Written by @IamtheMarkus. Follow him on twitter for regular FPL insights!
Much like the rest of you, I opted for what was the most popular pick, Auba ©.
Whilst the curse of the early kick-off did not rear it’s ugly head fully, he returned just the one goal and clean sheet, but most importantly was nowhere to be seen on the bonus points.
14 points seems okay on balance, it’s softened slightly by having Salah at least in my squad albeit with a nice VC band mocking me ever so slightly.
At this stage, returns no matter how small all help. 14 is, after all, greater than 4.
My personal aim is to try to get to 600 points from this year’s choices, meaning the ideal return will be around 16 points from my © per week.
Looking across last week’s selections, I was pretty hit & miss. Auba, Salah, Vardy and Zaha particularly impressed though the chances of Vardy/Salah both getting two penalties in a single game every week are pretty low. Jiminez really is Mr Consistent, with yet another positive contribution. Though be warned he’s only had more than a single contribution (goal or assist) in 6 out of 45. Werner impressed and did look a class above the 9.5m tag but generally toiled as Chelsea don’t look like they are all on the same page… yet. Ings / Antonio / ASM / Kane really had weeks to forget. Generally though having penalty takers in your squad is pretty sensible if and when you can.
Going forward in these articles, we will have a shorter list per week as it will be based on my current squad and any early thoughts.
This lot got me to around the 700k mark, not the worst week 1 I’ve had by a long stretch.
This weeks headache starts to become apparent when you see the MUN / MCI squads and how they will find a way into your starting 11 (mine above is from GW1) either this week or next, depending on your planning and views after starting to see some of the squads in action.
There’s still a malaise around West Ham despite last nights cup win, Fulham pressed so very high and paid for it, Leeds certainly impressed this week despite the eventual loss and certainly showed why they were champions ahead of the other two promoted clubs. Spurs lacked energy in their press almost like a team with zero preseason under their belts.
Onwards to GW2…
I’ll likely be bringing in one of the Manchester City midfielders this week but am unsure which one. The below are my early thoughts on the armband but I think I’m pretty set. TLDR; My GW2 © will be Auba, KDB/Sterling are in the back of my mind but I feel it one week too soon for them.
Aubameyang – TSB ~ 46.5%
Arsenal have continued in a positive fashion but were helped by Fulham’s openness in the game. They seem to have found a good rhythm already which is handy. West Ham were very poor defensively overall against Newcastle, so I’d expect them to concede chances again and he won’t need many of those.
Many are transferring him out in favour of a Manchester-based midfielder or Salah but I am likely to hold b/c of the fixture appeal for at least one more week, he is a flat track bully by most accounts and whilst West Ham probably won’t be relegation candidates at the end of the season, you get the feeling that they are going to look like it in the first 5 weeks. Beyond this, it feels like now that the new contract now officially in place feels like an extra tick to his name. Keeping it simple for now.
Salah – TSB ~35%
Off and running with a hattrick and showed exactly what I was worried about in last weeks selections. As greedy and energetic as ever taking about 9 shots against Leeds. He’ll no doubt want another goal (or three) against his old club. Chelsea did not look defensively stronger this week than last season but that isn’t saying much. Lamptey/Trossard caused Alonso a whole heap of problems, I expect much the same unless the formation changes drastically. Kepa is still devoid of confidence so I expect quite a few pop shots from range from Salah. Last year, his away output dropped off in comparison to previous years but never usually through a lack of trying. Whilst the most recent game between the two was 5-3, the rest have often been quite tight with just one goal in it more often than not. I’ll probably not be handing him the band but I am a Chelsea fan and biased about the outcome of this fixture.
Sterling TSB ~ (4%) / KDB (TSB 27.5%)
Manchester City players will be relishing getting the campaign underway. I expect both to do very well this year. With Aguero still coming back from injury I tend to favour Sterling, but expect both KDB and Sterling to be heavily involved and to do similar levels of damage. City will try to dominate and put the game to bed as early as possible, the game plan is simple, score 3 or 4 as quick as possible then rest for the remainder with your opponent too demoralized to do anything. KDB was THE outstanding player of the year last year and this reflected in the points.
Sterling was more like Jekyll and Hyde at the start and end of the season returns wise but the likelihood is that we are going to see another positive season from him at Man City. There is an outstanding query about whether KDB keeps the penalty duties if Aguero is back early but my feeling is KDB has them until he misses one. Wolves are not pushovers by any means. Whilst they did continue their business very well against Sheffield there were openings for the Blades. It may be too early to chase differentials like these.
Richarlison – TSB ~ 10%
Everton had not been considered by many of us but the performance at Spurs shows a glimmer of hope. Richarlison really should have had a brace or at least 1g and 1a. He got into the right positions often but was very wasteful. So I’m hoping he gets some shooting practice this week. DCL may be the better pick out of the two especially if you want the extra $$$. West Brom will not be walkovers but the quality that now Everton possess should be enough to see Everton have their opportunities. There is also the early kick-off curse that I keep telling myself about, so I’m likely not to captain this man here.
Of course, there are at least a half a dozen or so players I don’t own that I wish I potentially did for a mad © punt.
Martial – TSB ~ 10% (and rising)
A likely target for those with Werner who didn’t fancy the Germans odds against Liverpool or don’t want to risk that current (Tuesday) yellow flag. Home matches seemed to suit him and he’s expected to continue last season’s form. Palace did set up well at the weekend but can’t see them keeping him or his colleagues out.
Aguero – TSB ~ 4%
There is a big question mark at the start of GW2 about whether he is fully fit yet but once he is, he should really be slotting straight into your squad. A ruthless forward, when on form his ability to haul is definitely a rank mover. Cheapest he’s ever been thanks to some bad luck with injuries last year. May well reclaim penalties on his reintroduction to the starting 11.
Bruno F. – TSB ~ 20%
Whether it be servicing any of the front three of (Martial | Rashford | Greenwood), having a pop shot because he can or taking every set piece he can, Bruno is likely to be involved in the goals at Selhurst Park this weekend. This will no doubt be a very popular acquisition if he shows any kind of form/fitness. With only half a season of PL under his belt he managed to rack up 117 points without too much fuss. The price seems to have an air of KDB’s starting price last season and whilst I’m not expecting as many penalty returns for Bruno this year.
Leeds – TSB generally under the 10%
They looked the part against Liverpool and are amongst the popular transfers this week with good cause. Points were spread across the squad but they are likely to be up for putting goals past Fulham this week for an early display of dominance.