Here’s part 1 of our FPL teams GW8 article where 2 FFGeek Contributors show their teams. There’s Andrew Whitfield and Kev in Canada. Between them they have 5 top 1% finishes in the last 3 competitive seasons, including 2 top 10k overall rank finishes.
FPL Teams GW8 – 2 FFGeek Contributors With Their GW8 Teams Part 1
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Andrew’s last 4 seasons overall ranks were 34k, 132k, 6k and 19k
GW7 Points: 46 (FPL average 38) Total points: 478, Overall Rank: 72k, green arrow: 12k Team Value: £101.9m
Gameweek 7 review:
A slow burner of a Gameweek where the average score was only 38 points. Only 4 of the 30 most owned players delivered “a return”. That’s how tough it was. Every point mattered.
The week started with the shock benching of Ronaldo and ended with the best game of the weekend with Liverpool and Man City serving up a 2-2 thriller, with goals from Salah and De Bruyne lighting up Super Sunday.
With top Captain candidates Lukaku, Ronaldo and Antonio all blanking, it was down to Salah, Son and Jimenez to reward their differential armband backers.
Chelsea went top after their 5th win, ahead of Liverpool, Man City and Man Utd, who all drew. Brentford burst the West Ham bubbles and Norwich grabbed their first point of the season.
My GW7 score and rank:
46 points included just 4/11 “returners”, with a Jimenez 10 pointer and a clean sheet from Sanchez feeling like gold dust when points were hard to find. Everyone had Salah so a Livramento 4 pointer off the bench was probably the difference between “green or red “ this week.
So a green arrow to head into the international break, up from 84k to 72k, which is a pleasing start, inside the top 1% of teams. I would have grabbed that if offered at the start. Last season I was sitting at 1.2M at this stage, on the way to a 34k finish. Things can change very quickly in both directions. But very happy with current rank.
My GW7 talking points:
My biggest call going into GW7 was whether to make the Ronaldo to Lukaku switch. It was one I agonised over all week. The fixtures swing heavily from Man Utd to Chelsea from GW9 and the abundance of wildcards in GW7 and GW8 are speeding up that move, strongly favouring Lukaku in anticipation of those fixtures. Some own both but most own just one, going down the “two premium” route. With Salah playing Man City, it was a two horse race between Ronaldo and Lukaku for captaincy. So the potential for variance was huge, captaining one and not even owning the other !!
I decided to stick with Ronaldo for another week. Both had equally good fixtures and the ownership amongst “engaged managers“ still edged towards Ronaldo so that’s where the greater rank risk sat, despite the heavy captaincy on Lukaku. So it was not a nice moment when Ronaldo was announced on the bench. He failed to find the net in a 35 minute cameo, so to sit through 90 mins of Lukaku v Southampton was an extremely nervous experience, with him having a goal disallowed and hitting the post. In the end, a 2 point loss was virtually irrelevant. The variance could have been huge.
I also considered Shaw to Cancelo, with Shaw flagged and in doubt. I had the chance to do it for free at the start of the week with exact money, or later for -4 including the Ronaldo to Lukaku move. Again I held off, Shaw had the better fixture if he played, which he did. Cancelo scored zero and doing nothing proved the right move.
The only issue with NOT making those moves though, is that I still want to make them, probably this week, and the price movements on both moves are now going to potentially hit me very hard over a two week international break. I won’t commit until my players emerge unscathed from the international games. It is what it is.
Bringing in Jimenez on my GW6 wildcard, despite him not having scored for a year after his terrible injury, was a huge risk. But a goal, followed by two assists, has been an instant boost. His mojo is back and with his strike partner Hwang bursting on to the scene, all looks promising in the Wolves den.
Three clean sheets in seven games from keeper Sanchez is a decent return from a 4.5M keeper. Ramsdale of Arsenal is the new cheap keeper of choice now on wildcards, with great fixtures. But Brighton are a solid defensive team. Sanchez is being so well protected that he is not getting the save points. That might change when he faces Liverpool and Man City soon !! I do have Foster now too as a playing alternative, even though I don’t like rotating keepers. Do I go Foster instead in those two games or lap up the save points.
