Opinion

This Much We Know – Gameweek 4

A weekend with more rough than smooth for many FPL managers as big name bandwagons come off the road and many of us who Wildcarded are cursed by the return of the ex.

The debate between Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku rages on, while dire form sours the tasty fixtures at Goodison Park and St Mary’s.

Would the next Riyad Mahrez please stand up, please stand up

With a goal and an assist in their first two matches, Richarlison and Aaron Mooy were dubbed hot properties in the emergent FPL season, since when the pair have yet to tally a shot on target or big chance between them.

While Richarlison falling figures have not discouraged new suitors, heavy traffic is now being directed towards Pascal Groß and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, darlings of Gameweek 4 with a brace apiece after three consecutive blanks.

The likes of Matt Ritchie, Jesé and Abdoulaye Doucouré are also showing signs of life to suggest we are spoilt for potential midfield budget gems.

But perhaps we need to accept that one swallow does not a summer make and await the emergence of a consistent performer instead of leaping from bandwagon to bandwagon with reckless abandon.

Does the exception prove the rule?

On a related note, Kevin de Bruyne owners were justifiably crowing after the Prince Harry lookalike bossed the points and silenced the naysayers against Liverpool. Except, did he really do either?

No fewer than three Manchester City players exceeded the Belgian’s Gameweek 4 points tally of nine – Gabriel Jesus (12), Benjamin Mendy (ten) and even forgotten man Leroy Sané (13points from a respectable half an hour’s toil).

Nobody can question the quality of De Bruyne’s set-piece deliveries and, against ten men at the Etihad, the question was simply how many points he would garner. However, a £9.9 million price tag for a player who openly admits he is playing deep and could easily be part of the Champions League-induced rotation lottery does not convince me he can be value for money over the season.

It would be unfair to say that this dog has had his one day – because we all know more will surely follow – but I would still be tempted to take the points and run if I was on a Wildcard.

If, indeed, I still had my Wildcard…

It was a pleasure to burn

And it seems I am, if not alone, at least more friendless in burning my Wildcard early on than was the case last season.

With over a million new players signing up to FPL this season, you might expect the build-up to Gameweek 4 to resemble a scene from Farenheit 451.

Not so, it seems. Only around 5.5% of players (275,000) of players have joined Mark and me in succumbing to the temptation of an early Wildcard this season compared to 8.5% at this stage last season.

With a distinct lack of statistics, imminent fixture shifts, big players like Alexis Sánchez, Philippe Coutinho and Eden Hazard rejoining the fold (some more reluctantly than others) and, crucially, a price-change market more stagnant than that of the UK, it seems that the decision to Remain in charge of our Wildcards would perhaps have been the more prudent course.

Time for yet another Mane man pun?

Sadio Mané’s -2 points in my own post-Wildcard team seem symbolic of my hamartia: undeniably an epic fail for my increasingly ironically named Skeye’s The Limit side.

Is this, however, also the beginning of the end for a Liverpool team set to be deprived of their Senegalese talisman for two Gameweeks?

Mane’s previous season ended on April 1 after a clash with Leighton Baines, but at least Liverpool couldn’t be accused of limping over the line in his absence. For the remaining fixtures, the Reds still managed to notch an average of 1.8 goals per match, compared to 2.1 goals with Mane fit and playing.

Interestingly, though, Liverpool’s shots on target improved in the final weeks of the season from around 6 to 6.5 per match and they also created chances at a quicker rate – every 5.3 minutes as opposed to 5.8 minutes.

From an FPL perspective, perhaps Mane’s enforced absence is a blessing rather than a curse, with Jurgen Klopp’s rotational options diminished in the short term and the likes of Mohammed Salah and Roberto Firmino set to pick up the slack against Burnley and Leicester City.

Salah – whose nine shots on target is joint top for all players – is a particularly intriguing option for those backing the law of averages over clinical finishing.

Back to bed

So while Liverpool may yet pick up the odd point in September, spare a thought for those ultimate trolls, Southampton and Everton.

