Team Update: Pope, Elliot, Otamendi, Jones, Daniels, Ogbonna, Kenny, Hazard, Salah, Sterling, Lingard, Choupo-Moting, Aguero, Firmino, Quaner
GW27: 94 points. GR 335,464. OR 9,521
I like the look of my team, and want to save the transfer to get Kane back in next week. This was the point I realise Salah is the go to captain every week, he rewards me with a goal and an assist vs SOT for 26 pts. Aguero (21 pts) nets 4 vs LEI, Hazard (16 pts) at last delivers, and Firmono (12 pts) also scores big. I at last move in to the top 10k for the first time.
GW28: 63 (-4) points. GR 655,636. OR 8,415
Aguero ⇒ Kane. It feels a bit strange transferring out a player who has just scored 4 goals, but City have Arsenal and Chelsea in the next two so he’s unlikely to do it again soon. I was always going to bring Kane back in this week.
Lingard ⇒ Walcott. Lingard hasn’t done anything for me. Walcott has being showing glimpses of form, and has a fixture in GW31 (only 8 teams have a fixture in GW31, so transfers from here have one eye on that week to make sure I can field a decent team. A lot of players will be playing their free hit, but I plan to use mine on the weekend of the FA cup semi finals).
Jones ⇒ Robertson. Jones is injured, I want a Liverpool defender and can’t afford Van Dijk. Robertson seems to have made the left back spot his own.
A good week, edges me further into the top 10k. Salah (20pts) as captain again delivers. Most of my attack and defence chip in with a goal, assist, or clean sheet.
GW29: 51 points. GR 1,754,495. OR 9,578
I save the transfer in preparation for the blank GW31. Captain Salah (16pts) again delivers. Other than that not a lot happens. Robertson is looking a good investment getting an assist.
GW30: 34 points. GR 4,132,869. OR 13,369
Sterling ⇒ Sane. Sterling has been benched the last two games through injury. I decide I need City coverage away to STK. I go for Sane who blanks. Silva scores a brace. I went with the wrong one.
A very frustrating week sees me drop out of the top 10k. I captain Kane away to BOU. Spurs win 4-1, however Kane is withdrawn on 30 min with an injury and scores 1 point. Otamendi (8 pts) and Pope (9 pts) are the only ones to deliver. Aubameyang moves onto my watchlist with a goal and an assist vs WAT.
GW31: 108 (-8) points. GR 118,851. OR 9,069
I take a -8 pt hit for the blank week for who I see as explosive players. The only games on are BOU vs WBR, HUD vs CPL, STK vs EVE, LIV vs WAT. I also plan to wildcard next week, so am not concerned with bringing in players for the long term.
Kane ⇒ Wilson. Wilson has it in him to score 2-3 goals in a game, and BOU are playing bottom of the league. He doesn’t and gets 2 pts.
Quaner ⇒ Mounie. Mounie is more of a goal threat than Quaner. In hindsight probably not worth the hit. He also scores 2 pts
Hazard ⇒ Stanislas. Stanislas is posting some good stats and looks dangerous. He delivers 10 pts
Kenny ⇒ Baines. Baines looks to be on direct free kicks and penalties, and Kenny has lost his place to Coleman. Baines scores 2 pts.
The transfers didn’t work out that well but it doesn’t matter as Salah scores a phenomenal 4 goals and an assist as my captain against WAT for 58 pts. Salah was captained by around 80% of the top 10k this week, so if you didn’t captain him (or worse didn’t own him!) your season would have been ruined. It just goes to show it is often best to go with the crowd on weeks like this where there are limited options.
GW32: 60 points. GR 824,080. OR 8,699
I feel I need to WC to get rid of the dross I transferred in for GW31. The WC was made with the DGW in GW34 in mind where I plan to play my bench boost. I plan to have 15 DGW players for the bench boost, and this is reflected in my WC selection.
WC team (pts): De Gea (6), Alonso (1), Smalling (6), Lowton (2), Salah (c) (14), Mahrez (3), Son (5), Willian (2), Gross (2), Aubameyang (13), Vardy (6). Subs Ryan, Cedric, Morgan, Barnes.
The only non DGW player is Aubameyang due to his two excellent fixtures home to STK and SOU in the next two before the double. He rewards me with 13 pts. I never seem to hit an Alonso haul…
GW33: 37 points. GR 1,827,883. OR 8,269
As always I save the transfer following my wildcard. A very low scoring week, the average was 32 pts.
GW34: 110 (-4) points. GR 22,407. OR 4,068
The first big DGW of the season. My wildcard in GW32 set me up to have a full 15 DGW players, to play my bench boost.
Aubameyang ⇒ Kane. I always planned for this one. Going without Kane in a DGW is an unnecessary risk. He delivers an ok return of 10 pts
Vardy ⇒ Lukaku. I decide I want to captain Lukaku vs WBR and BOU. Out goes Vardy even though he also has a double. Lukaku blanks against WBR but scores vs BOU, for an acceptable but still disappointing 16pts as captain.
Salah ⇒ Hojberg. To afford Lukaku I do the unthinkable and drop Salah for Holberg as the enabler. Sarah gets 8 puts but its not too damaging.
