My team was nominated as the official Fantasy Football First team. My job is to tell you how and why I have picked certain players and formations for the Fantasy Premier League, and explain my reasoning behind any changes along the way. This article explains the changes I have made to my team and why.
How did I do in game week 28?
For game week (GW) 28 I sold Phillips, Pieters, Costa and Sterling and bought Lukaku, Sigy, Lanzini and Coleman for an 8 point hit. I scored 53 points, 45 after my hit, and my rank rose 20K to 62K.
I also won in my H2H’s against retired site writers Jai and Leazes. Unlucky lads.
Game weeks 29 to 32
I am publishing this article early so you can see make my plans for between now and game week 32. However, my plans are not yet fully formed, so some of this article is my “thinking out loud”. I hope this is OK.
The reason why game week 32 is important is because on the double game weeks we want to use a chip like Triple Captain or Bench Boost. Therefore, if you have both of these chips intact then you won’t want to use a wild card in a double game week. If you want to see a schedule of when the double game weeks are likely to happen, check out our helpful guide from last month. To save you time, the double game weeks will be game week 34 and 37.
Arsenal, City and Spurs have qualified to play in the next round of the FA Cup. Because of this, their scheduled game week 34 fixture will need to be moved. The game could be moved to mid-week game week 34, meaning no double game week 34 for these teams, or the fixture could be moved to a different game week. Either way, we have one team with three fixtures to be rescheduled. Arsenal have So’ton (A), Leicester (H) and Sunderland (H) to catch-up on, while if United win tonight, they too will have Man City (A), So’ton (A) and Burnley (A).
Mourinho: "The Europa League can give us a Champions League spot, so the Europa League is more important than the FA Cup for us." #MUFC
— Devils Latest (@Devils_Latest) March 13, 2017
In the past, midweek game week 33 has been used as an emergency “catch up” week. This only works if the team in question is not in the Champions League or the Europa Vase, because midweek 33 is set aside for these fixtures. Arsenal and Spurs are out of these contests, and Chelsea were never in either tournament this season. This means we could see a double game week 33 for Arsenal and Spurs, and perhaps City if they lose to Monaco on Wednesday (unlikely).
So it is because of the possibility of a double game week 33 that I am planning my team to game week 32, with the intention of playing my wild card in game week 32.
To make it easier for you, the game difficulty checker is currently showing the “Fixtures to be rescheduled” in the game week 38 column, and the rest of the table shows what we know out to game week 35. Game week 36 and 37 are intentionally left blank.
If you want to try and plan further than game week 32 at this stage, be my guest. Sky and BT cannot broadcast any game rescheduled for mid-week game week 33, so they will want to avoid having the “audience pulling” fixtures then. For example, Middlesbrough vs Sunderland is a relegation contender and Manchester City vs Manchester United is a local derby. Another factor is if Chelsea win in the FA Cup tonight then Southampton will have to rearrange Arsenal (H), Man Utd (H), Chelsea (A) – ouch. It’s all a bit of a mine-field.
So you now know why I am not planning beyond GW32.
Let’s look at what we do know.
Rooney, Martial and Rashford will all miss tonights' FA Cup tie at Stamford Bridge while Zlatan begins his three-game domestic ban. #MUFC
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) March 13, 2017
- There is an international break between game week 29 and game week 30. Do not be surprised if a load of players report “niggles” and “knocks” this week in order to duck international duty., In particular watch Jose as he is great at finding creative ways for his players to avoid international duty. Indeed, I bet tonight’s “strikerless” formation comment is nod this way.
- Arsenal have a great run of games with West Brom (A), West Ham (H), Palace (A) and Middlesbrough (A) in the next 5. We will want players from Arsenal.
- Chelsea have two good games, but then it goes a bit wrong with Man City (H) and Man Utd (A). Therefore, Hazard is my only Chelsea target until game week 33.
- Everton have three great home games in game weeks 29, 32 and 33, so we need to find a suitable rotation for game weeks 30 and 31. Hull and Leicester are resurgent teams with cheap players who offer the rotation. Watford offer good rotation but seem “off the boil”, while Southampton also offer good rotation and will be looking for points on the board given the rearranged fixtures. Given I have Holebas I’ll look to use him to offer rotation, but hopefully this shortlist helps your plans.
- Liverpool have a great run from game week 31, but Liverpool seem to do well in the big games, so I’ll be holding Mane for Man City (A) and Everton (H).
- Manchester City players should be sold given the fixtures are Liverpool (H), Arsenal (A) and Chelsea (A).
- United have a great set of games, but Zlatan is out. Watch tonight for clues on who to choose.
- Southampton have a nice 3 match run between GW30 and GW32 with Bournemouth (H), Palace (H) and West Brom (A). Gabbiadini makes an excellent punt over these three games, which coincides with Everton’s tough run.
- Spurs have a great set of games, but Kane is out. I’m expecting news on Kane today or tomorrow. Son is an option although Vincent Janssen might be prefered. Carroll of West Ham is an alternative.
- I don’t fancy Stoke with two hard home games and two away games.
- Swansea have a great run with Bournemouth (A), Middlesbrough (H), West Ham (A) and Watford (A) in the next 5. Watford also have a great run, but everyone except Deeney isn’t in-form.
From this, I get a wishlist of
- Alli ASAP, perhaps Son if we hear more
- Gabbiadini GW30 to 32
- Hazard GW29 to 30
- Sanchez in GW29 or GW31
- An Arsenal defender from GW31
- Zlatan from GW31
- Deeney for Defoe when time permits
An expensive wish-list!
Starting with injuries, Kane is out. We do not yet know how long. I was thinking Lukaku to Gabbiadini for game week 30, but I might bring this forward to be Kane to Gabbiadini for game week 29. As for the rest of my “outlist”, Snodgrass and Mirallas are not returning points for me, and McAuley has tough fixtures (although I probably don’t need to rely on him in the coming weeks).
I can do Snodgrass and Mirallas to Tom Carroll of Swansea and Alli, which leaves me £4.3m in the bank to do Lukaku to Zlatan, or Sigy/Lanzini to Sanchez/Hazard. I hope this has explained my thinking.
To confirm, I have not made any transfers yet. I am waiting to find out more about Kane’s injury. If Kane is injured and out for longer than 3 games weeks – which is four weeks away because of the international break – then I will one of these plans:
- GW29: Kane to Gabbiadini and Snodgrass to Hazard for a four point hit
- GW29: Kane to Gabbiadini and Snodgrass to Alli for a four point hit
- GW29: Kane to Gabbiadini
… followed by …
- GW30: Mirallas to Tom Carroll
- GW31: Lukau to Zlatan
- GW32: Probably Wild Card
… and if Kane is expected back in the next 3 weeks, well I’m not sure!
People asking me when new dates for postponed fixtures will be announced:
Last year, 9 of 10 were announced on the Tues after FA Cup QFs.
— Ben Crellin (@BenCrellin) March 13, 2017
I won’t be pulling the trigger on any transfers until we know more about the Kane situation. However, feel free to tell me your plans so we can all help each other, and let’s reconvene on here after tonight’s game when we know a little more.