As the vast majority of Fantasy Premier League managers strive to pick the perfect 15 players before the eagerly anticipated gameweek 1, I am studying the statistics and preseason from for those players that conform to the first two of five rules of the FPL Shithouse XI.
1) All players must play the majority of the games for their club.
2) All players must regularly score Sweet FA every Gameweek.
3) I must endeavour to use as much of the 100m available.
4) No hits are permitted.
5) All Chips must be used within the season.
By abiding by these sacred five mission statements, my goal for the season is to finish rock bottom. Of course there will be ghost teams that are my main rivals, but even the teams unchanged for months are firmly in my sights.
As you can see below I have taken some gambles in my first year to this ambitious plight. Read on as I will explain my initial gameweek 1 setup. Without further ado, here is the first draft:
The Ruddy\Butland keeper rotation is a very good one for many FPL managers. Used in reverse however, the rotation for the first 8 gameweeks, which is when I aim to use my first wildcard is:
Gameweek 1 – Liverpool (H)
Gameweek 2 – Tottenham (A)
Gameweek 3 – Norwich (A)
Gameweek 4 – Southampton (A)
Gameweek 5 – Arsenal (A)
Gameweek 6 – Liverpool (A)
Gameweek 7 – West Ham (A)
Gameweek 8 – Aston Villa (A)
Ok, there are a few kinks in there including away trips to Norwich and Villa but on the whole I think that is pretty nasty!
As with the keepers I have looked at the fixtures and come up with a rotating five of Distin, Coloccini, Pocognoli, Cathcart and my gamble of the team, Seamus Coleman. In order to get the least from this rear guard rotation I have decided to play my first chip of the season. The All Out Attack chip has been played which means I can play Cathcart, away to Everton and Pocognoli at home to Manchester City who have an excellent gameweek 1 record.
The rotation for the first 8 gameweeks is….
Gameweek 1 – Manchester City (H), Everton (A)
Gameweek 2 – Southampton (A), Liverpool (A), Swansea (A)
Gameweek 3 – West Ham (A), Chelsea (H), Manchester United (A)
Gameweek 4 – Chelsea (A), Manchester City (A), Arsenal (H)
Gameweek 5 – West Ham (A), Chelsea (H), Norwich (A)
Gameweek 6 – Aston Villa (A), Newcastle (A), Swansea (A)
Gameweek 7 – Chelsea (H), West Brom (A), Stoke City (A)
Gameweek 8 – Manchester City (A), Bournemouth (A), Liverpool (H)
Admittedly the defence may need some surgery after the very awful gameweek 4 but that’s what my FT’s are used for.
My midfield is based around 3 decent players that all guarantee me 2 FPL points a week. In some cases, especially with the Arsenal man, I could get a clean sheet bonus but I’m hoping the role of the midfield general produces some yellow cards, removing the excess points from their totals. The 3 C’s as I like to call them are; Francis Coquelin who averaged 2.5 points per game last season with 5 yellow cards to boot. Lee Cattermole scored an average of 2.2 points per game picking up a massive 14 yellow cards in the process (1 away from a new record)! The third musketeer in this terrible threesome is Jack Colback who carries an element of risk after he scored 4 goals and assisted 7. He did however pick up 12 yellow cards meaning his points per game ratio is higher than I ideally want at 3.2.
The other midfielders making up the 5 in the centre of the park are Sanchez, yes the shit one and one of my biggest gambles so far, and Jesus Navas who on his day can be explosive and would hurt me tremendously if he was to repeat his 9 assists of last season.
I tried to bring in 3 attackers who will all get some game time and leading the attack is West Ham’s Enner Valencia who starts gameweek 1 as my captain. Scoring 4 goals and making 6 last season, given his chance he could spring me upwards in the rankings and I will need to use him wisely in order to prevent this. Supporting Valencia is Bojan Krkic and Steven Fletcher who between them scored a HUGE 9 goals last season so choosing the best fixture for fewest points possible will be key.
I will be publishing an update article and amended team every Thursday so please watch out for this. Feedback is welcome before the first gameweek, if there are only 14 chinks in my armour I would like to know about it now!
By Matty Kaye