In the Lukaku vs Kane head-to-head that was Gameweek 33, the Top Five Career Hall of Fame (HoF) voted in favour of the big Evertonian, with only Peter Kouwenberg captaining the Spurs man.
In what was a largely underwhelming gameweek Steve Poulsom was the biggest points scorer in Top Five. He moved up to 60,381 in the FPL rankings now only 11 points behind Marlen Rattiner who sits just inside the top 50,000. Considering there were 105 points and over 800K places between them in Gameweek 18, this is an impressive turnaround.
Heading into the Double Gameweek Marlen will be looking to widen the gap on Steve. Using his recent Wildcard the career number two brought in six players with two matches, the most out of our elite quintet. Though this includes Victor Valdes who is set to miss the first of Middlesbrough’s two fixtures, and the crocked Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
David Meechan, another to have used his Wildcard, had five players with two matches before injury intervened to potentially rob him of Valdes, teammate Fabio, and United’s big Swede. This could be seen as one of the dangers of wildcarding too early, however that would be to ignore the benefit David has gained from his Gameweek 30 Wildcard. He’s risen to 3,503 in the FPL standings from 14,564 in Gameweek 29.
|Players with Two Matches in GW34||Valencia||Valdes, Gibson, Valencia, Zaha, Benteke,
|Gibson, Valencia, Chambers||Valencia, Chambers||Valdes, Fabio, Valencia, Zaha
With Marlen the only manager to make a transfer so far this week, how many double gameweekers will make it into their teams?
Ville Ronka just has Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia with two matches. Will this change or is the Finnish Maestro feeling nonplussed with the fixtures?
This article focuses on the moves and strategies employed by the five elite managers who grace the upper echelons of the career Hall of Fame. Members can see the latest top five via our Live Hall of Fame update.
To help out I have also deployed Fusen’s FPL Statistico tool to gain an extra insight into their thinking.
Before we look at their teams in more detail, here’s why they are the best FPL managers:
|Lowest rank in the last three seasons for any of the top five||4,324|
|Highest rank in the last three seasons for any of the top five||49|
POINTS & RANK
|In the bank||£0.1||£0.0||£1.2||£3.3||£0.4|
Steve was rewarded for his unwavering faith in Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino with the Brazilian contributing 11 points to his total of 67. The former Hoffenheim player has been in Steve’s team for 28 matches this season. Contrast that with a manager renowned for his patience, Ville Ronka, whose longest serving player is Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez at 25 matches. Infinite patience is not restricted to Finns or Buddhist Monks.
Now with form and a favourable fixture list on his side, despite the lack of a double gameweek, Liverpool’s top scorer last season could well remain in Steve’s team for the rest of the campaign.
Elsewhere Peter’s decision to bring in and captain Tottenham’s Harry Kane saw him continue his steady rise up the FPL standings. He now sits at 817 overall and remains the highest ranked out of the career Top Five. Hopefully this provides some consolation to being usurped as the number one manager in the Live HoF after only a week.
|Name & HoF rank||FPL ID||Point after GW33||FPL rank GW33||Best FPL rank 16/17*||Worst FPL rank 16/17*|
|Ville #1||30327||1,864||19,260||8,637 (GW29)||135,324 (GW19)|
|Marlen #2||60081||1,829||47,021||13,561 (GW20)||101,648 (GW27)|
|Peter #3||6746||1,961||817||817 (GW33)||243,702 (GW07)|
|Steve #4||3911||1,818||60,381||60,381 (GW33)||845,911 (GW17)|
|David #5||45755||1,921||3,503||2,433 (GW32)||73,858 (GW09)|
*from GW6 onwards
Only David of this quintet qualified for the cup and he went out in Gameweek 19. Marlen and David have played their Wildcards, all apart from David have played their Triple Captain chip, and three have also played their AOA chip.
