While this period of the campaign is an enthralling and potentially vital one for Fantasy Premier League managers, those playing the Sky Sports game are also handed a season-changing event in the shape of the new “Overhaul” feature.
Effectively, this is Sky Sports’ version of the Wildcard, giving managers the opportunity to revamp and rebuild ahead of the remaining Gameweeks.
In this article, we aim to provide you with some vital information to help shape your Overhaul squad.
Firstly, let’s see what Sky Sports has to say about the new feature, introduced for the 2017/18 season:
“The second Overhaul period will open after the final match of Gameweek 27 from 8:15pm on the 12th of February. The Overhaul will remain open for the whole of Gameweek 28 and up until the first kick-off of Gameweek 29 at 12:30pm on the 24th of February.
“You will be able to make unlimited transfers during those periods until the first game-day deadline. Once the first game-day deadline of the week has passed, the overhaul will expire and any additional transfers will come out of your remaining 40-player transfer limit.”
Pretty straightforward then: the Overhaul is a “use it or lose it” option and we have up until February 24 to tinker and settle on our XI.
With 11 fixtures remaining for each team, we should first scan those teams granted the most favourable match-ups. We’ve handpicked these below:
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Please bear in mind that some of these fixtures have been rescheduled (as detailed below), but regardless of this, they need to be played and remain on the schedule.
How do we use this information?
This becomes crucial when selecting your goalkeeper and defenders.
As a rule we should avoid using further transfers to swap these positions due to their lower ceiling on points. So we should consider the fixtures remaining when choosing our Overhaul picks, making the above teams a useful starting point.
Here we look at the teams who feature the most outside of the conventional Saturday kick-off slot.
Players from these sides should, therefore, be considered as they will likely offer viable captain cover.
Remember, though, that Sky are yet to pick all televised fixtures for April and May.
This table presumes that Spurs’ match with Newcastle in Gameweek 32 will be rescheduled.
Although Arsenal may not be your favoured captain pick on each of their matchdays, they do offer a good insurance policy if your preferred choice picks up an injury; this could end up saving you from making unplanned transfers.
Another option would be to bring Arsenal players in, rather than own one from the start, as we are set to see their team line-up prior to kick-off in all four of their matches currently scheduled up until May.
Navigating the Blanks
Shortly after the Overhaul, we have a reduced set of fixtures which falls into Gameweek 32 in the Sky Sports game.
This occurs due to the postponements from the FA Cup Quarter Finals.
It’s yet another factor for Fantasy managers to consider and I recommend you read up here to get your head around it.
In short, managers with a wealth of transfers could target teams set to play in Gameweek 32 and then remove them afterwards to squeeze extra points from their XI.
Liverpool appear to be the stand-out team to target if you’re exploring this route, with assets like Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane providing excellent placeholders for key assets around the same price such as Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne.
Here we bring you the current top 100 overall teams’ player breakdown.
This data was captured on Monday, February 12, just moments before the Overhaul went active.
The thinking here is that we can identify some “must-haves” and perhaps some differentials to help break the template.
Players in ten teams or more:
|Kevin De Bruyne||Mid||85|
|David De Gea||Gk||23|
From this we can say the template XI is:
This team is 0.5 over budget, but is made up of the 11 most popular players in the top 100 teams.
It’s no surprise to see four Man City players present, given their dominance in the Premier League so far, but these numbers will likely be very different post-Overhaul.
We can still make a fair few assumptions, with players such as Mohamed Salah and De Bruyne unlikely to be shifted after serving the top managers so well.
In truth, it looks foolhardy to go without many of the players listed in the upper reaches of this table if you want to keep pace with the top managers.
Picking the exact same XI as the top 100 managers probably won’t do you any harm, but it’s unlikely to result in you catching them or moving up the ranks significantly.
To help you in that quest, I’ve picked out a few names I think could help steal a march on rivals.
Mixing a few of these names with the tried and tested picks above looks a good recipe for breaking the template.
