‘There are certain things you shouldn’t do in fantasy gaming and bringing Andy Carroll into any team you own is pretty much always in the top 5.’
Guess who wrote that? Yep, me. Guess who did the complete opposite? Yep, we all know where this is going. Last week we used our first Fantasy Premier League free transfer of the season to bring in the big man and all we needed was for him to stay fit for 3 days. Could he manage it? Of course he bloody couldn’t. So with a big Andy Carroll shaped void left in our line up this is how we did in GW2.
We have noticed a clear divide in the FPL Updates XI camp so far with half our players delivering and half doing absolutely sweet FA. One player we had expected nothing from was bargain basement keeper Eldin Jakupovic, but he surprised us all with his 7pt haul. He actually has a nice first 4 game rotation with our other keeper Fraser Forster so at such a budget friendly value he could be hanging around for a little while.
The back 3 started with Luke Shaw playing on Friday night and his 11pts were a real help, especially given the fear that his attacking potential was being limited by Anthony Martial. United were dominant from start to finish and it showed how much of a license the full backs have to get forward when they are controlling games. Leighton Baines and John Stones both blanked but have shown more than enough to convince us that they will score points very soon.
Our midfield was a little disappointing this week with only 1 of our 5 delivering an attacking return, as Eden Hazard picked up an assist. With returns in both his first 2 and Burnley and Swansea up next, he’s thankfully justifying his price tag and will certainly find himself in captain discussions. Anthony Martial missed 2 great chances in the clash with Southampton, so had to settle for the 3pts but I have no doubts whatsoever that the returns are just around the corner. Dusan Tadic, Gerard Deulofeu and Andros Townsend all blanked for the 2nd consecutive week but all have their clear upsides for the next few weeks.
Up top is where we had most of our joy. Captain Sergio Aguero once again justifying his eye lofty price tag and 50% ownership with a brace against Stoke but it was strike partner Andre Gray that gave us the most satisfaction! No, not because we found out that he tweeted ‘Joe Barton sucks ****’ back in 2012 but because of a pleasantly unexpected goal and assist. Given that Burnley managed less than 20% possession it pretty much defies science that he scored us 10pts. Do we care? Of course we don’t!! And yes, we will ignore a suspect drop in bonus points after ‘those’ tweets surfaced!
So with a fairly decent 69pts for the week we have had our transfer out already confirmed. After playing zero minutes for us Andy Carroll departs. If anyone sees me even contemplate bringing him in again this season please feel free to send me some Twitter abuse! The funniest part of it all is the player coming in for him.
Andy Carroll (OUT) – Shane Long (IN)
After a week out we’ve just brought Shane Long straight back in. A little frustrating ‘wasting’ a free transfer but there are 2 reasons he is back. Firstly they have Sunderland at home and secondly I have a feeling that Southampton signing Sofiane Boufal will give him even more reason to prove his worth. With the transfer done let’s see how we line up for GW3.
Eldin Jakupovic did us proud last week but a match against Manchester United just isn’t going to get him a start, especially as Fraser Forster has a home match with Sunderland. Given that we are rolling without Zlatan (at least until the wildcard) we could actually do with the Hull stopper helping us out.
Our back 3 remains the same as last week and all 3 have fairly favourable match ups. John Stones should start and given West Ham’s attacking injury crisis we are quietly hopeful of a cleanie. Luke Shaw faces one of only 4 teams to have a 100% record but surely Hull can’t continue this. Leighton Baines faces Stoke at home.
We revert to a midfield 5 by choice this week. Anthony Martial returned 2 assists in their last away game and with the chances he is getting he looks primed to open his account sooner rather than later. Eden Hazard faces a Burnley team that have faced more shots than any other team so far. He is looking sharp and if we didn’t have Sergio Aguero he would almost certainly be our captain this week. Gerard Deulofeu showed huge promise in pre-season but that hope is in question a little here. He has failed to play more than 67 minutes so far in the league and with Romelu Lukaku back he is likely to be shifted back wide. We will hold faith this week but he is certainly drinking in the last chance saloon. Andros Townsend is another who looks primed for attacking returns. He is back to his old tricks and when I say tricks, I just mean he cuts inside and shoots from 30 yards. In all seriousness he will now actually have a legitimate striker to hit with the signing of Christian Benteke and his next 4 games are Bournemouth, Middlesbrough, Stoke and Sunderland so we are confident of his place in our team. Last up is Dusan Tadic and although he is another to have blanked so far his appeal hasn’t diminished with me. He is leading his team in chances created, he is on most set pieces and penalties and has Sunderland at home. His fixtures are a little bit of a mixed bag at the moment but he’s going nowhere this week.
Up top we have benched Andre Gray. Here at FPL Updates XI we can’t have our players tweeting stuff like he has so we are giving him a team imposed 1 game ban. It definitely has nothing to do with him playing Chelsea away… honestly! So Shane Long starts and he starts alongside the obvious captain choice Sergio Aguero. Both have nice match ups and both are expected to deliver us points. They better do anyway because there are some fantastic striking options this week and I think people’s weekly ranks will almost certainly be determined by how their strikers do.
That’s how we line up then. The feeling is that we call the wildcard in after this gameweek but let’s just see how our boys do. We are currently sitting at 374k overall so that’s a huge improvement on 2.4m after 2 GWs last year.
Good luck to all and let’s hope for some Monday morning green arrows!
Written by FPL Guru (@FPL_Guru_)