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.
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.
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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