Learning from ‘The Great and The Good’ FPL managers

Fantasy Football Scout community writer Grayhead continues with his series of articles analysing the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) transfers and strategies of some noted Fantasy managers, from serial top 10k finishers to well-known faces.

The Great and The Good this year are the Scouts Joe Lepper, Neale Rigg, Geoff Dance, and Tom Freeman, FPL Wire’s Zophar, from the Hall of Fame Fabio Borges, FPLMatthew, Yavuz Kabuk and Tom Stephenson, Blackbox’s Az and Mark Sutherns, FPL “celebrities” LTFPL Andy, Magnus Carlsen and FPL General plus last year’s mini league winner Les Caldwell.

Due to the unforgiving Thursday-Friday turnaround between Gameweeks, we’re bringing you TGATG a little later this week!


“Mo mo, mo mo mo mo, mo mo mo mo

Mo mo, there’s mo limit!”

You didn’t need the lyrical genius of a Belgian/Dutch dance act to tell you that this was a week for limits to be broken as the number of FPL managers crossed the 9 million threshold, centuries became the norm and that man Mohamed Salah (£13.1m) etched his name in Triple Captain history.

Before all that, there were a frantic few hours before the deadline with the announcement of the doubles in Gameweek 28 and 29 leading to last-minute wildcards and significant divergence in our chip strategies. FPL planning just got interesting again!

Some massive scores but Joe was our top performer this week with an uncharacteristically aggressive minus eight paying off as Bukayo Saka (£6.5m) Andrew Robertson (£7.2m) came in to carry him to 140 points after hits, and obviously, a certain Egyptian helped as well.

It was enough to see him above Mark Sutherns, who is still lurking at the bottom of this very competitive mythical mini-league despite his Wildcard, although he did at least benefit from the well-timed Nelson Semedo (£4.8m) 61st-minute substitution which banked him some clean sheet points.

Meanwhile, Fabio continues to stretch his lead over Az, and now moves up to 1,623rd and surely Burnley is now his happy place with Wout Weghorst (£6.5m) Nick Pope (£5.4m) his haul heroes.

WILDCARDS

Some hastily prepared overhauls were orchestrated this week by five of our managers. The full ins and outs are below:

Mark Sutherns
  • IN – Foster, Robertson, Tierney, Kilman, Semedo, Son, Saka, Salah, Coutinho, Broja, Saint-Maximin, Jimenez
  • OUT – De Gea, Dalot, Dunk, Regulion, Cancelo, Martinelli, Mount, Foden, Jota, Antonio, Ronaldo, Dennis

Mark went with a dozen changes to his team with triple-ups on Arsenal, Liverpool, and Wolves. Most were as you would expect but Allan Saint-Maximin‘s (£6.9m) name made me cause to pause – will this be a stroke of genius?

FPL General
  • IN – Robertson, Saiss, Tierney, Digne, Salah, Saka, Coutinho, Ramsey, Kane, Jimenez, Broja
  • OUT – Cancelo, Livramento, Cucurella, Dawson, Martinelli, Fernandes, Bowen, Jota, Ronaldo, Antonio, King

Triple-ups again on Liverpool and Arsenal but also Aston Villa rather than Wolves, as Lucas Digne (£5.1m), Phillipe Coutinho (£7.3m) Jacob Ramsey (£4.8m) join the troops. He is also the only Wildcarder to go with Harry Kane (£12.2m), so it looks like the next few weeks will see FPL General make his move to catch Fabio and Az.

Geoff Dance
  • IN – Sa, Foster, Tierney, Robertson, Coady, Digne, Salah, Saka, Raphinha, Son, Ramsey, Jimenez, Lacazette, Broja
  • OUT – De Gea, Steele, Coufal, Cancelo, Rudiger, Regulion, Jota, Bowen, Foden, Mahrez, Fernandes, King, Dennis, Watkins

The Canadian Kingpin is another one to follow the Wildcard template but he went with Jose Sa (£5.2m) Alexandre Lacazette (£8.3m), so probably didn’t appreciate the winning Arsenal strike on Thursday night being chalked up as an own-goal.

Tom Stephenson
  • IN – Sa, Dubravka, Van Dijk, Saiss, Tierney, Salah, Raphinha, Son, Ramsey, Broja, Lacazette, Jimenez
  • OUT – De Gea, Foster, Dawson, Duffy, Cancelo, Gray, Fernandes, Bowen, Jota, King, Ronaldo, Antonio

Tom followed the Wildcard template but Virgil van Dijk‘s (£6.7m) inclusion started on a high note and the addition of Newcastle keeper Martin Dubravka (£4.4m) may yet prove to be a smart purchase.

