Damn the torpedoes, it is done! After just three game weeks, I pulled the trigger on my Wildcard chip and hit the reboot button on my Fantasy Premier League team. Smart? Dumb? Let me take you through my season so far, and then you can decide.
I opened the season with this starting 11 and bench:
Although it hurt to leave Richarlison’s 14 points and Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s 12 stranded on the bench, that GW 1 squad earned me 66 points, and I was mostly satisfied with the way it positioned me for GW 2. Consequently, I limited my moves to my one free transfer to drop Tom Cairney for James Maddison. That left me with this:
Once again I should have played Alisson instead of David De Gea, but the little tweak of picking up Madisson for Cairney turned out well, as Madisson scored a goal and returned 9 points. And I dodged Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s red card by leaving him on my bench. But clearly my best GW 2 decision was to captain Sergio Aguero, who put up a hat trick against Huddersfield. Consequently I finished on 85 points — a very good week.
Nevertheless, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I could be missing some key players that might be crucial for success. For instance, although I had Liverpool coverage through Firmino, it was Sadio Mané and Mo Salah who were lighting it up. And although I held César Azpilicueta, it seemed like Marcos Alonso was quickly establishing himself as not only the better Chelsea option, but perhaps the best defensive option in the whole game. But I decided to sit tight and give things one more week. So my only move ahead of GW 3 was to switch out Christian Eriksen for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, because of the Armenian’s more favorable matchup. That left me with this heading into GW 3:
I got my keeper choice right this time, but otherwise GW 3 turned out to be pretty much a debacle. Nine of my eleven starters finished with 5 points or less. Richarlison picked up a 3-game suspension for head-butting an opponent and finished on -2. Azpilicueta returned just 2 points while Alonso hit double-digits for the third week in a row. And Firmino again failed to score, while Salah netted his second to pull within one goal of the red-hot Mané.
That was all I needed to push me into an overhaul. Wildcard activated:
In came Alonso, Salah, and Eden Hazard, and out went Firmino, Azpilicueta, and the suspended Richarlison. Cash to enable those core transactions was made available by trading out David De Gea, Virgil Van Dijk, James Madisson, Luka Milivojevic, Cenk Tosun, and Cédric Soares. In their places I brought in Wayne Hennessey, Ryan Bennet, José Holebas, Will Hughes, Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Callum Wilson. In all, nine of my fifteen players were exchanged, and I was left with £0.4 in the bank.
Alonso seems like an essential asset in FPL, and the ability to put a captain’s armband on Salah makes his high price worth it. Hennessey has a sweet run of fixtures over the next 6 weeks and should be a good option if I decide to bench Alisson for his upcoming matches against Tottenham, Chelsea, and Manchester City. Mitrovic and Wilson are among the top three forwards in FPL and have fixtures that pair the two nicely over the next several weeks. I’m not fully convinced by Hazard (or Chelsea) yet, but for now he’s a long-term play that I locked in before his price rose from this weekend’s performance. The other players I brought in are solid performers whose low prices made my marquee transfers possible.
So there, laid bare for your critique, is the evolution of the thought process behind my decision to activate my Wildcard. Have I been decisive and wise, or rash and impetuous? Have I shown the courage to take necessary action, or have I let impatience push me into prematurely wasting a precious resource? Time will ultimately tell, but for now you get to be the judge. Vote in the poll, and then rate my team in the comments below. And by the way, I’ll be listening intently — my Wildcard is active for the rest of the week!
My use of the Wildcard this week was:
This poll is closed
a good move
a bad move