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 else could I do; I’m so inspired by you. That hasn’t happened for the longest time”
Late inspiration was provided by Jarrod Bowen (£6.7m), for those who handed him the armband anyway, as Double Gameweek 21 concluded after what felt to be the longest time with a mixture of disappointment at more delays, dodgy assists, and a Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.9m) penalty miss.
Still, onwards we go to the potential pitfalls of a Double Gameweek 22, which has gone from being huge, to humble, to hopeless as the last week has progressed.
We have a new leader in this hotly contested competition with FPL General on the best weekly score of 91 points and a green arrow sending him into the top 10,000 for the first time this season.
Bowen was obviously the main source of points but Armando Broja (£5.3m) and Craig Dawson (£4.9m) also gave him the edge over Az, who dropped to second thanks to an unfortunate hit for £4.0m defender Ben Johnson.
General has now managed seven green arrows in ten Gameweeks but more impressively has only had to take three hits. Compare this to third place Tom Stephenson, who has had to take seven over the same period.
Vladimir Coufal (£4.7m) helped FPL Matthew and Geoff Dance to good weeks, Magnus had one to forget as he fell victim to the Everton cancellation, and special mention to Yavuz whose more aggressive approach in the last few weeks sees him move into the top 100,000 for the first time this season. Can he get a top 10,000 finish for the eighth time in a row?
The captaincy choice was the difference maker this week, with Andy, Tom Stephenson, Tom Freeman, Magnus and Les putting their faith in the wrong Hammer.
Les was forced into action after the hack to overhaul his squad, and the full ins and outs are below:
- IN – Pickford, Sanchez, Lowton, Lamptey, Cancelo, Coufal, Bowen, Foden, Gray, Son, Ronaldo, Antonio, Toney
- OUT – Lloris, Ramsdale, Taylor, Reguilon, Davies, Gabriel, Bernardo Silva, Mount, Mahrez, Jota, Maupay, Dennis, Watkins
Wholesale change as you might expect with an eye of taking advantage of the double as Messrs Pickford, Coufal, Bowen, Gray, Antonio and Toney came in. Of these, only the West Ham players delivered.
The investment in two playing ‘keepers reflects the times we operate; he will be disappointed by the Son Heung-min (£10.7m) injury and I wonder how long Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.5m) will last when Mohamed Salah (£12.8m) returns from his AFCON adventures.
There were more chips cashed as another Free Hit bit the dust, with Fabio trying his luck in what was initially a tempting double.
Template triple West Ham was present and correct, but he doubled up on Brentford and had a trio of Everton players; neither of these latter groups outscored Salah, who returned to his squad for a one-week swansong.
This is a summary of the transfers for this week :
- Az – Pinnock, Bowen (James, Smith-Rowe)
- LTFPL Andy – Gray, Dawson (Brownhill, James)
- Fabio Borges – Free Hit
- Joe Lepper – Son, Diop, Antonio (Foden, James, Lacazette)
- Geoff Dance – Calvert-Lewin, Son, Coufal (Davis, Salah, James)
- FPL General – Dawson (James)
- Les Caldwell – Wildcard
- Magnus Carlsen – Calvert-Lewin, Bowen, Keane (Gelhardt, Salah, James)
- Mark Sutherns – Son, Diop, Antonio (Foden, James, Davis)
- FPL Matthew – Antonio, Coufal (Watkins, James)
- Neale Rigg – Son, Gray, Dawson (Foden, Smith-Rowe, Rudiger)
- Tom Freeman – Calvert-Lewin, Bowen (Lacazette, Foden)
- Tom Stephenson – Gray, Bowen, Dawson (Foden, Martinelli, James)
- Yavuz Kabuk – Dawson, Gray, Bowen (James, Foden, Saka)
- Zophar – Gray (Martinelli)
There was an East London knees up as The Great and The Good fought over the West Ham players, Michail Antonio (£7.9m) and Bowen were essential with the only real debate over whether to go Dawson or Coufal.
A couple had extreme cases of bad variance with numerous expletives probably passing the mouths of Tom Freeman, Geoff, and Magnus when Calvert-Lewin missed his spot-kick and then had his second game cancelled. I doubt they will be sending Brendan Rodgers a birthday card this year or agreeing to take him to the darts.
The hits keep coming with six of them taking minus eights, including the normally cautious Joe, who has been forced into three double hits in three out of the last four weeks. We are all out of our comfort zone!
The template for The Great and The Good is as follows, with the numbers in brackets showing how many teams in which they appear:
- De Gea (8), Foster (6)
- Alexander-Arnold (14), Cancelo (14), Livramento (9), Alonso (6), Dawson (6)
- Bowen (15), Jota (13), Son (13), Gray (8), Foden/Martinelli (4)
- Antonio (15), Ronaldo (9), King (8)
The template continues to lurch week to week, dependent on the latest cancellation or double. This time we saw Dawson and Demarai Gray (£5.5m) enter the fray for an injured Reece James (£6.2m) and an AFCON-bound Salah. I do hope they have saved their pennies to get the Egyptian back in Gameweek 24…
A quick poke this week at where The Great and The Good have targeted their trades this season, with the table below showing the split by position:
As you would expect the main moves have been in midfield with the managers looking to improve rank by guessing which mid-priced gems would accompany Salah to help them gain ground.
It’s interesting to note that a couple of our elite managers, Fabio and Yavuz, have used over half of their transfers in the centre of the park.
Magnus and FPL General have allocated most of their exchanges to address the search for a consistent forward but it’s worth noting that the more successful managers over the last eight weeks have built their success on a solid defence.
Fabio, who has been the top scorer from Gameweek 12, has barely touched his defence since his Wildcard in Gameweek 8, with Tino Livramento (£4.3m) to James the only backline transfer; his trust in a double-up on City defenders proving the backbone of his success.
Here comes another double, at the double, with the deadline rapidly approaching. Many a finger of many an FPL manager has been burnt in the chaos of the last couple of weeks, with some giving up all hope.
My positive spin on this would be to stay the course, as any manager who stays engaged right now will have an advantage in the longer term over those less enthusiastic managers struggling to keep up.
Then there is the promise of the final sprint double bonanza as, after Gameweek 30, there looks a real opportunity for those who like to plan to have their moment, as we navigate the fixtures.
So, keep the faith as we may yet see FPL inspire after what has felt like the longest time.
Anyway, that’s all from me for 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
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