Steve Rothgeb

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Fuzzy's FPL Favorites - GW38

Friday, May 19, 2017


 

Week 37 was everything we had hoped for -- an absolute thrill-ride.

 

This is what you hopefully had been planning for. With use of one's second half wildcard, followed by using one of the two major chip weapons - Triple Captain or Bench Boost - the result was an explosion of points, the likes of which has not been equaled in FPL history. All the stars were aligned. It was a double gameweek for five of the league's top six sides, and most of those top clubs had one, if not two, very attractive fixtures. When you toss out the "prepping for Europe" Manchester United side, rife with rotation, the remaining four clubs combined for 8 Ws, 0 Ls, 0 Ds. Chelsea and Manchester City each tallied five goals across their two matches, Arsenal netted six times and, led by Harry Kane's four goal barrage last night, Tottenham topped the mountain with eight goals.

 

Speaking of Kane, what made this gameweek so memorable was that we got massive production from the big names we look to for a captaincy choice. Had you captained Kane, Alexis Sanchez, Gabriel Jesus, Mesut Ozil or Kevin de Bruyne, you took a giant score and made it an epic one. It is debatable which chip, between Triple Captain and Bench Boost, was most effective -- it seemed to work out either way. I went with the latter and ended on 170 points. My bench, which I set with my four cheapest players - Jordan Pickford, Jack Stephens, Maya Yoshida and Victor Anichebe - scored me 24 additional points, whereas, if I had played the Triple Captain on Alexis Sanchez, I would have gained 27 additional points. Any way you slice it, it was raining points all week long.

 

To get an idea of the impact a double gameweek with careful planning can have on your FPL season, allow me to highlight the manager who finished with the round's top score, a whopping 223 points. That distinction belongs to a manager who goes by the FPL handle "hadouken!!!". When you spend a minute looking into that manager's season, you can imagine the glow on his or her face as he/she goes about their day today. This manager's season should be a tale of inspiration for all managers who think they are down and out at some stage of the campaign. "hadouken!!!" began the season with a rank of 800k after Week 1. Over the next several months, "hadouken!!!" had a series of ups and downs that left him/her treading water. By the end of Week 25, the rank was right back to where it began, 800k. This manager then went on a run of seven straight green arrows that saw his/her ranking climb to inside the top 200k. Excellent form, but this manager surely wanted more. In the previous year, "hadouken!!!" finished with a rank just inside 16k. So as he/she entered Week 37, ranked at 145k, any hopes of getting close to matching last season's success may have seemed mathematically impossible. With a bench boost chip played, despite a goose egg from Manolo Gabbiadini, "hadouken!!!" had the best combination of players, shaving 115k off of his/her 145k rank, now sitting rather pretty at 30k overall. It just goes to show, no one is going to get it right all of the time, but if you stay patient and use your wildcard and chips, like "hadouken!!!" did, you can turn nine months of frustration into euphoria.


Well folks, you may want to hold tight to your memory of Week 37, because Week 38, as it so often can, just might slap you in the face. 


It is the final chance to make a good decision with your remaining transfer(s) and, the way I see it, your choices are limited. That being the case, this column is presented in pure essay format.


Follow the entire Rotoworld Premier League team on Twitter: Neal | Steve | Andrew | Sean | Stag | Ben | Galin | Nik


Here is the main issue with the final round of the season: With so many club's fates having been sealed already, it creates an environment where a lot of fringe players, players who have not had much pitch time in league play, are given an opportunity to start while many regulars, who have endured the exhaustion of a full season, will be given a rest. The problem is, as much as we would like to speculate and use logic, we cannot predict exactly who plays or who doesn't. There is one exception we can all pretty much see playing out - John Terry will get the call, making his final start in his long Chelsea career. At home to Sunderland, having Terry seems like a good bet to return a clean sheet, and his teammates will likely do whatever they can to assist Terry in finding the net.

 

Otherwise, nothing is guaranteed. Heading into the second match of Chelsea's gameweek against Watford, speculation over social media was rampant and the overwhelming feeling was that Antonio Conte would rest all of his stars, and the thought was that Eden Hazard would surely be among those rested. And yet, he wasn't. And yet further, it made little impact anyway, as Hazard disappointed all his owners with a 5 point return in his two starts. What he has managed to do is perhaps make those that own him have an easier idea of who to transfer out this week. Hazard was the only player, other than Cesar Azpilicueta, to start both games of Chelsea's double. One has to think, then, that without knowing for sure, it seems highly likely that the Belgian will be rested in the final match against Sunderland. It is a tough pill to swallow though. Hazard already proved many pundits wrong by starting the Watford game. Imagine if he were to do it again this weekend? Suddenly, instead of feeling smug about dropping Hazard this week for another expensive weapon, you are in panic mode. You just sold the second best midfielder in the game who is starting...at home....against the worst club in the league.

