Double Gameweek 27: Team Reveal

How did I fare in GW26?

If I only consider my rank rise this week, GW26 has to be viewed as a success: thanks to my team’s 109 points total, I rose from 2,673 to 927 in the overall rankings. Of course, I am delighted to be positioned inside the top 1,000 in the world, but GW26 has once again left me pondering what might have been.

My captain, Harry Kane, uncharacteristically misfired in both his games versus Burnley and Fulham, Watkins hit the post against Sheffield United and Heung-Min Son would have been awarded an assist were Dele Alli able to direct his shot on target.

The clear disappointment of the gameweek was the Bench Boost chip, which only contributed 10 points to my score. Pope, Bamford, Raphinha and Dallas all blanked in their respective fixtures, despite their impressive form heading into the week. Ultimately, with a Free Hit, Triple Captain and Bench Boost fail this season, I’ve learned to use the chips more freely next season and lower my expectations. Next season, I’ll happily play my Bench Boost in a single gameweek and throw my Triple Captain on a differential to try and chase rank.

Bad luck:

- In general, the second half of the gameweek went against me significantly. Despite fielding 12 players with two fixtures, only Ilkay Gundogan and Luke Shaw returned more than appearance points in their second game.

- The Bench Boost failing was unfortunate in my opinion, considering the supreme attacking output of Leeds in recent weeks. Those who used the Bench Boost chip in double GW19 will feel it’s honours even, as most managers activated the chip with triple Leeds that week too.

Good luck:

- I felt nervous heading into GW26 without Dominic Calvert-Lewin or Harvey Barnes, so I consider it rather fortunate that both blanked and underperformed. Were my team structured differently, I would have made moves for DCL and Barnes.

Bad judgement:

- I was spared from benching headaches this week and my captain (Kane) outscored the likes of Mohamed Salah and Bruno Fernandes, so it’s hard to find fault with my decision making. Perhaps, in hindsight, I should have paid far less attention to the Bench Boost and concentrated on my first eleven more during GW22 and GW26, but it’s hard to be too critical.

Good judgement:

- Not taking a hit this week was the right decision, especially as most assets underperformed. Harry Kane proved a solid captain choice alongside his competitors, and, in truth, should have received more. Although my single-use chips are now dead and buried, I’m in the top 1,000 places overall with a Wildcard in the back pocket, which has me in a strong position to tackle the final quarter of the season.

Watchlist: Have my plans changed for blank GW29?

In short, no. GW29 is likely to go down in FPL history as the most uninspiring gameweek ever, so I’m not keen on ripping apart my team just to field 11 players. As it stands, I could get to a full team in GW29 without taking a hit, but only if I transferred in players from West Ham, Arsenal, Brighton, Newcastle, Fulham and Spurs between now and then.

I’m not fully sold on this strategy, as it’s important to value GW27 and GW28 as well. I already own triple Leeds, triple Villa and double Spurs, which gives me 8 players already.

Below is my personal watchlist, separating those who play in GW29 and those who blank. Please bear in mind that any player currently in my team is not on the watchlist, for obvious reasons!

GW29 players:

Top Targets:

Gareth Bale: Owning both Son and Kane already, I’m well covered for Spurs attackers, but with Crystal Palace, Arsenal and Aston Villa in their next three, I may be tempted to triple up. Bale demonstrated his FPL potential against Burnley with a 19-point haul, and if he continues to get minutes on a regular basis, he could be a desirable differential.

West Ham attacker (Michail Antonio, Jesse Lingard): Both Lingard and Antonio spearhead the Hammers attack and are in red hot form (particularly Lingard). There is plenty of potential for points with Leeds up next, and Arsenal, who they face in GW29, can prove leaky on their day. One factor to consider is that Lingard won’t be eligible to face Man Utd in GW28, so I’d need to find cover for him if I do decide to buy into the JLingz renaissance.

Brighton defender (Lewis Dunk, Ben White): Brighton continue to post elite numbers both defensively and offensively, despite their inability to live up to them. In the short term however, I like Brighton’s fixtures: they play a depleted Leicester in GW27, a struggling Southampton in GW28, and an impotent Newcastle in GW29 – arguably the best fixture in the blank gameweek for defenders. Lewis Dunk offers great goal threat, but Ben White may be easy to find room for at his value.

