Blank GW29: Team Reveal

How did I fare in GW28?


A trio of double-digit hauls from defence helped climb me back into the top 1,000 in GW28, as John Stones, Joao Cancelo and Lewis Dunk majorly contributed to my 60-point total. With a Wildcard pencilled in for GW31, and a rather strong team ahead of GW29, I’m hoping to sustain my current rank of 636 by the end of the season, which would undoubtedly be an incredible achievement.


Elsewhere, the rest of my team failed to live up to expectations, especially Captain Kane, who couldn’t find the back of the net in the North London Derby.


Lewis Dunk was the hero of the gameweek, scoring a bullet header against Southampton (as I actually predicted on the Seagulls Unrestricted podcast this week!).


Gundogan fell to Pep's roulette in GW28 but it didn't matter too much, as Raphinha came on for 3 points - I even managed to get Raphinha and Bamford the right way round on my bench, which was a tricky decision before the deadline.



Bad luck:

- Opting for a 4-4-2 this week, I was relying on the Aston Villa defence double-up with Martinez and Konsa. You can imagine my frustration when the pair conceded just 20 seconds before the end of the game. Had they held on to the lead, I’d have gained returns from all five of my defenders!


- Kane was so close to a goal against Arsenal, both scoring a disallowed goal and hitting the post in injury time. Moreover, the unprecedented Son injury lessened Spurs’ creativity and he received little service throughout the game as a result.


Good luck:

- Despite the heartache at the other end, Ollie Watkins assisted nothing short of a fluke, in my opinion. He definitely has suffered since the injury to Jack Grealish and I was mighty fortunate to gain any more than the standard 2 points in that game.


Bad judgement:

- I don’t feel I made any glaring errors leading into GW28, but perhaps my captaincy choice was questionable. I went for Harry Kane because of form, and perhaps overlooked the challenging nature of the fixture. In hindsight, as most (if not all) premium options were undesirable captains heading into GW28, it may have been the right time to roll the dice on a defender – especially as John Stones and Joao Cancelo missed out in City’s last league fixture.


Good judgement:

- I’ve watched a lot of Brighton this year and I was delighted to be instantly rewarded with a Dunk header against Southampton. Dunk looks like Brighton’s best finisher at the moment and he’s always good for 4 or 5 goals per season. I have only gained 1 point from the deal (as Luke Shaw scored 9) but I now have an extra player heading into blank GW29.


- Careful planning ahead as been an important factor for me this season, and once again, I feel I’ve been rewarded. From listening to various podcasts and following certain FPL Twitter accounts, I’m hearing the majority of managers are likely to field 8 or 9 players in blank GW29. If Son and Bamford are both passed fit, I can use my two free transfers to get 11 players.



What would be my Free Hit team for GW29?



Plenty of FPL managers will consider using the Free Hit this week. I’ve made a Free Hit draft below with a few comments explaining my decisions. Of course, my team value may vary from yours, but I imagine you’ll be able to afford any team this week, regardless of price!


GK:


Robert Sanchez: Brighton boast the best defensive numbers of teams playing in GW29. A double-up in defence is the way I would go.


DEF:


Aaron Cresswell: Although Arsenal are tricky opponents, West Ham have been defensively sound all year and Cresswell offers excellent assist potential. He’s the highest scoring defender this year for a reason.


Lewis Dunk: Brighton’s best FPL defender, offering great goal threat from set-pieces. I like Veltman too, but I fear he may be shunted back into the back 3 in the absence of Dan Burn.


Sergio Reguilon: Aston Villa have been blunt in attack without Grealish and with Son likely to miss out, the left back could be given greater licence to get forward.


MID:


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: I actually fancy West Ham ahead of this game, but in a Free Hit team, you have to chase the upside. On penalties and fully rested after missing out last time, Aubameyang is the most likely asset to fire for the Gunners.


Raphinha: Every part of Leeds attack goes through the Brazilian. Raphinha is joint second for xPts and xA in the last 3 gameweeks.


Gareth Bale: Rested in the Europa League on Thursday, Bale looks a shoo-in to start against Villa at the weekend. Although he’s statistically worse in away games, he’s worth a punt on a Free Hit, I think.


Jesse Lingard: I’ve finally bought into the Lingard renaissance and he’s arguably become West Ham’s best FPL option in attack, ahead of Antonio. The Irons looked unconvincing without Lingard against Manchester United, so he’s likely to be central to David Moyes’ gameplan.


Jack Grealish: On a Free Hit, with autosub insurance ready to cover, I’d take a punt on Jack Grealish starting. His inclusion in Villa’s side could reinvigorate their attack – he’s certainly capable of hauling. If he fails to feature, an autosub will cover.


ATT:


Harry Kane ©: Despite his blank in the North London Derby, Kane is the most reliable asset playing this week and will be captained by the majority of FPL managers. Simply put, he’s the most likely to score once or twice this gameweek.


Josh Maja: Part of the fun of the Free Hit is finding an explosive differential, and Josh Maja could fit that mould perfectly. Due to their expansive style, Leeds have been leaky at times and could gift Maja a couple of golden opportunities.


BENCH: Alphonse Areola, Patrick Bamford, Stuart Dallas, Kieran Tierney



What are my plans for GW29?


With my Wildcard pencilled in for GW31, I’m happy to make a couple of short-term transfers this week. I certainly won’t be taking any hits – for a hit to pay off, the player would have to return in either GW29 or GW30.


Pep Guardiola’s monstrous rotation has made me reconsider the value of triple City (at least before GW31), so I am happy to lose two of Stones, Cancelo and Gundogan.


Although West Ham vs. Arsenal is likely to be a tight game, I’ve been impressed with West Ham and can see them edging a narrow win. Arsenal played on Thursday in the Europa League, whilst Moyes’ men are fully rested.


Therefore, Aaron Cresswell and Jesse Lingard are at the top of my shopping list, with Joao Cancelo and Ilkay Gundogan making way. The only concern is that the transfers would leave me absolutely nothing in the bank, so I’ll be crossing my fingers there are no prices changes ahead of tomorrow. I may even be inclined to make the moves early ahead of the Friday’s press conferences.


The captain’s armband is firmly on Harry Kane. I’m not going to overthink this one.


Probable GW29 Team: Martinez (TOT), Konsa (TOT), Dallas (FUL), Dunk (NEW), Cresswell (ARS), Raphinha (FUL), Lingard (ARS), Son (AVL)*, Kane (AVL), Watkins (TOT), Bamford (FUL)*


*Yellow flagged in FPL (I think Bamford will likely play and Son will unfortunately miss out)


Good luck everyone!

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