Stephen Toumi continues his FPL think differently series

Contributors, Fantasy Premier League

Here’s long time contributor to the site Stephen Toumi who is looking to navigate his way through a template-less season in his FPL  think differently series

Stephen Toumi continues his FPL think differently series

Gameweek 1

Sometimes thinking differently doesn’t benefit what you get on the pitch. Prior to GW1, I put together several different teams, using a variety of formations. Unlike last year, where I stuck to my guns and ran out a 5-2-3, this season I decided to take an alternate route and “play boring” to start the season in a 3-4-3.

Based on results seen on Twitter, my overall score of 67 points was low, compared to many, who had Sadio Mane or started Aaron Wan-Bissaka. However, 67 points isn’t a bad start, as I sit 834k in the overall rank. There were no premium forwards providing any returns, while the paring of Marko Arnautovic and Wilfried Zaha up front, didn’t prove to be much of a differential.

The 5-man midfield, opting to start Tom Cairney over a fourth defender, in Wan-Bissaka, proved to be fruitless, while Cairney did post some positive numbers, Fulham couldn’t get through a stingy Crystal Palace defence, He is one of two concerns moving forward, the other, Alexis Sanchez. Brought in as a differential to start the season, knowing I should have gone with a seconds Manchester City midfielder provided a single (questionable) assist for the Red Devils, as well as an argument with World Cup winner, Paul Pogba on who would take the penalty kick. Sanchez didn’t win that conversation. While much of Brighton’s offense flows through Pascal Groβ, the Seagulls attack looked anaemic against an upstart Watford squad.

FPL think differently

Gameweek 2

Looking ahead to GW2, there are very few decisions to be made, as I plan on rolling my FT, potentially making multiple changes ahead of GW3. Crystal Palace hosts Liverpool on Monday night, while there was a 1-0 victory last season to Liverpool, this fixture has been competitive over the years. I don’t believe Palace keeps a clean sheet, which would dissuade me from bringing in Wan-Bissaka, on the the back of his 12-point showing last week.

Burnley hosts Watford, as the Clarets come off three clean sheets in the last three games, with Joe Hart in goal. Watford, has struggled on the road, going back the last 12 games, with no wins and only two goals scored, making James Tarkowski a good start. Tom Cairney played well in GW1, as they visit Wembley and Spurs. We did see many weaker division teams play Spurs tough in the early fixtures last season, which could make Tom Cairney a potential starter. At this point, I plan a 4-4-2 formation ahead of Saturday’s action.

fpl think differently

Been following many different discussions on Twitter; Aguero vs Salah for captain, FT to bring Mendy in, take a hit to make multiple changes ahead of some lucrative fixtures. Captain decision appears to be clear cut, as Salah picked up a goal last season in this fixture and I don’t own Aguero. Palace has improved defensively with Mamadou Sakho healthy again, but they won’t have enough against the Reds firepower.

An alternate plan, captain Benjamin Mendy, on the back of a clean sheet and two assists at Arsenal last week. His heat map indicates an advanced position on the left flank, was comparable to teammate, Raheem Sterling. If City set up in a similar fashion, with very little attack anticipated from Huddersfield, Mendy could be a solid punt as a GW2 captain.


The last option I was considering, activating the wild card. Now, this option seems a knee jerk reaction, not to the success we saw players have in GW1, but the fact I don’t have treble City or Liverpool. City has a sea of green through GW7, playing all the promoted teams from the past two years, while Liverpool have favourable schedule over the next five weeks, facing just Spurs in GW5.

A GW2 wild card is very risky, meaning this would bump up the activation, which was anticipated to be after GW4 and the international break, to take potential injuries into consideration. The wild card would see fix potential moves, which would result in the treble City and Liverpool player. It also means taking a punt on Everton’s darling, Richarlison.

FPL think differently

Patience is a word I preached in an early season article, as a “key to success” for this season. To activate a wild card, more out of concern for potential returns as opposed to looking deeper at the current starting XI could come with risk. On paper, the wild card looking outstanding but does role a large percentage of my starting XI (6 players) into just two teams. Based on last week’s offensive display, City and Liverpool could hold the key to a very good FPL season

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