Fantasy Premier League 2017/18 - Site team for game week 12
After 11 game weeks, my overall rank is 603, with a total score of 696. Careful statistical analysis of players, planning ahead based on fixture difficulty, and maintaining the right balance go a long way in landing a good Fantasy Premier League rank.
My job will be to tell you which players and formations I am opting for and why, and to explain my short-term as well as long-term strategies.
Game week 11 review
Between the sticks, Burnley’s Pope weaved magic again as he picked up 8 points. This is his fifth game in seven where he’s received bonus points, and with an ownership of a lowly 2.2%, he’s turning out to be a great differential!
Elliot gave just 3 points thanks to a last-minute winner by Cook from Bournemouth, justifying my decision to play Pope ahead of Elliot.
My defence was a bit underwhelming this week after having a fantastic outing last weekend. Alonso gave me a much-welcomed clean sheet against the threatening Manchester United. However, I need more attacking returns and bonus points out of him to justify his hefty price tag of 6.9 million.
Naughton picked up a mere 2 points as Swansea lost at home yet again. Swansea seem to be struggling, and I think I may have to move Naughton out soon. He is now on my out-list! At the very last minute, I decided to play Simpson ahead of Ward, because Leicester have been shaping up well defensively over the last few games.
Also, having both Pope and Ward in an away game seemed too risky. To say that I was gutted with this choice, is an understatement, with Ward delivering 6 points as opposed to Simpson’s 1. Well, it’s all part and parcel of the game.
Leicester have some tricky fixtures coming up now (Man City and Spurs in the next 3), leading to Simpson joining Naughton on my out-list. On my bench, Wimmer delivered just the one point, as expected.
However, I am happy that he is starting every game now, and at 4.4, offers a reasonable way into a sometimes stingy Stoke defence. He may lose his starting spot once Cameron is fit again, but I have other concerns right now, and so I’ll worry about Wimmer later.
My midfield had a good week. The decision to bench Ward may have been a blunder, but I made up for it by deciding to bench the dangerous Zaha. But boy, did I almost pay. Zaha missed an absolute sitter by shooting wide in front of a literally open goal. He gave just 2 points, but it could easily have been 10.
He looked dangerous as always, and will do well in their upcoming run of good fixtures, where they do not play any top 6 teams! If you do not have him on your team yet, he is definitely one to look out for.
Crystal Palace's upcoming fixtures – EVE(H), STO(H), BRI(A), WBA(A), BOU(H), WAT(H), LEI(A), SWA(A)
Salah got his highest returns of the season, with an impressive 15 points. He has been as a major goal threat, with shots from inside the box second to only Kane and Lukaku! He is going to be on my team for the long run. With Liverpool’s sweet run of fixtures, I think he is a must have right now. He could be a good captaincy pick as well.
Choupo-Moting got me 5 points – something he has done thrice in a row at home now. Choupo seems to be inconsequential away, and a threat at home. Though he has not been as much of a threat as Gro? overall, I have other fires to put out in my defence at the moment, and his transfer can wait.
I think I’m going to bench him when he plays away and have him in my starting XI when he’s at home.
Sterling got me a respectable 5 points, but I’m disappointed as it should have been 15. He missed an easy tap-in, and an easy opportunity to assist Sane. With City’s rotation risk, I think it’s time for me to consider letting him go. He is on my out-list as well.
Richarlison is turning out to be better than theJosh King of last season. He scored yet again, and should have had the assist for the penalty if only Cleverley had not lost his bearings. He isn’t going anywhere from my team anytime soon!
Up front, I decided to give Joselu one last chance to impress against Bournemouth at home, but he blanked yet again. He plays only 60ish minutes every week, with Ayoze/Gayle taking his place every single game. He is definitely on my out list, with attractive options like Tammy Abraham and Glen Murray available at a similar price.
Kane was my biggest disappointment of the week, as I’m sure he was for a lot of you, with over 1.4 million managers deciding to trust him with the armband! We can’t be blamed of course, it was the hapless Crystal Palace on the road at Wembley.
Palace had an absolutely wonderful outing, forming a strategy that could be used as a blueprint by other managers to learn how to stop Spurs from threatening. They were extremely organized and narrow at the back (Scott Dann anyone?), and used the pace offered by Zaha and Townsend to threaten on the counter.
Coming back to Kane, he is still a threat, as always, and will go out of my team if and only when injured.
Aguero gave me 8 points, shipping in 2 bonus points in addition to his goal. He had a few good chances to increase his goal tally as well. He is a rotation risk of course, but I think I’m going to hold on to him for now. An Aguero explosion seems to be incoming, as he always a regular threat when he plays.
Transfers for game week 12
So, on my out list now, are Simpson, Naughton, Sterling and Joselu. Having rolled over my free transfer last week, I have 2 free transfers for this week, with 1.3M in the bank. Alonso and Ward face Liverpool and Arsenal respectively in GW13, and Stoke play Liverpool and Spurs in their next 5.
I need to field 3 defenders every week, owing to which, I’ve decided to ship Simpson and Naughton out for now to bolster my defence. Sterling and Joselu can wait for next week.
I narrowed my replacement options to 4 options:
1. Phil Jones – United have kept 8 clean sheets in 11. Jones has conceded just 3 goals in the 895 minutes that he has been on the pitch. He has been awarded an incredible 8 bonus points so far – as much as Lukaku! He is an absolute must-have in my opinion, and looks most likely to replace Simpson in my team.
2. Charlie Daniels – Bournemouth looked very organized in their 1-0 away win at Newcastle.
Bournemouth have the best fixtures in the league over the next five, and I can see them keeping a clean sheet in 2 or 3 of them. Add to that, the threat Charlie Daniels brings into the team with 11 chances created this season, and his price of 4.8 million, and he is a no-brainer as well.
Bournemouth's upcoming fixtures – HUD(H), SWA(A), BUR(H), SOU(H), CRY(A)
3. Jan Vertonghen – Spurs have a run of 5 good fixtures after Arsenal. It’s safe to say that Spurs have one of the best defensive setups in the league. With Davies, Trippier, Aurier and Rose subject to excessive rotation, it is safer to go with the centre-backs – Vertonghen and Alderweireld. I am inclining towards Vertonghen as he is more likely to bag bonus points.
4. Alberto Moreno – Liverpool have an excellent set of fixtures as well, barring the game against Chelsea. Moreno offers a lot with a price of a measly 4.5 million. He is always an attacking threat, and could offer big points in the coming weeks.
Liverpool's upcoming fixtures – SOU(H), CHE(H), STO(A), BRI(A), EVE(H), WBA(H), BOU(A)
Thought I’d love to have Jones and Vertonghen, I, unfortunately, do not have enough funds for the same. Jones is a no-brainer for me and he comes in for Simpson. Naughton’s spot is a choice between Daniels and Moreno.
I do not trust the Liverpool defence yet, and so have decided to ship in Daniels for Naughton. I made my Jones transfer already, as his price was on the rise. I’m holding off the Daniels transfer for any last-minute injury concerns.
This is how my team is shaping up for next week: