Here’s regular commenter and contributor to the site Stephen Toumi with his plans to turn around his fantasy premier league season
fantasy premier league – Stephen Toumi continues his “think differently” series
My overall rank of 171k has been a slow, death spiral over the last 9 weeks, featuring 6 red arrows. Having activated my second wild card ahead of Gameweek 23, scoring just 66 points, the red trend continued. Not owning Sergio Agüero last week, coupled with no return from an otherwise consistent, Mohammad Salah, captained, has me sitting at 531k. Unfortunately, owning “template” players has me bogged down, unable to improve my overall rank to achieve a worthwhile finish.
The transfer window is fully open, as rumours and speculation continue to swirl over where big named players will land. Just this week, Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan switched teams, oddly enough they are the top names on my want list as I continue to think differently ahead of Gameweek 25 and the midweek fixtures.
Looking over my Gameweek 24 team and planning for future gameweeks, I rolled my free transfer. Just a week removed from my wild card, I should not be requiring any changes in my starting XI.
Big names, with high ownership; David de Gea, Marcos Alonso, Nicolás Otamendi, Mohammad Salah, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane are the “template” players fantasy managers continue to own. After the early #KANEXIT strategy in Gameweek 14, I vowed not to drop him the rest of the year. Spurs have MNU/liv/ARS in there next 3 games. Agüero, fresh off a hat trick against Newcastle face WBA/bur/LEI, weighing in at £11.7. However, my head’s been turned by Sanchez and Mkhitaryan.
From a TSB% perspective, you can’t ask for two more promising players as we head into the final 14 weeks. Sanchez (£11.7) is owned by just 3.1% of fantasy owners and carries a huge potential. Last year’s top scorer, now in a “happy place” should step right in and be the impact player we have seen the past few years. Mkhitaryan (£7.6), now owned by 6.3% was a hot prospect to start the season, mentioned together with Paul Pogba, the Armenian recorded 6 assists, 4 clean sheets over the first 5 weeks, before falling out of favour with Mourinho, losing minutes and finally his place on the pitch.
To secure the services of Sanchez and Mkhitaryan, their potential comes at a cost. While Sterling has a quality player and productive asset since Gameweek 9, his tenure comes to an end. At £8.7 he enables the transfer of Sanchez. At this point, Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba become expendable. How much trust is put into Jose Mourinho that the Red Devils will return to the sort of goal output we saw to start the season?
That question posed, as Lingard could see some reduced playing time, coupled with back to back blanks after being “Messi-esque” the weeks leading up to Gameweek 23. The addition of Sanchez could provide more space and opportunity for Pogba to create and increase his attacking returns. Luca Milivojevic (£4.7) would round out the 5-man midfielder.
Still over budget by £1.0 with Mkhitaryan, attention is turned to a defence that’s priced at £28.8. Disappointed with defensive efforts at Man City (no CS in last 3 games), the signing of Aymeric Laporte could disrupt the partnership between Otamendi and John Stones. At £6.5, I write off Otamendi after just 2 weeks, replaced by Harry Maguire, as Leicester City have form and a good run of fixtures to finish out the season.
Andreas Christensen has been a tough defender to own recently. He missed the Brighton 2-0 victory. The following week, fell ill and missed the 5-0 win over Stoke City. He featured in the 2-2 draw against Arsenal. The last 2 weeks we has come off the pitch at 57 minutes, in consecutive games due to injury, missing out on 4 clean sheets (16 points). Chelsea still has good fixtures, but feel change in the Chelsea defence is necessary, while I retain Alonso.
The final piece of the defence change comes with the introduction of Alfie Mawson (1.1 TSB%). Last year’s darling with 4 goals and 4 clean sheets from Gameweek 20 on. Swansea City sit on 7 clean sheets on the season and on the back of Mawson’s goal last week, his second of the season, he rounds out the defence.
This leaves £0.5 ITB for further defensive changes. Many fantasy managers have called into question the goalkeeper duo of de Gea (£5.9) and Jordan Pickford (£4.9) as being “too costly,” which could free up more budget. Once BGWs and DGWs are confirmed, Phil Jones will come back onto the radar after Gameweek 31, with a slight chance to feature before then, against HUD/new in the coming weeks.
The forwards remain unchanged, as Kane leads the attack. Callum Wilson will feature as Bournemouth’s fixtures are mostly positive, but his playing time could be shared with a now fit, Josh King. Oumar Niasse picked up a goal in just 21 minutes last weekend. Rumoured of being moved in the January window have now been squelched by Sam Allardyce saying “No I can’t let Niasse go.” Selected as the third forward during the wild card, he will most likely see limited minutes at Cenk Tosun featuring up front.
Depending on fixtures, starting a 4-5-1 formation isn’t out of the question, based on Wilson starting for Bournemouth. The 3-5-2 remains a popular choice, depending on the Swansea City fixtures, however Mawson does bring an offensive threat, off set pieces. Yet all eyes will be on Sanchez and Mkhitaryan moving forward. These two transfers could make or break my season.
Fantasy Premier League: 5379-1967
Sun: FantasyFootballGeek SGDKX9Y3
TFF: FantasyFootballGeek PIN 8000919 Passcode 1159
Sky: FFGeek 831051