Here’s part 2 of our fantasy premier league team tips GW5 articles where 3 FFGeek Contributors show their teams for GW5 including a wildcard. There’s Rob Reid, Rick Porter and Costas Chari. Between them they have 10 top 0.5% finishes in the last 5 competitive seasons.
Fantasy Premier League Team Tips GW5 – 3 FFGeek Contributors Teams Part 2 – Including Another Wildcard
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It’s worth noting that the teams shown may not necessarily end up being the final teams or the transfers may have been made in the days prior to the posting . It’s an informal situation to give you an idea of trends.
As for the Contributor tracker team and the FFGeek Team transfers will be completed as the article is posted which will almost always be on the Friday or the midweek deadline day.
Rick’s last 5 seasons ORs were 1k, 29k, 1k, 30k and 2k.
GW4 Points: 88 on WC (FPL average 57) Total points: 343, Overall Rank: 4k, green arrow: 51k Team Value: £100.9m
I’d say that was a successful Wildcard. I’d have ended up on 66 points if I’d taken a -4 and followed my non-wildcard option, so that’s a gain of 22 points and I now have all the prime captain picks covered for the foreseeable future. Fortune was on my side, as the popular Fernandes downgrades of Torres, Jota and Greenwood only managed a single assist between them. Those three should start to see some degree of rotation soon, so I’m hoping their threat to my rank will start to diminish.
The Antonio sending off was a bit of a kick in the stomach. Though, while I can see where temptation might creep in, if you can still field 11 players I think his removal is a mistake. It’s only one week. Even after the GW4 blank, he’s still joint top for goals scored and joint second for assists. He’s already 0.4m up on his starting price and faces Leeds and Brentford when he’s back. That’s nowhere near a sell for me. I’d much prefer having him in the line-up ready for GW6 with two transfers in my back pocket rather than punting on either Jimenez or Bamford (neither of which have shown any form yet) and having to brave his likely still sizable ownership come the Leeds match.
That said, it’s far from ideal having Antonio sit out this week. The downside of my wildcard was short-term inflexibility and losing Antonio straight away will expose that. In a team largely full of premium and value players, he was one of few mid-level, high-ownership assets that offered security. Not to mention the lessened appeal of Benrahma in his absence, which diminishes another of my more popular template players.
Due to all that, I’m already assuming the coming week will be less successful for me. I’m happy to grin and bear it, though, and hope that my premiums deliver on their price tags and the peripheral players chip in to limit any damage. I’ve had an excellent start to the season and I can’t realistically expect to continue to improve rank.
Assuming there are no injuries, I’ll be rolling my transfer.
I have to bench one of Benrahma, Sissoko or Ayling and I’m not sure which yet. Sissoko and Ayling have the better fixtures, but Benrahma has the ownership. I’ll decide on this later in the week.
I’ll play safe and run with whoever seems more popular between Ronaldo and Salah.
Transfer summary: Likely carrying over the free transfer
Here’s the team assuming no transfer is made
Rob’s last 6 seasons overall ranks were 12k, 148k, 94k, 22k, 4k and 7k
GW4 Points: 61 -4 (FPL average 57) Total points: 281, Overall Rank: 855k, red arrow: 133k Team Value: £100.6m
Follow Rob on twitter here
This gameweek ultimately hinged on a really bad transfer call. I’d narrowed things down to bringing in Lukaku, Ronaldo or Calvert-Lewin on Friday night and I knew I likely wouldn’t be able to make a last-minute transfer on Saturday morning due to personal circumstances. Needless to say, I went with Calvert-Lewin! It seemed like a reasonable decision at the time based on who had the better fixtures for 3 weeks, but Lukaku did have a great fixture in GW4 too and Ronaldo, well to quote one of my favourite films – he was inevitable!
I picked up the results at 8pm on Saturday night – at least I got the painful news all in one go and not progressively through the afternoon. I then watched the Liverpool game on Sunday and was tearing my hair out as Mo somehow only managed to rack up 1 return (pass the effing ball Sadio!) The crowning glory on the week was then a no-show from Calvert-Lewin on Monday night as Rafa revealed in his pre-match chat that he’d injured himself again over the weekend. At least I got 6 points off the bench from Veltman as a consolation, which kept my Overall Ranking in 6 figures rather than 7.
