The differential decisions I’m considering in my hunt for a top 1k FPL rank | fpl.wiki


Fantasy Football Scout career Hall of Fame number one, and inaugural VirtualFPL champion, Fábio Borges reveals his plans for Gameweek 28 and the rest of the season.


As the home straight of 2020/21 comes around the corner, I am looking to make more differential decisions with my Fantasy Premier League team.

My aim for the campaign was to secure a third top 1k finish and, in order to make that happen, I need to start going against the grain a bit more.

Last Gameweek was a bit of a season-defining moment for my team. In this article, I will recap what went wrong in Double Gameweek 27, as well as my strategy going forward in light of the recent developments and what I am planning for the coming round.

GAMEWEEK 27 RECAP

Double Gameweek 27 was going reasonably well for my team after a strong performance from Sam Johnstone (£4.5m) and a somewhat unexpected double-digit return from Bruno Fernandes (£11.5m) in the Manchester derby.

However, everything changed on Sunday evening after a 19-point haul from the heavily-owned Harry Kane (£11.3m). His effective ownership in the top 10k was close to 75%, which means, as a non-owner, I lost over 14 points to the average team after his masterclass. 

Considering the fact that teams are very similar right now (with most teams filled with players who will play in Blank Gameweek 29 alongside a Manchester City triple-up), a massive red arrow was pretty much guaranteed, regardless of how well my remaining players would perform.

Adding to my misery, my Leeds triple-up failed to deliver any attacking returns against West Ham United and Ruben Dias’ (£6.1m) clean sheet was wiped out in the first half of Manchester City’s match against Southampton. At least my captain Ilkay Gundogan (£6.2m) scored but, ultimately, it was not enough to recover from such a disappointing Gameweek.

All in all, I managed to get a mere 55 points in what was, easily, the worst Gameweek of my season so far.

MY OVERALL STRATEGY GOING FORWARD

After reaching the top 10k as early as Gameweek 18, I was confident that I would be able to get a third top 1k finish in my FPL career. This goal seems a bit unrealistic now that my overall ranking more than doubled from 4k in the world to the 8.5k mark, leaving me 48 points behind my main target for the season with only 11 Gameweeks to go.

Usually, this would mean the right strategy would be to start increasing variance by deviating from the template as much as possible if I still want to have any chances of getting into the top 1k by the end of the season. Having said that, there is not much that can be done right now other than targeting players who will play in Blank Gameweek 29 before I activate my second Wildcard in Gameweek 31 as I always planned to do.

This is yet another reason why I am not a fan of Double and Blank Gameweeks. It effectively reduces the player pool, meaning that several differentials who could potentially help me to recover from such a disastrous Gameweek are simply not an option at the moment because they do not have a match in Blank Gameweek 29. For this reason, I do not expect to make much ground in the next three rounds, since most teams are very similar in my local rank tier.

I will reevaluate my position by Gameweek 31 and, if my ranking does not improve until then, I will probably have several differentials in my Wildcard to give myself a chance at reaching my ambitious pre-season goal. At the same time, ownership will increasingly become a more important factor in my transfers and captaincy decisions from now on.

GAMEWEEK 28 PLANS

With two free transfers available, the sensible decision would probably be to get Kane in and protect myself from another potential haul from the Tottenham forward. After all, he also scored twice Dínamo Zagreb and seems to be the form player in the league right now.

However, that would mean I would have to sell one of my current strikers but since both Ollie Watkins (£6.6m) and Patrick Bamford (£6.8m) play in Gameweek 29, I am stuck with them at least until then. This leaves Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.7m), who plays against Burnley at Goodison Park,as my only potential fall-out guy for Kane. At the same time, I would have to downgrade one of Fernandes or Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) to fund the Calvert-Lewin to Kane move.

In other words, I would have to spend two free transfers to sell two great options for this Gameweek such as Salah (who keeps scoring in the Champions League) and Calvert-Lewin just to get Kane, who has a tough away match at the Emirates on Sunday, after playing, and picking up a small knock, on Thursday. Considering all this, I decided I will go one more week without Kane and hope that he does not do much damage in the north London derby.

And so, since I am fairly happy with my starting eleven for Gameweek 28, I have decided that I will use one of my transfers to improve my team for Blank Gameweek 29 instead. This means Ben Mee (£5.0m) will make way for a Brighton defender. 

The Seagulls have some of the best defensive underlying numbers in the league and they are, arguably, the team with better chances of getting a clean sheet in Blank Gameweek 29, when they have a home match against the toothless Newcastle United.

Looking at their defensive personnel, Lewis Dunk (£4.9m) seems a bit overpriced when compared to the rest of his teammates but let’s look at their attacking threat to try to determine if paying premium for their captain is actually worth it.

The armband is on Fernandes for now but it is possible I will change it to Salah before the deadline. Liverpool put up a nice performance against RB Leipzig and Jurgen Klopp knows they have to start winning to still have a chance at Champions League football in 2021/22. 

At the same time, Wolverhampton’s defence has been a shadow of what it was in past seasons, so it seems like a decent week to take my chances with a differential captain such as the top scorer in the Premier League

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