In his latest Pro Pundits article, Lateriser12 – who has overall ranks of 77th and 189th to his name – shares his thoughts on the Fantasy landscape ahead of the run-in.
Games are coming thick and fast and there is no time to breathe in terms of processing information and building a strategy. This is when isolated thinking, acquiring information, eye-test and quick thinking comes into play.
My advice to every FPL manager out there would be don’t indulge in too much tinkering. Instead, process as much information as you can and the answers will come to you easier. If I ever have a “this or that” question in my head, I normally tend to re-watch the highlights of the same game and look at some stats in the Members Area and the answer is there in front of me.
I am desperately trying to not overthink the coming eight Gameweeks, which does become a little difficult when you’re just outside the top 500. But nothing needs to change in terms of my strategy and I just need to keep doing what I am doing and we will see where I land in Gameweek 38+.
I have been thinking long and hard on what to write.
I could take you guys through my Wildcard team but I’m still tinkering and most of my thoughts are on the Scoutcast I just did with Joe and Andy. Give it a listen.
I thought of giving you guys differentials to consider but Tom has a great track record doing those and we’ve covered a fair bit of them on the Scoutcast as well.
With eight Gameweeks to go, I’m just going to freestyle this article and talk about a few strategy-focused things that have been playing on my mind and that you might find useful. I did speak about a few of these on the Scoutcast but I think you might find it useful if I elaborate further.
1) What am I doing with Manchester City?
I am writing this article before the Manchester City v Burnley game but as it stands, I have no Manchester City player in my Wildcard draft. The reasoning is quite simple for me: I expect major rotation for them in the next two Gameweeks and I don’t think the games will be easy.
They have the FA Cup (Pep mentioned that it was their most important game apart from the UEFA Champions League game against Real Madrid) just three days after the Chelsea game and I think it is near-impossible to predict who will get the majority share of minutes in these three games.
You could say that they will play their strongest team against Liverpool, which doesn’t sound like a very attractive prospect. Holding Kevin De Bruyne (£10.6m) is a very reasonable move if you have value attached to him but I’ve sold him four times this season already and I’m looking elsewhere for the next Gameweek to hunt for hauls.
You should know that this is generally how I play FPL in general, though, as I’m very comfortable switching big hitters in the search of double-digit hauls from premium assets and I don’t indulge in ‘cover picks’ as much as others.
The two players from Manchester City that I did consider on my wildcard are Ederson (£6.0m) and Phil Foden (£5.1m). Here’s why.
Manchester City have great fixtures after these two Gameweeks, they looked the fittest and most solid team so far and I expect Ederson to keep a ton of clean sheets until Gameweek 38+.
When it comes to Foden, I expect him to get a lot of minutes and I think he’s a really good option for your eighth attacker. What I would do with Foden is that if he is rested for a particular game, I would probably start him in my FPL team in the next game as we expect Pep to rotate and Foden’s upside is very high.
In fact, this is exactly what I intend on doing with Manchester City assets. Since I am expecting them to be heavily rotated, I will try second-guessing Pep and get the Manchester City attacker for a particular run or even a single fixture (they have a lot of ‘captainable’ fixtures Gameweek 33+ onwards).
As things stand, I am looking to add one or two City attackers in my team from Gameweek 33+ onwards and I am being careful to not spread my funds too much with my Wildcard squad so as to afford them in two or three moves.
2) What are my thoughts on the Spurs attackers?
I have seen a lot of the community struggle with what to do when it comes to the Spurs assets. I would first like to bring your attention to this excellent piece written by Neale.
When I read this article, I had made up my mind that Son Heung-min (£9.7m) was going to be my go-to asset for the Spurs run-in.
My view of the Spurs attackers are that all the midfielders are correctly priced and you will get what you pay for. I personally would not consider Steven Bergwijn (£7.4m) as I think he is more prone to rotation than Son or Dele Alli (£8.3m). This quote from Jose Mourinho after the first game for Spurs led to this thinking:
We played with Bergwijn, Lamela, Kane and Son, and our bench was very strong in defensive options. We had Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen on the bench but we didn’t have Lucas or Dele or Lamela or Bergwijn. Imagine Bergwijn on the bench and Lucas playing and coming out minute 60-65 and Bergwijn coming for the last period, I can imagine the impact that we could have. So a bit of frustration but at the same time really happy with the players.
