Paul Williams ‘Diary of an FPL Manager’ – focusing on Brighton from an FPL perspective


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Here’s FFGeek contributor Paul Williams with his bi-weekly ‘Diary of an FPL Manager’ series. This week Paul is focusing on his home town team of Brighton and Hove Albion from an FPL perspective.   Paul is one of the 10 top FPL Managers I follow and finished 412 overall last season, 1,382 in 16/17 and 7,164 in 15/16.

Paul Williams ‘Diary of an FPL Manager’ – Focusing on Brighton from an FPL perspective

You can read more from Paul in his Diary of an FPL Manager’ series on his facebook blog using this link.

As well as being a huge fan of FPL, I am also an ardent Brighton and Hove Albion supporter. If my knowledge and record of playing Fantasy Premier League makes me qualified to share informed views with others, then I’m more than confident that the same can be said with regard to what I know about the Brighton team.

At the moment, as the games tick by, those teams with a favourable upcoming run of fixtures continues to change and Brighton have arguably as kind a schedule over the next couple of months as any other team in the Premier League.



brighton

When you look at Brighton’s roster of players, you can see that it is full of relatively cheap, affordable players: The most expensive defensive player is £4.5m, Glenn Murray is the most expensive forward at £6.5m.  The player who will set you back the most is their record signing, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, who they picked up from AZ Alkmaar this summer – he is priced at £6.8m in FPL.

Of course, the majority of Brighton’s players shouldn’t even be considered an option. Yet, there are a few potential gems. In addition to this, they also possess one of the most level-headed and shrewd managers in the league, Chris Hughton, who sticks to his principals and consistently plays a settled team. I will go through the squad and hopefully point you in the right direction starting with the GKs through to the Forwards.

Goalkeepers

I’ve actually owned Brighton’s first choice GK, Mathew Ryan, since Gameweek One. Although he is not the biggest in the league, he is incredibly brave, is a very good shot-stopper and is a 100% guaranteed starter when fit. Priced at £4.5m, he is most definitely a player that you should consider if you’re on the lookout for a new goalie. In his last match against West Ham, Ryan made four saves and kept a clean sheet, which earned him nine points (including two bonus points). One for the watchlist.

If your budget forces you to go uber-cheap when selecting your GKs, and you want to double up and bring in Ryan’s understudy,  £4.0m David Button is your man.  He’s been on the bench every Gameweek so far and played ahead of Jason Steele in Brighton’s only League Cup tie this season.

Defenders

Having found the answer to keeping out the opposition in their previous match, I can see Hughton keeping faith with the same back four for the foreseeable future. However, the two that you should really be concentrating on are: Lewis Dunk (£4.4m) and Shane Duffy (£4.5m). Honestly, I don’t think there is a more fearless centre-back pairing in the league. They throw themselves in front of everything – which contributed to Dunk unluckily scoring a freak amount of own goals last season (four!). Only last week, they both signed new five-year contracts with the club and Dunk, in particular, should be absolutely buzzing after deservedly being called up to the full England squad for the first time. Again, like Ryan, they are both nailed on starters when fit. Also, they both pose an attacking threat from set-pieces, especially Duffy who is an absolute beast. Is Duffy worth the extra 0.1m over Dunk? Perhaps, due to having slightly more attacking potential.

Midfielders





Brighton’s Player of the Year and one of FPL’s Players of the Year from last season, Pascal Gross, has had a far less prominent role to play so far this season as a result of injury and a slight change in Brighton’s approach. At £6.7m, Gross is not someone I would be considering at the moment. Hughton also has a propensity to take Gross off early in games too.

There are two Brighton midfielders that genuinely interest me from an FPL perspective. One is relatively obvious and the other is a bit of a left-field suggestion. The obvious name I put forward is Anthony Knockaert. He has started this season in really good form and has been Brighton’s stand out player so far. He takes his fair share of set-pieces (although that is limited when Gross is on the field), but more than anything else, he can beat his man and has an eye for goal. It has now come to light that he was dealing with personal issues which hampered his progress last season. But, during Brighton’s promotion season, I cannot tell you how far he was above any other player in the Championship. If he can regain that level, which he is showing signs of, I am confident he can make an impact in the Premier League. As Bournemouth’s fixtures stiffen, I can see Fraser to Knockaert being a popular move. Just have realistic expectations, as remember he is a £5.5m priced midfielder.

