Welcome one and all.
We’re back again as the fantasy football gameweeks come in thick and fast. No sooner does one end, the next begins at barely 48 hours notice. It’s superb stuff but will test squads, strategies and manager mindset to the max. We are now starting to see injuries become a huge sticking part in the selection process as we’ll get onto.
It was another excellent week for my team racking up 54 points in a week’s average of 42. We are edging closer to the summit in the all important office table, a mere 3 points off the top spot. And tellingly, the man who has been top for a large portion of the season has now relinquished his perch after a shakey couple of weeks – Signs of title race pressure starting to show in some camps.
From my perspective, I’m relishing a title race. The season overall has been very good so far as we pass the half way point and into the nitty-gritty. But when I look back, I can’t help but rue the week Tottenham’s game was postponed which was, typically, the cup qualification round which we subsequently failed to make – That week still irks.
The big news from GW20 was another injury. This time to Harry Kane, adding to the premium priced player injury list which includes also Kevin De Bruyne, Vardy, Aguero and Aubameyang. The players seem to be dropping like flys now which does happen at this stage of the season, mainly due to the amount of games. This means the deferential players are going to have a huge say in everyone’s next game week totals and respective leagues. By deferential, I mean the lesser priced players that have less chance to be duplicated in yours and your opponents team. With the lack of standard big hitters that most select available, it’s really going to come down to a mixture of clever selection and, of course, good luck.
Looking at the striking options available now that Kane has took a tumble, it seems very limited. This is, in part, due to the bizarre Fantasy Premier League player positioning set out at the start of the season. Salah, Rashford, Son, Mané and Aubameyang are all down as midfielders when we all know they are clearly forwards. The go to formation for fantasy managers has been 5 across midfield for this sole reason, whoever was in charge of selecting player positions at Fantasy HQ has had a stinker this year.
Replacing Kane looks like it’s going to be a far tougher task than it was to change KDB last week so, with that in mind and similar to the last week’s question, my need to know this week is for those with Kane in their side.
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO REPLACE HARRY KANE?
Simple answer for me is I HAVEN’T A POT OF GLUE. And we must remember, as I write this, Kane hasn’t definitely been ruled out yet. So is it worth the risk in keeping him in? Maybe. He’s such a focal point to Spurs attack and many fantasy Premier League teams. Another question mark now has to be laid at the feet of his Tottenham strike partner, Son. The South Korean will now carry that extra burden in the Spurs team and so much of his good work is due to his balanced partnership with Kane. Can he cope without him? I’m not so sure. The one thing I do know is, I won’t be taking the risk on Kane. In my eyes, he’s ruled out and needs replaced. A few minuses are on the cards in terms of my transfer activity that’s for sure.
Manchester City’s favourable run of fixtures will continue when they entertain Sheffield United. Without KDB in their side, Pep’s usually erratic rotated selections should be a lot more controlled and slightly easier to predict. The cheap option of Gundugan has been an outstanding point source of late.
Other fixtures to keep an eye on would be Chelsea at home to Burnley and possibly Leicester home to Leeds. It pains me to say it, but also Everton at home to a Newcastle side who are bereft of any sort of cohesion, form or quality. But, as mentioned before, the main thing this week is the Kane conundrum. That’s the key battle ground and whoever gets it right could be set to make good gains.
THIS WEEKS PICKS
I’ve taken a -8 straight on the chin this week and it looks like that could become a regular occurrence. My team is strong but my squad isn’t. Even after the minus, am I satisfied with my team? No. It lacks striking prowess in the absence of Kane. The midfield is full of great talent who could/should be great but haven’t really lived up to expectations so far this season. Mané, Sterling and Paul Pogba have the potential to offer big scores week in week out but have so far failed to do that consistently. Just a quick side note on Pogba in particular – He was only meant to a temporary inclusion in my side but changes elsewhere means he stays in this week. You can’t help but feel for a midfielder of his size, stature and obvious ability that he should be a point scorer in the bracket of a KBD or a Salah. It just never seems to happen. Whether that’s down to his off field activities, his mindset or maybe he’s just been overrated and isn’t as good as people make out. I’m not sure of the latter. He was sensational at Juventus and the 2018 World Cup with France. Who knows, strange player to work out. Anyway, taking him out my team would’ve meant a -12 and I always try to limit myself to -8 at the absolute max.
My -8 three changes are
IN: Davis – OUT: Kane (frees up funds)
IN: Chilwell – OUT: Bernardo
IN: Mané – OUT: Smith-Rowe
With the lack of striking options available, I’ve gone for a tactic many have used this season – Bolstering up the defence. Defenders have been an excellent point source this year so I’m going to try and cash in this week.
Sterling will be the captain, with Fernandes (who did nothing with the armband last time out) vice. Wilson remains the sole Toon player on board but will have to make do with a place on the bench such is Newcastle’s terrible form.
BALL DOWN, PLAY.