thinking differently in FPL – the wildcard revelation by Stephen Toumi

Fantasy Premier League

Here’s regular commenter and contributor to the site Stephen Toumi with his 3rd article in the series of thinking differently in FPL.  He’s continued his focus on the 5-2-3 formation and has activated his wildcard

thinking differently in  FPL – the wildcard revelation by Stephen Toumi

Just a day away from the Friday night football, as I consider my next move. After many managers activated their wildcard after the first international break, it appeared as if I was in a position to hold activation as I looked to the future. Opting for a 5-2-3 formation since GW1, I have been pleased with the overall performance of my starting XI (since my 3 subs will never start), but it’s been the poor captaincy selections that have caused me stumble out of the blocks. While I look to get back on track this weekend, a revelation has come to me as I have pulled the wildcard from my pocket. Is it time to activate?

Going into the weekend I have already seen my three forwards score midweek in their UCL fixtures with the hope that form continues in Gameweek 5. The unfortunate injury to Paul Pogba has me smiling, as I own Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who should play in the 10 role, home to Everton this weekend. Christian Eriksen continues his fine form, as Spurs are home (at Wembley) to a lackluster Swansea outfit that doesn’t know where the goal is.

Concerns about Saints

While these five starters are nailed on, it’s my 5-man defense that has me concerned. So’ton, while struggling offensively has kept 2 clean sheets on the season, so owning Ryan Bertrand, Cedric Soares and Maya Yoshida has my defenders averaging just 4.05 points/game (77 total points). While the Saints continue a good run of fixtures, I am losing patience in their defensive struggles. The addition of Wesley Hoedt and resigning of Virgil Van Dijk could see Yoshida benched. The upcoming fixture in GW6 against Manchester United isn’t appealing, but outside of that fixture, they still have a favourable run through GW11.

thinking differently fpl

At United, I continue to field Mkhitaryan, but Antonio Valencia could be yanked in order to gain more favorable wing back in a defense that could border on £29.0m! Last week I moved on Phil Jones to replace the injury Vincent Kompany and now stand at the crossroads deciding which path will lead to FPL riches.

Wildcard thoughts

Pleased with my 5-2-3 formation, the offensive numbers and underlying statistics are strong. Running without the likes of Romelu Lukaku could be “risky” but the same could be said for those who go “Kane-less” after his less than impressive start in August. By activating my first wildcard, I would be looking to solidify a stout defence and make it more attacking minded.

The lack of midfielders in the £7.0 price bracket and inconsistency from budget buys, was the driving force to “go big at the back.” I stand true to my word, that this gamble has paid off through 4 weeks of the EPL season. With much football ahead, fantasy managers must remain flexible. For me, the 5-2-3 formation could fall out of favour if the likes of a Josh King type player emerge. Currently there aren’t any £4.5 midfielders providing any offensive returns, but Tom Carroll (6.2 % TSB) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (8.0% TSB) are found in quite a few squads.

To strengthen the defence, I retain only Phil Jones. For Gameweek 5 I would introduce Marcos Alonso (£7.1), Sead Kolasinac (£6.0), Ben Davies (£5.7) and Aaron Cresswell (£5.0). All these new defenders carry a strong attacking potential. Jones keeps his starting spot based solely on fixtures; EVE/sou/CRY but would be moved in favour of a stronger defender in a few weeks. Depending on how my team value looks, the next move would be introducing a Manchester City defender. At this point with a team value of £100.3, this move is not possible. The post wildcard team would be represented as follows:

thinking differently FPL

This overhaul to the defence would set me up for the upcoming game weeks, where I would rely a bit more on attacking returns from the defenders than clean sheets. However all carry short stretches of favourable fixtures, which could lead to a bountiful fantasy return. It doesn’t come without risk, but it’s one I willing to take. Starting the season in a 5-2-3 has been a big risk, which has paid off to date. While my overall rank isn’t impressive (898k) and I am not leading any mini-leagues, I do feel this is a strong squad to contend with.

Thanks Stephen.  It looks a strong team and we will look to follow it over the coming weeks.  Good luck

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