Fantasy Football Scout community writer Greyhead continues with his series of articles analysing the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) transfers and strategies of some noted Fantasy managers, from serial top 10k finishers to well-known faces.
The Great and The Good this year are the Scouts Joe Lepper, Neale Rigg, Geoff Dance and Tom Freeman, FPL Wire’s Zophar, from the Hall of Fame Fabio Borges, FPLMatthew, Yavuz Kabuk and Tom Stephenson, Blackbox’s Az and Mark Sutherns, FPL “celebrities” LTFPL Andy, Magnus Carlsen and FPL General plus last year’s mini-league winner Les Caldwell.
He wore a number seven and he looked so fine
Da doo ron-ron-ron, Da doo ron-ron
Someday soon I’m gonna make him mine
Da doo ron-ron-ron, Da doo ron-ron”
You didn’t need crystals to tell you who was the focus of our attention over the international break, with hype off the scale for a certain Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.5m). Did he deliver? Siuuuuu!
The break also brought more than its fair share of injury drama, although Rafa decided to keep some of it to himself and there was FIFA related nonsense which led many of us to regret getting that Brazilian.
There was also the small matter of a few Wildcards being popped early with Magnus, Joe, Les and Geoff the first to break from the pack. With the clickbait headline that Magnus preferred Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£9.9m) to Ronaldo!
Despite the clamour for Ronaldo, it was the Romelu Lukaku (£11.6m) captainers who hit the top scores in Gameweek 4 with Mark hitting 76 and Magnus Wildcarding himself into the top 100,000 with a score of 79.
Along with the Chelsea striker they both had a strong defensive performance with 29 points coming from their backline and goalkeeper, Magnus just had the edge though thanks to his eyebrow raising Aubameyang move.
Those who handed the armband to Ronaldo all did well with Joe Lepper continuing his run of green arrows to move into the top 100,000 and Az ascended this made-up mini league gaining 200,000 places along the way.
Less fortunate, were those who bet against the house with Neale’s surprising choice of Bruno Fernandes (£12.0m) being one of the factors that gave him a red arrow this week, although it’s easy to forget that the “other” Portuguese scored a fantastic goal.
Les Caldwell has been in contact to let me know he meant to captain Lukaku, but unfortunately his oversight meant he had the armband on Michail Antonio (£7.9m), which on any other day could have brought returns but on this occasion brought a red card and a red arrow.
The Scoutcast Svengali made sweeping changes to his squad with 11 moves overall including, of course Ronaldo, and the return of Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) after last week’s short-term gamble on Son Heung-Min (£10.0m).
He has used the emergence of the cheap enablers Tino Livramento (£4.1m) and Brandon Williams (£4.0m) to allow him to afford Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£8.2m), Diogo Jota (£7.7m) and Mason Greenwood (£7.7m), plus he is betting on Wolves fixtures gaining him a green arrow or two with a double up of Conor Coady (£4.5m) and Adama Traore (£6.0m).
The full moves are below:
IN – David Raya (£4.6m), Andreas Christensen (£5.0m), Coady, Williams, Livramento, Salah, Traore, Jota, Moussa Sissoko (£4.5m), Calvert-Lewin, Ronaldo
OUT – Robert Sanchez (£4.5m), Luke Shaw (£5.5m), Luke Ayling (£4.5m), Kostas Tsimikas (£4.1m), Ben White (£4.4m), Fernandes, Son, Said Benrahma (£6.4m), Josh Brownhill (£4.5m), Danny Ings (£8.0m), Ivan Toney (£6.4m)
The drama in Magnus’ Wildcard was not in the number of changes, but the lack of the winking Portuguese, the Grandmaster preferring Lukaku and a certain Aubameyang who rewarded him with a goal this weekend.
Unlike many he has gone for three heavy hitters, Salah, Aubameyang and Lukaku, which means in midfield he has selected the kindlier priced Raphinha (£6.5m) and Traore, who he will hope to turn their nice run of matches into points.
The final surprise in the Grandmaster’s Wildcard is his triple-up on Norwich, which may cause a few of us to look up the Canaries’ new signing Matthias Norman (£4.5m) to see what we have missed.
The full moves are below:
IN – Coady, Williams, Traore, Jota, Normann, Lukaku, Aubameyang
OUT – Tsimikas, Andrew Omobamidele (£3.9m), Son, Benrahma, Brownhill, Ings, Toney
The cunning Canadian was another one to press the button. He has shifted his approach to a 3-5-2 preferring Ferran Torres (£7.2m), Greenwood and Ismaila Sarr (£6.0m) to a third striker of Calvert-Lewin or Patrick Bamford (£7.9m). Interesting to note none of the Wildcarders have gone for the Leeds striker despite his good run ahead.
He has also invested more in the backline with the flying, but injury prone, full-backs of Lucas Digne (£5.4m) and Kieran Tierney (£4.9m) coming in, although they are backed up by those cheaper bench options of Williams and Livramento.
The initial results were positive with another green arrow, he has yet to have a red one this season and sits up at 125,000.
