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
    2 months, 10 days ago

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

    1. Sims
      2 months, 10 days ago

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

    2. Sailboats
      2 months, 10 days ago

      would avoid completely tbh

      1. james 101
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        2 months, 10 days 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

    3. Bunk Moreland
      2 months, 10 days 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.

    4. Doosra - ☭Bolivia Giroud…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      2 months, 10 days ago

      I am running with Otamendi.

  2. Sims
    2 months, 10 days 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
      2 months, 10 days ago

      they mentioned him on the scoutcast

      1. Tamagotchi Massacre
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        2 months, 10 days ago

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

  3. angelov21
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Mane, Willian , Gabbi out for which three ?

  4. Atimis
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    2 months, 10 days ago

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

    Thx for previous response @LE

    1. Lukakuna
      2 months, 10 days ago

      1 seems safer

    2. FC Lackless [BALEGIUM]
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      2 months, 10 days ago

      1

    3. Atimis
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Thanks 😉

  5. Lukakuna
    2 months, 10 days 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
      2 months, 10 days ago

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

      1. Lukakuna
        2 months, 10 days ago

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

    2. Flowsick
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      2 months, 10 days 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
        2 months, 10 days 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.

  6. HARLEY
    2 months, 10 days ago

    When Pogba price will drop -0.1m?

    1. james 101
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      2 months, 10 days ago

      As soon as the masses notice he's flagged.

      1. G-Whizz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        2 months, 10 days ago

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

  7. james 101
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    2 months, 10 days 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 Dagger ⭐
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Bench is disastrous tbf and Cork in starting line up too

      1. Bunk Moreland
        2 months, 10 days 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
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Who would you downgrade Forster to?

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

      2. james 101
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        2 months, 10 days 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.

  8. Pep Roulette | VJ
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Draft midfield:

    Ramsey - Pedro - Richarlison - Mooy - Brady

    Anyone worth transfer out?

    Choo choo Moting and Grooß are available 🙂

    1. Pep Roulette | VJ
      2 months, 10 days ago

      *transferring

  9. boc610
    2 months, 10 days 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
      2 months, 10 days ago

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

  10. Whits
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    2 months, 10 days ago

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

    A) Willian
    B) Hernandez
    C) Stephens

    1. Pether
      2 months, 10 days ago

      A, maybe C. Chica will start

  11. pedjaaaa
    2 months, 10 days ago

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

  12. Whits
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    2 months, 10 days 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
      2 months, 9 days ago

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

  13. Pether
    2 months, 10 days ago

    A) Choupo and Mortata
    B) Mkhi and Chica

  14. Allahan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    2 months, 10 days ago

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

    1. ItsaKnockaert
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Ritchie

  15. Butters
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    2 months, 10 days 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

  16. applebonkers
    • Has Moderation Rights
    2 months, 10 days ago

    morata is a sheriff

    1. applebonkers
      • Has Moderation Rights
      2 months, 10 days ago

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

  17. applebonkers
    • Has Moderation Rights
    2 months, 10 days ago

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

    1. Sims
      2 months, 10 days ago

      old threat apple

      1. applebonkers
        • Has Moderation Rights
        2 months, 10 days ago

        grazie

    2. ItsaKnockaert
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Definitely

  18. Pieterke30
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    2 months, 10 days 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!

  19. ItsaKnockaert
    2 months, 10 days 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

  20. cjhewitt92
    2 months, 9 days ago

    Salah Morata to Jesus and Hazard what you guys think

    1. dogtanion
      2 months, 9 days ago

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

      1. cjhewitt92
        2 months, 9 days ago

        For long term with city run of fixtures and no cover

  21. JurgenRodgers
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    2 months, 9 days ago

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

  22. maditass
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    2 months, 9 days 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 =/

  23. Steirish
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    2 months, 9 days 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?

  24. RESULT
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    2 months, 9 days 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?

  25. RESULT
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    2 months, 9 days ago

    Lukaku+Willian to Firmino Eriksson for -4

    Have Davies n Kane
    No pool cover