Going back to Saturday night, I realised once I saw the performances of Ronaldo and Lukaku that I’d made a really bad call on this front and that combined with a number of other pressing issues within my team meant that I was now at the stage where I had too many fires in my squad to put out simply with points hits. I took Finlay and Ivy for an hour’s walk to contemplate playing my Wildcard and arrived back from my walk clear in my mind that it was the right thing to do.
My initial plan had been to hold the Wildcard until Gameweek 8 and I still think this a great spot to play it. There is an international break here which gives you 2 weeks of planning and the ability to react to any injuries that occur over this period. Secondly, there is also a clear fixture swing for a few teams around there. So why not hang on for 3 more gameweeks?
Looking at my team, I’ve now got a lot of fires to fight. I’ll make no bones about it, I’ve made some really bad calls over the first 4 gameweeks. Some have been 50/50s gone wrong – going with Barnes over Benrahma in the pre-season form battle for GW1 and going with Jota over Greenwood are a couple of examples here. But I’ve made some bloopers as well – going DCL over Lukaku or Ronaldo last weekend for example. What was I thinking picking a player that was yellow-flagged for a hit? That’s a pretty basic error.
In terms of the fires in my team, starting at the back – I’ve gone with the wrong 4.5m keeper I reckon. Bachmann looked good on paper at the start of the season, but his form has been flakey (watching Austria vs Scotland was all the evidence I needed here) and Watford’s defence looks fragile. In defence, Trent and Shaw have been good picks and my Brighton cover of Duffy and Veltman bailed me out a little this week. I don’t however want double Brighton moving forward and my 5th defender Amartey has now lost his place so he’s contributing nothing.
In midfield, Salah will be staying in my team and I’m happy with him moving forward as an ongoing Captain option. After that though, Fernandes looks a far less appealing premium option now with Ronaldo now likely on penalties. Benrahma is looking a bit more like a flash in the pan now, particularly after being subbed early last weekend and with West Ham likely to rotate more due to Europa League commitments. Jota is still a good option moving forward, but we’ve no news on Firmino’s return yet which might affect his place. And 4.5m option Brownhill looks one of the weaker bench fillers in this category.
Up front is a bit of a disaster. As already mentioned, Calvert-Lewin is now red-flagged with a 2-3 week absence likely. Antonio misses GW5 through suspension, though has been a real hit so far and my other striker is the misfiring Ivan Toney, who hasn’t really found his feet in the EPL and has some terrible fixtures coming soon.
Looking at the overall picture further, I’ve no premium forwards. Lukaku, Ronaldo or indeed both look important options when considering captaincy. I’ve no cover from Leeds, Wolves or Arsenal who have some of the best upcoming fixture runs. I’ve also no cover from Chelsea or Man City, who both look to have the best defences and have good fixtures from GW7 and 8 respectively. The reality is, I’m not enjoying the game with my current team and sweeping changes are needed to put this right. I’m also bleeding 10-20 points a week to the top 100k and I think will continue to do so until I get to GW8.
Yep, for my team – it’s time to Wildcard.
The first question to ask this week is how many premium (£11m plus) players do I want – 2, 3 or even 4?! (I think 4 is too much of a stretch on the budget!) For me, I think the answer is 3. This does limit you a bit in some areas, but my feeling is that it is easier to start on 3 and drop to 2 later if necessary, rather than the other way around. I’m also inspired a bit by Rick Porter’s 3 premium Wildcard from last week. It’s started out well and Rick is a manager with a strong track record – not a bad act to follow in my opinion. In terms of the 3 premium options to pick, I’ll be going for Salah, Ronaldo and Lukaku initially and I think this gives me good overall Captaincy cover, even on weeks where there may be a Captain split.
There’s also no question that Trent Alexander-Arnold will be staying in my team – I’ve no plans to drop him to a cheaper defender to accommodate more budget elsewhere as I’ve seen some managers doing on Wildcards on social media. I think of Trent more as a midfielder to be honest, but with the bonus of clean sheet points. His attacking returns match the best midfielders in the £6-7m range and if you add the clean sheet and bonus points he accumulates to this, then he’s got to be in there. That’s 4 spots already filled then. How about the rest?