My under the radar selection is Jose Izquierdo. Trust me, this guy can play. He came back from the World Cup with Colombia injured, so has had to work his way back to fitness. In a game or two, I expect him to oust Solly March from the starting eleven and show what a player he potentially is. He’s a player that gets people off of their seat and is very direct. At £5.9m, don’t forget the name and don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Forwards

Somehow, at the age of thirty-five, Glenn Murray (£6.5m) is still Brighton’s first choice centre-forward. I honestly don’t know how he is still managing to score goals that aren’t penalties in the Premier League as he hardly has any pace at all. However, despite Brighton making attempts to replace him, it doesn’t appear as though they have got it right just yet. Florin Andone (5.0m) was brought in during the summer and handed the number ten shirt, but he hasn’t played a minute of PL football so far due to injury and Jurgen Locadia (5.3m) was brought in from the Dutch League for a hefty seventeen million during last season’s January transfer window – unfortunately he’s looking more like Altidore than van Nistelrooy. As a result, I fully expect Murray to be picked up by quite a few managers in the next few weeks; I’m not sure I will be one of them though.

Finally, the last thing to be wary of, if you do consider investing in any Brighton player, is the difference in their home and away results. They are incredibly strong at home, but cannot seem to perform to the same levels away from the AMEX Stadium. Of their next eight fixtures, five are away. However, two of those five are against Cardiff and Huddersfield. Surely, the importance of those games will not be lost on Chris Hughton and hopefully he will set the Seagulls up to win both matches.

You can read more from Paul in his Diary of an FPL Manager’ series on his facebook blog using this link.

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8 thoughts on “Paul Williams ‘Diary of an FPL Manager’ – focusing on Brighton from an FPL perspective

  1. Interesting post, really appreciate this. I have 0.9m ITB with 2 FT and I was thinking of doing Shaw -> Mendy and Zaha -> Murray so that I can have both Bournemouth (Fraser) and BHA attacking representation in the team. I was torn between Jimenez and Murray, but I already have two Wolves players, and tripling up didn’t look too attractive.
    Your post now leads me to believe that I may be better served by taking a hit to get Mendy, Knockaert (for Fraser) and Wilson (instead of Murray) in. Which do you think is the better option?

    • I’m glad you found the post helpful. Not knowing your team, I would probably just make the Shaw to Mendy move. I’m quite cautious though and don’t take too many hits. I would wait until we know more if you can. For instance, more news on Fraser’s possible injury.

  2. Great article, quick question re the Brighton line up, specifically the back line, what with first clean sheet and what you have mentioned re Hughton sticking with this back 4, aware that Duffy and Dunk are certs to start as CB’s, just wondered what your thoughts are on the full back situation, looks like Bong is LB, but RB, I know bruno started against West ham but he is 38 and aware that Martin Montoya is the other option at RB, has decent pedigree what with playing a chunk of games for Valencia in La Liga etc, do you see hughton sticking with Bruno?(i ask because both dunk and duffy (GK’s gone aswell) have gone in my FPL Draft and would like a bit of brighton coverage in defence, thanks

    • This is a tough one. I fully expect the same back four to play in the next game against Newcastle. If they play well again, the same four would most likely keep their place again and so on. However, Bruno is the least secure for exactly the reasons you give. We brought in three defenders (four actually, but we loaned one back) and out of the three, Montoya looks the most accomplished. Balogun won’t displace Dunk and Duffy. Although Bernardo started the season ahead of Bong, he found it hard to adapt and Bong won his place back. If you’re dead set on a Brighton defender and you’ve got a choice out of Bong and Bruno, I’d choose Bong. Shame that Ryan, Dunk and Duffy have already been snapped up though.

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