Premier League game-week 9 was a wild one, with almost half of the week’s matches featuring five or more goals and only three clubs keeping clean sheets.
Despite all the offensive fireworks, my returns were hit and miss. Here’s a quick review of my GW-9 performances, as well as my transfer plans for GW-10.
Let me know what you think.
Here’s how GW-9 worked out for me:
Sadly, I got ones and twos from more than half of the players in my final S-11. Worse, no-shows from defenders Vladimir Coufal and Shane Duffy meant that instead of midfielder Saïd Benrahma’s three points coming in from my bench, I had to eat a negative point from Brandon Williams (whose role in my squad is supposed to be that of non-playing enabler).
Fortunately, Michail Antonio continued his run of good performances, and Trent Alexander-Arnold also came through for me. But my saving grace was the mighty Mo Salah. The Egyptian is in the form of his life, and against Manchester United he registered a hattrick, an assist, a clean sheet, and three FPL bonus points. When doubled by my armband, his returns exceeded the combined points of all of the other 14 men in my squad.
Here’s where the week left me:
Coufal has produced just one assist and one clean sheet all season, and from a defensive standpoint West Ham’s upcoming fixtures are among the league’s worst. Therefore my first move after GW-9 ended was to do something I should have done a while ago: I dropped Coufal for Tino Livramento.
To avoid getting burned by late-breaking injury news I usually wait until closer to the deadline to make transfers, but I made this one immediately. And I’m glad I did: Tino’s price jumped the very next day.
Livramento’s purchase burned my only free transfer, so for now that’s the only move I’ve made. Barring further changes, I plan to line up for GW-10 like this:
As you can see, Ryan Mbuemo, Ben White, and Raphinha all have yellow flags. But White is merely suffering from a bug, and Marcelo Bielsa believes Raphinha will be fit to play this weekend. Mbuemo is dealing with a hamstring issue, which is obviously more concerning. Nevertheless Thomas Frank believes the issue is minor and that the player could be ready to feature by Saturday.
Regardless, Benrahma has a decent chance for returns against Aston Villa, and Duffy is likely to play this week since Dan Burn has been ruled out. So if my bench does have to be drafted into service, things should work out better than they did last week. That said, Duffy (and also Sanchez!) faces Liverpool, so I’m more than a little concerned about a potential thumping by the Reds.
As a last resort I still have all my chips available, so if updated team news for Mbuemo, White, and Raphinha isn’t encouraging, or if new injuries pop up elsewhere in my squad, then I still have the safety of a Wildcard to overhaul my squad without taking hits.
Here’s how GW-9 panned out for me in the 11-man NMA mini-league:
I knew David De Gea would have his hands full against Liverpool, but I did not foresee the 0-5 thrashing that walked my score backwards by 10 points. Ronaldo blanked, Jamaal Lascelles disappointed, Kevin de Bruyne made only a late cameo, and Kai Havertz failed to seize the opportunity to shine in the absence of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner.
But here again I was saved by TAA and Salah, along with Phil Foden’s huge 33.5 point haul. Those three men accounted for 93.5 of my 115 points for GW-10, a total that placed me 24th for the week and 13th overall.
I made four moves on the barn door. Manchester United seems a shambles, and the Red Devils’ upcoming fixtures aren’t very pretty. Therefore I dumped DDG for Jose Sá, whose matchups are much better. Honestly, if I didn’t hold Ronaldo at $3.60 I’d probably bin him too.
I also dropped Lascelles for Ozan Kabak. Kabak is cheaper than Lascelles but has been punching above his price, and Norwich’s run of fixtures looks good for weeks (for whatever that’s worth). Kai Havertz is now dead to me (cue the GW-10 hattrick), so in his place I brought in Mason Mount. And I’ve decided I just can’t trust KDB’s security of starts in a platform without bench cover, so I replaced him with Raúl Jiménez.
Here’s the NMA-11 team I plan to field for GW-10:
Here are my GW-9 results in the 17-man NMA mini-league:
Ben Chilwell kept Marcos Alonso on the bench yet again, and as I mentioned previously, Jamaal Lascelles also came up short. My midfield was largely a disappointment, and two of my forwards blanked, with Ronaldo’s unexpected zero adding to the one I knew I would absorb for holding Lukaku through his confirmed injury absence.
But double-digit returns from TAA, VVD, and Callum Hudson-Odoi, along with Salah’s 39-point bonanza, turned what would have been a near-disaster into a week that was instead just mediocre. My 125 points was 32nd among the league’s 95 teams, positioning me in 11th place overall:
As I did with my NMA-11 team, I made some fairly substantial changes to my NMA-17 team on the barn door.
I think Ben Chilwell is now Thomas Tuchel’s favored left wingback, so I decided to let Marcos Alonso go. I filled his slot with Tariq Lamptey, who is dirt cheap and closing in on full match fitness. I may be a week or two early, but he’s already seeing minutes and earning points. I’m happy to buy now and hold. And as I did in NMA-11, I binned Jamaal Lascelles for Ozan Kabak here too.
In my midfield I dropped Allan Saint-Maximin and Andros Townsend, bringing in Phil Foden and Mason Mount to fill their places.
Finally, I brought in Alex McCarthy as a second goalkeeper. I’ll now get to play best-ball at that position, rather than having to rely solely on the Portuguese shot-stopper.
I left my forward line alone. Keeping Salah is an obvious no-brainer (no offense Ken), and I hold the other three men at discounts that are so deep that I don’t think there’s anything better I could do with the money.
Here’s my NMA-17 lineup for GW-10:
What do you think of my sales and purchases ahead of GW-10? How do my squads look to you? Please rate my teams, and then share your plans in the Comments!