The graph above shows the ranks of the Top Five managers over the 33 gameweeks so far. The vertical scale is from rank 1 to 1M. The distance between the ranks corresponds to the number of points separating them. For instance there are 201pts between rank 1 and rank 10,000, and 271pts between 10,000 and 1M. The graph gives an idea of how difficult it is to move up the ranks as you near the summit.
Only Peter handed Kane the armband, with David opting for teammate Dele Alli in the plum home fixture with the Cherries. Everton’s Romelu Lukaku had the remainder of the picks.
Heading into Gameweek 30 there wasn’t much to choose between the two main captaincy contenders. Yet in YMA’s Form and Fixture Analysis Kane was the number one pick and Lukaku ranked bottom. Burnley’s improved defence highlighting the possible difficulty facing Lukaku.
Over the season Sanchez has been picked as captain 30% of the time, averaging 14.4pts when chosen. Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero follows in popularity having been handed the armband 24% of the time, averaging 15.9pts as captain or triple captain, with Lukaku chosen 13% of the time averaging a mighty 20.7pts.
In the graphic below I’ve displayed this information for the five most popular captain picks.
Despite a relatively poor total this week it shows that overall Lukaku has handsomely repaid the faith placed in him when chosen as captain. You could argue that the trolls in this graphic are Tottenham’s Harry Kane and United’s Ibrahimovic. They have not been explosive choices on the few occasions that they have been trusted with the armband, averaging 12.0 and 13.2 points respectively.
|Manager||Ville||Marlen||Peter||Steve||David||Ave. (c) points||As % of score|
|GW (c) Points||12||12||24||12||12||14||26|
|Total (c) Points||475||465||523||421||438||464||25|
Peter remains the best performing manager out of the Top Five in his ability to select the right captain. His 523 points is the top score in this metric by some margin. It is no surprise that he is also the highest ranked FPL manager of the five.
What is slightly surprising is that David, with 438 captaincy points – 85 less than Peter – is only 40 points behind him overall. David could himself be in the top 1,000 had his captain contributed more than 22.8% to his overall score. This is the lowest percentage of the five.
To help you make your crucial captain decision be sure to read YMA’s Form and Fixture analysis together with the Captain Sensible articles. There may also be a Hot Topic from CRUZ88 to look out for.
TRANSFERS – Gameweek 33
|Players In||–||Lukaku||Kane, Gibson||Kane||–|
|Players Out||–||Vardy||Aguero, Davies||Vardy||–|
Not many transfers this week. In swapping for Vardy for Lukaku instead of Kane, price may have been a consideration for Marlen. The Belgian now resides in all five squads.
|GW33 Points Hits||0||0||4||0||0||1|
|GW33 Immediate Points Gained from Transfers||0||3||13||3||0||4|
|Minus Points Hits||0||3||9||3||0||3|
The most successful moves this week belonged once again to Peter. His decision to captain Kane helping to add 9 points to his total of immediate points gained from transfers minus hits.
|Total Points Hits||8||40||92||64||52||51|
|Total Immediate Points Gained from Transfers||167||243||332||288||256||257|
|Minus Points Hits||159||203||240||224||204||206|
|Total Benched Points||295||167||252||237||176||225|
|£ Value (GW32)||103.9||103.9||108.7||106.4||105.4||105.7|
Over the course of the season Peter has mustered more immediate transfer points than any of his fellow bosses at the HoF’s top table.
Immediate transfer success is not in itself proof of overall success but simply one part of a complex picture. Steve for instance is only 16 points behind Peter in this metric, however he is over 143 points behind overall.
Although the numbers would suggest that this season Ville’s patient approach isn’t as productive as Peter’s more assertive style. The career number one is 81 points worse off than Peter on immediate points gained from transfers minus hits, contributing to a 97 point difference overall. Both players still have their wildcards to play.
One obvious result of making more transfers is an increase in Team Value. Not surprising that Peter and Steve, having made the most transfers, have the most valuable squads.
