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.
Only the die-hard FPL managers truly enjoyed the festive season, with more Covid cancellations, an extra Free Hit chip causing joy and anger in equal measures before the FPL site itself even showed signs of a Boxing Day hangover.
The traditional family dispute centred around the once untouchable Mohamed Salah (£12.5m), whose postponed Gameweek 19 fixture against Leeds United in Gameweek 19 and upcoming AFCON adventures meant he was seen as surplus to requirements by some in their quest to fund Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.5m), who was bound to score against Newcastle. Wasn’t he?
As with all good festive yarns, there was a twist in the tale as the Siu superstar made amends against Burnley and those who had kept faith in Salah were left with nothing but the feeling of finding a lump of coal and a satsuma in their stocking when he missed a penalty against Leicester City.
LES CALDWELL HACK
On a serious note, there was some sad news over the holiday season as Les Caldwell, who joined ‘The Great and The Good’ this season after winning the feeder mini-league, was hacked and his team spent 604 points in transfers.
Les has shown remarkable dignity in the way he has handled the news and even asked that I use this as a reminder to everyone on the importance of password security.
He is a lovely chap and does not deserve what has befallen him, he will of course remain in ‘The Great and The Good’ and you will see I will be making manual alterations to the league so we can continue to track his progress both including and excluding the erroneous transfers.
Either way, I know we wish him nothing but green arrows for the rest of the season.
Back to the action and the race to be crowned number one is fiercely competitive this season, as Magnus Carlsen was first to make his move by using his Free Hit to claim the top spot after the Boxing Day fixtures of Gameweek 19.
Az roared back in Gameweek 20 with the bad boy of Manchester, Phil Foden (£8.1m), proving an inspired captaincy choice that saw him retake the lead and move into the top 10k.
FPL Matthew was the top scorer in last round of matches with Ronaldo, Jarrod Bowen (£6.6m) and Ederson (£6.0), who has quietly scored the Welsh wonder 30 points over the last five matches.
There are still only 20 points separating the top five and much praise should be heaped on Fabio Borges. The Hall of Fame number one has had nine green arrows in the last ten Gameweeks and an overall rank gain of 225k. It could have been even better for him had he not left Bowen’s points on the bench. Can last year’s champ beat them all again?
In other developments, the captaincy paragraph is now more exciting than me just telling you that they all captained Mo, as we have seen a variety of differential picks. Geoff Dance was the armband king with his choice of Alexandre Lacazette (£8.4m) in Gameweek 19 and, as mentioned, Az nailed it when opting for Foden.
The early seasonal gift of a second Free Hit led to much debate, with the argument almost as heated as asking whether Die Hard is a Christmas film or not. For those wondering, it is.
However, many of ‘The Great and The Good’ unwrapped the chip with glee after the sparse looking fixture list meant their squads looked as miserable as a Boxing Day turkey. Tom Freeman, Magnus and Les were the ones to gobble up the opportunity.
Magnus used the chip in some style with Riyad Mahrez (£8.6m), Aymeric Laporte (£5.5m) and Martin Odegaard (£5.6m) proving acts of genius as they helped him to the top score of the week at 75 points.
Mahrez was a common factor amongst all the free hitters, as was a decent green arrow; Les scored 60 thanks to Raheem Sterling (£10.7m) and Tom chalked up 51.
Joe decided to take the plunge in Gameweek 20, as the potential hits mounted up. The Scoutcast Svengali took out his paper and pen to plot his way around the Covid postponements. His resultant scrawling gave him a 43k green arrow, so mission accomplished.
This is a summary of the transfers for this week :
GW19 – Son (Salah)
GW20 – De Gea, Antonio (Foster, Jimenez)
GW19 – Ronaldo, Bowen (Salah, King)
GW20 – Broja, Son, De Gea (Saka, Lacazette, Ramsdale)
GW19 – Son, Bowen (Salah, Raphinha)
GW20 – Maddison (Saka)
GW19 – Ronaldo, Martinelli, Reguilon (Salah, Dennis, Tomiyasu)
GW20 – Reguilon, Antonio, De Gea (Livramento, Lacazette, Meslier)
GW19 – Ronaldo, Martinelli (Salah, King)
GW20 – Son, Broja (Raphinha, Lacazette)
GW20 – N/A
GW20 – King, Gray (Lacazette, Normann)
GW19 – Ronaldo, Martinelli (Salah, Dennis)
GW20 – Broja (Lacazette)
GW19 – Ronaldo, Son (Antonio, Salah)
GW20 – Bowen (Smith Rowe)
GW20 – Antonio (Lacazette)
GW19 – Ronaldo, Martinelli, Son (Brownhill, Salah, Lacazette)
GW20 – De Gea (Ramsdale)
GW19 – Son (Salah)
GW20 – De Gea, Antonio (Ramsdale, Lacazette)
GW19 – Son, Martinelli (Salah, Brownhill)
GW20 – De Gea (Foster)
Ronaldo was the present that the majority of ‘The Great and The Good’ wanted to find under the tree in Gameweek 19 but he turned up without the required batteries, and indeed points, as Man United looked back to their worst against Newcastle United.
FPL Matthew had the transfer of the week in Gameweek 20, with Bowen brought in just at the right time for a double-digit return and a decent green arrow up to 59k.
More hits were flying around with Joe, Andy and Tom Stephenson taking minus eights but perhaps more remarkable in these chaotic times was that Neale Rigg, Tom and Geoff felt confident enough to roll a transfer – or was that the FPL site’s doing…
The template for ‘The Great and The Good’ is as follows, with the number in brackets showing how many teams they appear in:
De Gea (8), Foster (6)
Alexander-Arnold (15), Cancelo (14), James (11), Livramento (8), Alonso (6)
Jota (15), Foden (10), Bowen (9), Son (9), Salah/Martinelli (5)
Antonio (12), King (10), Ronaldo (7)
Turbulence in the template as David De Gea (£5.1m) moves in for Aaron Ramsdale (£5.1m), Salah clings on despite a fall from grace – now with the same number of owners as Gabriel Martinelli (£5.4m) – and Ronaldo makes a triumphant return.
INVESTMENT BY POSITION
There was a new feature introduced to LiveFPL this week (run by the fabulous Ragabolly) which measures the average investment by position in your starting XI compared to the top 10k.
I therefore decided to cast my gaze of ‘The Great and The Good’:
It’s worth noting here that the numbers reflect how many managers in the top 10k have invested less than you, so the higher the number the more funds you have put into that position relative to the top ranked managers.
The results show the state of flux in the game right now, the top ranked managers of this group all spending heavily in their forward line, no doubt influenced by the switch from Salah to Ronaldo.
Fabio is most intriguing as he owns neither of the big hitters, preferring to spread his funds equally across his squad and with £1.9m in the bank. He is a man prepared for every eventuality.
Elsewhere, Mark Sutherns and Geoff remain big at the back. Both played five-man defences this week but, with Reece James (£6.4m) injured, is it now time for them to share the wealth and maybe move out the non-playing option of Keinan Davis (£4.5m)?
The carnage continues, with the added spice of Double Gameweeks on the horizon. However, before we all get too excited, I would suggest we keep our focus week-to-week, remembering that a lot of the doubles may end up as Covid singles and therefore taking this opportunity to build our squads. It’s going to take fifteen players to navigate the storms ahead.
Anyway, that’s all from me for now, thanks for reading throughout 2021, I wish you a happy new year and remember – don’t have nightmares.
For those affected by any of the topics raised in the above article then you can find me here on Twitter.
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