Alex McCarthy 4.8
The cheapest starting goalkeeper in the game by quite some distance. The price is close to the only selling point here, but it’s still a convincing argument. The Saints man frees up a significant amount of budget over the game’s next cheapest keeper Nick Pope (5.5), who is the current template pick above. With Tom Heaton nearing a first-team comeback, Pope’s position looks under threat, so steering clear could be a wise move. There are some reservations with McCarthy, given Southampton’s lack of clean sheets and even his first-choice status. But he has played in every match since December 30 last year and has some reasonable fixtures in the run-in. As ever, it’s what you do you with the money saved that will matter most here.
Loris Karius 6.7
With great fixtures and a match in Gameweek 32, Karius looks a very decent pick. Liverpool have 11 cleansheets for the season and, with every shut-out worth seven points for a goalkeeper, we should see a regular stream of nine-point returns from the German now he’s been confirmed as Jurgen Klopp’s first choice.
Mike van der Hoorn 5.4
With Seamus Coleman potentially robbing us of our template cheap defender Jonjoe Kenny, we’ve cast our net elsewhere and ended up catching a Swan. Again, the main selling point here is the price, as Fantasy managers look to pour cash into their big hitters up top. But the Swansea City man does have a good run-in and looks a secure pick under Carlos Carvalhal.
James Tarkowski 6.1/Stephen Ward 6.2
Burnley’s backline has been a valuable source of points for many over the season, having earned an impressive ten shut-outs so far. Good fixtures coincide with a return from injury for the above pair. Both flirt with tackle and Man of the Match (MoTM) bonus on occasion and should offer more security of starts than Nick Pope.
Harry Maguire 7.4
Some 110 points is a pretty good return, with Maguire able to pick up rewards from all areas – he’s managed four assists, two goals and two Man of the Match awards. Leicester’s fixtures are as good as it gets, so the centre-back looks a shrewd acquisition.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson 6.7
A total of 98 points for 6.7 is not to be sniffed at with the Icelandic winger currently looking the best budget midfielder on offer. The Clarets’ fixtures look favourable enough for the run-in and I would expect to see him improve on his two goals and five assists. Gudmundsson’s other trick is to pick up the MoTM award. He’s earned four, mostly in the last few months, to demonstrate a player in form.
Theo Walcott 9.2
We all know the former Gunner has Fantasy potential and it didn’t take him long to show it in an Everton shirt with a 23-point haul against Leicester in just his second match. An explosive differential is hard to come by, and Walcott does seem to offer us that, particularly when Everton are blessed with a favourable run-in. His injury record adds an element of risk, but it’s one that a few may be willing to take as he sits at just 1.7% ownership.
Riyad Mahrez 10.5
Just 1.8% currently own Mahrez, which is surprising given his form before the transfer window saga. The Algerian has eight goals, nine assists and two MoTM awards to his name, the majority of those picked up in January and December. With Mahrez back in the starting line-up, he simply must be considered given the Foxes’ kind fixture list.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 12.2
One of the Premier League’s shiny new toys comes with a fantastic record, having scored 98 goals in 144 games for Dortmund in the Bundesliga. He looks nailed-on as Arsenal’s central striker, with the injury to Alexandre Lacazette further cementing that status. Likely penalty duties boost his appeal as a great differential with just 1.9% ownership. The Gunners have a good run-in and several individual matchdays to help exploit the captain’s armband feature.
As ever, our transfer counts will play a significant role in how we set up post-Overhaul.
But in the main, the recipe looks pretty clear.
- Pick a goalkeeper and defenders with the rest of the season in mind and target teams with good fixtures – the blank Gameweek doesn’t matter here if not swapping them in and out, as everyone has 11 fixtures.
- One or two budget picks look vital in helping us spend money up top on heavy-hitters.
- Make sure you have the players the top 100 consider essential – Salah, De Bruyne and Harry Kane look good bets here.
- Consider loading up on Liverpool players for their good matches and their fixture in Gameweek 32, with a view to remove them later.
- An Arsenal player is not essential by any means, but offers us a good insurance policy, covering more unique match days than any other team.
- Sprinkle in a few differentials for good measure.
This week I’ll be revealing my Overhaul selections and offering a more personal view of my team and considerations.
I highly recommend readers give FFS poster Buffrey’s latest podcast a listen. He discusses many of the factors listed above with Dan Cox and Niall Murphy – two players who came in the top three overall last season. It can be found here.