Alonso sitting out and Chilwell starting was not the team news I wanted. It’s hard to say after Alonso missing one game if he was a mistake on my wildcard. I am prepared to see Alonso sit out the odd game for the trade off of his very explosive upside. But two successive benchings is not what I want and would likely see him moving to either Azpiculeta or more likely to Dias. I am looking to switch Shaw to Cancelo this week to get some Man City coverage, but doubling up on the Man City defence instead of Chelsea is definitely in my thoughts.
Trent Alexander Arnold and Alonso missing out meant Livramento stepped in for an unexpected assist and four points. With Southampton having great upcoming fixtures, Livramento is the perfect first sub back up to the fall out for any Chelsea and Man City rotation. It’s great cover.
I was never going to captain Salah v Man City when Ronaldo had Everton. But Salah put a marker down as a potential set and forget captain. It looks like Salah is polling about 70% of the captain votes this week, which will certainly make things easier, and severely reduce the variance of that Ronaldo to Lukaku dilemma. The goal from Salah against Man City was the highlight of the week, even if it was largely irrelevant to my team due to his ownership.
I wasn’t alone in piling up the blanks this week. Who would have predicted that Antonio, Ronaldo, Benrahma, Sarr, Gallagher, Rudiger and Shaw would all come up short. I remembered heading into the weekend with quiet optimism and 10/11 players on home fixtures. FPL will never cease to both delight and disappoint us.
So it was a Gameweek that seemed to be more about the relief from escaping the huge potential Ronaldo & Lukaku variance than the modest returns in my team. The only two players that could have significantly and negatively impacted my rank were Lukaku and Raphinha. I know full well that I dodged a few big bullets on both and lived to tell the tale. I am under no illusions that I got lucky this week.
So what next ?
I rolled the transfer last week so have two frees this week and 0.5M in the bank, so a strong place to be.
I am drafting these notes midway through the international break, so bear in mind when reading on. A significant injury or two in the international games will change everything. We already have stories surrounding Lukaku and Rudiger to name just two. It’s going to be another week to wait until those press conferences on Friday !!
Lukaku was released from the Belgium squad early due to “muscle fatigue”. That’s a close monitor. My feeling is he would have played if Belgium had reached the Nations League final. Transfers this week are therefore dependent on Lukaku. I am assuming he is going to be fit, as will Alexander Arnold, in drafting my plans below. But I have alternative plans I discuss later just in case Lukaku is confirmed out.
So let’s look at my potential transfers:
My two transfers this week, assuming no injuries, are very likely to be Ronaldo to Lukaku, and Shaw to Cancelo. The first deal is needed to fund the second. The Ronaldo to Lukaku move would be inevitable next week with the huge fixture swing which starts with Chelsea v Norwich. Prices are highly likely to move against me further before then. The Lukaku yellow flag has at least staved off a price rise so I can afford to wait until Friday for the press conferences.
Stepping off Man Utd assets is dangerous. It’s entirely possible that Ronaldo and Shaw could punish me this week. But Shaw’s ownership is sharply down, as is his ranking threat. United have a run of Liverpool, Spurs, Man City and Chelsea coming up. Contrast that with Chelsea playing Brentford, Norwich , Newcastle and Burnley. I also want to jump on that Man City defence now when they play Burnley, Brighton and Palace.
It’s not easy ditching Ronaldo. But I am committed to a two premium strategy and those contrasting fixtures for Man Utd and Chelsea could not be more pronounced. Last week, Ronaldo and Lukaku dominated the captaincy. This week, Salah dominates and lessens the risks of the Lukaku Ronaldo variance. I am not underestimating the damage Ronaldo can do, but the ownership and risk pendulum has swung to Lukaku and the resulting cash saving is needed for that Man City defence.
I lost Raphinha on my GW6 wildcard, having held him from GW1. He was flagged whilst playing my wildcard with doubts about his niggling ongoing injury. Selling Raphinha on wildcard was probably a mistake. Having said that, Sarr has matched Raphinha for points 11-10 since. But Raph is probably the best value player in the game. I want him back as soon as I can. He may or may not be available this weekend after his Brazil exertions but I want him back. It would suit me for Raphinha to miss this week and then I can buy him in GW9. If I keep Jimenez in a 433 set up, Benrahma or Sarr will have to give way, more likely the latter. I have my moves booked in this week so I am unlikely to take a hit this week for Raphinha. But he will be back soon !!