Many of us gorged on Saints, lured in by a glittering fixture list which masked just two minor drawbacks: they can’t score goals or (it would now seem) keep clean sheets.

I can’t complain too much after banking fortuitous defensive points from the games against Huddersfield and a Swansea City side whose cutting edge is reflected by their season-low tally of seven shots on target, but it seems Southampton’s relatively poor underlying statistics are now being justly rewarded.

I’m at least heartened by the fact Southampton travel to Crystal Palace for a guaranteed nine-goal thriller.

Everton have the excuse of having faced tougher opposition, but sharing, as they do, Swansea’s unwelcome shots on target record, we face the age old form or fixtures choice as the Toffees move into a sea of blue fixtures after visiting Old Trafford in the final-match up of Gameweek Five.

For Nathan Redmond and Manolo Gabbiadini, read Gylfi Sigurdsson and Wayne Rooney, with the latter’s cautions (three) already outnumbering his goals (two), although Bournemouth and Burnley are enticing visitors still to come to Goodison.

The last word in strikers

We can postulate, prevaricate and ponder all we want, but Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku have both arrived at the party and each is craving our undivided attention.

With captaincy in mind, it seems unthinkable that the successful FPL manager can dare to go without one of these premium models. Whether to side with the masses (57.5%) and plump for the consistency of Lukaku or to splash a little extra cash for Kane’s fixtures and potentially explosive returns seems, for now, to be a moot point.

Of more interest to those whose budget doesn’t stretch to both goal machines is finding a second striker who could conceivably keep pace with the pair.

Álvaro Morata has quietly risen to the top of the strikers’ standings, whilst Jesus’s recent brace was inevitable the moment I had pressed the button to release him.

So if you can’t choose between the sheriffs, at least give careful thought to the deputies.

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3,283 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Iceball
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    8 days, 17 hours ago

    Who would you trust in ManCity defense? Walker or Mendy(is he nailed?) Excellent fixtures+attacking threat Im looking for.

    1. Sims
        8 days, 17 hours ago

        i wouldn't be surprised if mendy is randomly rotated with sane in one of the next 3 games

      • Sailboats
          8 days, 17 hours ago

          would avoid completely tbh

          1. james 101
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            8 days, 17 hours ago

            Yeah.

            I WANT to trust them and bring in Mendy. But I just don't.

            So I'm going with Davies Jones and Kola as my top defenders

        • Bunk Moreland
            8 days, 17 hours ago

            I don't trust any of them. Would rather have Davies, or even Alderweireld or Kolasinac. The City defenders are OK option, but not great because of the rotation risk and the fact they don't tend to keep that many CS.

          • Doosra - ☭Bolivia Giroud…
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            8 days, 17 hours ago

            I am running with Otamendi.

        • Sims
            8 days, 17 hours ago

            why is hemed not being mentioned on here?

            goal and assist in last game, 30 goals in last 2 seasons in championship, and above all, only 4.9.

            given how crap the 3rd strikers are atm, feels like it's best to go the cheapest route

            1. Sailboats
                8 days, 17 hours ago

                they mentioned him on the scoutcast

                1. Tamagotchi Massacre
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  8 days, 17 hours ago

                  Brought him in as my way to get Hazard and Kane in

            2. angelov21
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              8 days, 17 hours ago

              Mane, Willian , Gabbi out for which three ?

            3. Atimis
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              8 days, 17 hours ago

              Ideas?
              1) Mane to Salah
              2) Mbemba Mane Chica to Tuanzebe Mahrez Firmino -4

              Thx for previous response @LE

              1. Lukakuna
                  8 days, 17 hours ago

                  1 seems safer

                • FC Lackless
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  8 days, 17 hours ago

                  1

                • Atimis
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  8 days, 17 hours ago

                  Thanks 😉

              2. Lukakuna
                  8 days, 17 hours ago

                  Got three players not starting this weekend:

                  1) Kompany > Davies (Save ft)

                  2) Willian+JWP > Loftus+Mkhi/Silva

                  3) All three for a hit

                  1. Unifié
                      8 days, 17 hours ago

                      If it is a one hit then all three. is RLC ok??

