Here’s FFGeek Contributor Andrew Whitfield with his FPL GW30 tips article including his team for GW30
FPL GW30 Tips – FFGeek Contributor Andrew Whitfield’s Team For GW30
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Andrew finished with an overall rank of 132k last season and 6k in 18/19 and 19k in 17/18
GW29 Points: 50 (FPL average 25) Total points: 1,928, Overall Rank: 13k, no rank movement: Team Value: £106.5m
Andrew has used all of his Chips
Follow Andrew on twitter here
Geek Note: this article was written before the DGW32 fixture announcement
Here’s the points:
- Well only four games played in blank GW29, but still plenty of talking points as we were all scrambling round to try put as many players out on the pitch as we could. Unless you were free hitting of course. That “low scoring week” we shouldn’t worry too much about created quite a gulf in scores in the end.
- Arsenal came from 3-0 down to draw at Westham in one of the games of the season with the Hammers bizarrely scoring five of the six goals. The “Bamphinha” duo gave Leeds the win at Fulham, King Harry rewarded heavy captain support from the spot against a toothless Villa, and those who invested well in the Seagulls for the blank week had their success as Brighton duly put poor Newcastle to the sword.
- Free hitters generally came out on top, and many of them posted some great scores with a few “one week punts” duly landing blows, and if you went in “ard”, with either Trossard or Lingard, you probably came out smiling too.
My GW29 score and rank:
- 50 points, with just four returners, but that was enough for a “neutral week”, which at least meant I managed to preserve my rank when so many free hitters scored well against me. Bamford, Raphinha, and captain Kane were popular points scorers, so it was my punt on Brighton defender Veltman that saved my week.
- I came out with the smallest of green arrows, but hey, a green is a green. Up from 13,145 to 13,034. It’s a strong place to be with just nine gameweeks to go, just seven points off that landmark 10k.
My GW29 talking points:
- I went in big on Leeds, even though the bookies slightly preferred Fulham. Bamford started as an injury doubt, then picked up another unrelated early injury, recovered to score a goal and assist, then duly went off injured again !! Raphinha continued to deliver on his recent promise and form with a goal. If only Dallas had slotted home late on when put through by Raphinha, it would have been perfect triple joy !! My Leeds trio have Sheff Utd next, before a very tricky triple up of Man City, Liverpool and Man Utd. But it’s all in on a tasty triple Leeds again v the basement Blades this week. For those holding beyond GW30, the way Leeds play, Bamford and especially Raphinha could still have joy beyond this game.
- I chose the “right” Brighton defender in Veltman, which turned out a lucky break. Dunk was the set piece threat, Veltman had been posting great attacking stats as a rampaging full back. As it happened, Veltman was switched to a non threatening centre back role, and duly picked up an assist from virtually his only forward pass of the game !! I was never going near Trossard with no free hit, or wildcard to escape difficult fixtures that now follow.
- My two “transfers in” to really try and attack the gameweek were the “big hitters” of Aubamayang and Bale, who coupled with Kane, gave me the three potentially most explosive players of the gameweek. Auba was an intended one week flip from Salah, Bale a direct swap for the injured Son, in an attempt to grab a significant haul from one if not both of them and put nine players on the pitch. My gamble backfired badly when Bale was benched despite no Son, and stayed there !! And Auba blanked in a six goal thriller !! So a bold but ultimately unsuccessful gamble that was my shot at a great week. I never seriously considered Lingard instead against Bale or Auba. Well done if you landed the Lingard haul.
- If Mourinho is not going to even give Bale any minutes from the bench with no Son, and if Arteta is going to put Auba on the wing and withdraw him when Arsenal are 3-2 down and chasing the game, it doesn’t inspire confidence in either player as a long term hold. As part of the Bale and Auba bold attacking move, I gave up Son and Salah. Now I probably want not just Salah but BOTH back !! So a move that could have brought great rewards but one has come back to bite me.
