BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Triple Gameweek 35)

FPL gaffers, how do? Welcome again.

So we have, if memory serves me right, an unprecedented TRIPLE gameweek incoming. This is the result of the ongoing European Super League fallout and the subsequent fan protests that followed. Man United, who were already pencilled in for a doubler, had their match against Liverpool postponed in GW34 and the rearranged fixture now gives them 3 game triple threat in 35.

It’s the sort of ACT OF GOD outcome needed for those chasing packs and in a tight title races…….. Unfortunately we are in neither and even managed to slip a place to 4th in the office mini league after another average week just gone.

Still, we plug on. We actually scored 43 in a gameweek’s average of 39. Not bad, not great, but GW35 is now an exciting proposition and one that certainly got my juices flowing.

LOOKING AHEAD.

As mentioned, Man United have a massive 3 matches in GW35, Villa, Leicester and Liverpool being the opposition. By no means easy fixtures but it’s effectively a free triple captain.

Not only do we have the treble but elsewhere, it’s a busy week. 8 teams have double games. We’ve got nothing to lose, we are loading up and taking a big negative starting point that’s for sure.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS

Since gameweek 29 our season has capitulated and, along with unforeseen unluckiness, we (I) have made some big managerial blunders. Eye off the ball, tatical suicide, that sort of stuff. This week is no different.

I had made 4 changes for a -12 and then realised I only had 2 Man United players in the lineups. It means either sticking at -12 or taking another -4 (total -16) to get the 3rd manc man in. We haven’t made the call yet so all changes are as it stands. We’ll make the final decision closer to transfer deadline.

The four transfers made so far are.

CALVERT-LEWIN for VYDRA

SIGURDSSON for SON

KABAK for TARGETT

KEANE for CHILWELL.

For now, Fernandes will be captain, whilst our TOON players (who only have 1 fixture) will have to make do with a place on the bench.

EDIT: You know what, f**k it. -16, we go in with no regrets.

CAVANI for KANE. Now we are fully loaded.

ROUTE ONE LADS.

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 34)

Get a load of this…..

Yeah that’s 3 one’s in the starting XI with a 6 and a 12 making up the bench. FPL my life.

It’s indicative of the way the last month has gone for us really, the Chilwell points obviously being the most disappointing. The thought process behind leaving him on the bench was actually fairly logically at the time. He was a big rest risk (as seen previously) for Chelsea’s Champions League semi in Madrid. Cheers Mr Tuchel, you can go and drop yourself in the same bin as your colleague, Pep.

It means that 34 in a week’s low scoring average of 36 turns out very underwhelming. Add those 18 on however and we would’ve had a completely different outlook. When your luck’s out.

We currently sit on 1848 for the season with 4 gameweek’s left to play. The challenge is now is getting to the magic 2000 point mark, to try and sneak into the top 1 million and to restore a bit of pride. We roughly need 40 points per week to get there, sounds simple and straight forward…….. if you don’t take -16’s each week.

LOOKING AHEAD.

There’s a great looking fixture for Spurs who entertain relegated Sheff. United. Tottenham’s fixture list going forward is pretty promising so Kane and Son should be in everyone’s thoughts, including ours, I would think.

Chelsea at home to Fulham and City at Palace are point scorers…… so it seems. But, both have Champions league in the week. Don’t be fooled into loading up because it’s a Pep and Tuchel double team waiting to happen. The amount of times we’ve been stung this season, especially by the former, has been a joke. It’s the reason I finally had to admit defeat and remove all City players.

Liverpool v Man U, this weekend, we could have done without.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS

I’ve just given all the spiel about not taking too many minus starts in order to get to 2000. And yet, we go into GW34 with a -8🙄

With the Spurs run in looking so favourable, I had to get Kane and Son back in. Out comes Mané, Watkins and Cavani, in comes the 2 along with Vydra. Lack of finance dictating the latter.

The Spurs duo take the armbands straight away, Kane the captain, Son the vice. Why do I have a feeling putting all my hopes in Tottenham players will come back to bite us on the arse? Ohhh aye, IT’S SPURS LADS. But, we’ll see.