I’m keen to stay with a £4.5m and £4.0m combination. The best two £4.5m keeper options now I think are Ramsdale and Sanchez. Ramsdale comes with a caveat in that his gametime security is more fragile (based on some post-match comments from Arteta) though does come with the positive in that you can cover Sanchez using Duffy in your defence for a cheaper combination and save yourself £0.3m versus the alternative combination of Sanchez and White of Arsenal. A step up to £5m does open up more options – Sa of Wolves for example; but this £0.5m is precious elsewhere and I’m loathe to spend it on what is essentially the lowest ceiling bracket points-wise.
I’d like Chelsea cover now rather than booking a transfer for GW7. The negative with this is their next 2 fixtures are Spurs and City, though Chelsea have shown they can keep clean sheets against anyone. Rudiger at £5.5m is probably the most gametime secure. £5.0m Christensen is a cheaper less secure option. Full-backs James and Alonso look the best attacking shouts, but do come with gametime risk too.
There’s lots of good options in the £4.5-5.0m bracket and I really like Wolves fixtures moving forwards. They’ve posted some decent defensive stats too so I’m happy to go with Marcel at £4.5m, though Semedo at £4.9m has been unlucky not to post some attacking returns so far and is arguably posting better number statistically. There’s also good options in this bracket at Arsenal – I’m interested in their new full-back Tomiyasu at £4.5m and of course Ben White at £4.4m who’s less attacking but more gametime secure.
I’m also going to need a cheap defender in this bracket to help with my budget and there’s some good options in the aforementioned Duffy (I bought him for £4.0m in GW2); Livramento and Omobamidele at the super-cheap price of £3.9m. I’ll definitely pick one of these but might stretch to 2 if needed budget-wise.
The question is whether I try and hold on to Luke Shaw at £5.5m – he’s great going forward with strong stats to back this up and in good form, but United’s fixtures start to get trickier now so I see less clean sheet prospects. I suppose one option would be to try and keep him and switch him to a City defender further down the line?
Salah stays then but who’s going to join him? I’m going to look at the £5.5-6.0m bracket first as there are some interesting options starting to emerge here. Connor Gallagher and Demari Gray have both started the season strongly, are posting good stats and are passing the eye test all in spite of having no real previous FPL pedigree. I suspect one or both could end up in my squad. Everton also have 2 further options who have started strongly in Doucoure and Townsend, though again neither have any strong FPL history.
Wolves also have some interesting assets in Traore and Trincao. Both are temptingly priced and neither have produced much as yet. Traore has traditionally been a bit all mouth and no trousers – great player to watch, frustrating player to own with limited returns for the fun factor. Trincao remains a bit of an unknown – decent history with Braga, less so with Barca last season in terms of returns. He did post a decent xA versus Watford in GW4 but that is against one of the weaker teams so the jury’s still out for me.
Leeds have a good fixture run coming up and Harrison is now priced at £5.8m having returned 8 goals and 10 assists last season, though he’s not showed any sign of recapturing this form as yet this campaign. For Leeds the appeal is to step up to £6.5m and get Raphinha. At this price range there’s also the West Ham assets of Fornals and Benrahma, though GW5 might be a good time to hop off their assets – I’ll mention this when I look at Antonio in the forwards section.
Then it’s into the 7-8m players – Jota, Greenwood, Torres and co. I might be priced out of these sadly, but I’m going to do plenty of tinkering to see if perhaps one of these can be worked in and how it would impact the rest of the team.
1 slot to fill then if I’m carrying Ronaldo and Lukaku. Calvert-Lewin is injured and Antonio is suspended. The latter is a problem as he’s still heavily owned and for those with no major issues in their team, if you own him I think it’s reasonable to simply bench him this week for a difficult fixture versus Man United. For me, I think I have to sell really – it would seem folly to Wildcard and have a red flagged player sitting in my team so I think I’ll cash in my £0.2m profit and look elsewhere. GW5 isn’t a bad week to hop off West Ham assets either as their squad is set to be challenged more by their upcoming Europa League fixtures.
