To Wildcard or not to Wildcard?
That is the question many FPL managers are already asking themselves even at this early stage of the season. Before you think there’s something fishy going on, a reminder that with an evening kick-off in the Premier League we have a Friday deadline of 19:00 UK time.
As the FPL General observed in his opinion piece:
“The beauty of FPL is that there is no right or wrong way to play it… Do what’s right for your squad and ignore everything else.”
As usual, Fantasy Football Scout provides the perfect mix of stats, reviews, and expert opinion to help Wildcarders and non-Wildcarders alike.
Making the headlines in Gameweek 2 was Teemu Pukki (£6.8m). FPL managers have been clamouring to squeeze the red-hot Finn into their sides, with nearly 1 million taking the plunge so far. David examined his credentials in a members-only article this week, concluding that:
“There is a lot to like about Pukki, both in terms of his underlying statistics, and his upcoming opponents.”
A more controversial talking-point has been the merits of doubling-up on Liverpool’s defence. So far, the Reds have failed to keep a clean sheet – a disappointing start after recording 21 shut-outs last season.
The decline in their underlying stats was highlighted by David on the Scoutcast:
“Last season [Liverpool’s] average xGC (expected goals conceded) was 0.76, against Southampton it was 1.94 – the worst xGC that Liverpool have recorded since the start of last season.”
This prompted a strong rebuttal from Az, who feels that two weeks is not nearly long enough to judge Liverpool’s defence. He also pointed out that Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.0m) and Virgil van Dijk (£6.5m) both recorded attacking returns in Gameweek 1.
Meanwhile Neale took a closer look at which defenders have been the most attacking in the opening two Gameweeks of the season. The members-only article uses stats to analyse involvement, distribution, and goal threat for FPL defenders. Neale ends the article with a word on out-of-position defender John Lundstram (£4.1m), whose midfield exploits have caught the eye:
“[Lundstram] currently sits top of the FPL defenders’ xGI table after two Gameweeks – an outcome most of his owners wouldn’t have dreamed of ahead of Gameweek 1.”
The Sheffield United defender makes the starting eleven in this week’s Scout Picks, along with two Manchester United defenders in the shape of Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.6m) and goalkeeper David de Gea (£5.6m). Part of the thinking behind the double-up is that opponents “Crystal Palace are bottom of the league for total goal attempts, shots inside the box and big chances”.
TheFantasyFreÆK would no doubt approve of their selection, noting in his Gameweek 2 review that Manchester United’s defense conceded “zero big chances” to Wolves. United are second behind Tottenham Hotspur for a clean sheet in G-Whizz’s DS stats, fixtures and clean sheet odds for Gameweek 3.
Transferred in by over half a million managers, Anthony Martial (£7.7m) with two goals in two games, added further weight to those considering an early Wildcard. Prosckol observed in his community article “Wildcard activation tips”:
“A guaranteed forward who is classified as a midfielder in FPL at £7.6 at the time of writing can’t be ignored considering the threat he provides.”
With so many players performing well, it’s potentially a tricky choice for the armband this week. David’s Captain Sensible article looks at the best candidates. With favourable fixtures Harry Kane (£11.0m) and Raheem Sterling (£12.2m) appear the front runners for the job.
Elsewhere, Greyhead provided us with an update on The Great and The Good:
“After two weeks Mark is just ahead of the rest, but Joe is just behind along with Sean Tobin, but they all still sit outside the 150,000 rank at this early stage.”
It will be interesting to see how many of this elite bunch deployed their Wildcard in Gameweek 3.
For Scandinavians and lovers of all things fantasy, Meltens and TallestJohn have once again kindly provided us with their regular articles. Meltens previews Gameweek 21 in Fantasy Allsvenskan while TallestJohn gives us his guide to Gameweek 18 in Eliteserien Fantasy. Updates on the respective FFS mini-leagues in Eliteserien and Allsvenskan are found later in this article.