I mentioned the other week we were going back to basics for the run in, well you can’t be more basic than 4-4-f**king-2. That’s how we will line up.

And, In form Allan Saint Maximin retains his place as our Toon representation. what a time to be alive.

GET IN THEIR FACES.

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 32)

With 6 weeks of the season to go I’m afraid the time has come to concede the office league title.

As predicted, Game week 29 proved to be the pivotal week and since then things have steadily spiralled out of control. We now sit around 100 points off the top so points pride is the only thing left to play for in season 20/21.

Last week we managed 46 in a fixture set average of 41 which seems ok, but it paints a far from realistic picture of the week’s true goings on. 38 of the 46 points scored were only from 2 players, Lacazette (captain) and Allan Saint-Maximin. On the card we had 3 big fat zero’s and 4 one’s. Unbelievably really. How we managed an above average score is beyond anyone’s belief.

Again, pep’s rotation policy has left us short for which I have to hold my hand up. I’ve had opportunities to change and take pep’s boys out of the lineup and have stalled. The buck stops with the manager and I take that on the chin. What we can’t account for, however, is things like the Dominic Calvert-Lewin exclusion – No team news or red flags. As far as we are concerned he should of played and didn’t.

We move on. The target now is to get to the magic 2000 point mark and try and sneak back into the top 1 million worldwide. All the while trying to cut the gap at the top by as much as possible.

LOOKING AHEAD.

First thing to point out is Spurs have a double game week with their opponents being Everton and Southampton respectively. All sounds great but remember, lads… IT’S SPURS, perennial failure merchants when you think all is rosey. That being said, Kane captain is surely a move the vast majority will go with this week.

Elsewhere *takes a deep breathe* Man United at home to Burnley, Arsenal home to Fulham, Chelsea home to Brighton, Leicester home to West Brom and City at Villa all have the makings of points and could be conducive to a lucrative high scoring week. A 100 point week is not beyond the realms of possibility should the results go as most would predict.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS.

Having basically given up on the title, the pressure is off now as we look to enjoy the end of the season. In a way it’s a bit of a relief and the players can now go out and express themselves, hopefully proving to myself, the board and the fans they deserve a place in the squad next season. However, in saying the is pressure off and all that, we still start this week on a -4, making 2 enforced changes. Some things will never change.

Out comes DCL to be replaced by Edison Cavani whilst Ben Chilwell replaces the other crock Aaron Cresswell in defence. Providing Cavani plays, our front 3 looks very strong as the Uruguayan hitman partners captain Kane and Lacazette at the top end of the pitch. And guess what, we still include 3 City players despite the previous weeks failings. Sorry, not sorry.

TOON representation remains at 2 in the form of Allan Saint-Maximin and Joe Willock to continue the accumulation of points, what ever that target maybe.

GW32 TEAM

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 30)

It feels like a long time ago and the dust has settled but the disappointment lingers. As predicted, game week 29 was truly awful and has subsequently left us nearly 60 points behind the office leader with only 8 gameweek’s left to play.

With a -8 starting point our lads only managed 21 points for the week with Harry Kane bagging 14 of them. It makes for truly dire reading and is possibly my worst ever return for a fixture set in FPL history. Putting my faith in Newcastle players was a monumental mistake and definitely a case of the heart ruling over the head, an absolute FPL no no. Like Steve Bruce, I have become the fantasy April fool.

If we add a little more context however, the game week average was only 25. In normal circumstances our score wouldn’t have been too bad. The problem was, my 2 main title rivals scored a very impressive 71 and 61 respectively. An average week for them would’ve made our average score week totally fine. Would having Son fit have made that much of a difference to us? With that gap in score lines, probably not.

We did feel this week would be a poor one from our point of view. The fixtures or lack of, the availability of our squad, it all had the hallmarks of a nightmare incoming and so it proved. Obviously the key factor was not being able to foresee the points deficit we now have to claw back, I was thinking it was going to be around the 30 mark. DOUBLE THAT. DISASTER.

We need to get the player’s heads up, take our medicine and move on. There’s still a lot of points to play for and our rivals in question will have to make changes going forward. Yes, we will have to take a few risks but the aim now is to claw 10 points per week back. How? I’m not sure but it’s only a captains pick difference and is by no means impossible. We may have to look down the differentials route in the coming weeks and you know what, I love trying to find the gems. This season we’ve had a pretty good record in the regard.

