Surely like many other FPL managers out there, I was hoping to hold onto my free transfer in Week 23 in order to have two free transfers available in GW24 for the mini-double featuring Liverpool and West Ham. In Week 22 I added Mo Salah, and in Week 24 my plan was to bring in Sadio Mane alongside him, though I would have to take a -4 hit using three transfers in order to make that complicated addition due to the astronomical price tags of Salah and Mane.
Well, you know the saying about the best laid plans of mice and men. One of my big stars, forward Marcus Rashford, is a serious injury doubt for game-week 23 following two recent situations — he was removed early in the second half in game-week 22 with an injury issue, then after coming on as a sub for Wednesday’s FA Cup fixture he was removed quickly with a balky back — so I changed tactics and dropped Rashford for Roberto Firmino using my free transfer. I will unfortunately miss out on having Mane in my team, but I won’t have to worry about Rashford not playing or barely featuring this weekend as well as Wednesday’s GW24 fixture, plus I won’t have to take a -4 hit.
It’s not just Rashford (recently in 27% of FPL teams but that is dropping quickly). Many stars are stuck in situations that have caused fantasy managers to change course from what they had envisioned as their expected DGW24 tactics. Arsenal sniper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (15%) will miss three games with suspension after making a nasty “ankle-breaker” challenge that miraculously didn’t actually crack his opponent’s leg. Everton midfielder Richarlison (14%) will miss Week 23 with a bum knee. Bournemouth defender Diego Rico (13%) was benched in Week 22 and had only returned a grand total of 1 points in the prior four games for a struggling Cherries’ defense and team. Tottenham talisman Harry Kane (10%) is out injured likely until April.
Not surprisingly, right now Aubameyang and Rashford are the top two transferred out players, as they’ve already been jettisoned by over 750k FPL managers combined this week. This is a time when flexibility and quick thinking will come into play for fantasy purposes. It will be interesting to see how everything shakes out!
- Watford v. Tottenham
- Arsenal v. Sheffield United
- Brighton v. Aston Villa
- Manchester City v. Crystal Palace
- Norwich v. Bournemouth
- Southampton v. Wolves
- West Ham v. Everton
- Newcastle v. Chelsea (late game)
Have you been able to stick with your strategy for DGW24, or did unexpected circumstances cause you to jump into action with a different plan ahead of Week 23? Which games are you watching this weekend? Please join us for the live fun in the comments below!