Bench Boost Team (pts in brackets):
De Gea (9), Alonso (4), Smalling (16), Morgan (1), Mahrez (5), Willian (4), Son (6), Gross (12), Kane (10), Lukaku (c) (16), Barnes (8). Bench: Ryan (5), Cedric (7), Lowton (3), Hojberg (4)
A bench boost of 19 points is fairly good. I halve my rank to move into the top 5k. A score of 110 is great for a DGW, and gave me the desired rise in rank, however Alonso, Willian, Mahrez and Son all could have scored a lot better.
GW35: 72 points. GR 23,903. OR 2,082
This was the week of the FA cup semi finals, which meant only 12 teams had a game. I played my free hit chip. as only Burnley of the DGW teams from GW34 had a fixture. 50% of the top 10k played their free hit in GW31 so I’m hoping for another significant rise up the rankings.
Free hit team (pts in brackets)
Dubravka (2), Van Dijk (1), Mustafi (1), Baines (8), Salah (c) (14), Sterling (11), Silva (10), Mane (3), Zaha (2), Jesus (7), Lacazette (13). Bench: Maenpaa, Long, Crouch, Goldson
I spend as little as possible on my bench to put all my money into my starting 11. I load up on City, Liverpool and Arsenal players for favourable fixtures against SWA, WHM and WBR, respectively. The free hit pays off with a great GW rank of 23k and my overall rank rising to 2k. I now have my sights set on the top 1k but I need my GW34 team (who will now come back in for my free hit team), to find some form.
GW36: 34 (-4) points. GR 4,911,631. OR 4,338
Willian ⇒ Salah. Salah is owned by something like 85% of the top 10k and will be captioned by nearly all of them. I consider it too risky to go without and take a hit to get him back in.
Alonso ⇒ Long. Long comes in for the injured Alonso to enable the Salah transfer.
It’s safe to say my team did not run in to any form, at all, as i record my highest GW rank of the season and my rank doubles. Salah blanked as captain, as LIV draw 0-0 with STK. Only Lowton and Kane scored more than the appearance points. All hopes of the top 1k have now disappeared. I just hope I can hang on to a top 5k finish.
GW37: 94 (-12) points. GR 346,217. OR 4,037
The second and final big DGW of the season. Again I go all out and spend 12 points to have 11 DGW players.
Lukaku ⇒ Jesus. With Lukaku injured, Jesus comes in for City’s two kind fixtures (HUD, BRI). Auger is injured so he should play both. He does but blanks in both for 4 pts.
Barnes ⇒ J.Awew. Swansea need goals to stay in the league, and Ayew looks their most likely source. Swansea fail to score and Ayew nets me 4 pts.
Salah ⇒ Sterling. Sterling comes in for the good City fixtures, but he also fails to deliver, and is benched vs BRI, netting me 3 pts.
Morgan ⇒ Davies. I get Davies for his attacking threat. A poor move in hindsight as Rose is fit again meaning rotation is likely. Davies only plays one game but does keep a clean sheet for 6 pts.
An average DGW. Kane as captain got me 24 pts, and my defence scored well (De Gea (11), Cedric (11), Davies (6), Smalling (8)). Mahrez and Son also chipped in with 9 points each. I hold my rank at 4k. It feels like I’m limping towards the finish line rather than preparing for a final push up the rankings.
GW38: 68 (-4) points. GR 898,034. OR 4,919
Mahrez ⇒ Salah. I again bottle it and get Salah back in as captain at home to BRI. A good move as he nets me 22pts. However taking Mahrez out turned into a disaster, he puts in his best performance of the season to net 13pts vs Spurs. That game ended up 5-4 to Spurs, with Son benched (should have sacrificed Son over Mahrez for Salah)
Smalling ⇒ Robertson. Rumours are that Smalling will be benched along with most the united first team for the FA cup final. He was. I go with Robertson for his attacking threat. I also think Liverpool will batter Brighton. They do winning 4-0, and Robertson hits a goal and assist to go with the clean sheet for 18 pts.
Thanks to Robertsons haul i finish in the top 5k. A rank i’m pleased with in the end, although it looked at one point like I might have a chance of challenging the top 1k.
Any rank in the top 10k should be considered a successful season, so I’m delighted with a top 5k finish. I’m not thrilled with the way I played the final GWs of the season transferring Salah out and in again. This cost me 3 transfers in the end, which could have been put to better use. I should have made the decision to go without or hold him in GW34.
I liked the free hit chip, it offers an excellent chance to move up the rankings if played at the right time. I think playing it the weekend of the FA cup semi finals was the right call. I think next season I will try to play my wildcard after the free hit and then bench boost in GW37. Wildcarding before the free hit meant that I was stuck with my original WC team after the free hit, and they had all gone out of form. Just shows how much can change in two GWs. I’ll still be playing the bench boost and triple captain chips in DGWs next season.
Looking at my transfers a surprising number of them failed (got injured, dropped, lost form), showing that you don’t need a mistake free season to get in the top 10k. I could have even got in the top 1k if my WC team had hit form. Mistakes will happen, just don’t panic and make knee jerk decision when they do. I did get a fair few right though. Pope, Otamendi, Jones, Countinho were owned at the right time, and owning Kane, Aguero, and Hazard for most of their hauls was key to finishing in the top 5k.
I hope the season review series was helpful and offered an insight into my thinking, and what is required to finish inside the top 5k. I hope you’ll continue to follow the blog, as I document my teams progress through the 2018/19 season.