How did I fare in GW27?
De Bruyne’s antics against Southampton on Wednesday confirmed a minor red arrow for me this week, dropping out of the top 1k to 1,135. With 70 points, my team failed to dazzle in comparison to others, but considering my defence combined for a total of 3 points in GW27, I can’t be too upset with the final outcome.
One of the transfers I was weighing up last week was a possible move from John Stones and Bruno Fernandes to Kevin De Bruyne and Ben White. Despite the Fernandes penalty, I would have been up on the deal, as I’d have played Konsa instead of Stones and captained De Bruyne’s plentiful return.
Hindsight aside, I’m happy to remain a Bruno owner ahead of the game against West Ham, and it was nice to finally gain some rank from his goal, after several managers transferred him out.
Stones and Cancelo look too rotation-prone for my liking and are most likely to leave my squad in the GW31 Wildcard, if not before.
Gundogan’s goal just before half-time helped save the gameweek to a certain extent, and I’m still floating in and around the top 1,000 – undoubtably a strong position at this stage of the season.
- I can’t punish myself for sticking him on the bench, but it was unfortunate to miss out on Luke Shaw’s haul against Manchester City. 14 points would have gone a long way this week.
- Bamford missed a catalogue of golden opportunities against West Ham, which not only cost me his points, but also cost me potential assist points from Raphinha on occasion. I’m starting to lose patience with Leeds’ lack of clinical edge in front of goal and will strongly consider booting them out come GW31.
- Heading into the Wolves vs. Villa game with Watkins and Konsa on my bench, I was half expecting to be punished. Fortunately, both the striker and the centre-half hit the bar during the game, and I was certainly pleased to hear the final whistle at the end.
- Although I was unlucky to miss out on a second Stones and Cancelo game, I can feel somewhat relieved that City conceded twice against Southampton, to minimise the benefit for Dias and Ederson owners.
- Pretty much any move I considered making last week would have seen me profit, with the likes of Bale and De Bruyne scoring plentifully. Although it’s hard to be too critical, it was a very safe decision to bank a transfer, and perhaps I need to be slightly braver in my decisions moving forwards if I want to push further into the top 1k.
- Looking ahead to GW29, I feel I’m in a stable position to manage the blank gameweek, which allows me to act more freely with my transfers in GW28. With the Wildcard readied for GW31, I’m confident I can have a solid end to the season.
Who are the important players to own in blank GW29?
Seven? Eight? Nine? It’s hard to know how many players will be enough in GW29 without crashing down the rankings.
My initial thought is that GW29 will have a low ceiling of points: most will captain Harry Kane, and the majority of managers will head into GW29 with the popular Leeds, Aston Villa and Spurs players.
Below I have listed the players I believe will be highly owned during GW29, based on the current ownership and appeal of the player. I have listed the assets I currently own in bold.
Most highly owned
Harry Kane; Heung-Min Son (Spurs)
Emiliano Martinez; Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)
Patrick Bamford; Raphinha; Stuart Dallas (Leeds)
A West Ham attacker: Michail Antonio or Jesse Lingard (West Ham)
Somewhat highly owned
One of Gareth Bale or Sergio Reguilon (Spurs)
A Villa defender: Matt Targett or Ezri Konsa; Jack Grealish if fit (Aston Villa)
Ivan Meslier (Leeds)
A Fulham attacker: Ademola Lookman or Josh Maja; a Fulham defender: Alfonse Areola, Ola Aina, Joachim Andersen or Tosin Adarabiyo (Fulham)
A West Ham defender: Aaron Cresswell, Craig Dawson or Vladimir Coufal; Tomas Soucek (West Ham)
One of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
As it’s impossible to own all of these assets, my estimation is that most FPL managers will field between 8 and 9 players during blank GW29, including most of the players listed in the ‘most highly owned’ category.
Therefore, if you have 6 or 7 of the players in this section, plus a couple of differentials from the ‘somewhat highly owned’ section, you should be alright.
As you can see, I currently owned 8 players heading into GW29. Considering my transfer plans this week, I’m probably going to bring in just one or two more and abandon the prospects of a full starting 11 in GW29.
What are my plans for GW28?
Much like last week, there are plenty of avenues for me to consider ahead of this deadline, with some difficult transfer, captaincy and benching decisions to make.
Firstly, there has been lots of talk in the FPL Twitter community about the decline of Mo Salah, and I’m certainly speculating a possible transfer out for the Egyptian king.
If I do part ways with Salah, it will be to chase the best captaincy option ahead of this gameweek, which could well be one of the Manchester City midfielders, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling or Riyad Mahrez against Fulham.
A straight swap of Salah to a Man City midfielder would force me trade Stones, as I’m already capped at 3 City players. For a two-week punt in GW28 and GW30, I’d probably upgrade Stones to Marcus Alonso who looks dangerous at left-back under Tuchel and has two great fixtures against Leeds and West Brom.
However, I have underestimated Fulham’s defence many times this season and the Cottagers tend to perform well against teams in the top half. Manchester City are a monster in attack, but I don’t necessarily see them scoring 4 or 5 against Fulham. There’s every chance Bruno Fernandes, Harry Kane or even Mo Salah outscores the Manchester City boys this week.
If I get cold feet with De Bruyne, Sterling and Mahrez, I may be tempted to stick the armband on Harry Kane, despite the seemingly tough fixture against Arsenal this weekend.
Harry Kane has a history of performing well against Arsenal and Spurs are playing with the bit between their teeth at the moment. Although I’m a manager who tends to lean towards targeting the best fixtures for captaincy, I look to the in-form players when no fixtures jump out as appealing.
If I do go with Harry Kane, I will probably use up one of my two free transfers in preparation for GW29, taking out a player who blanks for someone with a kind fixture. Despite his haul against Manchester City, the sacrificial lamb this week could be Luke Shaw, who faces an in-form West Ham side.
Although I’d rather have Shaw in my team long-term compared to John Stones and Joao Cancelo, I don’t feel it’s the right time to move off the City duo after they’ve just been rested and are set to face Fulham, who aren’t particularly potent in attack. I can always get Shaw back on the Wildcard in GW31.
Lewis Dunk would be the likely replacement for Shaw, if I go through with it. He has arguably the best fixture in GW29 against Newcastle and faces Southampton this week, who are struggling for form also.
All in all, I’ll likely sleep on it and reconsider who my preferred captain pick is for this week. This will ultimately decide what I'm doing with my transfers. Right now, I’m going for Harry Kane – but a roll of the dice on Manchester City does tempt me!
Bus team for GW28 (4-4-2): Martinez (NEW), Stones (FUL), Cancelo (FUL), Konsa (NEW), Shaw (WHU), Gundogan (FUL), Son (ARS), Fernandes (WHU), Salah (WOL), Kane © (ARS), Watkins (NEW)
Bench: Pope (EVE), Raphinha (CHE), Bamford (CHE), Dallas (CHE)