FPL Gameweek 16: Team Reveal

How did I fare in GW15?

My FPL team managed 60 points in GW15, which should increase my overall rank to 3,999 this evening (according to livefpl.net). Despite a captaincy blank from Mo Salah and below-par returns from De Bruyne, Robertson and Grealish, my supporting cast of Fernandes, Bamford, Dallas, Watkins and Martinez produced a welcomed green arrow.

I noticed this week that players are starting to look tired during the congested period, so I'm going to start considering the breaks between games a little more, especially when it comes to my captaincy decisions.

And with such a short turnaround before GW16, I’m probably going to keep things simple this week, but I may take a hit to help prepare for the all-important double GW19.

Bad Luck:

- Despite his promising performance and 11-point return, Watkins was incredibly unlucky not to haul once again. It’s hard to grumble with 3 assists, but it still feels like points lost rather than points gained.

Good Luck:

- I was not expecting Bamford to overleap Klich as the first-choice penalty taker at Leeds, so his goal from the spot was a fortunate contribution to my score this week. According to Bamford in his post-match interview, he’ll now be on penalties until he misses one, which is excellent news.

- Reece James started alongside Ben Chilwell for Chelsea this week, which took most of the footballing world by surprise. Although there’s no guarantee James will play twice in GW19, it’s the first step on his way to a full recovery.

Bad judgement:

- Taking out Chilwell, in hindsight, was a poor decision. I should have just swapped Lamptey for Coufal and gone with a back three of Coufal, Robertson and Dallas, but it was difficult to know how the team would fair with no bench. Although it’s frustrating, I’ve still got 5 double gameweek defenders ready for GW19 and I’ve saved a little extra money in the bank – it may just mean an extra hit further down the line.

Good judgement:

- Staying patient with Watkins saved me 11 points this week. Lots of FPL managers were forcing him out but the decision to give him one more week proved fruitful. He may even survive this week now too.

How am I looking for GW18 and GW19?

As I’ve mentioned before, my plan is to use my Free Hit chip in GW18 to enable a GW19 Bench Boost with a number of double gameweek players.

At the moment, I have Robertson, Dallas, James, Coufal, Balbuena, Salah, Fernandes and Bamford playing twice in GW19, which makes 8 out of 15 in my squad.

With my defence set for the double barring injury or suspension, the 3 transfers I have (and any extra hits I take) will be focused on bolstering both my bench and my attacking options.

Here is a list of the players I’m considering ahead of GW19:

1. Heung-Min Sonhe doesn’t play twice in GW19, but with favourable fixtures against Fulham, Leeds and Sheffield United in his next 4 games, he’s surely destined for some profitable returns. Will come in for Kevin De Bruyne this week.

2. Tomas Soucekat £5.1 million, and with Burnley and West Brom in the double, he’s a fantastic option on a bench boost. Would likely come in for Bissouma before the deadline in GW19.

3. Jamie VardyLeicester have demonstrated consistency in recent weeks and Vardy can be very explosive on his day. Although games against Southampton and Chelsea in the double aren’t ideal, he plays both Leeds and Fulham in GW21 and GW22. I’d have to sacrifice Calvert-Lewin for Vardy and this week seems as good a time as any – but with Leicester scheduled to play Palace very shortly after Manchester United, I fear Vardy may be rested.

4. RodrigoAt only £5.7 million (and playing for one of the most attacking teams in the league right now) Rodrigo offers excellent value. As 45% of FPL managers now own Bamford, a double-up in Leeds’ attack could be great. Would likely come in for Watkins, if at all.

5. Sam JohnstoneWest Brom’s defence-first mentality should suit Johnstone, who is an excellent shot-stopper and he will receive plenty of protection from the defence in front of him. The plan is to bring in Johnstone in GW19 for Peacock-Farrell to maximise the Bench Boost.

6. Anthony Martial if I don’t go with Jamie Vardy in the double gameweek, I may be tempted with another Manchester United asset on top of Bruno Fernandes, and at this stage Martial tempts me more than Rashford. He would be a punt, which is why I’m leaning towards Vardy overall, but United are looking sharp in attack at the moment.

What are my plans for GW16?

At £11.8 million, it’s hard to justify Kevin De Bruyne’s price tag right now, and I feel Heung-Min Son can match or better his output in the coming weeks. The Korean is £2.1 million cheaper than the Belgian, which allows me to enhance other areas of the squad ahead of GW19.

My main headache this week is whether to bring in Vardy for Calvert-Lewin for a hit. If I were given assurance that Vardy would start, I think I’d make the transfer, but having owned Vardy for most of the Christmas period last season, I know he’s prone to rotation during congested fixture periods, and he hasn't had a rest yet. Despite a tough game at Manchester City, Calvert-Lewin has only blanked 3 times this season, so there’s always a chance of him getting something.

Rodrigo in, Watkins out is another option this week, but again it would be for a -4. Although the Leeds forward plays West Brom, Watkins could do well in the tough Chelsea fixture also, considering his hauls against Arsenal and Liverpool earlier in the season.

In terms of my captaincy choice this week, Son and Salah dominate my thinking, with Spurs set to play Fulham at home and Liverpool scheduled against Newcastle away. At the moment, I’m leaning towards Salah: Liverpool will look to get at Newcastle after their disappointing draw to West Brom and I just feel Liverpool have just a little more quality than Spurs when they turn it on.

It may confuse many of you to see Reece James planted 2nd on my bench. Despite his return to action against Arsenal, I’m fully expecting a benching against Aston Villa. He’s only just come back from injury, and after such a short turnaround, I can’t see Lampard risking him with Azpilicueta primed and ready to step in.

I also quite like the defensive trio of Coufal vs. Southampton, Robertson vs. Newcastle and Dallas vs. West Brom this week. I’m fairly confident each of them will start and I don’t feel confident with James in my starting 11, in case he comes off the bench for a 1-pointer.

Overall, I’m still sticking with the 3-4-3 in GW16 despite Watkins’ tough fixture against Chelsea. If he survives tomorrow morning and I decide to keep him in, I want him in my starting 11 after what happened earlier in the season. I don’t want another GW8 scenario where I benched his 13 points against Arsenal…

Team this week (3-4-3): Martinez, Coufal, Robertson, Dallas, Fernandes, Son (VC), Salah (C), Grealish, Bamford, Calvert-Lewin, Watkins

Subs: 1. Balbuena, 2. James, 3. Bissouma

Good luck everyone!

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