Once upon a time, Double Gameweeks lived up to expectation with something for everyone. Not anymore.
I know we’re only at the half-way stage but, up until now, this latest one has been one of the worst in living memory.
My joint-highest scorer, Diego Rico (£4.2m) was lost on the bench and on the pitch I had six players that mustered a solitary point each. It’s been a spectacular fail to date.
To rub insult to injury, I was going to sell Todd Cantwell (£5.0m) for Mark Noble (£5.0m), but Marcus Rashford’s (£9.0m) injury only encouraged me to start Mason Greenwood (£4.4m) which was a risk too far.
Weeks of planning went out the window and it just became all the more farcical and unfortunate after seeing Jamie Vardy (£9.9m) and Sadio Mané (£12.5m) get injured in the space of 24 hours.
In many ways millions of FPL managers have had a dire Double Gameweek and my Liverpool players still have another game to play. But realistically, only a captain Mohamed Salah (£12.4m) hat-trick assisted solely by Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.6m) can bring about a U-turn. I can live in hope for now.
Vardy’s injury in some ways is just the excuse I needed to sell him. With that said, early reports indicate that he could be back as early as next week. He may have scored 17 goals this season, but should I really persevere with a player that has only scored one goal since Gameweek 16 and has registered eight points in his last four starts? Probably not.
I think it may finally be time board the Danny Ings (£7.0m) bandwagon. The Southampton man has only scored 24 fewer points than Vardy this season, despite playing almost 300 fewer minutes.
Of course, I’m probably two months late to the party and would have to pay a premium price for him but he seems to be one of a small number of fit strikers that has been scoring regularly throughout the campaign.
Ings’ fixtures aren’t bad either. After a visit to his former club, Liverpool, he has a generous run of games until Gameweek 30. With him now in the race to get a trip to Euro 2020 with England, there’s enough incentive for him to carry on scoring goals.
It may be too premature to speculate, but if the Mané does have a serious injury then I may have to sell him. Of course, for many other FPL managers he is a season-keeper with a lot of tied in value and they may have the patience to keep him for a game or two if he doesn’t play. But I don’t have that sort of will power at hand, especially when I’m also dealing with an injured Vardy and a range of out of form or rotation risk players.
A replacement for Mane will require more thought and consideration when we remember the impact he has had this season.
Put simply, there isn’t really anyone else I could sell him for in a straight-swap.
At a push, I could say Raheem Sterling (£11.7m) but he is lacking in form, with no Fantasy returns since Gameweek 19. However, he has received the fourth-most number of passes (96) in the final third in the last four Gameweeks so seems to be getting the right areas, just without the reward.
But then you have a player like Willian (£7.2m) that has more touches (163) and passes received (122) in the final period than any other player over the same duration but it’s only amounted to 12 aggregate points.
Had it not been for his difficult upcoming fixtures, I may have also considered Son Heung-min (£9.9m). Since the turn of the year, among midfielders, he’s had the second-highest number of goal attempts (14). With Harry Kane (£10.8m) injured for the long-term Tottenham will rely on him even more. I genuinely hope that I don’t have to sell Mané, but if I do, the options look bleak.
I’m probably in a small group of FPL managers that will have two free transfers at hand after Double Gameweek 24 comes to an end. I’m in this position as I spent one free transfer on Brandon Williams (£4.1m) and opted not to buy any West Ham players.
I’ve not seen a green arrow in a long time and whilst knee jerk decisions are tempting during this time of Fantasy Football turbulence, I need to keep a level head, just as Lateriser stressed on Saturday, although I’d still like to carry out some calculated risks.
Doubling up on Sheffield United’s defence could be a viable option when considering Dean Henderson’s (£5.0m) form and their upcoming run of games. I also need to stop ignoring players like Jack Grealish (£6.6m) and Adama Traoré (£5.7m) who have been bargain midfield gems.
Apart from that, I hope Premier League clubs partake in some inspired real-life January transfers that can broaden FPL options and ultimately smash up the template team.
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