 

This is a tough call for someone in my position, and I would imagine the same is true for many managers out there. I entered last week with three Chelsea players, so a punt on John Terry isn't even on the cards. I have the maximum Blues allowed, and the only way Terry can get in without a four point hit is if I swapped Marcos Alonso for him. That is not the sort of transfer I would ever execute. If I wanted to go for another potentially lucrative differential from Chelsea, like Michy Batshuayi, same problem. In fact, several managers are facing this with several potential moves. If you were like me, you tripled up on Arsenal. I have Petr Cech, Nacho Monreal and, of course, Alexis. If I wanted Mesut Ozil, I would have to do a double move that required moving out Cech or Monreal, because there is no way Sanchez is going anywhere, so Ozil is another player that would be great to include as a final weapon, but I am "frozen out" from bringing him in.

 

Shifting focus from Chelsea to Arsenal, while we are at it, brings up the biggest factor in your transfer plan this week...who has something left to play for? In terms of clubs, it comes down between two sides for me - Liverpool and Arsenal. Chelsea have won the title, Tottenham have secured 2nd place, Man United have secured a Europa League spot. Manchester City is all but in the CL. it would take a City loss, a Liverpool win, an Arsenal win and Arsenal would need to erase City's 5 goal advantage in the goal difference department to catch them - highly unlikely. City should come to play and should find success against Watford, but they are not nearly as hungry as the two clubs you should be focusing on - Liverpool and Arsenal. The rest of the league has nothing significant to play for. Sure, a notch up or down their mid-table position can gain/lose a bit of revenue from the league, but managers for these clubs are usually more concerned about getting a long look at players who could be in their future plans and they need to see some competition.

 

At the other end of the table, there is no point in even looking in that direction. No one is at risk of relegation anymore, the three clubs headed for the drop have already been decided. Clubs between 8th-17th position will have its share of brilliant individual performances on Sunday, but between the possibililty of a club or player not "showing up" or a player getting a rest, it is a risk that can be avoided if you simply turn your attention to transferring in from one of the two sides that have so much on the line this weekend. I will repeat over and over, look at Liverpool and Arsenal.

 

 

Follow the entire Rotoworld Premier League team on Twitter: Neal | Steve | Andrew | Sean | Stag | Ben | Galin | Nik

 

I had no Liverpool representation during the double gameweek, so, with three Gunners in my side already, the logical choices continue to narrow. I only have one free transfer. Those with the luxury of two FTs are in a very priviledged position. There is so much more flexibility without spending points and I cannot bring myself to take a points hit in a week that has so much uncertainty and the side I have now is coming off a monster round. The only worry is Hazard and his likelihood of rest. Putting all these factors into play and knowing I can afford any midfielder I want to replace Hazard, is there any wonder as to why the clear transfer choice for me is Philippe Coutinho? Alexis and Kane were the only attacking players in the FPL game to outscore Coutinho last week, and Coutinho only had the one game. With the outlook looking poor for Roberto Firmino to start, or even feature for that matter, the only other choice I might consider is Adam Lallana. But Coutinho tends to get big hauls in bunches. Coming off a 19 point score and with everything on the line for the Reds, Hazard->Coutinho simply makes sense.

 

If you don't have one of the following players -- Alexis Sanchez, Harry Kane, Gabriel Jesus, Mesut Ozil, Philippe Coutinho or Adam Lallana, then that is the pool of players you should be choosing from, in that order. i would include a punt on someone like Daniel Sturridge, but I cannot envision a side that is accommodating Kane and Jesus already and can somehow squeeze Sturridge in as the 3rd striker without taking a points hit.

 

Everyone's situation is different and I am trying my best to acknowledge every situation. Hopefully this analysis will help you climb the ranks one last time. Whatever you plan to do, my final piece of advice of the season, do not execute the transfer until as late as you possibly can. Remember, the full slate of action kicks off simultaneously on Sunday. We could hear news that makse our decision of who to drop and who to pick up a little more clearer. Maybe you can pick up a hint or clue between now and midday Sunday that will make this painful final choice a little more digestible.

  

Good luck, and may your final arrow be green.



Steve Rothgeb is a contributor for Rotoworld.com and WorldSoccerTalk.com, a self-proclaimed fantasy sports oracle, and Tottenham Hotspur fanatic. He can be found on Twitter @FuzzyWarbles.
Email :Steve Rothgeb



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