Possible Targets:

West Ham defender (Vladimir Coufal, Craig Dawson): Moyes has West Ham organised and they look secure in their formation defensively. Coufal offers better assist potential, but for a shade cheaper Craig Dawson offers the same clean sheet returns and looks a threat from set-pieces. However, with Leeds, Man Utd and Arsenal in their next three, they face teams capable of scoring goals.

Arsenal attacker (Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, Bukayo Saka): Arsenal seem to have turned a corner recently, and with Burnley, Spurs and West Ham in their next three, they have okay fixtures. However, Arteta seems to be targeting the Europa League now and has begun resting players more frequently, which puts me off their assets somewhat. If I’m to bring in an Arsenal player at all, it is likely to be just ahead of the GW29 deadline for a one-week punt.

GW29 blankers:

Top targets:

Kevin De Bruyne (or possibly Raheem Sterling): As an owner of triple Man City already, I would be forced into a two-transfer switch to bring in an extra midfielder, which would likely see John Stones make way. Right now, everything to do with Manchester City centres around security of starts, which is something Kevin De Bruyne (and Raheem Sterling to a slightly lesser extent) have demonstrated under Pep for the last two seasons. For me, if he definitely plays twice, KDB is the best captaincy option this week, which tempts me to make the move, but he played 180 minutes across double GW26 and is likely to be rested at some point before their second leg UCL tie with Borussia Monchengladbach.

Antonio Rudiger: Chelsea have looked solid defensively so far under Tuchel, and Rudiger hasn’t missed a minute so far in the new reign. At £4.6m, he’s a bargain buy, facing Everton, Leeds, West Brom, Palace and Brighton in his next five fixtures. He is certainly someone I am considering, if I’m happy to accept a blank in GW29.

Possible targets:

Everton defender (Lucas Digne, Michael Keane): As I’m already fairly content with my forwards, I’m more interested in Everton defenders rather than attackers. With a possible double gameweek looming in GW28 (by no means confirmed yet!), I have my eye on both Digne and Keane, who each impressed during the double gameweek. Whilst Digne is clearly the more dangerous option in attacking areas, Keane has looked a menace from set pieces, and could be an easy way into Everton's defence at only £5.1m.

Jota: It may be too early to tell right now, but Jota being back is exciting for FPL. Valued at only £6.6m, Jota raked in the points before his injury and still has the skillset to make a mockery of his price. However, he has returned to a very different Liverpool now, who are struggling to score goals. For me, I’m putting this down as a ‘wait and see’, considering Liverpool have arguably the best run-in at the end of the season.

What are my plans for double GW27?

As it stands, I have three options I am considering ahead of tomorrow.

1. Bring in Kevin De Bruyne and Ben White for Bruno Fernandes and John Stones (-4)

2. Bring in Gareth Bale for Bruno Fernandes

3. Bank a transfer

Despite his legendary status in FPL, Bruno Fernandes faces Manchester City in GW27, West Ham in GW28 and a blank in GW29, which will undoubtedly limit his output. Although it’s risky, it feels the opportune moment to gamble on another midfielder outperforming Bruno during this spell, with the safety of bringing him back in on my Wildcard in GW30 or GW31.

If I was certain KDB would play against Man Utd and Southampton, I would complete the transfer in a heartbeat. However, there’s no assurance the Belgian will feature in both games, which has me majorly questioning the decision, especially for a hit.

Likewise, with Gareth Bale, it’s hard to predict whether Mourinho will keep faith in Bale. The Welshman left the field on 67 minutes against Fulham, but I’m unsure whether Mourinho pulled him for a rest or because he was dissatisfied with the performance.

The safest move of the week would be banking a transfer, and playing Bruno Fernandes against Manchester City, in the hope he gains some sort of return. Nevertheless, as I’m fully expecting a blank, it seems like a pessimistic move, especially with West Ham and a blank in his next two gameweeks after the Manchester derby.

I’m fairly confident this decision will go down to the wire!

Gundogan is currently listed as my captain. After his benching against Wolves, I feel the German is most likely to feature against both Man Utd and Southampton.

Likely team GW27: Martinez (WOL), Dallas (WHU), Stones (MUN, SOU), Cancelo (MUN, SOU), Salah (FUL), Fernandes (MCI), Gundogan © (MUN, SOU), Raphinha (WHU), Son (CRY), Bamford (WHU), Kane (CRY)

Bench: Watkins (WOL), Konsa (WOL), Shaw (MCI)

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