Here’s 4 FFGeek Contributors with their Final-ish Fantasy Premier League teams GW1. There’s last seasons FFGeek Contributor’s league winner and 2k overall rank finisher Sergio Torija plus Costas Chari, Rob Reid and Andrew Whitfield
fantasy premier league teams GW1 – 4 FFGeek Contributors final-ish teams
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This is part 1 of the FPL managers who contribute to the FFGeek site with good histories who show their teams each week. This will give people a feel for what other managers are doing. It’s a fairly informal thing with no obligation on anyone and these teams may change at anytime before the deadline without further notice. It won’t cover transfers in real time either. It’s just to give an idea of the trends for the week no more. The teams are shown as their “final-ish” teams so they could change. Where they have twitter accounts I have shown this and they may update them there or on our Slack Channel which is part of our subscription Patreon site but this is not guaranteed
Sergio’s last 4 seasons were 2k, 596k, 17k and 21k
It feels like we just finished the previous season, but here we are, just hours away from the start of the premier league 20/21 season. I remember last year I went into GW1 with a very clear team in my head which I was very happy about, GW1 then very well and all important players turned up. Well, this year it feels very opposite to that, I just can’t decide what’s the best way to go. Each time I look to my team I end up changing a minimum of 4 or 5 players. The blank for City and United, the rise in prices for the premiums, the uncertainty regarding lineups, all that adds up to my confusion. And of course, on top of we have COVID which could affect any game at any point.
I won’t analyse why I put this player and not the other, since my team might still significantly change from this draft. In dreamland I would like to start with Lloris in goal, Robertson for a Liverpool defence double up, a power striker trio of Kane-Werner-Vardy, Salah, James Rodriguez (those worldcup 2014 and Real Madrid memories), and of course Messi captain. But down to Earth, it just can’t be, so I should be grateful that 100 million provide for Aubameyang, Kane, Fernandes, Alexander Arnold and Havertz, but will have to do with cheapies all around. It is the same for all us, I am sure.
So whatever, the premier league is back, fantasy football is back and I start another season with Kane captain, two cheap strikers and Button as my second keeper. Some things never change…
Good luck to the start of the season!
Costas’s last 4 seasons overall ranks were 17k, 84k, 29k and 27k
Costas discusses his team in detail on the FFGeek GW1 podcast on our Patreon site
Taraaaaaaaaammmmmm…. As my son George says if he wants to present something amazing (hope so). Well, we are finally back and all the tinkering can stop- thank god- . Those who follow me know that I like playing with differentials thus results in periods of lows but some super gameweeks. It is amazing how Geek and I with 2 exactly different type of playing ended up with exactly the same points last season (honored). This shows you that there are a million ways to play the game and what matters is that you should firstly enjoy it and second that OR is the final judge. I would like to begin by saying that if there is a time to be differential is the beginning of the season! Even if it goes entirely wrong you have 5 chips and 30+ gameweeks to catch up and if it goes right then you are in a good position to follow the template and remain high in OR- THE PURPOSE OF THE GAME IS TO BEAT THE CROWD so if you are much attached to the crowed you cannot get ahead.
After 4 consecutive finishes in the top 50k I have learnt some valuable lessons and hence I will change my strategy (a bit) and see where it gets me. I will be investing more in Defense than previous years. GK- I have gone with Lloris and Nyland. Lloris was the most underrated keeper last year, he finished with nearly 100 points and missed half the season from a broken arm. Spurs have a good schedule and with the addition of Hojberg they will be more solid defensively. I usually go with a combination of 8.5 for my keepers but there are some issues in the spurs D. 3 CBs Dier, Sanchez, Alderweireld which you are sure they will rotate and we don’t actually know who is nailed. Then there is Doherty who might have only had 2 training sessions with the team and with Aurier there I am not certain he plays GW1. Davies I think is quite nailed but could face some rotation from Rose and Sessegnon.
Digne is my differential here. I think h has a very high ceiling during the first 4GWs with the schedule and improvements made in the team. Doucoure and Allan will certainly make them more solid as well. Kyle walker peters is my Southampton pick that have good schedule and he personally has an attacking thereat. He will rotate with Justin of Leicester. From the Liverpool 2 fullbacks I went with Robertson as I like his pre season form (Alexander Arnold has had a minor injury as well this time) and I don’t have an extra 0.5 unfortunately. My plan is after GW5 to have both so I am hoping Alexander Arnold doesn’t punish me in these 5 gws. MitchelL from palace completes the bunch.