If you’re a member and are yet to get to grips with the custom statistics tables, you can view this movie for an explanation of how they work. Also, remember to tag them so that people can find the tables with ease.
Mark Fisk retains the lead in our Fantasy Football Scout mini-league and is up to eleventh overall. Mark played his Wildcard in Gameweek 2 after using his Bench Boost in Gameweek 1. Will he play a third chip in Gameweek 3?
The current top three in the Scout mini-league all opened the season playing either their Bench Boost or Triple Captain chip followed by a Wildcard.
There are currently 42,639 managers participating in the Fantasy Football Scout mini-league, to join them enter code ooyz44 in your Leagues’ section on the FPL site.
Jill Lees tops our FFS Members mini-league for the second week running with 181 points. Impressively, Jill’s explosive start has been achieved without using a chip. She is up to 252 overall in only her second season playing FPL.
The code to join the FFS Members League can be found on the Members page.
In TorresMagic’s Last Man Standing the safety score for Gameweek 2 was 35, this saw 236 managers fall at the second fence. 3,934 teams are through to Gameweek 3, the threshold for elimination remains at 5%.
It is possible to enter the competition up until Gameweek 22 using the code bcvy39, however you must pass all the previous safety scores to qualify. Aside from bragging rights, the winner will receive a free Fantasy Football Scout Membership for the 2020/21 season.
Steve Horan (aka FPL Fairy) moves to the top of the FFS Mods & Cons mini-league aided by double-digit returns from Lundstram, Digne, and De Bruyne. Steve is up to 13,595 overall in this his twelfth FPL season. He’s finished in the top 4k on four previous occasions.
Gareth Oakes is the new leader in RedLightning’s Top 10k Any Season mini-league after captaining Pukki. This bold decision sees him move up to 1,573 in the overall standings. Gareth is also in his twelfth FPL season, his best finish is 6,578. Managers with a top 10k finish may join the league using the code m0tq9y.
Double-figure returns from Pukki and Lundstram have helped Frenchman Francois Jacquemot to first place in Chaballer’s Top 1,000 HoF League. Francois has three top 10,000 finishes in the last four seasons, his highest end-of-season rank is 472, which came in 2016/17.
In the FPL Champions League run by 2014/15 FPL winner Simon March (aka Dufflinks), 2016/17 champion Ben Crabtree retained his lead. Everton-fan Ben, who famously doesn’t pick Liverpool players, scored a very impressive 72 points.
In addition to Gameweek 2 heroes Lundstram, Digne, and De Bruyne, Ben captained Sterling and gained 9 points from Henderson in goal. He moves up to 11,574 overall. To qualify for this mini-league you must have won FPL!
Behind the scenes Mark, Geoff, Mat (aka matzi11a), and Chris Atkinson (aka RMT’s Professor) are working hard to get this competition out as fast as they can. Watch this space. There will be 300 divisions spread across 8 leagues with promotion and relegation taking place at the end of the season.
In the FFS Eliteserien mini-league Svein Johansen held onto first place despite managing only 29 points in Gameweek 18. He’s dropped to seventh overall. With 11 rounds to go he’ll be hoping to beat his previous finish of 4,420.
Luke Dyer remains in second place now just 8 points behind Svien, while Eirik Pedersen moves up to third.
It’s as you were in the FFS Allsvenskan mini-league with Daniel Sebestyen and Simon Eriksson still topping the charts. Daniel successfully played his Attack! Attack! chip in Gameweek 20, where all strikers get double points. He moves up a nose-bleeding second overall after scoring 85 points!
Not to be out done, Simon deployed the Park The Bus chip, where all defenders get double points. A whopping 108 points, his first three-digit score of the season, pushed Simon up to sixth overall. Henrik Mäkitalo jumped into third spot, he played his Park The Bus to even greater success scoring 118 points, moving up to eighth overall.
If you are running a community tournament and would like the latest scores included in future Community Round-Ups, please email us a summary of the current leaders and a link to your league, spreadsheet or head-to-head competition at firstname.lastname@example.org
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