                      1. Lukakuna
                          8 days, 17 hours ago

                          Thanks, he should be soon and I'll play Carroll in the meantime

                      2. Flowsick
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        8 days, 17 hours ago

                        In a very similar position to you with Willian and JWP. I'd do all three for a hit for Davies. Up in the air with Mkhi/Silva. Silva a differential and City fixtures look tasty.

                        1. Lukakuna
                            8 days, 16 hours ago

                            Yeah, I'm leaning towards Mkhi now, I guess Silva is just as rotation prone as he is and was set on getting Pogba until last night.

                      3. HARLEY
                          8 days, 17 hours ago

                          When Pogba price will drop -0.1m?

                          1. james 101
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            8 days, 17 hours ago

                            As soon as the masses notice he's flagged.

                            1. G-Whizz
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              8 days, 16 hours ago

                              Flagged players are treated differently from what I can gather...

                        • james 101
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          8 days, 17 hours ago

                          Second attempt!

                          Thoughts on this WC team?

                          Thanks!!!

                          Forster.
                          Kola. Jones. Davies.
                          Eriksen. Mikhi. Salah. Cork.
                          Kane. Morata. Firmino.

                          Elliot. Carroll. Mbemba. Gamez.

                          1. Phil DÆgge® ⭐
                              8 days, 17 hours ago

                              Bench is disastrous tbf and Cork in starting line up too

                              1. Bunk Moreland
                                  8 days, 17 hours ago

                                  This. You'll be playing 10 men regularly. Shift one of your premium attackers to boost your squad.
                                  And Forster is too much for a GK of his lack of quality. There are options at 4,5 that will outscore him.

                                  1. james 101
                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                    8 days, 17 hours ago

                                    Who would you downgrade Forster to?

                                    I picked him as He's doing fine so far and I love his upcoming fixtures

                                • james 101
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  8 days, 17 hours ago

                                  Everything is a trade-off though right?

                                  the year I did best (peaked at 300, finished at 1400 after I met a cute girl...) I played a similarly agressive way, with most of my cash on the pitch.

                            • Red Arrow Man | VJ
                                8 days, 17 hours ago

                                Draft midfield:

                                Ramsey - Pedro - Richarlison - Mooy - Brady

                                Anyone worth transfer out?

                                Choo choo Moting and Grooß are available 🙂

                                1. Red Arrow Man | VJ
                                    8 days, 17 hours ago

                                    *transferring

                                2. boc610
                                    8 days, 17 hours ago

                                    if celtic had a fit and healthy Rangers team challenging them every year then performances like last night might not happen. they would still lose to these teams but they would give it a better go than last nights pathetic showing .winning the league every year by 30 points , which rodgers will do, gives them zero preparation for European football, dont think the realise how much they need Rangers (they are the only club in SPL who still want them punished)

                                    1. Doosra - ☭Bolivia Giroud…
                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                      8 days, 17 hours ago

                                      I am afraid that that is typical small-mindedness of most if not all, football club boards. Extreme, I grant you.

                                  • Whits
                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                    8 days, 16 hours ago

                                    Who's the biggest risk not to start this weekend?

                                    A) Willian
                                    B) Hernandez
                                    C) Stephens

                                    1. Pether
                                        8 days, 14 hours ago

                                        A, maybe C. Chica will start

                                    2. pedjaaaa
                                        8 days, 16 hours ago

                                        Looking for sub for Fraser, who would you recommend as best 6.0-6.5 replacement? Already have Atsu and Carrol

                                      • Whits
                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                        8 days, 16 hours ago

                                        Best option for next 3 gameweeks?