Aubameyang and Salah where straight in my team from the start although both will make make for De Bruyne/ Sterling and Rashford in gws 2 and 3. This year as I said on a previous article since there are a lot of great options of premiums in the midfield I will switch them around constantly and captain them. I have also went for Allan Saint Maximin as at £5.5m and the improvements in the Newcastle roster he might be a bargain. I needed some Spurs cover and I went with Alli. It’s a euro-year and he has to perform to get in the plane. Now playing in a free 10 role (after the addition of Hojberg) I think he will thrive behind Harry Kane. Last one is James Ward Prowse who I am thinking of changing to Che Adams. Reason he is there now is that Che Adams before gw30 had just one assist so he is not consistent and Ward Prowse (currently an England man as well) take all set pieces and shoots a lot so this might be his good year everyone has been waiting for the past couple of years.
Timo Werner was straight in from when the game launched. Great stats and with Pulisic, Ziyech, Havertz and co supplying him I can see him even getting the golden boot if on pens. I believe Chelsea will be last year’s Man U in terms of players with value for money. Brewster is there and he is another reason for keeping Che Adams out of the team as if he does get his move and is a 4.5 playing forward then I don’t want to spend a transfer getting him in later on. Last but not least is Dominic Calvert Lewin. He has a good schedule and plays CF at a very good on paper Everton side. At 7.0 if it doesn’t work out he can be downgraded to either Che Adams, Mitrovic, Rodrigo, Calum Wilson, Wood et al and with the extra 0.5 I can upgrade Robertson to Alexander Arnold.
In general I have stuck a bit to the template with Aubameyang, Salah, Liverpool defence cover, Southampton Defence and attack cover and SaintMaximin. But I have also mixed it up a bit with exciting prospects of players that have been tested in the PL before and have delivered in Lloris, Digne, Alli and Calvert Lewin. Especially the last 2 if they start performing well I will definitely built some value on them.
Captain- torn between Salah and Aubameyang. Aubameyang has the form but Salah can thrive in home games. I do however think that Leeds will do good this year and Fulham will be last years Norwich hence I have the armband on Aubameyang at the moment.
Good luck all!
Rob’s last 5 seasons overall rank were 148k, 94k, 22k, 4k and 7k
Follow Rob on twitter here
After much deliberation, I think I’m just about there! I’ve moved around a little from my first 2 drafts, but to be honest I’ve not done a great deal of tinkering. So for my GW1 write-up, I’ve decided to break my thinking here into 2 parts. Firstly I’m going to look at my general strategy for this season as I think it’s going to be very different from previous seasons for a number of reasons. Then second I’m going to go through my team selection and the thinking behind it. Here goes!
It goes without saying that this promises to be another weird season. We’re starting 1 month later than in previous campaigns, there is little pre-season form as many players have been away on international duty and there is a rather large Covid-shaped spectre that looms over this season which could potentially lead to games being cancelled or players being red flagged at very short notice.
As for how I think this season will pan out – for me, Man City look the team to beat and I think Liverpool will have a hard job retaining the title. City looked imperious post-lockdown while Liverpool drifted through the latter part of the campaign knowing that the title was already in the bag. Without any real pre-season form to go on, last season’s ending is the closest we have to a guide in this respect and if things even close to continue the way they did post-lockdown I think City will start strong.
I’m also very interested in the rest of the Big 6. Chelsea have made some big moves in the transfer market and the attacking aspect of their squad now looks fearsome with the addition of Werner, Ziyech and Havertz – 3 very exciting players. United found some form at the back end of last season and I think Van Der Beek looks a good signing in midfield for them. Arsenal look a more solid prospect under Arteta and have done well to hang onto Aubameyang, while Spurs have made some shrewd signings in Doherty and Hojberg and now have the benefit of a ‘pre-season’ under Jose.
