Welcome to a new regular feature capturing the latest talking points in the Fantasy Football Scout Community as we turn our attention to Gameweek 4.
Here we bring to your attention some of the best articles submitted through our Community Trials initiative, which is part of our ongoing mission to support budding contributors and creators.
This piece will also cover the latest in the Community mini-leagues and competitions.
How to avoid feeling Blue
Chelsea have been the subject of much debate over the past week. In his Community article, Blues-fan James878 cautioned against owning members of Frank Lampard’s defence:
I would like clear evidence of improvement in the backline before going anywhere near those Chelsea assets.– James878
Advice that was borne out in Gameweek 3 as Chelsea shipped three goals to newly-promoted West Brom.
Meanwhile, Portsmouth Bubblejet highlighted the problems of accommodating their exciting summer-signings, Timo Werner (£9.4m) and Kai Havertz (£8.4m), in their favoured – and most effective – positions.
But Chelsea-fan AK countered that once the injured Christian Pulisic (£8.3m) and Hakim Ziyech (£7.9m) return we should see a better balance to the first XI. And he argued that Werner can operate effectively as a No 9.
Elsewhere, managers have been asking what to do with the injured Son Heung-Min (£9.0m) – although it transpired today that the South Korean has a very small chance of playing this weekend. And I shared my thoughts about the unpredictable results we’ve seen so far.
Value and Formation
Three members of the 12-strong The Great and The Good deployed their Wildcards ahead of Gameweek 3, although disappointingly not one received an immediate green arrow. The refreshed squads of Lateriser, Ville Ronka, and Meet the Manager guest Sean Tobin were examined by Greyhead in his latest offering.
The ageing wizard speculated that a formation switch to 3-4-3 might be on the cards, given the number of goals and penalties seen so far. Messrs Calvert-Lewin, Wilson and Maupay would appear to provide more value than a mid-range fifth midfielder.
This is a view shared by Steven Reinaldo Rusli who found that the best-performing forwards are currently offering better value than the best-performing midfielders. Delving into non-penalty expected goals, he predicts this trend will continue: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.4m), Michail Antonio (£6.4m) and Richarlison (£8.0m) are all posting impressive underlying statistics compared to their midfield counterparts.
Meanwhile, value was the subject of an in-depth analysis from TorpedoToien in his Moneyball Perspective.
Casting his net as far back as 2014/15, the Community scribe made some interesting discoveries. The first is the importance of playing time:
On average going from 60 to 80 minutes played per Gameweek resulted in an increase of 20 points per season for defenders and midfielders and 30 points per season for forwards. It might not look like much, but across the 10 outfield players in your team, it will make a difference of 200 points a season.– TorpedoToien
Over the last six seasons, the best value player in FPL based on starting price is Riyad Mahrez. Costing a mere £5.5m in Leicester’s title-winning campaign, the Algerian averaged a whopping 43.6 points per million.
However TorpedoToien notes:
Mahrez is one of just 11 midfielders or forwards among the 47 [to average 30 points per million or higher]. The remaining 36 are goalkeepers and defenders.– TorpedoToien
Before examining goalkeepers in detail, he suggests that two benefits of favouring defenders could be:
- Higher points per million compared to midfielders or forwards
- Fewer attacking options to rotate, making transfer management easier
But in the comments section, Giggs Boson challenged this approach pointing out that we get 37 free transfers, two Wildcards and a Free Hit to change our teams. And, if we are willing to spend four points, we can make as many transfers as we want.
Over a good set of fixtures, even a £12.0m player can be good value. If you dilute the money across the team, you can’t take advantage of the fixtures as well. You’re making lower impact transfers moving around £7.0m-£8.0m players than you are moving £11.5m-£12.0m players.– Giggs Boson
Over the summer Hedge took his yearly look at player value, concluding that last season 3-4-3 and just one £10.0m+ player would have been the optimal strategy. The tricky part is obviously identifying those value-for-money players.
Like TorpedoToien, Hedge promotes a premium defender strategy but does favour a rotating £4.5m pair for one slot.
To help us identify this year’s must-own players, FPL Fetish submitted his eye-test review of Gameweek 3. Tariq Lamptey (£4.6m), Leandro Trossard (£6.0m), Solly March (£5.0m) and Neal Maupay (£6.5m) impressed for Brighton, while Tomas Soucek (£5.0m) and Michail Antonio (£6.4m) did likewise for West Ham.
Fantasy Football Scout Mini-Leagues
League code: 5u05vz
Eligibility: Open to all
There are currently 47,734 people participating in the open-to-all Fantasy Football Scout mini-league.
Straight in at number one is Iddi Marzuk. A new entry this week, Iddi is 73rd overall after captaining Son for a 121-point haul in Gameweek 2 and then playing his Wildcard for 57 points in Gameweek 3.
Iddi is one point ahead of Devika Tiwari and last week’s leader حسام احمد (Hossam Ahmed) who share second place.
Fantasy Football Scout Community Members
League code: Available on Members page
Eligibility: Open to those with a registered FFScout account – paid or free.
Hamdy Sameeh takes over at the top of the Fantasy Football Scout Community Members mini-league and bags himself the first prize of the season. Hamdy wins the Manager of the Month award for September and takes home a £50 Amazon voucher. Hamdy, please contact Geoff (email@example.com) to claim your prize.
The mini-league leader is 145th overall. He triple captained Vardy in Gameweek 1, played his Wildcard in Gameweek 2, and Bench Boosted in Gameweek 3. This is his third season.