LOOKING AHEAD.

As bad as our game week 29 was, the squad we have does still look decent for the upcoming fixtures. Our biggest concern, as always, is Manchester City and Pep Guardiola. This week is no different and trying to predict the rotation will be made harder by the fact they have a Champions League match in midweek. With the league all but wrapped up, you’ve got to think the Easter eggs will be firmly placed in the European basket. Is it even worth having City players in your squad at this stage? Definitely a question to be answered.

Man United at home to Brighton and Chelsea at home to West Brom look the pick of GW30, I would predict Bruno Fernandes will be a lot of managers captain this week and quite possibly mine. Do I take the risk and go for a differential though? Food for thought.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS

Only 1 transfer this week despite the game week 29 debacle. Importantly, there’s no minus hits in hope that the others have made changes and we already start to eat away at the deficit.

The change is Calvert-Lewin (home to Crystal Palace) coming in for Vydra which many would agree is a no brainer.

We now have a relatively strong bench which has enabled us to retain the Manchester City players. KDB and Gundugan will be in my XI but in the event of Pep roulette we should have decent auto back up subs.

I have played it safe with the skipper and gone with Bruno, while Kane takes the vice. In terms of our TOON representatives, Willock and Fraser will sit on the bench. The magpie’s form is abysmal and they don’t look like they’ll get another point, I just couldn’t afford (negative points wise) to replace them.

FIRST AND SECOND BALLS.

GW30 squad list

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 28)

Hi all. Welcome.

We’ve reached the summit. An outstanding score of 89 points in week’s average of 60 saw us reel in the 12 point deficit to lead the office league by 2 going into game week 28.

Great stuff but what remains to be seen is, how long will this lead last? I’m not too sure. In fact, skipping over a week and into game week 29 things are looking bleak and it’s one that, if I don’t make some thoughtful changes, could derail my season completely. As it stands that week in question only has 4 fixtures on it’s list and my current squad would only have 4 representatives. With no wildcard or free hit remaining it’s going to take some astute planning of GW28 with 29 fully in mind. How I’m going to do it? Not a clue at this moment in time. I mentioned last week, that every week will likely begin with a negative starting point until the end of the season and that prophecy is likely to live up to the billing. What I must do is incorporate some of GW29’s changes into this week so minimise the hit.

In terms of our scorers for the week just gone, the big hitters all produced. Kevin De Bruyne (captain) Bruno Fernandes and Harry Kane all pulled excellent scores out the bag. That is in contrast to the defenders who only mustered 6 between them, roles definitely reserved from the previous week. Seasons really do swing in roundabouts.

LOOKING AHEAD

As just mentioned, we aren’t just looking at this coming week but also the week after. Only having 4 fixtures for a match set is just ridiculous and getting as many players into my squad from those 8 teams is going to be a monumental task. I could just write off that GW completely and take the hit but I know my rivals will be looking to capitalise. I need to find a way of minimising the damage – I sound like Steve Bruce🙄

Spurs play Arsenal this week in the North London derby which is a tough fixture but they are on a good run and, more importantly, have a fixture in GW29. That is one avenue I’ll be definitely looking down when making my transfers. Crucially, we already have 2 Tottenham players in the squad. Arsenal play in both weeks so that is also a possibility but maybe they will be in next weeks changes.

If we are looking at only game week 28, I would be looking at Man City at Fulham, Man United home to West Ham and Leicester at home to Sheff. United. Neither of those sides have a fixture in game week 29. Do I just play this week as it is and make huge changes and a huge point hit for GW29? This set of dilemmas is actually worse than anything a double game week could produce and there are so many different ways to approach it tactically. Picking the right approach is tough.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS

So……. after much thought, mental turmoil and exploring most of the permutations, I decided to make…….. NO TRANSFERS OR CHANGES!

All talk about taking minus hits every week from now till the end of season goes completely out of the window. When I looked at my team and the fixture set they all had for 28, it was all very conducive for good point scoring. Yes, it leaves us short for game week 29 but what making no changes this week gives us is 2 free transfers when we will need it most next week. 2 freebies and a couple of negative hits should see us scratch together a team for the 4 fixture week.

