Having been all set for the big bench boost in Gameweek 26, I’ve decided to postpone it until Gameweek 32, which will follow a Gameweek 31 wildcard. Many of you will have planned to bench boost this week and still have your wildcard, so why should you consider waiting another six weeks?
Ideally, we have 15 players nailed on players with two good fixtures for our bench boost. I thought I would get close to that with two hits. These would be mostly repaid by extra appearance points in Gameweeks 26 and 29.
I used two free transfers to bring in Heung-Min Son (£9.5m) and Ollie Watkins (£6.5m) for Gameweek 26. They were definitely fixture rather than form moves, as they also play in Gameweek 29. Similarly, the two hits were planned as Alex McCarthy (£4.5m) to Hugo Lloris (£5.6m) and Ben Mee (£5.0m) to Ahmed El Mohamady (£4.3m).
As an aside, the problem with these transfers was that they required the exact money. This meant that the two free transfers had to be made before either incoming player had played, for fear of price drops on the West Ham players sold. I had no chance to view form and was exposed to injuries. I advise against similar early exact money moves.
Those hits on their own are still reasonable, but other factors lessen the appeal of the bench boost. The injury to Jack Grealish (£7.6m) rules him out of at least the first fixture of Gameweek 26. I had bought Bobby Decordova-Reid (£5.3m) for the Gameweek 25 fixture with Sheffield United. Now I’m not saying that I expected him to rip it up, he was an enabler with a Gameweek 29 fixture against Leeds and as it turned out, two games in Gameweek 26. His one-minute cameo was annoying but now I doubt his level of participation in Gameweek 26.
I am faced with spending 8 points to leave myself a bench boost of Lloris, Matthew Lowton (£4.5m), Decordova-Reid and Grealish, or spending more hits to improve it. There are a maximum of seven extra fixtures of questionable quality, possibly as few as four if only the two defensive assets play. You get four extra fixtures from a single gameweek bench boost, so it doesn’t feel good enough.
Like many, I am planning a Gameweek 31 wildcard. This marks a significant fixture swing, towards which Gameweek 32 plays a strong part. From Gameweek 31 until Gameweek 38, the top four teams in the season ticker, with their Gameweek 31 and 32 fixtures are:
Arsenal (shu, FUL)
Wolves (ful, SHU)
Liverpool (AVL, lee)
West Ham (LEI, new)
Slightly further down there is:
Chelsea (cry, BHA)
Leicester (whu, WBA)
Manchester United (tot, BUR)
Lower still but with two good fixtures is Southampton (wba, CRY), then lower still but not to be ignored, Manchester City (LEE, avl).
These nine teams can largely see you through the last eight weeks of the season and provide four quality players for a Gameweek 32 bench boost without the need for hits. I’ll show some wildcard drafts, to give an idea of the kind of bench boost possible. I will be honest with my bench players, stating who I would really bench. Bruno Fernandes (£11.6m) features in all drafts, as I’ll be keeping him. My squad value + cash is £104.5m and if I were to sell everyone I’d have £101.8m, so that’s the budget. Prices will change, so I left a bit spare in these drafts to be realistic.
Holding (FUL), Coady (SHU), Rudiger (BHA)
Fernandes (BUR), Salah (lee), Saka (FUL), Neto (SHU), Barnes (WBA)
Vardy (WBA), Ings (CRY)
Bench: McCarthy (CRY), Robertson (lee), Stones (avl), Antonio (new)
You don’t want rotation risks for a bench boost and John Stones (£5.2m) could be replaced, especially as by Gameweek 32, Manchester City’s focus might be on Europe. Luke Shaw (£5.1m) (BUR) is a possibility.
This is a no Liverpool draft if you’re of that persuasion. It frees up lots of money but remember that they will be fighting for a top four finish.
Saiss (SHU), Shaw (BUR), Rudiger (BHA)
Fernandes (BUR), Aubameyang (FUL), Gundogan (avl), Neto (SHU), Mount (BHA)
Vardy (WBA), Werner (BHA)
Bench: McCarthy (CRY), Coufal (new), Vestergaard (CRY), Cavani (BUR)
Alex McCarthy is the cheapest of the goalkeepers, so finds his way into every draft, whilst Antonio Rudiger (£4.6m) and Pedro Neto (£5.7m) also seem hard to ignore.
Cresswell (new), Tierney (FUL), Rudiger (BHA)
Fernandes (BUR), Rashford (BUR), de Bruyne (avl), Neto (SHU), Soucek (new)
Firmino (lee), Martial (BUR)
Bench: McCarthy (CRY), Dawson (new), Holding (FUL), Adams (CRY)
This brings some new players, including some likely differentials versus other Gameweek 31 wildcards.
I will also mention the possibility, according to a well known Google Sheet provider, of a double Gameweek 32 for Southampton and Tottenham.
Are you pressing ahead with your Gameweek 26 bench boost and if so, how do your four bench boost players compare with the possibilities shown here? How many hits will it cost you and will it help you in Gameweek 29?
#Ditching #Big #Bench #Boost