Elsewhere, I think Everton look a much better prospect this season. James Rodriguez is the flagship signing on paper, but for me Allan and Doucoure are just as important. Statistically, the former has been one of the leading defensive midfielders in Europe over the few seasons and while not necessarily a viable FPL asset his ability to break-up opposition play will be crucial to others who are. Wolves could have some great value assets and if we can get a hook on who might start for them early on and should present solidity at the back again without the distraction of The Europa League. And I’m pretty excited about Southampton – they were in great form at the end of last season and I think have some intriguing FPL options at both ends of the park, though I worry about Leicester this season and if European football might just stretch their squad too far.
At the other end of the table, I think promoted sides Fulham and West Brom will struggle while Leeds probably have enough solidity to finish comfortably in mid-table. I’m also worried about Crystal Palace and West Ham. The Eagles were in wretched form post-lockdown and have a number of injuries at the back, while The Hammers seem to have some internal disputes which threaten to divide the dressing room. Villa are also a worry for me – will Ollie Watkins give them the goals they need and take a bit of pressure of Jack Grealish? Then there’s other intriguing teams – Newcastle strangely now look quite an enticing attacking prospect, Brighton could have some good value players and will Burnley and Sheffield United have the same defensive solidity as last season?
With more direct reference now to FPL, looking at the fixtures, 4 sides start with a blank (and will therefore have a double at some point which is as yet unannounced), there’s an odd split gameweek in January and there seems to be a much lower chance of us having bigger double gameweeks later in the season with FA Cup replays having been scrapped. Covid notwithstanding of course. Then there’s the game itself. It’s not really changed in terms of the general rules, though our first Wildcard expires earlier this season in Gameweek 16. What is more challenging this season though is the player’s prices – there’s a lot of premium players, all with potential to score big. There also doesn’t seem to be too much change at the budget end – I can’t see an obvious Lundstram, Ramsey or Wan-Bissaka to balance the books so we’re going to have to compromise somewhere.
I think key factors this season are going to be flexibility and an understanding that the rough is going to have to be taken with the smooth. It simply isn’t possible to own all of Salah, Mane, Fernandes, Martial, Sterling, De Bruyne, Werner, Havertz, Kane, Son, Aubameyang, Vardy, Rodriguez, Jimenez, Ings and co. (apologies if I’ve missed anyone notable) so there are going to be multiple players who are going to score big in gameweeks and there has to be an acceptance that you’re going to miss out on these points. What I think you will have to be aware of though is that these players might go onto streaks, especially against the lower teams so being flexible and having a team that can easily bend to bring these players in for 1 or 2 moves, or a hit I think will pay dividends and more this year.
As such, when I was looking at my team set-up for this season I’ve deviated a little bit from my usual tactic which is to try and balance the squad fairly evenly. Instead, I’ve looked at where the premium assets are and I’ve tried to set my squad up to maximise my ability to hop on and off these players using as few transfers as I can. In terms of when I’ll use my first Wildcard, I see a fairly nice spot in the fixture calendar which is GW9. This is after an international window, but also crucially is after Liverpool visit the Ethiad in GW8. However, I’m by no means set in stone on this and will stay fluid to the needs of the campaign.
First up, a word on how I’ve distributed my funds and why. I’ve gone as cheap as possible for my goalkeepers with the plan to set and forget and only make a transfer if injury or suspension forces my hand. In defence, I’m starting with only 1 premium and will hopefully increase to 2 if I can build a bit of team value. I’ve then gone for 1 in the mid-range, 2 x 4.5m players and 1 x 4.0m bench fodder. I also plan to try and minimise transfers in this area over the first 10 GWs so again, I’m hoping I can just set and forget. Midfield is where I’ve made significant investment – 3 premiums and 2 cheaps. Then there’s a 4th premium up front with 13m spent on the other 2 strikers. I’ve then done something I don’t usually do and that’s leave £1m in the bank for flexibility later. Here’s who I’ve gone for and my plan.
McCarthy is my set and forget. There’s 4m bench fodder for my other selection – I’ve gone for Burnley’s reserve Peacock-Farrell in this case.
