Gameweek 1 has finally been and gone, we hope that your side enjoyed a solid week! Congratulations to those that did, and to those that didn’t remember FPL isn’t won nor lost in the opening week. Don’t rush into those transfers and trust those players, you chose them for a reason!
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In our GW2 FPL Guest Q&A , we are joined by Arrow FPL and LetsTalkSoccer who will be sharing their thoughts on the most popular questions ahead of GW2. This week we will be discussing whether to stick with double Bournemouth, Martial’s FPL value, attacking premiums and top captaincy pick.
“Those that have doubled up, should managers stick with both Bournemouth attacking assets?”
It seems that a good portion of managers picked two among King, Wilson and Fraser. And those that did, even those that had just one of them, were likely disappointed with the resulting blanks from GW1. We’ve seen a lot of talk regarding owners dumping these Bournemouth attackers.
At first glance, all three had unproductive, unrewarding performances. The natural reaction is to dump and run, never looking back, and instead looking to replace them with players that had a strong GW1 (such as Rashford, Martial, Pukki, Barnes and McGinn). But, if FPL has taught us anything, it’s that patience is key and chasing points is almost always a fruitless and frustrating endeavour.
The good thing about King, Wilson and Fraser is that we have history on these guys. We KNOW they can deliver points. And for their prices, they’ve been some of the best values in the game. Now, history doesn’t always predict the future, but it should factor in. Meaning, we believe that they deserve a chance to prove themselves. Doesn’t it always feel like the moment you drop a player because he had a bad game, he turns around and has a haul the next? It’ll drive you mad!
Remember, too, that it’s just ONE bad game. It happens to the best of them. Salah doesn’t deliver returns every single game. Neither do Sterling, Aubameyang or Kane. Yet, they’re some of the best players to own because over the course of the season – 38 games instead of 1 – they deliver.
And in looking at some match facts, Fraser played in a very advanced role on the pitch. The highest of his team actually. And King received the most progressive passes. While they didn’t produce returns, at least they put themselves into positions to do it.
We’re not suggesting that managers start buying up Bournemouth attackers, but for those that own them (we own King), it’s probably worth giving them a chance to reveal themselves. Teams have bad, flat games. Bournemouth in GW1 is an example.
Our advice: If you own Fraser and either King or Wilson, and if you have other areas of your team that need attention more, we suggest focusing your one free transfer there. And it’s probably not worth taking a hit to make a second transfer if it’s to dump one of these three. FPL is such a knee-jerk game, but we think it’s worth resisting the temptation.
If you own King and Wilson, that could be a slightly different story. We never liked that strategy. Not because it’s King and Wilson, but because there’s no premium forward in this approach. A lot of managers invested a lot of money in their defenses, and sometimes into their midfields too, leaving them little money for their forward lines. In general, we’re not onboard with that idea. For King + Wilson owners, it could require some tinkering, but the same general approach applies: address more critical areas first and then evaluate your forwards.
One bad game doesn’t make or break a season in FPL.
Bournemouth attacking assets were popular choices for gameweek 1 for many managers including ourselves. We opted for a double up of Josh King and Callum Wilson to try and cash in on their favourable home fixture against Sheffield United. Unfortunately, a Wilson assist and King blank later, the pair returned a total of 7 points.
Bournemouth didn’t shine over gameweek 1, however we think there is still value in the double up for gameweek 2. Sheffield United frustrated the Cherries sitting back in a defensive shape away from home. We think Aston Villa away will be a different story, and possibly more opportunity for the attacking assets to register points. The counter attack suits Bournemouth and this could be the case away from home in gameweek 2.
We think that the best option is to hold those transfers on Bournemouth players for at least this gameweek. Managers need to remember that players aren’t in the side for one gameweek and shouldn’t be judged off one performance.
This topic has been discussed as one of our Tuesday top tips:
“After attacking premium players performed in GW1, should managers be opting for 3 premiums rather than 2 in their sides?”
We’re firmly in the belief that it is still beneficial to have just the two premium assets (10m+) in order to have a greater balance across the rest of the squad.
GW1 saw us line up with Salah + Sterling as our two, and we still managed a respectable 77pts, despite strong supporting players in Fraser, Sigurdsson, Jota, Perez & King all blanking. In our view, that offered confidence of improvement and cover for when premiums inevitably do blank, in the knowledge that we have much more in reserve.
his is the setup we had going into the season. We had (and still have) Sterling, Salah and Kane. Thankfully, each of them had a strong first game.
There’s a theory in FPL that it’s not worth carrying more than two premium players because you can’t captain all of them. We’re not sure that we subscribe to that theory.
We’re more of the mindset that if you’re able to maintain a well-balanced squad, then it’s more than fine to have additional premium players. At least initially, we’re happy with our selection of three premiums and also with the balance of our team.
Like we mention in the first question, it seems like there was a focus on stacking teams with four or five premium defenders. Then add Mo and/or Sterling into the midfield, and budgets become stretched quickly, which actually creates an imbalanced team. We’re of the mindset that balance across all three lines, as in other aspects of like such as finance or work/play, ultimately produces the best long-term results.
The hot topic in the FPL Community over the summer was whether 3 premium attacking assets was too much. Big investments in the midfield/forward positions can make a side inflexible to changes without the use of chips.
In gameweek 1, Salah (2.4 million), Sterling (1.8 million), Kane (1.6 million) and Aubameyang (1.5 million) had the highest ownerships of the premium attacking assets. However, balancing 3 of these players invests a third of your budget, making the selection of other players a tough task.
The premium players scored well in gameweek 1, with the mentioned players all returning with at least 1 goal. Historically premium players top the FPL charts over previous seasons, and it would be great to own all of them. But unfortunately, budget stops managers from doing this.
