MyFPL is a series where we will go through our thought process before every FPL Gameweek in the 2018/2019 season.
2017/18 Overall Ranking: 9058
Current Overall Points: 550
Current Overall Ranking: 12,723
Last Gameweek Points: 64
Apologies for not producing an article last week, as the surprising Friday deadline crept up on me before I was able to write something. Just as well, as my advice last week would have been off, considering I took a hit to sell Aubameyang and bring in Kane as captain… Two straight weeks of bad transfers, but I’m still getting 60+ points. I’ll take it.
I have decided to use my first wildcard, but it’s not a rash, knee-jerk decision after a couple of bad weeks. I had planned on using the wildcard around GW9 anyway, as some fixtures have started to turn and there are some bandwagons I want to jump back onto. Let’s go through my (probable) wildcard team:
Some may have doubt that Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.2) won’t be be nailed on for Liverpool, but he is nailed on in my FPL team. I think him getting benched last game was more to rest him than a sign of him not playing as much going forward. After all, he had started and played almost the full 90 in all of the matches so far, after returning early from the World Cup. He’s more than a million cheaper than Robertson, giving me more money to spend elsewhere.
Matt Doherty (£4.8) has been in my team since GW1 and he’s not going anywhere. His return of 47 points the last 5 gameweeks is more than I could have hoped for, especially for the £4.5 I got him for. I don’t expect returns like that to last, but Wolverhampton have showed that they are solid defensively, while Doherty has shown that he is more than willing to go forward. He feels essential at this point and I might keep him for the whole season.
Another player I might keep the whole season is Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£4.3), despite his fixture list turning sour the next 5 gameweeks. Long term he is fantastic value especially since I got him when he was £4.0. For now, he stays on the bench, but AWB is going to be a factor throughout the whole campaign.
In midfield, Eden Hazard (£11.3) is essential and he’s going nowhere. He has gotten a goal, assist or more in 7 out of 8 gameweeks so far and been on fire under Maurizio Sarri. Guess which gameweek I captained him… At least I’ve had him ever since I made the then bold decision to sell Salah for Hazard back before GW4.
Speaking of Mohamed Salah (£12.8), it’s time to get him back. Huddersfield, Cardiff and Fulham in 3 out of the next 4 matches is a lot of potential points. I don’t buy the narrative that Salah is a one season wonder or that he has lost his touch. People forget that he was wasteful at the start of last season as well. I fully back him to be a points machine again and I’m looking to captain him some gameweeks also. The fact that he’s the 2nd most transferred out player is laughable.
Me doing a sideways transfer from James Maddison to Richarlison in GW7 was also laughable and now I’m paying the price. Quite literally. The .2 or .3 I lost from selling him then and trying to buy him back now would have been needed. Nonetheless, I really want Maddison back for his enticing fixtures with Leicester. Buying Richarlison did actually pay off though, as he scored as a striker against Maddison’s Leicester. The fact that he’s playing as a striker would make me lean Richarlison if I had to pick only one, but I think both are very much worth having.
Over to the strikers and the only guy I’m 100% keeping faith in is Sergio Aguero (£11.3). In fact, I’m (likely) making him my captain against Burnley at home this week as he’ll try to put a couple goals past former teammate Joe Hart. The same Joe Hart I told you not to buy 3 weeks ago. You’re welcome. Aguero has been subbed off around the 60 minute mark for 4 straight league games, but he was struggling with slight niggles and a tough schedule. He should be good to go now.
That’s my winning hand, my hard eight. But what about the 7 final spots?
Set and Forget Goalkeeper?
I’ve usually been the type who rotates a pair of £4.5 goalkeeper rather than having a set and forget goalkeeper. It’s cheaper and I don’t mind having my best GK on my bench from time to time as long as I earn more points long term.
Last season however, the best way to go was with David De Gea as a set and forget goalkeeper. While Man Utd haven’t been the same this year, other teams and goalkeepers have stepped up this season. That’s why I’m leaning towards picking Alisson (£5.6) as my set and forget goalkeeper. Not only would he be Liverpool cover in case Alexander-Arnold doesn’t play, but the prospect of doubling up on Liverpool’s defence now that their schedule eases up is enticing.
The other GK I have been thinking about setting and forgetting is actually one of the cheaper ones. European Champion Rui Patricio (£4.6). Patricio is a world class GK and is playing for a stringent Wolverhampton team. Doubling up with Patricio and Doherty would be a bit of a punt, but the way Wolves have defended the last 5 gameweeks, it is not unreasonable. I’d rather double up on Liverpool, but this would be cheaper, so if I want to free up some cash, going from Alisson to Patricio could be the way to go.
As far as a backup GK is concerned, I’m sticking to my pre-season pick David Button (£4.0). He is the only £4.0 GK who was bought for a sum of money this summer and if Mat Ryan messes up or gets injured, Button has a very good schedule with Brighton.