Who’s to say players I could have potentially bought in this week with next week in mind get injured or pick up a suspension. The Premier League could also add fixtures to that game week so we will just sit tight and see what happens. We are airing slightly on the side of caution this round but the fixtures always dictate the selections and we’ll deal with game week 29 when it comes around.

Even the captain pick remains the same, KDB has the armband with Bruno waiting in reserve. In terms of TOON representation, Fraser remains the sole flag flyer in black and white.

MARK YOUR MEN.

GAME WEEK 28 squad list.

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Double Gameweek 27)

Can we chill yet? The double game week of 26 was absolutely mind boggling on all fronts. Triple captains, pep roulette and inevitable injuries all playing a big part in and long and weird fixture set. The general consensus seems to be one of underwhelming disappointment across the board for a lot of managers. It was a game week that was billed as the greatest ever but the average score, although it is high at 75, contradicts that massively considering nearly all the teams played twice. The question this week is

ARE DOUBLE GAMEWEEKS MORE OF A HINDERANCE THAN A HELP? Let me know.

Having said all that, am I happy with our team’s performance and points outcome? Absolutely. We’ve made good ground scoring an excellent 109 points and subsequently cutting the office league leaderboard to just 12. Ironically, that 12 points is the minus starting point we took with 4 transfers but it was necessary. We wouldn’t have been anywhere near the 100 point mark without it. Speculate to accumulate and all that.

The triple captain card used on Harry Kane yielded 24 of the points total which, when using that chip, you would expect as a bare minimum. In all honesty, I would have liked a bit more from it but maybe that’s just shameless greed. The big points came from our 3 defenders; Maguire, Stones and Digne, all of whom scored double figures which I’m obviously thrilled about. The latter, Digne, was an inspired change and inclusion who turned out to be an excellent differential – Excuse me while I pat myself on the back.

Scoring 100+ points in any week is a superb return and is usually the result of a collective team contribution. It turned out to be just that.

LOOKING AHEAD.

There’s yet another double gameweek in GW27…….. for Manchester bloody city. Is it even a doubler? Pep has two world class sides at his disposal which he tends to utilise when his team have more than 1 match in a week. This was evident in game week 26 and will likely be the same in 27. That’s not to say you shouldn’t pick City players, quite the opposite, they are in blistering form and are probably the only team worth watching in the league – A league they will win at a canter. It’s simply picking the right ones which is the difficulty.

Elsewhere, it’s back to basics for the rest. Spurs at home to Crystal Palace could be a point scorer along with Liverpool versus Fulham, despite the reds very patchy form. Outside shouts would be Arsenal at Burnley, the gunners have had a few decent results of late, someone like Saka maybe a good option and wouldn’t break the bank.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS

It’s another negative start for us this week, a theme that will likely be running until the end of the season now. Our bench is simply too weak to make substitutions. This time it’s a -8 so a slight improvement on last week.

Vrydra of Burnley replaces Dominic Calvert-Lewin as a cash make way. This make way was to supplement the return of Kevin De Bruyne who comes in for Rashford. The third and final change is TOON related, Ryan Fraser comes in as straight swap for fellow magpie Allan Saint-Maximin who has taken another tumble. It’s a good chance for the Scot to show what he can do, bag me some points and you know my Newcastle United representation is important despite the team’s clear short comings and poor performances on the pitch. Hey ho.

These changes mean we revert to a 3-5-2 formation – The same again from the defenders would be very welcome.

In terms of captaincy, KDB will be the skipper purely on the grounds he has a (small) chance of playing 2 games in the week. Kane will be vice.

TIKI TAKA PASS PASS PASS

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Double Gameweek 26)

Hello all, welcome.

We are still ticking along very nicely this season. 73 points in GW25 in an week’s average of 55 was an excellent return. Still 19 points off the office top spot but in a good position going into a massive double game week.

