“Curiouser and curiouser!”
Curious indeed! The last couple of weeks have seen us well and truly through the looking glass with an injury strewn Gameweek 28 and a fixture deficit in Gameweek 29 leading us all to some strange destinations.
The fantasy wonderland of xG, otherwise known as Brighton, prompted a double or even triple up in their defence, with a frightening amount of Dunk vs Veltman analysis, whilst some went as far as hitching their armband to the Trossard train.
The poor performance of Spurs in the North London Derby and then in Europe left us screaming “off with their heads”, Aubameyang should probably invest in a pocket watch if he to address his tardiness and we all chased Lingard down the rabbit hole.
The managers in The Great and The Good are the Scouts Neale Rigg and Joe Lepper, Pro Pundits (Mark Sutherns, Az, Lateriser, Fabio Borges and Tom Freeman ), FPL “celebrities”, FPL General, Magnus Carlsen and finally from the Hall of Fame we have Ville Ronka, Matthew Jones and Sean Tobin
Az must be grinning like a Cheshire Cat after his audacious Trossard transfer and captaincy saw him as top scorer during the blank Gameweek with 73 points.
This took him out of the bottom three for the first time since Gameweek 10, although the writer should point out that it’s not just about points when it comes to membership of The Great and The Good. For example, bench wizardry is frowned upon and FPL General was guilty of this misdemeanour this week and the FPL Gods clearly agree as he slumped to 36 points.
Meanwhile, Mark and Fabio continue to fight it out for top spot with only 3 points separating the top two and worth noting that another alumni of The Great and The Good, Lets Talk FPL Andy is just 30 points ahead of Mr Sutherns now.
Magnus Carlsen made the headlines with his Wildcard this week but he also stole all the tarts in Gameweek 28 as he brought in and captained Vardy, this made it checkmate for the chess champion as he was top scorer for the week.
Matthew Jones also played the right cards in Gameweek 28 as he picked the correct Brighton defender with Dunk’s 10 points helping him to 66,000 sized green arrow.
The Wildcard picks of Magnus left many of us as confused as by the tale of the jabberwocky with no United, no City and no obvious plan for the fixture swing in Gameweek 31. However, early results suggest we should beware of this formidable threat as he scored 72 points this week.
The full ins and outs are below:-
IN – Sanchez, Forster, Dunk, Veltman, Rudiger, Bale, Lookman, Lingard, Watkins, Antonio
OUT – Martinez, Steer, Dias, Stones, Kilman, Son, Gundogan, Smith-Rowe, Vardy, Calvert-Lewin
He did still have his Free Hit in hand so perhaps surprising he did use that chip instead, there is no doubt his Seagull gambit paid off this week and he can easily move some of his cheap options to the bench.
His faith in Alexander-Arnold and Salah remains and I suspect he hopes their push for the Champions League spots will drive better performances out of them, generally that is a trend with his squad selection as the majority have something to play for as we come to the end of this Premier League Tea party. We will watch with interest how this plays out for Magnus over the coming weeks.
Let’s check in on the transfers over last couple of weeks.
GW28 – None
GW29 – Odegaard, Trossard, Dunk (Stones, Salah, Gundogan)
GW28 – Veltman (Mee)
GW29 – Kane, Lingard, Dunk (Cancelo, Calvert-Lewin, Salah)
GW28 – None
GW29 – Lingard, Dunk (Salah, Mitchell)
GW28 – Bale (Barnes)
GW29 – Dallas (Justin)
GW28 – Bale, Havertz (Barnes, Sterling)
GW29 – Lookman, Regulion (Gundogan, Maitland-Niles)
GW28 – Vardy (Ings)
GW29 – Wildcard
GW28 – None
GW29 – Dunk, Cresswell, Sanchez (Cancelo, Alexander-Arnold, Johnstone)
GW28 – Dunk (Johnson)
GW29 – Bamford, Tierney (Cancelo, Calvert-Lewin)
GW28 – Veltman (Mee)
GW29 – Dunk, Cresswell, Dallas (Cancelo, Robertson, Periera)
GW28 – None
GW29 – Kane, Bale, Dallas, Dunk (Stones, Calvert-Lewin, Salah, Robertson)
GW28 – None
GW29 – Welbeck, Veltman (Diagne, Maitland-Niles)
GW28 – None
GW29 – Bale, Dallas (De Bruyne, Stones)
*transfers out are in brackets
Mad Hatter moves all over the place last weekend with Brighton players top of the list with Tom benefiting from both Veltman and Welbeck’s inclusion, Mark also gained an edge from a South coast defensive double.
The Trossard transfer gave Az the advantage in this Caucus race but Odegaard also continues to show a high level of performance which should soon be followed by FPL points.
Meanwhile, Fabio and Joe were the latest to chase the White Rabbit of Lingard’s return to form, I wonder whether they are now going to follow him on Instagram?
There was limited activity in Gameweek 28, the move for Vardy by Magnus the only stand out and FPL General, Lateriser swam in a pool of tears as Bale failed to capture any kind of form in the North London derby.
The template for The Great and The Good is as follows with number in brackets showing how many teams in which they appear:-
Martinez (5), Areola (4)
Dallas (9), Dunk (8), Dias (5), Digne (5), Cancelo/Veltman (4)
Raphinha (10), Gundogan (9), Son (8), Bruno Fernandes (7), Salah/Bale/Lingard (5)
Kane (12), Bamford (8), Watkins (6)
“We’re all mad here” is the cry of The Great and The Good as Veltman and Dunk inclusion now means they prefer a double Brighton defence to a City one as Stones makes way.
Bale joins but his time on the bench against Villa made his new owners as sad as Mock Turtle, elsewhere Lingard and Watkins are welcomed to the template.
FPL General continues to top the Captaincy poll for the season with an average of 15.5, but whilst his favoured picks have been Salah and De Bruyne his score would have been even more fantastical had he pick Bruno and Kane more often as they have averaged higher returns for him.
Clear to see that Salah remains a firm favourite, it’s worth reminding ourselves that Bruno has 11 double-digit returns compared to Mo’s five. Fabio, who is the form manager when it comes to the armband, averaging 15.6 in the last ten weeks, has captained the Portuguese playmaker the most this season of these managers and has obviously benefited.
Az’s decision to go for more differential picks has proved he is no Tweedle Dum, he has had eight different captains in the last ten weeks and as result has moved his average from 13.7 in the first half of the season to 15.0, maybe we all need to be more courageous in our armband selection?
“It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”. The last few weeks have been dominated by a strong template with a sense of little progress despite a lot of effort.
However, times are changing with the blank giving many, particularly the Free Hitters, an advantage plus there is an upcoming fixture swing and the end of the season always brings a change in motivation with a growing number of teams starting to eye up their summer holidays.
Opportunity awaits us but we will need to be brave and now is a time for us to challenge our identity as an FPL manager. Are we happy with a good season or do we want to take a few risks? Do we want to be a Dormouse or a Mad March Hare? Or maybe it just comes down as to whether we pick Alonso or Azpilicueta on our Wildcards?
Anyway, that’s all from me for now 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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