Alexander-Arnold was a fairly easy selection for my premium. I did consider Robertson to save 0.5m but Trent’s set-piece involvement is too tempting. As mentioned above, ultimately I would like to get to 2 premiums, but at present I think the funds are better used further forward. The idea is to try and build in some team value, then look at a second premium around GW10. My mid-range defender is a fixture-based pick with Spurs good run over the first 8 weeks being the tempter here. I’d have loved Doherty at 6m, but I need that spare 1m so I’ve gone with Dier at 5m. Jose seems to favour him and I think he could be good for bonus points and the odd set-piece return. Davies is the other tempter at this price point for Spurs and I know the consensus is seems to be fairly nailed in his spot too, but with little license to get forward.
Now it’s 3 cheaps. My 4m bench fodder is Mitchell from Crystal Palace, though he does seem to be highly rated – maybe he’ll be able to lock down a starting berth and be of use later on. Then there’s 2 players at 4.5m. I like the look of Walker-Peters and hopefully he can get some attacking returns, although it does leave me with double Saints at the back which is a bit risky. Finally there’s Charlie Taylor of Burnley, who’ll sit out GW1 but has some nice fixtures thereafter. My only other thought is that I would like some Wolves cover – Saiss at 5m would be the option here with too many doubts on Viangre now at 4.5m.
This is where it gets complicated! My plan here is to load up with 3 premium mids with the option to hop-on and hop-off dependent on form and fixtures. I think this gives a lot of flexibility – I can react to fixtures by having a lot of funds in an area where there is a wide selection of quality premium assets but at the same time there is no pressure and if I have players who are in good form I can stick with them if they’re proving fixture-proof. The complicating fixture here is Man United’s lack of a GW fixture. Ideally, I’d start with Bruno Fernandes in the team, but having thought things through, I don’t really want to leave £10.5m sat on the bench in the first week.
So I’ve started with Salah, Aubameyang and Son to cover captaincy and fixtures, but my Plan A is to do the unthinkable and sell Salah in GW2 to bring Fernandes in. I would then likely not bring a premium Liverpool back until GW6. This of course begs the question, why then even have Mo in the first place? The answer is GW1 – I think he will be heavily captained and if he bangs, you’re behind 20 points before the season has even got going. As for my strategy for the other 2, I think Aubameyang is the best GW2 Captain but then he’s also a nice route to a premium City midfielder (De Bruyne or Sterling) in GW3. Premium 3 is Son – he’s a fixture pick, but he’s also an easy switch to Havertz, Pulisic, Ziyech or Rashford if form dictates.
My other 2 midfields are cheaps. I think Soucek is a nice option at £5m, though his fixtures are awful after GW1. He’s one of the players I’m quite unsure on and I am tempted to spend £0.5m of my contingency fund to upgrade him to a £5.5m player (eg Saint Maximin or Diangana.) Bissouma is my last midfielder at 4.5m and he’s likely just to be a bench filler.
My first forward pick is £9.5m Timo Werner. He’s been all of my drafts and looks a great prospect. His price point also has the advantage of it being easy to move him to Aguero or Martial if he doesn’t find form early on. The remaining £13m I’ve spent on Calvert-Lewin and Adams. I did toy with Ings and a non-playing 4.5m but it would leave my bench very thin, so I’ve compromised here. I’m fairly happy with Calvert Lewin – he’s a 5-6 week pick as I think he’ll find GW1 tough but I reckon that once Everton’s new midfielders settle in, he’ll get plenty of chances. Adams I’m less sure of. I was tempted by Mitrovic at the same price and could still switch to him, but I think that Fulham will find goals hard to come by (although if they do score there’s around a 40% chance it will be the Serb who gets it!) Adams looked good at the end of last season and has done ok in pre-season so hopefully he’ll be able to nail down the spot and get some returns in the process. The one thing I am toying with though is an upgrade of Adams to Wilson – seriously, am I considering Callum Wilson again after all the times he’s let me down?!
My early transfer strategy moving forward would be as follows – GW2 Salah to Fernandes; GW3 Aubameyang to De Bruyne or Sterling; GW4 carry transfer over international break to have 2 free transfers for GW5.
So that’s me. It’s a pretty template team I guess in terms of my 5 premiums, with me owning 5 of the 6 highest ownership players. Otherwise, McCarthy aside my players are pretty low ownership otherwise. As such, Captaincy looks fairly important and at the moment I’m going Salah for GW1 All this of course is subject to change, if the Friday Press Conferences throw up anything. I am still also mulling over the Saiss, ASM or Wilson moves – If I do make a change, I’ll post this on Twitter on Saturday morning.
