“Guess who just got back today. Them wild-eyed boys that had been away. Haven’t changed that much to say. But man, I still think them cats are crazy. The boys are back in town”
Neale and Andy are back with a bang as circumstances meant these wild-eyed boys played their wildcards this week. Sean Tobin, Hall of Fame no.1 also pressed the button as he looked to take advantage of the turbulent FPL landscape switching investment away from his defence and bringing in the current must-have/possibly injured De Bruyne.
Elsewhere, Chelsea players were becoming flavour of the week with some enticing fixtures and the young lions of Mount, Abraham and Tomori were on everybody’s shopping list.
Meanwhile, the armband choice is proving difficult to nail down with the captaincy decision becoming a game of Russian roulette such are the consequences on our rank of a wrong move.
As a reminder The Great and The Good are a handpicked group of FPL celebrities (?), FF Scouts or prominent managers who I will follow to see what we can learn as they navigate their way through the season. They are the Scouts (Mark, Joe, David, Geoff and Neale), FPL “celebrities” (Az, LTFPL Andy, FPL General and Jules Breach) and finally from the Hall of Fame we have Ville Ronka, Matthew Jones and Sean Tobin.
The table below shows current performance: –
This season continues to be a challenge for The Great and The Good as we saw two thirds of them with a red arrow this week, but as they say “cometh the hour, cometh the FPL TV show presenter” as Jules Breach topped the table again.
She had a strong week with 63 points and now sits around the 12,000 mark with a scores from her double Liverpool defence, De Bruyne, Kane and McGinn. Her decision to go with De Bruyne and not Sterling now seems a shrewd move as does her faith in McGinn and Kane.
Neale and Andy both bounced back from the off the pitch controversy with their wildcards which saw them with green arrows based on their previous GW5 ranks, in fact the Newcastle loving Scout is the only other manager in the top 50,000.
David had a torrid game week with a score of just 35 points, his decision to go without KDB on his game week 6 wildcard cost him this week as did keeping Maddison in his team with the substitution of Hayden giving him only a red card to add to his red arrow.
There are other big names struggling with Mark, Matthew Jones failing to get any momentum and Az, Geoff outside the top 1 million. This is clearly a difficult season with average rank of The Great and The Good over 500,000 compared to last year’s 140,000 at game week seven.
Sean, Andy and Neale all reached for their wildcards this week and all followed a similar strategy of ditching “big at the back” favourites such as Zinchenko, Robertson and Digne for the likes of Tomori and Diop.
Andy and Neale found themselves in a strange position due to the hack which restricted their options due to value fluctuations. I doubt Andy would have said farewell to Lundstram under normal circumstances but his move for Yarmolenko caught the eye and paid dividend straightaway. Perhaps it was fitting that the FPL Gods also rewarded Neale’s differential move for Chris Wood with an immediate goal.
Sean made wholesale changes with ten moves including his entire defence and the inclusion of form players De Bruyne, McGinn, Mount and Abraham. He also removed Sterling which may pique some readers interest as does his decision to retain Salah ahead of the trickiest run of games so far for the Egyptian.
The breakdown of the changes are below: –
IN – TAA, Diop, Tomori, Otamendi, Yarmolenko, Abraham
OUT – Robertson, Zinchenko, Digne, Lundstram, Dendoncker, Barnes
IN – Pope, Otamendi, Hanley, Hayden, Abraham, Wood
OUT – Heaton, Digne, Zinchenko, Lamela, Barnes, Greenwood
IN – TAA, Otamendi, Lundstram, Tomori, Diop, Mount, Salah, KDB, McGinn, Abraham
OUT – VVD, Robertson, Montoya, Digne, Kelly, Sterling, D.Silva, Sigurdsson, Dendoncker, Haller
TRANSFERS AND HITS
This is a summary of the transfers for this week :
Az – Abraham, Otamendi (Zinchenko, Haller)
David – No transfer
FPL General – Mount, Tomori (Digne, Dendoncker)
Joe – Abraham (Haller)
Jules Breach – Söyüncu, Tielemans (Maddison, Digne)
Geoff – Abraham (Haller)
Mark – Otamendi (Maitland-Niles)
Matthew Jones – Abraham, Otamendi (Haller, Zinchenko)
Ville Ronka – Mount (Maddison)
*transfers out are in brackets
The tops transfers this week came from Chelsea and City with Abraham, Otamendi and Mount being preferred to Haller and Zinchenko. In other news, there was very little patience from Ville Ronka and Jules Breach as they didn’t wait to see if Maddison would recover from his ankle injury before kicking him to the curb.
The template for The Great and The Good looks like this :-
Pope (11) Button (7)
Lundstram (10) TAA (11) Otamendi (8) Söyüncü (5) Digne (5)
Sterling (11) Salah (10) KDB (10) Mount (10) Cantwell (7)
Pukki (11) Abraham (9) Greenwood (6)
* brackets show number of teams they appear in
The template continues to evolve with a splash of blue throughout as Söyüncü, Otamendi and Abraham join the squad.
This means a fall from grace for Barnes, Robertson, Zinchenko and surprisingly Haller who has been sold by every one of The Great and The Good who held him.
The captain conundrum has never seemed so important with a template settling across the community and those extra armband points having a massive say as to whether your arrow is red or green.
This week showed us how fraught with difficulty the decision can be with only FPL General and Joe managing double figures thanks to Sterling. Points for bravery go to Neale and Geoff who had the differential picks of Abraham and Mane.
Over the season, Jules Breach leads the way in captain picks and is the one to follow with a 16.9 average return which is better than last year at this time when the former King of the Captains David could only muster 16.3.
What has been her secret? Well, quite simply Kevin De Bruyne she has captained him twice more than any other manager and gained 60 points from those two games against Brighton and Watford. Long live the Queen of Captains!
Salah on 44% and Sterling on 38% have been the most popular picks but there has been much more variety this year with seven different captaincy choices by The Great and The Good. 12 months ago, it was a simpler time with a regular pattern of Aguero and Salah’s home form dominating the picks.
Despite the mixed fortunes Mark and Ville Ronka are proving loyal to Mo having plumped for the Liverpool talisman five out of seven weeks whilst David seems to be trying to get one up on the rest by persisting with Aguero. The Argentine is a differential amongst these managers and is only owned by Mr Munday and Sean Tobin.
The FPL season seems poised for its next shift as former favourites Salah and Sterling are still struggling to impress plus the weekly Pep low blow is hurting many of us as he benches his big names.
In these early days of massive rank moves is it a wise move to gamble and move away from these template favourites? Is it time to try get ahead and go big up top with Aubameyang and Kane? We may also want to consider some of the FPL legends of yesteryear – Mahrez anyone?
Let’s see if any of The Great and The Good decide to challenge the current order and shake up the template over the coming weeks. All I know is that the boys are back…
Anyway, that’s all from me for now and remember don’t have nightmares.
For those affected by any of the topics raised in the above article they can find me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Greyhead19
Likewise, if you want to keep up with the Tweets of The Great and The Good you can find them here