To be honest, things weren’t looking too clever going into the middle of the weekend, my rivals had doubled up on Leeds and Southampton players. I was banking on Newcastle United’s ineptitude and we were along way behind until the magpies faced Man U but, as expected, Rashford and Fernandes (captain) pulled us through. The pair accounted for 36 points of our total which was spot on. Getting my captain pick right was crucial to the strategy and luckily it paid off.

The one double player I did have was Bamford of Leeds which bought in another 8 points. It was a risky strategy not doubling up and I know the others around me scored slightly more for the week. What sticking with what I had now gives me is a clear path and a strong team going into the MASSIVE double game week of 26. My rivals will have to make a lot of changes which will incur subsequent negative starting points.

That all being said, in true fantasy football style I can’t rule out a number of tinkering transfers and minuses of my own despite our already decent looking lineup for this week.

LOOKING AHEAD

I’ve had my eye on game week 26 for a while. There’s a HUGE 17 game fixture set meaning 14 of the 20 Premier League teams have 2 matches. This is the chip playing territory and, as it’s the only one I have left, I’m certainly considering the TRIPLE CAPTAIN.

Tottenham, Everton, Man City, Man United, Liverpool and Leicester are, what I consider, the main sides with good double fixtures. It’s a embarrassment of riches to choose from and it’s easy to be swept away in endless amounts of transfers in order to take advantage. But, you don’t want to miss out, you can’t miss out! You know your rivals are also tinkering and looking to cash in. These weekends don’t come around often, when they do you need to make the most of them.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS

🚨ALERT ALERT ALERT🚨 – THE TRIPLE CAPTAIN CARD HAS BEEN ACTIVATED. Yes, that’s right, our last chip of the season is in play with the honour of the most important armband going to Harry Kane – Who else in all honesty. Although there maybe other big double gamers further down he track, two extremely inviting fixtures against Burnley and Fulham can’t be missed out on. Let’s just hope A) he’s fit and B) he’s bangs in a shitload of goals and creates some for Son while he’s at it.

In other (significant) news, we’ve made 4 transfers meaning a -12 start, our largest negative starting point of the season. When i said earlier that the team didn’t need much TLC, that was right but, when weeks like this come around you can afford to throw the boat out a little to take full advantage.

The transfers are as follows…

NECO WILLIAMS for AARON CRESSWELL (Cash builder)

LUCA DIGNE for ANTONIO RUDIGER

DOMINIC CALVERT-LEWIN for PATRICK BAMFORD

OLLIE WATKINS for MICHAIL ANTONIO.

These changes now mean all 11 starting players have two matches. That coupled with the TRIPLE CAPTAIN make for a pretty formidable force and it’s now a week I’m looking forward to immensely. We’ve really gone for it this week, only time will tell as to whether it’s paid off. In terms of a gamble, I don’t think the tactics applied are a massive risk simply because most fantasy football managers up and down the land will have the same mindset. Capitalising is definitely the running theme this week.

I’ve mentioned the captain picks, but if Kane is (inexplicably, disastrously, inhumanly) unavailable for whatever reason, Fernandes will take the reigns as vice. Our sole Toon representative, Allan Saint-Maximin, will have to make do with a place on the bench. He only has one fixture and Newcastle’s form is terrible.

GET TO THE BYLINE.

DGW26 SQUADLIST

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Double Gameweek 25)

Welcome all.

Gundugan. What a season he’s having at Manchester City. Another 2 goals and an assist this week given him a total of 19 points. One problem. I didn’t captain him, others in our mini league did and that was the difference in this week’s totals. I’ve never been so happy for one of my players NOT to play when the second match of his double game week came round for fear of him doing the same again. What a warped state of affairs.

Take that situation away and we’ve had, what would usually be, an excellent week. 78 points in a game week’s average of 61. Why do I feel disappointed? It’s a more than decent score. The reason? Those around me scored 87, 88 and 99 respectively and brilliantly. Sometimes it’s hard to separate your score from the results of the others but, at the end, you can only change your own team. Has it made a huge difference to the table? Not at all. Only 20 points off the top in 2nd place, what a season we’re having when you look at the broader picture. It’s simply a captain pick’s difference.