                                        A) Vardy (Hudd A, Liv H & Bou A)

                                        B) Firmino (Bur H, Lei A & New A)

                                        1. RESULT
                                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                          7 days, 12 hours ago

                                          Tough one ..probably go for firmino if you need pool cover

                                      • Pether
                                          8 days, 14 hours ago

                                          A) Choupo and Mortata
                                          B) Mkhi and Chica

                                        • Allahan
                                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                          8 days, 14 hours ago

                                          Downgrade on Willian so I can Davies in my team, but for who? Doucoure, Ritchie??????

                                          1. ItsaKnockaert
                                              8 days, 9 hours ago

                                              Ritchie

                                          2. Butters
                                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                            8 days, 13 hours ago

                                            Quick draft question:
                                            If I do Chupo in - Ayew out,
                                            Can I put in for example Jese in - Ayew out as well?
                                            In case the first transfer doesn't go through

                                          3. applebonkers
                                            • Has Moderation Rights
                                            8 days, 11 hours ago

                                            morata is a sheriff

                                            1. applebonkers
                                              • Has Moderation Rights
                                              8 days, 11 hours ago

                                              how many mins would lukaku and kane have got at real Madrid last season? Is definitely up for debate

                                          4. applebonkers
                                            • Has Moderation Rights
                                            8 days, 11 hours ago

                                            If morata's head was a 6.5mil striker would you buy it?

                                            1. Sims
                                                8 days, 11 hours ago

                                                old threat apple

                                                1. applebonkers
                                                  • Has Moderation Rights
                                                  8 days, 11 hours ago

                                                  grazie

                                              • ItsaKnockaert
                                                  8 days, 9 hours ago

                                                  Definitely

                                              • Pieterke30
                                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                8 days, 11 hours ago

                                                Having given negative feedback on the first two 'This Much We Know' articles this season, Im happy to be able to write that I have really enjoyed number 3 and 4.

                                                Much, much better. Well done and keep it up!

                                              • ItsaKnockaert
                                                  8 days, 9 hours ago

                                                  I have pogba but don't want to buy him for higher price so I'll just bench him for carroll. Should I do:

                                                  A: Lukaku->Kane, Mane->Salah/Miki, -4
                                                  B: Mane->Salah/Miki
                                                  C: Firmino->Kane, Mane->Ritchie, -4
                                                  D: Mane->Salah, Pogba->KdB, -4

                                                • cjhewitt92
                                                    8 days, 7 hours ago

                                                    Salah Morata to Jesus and Hazard what you guys think

                                                    1. dogtanion
                                                        8 days, 7 hours ago

                                                        Why would you sell Morata ahead of a possible brace this weekend?

                                                        1. cjhewitt92
                                                            8 days, 7 hours ago

                                                            For long term with city run of fixtures and no cover

                                                      • JurgenRodgers
                                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                        8 days, 7 hours ago

                                                        Pogba replacement...
                                                        (A) D Silva
                                                        (B) Alli/Moting -4 (Willian)

                                                      • maditass
                                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                        8 days, 5 hours ago

                                                        I seem to miss what the points cut-off in LMS is. Anyone that can tell me? i got 47 points this week so i might be already out now =/

                                                      • Steirish
                                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                        8 days, 5 hours ago

                                                        Elliot Foster

                                                        Alonso Bertrand Naughton Zanka Mbemba

                                                        Salah Erik Mikh Ramsey Carrol

                                                        Lukaku Jesus Mounie

                                                        Really want Kane in 1 FT and 0 in the bank any ideas on how to get him in?

                                                      • RESULT
                                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                        7 days, 12 hours ago

                                                        Got Kane Davies
                                                        Lukaku jesus alonso
                                                        No pool cover
                                                        Change Silva to salah
                                                        Iwobi to 4.5
                                                        1 ft and just enough money to do it
                                                        OR
                                                        Silva to alli and Willian to choppy M?

                                                      • RESULT
                                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                        7 days, 12 hours ago

                                                        Lukaku+Willian to Firmino Eriksson for -4

                                                        Have Davies n Kane
                                                        No pool cover