FPL formations – Stephen Toumi continues his “think differently” series

Here’s regular commenter and contributor to the site Stephen Toumi talking about FPL formations in relation to his team.  This is his 5th fantasy premier league strategy article in the series of thinking differently in FPL.  

FPL formations – Stephen Toumi continues his “think differently” series

Now 10 weeks in the FPL season it appears there a shift in formation occurring. Going with “3 big forwards” might be a think of gameweeks gone by as, 5 across the midfielder might make for a winning combination. Then again, many fantasy managers would see a 5-2-3 formation as a detriment in the FPL. However, I feel I’ve registered a successful start to the campaign. Sitting at 519 overall points, I just broke the 1 million mark (again), but as mentioned previously, the lack of captaincy points has been my Achilles heel this season, contributing just 12.5% (66 points) to my overall points. As we look ahead, I continue to “think differently” when it comes to my formation. The 5-2-3 could make way, as I plan out the next 6 gameweeks, favoring a 4-5-1 or 5-4-1 depending on in form players.

fpl formations

Redistributing funds from defence

Before this weekend I was ready to jettison Sead Kolasinac, no attacking returns in the last 6 weeks and no clean sheets in the previous two games. His 14 points has seen a stay of execution, but Arsenal fixtures could be the death of him in the near term. At £6.0 he could help fund a midfield makeover. Kolasinac wouldn’t free up enough room in the budget, as Marcos Alonso would be penciled in to be transferred out as well.

Moving both defenders would free up £10.9m and in their place I would look to add Charlie Daniels, who’s fixtures appear to be a sea of green through GW16. Phil Jones would also return, on the back of 8 clean sheets in the first 10 weeks, health his main concern, he’s become an anchor for Jose Mouriho’s Red Devils.

The forward conundrum

In order to fund a 5-man midfield, I have two options up front. The dynamic option of Harry Kane, second to Romelu Lukaku with 62 points, but has 4 double digit hauls on the season, compared to Lukaku’s two. However, Lukaku has been the more consistent forward, returning in all but 2 games on the season. Lukaku hasn’t bagged a goal in the last 3 games, which is a cause for concern, as the United midfield continue to struggle with injuries to Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini and the ineffectiveness of Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Kane on the other had has Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli to complement him in attack. That leaves the first decision, which forward features in the lone striker role?

The plan would be to move Jamie Vardy and Gabriel Jesus to free up £19.0m to fund the midfield move. In their place, I would bring in Oumar Niasse and Mame Biram Diouf for a combined £10.4m. Diouf starts and plays 90 minutes. Niasse has seen a spattering of minutes since GW6. Hopefully I would not need to rely on either, but Diouf would be positioned in the first bench spot. Risky? Yep! Just like the rolling the dice on a 5-2-3 to start the FPL season.

fpl formations

Bolstering the midfield

This would leave me £20.7m to fund the final pieces of a masterful midfield. At the head of the list, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard. After an assist in GW9, he returned 11 points, his first double digit haul, against Bournemouth in GW10. After GW11 and a home run in against United, Chelsea appears primed for a big run through GW21.

The final piece of the puzzle, Mohammad Salah of Liverpool, with 5 goals and 3 assists on the season, he’s posted 34 attempts on goal, of which 29 have been inside the boxes, of which 21 have been on target. He’s currently an xG underachiever as the Reds look to post good offensive numbers through GW23. GW13 could be a challenge, home to Chelsea.

These moves would leave £0.9m ITB, which would allow some freedom to transfer defenders with favorable fixtures or in form players to my squad. It could possibly fund Tammy Abraham (£5.8) for either Niasse or Diouf. One thing is for certain, I am not going to get caught up in the “Pep-Go-Round” at Manchester City, due to his penchant for rotation.

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2 thoughts on “FPL formations – Stephen Toumi continues his “think differently” series”

  1. Hi Stephen
    I like the way you think and 5-2-3 formation but isn’t a waste of money playing lone striker and keeping 5.5 and 4.9 forwards on the bench ?

    • It depends on how you look at it. Looking at forward, the only consistent performer has been Lukaku on the season. Kane struggled in September, then faltered at Wembley. Can we be sure his one double digit return has him back in favor of FPL managers?

      Sergio Aguero, high priced, dynamic but has Jesus to contend with, as well as that rotation that Pep will play all season long. Not sure either forward has a strong foothold on the starting position and it’s possible we could see both up front at time. We don’t know and that uncertainty isn’t doesn’t make Aguero worth the 11.8 price tag.

      Alvaro Morata? It appeared he was the Chelsea’s answer to Diego Costa departing via text message. However the injury in GW7 and his work to gain fitness hasn’t seen him return as the player he was before he departed. Add to that, the fact that Hazard appears to be hitting his stride and “in form.” Knowing what Hazard has done the past few years (200+ points 3 out of 4 years) I would be more willing to put my money on him than splurge up front for Morata.

      As I said in the piece, this gives an FPL manager a chance to roll out 3 premium midfielders, in my example, Hazard, Eriksen and Salah. Can’t do that if you have Kane and Lukaku up front. By all appearances the midfielders are surging and a 5-man midfielder, as we have seen in the past is a successful formation. However going with just a single forward could be risky. No more risky than running a 30.0+m defensive unit out in a 5-2-3 hoping to secure clean sheet points.

      If it were not for the lack of points from my captain choices and points (just 66 thru GW10), no reason to believe I couldn’t be inside the top 10k if I averaged 8.8 points from my captain choices. So the formation hasn’t failed me to date, I don’t see running with a single forward taking away from my attacking options given the midfielder I am looking to install.

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