Best of luck for GW1 everyone and I hope you enjoy the start to the new season!
Andrew finished with an overall rank of 132k last season and 6k in 18/19 and 19k in 17/18
Follow Andrew on twitter here
– Well the new season is here !! A quick turn round between seasons due to the fact we are playing “Covid catch up” from last seasons disruption which brought a delayed finish. Are you all set and raring to go ??
– I can’t remember going into a season with so much uncertainty. We have the transfer window still open until 5 October, which could completely change the outlook and set up of some teams and the appeal of their existing players. We have multiple Covid outbreaks amongst players as they return from their summer holidays which have been away from the post lockdown “safe bubble” that worked so well. We have last minute International games and late injuries and disruption to throw in to the mix. Fun times !!
– This is my 2nd season as a Geek contributor and i am excited to be back. I didn’t win the contributors league but I probably wrote the longest articles, so I hope I can help give you some vital pointers as you follow my emotional journey through the season.
– Those that follow my progress will know me as a pretty “safe” manager. I follow “the template” closely and tend to own the most popular players, my “shields”, which gives me good rank protection, relying on my 3/4 “differentials” as my “swords”. I am rarely going to have a storming good ranking week but I should also be well protected from a shocker. My success over the last three seasons has been based on steady but consistent small gains over the long term. But of course there are so many variables to throw into the mix. Look at the Mane triple captain call last season. It’s a roller coaster so fasten you’re seat belt. I suspect this season will be a very bumpy ride.
My definition of template is changing:
– I am changing my definition of “template” this season. In the same way that Geek has his ten managers that he follows, I have been busy researching 20 FPL managers with outstanding track records. They have typically finished in the top 10k at least five times in the last seven years, most of them six out of seven. They haven’t finished outside the top 50k in that time. They are consistently good. If there are players who appear in 60% of their teams, they will be in my template.
– In addition, I am going to closely follow the progress of my fellow Geek contributors. They are pretty good too !! The “tracker team” for the contributors last season, representing the core most used players, finished 52K, well inside the top 1%. If players appear in 60% of the Geek contributors teams, they will also be in my template.
– I expect to have 7/8 players in my template from these two sources. My challenge is then to find 3/4 differentials, with pretty low ownership, and within this, a couple of “fun players” and a couple of low ownership “explosive “ players that have the potential to be significant rank changers.
– Using “overall ownership” as template is flawed. 70% of FPL managers have no serious concept of how to play the game. Many of them quit over time which distorts ownership. I have also used “top 10k ownership” as template before. However, 90% of managers in the top 10k have never been anywhere near the top 10k before, many of them not in the top 1M before. Last season, I got too obsessed with “effective ownership” of the top 10k and it affected my transfers and captain picks. I am backing the picks and choices of my “trusted managers” who have done it and worn the t shirt – consistently !!
– So with all that in mind, I have my new definition of template that will shape the core of my team this season. Of course, it’s complicated with City and United not playing in GW1. We won’t get a clear picture of the template this season until it all shakes out in GW3 or GW4. In this period, until my template players are clear, I will be wrapping myself largely around the most popular players to give me a steady safe start and a foundation for the season until my template players evolve.
The Manchester problem:
– The casual players will probably have City and United players all over their teams in GW1. Bizarrely, they might suffer in GW1, but could be in great shape in GW2 when us “experts” are scratching to find a route to get them in !! It’s certainly put a twist on the start to the season.
– I can see merits in the GW2 wildcard. After all, many very good FPL managers wildcard in GW3 or GW4 anyway. It means getting on City and United early, before their prices jump up, and a chance to get ahead of the curve. But what if Chelsea are the new Man Utd with their plethora of new attacking gems. Waiting to see who comes flying out of the traps is likely to be rewarded. What if Covid takes a grip and games get called off. A GW2 wildcard is an “easy option” but it’s also a “high risk option” too.
– There are merits to benching Manchester players too – as long as it doesn’t severely weaken your GW1 team. I prefer all my value out on the pitch, earning me points, in my starting eleven, rather than on the bench. It has a higher upside, even if it means other fires could break out and I have to take a -4. My plan is to bring in Fernandes GW2 and De Bruyne GW3. Ideally i would like two United players GW2. We might all have different views after GW1. It’s important to have a general plan and structure of how to get your Manchester players in early.