Mendy or Alonso… or both?
Remember when Mendy, Alonso and Robertson were essential? Funny how times change quickly in FPL. I already have my Robertson cover in Alexander-Arnold who can sort of match the production of his teammate despite being cheaper. Unlike options like David Luiz and Aymeric Laporte.
If I had to choose one, I’m leaning towards Benjamin Mendy (£6.2). Alonso runs a bit hot and cold throughout the year and is currently in a cold spell, but Mendy looks to be consistently involved offensively for Man City whenever he plays. He is also £0.8 cheaper and in my view he has better matches in the next 5 gameweeks. Both face Man Utd at home and Spurs away, but City have the two most enticing matches at home against Burnley and Southampton.
I’m still very much tempted to keep Alonso (£7.0), who I bought when he was £6.8. He’s the type of player you could keep a whole season, because you know he’s gonna get huge point returns at some point like he did to start the season.
So why not both? I’m certainly considering it, but it would really hamper the rest of my team, especially my strikers, where I am considering a whole lot of players.
Going with only Mendy, I have one defender left to fill and I’m going with a cheap option with potential upside, Issa Diop (£4.3). West Ham have started to turn things around and defensively, much of that gets credited to their new centre back pairing, Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena. Balbuena (£4.4) is a bonus magnet, but I’m leaning Diop because the £0.1 saved gives me slightly more flexibility and I think he is a bigger goal threat with more price rise potential anyway.
There are a few interesting candidates in the £4.5-5.0 price range in midfield. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (£4.5) has been nailed on for Southampton lately, after scoring in 2 straight gameweeks. The Danish former wonderboy has been getting forward to shoot a bit and could score the odd goal. If you’re lucky, he scores again the gameweek you are forced to play him or when Alexander-Arnold rests.
Will Hughes (£5.0) was in my team from gameweek 1 and has provided a goal and an assist along the way. His next 4 matches are very tasty, despite 3 of them being away from home. Unfortunately the good fortune of fixtures has come at a time when Watford have looked more like the team I predicted to get relegated before the season. 9 goals conceded and 1 measly point in the last 4 for the Hornets doesn’t give me the confidence to go for Hughes.
David Brooks (£5.0) on the other hand has seen an upswing in form. The young talented winger seems to have established himself with Bournemouth scoring 2 goals in 2 games. You’d expect him to start at least for the next 2 gameweeks facing Southampton at home and Fulham away, making him a very interesting option indeed.
I’m likely going for Kenedy (£4.9) however. Mostly because the £0.1 saved, opens up enough money for me to get the other players I want, but also because Newcastle are going 10 straight gameweeks without facing top 6 opposition. Kenedy is immensely talented and could take another step up considering he’s only 22 years old. Part of the reason why I wanted to wait until GW9 was to get someone from Newcastle and Kenedy seems like the best option to me.
Cut-Price Striker Rankings
I was tempted by either Alexandre Lacazette (£9.7) or Jamie Vardy (£9.0), but have decided against both. In case you were wondering, I’d choose Vardy if I had to choose between them and then switch to Lacazette in GW16 when their fixtures turn.
There are just too many good options in the £5.6-7.0 range for me to get either of them. 6 players in particular have caught my eye and this is how I’d rank them:
- Aleksandar Mitrovic
- Marko Arnautovic
- Danny Ings
- Callum Wilson
- Glenn Murray
- Raul Jimenez
Ings (£5.7) looks like an absolute steal for his cheap price and has a good chance to score in all of the next 5 gameweeks except for the away fixture to Man City in GW11. Wilson (£6.4) is ranked 4th, but I wouldn’t feel good going into the next 2 gameweeks without an offensive player from Bournemouth. Murray (£6.6) already has 5 goals and Brighton have a sea of green fixtures the next 8 gameweeks. Jimenez (£5.6) is the cheapest option and has been productive for Wolverhampton despite being missing huge chances.
Choosing Mitrovic (£6.9) and Arnautovic (£7.0) will not allow me to get both Alonso and Mendy and I would have to drop Alisson for Patricio as well if I wanted to keep just Alonso. The upside is the two best strikers in that price range and the focal points and penalty takers for their respective teams. Mitrovic is particularly tempting the next 5 weeks, facing Cardiff, Bournemouth, Huddersfield and Southampton who can all concede a lot of goals any given gameweek.
The next 5 matches are not quite as glamorous for Arnautovic, but Arnie has shown that he has the quality to score against anyone. You could go without Arnautovic and have Mitrovic and Ings for 5 gameweeks and then swap Mitro for Arnie, but I’m not comfortable going without Arnautovic that long. Not when they have a home match against Joe Hart and dream opposition in Huddersfield in that time. Long term, they both look like better options than either of the other 4 strikers.
So there you have it, my (probable) GW9 wildcard team:
Or do you prefer this team? Let me know @Maefteda