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The Monday After – Thoughts after GW1

What an opening gameweek!

We’ve had yet another belter of a GW1 to kickstart the season. Crammed full of goals, clean sheets and a high point average, there’ll be plenty of managers absolutely ecstatic with how their fantasy teams performed. As far as the results went this weekend, it seemed like there were only two options for teams to choose from: thrashing their opponent or getting thrashed themselves. When there are dominating wins, there’s hype, so I’ll be checking out some of the more talked about teams, pointing out their decent fixture runs and which players looked good during their opening game. As always, I’ll also be taking a look at which teams to avoid based on their fixtures, which sadly means I can’t warn you away from Chelsea, even though I probably should…

Let’s get into it!

(All fixture difficulties are assessed using this fixture tracker)

Teams to look into       

Man Utd

After such a spectacular run-out, we should expect United players to start shooting up in price due to the overwhelming amount of Red Devil fans who play FPL. But can we blame them? Marcus Rashford (8.5m) and Paul Pogba (8.5m) managed 2 goals and 2 assists between them, whilst Wan-Bissaka (5.5m) kept a clean sheet and grabbed himself 2 bonus points. Event Anthony Martial (7.5m) had a good run out in the number 9 role. As much as we’d like to, I’m sure it’s probably not the best idea to start knee-jerking right at the start of the season, so let’s have a look at their fixtures from GW3 onwards. Man Utd are up against CRY (H), SOU (A), LEI (H) and WHU (A) in those 4 gameweeks. According to our fixture tracker, that puts them in 5th place for best fixtures between GW3-6. For those with a keen eye, though, you’ll have spotted that none of the upcoming teams scored any goals in GW1! That bodes well for the defense options, who were very effective at taking the bite out of Chelsea’s attack on Sunday. Looking at their fixtures between GW3-10, the results are very similar. Still 5th place on the fixture tracker, Man Utd’s two difficult fixtures, ARS and LIV, are both at home, while the rest of the opposition are all bottom half teams. So Rashford, Pogba and Martial, if he can keep his place in the starting XI, are all very tasty prospects indeed.

Aston Villa

It’s funny how despite losing 3-1 to a top side, the twitterverse just can’t stop talking about Villa and how impressive they looked! It was definitely a night to remember for John McGinn (5.5m), who managed to wipe that smug ‘I knew Kyle Walker Peters was going to start’ smile off of a lot of managers’ faces. I know they didn’t do too well at the back, but Tyrone Mings (4.5m) not only assisted the only Villains goal, but he was genuinely great defensively as well. Tottenham could easily have scored a few more if it weren’t for Mings and his blocking/positioning. He deservedly received 2 bonus points for his efforts, despite conceding 3 goals. One to watch! Looking at GW3-9, Aston Villa actually have the 2nd best fixture run in the league, playing just one Top 6 side in 7 gameweeks. I do want to make clear that we’ve definitely not seen enough of these players to assess who we should be jumping on, but at least we now know who to keep our eyes on going into the next game.

TOTTENHAM

Although the line-up was a bit unpredictable, one man stood out as a contender for our consideration. Harry Kane (11.0m) took his chances, scored his 2 goals, and validated every manager who couldn’t start the season without him. Last week I wrote that we should be wary of Spurs based on the Fixtures, Suspensions and Injuries. This week, looking from GW3 onwards, we can safely take ‘Fixtures’ out of that list. After the difficult Man City game in GW2, Tottenham are 4th on our fixture tracker between GW3-9 for best fixture-run, which is great for Kane owners, and horrible for non-Kane owners. After GW9, though, it gets a bit messy, and in GW3 we will probably have a completely different attacking midfield playing behind the English captain. So we may need to wait before looking into any other Spurs players. So in conclusion, if you have Kane you’re laughing. If not, now is the time to start planning and/or praying.

BURNLEY

Well done to everyone who risked a jump aboard the Pre-Season Ashley Barnes (6.5m) train. What a great start to the season for Burnley; a complete 360 to their start last season. The Clarets surely benefited from from having Nick Pope (4.5m) between the sticks again, securing the clean sheet with a stunning defensive display. This smells like the Pre-Burnley we were all hoping for. The Burnley we could count on for those budget clean sheets and consistent Barnes returns. From GW 3-7, they’ve got the 4th best fixtures, and from GW3-10 they only drop down to 7th best. If they impress against Arsenal, the nostalgia hit may be too much for some managers and we’ll be seeing a lot more Burnley players in the RMT threads. Very impressed!

