As usual after an international break, there are various issues to contend with, not the least of which is determining whether the plans I made before the break have been scuppered.
Below I’ve outlined the current state of affairs in my FPL and Fantrax teams in the hopes that what I’m planning may help you strategize your moves for the week. With a hefty double-week coming up, it’s going to be important to pick the right players, since a mistake could be twice as costly.
And of course, if you see trouble in my teams somewhere, please let me know!
My FPL season has been pretty abysmal. Every time I’ve had a 50:50 choice I seem to make the wrong one. I had been looking ahead to this double week to play my bench boost chip, but now I find there are several problems that have cast this plan into doubt.
Even so, it’s a very attractive week to play the chip, so I’m having to weigh whether it could worth it anyway. I still have my wildcard to play as well, so I am slightly insulated against making choices now that could leave me short in the blank weeks to come.
This is how my team looks at the moment, with one free transfer and £9.9 in the bank.
Almiron’s injury had already put a bit of a hole in my plans, and Emerson has been an unmitigated disaster virtually from the moment I added him (injury/benched/injury etc). So those two look ripe for replacement, but I only have one free transfer so dumping both men would cost me a hit.
I’m going to hope that the injuries to Pope and Rashford are not serious, but that’s the least of my problems. Ward now seems to have lost his starting spot, just when I’d really like him to be a viable backup, and if I’m going to play the bench boost chip I can’t leave him in. So that would be a -8 hit. Still, bearing in mind that I’d be replacing the players with double-gamers, that somewhat mitigates the hit.
Of course I have some other concerns - Toney is close to a possible yellow card ban, so he’s a risk and certainly out of my thinking for captaincy. I wish I’d added Havertz instead of Felix — one of those bad 50:50 decisions — and the same goes for March and Mitoma.
My current thinking if I go the bench boost way is to bring in Mitoma for Almiron (although it could be Mac Allister - another 50:50 to get wrong), Chilwell for Emerson, and Kepa for Ward. That still leaves me with no Liverpool, but their double week doesn’t look great anyway. I’d have no City either, but that was deliberate due to their lack of games. I had thought I’d bring in Salah this week - which partly explains my huge cash reserve - but I think Brighton could do better than Liverpool given their fixtures.
I’m torn between March, Mitoma and Maddison for captain; all could be nice differential picks, but carry quite some risk.
In the end one thing seems sure — whatever I do will be wrong.
Fantrax - F11
This is the team I had selected on the barn door:
There are several concerns and I’ll be watching the press conferences carefully. I don’t like what I’m hearing about Fofana’s hamstring injury, even if it is reported as mild. If there’s doubt, I can bring in Souttar from Leicester for almost the same price - and I may well do this. However, Souttar has his own injury doubt to deal with!
My forwards also need careful watching, since both have injury flags. All in all, I’m not really overjoyed with the team, but they do all have doubles which I think is very important. Not having Maddison is worrying me, but if one of my players looks unlikely then I can bring him in as a replacement.
Bowen is another I’m considering. Having made the big decision to drop Haaland last week I need them all to fire - and for Haaland to keep relatively quiet. Still, with Haaland reported as not in training on Thursday I feel slightly more comfortable. It’s going to be a stressful few weeks coming up I think!
My barn-door team here looks like this:
Here, I have 14 double gamers plus Haaland. I also have quite an array of flags to keep an eye on: Fofana, James, Haaland, Havertz and Rashford. I think most of these are likely to play, and I have the same option of bringing in Souttar for either Fofana or James as in F11.
Even if Haaland doesn’t play, in this format I think it’s sensible to keep him at discount for a little longer.
What do you think? Should I play my bench boost chip? Or is the team so bad that I should be wildcarding? Am I right to ignore Liverpool players? Please sign in and let me know in the comments.
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