We’re dishing out £2,500-worth of giveaways throughout the season, however only those who have registered a Fantasy Football Scout account (paid or free) will be able to claim a prize. Also, managers must be registered one month in advance of the awarding of a specific prize to be eligible.
Five managers in League 1 have made 100%-winning starts to the new campaign. The leader on rank-difference is Tim Hill who beat defending Head-to-Head champion Craig Johnson (aka Bouncebackability) 50-36 in Gameweek 3.
Tim has been playing FPL for 14 years and has six top 10,000 finishes, putting him 90th in this site’s Career Hall of Fame.
Three managers have flown out of the blocks this season: Martin Lilov in Division 15 of League 5, Michel Sanchez in Division 89 of League 9, and Nura Lexa in Division 52 of League 7. They all rank inside the top 1,000 overall.
But despite his explosive start Michel dropped points to Janek Polska last time out. The Polish manager earned himself a draw thanks to Jamie Vardy’s heroics at the Etihad Stadium.
A fixtures table will be published in the Scout’s Guide to Gameweek 4 ahead of the deadline. However, if you can’t wait to find out who you are playing next, follow this link. Use your browser’s find in page function (Ctrl+F) to locate managers.
All this information and more is contained in the main Head-to-Head page.
Last Man Standing
League code: 48n69x
Deadline: Open now until Gameweek 18*
*entrants must pass all previous safety scores to qualify
The threshold for elimination remains at 5% for Gameweek 4.
3,598 managers have entered the competition so far and it is possible to join up until Gameweek 18 – although you must pass all previous safety scores to qualify.
Aside from bragging rights, the winner will receive a free Fantasy Football Scout Membership for the 2021/22 season.
You are able to keep tabs on the action throughout the season via Ragabolly’s website Live FPL.
Elite Community Mini-Leagues
Anders Sundstrom is the new leader of RedLightning’s Top 10k Any Season mini-league (league code 8kcvzq). Anders is 1,938th in the overall standings and has one top 10,000 finish in his ten years of playing FPL. He came 6,911th in 2011/12.
Surging to the summit of PDM‘s Top 1k ANY season mini-league (league code 2agvvx) is Paddy McEvoy. The Liverpool fan has one end-of-season rank inside the top 1,000 which he achieved back in 2012/13.
Paddy has started well and currently sits inside the top 10,000. He played his Wildcard in Gameweek 2 and picked up a respectable 60 points in Gameweek 3. This is his 12th season.
Despite dropping slightly to 34,358th overall, Henry Rawlins is unmoved at the top of Chaballer’s Top 1k HoF League (league code mr8dyh). Henry is 233rd in our Hall of Fame (HoF) and his impressive history includes four top 10,000 finishes, the best of which was 117th in 2014/15.
Meanwhile, elite manager Emil Gustafsson, sixth in the HoF, has established a six-point lead in RedLightning’s Multiple Top 10k Finishes mini-league (league code 8t42p6). This is Emil’s ninth season playing FPL, his impressive history includes five top 10,000 finishes and an amazing four top 2,000 finishes in the last five years.
An inspired decision to captain Mason Mount helped 2017/18 FPL winner Yusuf Sheikh increase his lead to 39 points in Simon March’s exclusive FPL Champions League. FPL titleholder Joshua Bull moves up to second following a 17-point haul from Jamie Vardy.
Pros and Cons
In first place after Gameweek 3 is Christos Tsaras Sui (aka FPL Greece). Christos is currently 6,901st overall in what is his 13th season. He has an impressive three top 10,000 ranks, the best of which was in 2017/18 when he reached 200 in the final standings.
Former Scoutcast member and Mark’s erstwhile nemesis Lee Cowen (aka Granville) sits proudly atop the FFS Mods & Cons mini-league. Granville is 86,381st overall and has finished three times in the top 10,000 since FPL’s first recorded season back in 2006/07.
Elsewhere, Baz Zahathevan retained top spot in Skooldaze’s FPL Vets 2006 or before mini-league while Daniel Arnott is the new leader of Greyhead’s The Next Great and The Good mini-league. Daniel has opened up a ten-point gap over previous leader Rami Sameh.
And in the world of Fantasy Allsvenskan, Love Hallersby is flying high – not only the no 1 in our mini-league but also the overall no 1!
It’s an incredible achievement and, with eight Gameweeks to go, we’re all rooting for him to finish the season strongly. Love hasn’t dropped out of the top ten since Gameweek 10.
The amorously-named manager followed up a 107-point score in Double Gameweek 21 with a solid 59 in Gameweek 22, thanks to a 14-pointer from Stefano Vecchia. He has his second Wildcard and Two Captain chips intact.
Second-placed Jonathan Fletcher has an overall rank of 18 and trails Love by 48 points. He captained Jesper Karlsson in his final game for Elfsborg before moving to Az Alkmaar, but the Swedish international could only muster a disappointing six points. Like Love Hallersby, Jonathan has the second Wildcard and Two Captain chips remaining.
To join a featured mini-league that you are eligible for, simply enter the League code in the ‘Join private league‘ section on the FPL site. Any questions relating to community competitions please email firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below this article.
Thank you very much to RedLightning for his contribution to this article.
Lessons Learned from FPL Gameweek 3
- Brighton and Hove Albion 2-3 Manchester United
- Crystal Palace 1-2 Everton
- West Bromwich Albion 3-3 Chelsea
- Burnley 0-1 Southampton
- Sheffield United 0-1 Leeds United
- Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Newcastle United
- Manchester City 2-5 Leicester City
- West Ham United 4-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
- Fulham 0-3 Aston Villa
- Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal