#FPL OCD – Gameweek 27 Review: there is that niggling voice in my head…
You can read the Gameweek 28 Preview HERE
This was it then, the beginning of the ascent. I have posited on here recently that the blanks and double gameweeks would be the point that we veterans were able to assert our authority, the time when our vast experience and obsessive attention to detail would show, and the rookies would take their eye off the ball and struggle. With an absence of Everton and Liverpool players in my side, I was able to set myself up comfortably. I rolled out a rare 4-4-2, wanting to keep Aguero, and not being entirely sold on any replacements for Wijnaldum (more on that later). I was even able to carry a transfer, maintaining the 2 that I have pocketed for the majority of the past few months.
The weekend was not spectacular. However, I did manage 51 points, taking me from 48k to 36k. I made a very good transfer, selling Nyom (who did not play) ahead of Dawson (who scored), and bringing in Fuchs, who not only adds some much needed substance in the “comedy names” department, but also stormed into my team with 9 points. I only had 2 points left on the bench, so my decisions were all solid, and I got a green arrow, yet there was a strange flatness to the week. There is a possibility that I have built up expectations for this spell too highly, anticipating that there would be huge losses at the top in FPL, and huge ground to be made up just behind the pack, where I sit. It is a start, and a 12k increase can never be disappointing, but the week did not explode as I had hoped. After the pattern of this season, I cannot help but be cautious. Once again, after a drop, I have climbed back up to a good position from which to build. My fear is that, before the next blanks and double gameweeks, I could stutter once more, and be left floating in this 20-50k limbo eternally.
You can listen to FantasyYIRMA’s @JohnOC1991 on this weeks FanFeud Fantasy Podcast
It may sound perverse, but I am left disappointed by the lack of real carnage in gameweek 30. It looked like the moment that others would fall apart, the time when our extensive planning would really pay off, and as it stands, it is barely more than a minor obstacle. With so many teams, including mine, weighted towards Leicester, Spurs, and a couple of others, the blanks are not making the waves that they could have done. An Arsenal blank would shake things up, not least for me with Bellerin and Ozil, but that will only be confirmed in the week leading up to GW30. I feel that I have to maintain my 2FTs for that point, and it restricts my ability to manoeuvre somewhat.
I believe that it was this restriction that hindered my progress this week. I wrote in this article last week that my plan was to sell Wijnaldum. Looking for replacements, I was faced with something of a wasteland. Eriksen looked excellent, but I had used my Spurs allotment, Sigurdsson also looked good, but his next 2 fixtures were appalling. There was only one man who nearly found his way into my team: Arnautovic. I decided that Nyom and Dawson were issues, and resolved to fix one of them – thankfully Nyom. While that was an excellent move in its own right, after making the switch I was left with a single free transfer. Determined to keep flexibility for the upcoming weeks, I backed away from the Wijnaldum switch, believing that a week of 4-4-2 was better than a possible 4 point hit down the line. Had I had conviction that I had transfers to spare, I would have pulled the trigger on Arnautovic, but the possible Arsenal blank was playing on my mind. The move would have been Wijnaldum to Arnautovic, and bench Bellerin. That hesitation has cost me 14 points, and a score of 65 would have provided the kind of catapult for which I had hoped.
Therefore, it is quite possible that, after my surety that planning and foresight would prove the difference, it has actually cost me this week. Had I not put so much thought into my long-term planning, I would have bitten the bullet and made the switch. Safety and “sense” can be a great quality for FPL managers, but I know that it has halted my progress on more than one occasion. It can certainly help to maintain a good rank, but when it comes to taking that final step, an aversion to risk can be hugely detrimental. This conflict will rear its head once again this week, as I decide whether to opt for a safe, comfortable, practical option, or whether I take a huge gamble.
There are two moves that I am weighing up. The first is simple: say “thanks for the goal and goodbye” to Dawson, as I had planned last week, and bring in the cheap and cheerful penalty taker Charlie Daniels. West Brom’s defence has been ropey, they have a run of dreadful fixtures, and may blank in GW30. It is a sound move, it is certainly sensible, it would solidify my squad once more. There are no negatives to the switch, and I would carry over a free transfer once again.
However…however…there is another option. I am trying my best to ignore it, it instinctively feels stupid, if it goes wrong I will look a prat. I know, logically, that it is far too risky…and yet. It is there, I cannot deny it. I can pretend it isn’t, hope it goes away, but there it is, just lingering in the back of my mind, desperately trying to push itself forward. I analyse stats each week, and as I looked on the excellent “deadly assassins” table by Fantasy Football Scout stalwart Doosra, one name is in blistering form at the top. Not Harry Kane, not Jamie Vardy, not Sergio Aguero…Christian Eriksen. The Spurs man is out in front, the most threatening player in the league at the moment, and bringing him in for Wijnaldum or even Payet (who blanks GW30) would be a no-brainer. The issue? Alderweireld, Alli and Kane occupy my Spurs slots. So…(you can see where this is going, can’t you?) How about…losing Dele Alli?
I cannot afford the straight swap, I would have to use both transfers. I haven’t got the move fully formed in my head, but it would be along the lines of Payet and Alli out, Willian and Eriksen in. It would be a huge, huge gamble, and with a selling price of 5.6, I doubt I would bring Alli back in again this year. I am trying to get rid of the idea, it has such potential to backfire, but with such little time between gameweeks, I do not have the luxury of overthinking it. It could either propel me to new heights, or destroy my season. Will I go through with it? A big part of me is determined not to, to stick to my tried and trusted methods, to not let 6 months of work go down the drain…but…there is that niggling voice in my head…
You can read the Gameweek 28 Preview HERE
Written by @JohnOC1991
John went to University, finished his degree, and got a good job in the City of London. He is now in the process of throwing it all away in favour of FPL, a game with no notable rewards for success. He firmly believes this to be the correct decision.