FPL Family’s Sam Bonfield is gunning for a spot in the top 5,000 in Gameweek 12 and guides us through her current strategy in our latest Pro Pundits article.
Fantasy Football is all about taking the rough with the smooth and Gameweek 11 was definitely the latter for me.
When Caglar Soyuncu (£4.8m) gave Leicester the lead against Crystal Palace this weekend I was not a happy manager, having made the decision to leave him on my bench as first sub.
However, the news of Harry Kane’s (£10.8m) omission from the Spurs squad with a virus meant that Soyuncu’s 14 points came off my bench.
With Soyuncu languishing on my bench, my rank would have dropped from 14k to 20k. However, after his auto-substitution, the 80 Gameweek points I achieved in total meant that I found myself inside the coveted top 10k.
Now sitting at 7,985, there are two possible strategies.
The first is to default to a protective stance, bring in the well-owned players and play it safe to protect that top 10k finish. However that’s just not me and isn’t the way I want to play the game.
So onwards to the next target: the top 5k. In order for that to be achievable, there needs to be an element of risk and getting on the right differential players before they hit a purple patch.
With two free transfers heading into Gameweek 12, there are a number of players who I am considering changing. Having transferred Nicolas Otamendi (£5.3m) out for Diego Rico (£4.3m) ahead of Gameweek 11, I already have £1.4m in the bank in which to upgrade my squad.
This season I have been really stubborn where Mohamed Salah (£12.3m) is concerned. I truly believe that over the course of the season, Sadio Mane (£12.0m) and Salah will counter each other out in terms of goals and Fantasy points scored.
But Salah’s problematic ankle is making it very hard to stay with him now, especially with him being substituted early on Saturday with two points, while Mane went on to score 12. The price difference between the two players is now down at £0.3m at the time of writing and before long it seems likely that they will be level in terms of cost.
Having already lost £0.2m in team value by holding Salah, I am starting to believe that now might be a good time to transfer him out for Mane. This would also free up a little more in terms of budget to make some other, more differential, changes to break in to the top 5k.
Callum Hudson-Odoi’s (£5.9m) position in the Chelsea starting line-up seems to have become a problem. He is a player that I really like and who adds another dimension to the Chelsea team, but as a Fantasy manager, him coming off the bench in the last two Gameweeks for zero and one-point returns is frustrating.
At £5.9m, with potentially £1.7m in the bank if I do the Salah to Mane swap, there are a lot of good options available.
I also have Todd Cantwell (£4.8m), who I would like to transfer out, and Mason Mount‘s (£6.9m) possible injury could benefit Hudson-Odoi’s minutes – so I might lose the Norwich midfielder instead.
My transfer options this week include Anthony Martial (£7.6m). Martial’s return from injury ahead of a lovely run of fixtures for Manchester United against Brighton, Sheffield United and Aston Villa should see good points returns for him and at only 6.5% ownership, he has the potential to be a great differential.
However, his injury record makes me wary of owning him. Other options that would be differentials include a sideways move to Christian Pulisic (£7.2m) at 7.3% owned; however he played Champions League football on Tuesday and so there is potentially a risk of rotation there this week.
Another option I am strongly considering is Harvey Barnes (£5.9m). Only selected by 1% of managers, he is the height of a differential and as such could be a great option for me in the push to move up through the overall ranks.
Leicester’s fixtures look excellent until Gameweek 18 and therefore now Barnes seems to have nailed down a starting place, I think he could be an excellent pick.
Wolves are a whole team that are a focus for my transfer thoughts.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side started the season poorly with a European hangover and a small squad who seemed to struggle to keep up with the pace of both Europa League and Premier League football.
In recent Gameweeks, we have seen a resurgence in the Wolves team and as such they are a side I definitely want to bring in a player from. I would ideally like to own, in my opinion, the golden boy of Fantasy Premier League from last season: Raul Jimenez (£7.2m).
However, as long as Kane recovers from his virus, I am happy with my front three. This means that I am looking at a Wolves midfield that are all differentials, with Leander Dendoncker (£4.4m) the highest owned at 9.6% – although this is mostly as a result of his price point.
For me, I’m looking at Joao Moutinho (£5.3m). Having watched him over the last couple of Gameweeks, he has definitely passed the eye test. Whilst he has only registered two assists so far this season, the heatmaps look promising for more attacking returns, as do his xA stats which sit at 1.25. He is a player who I am definitely looking at as I look to board the Wolves train ahead of a nice run of fixtures.
Ahead of Friday’s deadline, I am likely to use both of my free transfers.
However, I am waiting until Wolves play their Europa League fixture on Thursday evening and for news on Kane’s health before finalising the transfers.
At the time of writing, Salah to Mane and Hudson-Odoi or Cantwell to Moutinho look like being my preferred options.
Sam Bonfield is a member of our Pro Pundits initiative, a team of Fantasy managers here to bring you regular advice and updates on their teams. Sam has served up two top 30k finishes in the last two seasons and is currently inside the top 10k in the world.
Lessons learned from Gameweek 11
- Bournemouth 1-0 Manchester United
- Arsenal 1-1 Wolves
- Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool
- Brighton 2-0 Norwich
- Manchester City 2-1 Southampton
- Sheffield United 3-0 Burnley
- West Ham United 2-3 Newcastle United
- Watford 1-2 Chelsea
- Crystal Palace 0-2 Leicester City
- Everton 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
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