At this point I am going to blow my own trumpet and give myself a pat myself on the back. I had a feeling that Michail Antonio wouldn’t be fit for his match against Sheffield United. He was down as having fatigue (ya what mate!?) but would have a 75% chance of playing. Now he’s a striker in form and that was a tasty fixture for him. Rather than take him out and risk losing good striker scoring points, I left him in ensuring that my number 1 substitute would be a scoring one should he fail to be fit. Number one sub? Aaron Cresswell, 12 points. A little tactical victory there and good plan conjured up.

Elsewhere amongst my team, Bruno keeps delivering and it was a decent week for Sterling however, as captain, 14 points in a double game week side, you would expect a little more? Maybe that’s being greedy and again maybe that’s because Gundugan scored so high. Going forward, I feel predicting City’s lineups are going to become even tougher in the coming weeks. One to watch.

LOOKING AHEAD.

First things first, it’s another double game week but only for 2 sides, Leeds and Southampton. Now this a tricky one and at this stage of the writing process I’m not sure what to do with my team. Do I take a risk and incorporate either of those teams players in my side. Neither of those teams are in great form but out of the 2, Leeds seem to have the better looking matches. The question for you lot this week is simple?

WILL ANY OF YOU BE MAKING CHANGES TO GET LEEDS OR SOUTHAMPTON PLAYERS IN?

Like I’ve just said, neither are in great form. Who would you go for? Bamford? Ward-Prowse? Ings perhaps? For me it’s probably too much of a risk and, at this stage, would upset my team, transfer budget and negative starting point too much to do so but that’s just initial thoughts. I will sit down properly later and explore all the avenues and permutations.

Leeds actually kick GW25 on Friday night meaning office silent treatment has come into play for the first time in a while. All transfers and team selection must be completed 24 hours before the usual deadline. Do my esteemed colleagues know this vital piece of information? Most probably do but if one doesn’t, the slightly underhanded silent treatment has worked a…… treat?

The main scoring fixture I would to look out for I would say is (unfortunately⚫️⚪️) Man United at home to Newcastle. The form of Fernandes and frailty of the Toon’s team could be a lethal combination. Steve Bruce’s side rolled over and died in their last match and I fear the same could happen here.

The rest of the fixtures are pretty tricky to call, it could be a real differential weekend. Personal preference rather than scoring certainty picks could well be order of the game week and, at this stage of writing, I haven’t a clue how to approach it.

THIS WEEKS PICKS

This has been a struggle. The dilemma I’ve had is, do I take a few minus hits and double up on Leeds and Southampton players? Or do I roughly stick with what I have at the risk the doublers gamers scoring big?

In the end, I’ve gone with a mix of both conundrums. 2 transfers which only incurs a -4 start. I’ve bought it Bamford of Leeds who replaces Davies. A pick to double up on games and one that I have no doubt will be a very popular selection all round this weekend.

I’ve also bought back Heung Min Son. He comes in for Rahim Sterling with a medium to long term plan in mind. I eventually want to bring back Kevin De Bruyne as he now approaches full fitness. Relieving Sterling of his duties frees up some much needed funds for this eventuality and Son, who has some promising fixtures coming up, doesn’t compromise the quality or scoring potential on display. Not only that I think Sterling will be a huge resting risk this weekend with Man City having one eye on their all important Champions League tie in the week.

The Son transfer is a bit of a gamble but I think it will be a potentially lucrative differential and now that Harry Kane is fully fit again, their partnership could flourish once more.

I’ve had to go Fernandes as captain at home to Newcastle with Rashford, the vice. Allan Saint-Maximin remains our sole TOON representative but he makes do with a place on the bench with his tricky fixture in mind. Cresswell joins ASM on the bench which makes up the strongest list of substitutes we’ve probably had this season. Doubts remain of the fitness of Antonio and Gundugan so these two are ready in waiting as good automatic backups.

BALLS INTO THE BOX

DGW25 squad list.

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Double Gameweek 24)

Hello all, welcome.

