I think this week more than any showed the strength in depth that the FPL Updates XI possesses. If someone had told me last week that Cedric, Zouma, De Bruyne and our captain Kane would combine for a paltry 8 points I would have been sure our run of green arrows would have come to an end. Thankfully it was not to be. A Fantasy Premier League score of 65, against an average of 51, guaranteed us yet another move up the overall standings and up to 143,578th so let’s have a look at how we did in gameweek 16:
As expected West Ham looked a little shot shy with so many of their attacking options out injured, so our decision to start Butland was vindicated, not that we needed much persuasion. His 7th clean sheet in 9 returned a mightily impressive 11 points, so over those 9 games he has scored 60 points, a 6.6 average. Staggering numbers.
The back 3 was made up of Dann, Zouma and Kolarov. Last week we had mentioned our concern about Kolarov being dropped and so it turned out. With Clichy now fit and a busy December fixture list ahead I think this is an area we may be addressing soon. Cedric came in for him and returned his customary 2 points. As much as I like him he has only returned 5+ points once since week 5. Zouma, now looking like the first choice CB at Chelsea, played but couldn’t put a stop to the Leicester juggernaut and delivered us a single point. Scott Dann was our 3rd defender and following his 6 points he has now returned over the basic 2 points in 4 of the last 6 games.
Our midfield has been fairly consistent throughout the weeks and so it proved again. I’ve always thought that if your midfield 4 can deliver 16 points you should be pleased. Our midfield total was a healthy 25 this week. The weekend started off well with Deulofeu’s sumptuous assist. Next up was De Bruyne against a Swansea team that love conceding goals to opposing midfielders… so as expected he scored us 1 whole point.. It is becoming very evident that KDB delivers when Aguero is involved…
Games where Aguero has played: 6 games 53 points
Games where Aguero hasn’t played: 6 games 19 points
Let’s hope Aguero is fit for this Monday then. Our Sunday coverage came in the form of Mesut Ozil. Guess what? He notched an assist. Following a sweeping Arsenal counter attack he, in true FIFA style, tramped the ball across for Ramsey to slot home. As impressive as it is seeing him create chances for fun it is weird seeing a player so against shooting! Last up was Riyad Mahrez. Quick rule for playing FPL this season….DO NOT SELL or BENCH him. This guy is playing at a ridiculous level yet there were actually people doing that last week. His goal and assist Monday were both straight out of the top draw and I can’t see his form slowing any time soon. He is averaging 8.8 points a game!
Up top we brought in ‘Arry Kane for Aguero. Gave him the armband didn’t we! Well what a terrible decision that was. 4 points was a serious let down, especially considering our other 2 strikers scored. One of them, Lukaku, made it 6 games in a row with his goal at Norwich and is now officially half way to beating our other striker’s record. The other one obviously being Jamie Vardy. Following his first goalless game in what has seemed like forever, it was always going to be interesting to see if he can get back to scoring ways. Is he in a purple patch or is he the real deal? Well if that goal against Chelsea is anything to go by then he is for real. The goal was a thing of beauty.
Our decision for transfer this week is based on match up but also with the busy Xmas fixture list upcoming. Last week proved that we will likely see an extended list of proven FPL players rested so strength in depth is key. So, with that in mind the change is:
Wanyama (OUT) -> Wijnaldum (IN)
Granted Wanyama is a starter but he is nothing more than a 2 point machine, so with money in the bank we decided to strengthen our front 8, even if it means we have had to dip into our ‘Aguero fund’.
Butland in goal. Shock!
Looking at our back 3 I can’t say that I see a lot of potential. I fully expect Dann to concede against a Stoke team that have beaten Chelsea and City in their last 2 home games. I’m not sure Kolarov starts as I feel City might try and counter Arsenal’s right sided pace but you can’t not start him. Zouma is the only one with a little hope riding upon him. With Mourinho gone I can’t help but feel Sunderland could well be walking into a battering. I think Chelsea win this by a few to nil.
In midfield we actually had a big decision on our hands. Following the arrival of Wijnaldum we had to decide who to drop. Following all the praise we have heaped on Deulofeu in the last few weeks he finds himself benched. This could be regrettable but we have Everton coverage in the form of Lukaku. So let’s start with our new boy Wijnaldum. He is the definition of ‘Boom or Bust’ in fantasy terms and if ever there was a game to boom then it’s Villa at home. We obviously have Mahrez starting. He just keeps getting better. We can all see that Chelsea haven’t been the team of the past few years but it’s not often you see one player dominate them in the way the Leicester playmaker did on Monday. Everton this week and I fully expect him to add to his 18 attacking returns. Our last 2 face off in the biggest game of the season on Monday Night. Ozil and De Bruyne. This is one of those games that on the surface appears to be goals but ends up being a stalemate. Hopefully I’m wrong. Our decision to start De Bruyne was actually partly based on the news that Aguero will be fit.
Up top it’s Kane, Vardy and Lukaku. Kane may have disappointed us last week but he’s facing a Southampton team that have 1 point from 12. Our other 2 strikers face each other. Jamie Vardy and Romelu Lukaku have been the 2 star strikers this season and I for one cannot wait for this match up. Both teams love conceding a goal. Everton 2 clean sheets in their last 11 and Leicester 3 clean sheets the whole season. With that being said it’s Lukaku with the armband this week.
With so many of our players facing each other it’s going to take a big weekend to continue our march for the top 100k. I am sure I won’t be alone when it comes to praying for a 3-3 draw in both Arsenal-City and Everton-Leicester. So with that said, good luck all and let’s hope for the defences of those 4 teams to remember that it is in fact the time for giving. Happy Christmas!
Written by FPL Guru