Four-time top 1k finisher Darren Wiles is on the march again after an excellent Gameweek 11. The Career Hall of Fame number three discusses his team plans for the weeks ahead and wades into the premium asset debate.
Gameweek 11 was a good one for me, with a score of 89 points and a rank rise to 78,000. So what went well and what are my plans for Gameweek 12?
My investment in Manchester City assets paid off and I was especially pleased to get returns from Raheem Sterling (£11.4m) after the winger was benched in Gameweek 10. His reliability for minutes I feel is still questionable so a swap to Mohamed Salah (£12.3m) this week looks straightforward. It was a suprise to see the Egyptian play 90 minutes in the Champions League last night but I still expect him to start against Fulham. His relentless pursuit for goals makes him my captain this weekend.
Three returns from defenders was also pleasing, with Kyle Walker-Peters continuing to provide good value at £4.6m.
I was also very impressed with Andrew Robertson (£7.2m), who was a constant threat down the left side for Liverpool and given the man of the match award on the TV coverage. With only one goal conceded in the last three fixtures (and even that was a contentious penalty decision against Brighton), I am also encouraged by clean sheet potential for the Reds.
Interestingly, the return of Trent Alexander Arnold (£7.2m) seems to have gone under the radar a little within the FPL community. The 13% of managers still holding the premium defender are surely inactive, and with only 20,000 transfers in so far this week, anyone looking for a good differential could do a lot worse than the full-back before a decent fixture run that includes Fulham, Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion in the next four.
Tomas Soucek (£4.9m) also caught the eye for me again. It was a relief to get some returns after watching him miss some decent chances in what feels like almost every match. He remains the best option for a fourth or fifth midfielder, in my opinion, and a scheduled Double Gameweek 19 should provide extra attention for the Czech.
What was most pleasing for me was the fact I managed to achieve a good score without the likes of Bruno Fernandes (£10.9m), Salah and Son Heung-min (£9.6m). This leads me nicely onto a big talking point the main subject of this article: with so many premium assets continuing to provide consistency, which of these are ‘essential’ and how many can we fit more into our squads?
Firstly, I think the term ‘essential’ is used rather loosely in the community, and going forward I only intend to keep two of these big hitters as mainstays in my side. For me, Salah and Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m) are going to provide me with the most frequent captaincy option so I plan to fix the Liverpool and Manchester City talismen in my squad for the foreseeable future.
The third slot in the top price bracket I intend to use to give me captaincy options outside of Manchester City and Liverpool. For example, I currently have Harry Kane (£10.9m) and a move I am already considering for Gameweek 13 is to downgrade Kane and shift the funds into midfield for Fernandes ahead of fixtures against Sheffield United and Leeds United. I like to analyse data over the last four matches to give me the most relevant information, and the numbers that Bruno is producing are impossible to ignore.
The downside to chopping and changing my third premium asset, of course, is that I am likely to lose any potential value in players I have built up. However, it is a hit I am prepared to take if it gives me that flexibility to target the best captaincy candidate.
I like to play with a balanced squad, so three premiums feels like the optimum number for my strategy. For those who have value tied up in what looks increasingly like an underpriced asset in Son Heung-min, I see no problem in moving to four premium selections. However, I would advise those looking to stretch to five to reconsider. I feel that five expensive options are almost certain to upset the balance of a squad.
We are still provided with outstanding value in mid-priced assets with the likes of Dominic Calvert Lewin (£8.0m), Jack Grealish (£7.7m), Wilfred Zaha (£7.4m) and the many great options in defence. I don’t see the merit in downgrading these sorts of players to free up funds for an extra heavy hitter.
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