With a 4 point hit and just 8 double gameweek players we had our fingers crossed for a decent week to continue our push for our target of a top 50k finish. What we got was a triple figure return, a jump up to 37k and a very happy FPL Updates XI camp. 103 points with our triple captain played means we combined for a pretty pleasing 255pts over the 2 big gameweeks of the season (GW34/GW37) and made it 8 weeks of green arrows in the last 11 gameweeks. With the final week of the Fantasy Premier League season upon us let’s have a look at a breakdown from last week.
As we explained last week, we’re a fickle bunch as we callously benched Karl Darlow straight after his 15 point performance in gameweek 36. We just couldn’t ignore the lure of a keeper on a double and Simon Mignolet certainly didn’t let us down. His 11 point performance vindicated the decision. Soz Karl.
Our back 3 saw an FPL Updates XI debut handed to Chris Smalling and like Mignolet, he did his damage in the first of his 2 games. A clean sheet away to Norwich and 7 points were okay with us. We would be lying if we said our defensive hopes weren’t resting with Aaron Cresswell. He has been one of the best defensive selections this season but somehow he managed to score just 1 point this week! Last up was Joel Ward. Of our other 3 defenders not on a double gameweeker, he got the nod. 2 points from the Palace man was at least 1 more than both our benched defenders.
Now onto the midfield and where else to start than with our triple captain Dimitri Payet. I’m pretty sure 99% of all FPL gaffers giving the triple captain chip to Payet were sure his points haul would come from the Swansea game. Anyone know what the f**k happened there?! 4-1! His second game was a little different though. 2 assists in the last 15 minutes against Manchester United, in the final game at the Boleyn Ground, followed by 2 bonus points meant he returned us a healthy 36 points. Ironically I was stuck on a very delayed train back from Manchester as I was frantically refreshing Twitter every 30 seconds in the hope of seeing him deliver. Being our joint highest scorer of the week it was a relief we got the choice right. Manuel Lanzini up next and he also got in on the action against United with an early assist for the West Ham opener. 7 points is 7 points and more than acceptable for a 4.9m midfielder. And it actually turned out to be 2 points more than our last double gameweek midfielder scored. Owning Liverpool players in the last month has been unpredictable to say the least. The lure of a nice double gameweek came with warnings and unfortunately Coutinho could only return 5 points. With a small break before the Europa League final it’s tough to work out who will be starting for Liverpool this week. Our last midfielder was Alexis Sanchez and he justified his inclusion with a goal against Manchester City.
Up top we gambled. We took a 4 point hit to drop Harry Kane. If ever there was a sentence to depict how crazy this season has been, it’s that. We decided on Anthony Martial as the replacement and when news filtered through about his pre match injury at Carrow Road, the move went from a gamble to a complete balls up… or so it seemed. He was fit for West Ham, got the start and scored a valuable brace for us. 12 points meant he matched Payet as our highest scorer. I still think United overpaid, but I really do rate the Frenchman and will most certainly be including him in early FPL drafts come July. Although I can’t help but think he could be even better under a different manager. Next to Martial we stuck with Odion Ighalo. To say our hopes were low would be an understatement of epic proportions but with expectations almost non-existent, he scored! Ighalo scored a goal. An actual real life goal! His 8 points were a nice little bonus. Last up was Sergio Aguero. We had decided it was either him or Kane to go and thankfully we went the right way. Aguero notched his 8th goal in his last 6 games he has played and looks nailed on now with City needing a result against Swansea on the final day to cement Champions League football.
We had approached gameweek 37 not quite knowing what to expect but thankfully the 103 points was enough to move us up almost 30,000 places and well within our target of a top 50k finish. With just the 1 free transfer and no intention of taking a 4 point hit, we dropped our only piece of Liverpool coverage.
Coutinho (OUT) -> Tadic (IN)
We love Jurgen Klopp but there is only so much ‘team sheet roulette’ we can play. It was justifiable having Liverpool players over the busy double gameweeks, but if you can avoid it this week then do. With so many players already packing for their summer holidays or getting ready for their upcoming finals, we went for some Saints coverage as we think they will play full strength in their final home game. Also given the fact they are one of the most in form teams since the turn of the year, we thought this was a smart way to go. Dusan Tadic has a quite incredible 2 goals and 5 assists in his last 3 games so there is an element of points chasing here but him and Mane do look to be 2 of the stand out options this week.
With the one transfer made let’s have a look at our line-up for the final game of the 15/16 season.
It appears Karl Darlow’s final appearance in an FPL Updates shirt was his 15 point performance in gameweek 36 because Simon Mignolet gets the nod in goal. The last day of the season is known for its goals so we aren’t holding out major hopes of clean sheets from either.
With that said we are certainly hoping for a clean sheet from our double Arsenal coverage at the back. Gabriel and Hector Bellerin start for us at home to Aston Villa and given that this game means almost nothing to Arsenal, it’s inevitable that they will win convincingly. It’s what they do. Chris Smalling is our 3rd defender and with United still having an outside shout at the top 4 we think they will deliver at home to Bournemouth.
Our midfield sees the introduction of new boy Tadic. It’s his first stint in the squad this season and a great opportunity to stake his claim for our starting line up next season. Given his quality and current form it is very surprising to see his ownership at just 6.9%. Home to a Crystal Palace team that will no doubt have their minds on next week’s FA Cup final, the Southampton coverage looks safe. It’s worth noting that last season Southampton played an Aston Villa team gearing up for an FA Cup final and they battered them 6-1 at St Marys. Next up is our 2 West Ham boys, Payet and Lanzini. They did us proud last week but to be honest, with such an emotional game on Tuesday, we aren’t expecting them to deliver too much. Last up is our captain for the last week, Alexis Sanchez. If you own him, you captain him this week. We had long considered him here for our triple captain chip but the double gameweek was too much of a sway. Although it wouldn’t surprise us if he matched Payet’s 12 point haul from last week.
Up top it’s the same 3 as last week. Martial starts at home to Bournemouth and although they have the FA Cup final next week they will be gunning for the win against a Bournemouth team who have nothing left to play for. Ighalo up next. With Sunderland now safe we expect this game to be a care free attacking match up so we certainly wouldn’t advise against owning any of Deeney, Ighalo or Defoe. Last up is Aguero and with him sitting just 1 goal behind top scorer Kane, we expect him to be going all out to notch. If Aguero wants goals he usually gets goals and if Sanchez didn’t have such a favourable game, he would be nailed on captain. Although his ownership is still 30%, that’s low enough to know a performance from him will certainly help us improve on our current standing. Bizarrely enough Lukaku actually has a higher ownership. Got to love dead teams and those chasing double gameweek pipe dreams.
So with just one gameweek left of one of the most unpredictable and exciting FPL seasons we sit and hope for a strong finish. The final Sunday usually averages at least 3 goals a game so get yourselves ready for some mini league ups and downs.
The only advice with transfers in is to look at Arsenal, United, City, Southampton and any of the 3 strikers hunting the golden boot. There are too many teams likely to rotate and/or play at half pace. Stick to those that you feel confident will play and avoid gambling unless your mini league dictates.
Cheers for reading and good luck to you all this week!
Written by FPL Guru