“On the highway to FP Hell”
A couple of weeks ago it was as simple as AC/DC, late wildcard, free hit and then bench boost in the double but then matters took a devilish turn.
Now, rather than studying the daily price changes, FPL managers are checking in on the everyday fixture reschedules with Ben Crellin the only one who seems to keep up.
However, back to Gameweek 18 and it was free hit time with eight of The Great and The Good using their chip, it remains to be seen whether this was successful or not in this evil season of twists and turns.
For those not following along, The Great and The Good are prominent managers I follow to hopefully improve my own performance. They are the Scouts Neale Rigg and Joe Lepper, Pro Pundits (Mark Sutherns, Az, Lateriser, Fabio Borges and Tom Freeman ), FPL “celebrities”, FPL General, Magnus Carlsen and finally from the Hall of Fame we have Ville Ronka, Matthew Jones and Sean Tobin
We now have joint leaders with FPL General and Fabio Borges on exactly the same points, they are also the only ones in the top 10,000, whilst FPL General looks set to Bench Boost it will intriguing to see if Fabio does the same as he holds triple Leeds.
Neale had another strong week and reached a season-high rank of 30,000 with a score of 58, thanks to his gamble on Foden, who was one of only four double-digit scores this week and I doubt many had Keane, Pogba or Guaita in their free hit squads.
Ville Ronka, Magnus Carlsen, Lateriser and surprisingly Tom Freeman, who had seemingly played his Wildcard late to set up for the Free Hit/Bench Boost chip strategy, went without the use of Free Hit.
Interesting to note the average score of Free Hitters to non-Free Hitters in this group was 51 to 37.5 so not as much ground made up as the chip players would have hoped.
Lateriser brought up this average with an impressive 50 after a hit which saw him move up 326,000 places and the reduce the gap on Az to just 23 points with chips in hand. He planned ahead by moving to a double City defence, long advocated by his FPL Wire colleague Zoph, plus his differential Kane captaincy also came good.
This is a summary of the transfers for this week :
Az – Free Hit
Fabio Borges – Free Hit
Joe Lepper – Free Hit
FPL General – Free Hit
Lateriser – De Bruyne, Rashford, Davis (Adams, Salah, Grealish)
Magnus Carlsen – Lacazette, Smith-Rowe (Calvert-Lewin, Martinelli)
Mark Sutherns – Free Hit
Matthew Jones – Free Hit
Neale Rigg – Free Hit
Sean Tobin – Free Hit
Tom Freeman – De Bruyne, Smith-Rowe, Cancelo (Alexander-Arnold, Raphina, Salah)
Ville Ronka – Sterling, Stones (Salah, James)
*transfers out are in brackets
Transfers dominated by running repairs to get 8-9 out on the pitch for those who didn’t use their chip. Tom and Lateriser were the most successful taking a hit to bring in De Bruyne but there will be the regret of what could have been if Sterling had not taken the penalty.
Speaking of Raheem, Ville had brought in the Gameweek villain and joined Az and Mark in losing points as he was benched and then missed the spot kick.
The free hit template looked like this for the eight managers who activated the chip:-
Lloris (5), Steele/Areola (2)
Cancelo (6), Tierney (6), Mitchell (5), Dias (4), Stones/Maguire (3)
De Bruyne (8), Fernandes (8), Son (6), Saka (5), Rashford/Smith-Rowe/Burke (3)
Kane (8), Lacazette (6), Wilson/Brewster/Davis (3)
Whilst the City investment paid off for the Free Hit gang, I doubt there will be much sorrow in seeing the back of the Arsenal boys as Lacazette reverted to his normal ways and Tierney’s absence perhaps showed the Gunners reliance on the flying full back.
The template for The Great and The Good based on non-free hit teams is as follows with number in brackets showing how many teams in which they appear:-
Johnstone (6), Martinez (5)
Robertson (8), Coufal (8), Dias (7), Justin (5), Dallas/Cancelo (4)
Bruno Fernandes (12), Salah (9), Son (8), Soucek (8), Raphina/De Bruyne (5)
Bamford (12), Kane (5), Calvert-Lewin (4)
Cancelo and De Bruyne are back in the template and I suspect their ownership will increase over the coming hours up to deadline. Sadly, I think Calvert-Lewin’s days are numbered with injury, blank and poor form meaning funds will be spent elsewhere.
A brief glance at the Captain data shows Salah continues to be the popular choice over the season although De Bruyne’s steady returns as seen his stock increase and I expect that to continue over the next few weeks with fixtures in his favour.
FPL General leads the way in armband points with 292 and he has carefully balanced between Kevin and Mo in terms of his favoured picks. Joe has split his affections between Bruno, Mo and Harry, Matthew Jones has picked the greatest number of different captains with eight so far this season and Lateriser is the only one to go with Jota, remember him?
Fascinating times in the race to lead The Great and The Good with distinctive tactics now in play, some would argue the Free Hit was unsuccessful and the likes of Magnus, Lateriser, Ville and Tom have taken the advantage by holding but who knows what lays ahead.
The winners and losers won’t be determined until the end of the season so my words of encouragement to you if you had a bad week, is that it’s only the rank after Gameweek 38 that counts.
Anyway, that’s all from me for now and remember don’t have nightmares.
For those affected by any of the topics raised in the above article then you can find me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Greyhead19