LTFPL Andy
  • IN – Sa, Dubravka, Dawson, Cancelo, Livramento, Regulion, Salah, Son, Ramsey, Raphinha, Saka, Jimenez, Lacazette
  • OUT – De Gea, Foster, Van Dijk, Tierney, Saiss, Digne, Bowen, Foden, Trossard, Fernandes, Jota, King, Ronaldo

Bizarrely, Andy had exactly the same squad as Tom so read as above whilst I try and work out who is copying whose homework.

TRANSVERS

This is a summary of the transfers for this week:

  • Az – Jimenez, Lacazette, Salah (Ronaldo, Antonio, Jota)
  • LTFPL Andy – Wildcard
  • Fabio Borges – Weghorst, Jimenez, Salah, Raphinha (Pukki, Antonio, Fernandes, Jota)
  • Joe Lepper – Saka, Robertson, Ramsdale (Jota, Regulion, De Gea)
  • Geoff Dance – Wildcard
  • FPL General – Wildcard
  • Les Caldwell – Cornet, Weghorst, Kane, Salah (Jota, Antonio, Ronaldo, Fernandes)
  • Magnus Carlsen – Podence, Saka, Salah, Robertson (Rashford, Fernandes, Jota, Keane)
  • Mark Sutherns – Wildcard
  • FPL Matthew – Jimenez, Salah (Ronaldo, Jota)
  • Neale Rigg – Jimenez, Salah (Ronaldo, Jota)
  • Tom Freeman – Salah, Coutinho, Ramsdale (Fernandes, Jota, Guaita)
  • Tom Stephenson – Wildcard
  • Yavuz Kabuk – Cornet, Salah (Bernardo, Jota)
  • Zophar – Jimenez, Salah (Ronaldo, Jota)

For those who didn’t Wildcard, there were hits all around with Joe, Magnus, Fabio and Les taking minus eights.

Fabio and Magnus both brought in four players and all of them returned for these two star managers, and Daniel Podence‘s (£5.5m) goal stood out as a winning gambit for the Chess Grandmaster.

TEMPLATE

The template for The Great and The Good is as follows with the number in brackets showing how many teams in which they appear:

  • De Gea (7), Foster (6)
  • Alexander-Arnold (15), Cancelo (10), Livramento (7), Digne (7), Tierney (5)
  • Salah (15), Bowen (11), Saka (8), Raphinha (8), Ramsey (6)
  • Jimenez (10), King (9), Dennis/Broja (5)

The template went through its own overhaul this week as Aaron Ramsdale (£5.1m), Kieran Tierney (£5.1m), Saka, Ramsey, Raul Jimenez (£7.5m) Armando Broja (£5.5m) all come in, along with Mo who is now owned by all the managers.

CHIP PLANS

Everyone seems to be up for a bit of chip chat so worth checking in on the current usage by The Great and The Good:

This week was split between the Triple Captains and the Wildcarders. An early blow was struck by the Salah supporters but time will tell which group will win the day over the next few weeks.

It’s worth nothing all those that Wildcarded had both Free Hit chips at their disposal. Yavuz, FPL Matthew, Zophar and Az were the only ones with that second weekly overhaul chip who held their nerve, although Az has already stated he is pulling the trigger in Gameweek 28.

From the set-up of the teams, it looks as though the five Wildcarders will play their Free Hit this week but it’s also worth noting that Joe has also flagged he is using his second Free Hit this week despite not planning a Wildcard until the later stages.

Fabio, Magnus, and Tom are the most intriguing, but I suspect they are looking to navigate the doubles in Gameweek 28 and 29 without the aid of a chip. Perhaps the biggest question is whether they will hold their second Free Hit for Gameweek 30 or beyond.

Whatever happens, this has become a fascinating period of the season with very different approaches to the Wildcard. Before anyone dismisses the importance of getting your plan in place, it’s worth reminding ourselves of the impact of the first Wildcard on the fortunes of The Great and The Good.

The table shows the effect of the initial Wildcard on rank over the next five weeks, with some pretty color coding for those of a more visual persuasion.

You can see from the above that whilst it set up the likes of Az, FPL General up for success it did also give others a steeper mountain to climb. So, think once, think twice, think three times before playing those chips.

CONCLUSION

Thanks again for reading along, the next few weeks look to provide compelling FPL action. Whichever strategy you take, remember it’s about the long game. Success or otherwise of your season can only be determined at the end of the campaign.

Anyway, that’s all from me for and remember don’t have nightmares.

For those affected by any of the topics raised in the above article then you can find me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Greyhead19


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