- The one pointer from Martinez was pretty “rank neutral” as most people owned at least one Villa defender. As was the penalty return from Kane as the popular captain pick. So apart from my Auba and Bale blank gameweek punts, and Veltman, my other decent opportunity to gain some ground rest with Watkins. Villa looked awful v Spurs and bereft of all attacking ideas. Watkins now has zero goals and just two assists in seven games. That’s not what i want from my striker who is going directly up against Calvert Lewin owners most weeks !!
So what next:
- I am writing this in the middle of the international break, so there is every chance of a significant injury or Covid case which could impact on my thoughts and plans below. Bear in mind when reading on.
- I have one free transfer and 1.2M in the bank. This was set aside to flip back from Aubamayang to Salah this week. I could still do this.
- I am now starting to feel a tad vulnerable and envious of those GW30 and GW31 wildcarders, with some significant fixture swings ahead and the next few weeks looking particularly testing as I embark on them with a few challenges and all my chips gone. But I have to keep in mind that I put my chips and early GW25 wildcard to good use, with a rank uplift from 52k pre wildcard to 13k now. I have put my points on the board.
My template and transfer plans:
- Those that know me will know that my style of play and game revolves around my own “template”. I follow a decent number of trusted elite managers as well as my fellow contributors and include all players above a defined ownership threshold. It gives me a high degree of rank protection but also allows me enough semi differentials to attack with too. It’s a system that I have stayed very loyal to all season and its consistently rewarded my patience by not deviating too far from the plan. My transfer plans are very often driven by my template, which I trust implicitly. Of course, the template changes, and anticipating those changes is key. GW31 will shake things up but I have a pretty good idea of where it’s heading and my planned transfers reflect those expected template changes.
- My original GW29 plan was a one week flip of Salah to Aubamayang, and as I was sitting on two transfers, to then roll the other transfer to have two in the international break, one to bring back Salah, the other to bring Rudiger into my defence v West Brom, either for Veltman or a Man City defender. It was a solid plan.
- The pre GW29 injury to Son was a blow to those plans. In normal circumstances, I would just have benched the injured Son, but I really needed to maximise my blank GW29 scoring chances and to put 9 players on the pitch. So I figured that Bale could provide cover for Son in GW29 and beyond too, particularly as Son has only found the net in one of his last thirteen games. The benching of Bale and zero minutes meant I wasted a vital transfer, and also lost that flexibility of two transfers in the break, and still fielded only 8 players. And i now have concerns about trusting Bale being able to cover Son.
- It appears that Son has perhaps surprisingly very much survived my template, staying rock solid and still appearing in a very high percentage of teams of the elite managers that I follow. And Salah, who I expected to stay firmly in my template, seems to have rather dramatically fallen off a cliff and right out of favour of those same trusted managers I follow. That’s what 12 blanks out of 15 for Salah does I guess. Horrendous when you say it like that. So instead of reversing the Salah to Aubamayang transfer, I am now more inclined to want Son back this week instead of Salah to stay true to my trusted template that serves me so well. I fully expect Son to play v Newcastle and Bale to probably miss out. A Son haul would be costly.
- The Son injury also cost me the “two transfer” plan for the international break, to bring a Chelsea defender in this week v Westbrom. However, I do have great fixtures this week for Dallas and Shaw, plus holding two Man City defenders for that third spot is hardly a disastrous plan B is it. I still expect a Chelsea defender to come in for a City one. But it’s not critical if I can’t now do it this week. Chelsea have taken over from Chelsea as the “iron curtain defence”, but are we simply just going to swap Pep Roulette for Tuchel Poker.
The GW33 and GW31 challenge:
- I am very aware that GW33 is looming on the horizon when four teams blank for the League Cup final, and I may be backing myself into a very tight corner, whereby I could have triple Spurs, triple City, neither of whom play in GW33, and just three weeks to shed three of them in order to put the other three on the bench and put a bare minimum 11 out in GW33. And that’s without any other fires breaking out and also having to carry triple Leeds through three games v Man City, Liverpool and Man Utd. It looks a tricky few weeks ahead, particularly against those wildcarders !!