The Covid factor:
– A few thoughts, with a heightened risk of late postponements. Or even if a game still goes ahead but individual players miss out…
– Don’t have your captain and vice captain in the same match just in case it’s called off.
– Don’t have three players from the same team ? Trent Robbo and Salah is a lot of money invested in one team if a game is called off.
– Have three players on your bench who are all likely to play if called upon. A high profile game like Man Utd v Spurs goes and you might need all your bench. Maybe a reason to have two playing keepers too !!
– Don’t commit to weekly transfers until closer to the deadline. It could be worth foregoing that rise in team value to put eleven players on the pitch.
My GW1 team:
Don’t expect me to commit and say that this is my week one team !! Too much can happen in a short space of time. It’s highly probable it could change. I expect there will be twists right up to the deadline, which remember is now NINETY minutes before the first game.
– McCarthy has been my set and forget keeper from the game launching. Southampton were much improved post lockdown. His manager came out and confirmed him as Southampton number one on Thursday, dispelling doubts that Forster is back for the gloves.
I am not a fan of rotating keepers, they sting you too often with your keeper on the “worst fixture” having the potential to rack the save points up, even save a penalty. My 4M bench keeper was on Nyland but it looks like Villa are set to sign a keeper. Martinez is heavily linked as I write this on Thursday. So my other gloves are with Button who could put Johnstone under pressure and has less chance of a price drop than Nyland.
– I doubt Trent Alexander Arnold will be leaving my side all season. He is a points magnet in so many ways and he is now fit after England duties. Don’t cut corners. I cant believe almost half of FPL managers don’t own him. That’s unreal.
– I want Wolves defensive coverage. Vinagre was in my team for a while but his place looks under threat with transfer speculation of him leaving and a replacement left back arriving. I have gone up to 5M for Saiss. I don’t expect much by way of attacking returns but Wolves are very solid defensively. I will be tracking Wolves defenders right up to the deadline. I would prefer Vinagre for the 0.5M saving, if reassurances are forthcoming.
– Justin is far from secure with the arrival of Castagne and the short term expected return from injury of Perreira. But he is in for now with good short term fixtures. Concerns about his place may yet move him to a defender from Brighton or Leeds, or Saliba at Arsenal. I am considering saving myself a future transfer and going for Lascelles as a sure starter. If I can “set and forget “ my defence, I can concentrate my transfers on my “front seven “
– Burnley were 2nd behind Man City for clean sheets so Taylor will rotate for a place in the back three. It’s another solid looking defence with good fixtures once they get to GW3. It means a Taylor benching in GW1 when he has no fixture.
– Mitchell is currently the safest 4M starter in GW1. His stay will be a short one until Van Aanholt returns but he could catch a couple of price rises and he could easily switch to Ferguson when the latter is fit. Mitchell also provides security in GW1 as Taylor sits it out and I otherwise would have only one bench option
– There has been very mixed views on Mo Salah. His pre season form has put a few off. Not me. I find it staggering that his ownership is only 29% !! This guy has been on form for three years. His fixtures are tricky early on but he has never left my team since the game launched. His ownership levels make him less scary to not own for sure, but they also make him a crazy differential. The pure volume of premiums this season means he won’t be a “glue guy “ in teams. It will be interesting to see how many hop off him after GW1 when fixtures stiffen. Salah to Fernandes will be popular, particularly if Salah blanks. My initial thoughts are to keep him unless things go badly wrong. I quite like him being so lowly owned. The only thing that worries me about Salah is his new haircut !!
– Aubameyang appears in virtually every team I see amongst serious managers, despite his overall ownership of around 43%. Most plan the switch to De Bruyne in GW3 when Arsenal fixtures toughen. It’s likely a two week “smash and grab” for me too for Fulham and West Ham. That will probably still be the case if he hauls in these two tasty fixtures. After all, that’s what we are expecting him to do by choosing him, so why deviate from the plan.
