At 5pm last Saturday, I was on the cusp of being hit with a dark red arrow.
Four of my five players had blanked and I was going into Sunday without highly-owned players such as Kevin de Bruyne (40%), Mohamed Salah (27%) or Sadio Mané (35%) which put me at risk of my overall rank plummeting further.
Thankfully my trust in Jamie Vardy’s (£9.6m) form paid off with his 24 points as captain, as well as an unexpected clean sheet for Kasper Schmeichel (£5.2m).
This was further boosted with Anthony Martial’s (£7.7m) double-digit haul on Sunday.
It was just a shame that my Manchester City coverage of Sergio Aguero (£12.0m) and Raheem Sterling (£12.0m) failed me. Then again the duo have a dire record as visiting players at Anfield so I shouldn’t have expected much.
Liverpool’s late loss of a clean sheet cost me four points with my ownership of Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.2m) but it probably was for the best as I ended up unpunished by anyone with a defensive double-up.
Previously, I had sold Salah and Mason Greenwood (£4.3m) for Vardy and Martial.
I felt that this made perfect sense as I was effectively obtaining two attacking players for the price of one.
I had numerous concerns last weekend with my squad and could have easily used a free transfer or taken a hit.
Andriy Yarmolenko (£6.0m) could have swiftly been switched out for Youri Tielemans (£6.6m) with my cash in the bank.
But ultimately I wanted the in-form, Mané. I should have bought him weeks ago. Aguero has demonstrated that he is a rotation risk too often this season, despite scoring nine Premier League goals thus far. However, only one since Gameweek 6 weakens his appeal significantly.
An easy move for me would be to sell Todd Cantwell (£4.7m) and the Argentina international for Mané and Aaron Connolly (£4.7m) without taking a hit.
But I would still be left with Yarmolenko.
Whether I make one, two or three transfers during the international break, I almost certainly need to crowbar in Mané. I simply have no choice but to do so.
Another option could be to sell my two attacking Manchester City assets for Salah and Mané if I wanted to put all of my eggs in one title-race basket.
However, after now trailing Liverpool by nine points, Pep Guardiola will be more motivated than ever before to convert their decline with a winning spree, even if they are facing Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal in their next five Premier League games.
I managed to end Gameweek 12 with a third consecutive green arrow and my best overall rank since the last week of August.
I finally have some momentum on my side with the international break providing me with much needed time to plan ahead for the upcoming winter fixture rush.
The 62 points I picked in Gameweek 12 seems modest in comparison to a lot of seasoned FPL managers but I do feel content with the 193 points I’ve amassed over the last three rounds.
It wasn’t long ago that I was ranked as low as 2.7 million despite having a more than reasonable start – so I’m very happy with my recent progress.
I’ve also surprised myself by being more cautious with my transfers this season with only two hits taken to date – each resulting in a red arrow.
My aim now is to make incremental gains with safe transfers and hope that my armband picks can deliver on a more regular basis.
December will no doubt be filled with variables in FPL, as it always is, so I need to make the most of my newfound traction and hope that I can continue my run of green arrows.
GAMEWEEK 12 – FPL MATCH REPORTS
- Norwich City 0-2 Watford
- Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace
- Burnley 3-0 West Ham United
- Newcastle United 2-1 Bournemouth
- Southampton 1-2 Everton
- Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Everton
- Leicester City 2-0 Arsenal
- Manchester United 3-1 Brighton and Hove Albion
- Wolves 2-1 Aston Villa
- Liverpool 3-1 Manchester City
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