Stephen Toumi thinking differently in FPL –  the end of the great Sanchez experiment


Here’s regular commenter and contributor Stephen Toumi continuing his think differently in FPL series with the ending of the great Sanchez experiment

 Stephen Toumi thinking differently in FPL –  the end of the great Sanchez experiment

As Gameweek 28 approaches, my I’ve scored 1489 overall points, placing me at 570k in the overall ranking. Not where I would I like to be, but it’s been an interesting year to date, as the business end of the season is upon us. With just the Triple Captain and Bench Boost chips remaining, here’s what transferring Alexis Sanchez does for me.




Background

“The Great Sanchez Experiment” is coming to an end. Based on the underlying stats and historical data, it appeared to be a well thought out plan to bring Alexis Sanchez into the starting XI after his transfer to Manchester United. Flashback to the start of the Premier League season, United were unstoppable with 16 goals in 5 games! Players like Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Romelu Lukaku were all posting good attacking returns.

Sanchez’s history in FPL with Arsenal, recording a league high 264 points last season, is well documented. He’s a world class player, a game changer who is dynamic on the pitch with the ability to take over and command the game. However, in 3 games since introducing him to the starting XI, his attacking returns haven’t been justified. Priced at £11.8, you could have any other midfielder in FPL, including Kevin De Bruyne or Eden Hazard, both having better years than Sanchez currently.

In those 3 games with United, Sanchez has posted returns of 2, 5, 2 for a total of 9 points. Over that same period, Raheem Sterling, whom I moved has scored 21 points. Much like the GW14 decision to transfer out Harry Kane, based on inconsistent returns, the Sanchez Experiment has failed. Miserably. Underlying stats since the move appear promising, but after 90 minutes, statistics are meaningless if there are no associated points.

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What Next?

Ahead of Gameweek 28 I’ve already made my 2 FT, downgrading Marcos Alonso to Ahmed Hegazi and upgrading Callum Wilson to Roberto Firmino. Is it worth -4 point hit to move Sanchez this week, home to Chelsea or give him the opportunity to showcase his talents in a big game for Man United? Looking at strength of schedule Spurs and Leicester City have been awarded the most favourable fixtures over that 3-week period. Spurs also show promising, playing cry/HUD/bou, while Leicester have STO/BOU/wba. These fixtures bring Christian Eriksen and Riyad Mahrez onto the radar as potential Sanchez replacements, freeing up budget to used allocated elsewhere.

Without the Free Hit Chip or the Wild Card available, each transfer is vital to minimise taking hits. While fantasy managers are planning for BGW31, many of the transfers I am considering are with DGW34 and DGW37 in mind. For Gameweek 31, I will field an 9-man squad, which includes triple Liverpool coverage (Firmino, Salah and van Dijk), while doubling up on Everton (Pickford, Niasse).

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Looking ahead

Selling Sanchez will allow the necessary budget to build towards DGW34 and DGW37, while ignoring BGW35. A strong case could be made to retain the Chilean with WBA/whm and bha/bou as the potential fixtures for Man United in the DGWs. However, his price, without the associated offensive production is too cost prohibitive. With remaining budget in hand, I could upgrade with an eye on DGW34 in mind.

Attention is being paid to those team who could potentially double in GW34 and GW37 (CHE/MUN/TOT/LEI/SOT). Currently I am looking to use the Triple Captain chip in GW37 on Harry Kane (wba/bha). Depending on the output of Arsenal over the next few weeks, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang might warrant consideration in GW34 (new/lei). If budget is a concern, Jamie Vardy (bur/ARS) is also an option. The remaining Bench Boost chip will be played opposite of the TC chip. That leaves GW34 as the option if Kane is triple captained in DGW37.

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Between now and then I have 6 remaining transfers to bring in DGW players for GW34, keeping in mind those teams that double 3 weeks later. Won’t be easy and the potential points could get the best of me, which means hits would be required to get the necessary personnel in place. The only restriction I currently struggle with, a paltry Team Value of £102.8. Be interested to hear readers thoughts ahead of the BGWs and DGWs.

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