FPL Diary: August and September 2019

FPL Diary: August and September 2019

A new season begins. Last season had a cracking title race between two fantastic teams but it was underwhelming for me in terms of FPL. August is a time of fresh hope and new beginnings. The game opened very early this year, so we had an extremely long time to tinker and revamp our teams. In the end I decided to completely change my usual strategy and go for a team stacked with premium defenders. Let’s see how it turned out!

Game Week One:

Points: 73 (Average: 65) GW Rank: 1,780,324

The season started with a real bang with big name players scoing left, right and center. Salah and Sterling were by far the most popular premium players. On Friday evening Salah bagged 12 points in the opening match of the season rewarding the majority of managers who captained him. Sterling then outshined him in Saturday’s early kick off by scoring 20 points. Many players then scored 44 points from two players.

After only two games, it was looking like a bad start to the season. Kane then left it late against Villa, but outscored Salah by one point to save my gameweek. In total seven of my players got returns and I nailed my captaincy pick. 73 points is a very good start to the season, although not as good as the last two seasons. I had reached over 80 points and a game week rank of under 200,000 on the first day both times.

Salah’s and Sterling’s performances were troubling for a non-owner. Another issue was Liverpool’s shaky defence and an injury to Alisson. For someone with three Liverpool defenders this is concerning. On the other hand, If Liverpool had conceded one less goal, I would have twelve extra points from clean sheets, and bonus points would have shifted dramatically in my favour. The last game of the weekend was a thumping 4-0 win for Man United over Chelsea. Man United players are always popular picks so this also helped push the average score up to an incredibly high 65 points.

Game Week Two:

Points: 34 (Average: 41) GW Rank: 4,678,173

My team was series of disappointments this week. Pérez was a player I was very excited about at the beginning of the season, but he has failed to deliver so far. My first transfer of the season was Rashford, who managed to outscore Callum Wilson by one point. Aubameyang was my only other player to get any returns this week.

Game week two was a very strange one. Only two teams kept a clean sheet, and the biggest scoring players were cheap pick ups from promoted teams. Pukki scored a hat-trick and 17 points whilst ultra budget pick Lundstrum scored 14 points. Listed as a four million defender, he was the star man at the heart of Sheffield United’s midfield this week. Fortunately since so many big name players blanked, this was a good week to have a bad week.

Game Week Three:

Points: 31 (Average: 44) GW Rank: 5,408,911

For the second time in a row my team was terrible this week. My team managed three assists, no goals and no clean sheets. Rashford went one better and missed a penalty. Last week was very bad and this week was a disaster. 60 points is the target you should aim for to have a good week, and I barely got half of that. Popular captains got braces this week, with Aguero and Salah scoring 13 and 15 points respectively. Unlike last week, this was a bad week to underperform. My rank dropped very hard this week

My transfer this week was my biggest success. Bournemouth’s fixtures become much harder so I swapped Fraser for Villa’s McGinn. This swap netted me an extra four points with McGinn providing one of those precious assists.

Game Week Four:

Points: 63 (Average: 57) GW Rank: 2,063,841

This week represented something of a recovery for me. My premium defence finally pulled off a clean sweep with all five defenders getting 36 points between them and two strikers also getting returns. Finishing slightly above average was good enough to see my overall rank increase for the first time. The biggest blemish was my captain Rashford blanking. It was a good week for strikers overall, with Abraham, Aguero and Vardy scoring 13, 16 and 16 points respectively.

I made another transfer this week. Pérez was my favourite player in pre-season appearing in all my drafts, but since Leicester had failed to win any of their first three games I decided to sell him and buy Lanzini. Lanzini only scored three points, but Pérez didn’t play, so I dodged a bullet there.

August Summary

Points: 201

Overall Rank: 3,156,700

August was a month to forget. My overall rank is bang average, but fortunately overall rank doesn’t matter very much at this stage of the season. Premium defenders have really let me down, but I am going to keep faith. When they do get returns, I should be able to shoot up the table as teams are still tightly bunched together at this stage of the season.

Game Week Five:

Points: 57 (Average: 52) GW Rank: 2,245,562

The resurgence continued this week with a similar game week rank but instead my strikers and goalkeepers did all the heavy lifting this week. Fortunately they all got returns, even if I picked the lowest scoring one to be my captain. Frustatingly Spurs beat Palace 4-0 but Kane only managed an assist whilst Son scored 16 points.

The scoreline of the week was Wolves 2 – Chelsea 5 with Abraham continuing to rack up points with another 14 points. I have massively underestimated Chelsea this season. I expected it would take a long time for the team to gel and for any of the strikers to nail down a starting spot.

Game Week Six:

Points: 53 (Average: 52) GW Rank: 3,090,467

This game week was only about one match. Lundstrum performed his budget heroics again, and fellow budget option Chris Wood at Burnley scored 13 points, but none of it mattered because of Man City 8 – Watford 0. Bernardo Silva scored a hat-trick and 19 points, just bettering De Bruyne’s 17 points and Mahrez and Otamendi who both scored 15 points. Unfortunately most of the defenders failed to play 60 minutes, so I scored 1 point from Man City players in an 8-0 win. That is very depressing.

For the first time this season I had to rely on my bench to provide players. Zinchenko and Lanzini didn’t play. Norwood was a perfect bench player coming on to contribute five points. Dendoncker decided to score an own goal instead. To make things worse Lloris missed the Spurs game because his wife was giving birth, leaving me without a goal keeper.

I ended the game week with none of the Man City heroes, worries about defensive rotations, injuries to Rashford and Lanzini, but I still managed to pip the overall average by a point to leave me with an extremely average game week rank. It was barely enough to leave me with another overall rank increase, giving me three green arrows in a row. Can I make it four in a row in September?

Game Week Seven:

Points: 91 (Average: 51) GW Rank: 1,323

I played my wildcard this week after last week left me unable to field a full team and the result was fantastic. I noticed that Leicester have a run of excellent fixtures, so I decided to jump on board with both feet. I’m glad I did since three players netted me 40 points. A number of other players decided to contribute, letting me finish the month with my best score of the season and inside the top million overall. In fact, my game week rank of 1,323 is my best ever, beating my previous best of 4,167. I only made four transfers, but it definitely transformed my season so far.

The result of the weekend was Leicester beating ten-man Newcastle 5-0. Clearly this was a perfect game week to triple up on them. Three of my four transfers brought in Leicester players, whilst the other transfer brought in Ederson who conceded but got plenty of saves for a very respectable four points. Plenty of highly owned players got returns but only small ones, so the average was reasonably high.

September Summary

Points: 402

Overall Rank: 702,036

After a terrible August, September was much much brighter. I achieved my highest ever gameweek rank and climbed two milion places in a single week. This leaves me comfortably in the top million, only 31 points behind the top 100,000 and 57 points behind the top 10,000. With 33 gameweeks to go, there is still so much to play for. Interestingly I scored 201 points in August and exactly same in September. That’s an excellent score for three gameweeks and disappointing for four. How will my freshly wildcarded team fare in October and November? Join me next time to find out.