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EPL GW-23: Rate Our FPL and Fantrax Teams

Two of NMA’s staffers seek your guidance for their GW-23 squads. And feel free to borrow their ideas as well, of course!

Kieran Tierney - Arsenal - Carabao Cup Semifinal Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

GW-23 is a regular week with no double games for any of the EPL clubs (The league has announced that no make-up matches will be scheduled into the break before GW-24). At the moment, no matches have been scratched either (We’re looking at you Burnley!)

Two matches stand out over the rest in terms of difficulty for the teams involved. Chelsea hosts Tottenham in a London derby, and Man United hosts in-form West Ham.

In this article MiQ will layout his plans for FPL, hoping for experienced advice from our readers to help improve his ranking. Meanwhile, David will walk you through his transfers in both of his Fantrax squads, including some January transfers who have already impressed.

Rate their moves, then detail your own!

FPL Position

After an 85-point personal season-best using a free hit chip in DGW-21, life got in the way and I missed the deadline for DGW-22. Even so, my roll-back GW-20 squad still scored 53 points, two better than the league average! Here is how DGW-22 ended up for me:

Since I had picked Diogo Jota as my captain in GW-20, FPL automatically picked him as my captain for DGW-22. The postponement of Burnley vs Leicester did not affect my fantasy team at all. Luckily, Joao Cancelo and Alexander-Arnold came through in defense to make up for Chelsea’s lack of of clean sheets in either of two matches. Bowen continued to rack up points. As my captain in DGW-21, he earned a raw 21 points then doubled to shoot me up through the ranks, from a little about 900,000 to 609,353 overall after DGW-22.

I know that Ederson seems like an expensive keeper, but picking 2 cheaper goalkeepers has never worked for me. The Man City shot-stopper has kept a clean sheet in every match since I picked him up.

My overall points have reached 1275. I’m currently ranked 1150th in Never Manage Alone “BTB”, only 12 points behind 1000th. I still have all my chips except for “Bench Boost”.


FPL GW-23 Plans

With a Friday deadline to GW-23, I have choices to make and little time to make them. Considering Chelsea FC is set to blank in both GW-24 and GW-25 due to the rearranged dates of the Club World Cup tournament, James Reece is the first to go. Defenders that I am currently considering are Kieran Tierney, Emerson Royal and Sergio Reguilon. Considering Tottenham has a difficult fixture this GW, I am leaning towards Tierney.

The second transfer is going to be the injured Hueng-Min Son. Priced at £10.5m, dropping him for a midfielder under £7.0m would allow me to buy Ronaldo in GW-24.

Chelsea defenders Marcos Alonso and Antonio Rudiger may need to remain on my bench in GW-24 and GW-25 if I will be strengthening my attackers. If my plans are successful, then I may be able to replace one in GW-25. So here is how my squad could look this weekend:

My 11 players line-up with this squad would be:

GK: Ederson

Def: Cancelo, Arnold, Tierney

Mid: Bernardo, Jota, Maddison, Bowen, Canos

For: Lacazette, Dennis

Bench from left to right: Rudiger, Alonso, Guaita, Hwang.

It feels right to bench Chelsea defenders against Spurs considering the first choice goalkeeper Mendy is playing in AFCON, and Chelsea hasn’t kept many clean sheets lately.

My plans are not set in stone, so I would appreciate any feedback, especially whom to captain.

Keeping £4.5m in the bank may prove a poor decision, but neither Kane nor Ronaldo may be able to return any points in GW-23. Basically, I will be taking a hit in GW-24 by replacing Ederson with cheaper goalkeeper to be able to bring in either of the attackers mentioned here in place of Dennis.

Fantrax NMA-11

We all knew DGW-22 could be disrupted by COVID, but I leaned into it anyway. This is how it played out:

Postponements ended up ruining the doubles that I anticipated from Kamara, Dennis, Moura, Maddison, and Kane, plus a bruised Ronaldo played only one of United’s two matches. In the end, only Raphael Varane got two bites of the cherry, returning a total of 11.5 points. But despite the fact that they played only one match, I still saw double-digit returns from TAA, Bowen, De Bruyne, Maddison, and Kane.

