Here’s another new FFGeek contributor in our FPL manager interviews series Joe Armiger. In this interview he talks about his FPL strategy in his successful 1k finish season and shows his draft team
FPL manager interviews – Here’s top 1k finisher last season Joe Armiger talking about his FPL strategy and draft team
Congratulations Joe on your the top 1000 (987) finish of last season and 15k the season before. 2 great overall finishes. But before we get into the FPL chat tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a 38 year old owner of a recruitment business and a born again Crystal Palace fan after being converted by my father in-law Steve, who I will mention again later as a fountain of knowledge on all things Palace and a guide as to why Wan Bissaka has to be this years go to £4.0 defender.
Being 38 is a benefit I find in playing FPL as I am a member of the last generation not to have had IPhones, internet and FIFA on the PlayStation and as such we learned to memorise every category relating to every top flight player courtesy of our relenting passion to complete the annual Panini sticker albums.
Relationship wise I am torn between my love for my girlfriend Kate and The FPL game and as such Steve is the glue that holds both together (sorry Kate ☺️)
Last season did you have an overall strategy in the way you played?
Last years strategy began with the view of being top heavy with Aguero, Kane and Lukaku but that soon proved ill-fated and the strategy then became to stay ahead of my nearest mini-league rivals , Joe Dale, Tom Bourne, Ed Bartlett and embarrassingly Kate who somehow managed to finish 3rd.
When I brought some science back into the plan I decided to keep the first wildcard until New Year’s Eve which meant my transfers had to be solid and few, only once last season did I take a minus 4 hit. I felt that by holding my wildcard until Christmas that it would give me the flexibility to ensure I fielded a strong 11 throughout the tricky festive period when managers rest and rotate more than ever.
My formation remained 343 all year but this may change this season and my other chips were all saved for the final 4/5 game weeks which I will do again this season.
There’s alot of talk about the necessity of a great start. Did you have one last year and how essential do you think it is?
I had an average start last year, hovering around the top 250,000 but for me the first month, if not half of the season, is about spotting trends and players to bring in ahead of the rest. For example the most inconsistent player in my mini-league, Steve Killick, was the first to spot Mohammed Salah’s potential last season and even triple captained him early doors in order to get back in the leagues’ mix. Unfortunately for Steve he triple captained Salah on the only week he scored 1 point all season but hey he brought him on to my radar very early 😂
Moving on to this season. Which players have been a constant in your drafts?
For me Salah is a must have player even at £13 million. I think that Ederson gives the best in to the City defence and I always back Sergio Aguero and as I mentioned earlier I have the inside track on Wan Bissaka being this seasons TAA.
Players who I think will make my team for the first 4 weeks or until after the first international break are Luke Shaw, Sane and, my secret weapon at £6.5m, is going to be Chris Wood at Burnley (just check out his goals to games ratio).
Are there any new players to the league that you’re thinking of?
Schurrle is a no risk option for the first 4 weeks who could deliver massive rewards and I am watching Jorginho carefully, although I fear he could be the player to assist the assister and therefore not a player to do well in FPL
Do you have a fixed wildcard date and formation already?
If I have a start like Palace did last season the Wildcard will come out in week 4, otherwise I will save it for the Xmas period again.
Formations have proved tricky so far this season with my preferred 343 not seeming the most efficient formation any longer. Midfielders produced much better results last season than forwards overall and I think defence is the new form of attack this season so without wanting to sound too much like Jose I might revert to a 442 or even 5 at the back.
Do you put much stock in pre-season form?
None whatsoever really and this being a World Cup year even less so. For me the first 4 weeks are about staying in the game. You can’t win it in the first 4 weeks but if you aren’t careful you can sure lose it and find yourself down in the 1 million ranking zone and a sort of Everton under big Sam feeling would take over and I am too fragile for that!
Coleman and Van Aaanholt or Bailly and Luiz?
I like Liverpool and Man Utd from a defensive perspective and will put a lot of coverage in from them. Arsenal and Chelsea have new managers and formations so I will watch and see how they do and Spurs are over priced and with the new stadium, players yet to return from World Cup holidays they are too risky for me.
What would be the one bit of advice you would give to any FPL manager going into the new season?
Have a strong spine that has a high percentage ownership so you don’t lose positions on a poor game week and then have yourself 2 or 3 differentials that when they deliver can elevate you up the league and, apologies if Joel Ward starts over Wan Bissaka, my Palace insider will be to blame!
Do you have a draft team you can share?
Thanks Joe . Great to have you as part of the FFGeek team. Look forward to seeing you in the “FPL contributors show us their teams” series during the season.
You can also see other new contributors teams
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