Anthony O'Shea

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Stag's Take - Gameweek 18

Friday, December 15, 2017


Stag’s Take – Gameweek 18

 

Gameweek 18 may well have been the worst one I have ever experienced. I don’t usually go into detail on my team but I feel it’s necessary in this case. I had just one return of note from a player, Richarlison’s assist which came early on Tuesday evening and I made it to 24 points overall. My gameweek rank was so bad my team was ahead of just about 100,000 teams. It was a wipeout, but what is important in FPL when you hit a bump is trusting your judgement that has served you well previous – not to panic. Whilst it may have been an apocalyptic week, this was just my second red arrow in eight and my first disaster in a while. My side has good fixtures ahead, plenty of form players (even if they barely showed up during the week) and perhaps most importantly (in a long term sense) I have a pretty high team value.

 

Looking ahead it seems like the glut of popular players with doubts hanging over their fitness has grown smaller. Just Stephen Ward and the aforementioned Richarlison are in doubt amongst players present in over 15% of teams. That said, I believe we have entered a transitionary period where the old “template” is being overtaken.

 

To back up this point, the most obvious place to look is at defenders. The likes of Brighton and Huddersfield, whose defences were lauded early on, now can’t seem to buy a clean sheet. Meanwhile the impact of the managerial changes at Everton, West Ham, and dare I say it, West Brom, is starting to pay dividend. Jonjoe Kenny has been a consistent starter under Big Sam at Goodison and comes in at a princely 4.2 in the Offical FPL game whilst Arthur Masuaku’s marauding performance against Chelsea followed by a clean sheet against Arsenal has left managers purring. However, Angelo Ogbonna is actually 0.1 cheaper than his teammate and is less likely to be a victim of rotation. The Baggies now have two clean sheets in three and that man, Ahmed Hegazi, is your cheapest route that defence. Without Mama Sakho, who will be sidelined for an extended period, Palace defenders don’t look half as attractive as they did just a few short weeks ago.

 

In terms of the premium options, Phil Jones is fit and ready to retake his place in the heart of José Mourinho’s defence on Sunday at The Hawthorns. He should be back to his bonus point hogging best after pulling one out of the fire in his first game back against Bournemouth on Wednesday. The curious case of David Luiz’s ongoing knee injury means that Andres Christensen is also still holding a starting berth unopposed in Chelsea’s side whilst the marauding champions-elect Man City will have John Stones back soon as he is “much, much better” but for now goalscoring sensation Otamendi will have to do if you’re trying to cut costs.

 

 

Captaincy Corner

 

Eden Hazard (Southampton H)


 With Alvaro Morata back fit, Eden Hazard should start scoring again – that’s the complex matrix behind Hazard’s returns. Morata holds up the ball or plays in his strike partner, Hazard shoots or assists – job done. The middle of the week was a real moment of reckoning for Chelsea’s opposition, Southampton. Claude Puel returned to St. Mary’s with Leicester and made a mockery of the board who sacked him, highlighting all of the flaws in Manuel Pellegrino’s current side who struggle to score or keep clean sheets.

 

Mo Salah (Bournemouth A)

 

After a few off days it’s critical that Liverpool get back to winning ways against Bournemouth. Jurgen Klopp suddenly looks under pressure as his attempts to rotate players to keep them fresh to avoid a slump has seen them… erh slump. The German tried to explain his methods this week: “In this moment all the players, even the players I rotate, they have two games a week and we make sure that they don’t have to play all the time three times a week, that’s all.” The free-scoring Egyptian has played just a tad over 150 minutes in the last two games so should be safe to play by Sunday to help his side get back to fourth and stay of.. Burnley. Salah leads the race for the golden boot currently with 13 goals and averages 3.7 shots per game highlighting how often he finds himself in a goal-scoring positions.

 

Riyad Mahrez (Crystal Palace H)

 

Can you have a renaissance if you were a one season wonder? If so, Mahrez is having it. Else, he’s in a purple patch. Either way, the 2015/16 player of the year has three goals and an assist in the last four gameweeks – two goals and an assist since his new eye-catching hairdo. Those three successful games came off the back 9 shots and 10 key passes – pretty strong underlying stats. Whilst the Algerian is undeniably an expensive asset in FPL, he is now an unbelievable differential option in a team who are in hot form chasing their 5th consecutive PL win.

 

 

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

 

Stag has been providing #FPL Tips since July 2015 and has been a contributor for Rotoworld.com since August 2016. He is a self-proclaimed wannabe fantasy football genius, a student, and die-hard tea enthusiast.

 

 

 

 

 








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