How I plan to recover from a tough few Gameweeks in FPL

Five-time top 1k FPL finisher Tom Freeman on Calvert-Lewin, Wolves and his Gameweek 2 plans

After a disastrous few weeks in Fantasy Premier League (FPL), I’m using this international break to refresh, refocus, and start planning for the run-in.

But first, here’s the state of play:

Pretty awful, right, with the only green arrow of late arriving in Gameweek 26 when I handed Mohamed Salah (£13.3m) the Triple Captain chip. Aside from that, it’s been a thorough bleak period, not helped by so many excellent scores in the community, particularly by those wielding multiple chips.

And that’s the point really, for those of you like me who have decided not to Wildcard, it’s probably been a tough time, too.

To highlight this, I’ve included one of Grayhead’s recent tables (see below), taken from his excellent Great and The Good series. Here, he compares the fortunes of the Gameweek 26/28/29 Wildcarders against a small group who didn’t play the chip, including myself, Neale and Zophar. It’s pretty grim reading, especially with Az grinning just above, having gained a whopping 100 points on me since Gameweek 26.

Having analysed my transfers from this period (see below), I’m honestly not sure I’ve done too much wrong, and if anything, I’ve probably been a bit unlucky.

None more so than in Blank Gameweek 30, when Aaron Ramsdale (£5.1m), Max Kilman (£4.6m), Rafinha (£6.5m) Gabriel Martinelli (£5.3m) all failed to show up, taking me down to just five starters and another serious rank drop.

Not owning Son Heung-min (£10.9m) Bukayo Saka (£6.7m) this past week hurt, but it was hard to fit in both Tottenham Hotspur premiums, while I genuinely believe Martinelli is a better Fantasy option than Saka when both players are on the pitch. Blank Gameweek 30 was when I really needed the Brazilian to step up, but illness, of course, put paid to that. On reflection, perhaps I should have backed Saka given his ownership, but I rarely let factors like that influence me, and Martinelli did outscore his more expensive teammate when I made the move, which kind of backs up my initial instincts.

Going back further, Dejan Kulusevski (£6.3m) Andrew Robertson (£7.2m) did the damage in Gameweek 29, but in the latter’s case, there was no easy route in, and I had to be mindful of Liverpool’s Gameweek 30 blank, too.

Reflecting on a tough period in FPL as I plan for the season run-in 2

However, it’s worth stating that it’s been a period of fine margins in FPL. As Pranil said in his weekly column (go have a read here if you haven’t already, it’s excellent), if you owned two of Rece James (£6.2m), Philippe Coutinho (£7.5m) Kai Havertz (£7.9m) in Gameweek 28 you were probably fine, even with the captaincy on a below-par Raphinha (yep… that was me).

Now, having got over that initial disappointment we all feel when faced with several red arrows, I’m looking ahead and feeling reasonably optimism about the run-in, armed with a Wildcard, Bench Boost and Free Hit. In terms of targets, the immediate aim is to get back where I was, as quickly as possible.

Using Ragabolly’s excellent LiveFPL site, you can see I’m 50 points off the top 50k right now. Whilst it’s a lot, it doesn’t feel insurmountable at all, especially given the chips I have in hand.

So, now we’ve got that out of the way, I’m going to discuss chip strategy for the run-in, a few teams/players I’m keeping an eye on, and also my immediate plans for Gameweek 31.

CHIP STRATEGY/TRANSFERS

Fernandes and Ronaldo deliver as United beat 10-man Brighton in FPL Double Gameweek 25

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