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.
“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”
Late team news meant that very few of us had a cool hand going into Gameweek 5 with unexpected absences meaning we had to rely on our already strained benches.
The concerns during the lead up had been the ping of Patrick Bamford’s (£8.0m) hamstring and whether to replace Michail Antonio (£7.9m) for his suspension, but then Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.6m), Edouard Mendy (£6.0m), Andrew Robertson (£7.0m) and Ferran Torres (£7.2m) were surprisingly missing in action whilst Said Benrahma (£6.4m) was surprisingly present and in action as he made the team on Sunday.
Neale Rigg moved back up to second amongst The Great and The Good with the top score for the Gameweek after he Wildcarded, although he left it late and it wasn’t until Antonio Rudiger’s (£5.5m) last minute goal that his table topping score was confirmed.
Fabio’s famed patience was rewarded, with a green arrow of 247,000, after he kept faith in both Ivan Toney (£6.3m) and Benrahma who delivered him double digit hauls.
Remarkably, neither FPL General or Geoff Dance have yet to experience the pain of a red arrow this season. Both were fortunate this week, or maybe well-prepared, to have a decent Trent substitute with Kostas Tsimikas (£4.0m) and Tino Livramento (£4.2m) the cut-price heroes.
The magical mini-league is still incredibly tight and reflective of the overall FPL rankings, with only 46 points between top and bottom. Magnus fell victim to this as his score of 49 saw him drop down to a mid-table position, with his triple Wolves and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£9.9m) gamble not paying dividend this week.
Neale decided that the Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.7m) factor, Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s (£8.1m) injury and the fixture swings for Wolves and Leeds were a good enough reason to Wildcard as he overhauled his squad this week.
He has made eight changes to his team with a double up on both Leeds and Wolves, although Joao Moutinho (£5.0m) is possibly a surprising budget option from the Midlands outfit.
Diogo Jota (£7.7m) and Bamford come in, but Rudiger was his star signing who coupled defensive strength with a goal scoring threat this week. Perhaps, the most unusual choice is Fabian Delph (£4.4m) as he is injured and has only managed seven minutes of action so far this season. Does he know something we don’t?
The full moves are below:
IN – Marcal, White, Rudiger, Jota, Moutinho, Delph, Bamford, Ronaldo
OUT – Digne, Duffy, Ayling, Fernandes, Benrahma, Gilmour, Toney, Calvert-Lewin
This is a summary of the transfers for this week:
Az – Semedo (Tsimikas)
LTFPL Andy – Sarr (Benrahma)
Fabio Borges – Ronaldo, Jota (Fernandes, Calvert-Lewin)
Joe Lepper – Bamford (Calvert-Lewin)
Geoff Dance – None
FPL General – Bamford (Calvert-Lewin)
Les Caldwell – Raphina (Benrahma)
Magnus Carlsen – None
Mark Sutherns – James, Jota (Tsimikas, Fernandes)
FPL Matthew – None
Neale Rigg – Wildcard
Tom Freeman – Ronaldo, Gundogan (Calvert-Lewin, Fernandes)
Tom Stephenson – Semedo (Tsimikas)
Yavuz Kabuk – Ronaldo, Traore (Antonio, Fernandes)
Zophar – Semedo (Tsimikas)
There was a Portuguese flavour to the transfers this week with more of them choosing to ride the Ronaldo rocket and Nelson Semedo (£4.9m) seen as an upgrade to Tsimikas.
Semedo failed to deliver and even Az aka The Rock – watch last week’s Blackbox for that reference – who has history with the Wolves wing back couldn’t smell what he had cooking, with a one-point return.
Andy and Les would have been happy with their Benrahma replacements as both Ismaila Sarr (£6.1m) and Raphina (£6.5m), with his dodgy groin, delivered double-digits, only for the West Ham midfielder to mute those celebrations on Sunday when he recovered to deliver points for those who stayed loyal.
The template for The Great and The Good is as follows with the number in brackets showing how many teams in which they appear:
Sanchez (12), Steele (8)
Alexander-Arnold (15), Shaw (12), Ayling (8), Livramento (7), Veltman (5)
Salah (15), Raphinha (11), Jota (9), Greenwood (8), Benrahma (8)
Antonio (14), Ronaldo (12), Bamford (4)
Minor changes to the template this week with many of them needlessly abandoning Tsimikas allowing Joel Veltman (£4.4m) to move back into the squad, whilst Calvert-Lewin’s injury saw Bamford as the replacement for those not upgrading to Ronaldo.
Worth noting, that as it stands not one of The Great and The Good own Bruno Fernandes (£11.9m) who has had a remarkable fall from grace with the arrival of the Siu superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, and the United midfielder can now be considered a differential!
This was the first week that we saw our bench strength challenged with all The Great and The Good having to call on their auto-subs, so I thought it worthwhile to check on the depth of the squads so far this season. See below the points from auto-subs and the benched points this season:
You would probably expect to see the likes of FPL Matthew and Fabio Borges top for benched points due to the cautious nature of their approach. Matthew has picked stable low impact starters such as Ben White (£4.4m), Luke Ayling (£4.5m), Livramento plus the canny acquisition of Emmanuel Dennis (£5.2m) to give him the security of starts. Similarly, Fabio has Yves Bissouma (£4.6m) and Ayling to allow him to remain fine with his pine when rotation rears its ugly head.
Tom Freeman will have slightly more sleepless nights about any late injury news as Michael Obafemi (£4.5m), Billy Gilmour (£4.5m) and Veltman in the opening weeks were hardly rock-solid coverage, which is something he might need to address in the coming weeks.
A week which highlights the need for patience with many of those cast aside producing the goods, see Toney as exhibit A.
After an opening few weeks of limited rotation, even Pep seemed to be behaving himself, this weekend brought us crashing back to reality with some unexpected benchings.
Plus, there was a dawning realisation that maybe, just maybe we can’t rely on everything that is said in the manager’s news conferences.
However, perhaps the biggest lesson to be learnt, is that Cool Hand Luke levels of tenacity are going to be needed in a season which already promises to have many ups and downs, especially when 55 point plus scores are still resulting in red arrows.
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
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW FROM GAMEWEEK 5
- Saturday summary in brief
- Sunday summary in brief
- Newcastle 1-1 Leeds: Raphinha injury latest
- Wolves 0-2 Brentford: Bees defence to give Salah a tough test
- Burnley 0-1 Arsenal: Gunners defence looking solid
- Liverpool 3-0 Crystal Palace: Why Alexander-Arnold missed GW5
- Man City 0-0 Southampton: Livramento and Saints set for favourable fixtures
- Norwich 1-3 Watford: Why £4.0m Foster started in Gameweek 5
- Aston Villa 3-0 Everton: Richarlison out for 2/3 weeks
- Brighton 2-1 Leicester: Budget asset Duffy returns again from a set play
- West Ham 1-2 Man Utd: Shaw blanks but remains creative force
- Spurs 0-3 Chelsea: The reason for Mendy’s absence as Chelsea defence excel again