– My plan is to go for three midfield premiums initially, which will see Bruno Fernandes come in for GW2 for an appealing run of fixtures which start with Palace at home. I see a lot of “Unitedless” teams with no obvious route to get them in. Going without at least one United player from GW2 could really blow up in their faces. Ideally I want two. Son will be a “place holder” in GW1 with 1.5M in the bank to make the switch in GW2. Yes I could just bench Fernandes but I want my money on the pitch, not my bench. A GW1 haul from Son is entirely possible and would repay the move. Again, if Son produces, I will stick to the plan, take his points and still move him to Fernandes.
– I considered both Saka and Armstrong for my 4th midfield slot. I like Saka a lot. I suspect his gametime will see him benched sometimes with Willian and Pepe in the mix too. If managers are not holding on to Aubameyang for those Arsenal fixtures, then it doesn’t make sense to choose Saka for those very same Arsenal fixtures, especially when he is not nailed in the team. I went away from Armstrong because I didn’t want to double up on him and a Southampton striker. It seems Armstrong is injured anyway. So I am going to enjoy watching the speedy and exciting Saint Maximin in decent early fixtures, now supported by Fraser and Wilson !!
– I did have Soucek as the ideal 5th mid and my “12th man” but budget pressures have pushed me down the 4.5 route, especially as it’s a likely bench place. Bissouma of Brighton currently has this position and looks to have his place in the Brighton team. If Vinagre looks secure again, and I have the extra 0.5M, I could go back to Soucek, even though he is a quarantine risk in GW1.
– When the fixtures came out, I was all over Vardy like a rash. He has promoted West Brom, then three of the following four are all at home to Burnley, Villa and West Ham. This is the golden boot winner from last season, with dreamy fixtures !! However, the ownership of Werner has gone up and up every day. Whilst I said I wouldn’t be swayed by overall ownership, it looks like Werner will also be heavily supported by managers under my new template definition. Werners goals and stats from the Bundesliga are insane. And I have doubts about Vardys supply line with Maddison injured through pre season and the attacking full backs of Perreira and Chilwell missing. So it’s an easy pick for my one premium striker role. Werner is also an easy switch to Jimenez or Ings or up to Aguero. I hope Werner can hit the ground running !!
– I have two supporting strikers with Mitrovic and Adams. Mitrovic is a proven marksman and has done well in the premier league before . He is a 90 min man on pens. Adams is worth a go with his and Southamptons post lockdown form spilling over into pre season. What I like about having two strikers at this price point is being able to jump on to a wide range of strikers when they hit form. We all know that strikers go on scoring runs and when they do, they just keep “banging” regardless of fixtures. Look at Calvert Lewin and Ings last season. An in form striker isn’t phased by fixtures. This gives me easy access to the likes of Wilson, Wood, Maupay, Nketiah, Antonio, Watkins . It also means if Brewster goes on loan or sale from Liverpool, he is an easy switch in for one of my 6M strikers, to free up 1.5M.
I tend to use the captaincy as a shield and wait for the weeks where the polls are close to have a bit of a minor punt. I generally choose my preferred captain and if he is within 10% of the poll leader, I will back him, if not, I will go with the poll leader. My initial thought was Salah at home to Leeds, but with Aubamayang appearing to have a very significant ownership and poll lead, I am not likely to take risks in GW1 in opposing a strong poll leader. Just owning Salah is probably enough with his low ownership.
A few other thoughts:
– With all the abundance of riches in the midfield premiums – Salah, Mane, Fernandes, Rashford, Sterling, De Bruyne, Aubamayang, Son, Havertz, Ziyech, Pulisic, Rodrigues ( !! ) – how the heck do you get them all in. This could be the season where just holding Salah and De Bruyne all season simply doesn’t cut the mustard. It could be that “premium hopping ” might be the way to go !!
– I haven’t got a clue how the Chelsea thing is going to shake out this season !! But I will be watching the first two games with great interest to see which of the shiny new toys come out firing. Letting go of Salah or De Bruyne or Bruno might be inevitable if I want a slice of the Chelsea cake, particularly if the Chelsea boys look like keeping pace at cheaper prices.
Fingers crossed for a fast start. But remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Be calm, be patient, don’t be impulsive, make logical and reasoned decisions, don’t take too many risks, but take a punt when you see the opportunity – most of all, ENJOY IT – it’s only a game !!!