While gameweek 1 arguably was the week for the premiums, it is still only 1 gameweek. FPL fluctuates with different players topping the charts each week. The main thing for managers is making sure your squad remains balanced, something owning 3 premium attacking players can affect. We have seen some great sides with Salah, Sterling and Kane, so the teams can be created.
But if you have settled on 2 premiums, we don’t think there is any rush to jump on a third premium. Stick to your strategy over the coming game weeks and then reassess. The early wildcard always opens up the possibility to change those sides.
“Is it too early to jump on Man United, with Wolves next gameweek?”
Manchester United are an interesting one this season — looking much improved during pre season and impressive against Chelsea in GW1 — but we still feel that it could take time to properly assess their potential and see if they can achieve a reliable consistency.
We already backed AWB in our squad from GW1 — and if you don’t have him, he would probably be the one we’d recommend most — but with Rashford and Martial looking like affordable routes into a Top 6 attack. Unfortunately for plans, they’ve both risen in value, scuppering hopes of straight swaps, so it may be worth holding on til GW3 and using two transfers to work them into squads on the back of more data.
No, we don’t think it’s too early. But it also depends on who’s in your squad currently. If you have Firmino going up against a Southampton team that allowed three goals to Burnley last week, it probably doesn’t make sense to replace him with Rashford right away. Current personnel matters.
The idea is to make transfers that will yield incremental points to your team. If you’ve added Rashford and he scores against Wolves this weekend, but Firmino also does against Southampton, you haven’t improved your situation. At least for the one gameweek. It could be a different story over the course of many games or the season.
But, the involvement players like Pogba, Martial and Rashford had in the team’s attack can’t be overlooked. Rashford had the second-highest xG for the weekend (1.29), while Martial had the 6th (0.77). Pogba was 5th with expected assists (0.69). New defenders, Wan-Bissaka and Maguire helped De Gea keep a clean sheet against Chelsea. The team looked to be in mid-season form.
Our advice: If you’re thinking of adding one of these players as a strategic move, then grab them. They played a talented, young Chelsea team and did quite well FPL-wise, so there’s no reason they can’t do the same against Wolves. Big players are expected to do big things in big games.
If you’re convinced that a Man U player or two of interest are good investments, then go for it.
Man United’s 4-0 victory over Chelsea has put their FPL assets on the map, especially Martial and Rashford. United were identified early in pre season as one of the teams that hold amazing FPL potential if Solskjaer gets them competitive again.
Martial (£7.5m) classified as a midfielder playing as a striker and Rashford the joint highest price at £8.5m, highlights this potential. However, we think that the decision on buying United assets should be specific to each manager.
For example we own Sigurdsson (£8.0m) who blanked in gameweek 1 and could be an easy transfer into Martial with cash to spare. However, our strategy for owning Sigurdsson was for a 5/6 gameweek plan so that will remain unless Everton significantly underperform.
We think that if managers can wait until after gameweek 2, it could be a wise move to gain more information on Man United and their players. Wolves away will be a tough match for United, after Wolves beat them twice at Molineux last season. This game will prove whether the game against Chelsea was a fluke or if they are serious candidates for the top 4, and in turn FPL options.
And for those that haven’t monitored the price rises, both Rashford and Martial have seen their price go up by £0.1m. With this price rise in mind, it will naturally make it harder for some managers to make a transfer without taking a points hit ahead of gameweek 2. We recommend holding, and using those 2 free transfer to provide more freedom to your decision making.
“Top captaincy pick?”
Top captaincy pick… Mo Salah.
Yes, it wasn’t ideal seeing him play 120 minutes on Wednesday night, but with Southampton up next — coming off the back of a hammering by Burnley in GW1 — we’re still confident Salah can offer a strong return against a weak opposition.
A lot of players had a strong GW1, which is great, but it also doesn’t add clarity on the best captain option. It might actually muddy the waters a bit because there were numerous armband-worthy performances.
We recently posted the information below on our Instagram page. It shows select players’ attacking records vs their GW2 opposition.
- Aubameyang vs Burnley: 6 goals, 1 assist
- Salah at Southampton: 5 goals, 1 assist
- Sterling vs Spurs: 7 goals, 3 assists
- Aguero vs Spurs: 11 goals, 4 assists
- KDB vs. Spurs: 3 goals, 3 assists
- Kane at Man City: 2 goals, 2 assists
- Jimenez vs. Man United: 1 goal, 2 assists
- Rashford at Wolves: 1 goal
- Vardy at Chelsea: 4 goals, 1 assist
Purely looking at these stats, there are plenty of tempting options. For us, our Gameweek 2 captain will be Salah against a Southampton team that conceded three goals to Burnley in Week 1.
If we had Aubameyang, he’d definitely be on our short list of captain options. And for those willing to take a bit of a risk in the shadow of Pep’s rotation, Aguero at home is always a good choice, regardless of the opponent.
Captaincy pick looks to be an interesting choice this week, with the usual candidates having reasons to stray away. Off the back of his hat-trick, Sterling seems an obvious choice for gameweek 2. However, at home to Spurs isn’t an easy fixture, although we expect Man City to win the match.
Meanwhile Salah’s away fixture against Southampton was the obvious pick before he played 120 minutes in the Super Cup. With only 2 days rest before the league match, there are definitely some question marks over possible fatigue in this game.
We think that of the two players, Salah just edges the captaincy pick. Southampton looked poor in their opening gameweek conceding three goals, and although the Super Cup doesn’t help we expect Liverpool to still win.
While both are great picks, we think the best option for the week is Aubameyang who plays Burnley at home. He scored in the opening game against Newcastle, registering 4 shots and an expected goal of 0.70. Burnley had a great 3-0 win against Southampton, however at home we expect Arsenal to dominate possession and chances.
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