This makes me think that Son and Alli are less prone to rotation compared to Bergwijn.
Another thing I’d like to mention is that Spurs are third on the defensive ticker when sorted until Gameweek 38+ and, as mentioned by Mourinho in the press conference on Monday, Serge Aurier’s (£4.9m) competitors for that spot are injured which makes him a good pick in my books:
The only position where we don’t have [competition] is right-back because we have only Serge [Aurier] and nobody else. The other options, Tanganga and Foyth, they are both out.
3) But what about value?
I just didn’t think I could write an article at this point of time without addressing the value question.
Personally, I don’t attach too much importance to value as I always like shifting big hitters.
But even for the more traditional managers, you have accumulated value until this point of the season so that you can use it.
I would not worry about value too much with just eight Gameweeks to go. If you find a higher upside pick that has the potential to bring home a double-digit haul and the only reason you are not selling that player is value, you are playing this game wrong. I assure you that you will be able to buy that player later and if it means paying £0.5m more, so be it.
4) Don’t be afraid to chase hauls
I would also encourage all managers to use this unique situation that we are in to go haul-hunting.
All the transfers you make right now should be more focused towards chasing bigger hauls rather than making ‘balance-friendly’ moves that might not have a huge points impact.
We aren’t going to get very many opportunities this season to get the likes of a differential Richarlison (£8.3m) against a leaky Norwich defence.
While earlier in the season, you might think that you are going to be stuck with a transfer for a long time, as the Gameweeks keep passing us, you are only going to hold players for a shorter and shorter time period. That should help you increase your risk appetite.
5) I am looking at structure and price points
While I’m on my Wildcard, I’m thinking about whether I want to go ahead with a 3-4-3 formation or a 3-5-2. I normally play a 3-4-3 but in this case I am considering switching to a 3-5-2 because I see more options in midfield than I do in the strike force.
I am also making sure all my money is spent on the pitch and not on the bench because I will want to bring in Manchester City assets in the near future and I want to keep those funds condensed into my attackers. That said, I do like fifth midfielders like Bukayo Saka (£4.7m) and Phil Foden (£5.1m) more than I like the budget strikers.
6) Short-term punts?
If you are interested in short-term gambles, there are a few I like depending on your team structure. I will mention four that I really like here:
- Matt Ritchie (£5.3m)
- Richarlison (£8.3m)
- Ismaila Sarr (£6.4m) and Abdoulaye Doucoure (£5.6m)
7) Why am I Wildcarding so early?
Many are not confident about Wildcarding so early into Project Restart because of the lack of enough information. While I see value in that point of view, I also think that we only have eight Gameweeks to play.
Being pro-active is the way I like playing the game and while you might argue that your team is ‘good enough’ for the week, my counter to you would be ‘why not go for ideal instead of good enough?’.
Like I mentioned earlier, there are very few hauls left for the taking and I want to try being there for as many as possible. In addition, I don’t see the eco-system changing too much between Gameweek 31+ and Gameweek 33+ (famous last words).
On that note, I will take your leave. I will leave you with my latest Wildcard tinker but I cannot assure you that it will be my final team (I still have to watch Manchester City v Burnley):
I hope you will find my slightly unstructured article useful. Good luck for the Gameweek!
Fantasy Football Scout user Lateriser12 has a very impressive Fantasy CV. He has registered two finishes in the top 200 (one of them equating to number one in India) and four in the top 10,000 in the last six seasons. The secret to his success has been playing non-conventionally and fearlessly, swearing by ‘upside chasing’ and not giving ownership much of a look.
Double Gameweek 30+ FPL Lessons Learned
- Aston Villa 0-0 Sheffield United
- Manchester City 3-0 Arsenal
- Norwich City 0-3 Southampton
- Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Manchester United
- Watford 1-1 Leicester City
- Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 Arsenal
- West Ham United 0-2 Wolves
- Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace
- Newcastle United 3-0 Sheffield United
- Aston Villa 1-2 Chelsea
- Everton 0-0 Liverpool
- Manchester City 5-0 Burnley
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