All of which leaves fairly thin pickings now. Jimenez and Bamford are probably the obvious two on the basis of fixtures. Jimenez has no returns yet but is posting some ok stats and is a little cheaper at £7.4m. I thought Bamford played well with the limited service he got versus Liverpool and his movement was excellent without him really being given any clear opportunities – I would expect him to have more luck against Newcastle in GW5. A word of caution though there is talk he may have picked up a muscle injury in the Liverpool game so we’ll need some information from the press conference on this. Thankfully Bielsa tends to be one of the more forthcoming managers in this respect.
There are options a little lower in price as well. I really like the look of Armstrong at Southampton, but not yet as a pick because of his fixtures. I think he could be a good pick from GW8 though, and I’ve got a strategy in mind where I perhaps downgrade a Jimenez or Bamford in GW8 to Armstrong and use the funds to upgrade a defender onto a City or Chelsea premium. The other player who caught my eye this weekend was Edouard of Palace. I’ve seen a fair bit of him from his time at Celtic – believe me this guy has real potential. Granted the SPL is absolutely nowhere EPL quality, but he knows where the goal is, intelligent, quick and there is previous history in the whole Saints/Celtic connection with a certain Virgil Van Dijk.
The other option is I just scrap my 3rd forward spot and put in a 4.5m filler and jump between a 3-5-2 and a 4-4-2 which could be feasible. I’m always a little nervous about this though – that £4.5m player can become a bit of an albatross and can be difficult to upgrade later on.
A Potential Draft
Here’s a 1st draft then – it’s by no means the finished article but I hope it gives you an idea of where I might be heading. It can shift between a 3-4-3 and a 4-3-3.
Looking at the positives – it gets the 3 premiums in, plus Trent and another premium defender, 3 lower mid-range midfielders and a mid-range striker in Jimenez. The negatives are that I’d prefer the Sanchez/White combination over Ramsdale/Duffy for gametime security and there is no scope for getting a 7-8m midfielder like Jota or Greenwood in there. One option in this respect would be to downgrade Jimenez to Edouard which would give me close enough for an upgrade on Raphinha but this then leaves me without Leeds cover. The take home message is that there’s always going to be a compromise.
I will of course continue to tinker and will be keeping a keen eye on the European games throughout midweek to see if any injuries or selection issues crop up. I aim to post a final-ish team article on Thursday night with a final draft coming on Twitter probably around 430pm on Friday afternoon prior to the evening deadline.
Transfer summary: Wildcard activated
Here’s the current Wildcard draft
Costas’s last 5 seasons were 191k, 17k, 84k, 29k and 27k
GW4 Points: 62 (FPL average 57) Total points: 312, Overall Rank: 163k, red arrow: 60k Team Value: £101.1m
Follow Costas on twitter here
Another bad week for me and its a 3/3 red arrows after a cracking gw1. 60k red and a dropto 163K OR from 103K. hopefully I can get one back when I eventually WC.
Wildcarders came above this week as popular picks Lukaku and Ronaldo braced! My plan was to WC in gameweek7 but I have changed my mind and I will probably WC later on. I can get my WC team with a hit and 3 FTs up until GW8 so ill just wait! Benrahma and Greenwood will be downgraded to fund the Antonio to Lukaku switch and Shaw will be transferred to Rudiger/ Christensen GW8.
I am keeping Antonio at the moment, I have had him from the start so any price drops wont affect me. He will get his needed rest next week and be fresh to give me another haul before I transfer him out to Lukaku.
I have transferred out Coufal to Marcal. Plan was to go Semedo but Marcal offers a cheaper route to the Wolves defence and if I am going to save the WC I need every penny to get to 3 premiums.
Captain will be Salah with VC on Alexander Arnold.
On the bench its actually no one 🤣 2 players not eligible to play and Amartey who doesn’t start so hopefully I can field all 11
Transfer summary: Coufal out for Semedo completed
Here’s the team with the transfer completed
The FFGeek Contributors League
The highlighted FFGeek contributors combined team finished with an overall rank of 8k last season and 52k the season before. It started ok in 10th place with total points of 308 and an overall rank of 220k. You can follow that team, including live transfers as well as the FFGeek team, on our subscription Patreon site
There’s loads of other features on the Patreon site that you can read about at the top of this page
The FFGeek Fixture Ease article
The Bandwagons and Sinking Ships