It’s safe to say that this week has been one of the more eventful ones of the season so far. First, the news on the injury to Harry Kane, who has now been ruled out until March. And if managers didn’t think it could get worse, TAA was announced injured for up to a month.
The timing couldn’t have come worse for these players, with both on the radar for many FPL managers. Prior to GW22, TAA was owned by 1.3 million managers and Kane by 1.95 million. The fixtures fall great for both teams, Spurs coming into a run of home matches while the double up of Liverpool defenders was the common strategy.
For me, as mentioned in my GW22 review article, I went early and take a 4 point hit in order to get Salah into the team before a price rise. While I stick by the decision, it doesn’t make it any easier to see both Kane and newly owned TAA red flagged in the team.
Early Chip Strategy
I had thoughts about taking a possible wildcard, in order to ship out Kane and stick to the double Liverpool defence that I think will be very profitable. However, the major hurdle with playing the wildcard now is how I would negotiate the blank and double game weeks coming up. For those that haven’t kept track with these, while the fixtures haven’t been confirmed, we know that:
Everton v Man City rearranged
As you can tell, the details are still unclear for the majority of the fixtures in these weeks. The only guarantee is the Everton match being rearranged to one of the double gameweeks. With the current state of my team, the Everton/City match being postponed will have a big impact on the team, with Ederson, Digne, Sterling, Richarlison all representing.
The other significant fixture during GW27 is the Liverpool v Man Utd match, that many managers have 6 players involved. I’m already expecting a tough gameweek for this one but like many managers, we will all be in the same boat.
The eye catching fixture for GW27 is Arsenal v Southampton, and with Aubameyang on my radar he could prove to be a great player to own that weekend. All said, I don’t think playing a wildcard or free hit over this gameweek is the best move. Liverpool/United assets are highly owned so many managers will be in the same situation, whereas the blank game will cause problems but not enough to restructure a team.
I always think that a free hit is only necessary when you have more than 6 players that are not playing in that particular week. Then it is an option to use the free hit. In regards to the free hit, I will be tempted to use it for the blank in GW33, after using my wildcard for GW32. Again, it looks like many squads will be able to ride out the GW31 blank, with little teams expected to be rearranged.
Playing the wildcard for GW32 will set the team up nicely for the double gameweek in both 32 and 35. The bench boost would then be used during 35 and triple captain yet to be decided. Its tough to fully plan any sort of strategy when the fixtures are unclear, but for those that have already used their wildcard or free hit I would suggest starting to plan long term with your transfers. For example, Liverpool do not have a blank or double this season so tripling up on them would be a long term, smart move.
Just some food for thought, when the fixtures are clear I will publish some strategies.
So back to the team ahead of GW23, the decision was either TAA or Kane out for a 8 point hit. After looking at the team over this weekend, I felt that I can deal with TAA injured on the bench for one week, therefore Kane is the man to go. Such a shame with the upcoming fixtures Spurs have, a fit Kane could have scored big.
Wouldn’t recommend rushing to any decisions on shipping Kane until the injury news is clear!
However, if it is bad news, then it’s worth checking out some of these alternatives
— FPLFootballAdvice (@FootballAdvice5) January 13, 2019
After following my own advice, I decided to transfer in Rashford, with him expected to rise in price further this week along with ownership. United have great fixtures and the form that he is in, it is FPL value that would be silly to pass up on in this current time.
So Kane to Rashford makes up a final 8 point hit, and although it is painful to take I think I now own two players that are season keepers. That leaves me with a whopping £5.5m in the bank, and with that plenty of opportunities to take the squad into different directions.
Gameweek 23 Captaincy Pick
Previous gameweeks I have been struggling to highlight a clear captain pick, with each option having serious question marks over their poetential returns. However, one of the main reasons for getting Salah was the captain safety that he will provide to the team. Looking at the fixtures, Salah not only will be captain for this week against Crystal Palace, but could be my captain for the next 4 fixtures.
His captaincy ownership has been a big reason for my rank falling and now owning him provides a small sense of security knowing that I have the option available.
So Salah will be the captain for GW23, and for the first time in many weeks I can sleep easy with the decision.
For those reading that don’t own Salah and looking for captaincy options, I think the next best option is a United asset. Either Rashford or Pogba would be my picks from the team, facing Brighton at home, both have the guaranteed minutes and form that you need from a captain option.
So here is the final team for GW23, no questions or deliberations over the starting 11 as it picks itself:
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