One of the aims in FPL is to own players for their best periods and sell them when they are underperforming. Choosing which premium assets to invest in goes a long way to making up the total score for each manager. This week I’ve decided to take a look at how the Top Five managers have done with the three most popular captain choices – Sanchez, Aguero and Lukaku.
Below is a table showing the total points the Top Five have gained from each player.
Captain points mean that David has gained 283 points from leading FPL points scorer Sanchez, even though the player himself only has 210 points.
Below is a table showing the average points per appearance that the Top Five have gained from each player.
Overall every manager has made excellent use of this premium trio, with each one extracting more points per appearance than the player’s own FPL average.
When comparing David’s 9.8 average points per appearance from Sanchez to Peter’s 10.6, it puts his 283 total in a different light. Indicating that David hasn’t maximised his use of Sanchez as a team member and captain option as well as Peter. Especially when compared to the relatively low number of points David’s garnered from Lukaku.
Below I’ve put together a chart showing when each manager has owned the trio this season. The size of the circle reflects the number of points scored that week by the player. If the circle is solid white it means the manager owned the player that week. Where the white exceeds the boundary of the circle, it indicates that the player was captained or triple captained.
The chart clearly shows how Lukaku has become a popular selection and captain choice in later gameweeks. Overcoming his “Troll-kaku” moniker.
|No. of Times Chosen||23||27||20||14||18|
|Ave. Points Scored||59.7||57||59.7||52.1||63.3|
The standard 3-4-3 was again popular this week with three managers choosing this formation.
Over the season Ville and Marlen have been strong advocates of 3-4-3, Marlen opting for the formation 27 times. Yet it is David, favouring 3-5-2, who has scored the highest average points with 63.3. It has also been the most successful formation for Peter, the seven times he has chosen or defaulted to 3-5-2 he has average 69 points.
3-4-3 has been favoured 58% of the time by the career HoF Top Five, with 3-5-2 second with 24%. 4-4-2 is the third most popular on 11%.
PLAYERS GAMEWEEK 33
|Players in 5 teams||Lukaku, Eriksen, Valencia|
|Players in 4 teams||Alli, Alonso|
|Players in 3 teams||Sanchez, Heaton, Pickford|
|Attacking players under 6m||Barnes x2, Zaha x2, King, Can, Fletcher|
TEMPLATE GAMEWEEK 33
Goalkeepers – Heaton, Pickford
Defenders – Valencia, Alonso, Gibson, (McAuley / Chambers)
Midfielders – Eriksen, Alli, Sanchez, Sigurdsson, Zaha
Forwards – Lukaku, Ibrahimovic, Kane
With Ibrahimovic suffering a knee injury against Anderlecht the Swede won’t be featuring in the template for much longer. Replacements include Double Gameweek options; teammate Marcus Rashford, Palace’s Christian Benteke – already in Marlen’s team – and Middlesbrough’s Alvaro Negredo.
THE KEYS TO SUCCESS IN FANTASY FOOTBALL
The season isn’t over yet but so far it seems a high points scoring season. With five gameweeks to go including three double gameweeks, it’s not impossible that we will see a record winning score. The current marker is 2,668 points set in the 2009/2010 season.
With so many points on offer from a wide number of players an aggressive transfer approach is paying off for Peter. This is no doubt why he currently leads the way in Immediate Transfer Points.
Yet if you looked only at Transfer Success you might expect Ville to be the worst performing manager. In fact he is not, and is only 23 points outside the top 10,000. Clearly there is more to success than can be measured with these stats.
The game is about making good decisions. We can devour stats, watch matches and highlights, read analyses to inform ourselves, but there’s no magic formula. As Peter (aka MyPrettyPony) would say ‘trust your gut’.
One of the most helpful things to come out of these articles is Peter’s willingness to offer insights around transfers and strategy in the comment section below. Hopefully, he will once again be able to share his thoughts.