alisson may come back. They may rotate. Etc. I wouldn’t not do it per se. I would just do other moves first.. it also means Richarlidson would have to go for me and he has played very well. His fixtures are friendlier going forward now too.
Player specific plan:
Last week I went Grealish to Bruno. Next week likely Ings to Calvert Lewin. Then I’ll probably get Williams next. If that changes I will Tweet.
Here’s Kev’s GW31 “points team”:
That’s it. Hope you found it useful