- GW31 looks pretty testing too. I am facing playing Bamford and Raphinha v my double Man City defence, Kane and Son v Luke Shaw, Salah v my keeper, Gundogan v Dallas, and Ollie Watkins at Liverpool. Testing indeed. On the other hand, with Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool all having champions league games after GW30, and with GW31 wedged right between both legs, I can see GW30 and especially GW31 being total rotation carnage all round for everyone, wildcarders included.
So what am I doing this week:
- So if I stay true to my trusted template, I bring Son back in, and I either swap him in for Aubamayang and keep Bale in a spurs triple up v Newcastle. Or I swap Bale to Son, and throw Aubamayang at Liverpool. Having said that, my squad is so strong this week that neither Bale or Aubamayang are likely to make my starting eleven, especially when they are both at risk of being benched this weekend. I am inclined to ditch Aubamayang rather than Bale, as if I keep him I will probably get tempted to hold him v Sheff Utd and miss out on getting Salah back.
- If I go Aubamayang to Son this week, and throw triple spurs at Newcastle, I could then go Bale to Salah next week, which is a decent exit point for Bale v Man Utd and entry point for Salah ahead of Villa, Leeds and Newcastle. I could do a -4 this week to get Salah back immediately as originally planned but will Salah outscore Aubamayang or Bale by at least +4. Or indeed outscore Watkins or Gundogan by +4 as I would need to bench one of them to even play Salah. I fancy Gundogan and Watkins to both return this week. This doesn’t feel like a week to be giving up 4 points.
- Even though Salah has dropped right out of the template and blanked 12 out of his last 15 games, he is always a player I am nervous not owning. He will be very popular in many teams v Leeds and Newcastle in GW32 and GW33 and i expect to see him in many GW31 wildcards, which is my likely Salah entry point now, rather than this week. I definitely want Salah back.
- Of course, press conferences will be key. If Mourinho rules Son out, he might still play. But if Son is out, I could bring the Salah or Rudiger moves forward. But Bale could still give me double Spurs. I might simply roll and have the flexibility of two next week and the option of a “mini wildcard” of three changes for only -4.
- My current thinking is
GW30 – Aubamayang to Son
GW31 – Bale to Salah.
GW32 – Cancelo to Rudiger
GW33 – Gundogan to Jota
- That would give me three non players on my bench in GW33 and give me Salah and Jota v Newcastle in GW33.
My GW30 line up:
- For all my concerns about GW31 and building to GW33, I do have potentially a very strong team this week.
- I can hit Newcastle with a double ( or triple ) spurs attack of Kane, Son ( and Bale ) I can throw triple Leeds at Sheff Utd. I have Bruno Fernandes v Brighton. I have Gundogan. I have Watkins. And I have a great set of defensive match ups and four decent clean sheet prospects.
- Like most weeks, you can’t worry about the players you don’t own. Yes, I fear Salah, I fear Calvert-Lewin, or Lingard. I even fear my own first sub !! But other people will fear my players that they don’t have too. I have faith in the eleven players I put out and if they produce the goods, that’s all you can ask. I have great potential for points throughout my team this week. It’s a strong looking team.
- Like many this week, I have benching dilemnas. With Shaw and Dallas having great fixtures, I can afford to spread the risk and bench one of my two Man City defenders. And if I bring Son in and have three spurs attackers, I would have to bench either Watkins or Gundogan. I fancy both to return. A Spurs triple up might be a step too far when they have only scored 13 goals in their last 13 away games !! With Grealish re igniting the Villa attack and Watkins buoyed by his first international goal, I am inclined to play Watkins, and Gundogan, and have Bale as a back up in case Son doesn’t recover in time. Maybe rotation will make things easier and make those choices irrelevant.
- I probably need to start Stones, as he is unlikely to get subbed on by Pep if he is benched and that would get me Cancelo in from autosub. Whereas if I start Cancelo, he could easily come on for a cameo one pointer and block me getting a Stones auto sub clean sheet.
- Captain is likely to be Kane, though Bamford, Raphinha and Bruno are all great options.
- To be confirmed but possibly Aubameyang to Son.
Here is the team BEFORE transfers.
Good luck everyone !!!
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