After the dust settled on FPL’s double game-week 19, this is how I came out:
I’m pretty happy with that performance. After playing my Free Hit chip to field a temporary team for GW-18, I made a double transfer for GW-19, dropping Mohamed Salah and Ollie Watkins from my GW-17 squad to bring in Michail Antonio and Kevin De Bruyne.
Those moves paid off, even though I paid a four-point penalty to execute them. Captain KDB earned 8 x 2, and Antonio raked in 18 (congrats to anyone who captained him). That’s 30 together after the deduction for the paid transfer, 18 better than the 12 that Salah and Watkins would have earned.
This is where I currently stand:
In the NMA BTB league I sit in 348th place, and I defeated my FPL Cup opponent to advance to Round Four. As I said, I’m pretty happy with my week.
But a glance at the screenshot of my GW-19 team makes it immediately clear that I now have multiple problems: Jamie Vardy and Kevin De Bruyne are both flagged red. Vardy has undergone hernia surgery with an optimistic recovery time of “a few weeks” — and with the schedule compressed by Covid, that could translate into even more game-weeks. KDB will be similarly sidelined for at least a month with a hamstring injury. These two heavy-hitters are too expensive to leave on my bench, so I am swallowing another -4 penalty to effect another double transfer.
For KDB I brought in Ilkay Gundogan (rhymes with Padawan). The German is in the midst of a purple patch, scoring four goals and 41 FPL points in his last five games. De Bruyne’s absence further increases Gundo’s surety of starts, and he seems to have picked up PK duty too. At £5.5 he’s an amazing bargain right now.
Harry Kane is my Vardy replacement. Although his upcoming fixtures are not the best, he has scored in each of his last three, piling up 29 points over that stretch. And despite the fact that he is FPL’s overall top-earner, he is still cheaper than Bruno Fernandes, Mohamed Salah, Kevin De Bruyne, Sadio Mané or Raheem Sterling.
Those two trades leave me with £5.7 in the bank, enough to look forward to upgrading James Ward-Prowse to the likes of Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford or James Maddison come GW-21. In the longer term, that will probably also make a future upgrade to a recovered KDB possible; I’m only £0.1 short now, and an injury-driven mass exodus should depress his price.
Here’s how I have my GW-20 team lined up at the moment:
My only point of indecision is whether to swap in Andrew Robertson, benching James Justin. I just don’t like the idea of having one of my forwards facing one of my defenders. And frankly, I’m reluctant to trust a Liverpool side that is winless in its last five, even if they’ve only allowed three goals over that span. Which of these two defenders do you think I should start?
For that matter, what do you think of my team as a whole? Which of my 15 would you start? Has your squad been affected by the injuries to Vardy and KDB? If so, how will you respond? If not, what other transfers are you considering? Please tell me what you think of my team in the comments, and then share your plans for your team too!