There’s only one place to start. The big Allan Saint-Maximin deferential gamble of game week 23 paid off quite the treat. He started his match and then managed to conjure up 2 assists along with important win bonus points. It’s the kind of transfer that brings the most satisfaction in fantasy football. A deferential which no other manager thought of and an often risky inclusion that works out a to great effect. It’s excellent when little tactical tweaks like this pay dividends but you have to make the most of it when it comes off, usually they don’t stay rare deferentials for long. In this case, I can see alot of managers looking to bring ASM into their teams in the coming weeks. He’s very cheap, will always play (when fit) and is involved in most of Newcastle’s goals and attacking play. The Frenchman would be an excellent squad man, if anything, to have around your set up.

The Saint-Maximin show was the icing on a pretty productive week’s cake. We managed 67 points in a week’s average of 58 and at one stage of the weekend we were briefly top of the office mini league however, Leeds put pay to that on Monday night so, as it stands, we sit 2nd, a mere 7 points off the summit. Shout outs again to the outstanding Gundogan and of course, the consistent, Bruno Fernandes – Long may their form continue.

LOOKING AHEAD.

Gameweek 24 is a double game week. Now usually the excitement would be tangible when these weeks come around but, looking at the fixtures, this one flatters to deceive. The main team with 2 games in the fixture set to look out for is Manchester City. Great you may think? Hmmm not so much. The problem, first of all, lays again at the door of Pep Guardiola’s rotational selection policy. Is he willing to play the same players 2 games in a row in such a short space of time? History would suggest not. There’s also the extra added factor that there are elusive Champions League fixtures on the horizon, a competition that has slipped through the hands the blue-mooners for so long, a trophy they are desperate to win – Resting becomes a double risk. For arguments sake Pep names an unchanged side for both matches, they are up against Tottenham and Everton, 2 tricky fixtures where points certainly aren’t even guaranteed.

The other double matched teams aren’t really worth writing home about either. They are Everton, Fulham and Burnley. Everton could possibly be a lucrative scoring avenue but again, as just mentioned, one of their matches is against an inform City side and there are fitness doubts surrounding top goalscorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin who would be my pick if I could guarantee his involvement. On the whole, this doubler isn’t really one to get the juices flowing but, it is a doubler after all with a chance, however slim, to score double points and this brings me nicely to my question of the week.

ARE ANY OF YOU THINKING OF USING THE TRIPLE CAPTAIN CHIP FOR THE UPCOMING DOUBLE GAMEWEEK? IF SO, WHO ON?

For me personally, I’ll be saving my triple captain for later DGW’s for the reasons mentioned above. That’s not to say using it would out of the question for any other manager willing to take a bit of risk. The reward could be great as it would, I think, be a big deferential move. I would love to here from anyone taking the punt.

Elsewhere in the game week, Man United’s fixture at West Brom has to be a great scoring chance. It pains me to say but Chelsea at home to Newcastle is another. Leicester v Liverpool is fixture many of us could do without. In terms of my team, I’m not happy with this week’s fixture set to be honest and if someone offered me the gameweek’s average score right now, I would snap their hands off. Bit of luck needed I think.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS.

Just the one transfer this week which means no minus starting points. Reason being, after looking a the fixture set I’m not overly confident so we are going to need all the points we can get this week. Starting on a negative is out of the question unless totally necessary.

I’ve brought Harry Kane back into the squad despite Tottenham’s tough fixture at City. We were thrown a curve ball last week when the Spur’s number 9 returned from injury ahead of schedule, then inevitably scored. The lack of available fully fit forwards on the roster at the moment is desperate so no choice but to bring the England Skipper back really. Ideally I would have brought him in next week once City were out the way but needs must. He replaces the injured Callum Wilson who is out for a while.

Fernandes, away at West Brom, would of been my skipper had Sterling not had a double game week. Whether Sterling plays both games remains to be seen but it’s a risk we have to take. Allan Saint-Maximin is now our only TOON representative.

Please note, I have wrote this on Thursday evening so tinkering before deadline is possible/probably.

****EDIT***** LATE CHANGE – Cresswell of West Ham now comes in for the perma-crocked James Justin meaning a -4, but hey, it’s a minute to minute business this Fantasy Football game. We have to be able to adapt at the click of a finger.

WORK THE CHANNELS!!!

DGW 24 SQUAD

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 21)

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.

KANE

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.

LOOKING AHEAD

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.

GW21 squad selection.