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.
“Cause the players gonna play, play, play, and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate.
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake.
I shake it off, I shake it off”
Another week, another series of injury woes to deal with, as Patrick Bamford (£7.9m) fell victim to the mid-priced striker curse but at least Raphinha (£6.5m) managed to take Taylor Swift’s advice and shake it off.
This was also the week many lost patience in the £7-8m price bracket with several of us selling Ferran Torres (£7.0m) and Jack Grealish (£8.0m), as we saw the emergence of cheaper midfield options like Ismaila Sarr (£6.3m), Conor Gallagher (£5.7m) and Bukayo Saka (£6.2m).
Then there was the captaincy call, surely that was an easy one with Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.7m) ready to go, but Dean Smith’s men played the villains at Old Trafford to deliver red arrows for many an FPL manager.
Tom Freeman and Les Caldwell were the chart toppers with 60 points this week, although Tom left it late with Joel Veltman’s (£4.4m) 95th minute assist taking him to the heights of the hit parade.
Les’ strong showing was based on a Wolves double-up and his Mohamed Salah (£12.6m) captaincy; he was in good company as Mark and Magnus were the others to walk like an Egyptian.
Az was a very brave boy putting the armband on Michail Antonio (£7.9m) and it paid off; he is now only two points behind his Blackbox buddy. Could he finally overtake him?
Geoff Dance deserves a mention as he has yet to have a red arrow, although the size of the climbs are getting smaller with a sub 4,000 place jump this time round.
Wildcards are still burning a hole in the majority of The Great and The Good’s pockets, there seems to have been no discernible advantage to those who played early and it’s worth noting that none of the top three of Tom Stephenson, Andy and FPL Matthew have overhauled their squads.
This is a summary of the transfers for this week:
Az – Sarr (Grealish)
LTFPL Andy – Jimenez (Bamford)
Fabio Borges – None
Joe Lepper – Sarr, Armstrong (Bamford, Traore)
Geoff Dance – Gallagher (Torres)
FPL General – Saint-Maximin, Sarr (Bamford, Raphinha)
Les Caldwell – Gallagher (Torres)
Magnus Carlsen – Foster (Gunn)
Mark Sutherns – Alonso (Ayling)
FPL Matthew – Sarr (Greenwood)
Neale Rigg – None
Tom Freeman – Sarr (Gundogan)
Tom Stephenson – Sarr (Torres)
Yavuz Kabuk – Lukaku, Gray (Calvert-Lewin, Grealish)
Zophar – Sarr (Torres)
A blur of activity with Sarr a popular and wise choice if his goal against Newcastle was a sign of returns to come.
Joe and FPL General took hits to bring in the Watford wonder as they also had the Bamford blip to deal with, both made eyebrow raising moves with Allan Saint-Maximin (£6.8m) and Adam Armstrong (£6.0m) trotting onto their respective fantasy fields.
Yavuz’s dealings also caught the eye as he is the first to hit the high rollers with the “threemium” of Romelu Lukaku (£11.7m), Ronaldo and Salah.
I suspect Magnus will be soon going that way with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£9.9m) a placeholder, but I’ve tried and failed before to predict the Grandmaster’s groves.
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 (7), Livramento (7), Veltman (5)
Salah (15), Raphinha (11), Sarr (9), Jota (9), Benrahma (8)
Antonio (14), Ronaldo (12), Lukaku (4)
You sense bigger change is coming to the template, but for now Sarr and Lukaku were the new entrants replacing Bamford due to injury and Mason Greenwood (£7.7m), who proved expendable despite hitting an impressive eight shots against Villa.
At this early stage, captaincy decisions are proving crucial in the respectability of your rank and Mark Sutherns leads the way with 126 points, which equates to an impressive 21-point average.
Fabio is having an uncharacteristically mediocre start to the armband action sitting on 88 points, his decision to move off his favourite Salah this week proved costly.
The chart below shows that Salah continues to be the popular pick over the season at 54% pick rate, Ronaldo is chipping away at that lead on 22% and I would suspect Lukaku will start to worry the leaders as his dream run of fixtures begins this weekend.
No doubt the heavy hitters have rewarded those who have stuck with the tried and tested in the opening weeks, but Az’s foray into differential choice Antonio shows there is ground to be made up if you look beyond the “threemium”.
An interesting week ahead with fixture swings on the horizon, with Chelsea’s mouth-watering matchups meaning heavy investment in the Tuchel Tombola.
The collapse of the mid-priced market and the rise of the cheaper options of Emile Smith-Rowe (£5.3m), Demarai Gray (£5.8m) and Sarr also means that more might be tempted with the three heavy hitter option as this becomes more manageable as we look to balance the books and unbalance our squad structure.
Plenty of options ahead, plenty of ways to play the game and catch those greens but remember if you do have a bad week then just shake it off as a good one can be just be around the corner.
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