I ended on 123.5, which sounds pretty solid but was only good enough for 47th place for the game-week. Happily that score did see me creep up to 24th place overall — I’m one place ahead of Chris again (barely)!


NMA-11 GW-23 Transfers

There will be no doubles for GW-23. Although the winter break (GW-24 doesn’t kick off until Feb 8) had seemed ripe for make-up games, the league has announced that it will not reschedule any pending matches into it (which also means that all Afcon players could be back for GW-24 as well).

So with only single-games to consider (so far), I bought $1 new-boys Kieran Trippier and Philippe Coutinho before the barn-door closed. For their relatively high return potential, they’re still dirt cheap. I also brought in Ben Foster for his tasty matchup against hapless Norwich who had failed to score in six straight matches prior to Saturday blip. Fraser Forster, Varane, and Moura were the makeweights. I’m losing patience with Ronaldo, and if I didn’t still hold him at $3.60 I might have jettisoned him too.

That leaves me set up like this at the moment:

Barn-door buying Trippier and Coutinho at $1 apiece freed up some cash, so I still have $7.66 in my bank. I’ll sit tight on that for now, but I’ll be ready to put it to work ahead of the deadline based on team news and the confirmed lineups for the Watford v Norwich game.

Fantrax NMA-17

In DGW-22, I took a similar approach with my bench-league team as I did with my eleven-man team, investing heavily in guys scheduled to play twice. As we know, the planned DGW didn’t exactly play out as hoped:

I got only one game out of Alvaro Fernandez because new-boy Jonas Lossl usurped him for the United match. That didn’t end up hurting me though, since José Sá raked in 25 points in the 3-1 victory over Southampton.

None of my defenders shot out the lights, but I did get respectable returns from all of them. In my midfield, Bowen was solid in West Ham’s single fixture. Dennis, Emerson Royal, and Lucas Moura were all slated for two games, but each played only one, and all were fairly disappointing even in their single outings. And across the front, Josh King and Ronaldo were duds, while Patson Daka was value-for-money and Harry Kane piled up 18.5.

The result was 158.5 points, placing me 17th for the game-week and maintaining my overall rank of 7th.


NMA-17 GW-23 Transfers

I did some barn-door work here too:

Picking up dollar-boys Coutinho, Trippier, and Samir in place of Varane, Luke Thomas, and Moura freed up sufficient funds to splurge on Aaron Ramsdale for his enticing fixture against a Burnley side that has scored just eight goals the 17-game season so far. Dumping Fernandez to make room was made easier by the fact that Lossl may now be a legitimate threat to his status as first-choice (at least while Raya remains unavailable anyway).

I also dumped Emerson Royal for Jack Harrison, whose hattrick on Sunday made it four goals in two games for the Leeds man. This is points-chasing at its worst, since I know full well that this torrid patch is not sustainable. But a price hike was coming and he hosts Newcastle this week, so in he went.

Across the top, I’ll grudgingly hang on to Ronaldo due to the steep discount, and I’ll give King another chance since he plays Norwich. Kane is a keeper at that price, and I’ll hold Daka too since Jamie Vardy remains unavailable and Kelechi Iheanacho remains at Afcon for Nigeria.

The barn-door moves for the $1 men generated a surplus of cash, so I still have $3.58 in the bank — not an insignificant sum in NMA-17. Just as I’m doing in NMA-11, I’ll keep my powder dry for now, but I’m poised to react to team news, schedule changes, and confirmed lineups for the Watford v Norwich match.

What do you think of our teams? Did you get any ideas for GW-23 from reading this piece? Which player from MiQ’s FPL lineup should get the armband? Should he take a hit for a better attacker like Firmino, or should he wait for a better opportunity? What do you think of David’s barn-door moves? Are there more transfers he should make? Please rate our teams, and then share your own plans!