Teams to be wary of

ARSENAL

You have to admire Emery’s consistency for screwing up the team selection week after week. For those who thought this year would be different, I am truly sorry, but there’s no stopping this man on his quest to play every combination of players that he has at his disposal. Exactly none of the new signings started the game against Newcastle, and the lack of attacking threat was a direct result. For FPL, we have to take note at the away cleansheet, which for whatever reason the Gunners struggled in getting last season. With Kieran Teirney (5.5m) and David Luiz (6.0m) still to make the XI, we can only assume that these defensive displays will continue, but we have to remember that Newcastle aren’t the rooting-tooting, Rondon-Shooting team we’re used to seeing. So let’s wait before looking into Arsenal’s backline any further. As for their attack, the fan’s disappointment for that midfield was palpable, and it really was a miracle that Aubameyang (11.0m) was fed a decent opportunity to score. Arsenal have the 3rd worst fixture run from GW3-GW7, so we’ll reassess how they’re getting on for GW8 onwards.

CRYSTAL PALACE

Those who were unfortunately forced to play Martin Kelly (4.0m) in GW1 will feel slightly…well, fortunate. Everton were unlucky not to score against the Eagles, and all it takes is a quick look at the fixtures to see that the Crystal Palace Defence isn’t something we should be investing in right now. They win the award for the ‘Worst 10 Fixtures in the Prem’ from GW3 onwards, facing not one, not two, but FIVE top 6 teams. If you own any serious assets, like Patrick van Aanholt (5.5), Wilfred Zaha or Luka Milivojevic (both 7.0m), you might want to start looking for alternatives soon.

SHEFFIELD UNITED

There’s probably not too many managers considering Blades assets, but I have noticed some murmerings about Dean Henderson (4.5m) and John Lundstram (4.0m) looking promising. While the latter is playing out of position and did pick up a bonus points for his efforts, I’d still stay well clear unless you already own him. As one of the few playing 4.0m Defenders, there’s no need to get rid of him, but just in case there are managers thinking about using one of their precious Free Transfers on any Sheffield United players, I’d like to draw your attention to their upcoming fixtures. Between GW3-12 Sheffield is sitting uncomfortably at 3rd worst in our fixture tracker, playing just 2 bottom half teams out of 10. If that doesn’t deter you from transferring in their players, then nothing will. It’s still early days, of course, but we go on the info we have. And the info we have says “no”.

And that’s a Wrap!

We looked at the fixtures from GW3 onwards because unless you have a fire to put out in your team, like Allison for example, there’s probably no real reason you should be making transfers before GW2. If you just can’t help yourself, then good luck! You’re a braver manager than me. Remember to keep an eye on your price change tracker of choice if you’ve got specific players in mind for transfers, but no knee-jerking! Have a good one. See you next monday.

 

FPLDave 2018/19: 4665 OR | Writer of 'The Monday After' | Live Streaming Every Monday/Thursday 9pm GMT”

43 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Rotation's Alter Ego
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    Cheers FPL Dave!

    Lovely roundup of the current situation with some really good points on each of the teams. Definitely got my eyes on Barnes now for when those fixtures improve, but I was surprised to hear you rate them as 4th best for 3-7 despite playing Wolves and Liverpool! Still think I might wait a little on him though.

    Great stuff!

    1. FPLDave
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Hey man! First comment for the second time. Fastest keyboard in the west, eh?

      The fixture tracker I used has them placed 4th, and I suspect it's because of the very easy BHA (A), NOR (H), AVL (A) fixtures right after Liverpool.

      Personally I probably won't be jumping on the Barnes train just yet, but I really like the idea of bringing him in for GW5.
      We'll see how the price changes go.

      Cheers for the comments, ma man!

  2. BattleOfDeBruyne
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Good post. 🙂

      1. FPLDave
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        3 months, 1 day ago

        Good name!

    • JedJez
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Alright gents, thoughts on Origi's playing time over the next few weeks?

