With some big Gameweeks on the horizon, I’ve got some big decisions to make about chips and my budget forwards.
Hopefully, they will prove less stressful than the ones I had to consider over the weekend.
It’s Saturday morning, minutes before the Gameweek 29 deadline, and I’ve yet to make my transfers. Clearly the Double Gameweek was a big draw for me.
I wanted Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.1m) due to his goal-scoring pedigree but to get him I had to take some hits.
With questions over Kevin De Bruyne (£10.6m) starting I was prepared to take a risk and sell him.
I decided to take out the in-form Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£6.4m) for Aubameyang but justified the move by still having Richarlison (£8.3m) as my Everton attacker.
I wanted some type of City cover, so Phil Foden (£5.1m) came to the fore as my plucky differential, with talk of him starting the Manchester City derby. That’s where I should have stopped.
But for some reason, I convinced myself that Nicolas Pépé (£9.2m) was going to roll over West Ham and Manchester City, so signed him in place of Anthony Martial (£7.9m).
Alas, none of those transfers paid off over the weekend and I scored under the average which always guarantees a red arrow. I now need to hope that Manchester City v Arsenal turns out to be a festival of goals with De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero (£11.9m) having an off-day. Not asking for much, am I?
After recording four green arrows in a row, my FPL team seemed to be making the right kind of progress but Liverpool’s undoing against Watford was an unwanted fork in the road.
Unfortunately, I tried to remedy that by investing in Double Gameweek 29 but that hasn’t gone to plan so far. I’m down 100,000+ places and really need a slice of luck to get some traction back.
On the plus side, I still have three chips in hand, the Wildcard, Free Hit and Bench Boost.
With another Blank Gameweek and at least one more Double Gameweek this season, I’m still hopeful for a much-needed lift.
As tempting as it may be, my initial thoughts on Blank Gameweek 31 is to refrain from using the Free Hit.
With my current squad, I have seven potential players who have a fixture that week and using my upcoming transfers I can get up to nine potential starters. After that, I can use my moves for Blank Gameweek 31 itself to bump my numbers up to 11 active players.
The only downside is that I would be following my -8 hit with two consecutive -4 hits. But once the final set of Double Gameweeks are announced I will be better placed to use my remaining chips.
After some blistering form between Gameweek 12 and Gameweek 22, Danny Ings (£7.1m) has recently struggled in front of goal. In fact, he’s only netted one league in his last seven Premier League appearances which is unacceptable, even for a so-called budget striker.
I also find it concerning that Ings has failed to register attacking returns against the likes of Aston Villa, West Ham and Newcastle United.
It might seem foolish selling him before Southampton’s trip to Norwich, but that’s what I intend to do. If I do sell Ings (and with Blank Gameweek 31 also in mind), my options are fairly limited, but in that price range, three players are on my shortlist – Jordan Ayew (£5.1m), Diogo Jota (£6.4m) and Troy Deeney (£6.2m).
All three have a similar number of attacking returns and minutes per point despite their total playing time since Gameweek 1 being significantly different.
Of note, Jota has scored 30 of his points in the past three Gameweeks, despite his poor conversion rate as a whole throughout the season.
Ayew has also been an inconsistent performer but has come back on the radar with two goals and an assist since Gameweek 27.
As for Deeney, with the exception of the match against Liverpool, his form of late hasn’t been great but he’s worth considering as Watford are fighting for survival and he is their main attacking output.
I already have Raul Jiménez (£8.0m) but I’m tempted to double and get Jota purely on Wolves’ generous fixture run, in comparison to Crystal Palace and Watford over the next two Gameweeks.
With it still being mathematically possible for Liverpool to wrap up the Premier League in Gameweek 30, Mohamed Salah (£12.8m) seems like a no-nonsense captain pick.
The fact they are playing Everton in the Merseyside derby also gives the occasion an extra edge. If I also had Sadio Mané (£12.4m), I probably would have considered captaining him too.
Having said that, one of the hang-ups of Double Gameweek 29 is that I will have Aubameyang still at hand and he could be a good armband shout against Brighton.
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