Current Fantasy Football Scout Hall of Fame leader, Fábio Borges has finished inside the top 5k in each of the last five seasons, and even won 2020’s inaugural edition of Virtual FPL.
Patience has been my friend so far this season, which is nice to see in a campaign that has felt chaotic at times even at this early stage.
After three Gameweeks, I have only made one transfer so far, switching Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.9m) to Kevin De Bruyne (£11.6m), using up just one of the two free transfers I had last time out.
That means I have been pretty happy with my team so far and, thankfully, my patience has been rewarded too.
It has been a strong start to 2020/21 and I sit just outside the top 100,000 at the time time of writing.
WHAT TO DO WITH TIMO WERNER?
After three disappointing performances for Timo Werner (£9.4m), in which he averaged just three points per game, many Fantasy managers are trying to decide what to do with such an underperforming and expensive asset.
There are several reasons for selling him, such as the emergence of other forwards due to form, fixtures (or a mixture of both), Frank Lampard’s tactical shifts and the possibility that Werner is struggling to adapt to a new team, league and country.
However, even though all those factors should be considered, the decision is very clear to me and the reason can be summarised in one small sentence: Werner is a world-class forward with two excellent home fixtures ahead of him. I think these two factors overshadow all the possible reasons to lose faith in him so soon.
Also, transfers are precious and I like to use them to fix the weakest links in my starting eleven. Despite the lack of returns so far, Werner is definitely not one of them for now.
ALEXANDER-ARNOLD VS ROBERTSON
WHICH IS THE BEST FORMATION GOING FORWARD?
Looking at the current player pool, there are many more defenders that I would like to have in my team than the number of cheap midfielders and forwards I’m interested in.
In fact, not only am I pretty happy with 4-3-3 but I am also considering moving to 5-3-2 to have as many defenders in my team as possible.
The main advantage of defenders, in my view, is the lack of uncertainty when compared with cheap attacking players. This is mainly because a big chunk of defenders’ points is linked with their team’s defensive strength (clean sheets) which is much easier to assess and predict than the individual attacking potential of players from mid to low table teams.
This is especially true at the beginning of the season when it’s still unclear which cheap attacking gems are really worth it while it is already pretty obvious which teams are more likely to keep clean sheets and which defenders will be at the top of the points list by the end of the season.
However, going five at the back means a weaker bench and starting all five defenders every week can be tricky to manage since fixtures are so important for clean sheet potential so it’s likely that I will keep going with 4-3-3 for the near future.
THE P WORD
Penalties are flying around at a rate never seen before in the Premier League. Nevertheless, we are looking at an incredibly small sample size so we have to be very careful not to draw any definite conclusion from it.
There was a total of 274 penalties across the last three Premier League seasons, which means that each team was afforded, on average, 0.12 per match. So far in 2020/21, this number almost tripled and is now at a staggering 0.35 spot-kicks per team per match.
However, my guess is that this is mainly due to a mix of pure variance with a strict interpretation of the handball rule by the referees which, according to the news, is about “to be softened”.
Even if the number of penalties doubles this season (which I find it hard to believe), the increase in expected points for each designated taker won’t be as impactful as it seems at first glance because, on average, they will miss a penalty around 20% of the time.
Therefore, even though a possible increase in penalties will also increase the takers’ appeal (especially midfielders, who get five points for every penalty scored), I think it’s important not to get carried away by buying the likes of Mateusz Klich (£5.6m), Wilfried Zaha (£7.2m) or even Richarlison (£8.0m) just because of their spot-kick duties. I would rather sign someone who offered threat from open play as well as penalties, which Zøphar touched on earlier this week.
TARGET FULHAM AND WEST BROM
After three Gameweeks, it seems to me that the two newly promoted sides have the potential to be considered the whipping boys this season.
Since I like to put a lot of weight into fixtures when assessing my options, I will try to have as many attackers as possible against these two teams until they start showing some signs of defensive improvement.
Fulham face Wolves (away), Sheffield United (away), Crystal Palace (home), West Brom (home), West Ham (away) and Everton (home) between now and Gameweek 9. From that selection, I think we should be most aware of attacking assets on offer at Molineux, as well as the Eagles, Hammers and Toffees.
Meanwhile, the Baggies make for nice opposition for Southampton this weekend before boosting the attack potential of Burnley (home), Brighton (away), Fulham (away), Spurs (home) and Manchester United (home).
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