      1. EMBOLOFAN
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 1 day ago

        bits from the bench here and there

      2. Andy_Social
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 1 day ago

        As well as he played, Robbo missed linking up with Mane. I think the latter has to start, so Origi will be benched.

      3. MANGE TOUT RODNEY
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 1 day ago

        Mane will come straight back in probably

    • Four Hit Wonder
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      There's a fine line between knee jerk and getting the in-form player early.

      I think in the previous seasons I've done much more damage to my team by ignoring the likes of Mahrez (while in Leicester), Jimenez, Fraser, Moura, etc. thinking they're short-term bandwagons who'll fizzle out.

      So I guess it's a knee jerk if you're wrong, and a good move if you're right.

      With 12 of 13 next fixtures favorable, I think Rashford and Wan-Bissaka are not knee jerks but essentials. Because now we've seen evidence that Man Utd won't suck (as I half-expected them to), and the moody barber-to-barber midfielder seems to be in a good mood despite still looking to leave.

      1. EMBOLOFAN
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 1 day ago

        great little story but 90 mins have been played

      2. Prawnsandwich
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 1 day ago

        I'd agree with this...also have last seasons run of high scoring games as evidence, when they were in form / confident....so its not just one game only...

        1. Four Hit Wonder
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 1 day ago

          Very streaky team, I'd say. They are either toothless or are flying all over the pitch. In GW1 they were flying.

          1. Prawnsandwich
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 1 day ago

            Are we in the streak now though? Chelsea are not the worst team either, some decent players.....

            Pool only put 4 past the mighty Norwich

            City 5 past WHAM...

            Fair enough the performances of the above two were far better....but we know that Utd team can score goals

            Theres a bit of the casual stigma about getting there players due to high ownership etc

        2. Prawnsandwich
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 1 day ago

          and Pogba, Martial, and maybe Rashford are all potential 200 points players, for 7.5-8.5m

          1. Game Over
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 2 mins ago

            what

      3. tuvok
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 1 day ago

        I think you're probably right, but with Wolves away next I'm not rushing to get them in even if Rashford or Wan Bissaka seem to be rising...

        Chelsea are adapting to a new system, were without Kante (best defensive mid in the league) and their first choice centre back Rudiger. They were caught on the break a lot arguably due to a soft centre that lacked experience, which these two players would address.

        Contrast that to Wolves, who are drilled into their system, have a powerful spine to the team, and will seek to sit back and counter themselves. If United score a couple past Wolves.. all aboard!!

        PS - Is Martial not the pick of the bunch at 7.5 & classed as a mid?

      4. POLSKA GOLA
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 1 day ago

        Wait until they played Wolves to assess fully

    • Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Great article. Going by posts here, I'd say Sheff United are a lot more popular than Dave implies, so it's a good warning to be cautious.

      1. squirrelbean
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 1 day ago

        I would definitely still consider downgrading a Def to Lundstram on the bench though if I needed cash elsewhere

    • diesel001
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Based on xG:

      - Man City, Spurs, Liverpool and Man Utd played well
      - Burnley and Brighton were fortunate
      - Southampton and Watford were unfortunate
      - Chelsea were poor
      - Everyone else did as expected

    • tuvok
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Thanks for this, great read. Your point on Kane struck a chord as I don't own him, after having him in many drafts. You say 'start planning or praying', and I think I'm going to go for the latter...

      Between now and GW10, these are the stand out captain options:

      GW2 - Salah/Sterling
      GW3 - Kane (maybe Rashford at home to palace?)
      GW4 - Sterling
      GW5 - Salah
      GW6 - Sterling
      GW7 - Kane (Salah also has a good fixture)
      GW8 - SSK all have equally difficult fixtures, so probs Salah or Sterling as they play for better sides
      GW9 - Kane
      GW10 - Sterling

      Looked at this way, there is certainly a decent case for getting all 3 SSK in as they share an equal amount of games where non-owners will be hiding behind sofas.

      If I had to go without one though, it would be Kane as in 2 of his 3 there are solid alternatives. Given these are the first two, I don't think I'll be ripping my team up to get Kane in.

      1. FPLDave
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        3 months, 1 day ago

        If I was to pick 2 of the 3, I would definitely not pick Kane, for the captain reason you specified, as well as the whole Striker vs Midfielder points thing, but ALSO the fact that Kane may be set and forget, we'll have to see. Sterling and Salah, though, are definitely set and forget until proven otherwise.

        Cheers for the nice comments, buddy.

      2. BEARZINHO
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 1 day ago

        If kane scores at city, a lot of knees will be jerking...

        With the European transfer window open till end Aug, i’m reluctant to jump on form players whose teams may lose big players - aka eriksen, pogba, etc...

        For me AWB is pick of the utd players and will be joining my team soon... the rest are wait and see...

    • Tsumo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Anybody see Pulisic? I think he might now start at home to Leicester.

      Is Pulisic to Martial (both 7.5) too much of a kneejerk?

      1. tuvok
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 1 day ago

        I think Martial is shaping up to be a bandwagon but you can afford to wait a week. Pulisic looked decent when he came on

    • Ed220489
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Is Moura > Martial too kneejerk?

      1. Ed220489
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 1 day ago

        Given Spuds have Citeh

      2. SpiritRising
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 1 day ago

        No, I got Moura in as a one week punt and. Is he's out. They have city next and will he even play when son and Ali are back? If eriksen is still here his last performance suggests he will work himself back into the team. Not forgetting the other bee signing. Moira days in the team are numbered. I wouldn't be getting martial in this week unless his price is going to rise.

      3. onceuponatyne
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 1 day ago

        I kind of want Moura out - but I already have Martial.
        Thinking Perez and bank the 1m.

        I actually like Moura, but it's City next and when Son's back it's another body pushing into the 11.
        7.5m is a lot for a player who won't start every week.

        1. xpression
            3 months, 1 day ago

            I am in the same situation - was thinking save transfer this week, then next week moura > 5.5 (McGinn?) and then King > Rashford depending on how utd look in GW2.

      4. JonBoy
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 1 day ago

        "A complete 360"?

        @FPLDave

        1. FPLDave
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          3 months, 1 day ago

          Ha! Meant 180. But hey, if they lose every game for the next 10 games, I'll technically be right!
          ... Always something missed in editing.

      5. A Fat Spanish Waiter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 1 day ago

        Great article. Thank you. My only question is how Chelsea didn’t make the “wary” list. Outside of Tammy hitting the woodwork, they looked more like Portsmouth than Chelsea (no offense intended toward Pompey supporters)

        1. Nigel Knows
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 1 day ago

          Well in that case Portsmouth were better than Man Utd for nearly Two thirds of that match.

          Two goals in 17 playing seconds for 2-0 and 3-0 killed Chelsea, sorry Portsmouth.

          No Kante and Barkley coming off were factors. But Kante definitely didn’t look fit.

          United were clinical and De Gea was weekend top keeper keeping the blues out.

        2. FPLDave
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          3 months, 1 day ago

          The wary list is really just for teams with bad fixtures. I'm really only looking at the teams in terms of how the fixtures are shaping up.

          But yeah... Chelsea were not great. RIP Zouma owners!

        3. Tamagotchi Massacre
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 1 day ago

          Chelsea can only wish they looked more like Portsmouth

      6. El Lobito 10
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 1 day ago

        Thank you for an excellent write up. Looking at Utd and Spurs, chiefly AWB, Rashford and Son to get in after GW2.

        1. FPLDave
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          3 months, 1 day ago

          Thanks so much! Appreciate it ma man

      7. EMcL
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        3 months, 1 day ago

        What’s the recommendations for best price change trackers? Cheers

      8. _werre_
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 21 hours ago

        Pope
        Robertson Digne Kelly
        Salah(c) Martial Fraser Perez KDB
        Kan King

        Bench: Heaton Lundstram Taylor Greenwood

        Any suggestions for near future?

        1. Emm7980
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 19 hours ago

          Almost the same as my team, I'm just about holding off doin Kane + KDB to Rashford + sterling, have exact cash for it....I don't wanna leave it too late getting sterling in.

      9. ItzRaw12g
          3 months, 15 hours ago

          Good work!

          1. FPLDave
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            3 months, 15 hours ago

            Thanks Mr Raw!