“Look if you had one shot or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment. Would you capture it or just let it slip?”
Marshall Mathers probably wasn’t talking about FPL when he penned these lyrics, but they will ring true for many of us as we enter the final stretch of the season with the Gameweek 31 fixture swing ahead of us and many having a Wildcard ready to be wielded.
Before we got there we had Gameweek 30 to negotiate with Spurs and Leeds players top of the armband watchlist, tough benching decisions and a “guaranteed” Chelsea clean sheet to look forward to with the Alonso hype machine in overdrive, but as always FPL had other plans.
The managers in The Great and The Good 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
Magnus changed his team name to Alonso Ball, but it wasn’t the marauding wing back who help the Grandmaster to the top score of 72 or indeed his captaincy choice of Raphina.
Lingard, Kane were the main contributors to his third green arrow in a row, but it was his faith in Alexander-Arnold and Salah that paid off, the Egyptian has been ever-present for the Chess champ this season.
Despite a minor red arrow, Fabio Borges has retaken top spot from Mark Sutherns with the armband choice proving decisive but there are only two points separating these two FPL Gladiators and they should be wary of that man Magnus who has moved into third and is the form manager averaging 72 points over the last 5 weeks.
The battle in the danger zone is no less intense with less than ten points between Ville, Az, Joe, and Tom, although I should point out it’s not just rank that determines membership of The Great and The Good.
Joe made his move this week with Kane and Lingard giving him a total of 66 points and his eighth green arrow out of the last ten Gameweeks.
Whilst Tom and Ville have played their Wildcards Joe and Az look set to overhaul this week and they could be crucial for their continued membership of The Great and The Good VIP lounge.
WILDCARD – FPL General
FPL General decided to strike early with his Wildcard, tripling up on Chelsea and Spurs, probably with one eye on the Double Gameweek 32.
His decision to go without Salah and City players may cause a few murmurs of concern but this may have been made with a view to sparing himself rotation pain in Gameweek 31 as the fixtures provide the filling to a tricky European sandwich for Klopp and Pep’s men.
Jota looks a popular choice, although his double-digit return sat on the General’s bench this week, he has kept faith in Bamford and Raphina but the 3.9 million left in the bank suggests he wanted to give himself the flexibility to upgrade.
The full moves are below:-
IN – Mendy, Forster, Alonso, Azpilicueta, Saiss, Shaw, Regulion, Jota, Fernandes, Smith-Rowe, Bamford, Calvert-Lewin
OUT – Martinez, Meslier, Dias, Cancelo, Lowton, Dallas, Coufal, Gundogan, Salah, Bale, Watkins, Antonio
This is a summary of the transfers for this week:
Az – Son (Lookman)
Fabio Borges – Alonso (Dunk)
Joe Lepper – Alonso (Dunk)
FPL General – Wildcard
Lateriser – Son (Bale)
Magnus Carlsen – Alonso (Dunk)
Mark Sutherns – Alonso (Dunk)
Matthew Jones – Son (Gundogan)
Neale Rigg – Azpilicueta (Dunk)
Sean Tobin – Alonso (Dunk)
Tom Freeman – Mendy (Johnstone)
Ville Ronka – Fernandes (Bale)
*transfers out are in brackets
A week to forget when it came to transfers with herd mentality kicking in as Dunk to Alonso was the majority move, those who backed Son fared no better as he had only 45 minutes to display his talents.
The best move was from Ronka who brought back in Bruno, he provided an assist with machine-like efficiency, a timely reminder of his consistency for those who are looking to Wildcard him out.
The template for The Great and The Good is as follows with number in brackets showing how many teams in which they appear:-
Dallas (8), Alonso (6), Digne (5), Dias/Veltman (4)
Son (11), Raphina (10), Bruno Fernandes (9), Gundogan (7), Lingard (5)
Kane (12), Bamford (9), Watkins/Calvert-Lewin (5)
A squad in transition, with big moves being planned for Gameweek 31, will the Leeds triple up of Dallas, Raphina and Bamford survive a turn in their fixtures?
Elsewhere, FPL royalty Alonso comes in for Dunk who joins Salah and Bale at the departure desk, but surely there will be a quick return for Mo with Liverpool’s fixtures turning favourable over the next few weeks.
Putting on my Mystic Meg hat, younger readers should look her up, I suspect we will also see Rudiger, Jota and Trent in next week’s instalment.
Time this week to peek over the fence at our Community team, these are the lesser-known FPL heroes who banded together at the start of the season seeking fame and glory to take on The Great and The Good.
The Community Champions are Pete Beswick, Darth Krid, Swanmoretime, Reedy, Boris Bodega, Pras United, Doy, AA33, Chaballer, Milvus, Dino and Sepp Blattered. In addition, we have Professor Bear ready and waiting as our first on the bench
The headline news is that The Great and The Good have the lead over Community Champions in terms of total points and with a gap of 742 as we enter the final sprint.
Top performer from the Community is Pras United, who along with Chaballer is the only manager who sits in the top 50,000, his impressive armband choice continues with 470 captaincy points this campaign, better than any of The Great and The Good.
This captaincy tally is only bettered by Pete Beswick and Pete is also top when it comes to transfer returns with 250 immediate points from his moves.
Darth_Krid has asked me many, many, many times to mention his phenomenal comeback and so I feel compelled to report that he has had 16 green arrows out of the last 18 Gameweeks and risen over 2.5 million places since Gameweek 13.
Elsewhere, the Britney Spears obsessed Chaballer, he’s a slave for her, looks poised for another strong finish sitting at 48,000 with his Wildcard in hand, this is despite 24 hits this season.
This aggressive trading is put to shame by Swanmoretime with 136 points worth of hits taken this campaign, if nothing else it’s helped him to an enormous team value of 107.8.
Milvus the Lighthouse Keeper is showing form with five green arrows in a row and there may be a touch of regret that Professor Bear didn’t make the final squad as he has had a great season sitting at 67,000.
Meanwhile, Boris Bodega, Sepp Blattered, AA33 and Dino have their Wildcards ready to try and catch The Great and The Good. Can the Community Champions close the gap?
The Wildcard chatter will be extra loud this week so those who have already spent their chip may wish to press the mute button to avoid some of the noise.
For those yet to pull the trigger there may be sense in waiting an extra week as the anticipated rotation due to some big European matches in midweek could bring FPL managers to new heights of frustration.
There is also a school of thought that waiting until we know more about the forecasted double in Gameweek 35 could also bring benefit, this could see 6-8 teams with two fixtures according to Ben Crellin, he of the fixture forecasting fame.
Whatever you decide to do, this feels like a critical week to dust off the spreadsheet, carefully plan your strategy for the final few weeks as there are gains to be made, so to misquote Eminem one more time, “lose yourself in the FPL music, the moment, you own it and better never let it go”.
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