The full moves are below:
IN – Illan Meslier (£5.0m), Digne, Tierney, Livramento, Williams, Torres, Sarr, Jota, Ronaldo, Keinan Davis (£4.5m)
OUT – Sanchez, Sergio Regulion (£5.2m), Adam Webster (£4.5m), Tsimikas, Shaw, Fernandes, Billy Gilmour (£4.5m), Benrahma, Toney, Ings
Les, last year’s winner of the qualifying mini-league, also overhauled his squad. I should take this opportunity to give you a little more info on the winner of FPL’s equivalent of Star Search/Opportunity Knocks – younger readers may want to Google this reference.
Les is another Canadian, they are taking over, what’s that all about? He is one of our more senior managers at the young age of 70+ and a former American Football referee so let’s see if he has scored a touchdown with his Wildcard.
He has ignored Ronaldo, preferring Lukaku and interestingly has stuck by Benrahma whilst many have sold him on their Wildcards.
The arrival of Antonio Rudiger (£5.5m) looks a sensible move with the Chelsea rear-guard continuing to look difficult to breakdown and he’ll be hoping that Raul Jimenez (£7.4m) can show a return to form over the coming weeks.
The full moves are below:
IN – Shaw, Rudiger, Coady, Livramento, Torres, Jota, Allan (£4.6m), Jimenez, Lukaku
OUT – Vladimir Coufal (£5.0m), Daniel Amartey (£4.1m), Joel Veltman (£4.4m), Tsimikas, Fernandes, Riyad Mahrez (£8.8m), Gilmour, Ings, Toney
This is a summary of the transfers for this week :
Az – Ronaldo, Greenwood (Ings, Fernandes)
LTFPL Andy – Ronaldo, Greenwood (Toney, Fernandes)
Fabio Borges – Calvert-Lewin (Ings)
Joe Lepper – Wildcard
Geoff Dance – Wildcard
FPL General – Ronaldo, Greenwood (Ings, Fernandes)
Les Caldwell – Wildcard
Magnus Carlsen – Wildcard
Mark Sutherns – None
FPL Matthew – Ronaldo, Jota, Livramento (Ings, Fernandes, Tsimikas)
Neale Rigg – Calvert-Lewin, Raphinha (Ings, Harvey Barnes (£6.8m))
Tom Freeman – Calvert-Lewin, Jota (Son, Toney)
Tom Stephenson – Ronaldo, Torres (Fernandes, Ings)
Yavuz Kabuk – None
Zophar – Ronaldo, Torres (Ings, Fernandes)
Unsurprisingly, Ronaldo was the most popular transfer this week, but what was surprising was even some of the most conservative managers Zophar, Tom Stephenson and FPL Matthew took hits to get him in their squads.
Fernandes was the victim of Ronaldo’s success as he left many of the squads with the likes of Greenwood, Jota and Torres seen as suitable backfills, as The Great and The Good balanced the books.
The Sheriff and Deputy of Fantasy Football Scout aka Neale and Tom will be seeking a showdown with Mr Benitez after the disappearance of Calvert-Lewin on Monday night, as they had both brought him in for the appealing Burnley game.
Meanwhile, with six of them taking hits, it was left to Mark and Yavuz to remain calm in the chaos as they simply rolled their transfer.
The template for The Great and The Good is as follows with number in brackets showing how many teams in which they appear:
Sanchez (12), Steele (8)
Alexander-Arnold (15), Shaw (12), Ayling (9), Tsimikas (7), Livramento (7)
Salah (15), Benrahma (11), Raphinha (10), Greenwood (8), Jota (6)
Antonio (15), Ronaldo (8), Calvert-Lewin (6)
Major changes to the template due to the four wildcards in play with the forward line now receiving significant investment as Ings and Toney are sacrificed for Ronaldo and Calvert-Lewin.
Elsewhere, Jota comes in for the once untouchable Bruno Fernandes and Livramento continues to pick up enough supporters to displace Veltman from the squad.
Now the season is hotting up, I have shared below the key stats for the campaign:-
The captaincy scores show how reliable the heavy hitters have been so far with most averaging over 20 points in the first four games. Fabio has had a slow start with Fernandes letting him down in Gameweek 3 being the major contributing factor.
Is FPL Matthew showing a new reckless side? He took a minus eight this week and has already made five transfers. Should we change his moniker to Maverick Matthew? I doubt it.
On the value side of things, Yavuz Kabuk and Tom Stephenson are cash rich thanks to Benrahma and Antonio early rises, but let’s see if this becomes a factor later in the season.
It’s been a season where everyone appears to be posting good scores, many breaking the 300-point total already but before anyone who’s had a slower start considers taking big risks remember there is a long way to go, 34 weeks to be precise.
Don’t panic, the gap is still small with less than 50 points between the top 10,000 and 500,000 and there are plenty of other opportunities ahead.
The emergence of 3-4 heavy hitters means, not only can you not own them all, but the swings are likely to be bigger so don’t force it and that top finish could still be yours.
Anyway, that’s all from me for now and remember don’t have nightmares.
For those effected by any of the topics raised in the above article then you can find me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Greyhead19