My other situation to monitor is the playing time of Alonso. A second successive benching and Alonso will be on a fast track to Dias. However, if Chilwell does claim the shirt again this week, and becomes first choice, I fully expect Chelsea to ring a few changes v Norwich. In which case, Alonso at home to Norwich has a “ 20 pointer” written all over it. I think I would wait until after that game to sell Alonso if he does emerge as back up to Chilwell.
With prices continuing to work against me, I am not going to be able to do BOTH the Alonso to Dias move AND Sarr / Benrahma to Raphinha moves. My priority I think will be getting in Raphinha in GW9.
I can however facilitate both moves by ditching BOTH Benrahma and Sarr, and bringing in Mbeumo and Raphinha. Brentford continue to impress and from GW10, they face Burnley, Norwich and Newcastle. Mbeumo is ticking lots of boxes in those stats tables. I think he could be a great enabler.
IF Lukaku is confirmed out – I will stick with both Ronaldo and Shaw another week. I really want Man City defence coverage so would probably do Alonso to Cancelo ( I already have Rudiger ) I have £0.5m banked. I could then still have two free transfers GW9 to do Ronaldo to Lukaku and Sarr / Benrahma to Raphinha. I would have to hold Shaw a bit longer and turn him into Dias when I bring Mbeumo in.
Trent Alexander Arnold will stay, unless he is definitely out and could miss more than one game. He is another cash cow to get Cancelo in of course.
That’s a few moves in the pipeline and they can’t all happen at once, and other fires will inevitably break out. But I am hoping to knit these moves together over the next few weeks. Let’s see how it all plays out !!
My GW8 team:
Captain will be on Salah. Yes it’s the dreaded early kick off. Hope he doesn’t get his occasional rest this week.
I kept Trent Alexander Arnold and benched him when injured in GW7. That will be a close monitor this week but Klopp said he expected him back after the break. I am surprised by the volume of sales. Trent is the closest it gets to essential as an FPL player. He doesn’t lose his essential status because he is injured for one game. I am delighted at the number of people jumping off his potential points. It’s an understandable switch to Man City and Chelsea defenders. But I have those bases covered. Selling Trent, distributing the cash, and not having an immediate route back to him could be a move that many come to regret.
So I am potentially setting up with my “big at the back” with a four man defence from Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City, with Livramento an able deputy for any rotation fall out. I have an attacking trio of Lukaku, Antonio and Jimenez which is certainly not lacking goal threat
Sarr has Liverpool this week. I will play him over Livramento or Gallagher. The “new manager bounce” should boost Watford and as their talisman, if anyone can get at Liverpool, Sarr can. Remember Watford beat Liverpool 3-0 last February and Sarr scored twice !! Benrahma and Sarr are BOTH on trial now to keep or lose their places with Raphinha coming back to my team very soon, probably next week.
Ronaldo to Lukaku
Shaw to Cancelo
But lots of question marks currently around availability and fitness, so that’s far from set in stone.
The Team below
The team below is before any changes are made and if the above transfers are completed. Shaw would become Cancelo and Ronaldo Lukaku
Good luck everyone !!!
Kev in Canada
Kev’s last 3 seasons overall ranks were 52k, 48k and 6k
GW7 Points: 40 (FPL average 38) Total points: 459, Overall Rank: 265k, red arrow: 52k Team Value: £101.7m
Follow Kev on twitter here
There’s a small chance I Wildcard this week . I have been moving aggressively early in the gameweek to capture price changes. That’s only because I have the Wildcard in my back pocket to bail me out if need be.
Ronaldo to Lukaku
Bachmann to Ramsdale
For a -4 but both feel necessary.
Mo Salah Captain
Cheers and good luck this week.
Here’s the team with transfers completed
The FFGeek Contributors League
The highlighted FFGeek contributors combined team finished with an overall rank of 8k last season and 52k the season before. It started ok in 7th place with total points of 468 and an overall rank of 152k. You can follow that team, including live transfers as well as the FFGeek team, on our subscription Patreon site
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