Premier League: GW1 Retrospect

GW1 of the Premier League is finally in the book after the 2-1 Chelsea victory over West Ham last night. As with every fantasy football (soccer for the Americans) season, there were some surprises, Hull defeating last year’s champions, Leicester City, 2-1 as well as some impressive individual performances, Philippe Coutinho, 2 goals and 3 bonus points. Yet when Monday morning comes, league managers are always quick to pull the trigger to improve their team. The international break comes after GW3 and I would like to hold onto my wild card (WC) until after the break. I would also like to carry over a transfer, giving me 2 transfers to use prior to GW4.

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I had high expectations to start this fantasy season stronger than last year, while 59 points isn’t anything to write home about, it’s 15 points higher than the league average, but well off the high score of 104. Overall, I am still pleased with my starting XI, but second guessing on Friday night cost me quite a few points I could of had.

Yet, we cannot play fantasy football on “woulda, coulda, shoulda” that fact is I didn’t play any of these players, transferring them all out after reading some late articles that convinced me, to doubt my first choice selections. At one point Friday I had McAuley, Snodgrass, Lamela and Redmond in my starting XI. I didn’t feel comfortable with two WBA defensive players, even though their first 6 games are all winnable.

I did however like the fact that Redmond made the move from Norwich City to Southampton but didn’t want to double up on midfielders since I was already running Tadic out on the pitch. Intending to start Sigurdsson, I dropped him at the last might, opting for Lamela, but couldn’t pull the trigger with him and wanted Eriksen instead. Finally Snodgrass, sorta the engine that makes Hull City go, down that right side. That equals 36 points I missed out on. Of which I would of had 27.

Since we don’t play fantasy like that, we must look at what we did achieve with our 59 points and look forward to the remainder for the schedule. The positives, Foster in goal for WBA dropping 10 points. Looked strong and should run off 4-5 shutouts to start the season, which would see his value increase. Very disappointed in my three starting defenders, all of which had the chance to notch shutouts; Morgan, Stones and Valencia combined for a dismal 5 points, which Leicester losing 2-1 against the newly promoted Hull City. I don’t believe we will see many shutouts until Huth returns and partners with Morgan.

I mentioned Snodgrass, upon his transfer out, I brought in Ramirez from ‘Boro who provided an assist for 4 points, while Mahrez hit from the penalty spot and grabbed a bonus point for a total of 8. Still the catalyst for the team, I think it’s crazy to consider his transfer fodder after a single game. Remaining starters, Tadic and Payet combined for 3, with Payet entering the game versus Chelsea in the second half, but not producing any magic to start the season.

The bench players were just as poor Parades and Fry didn’t play, not that I expected them to and Kante picked up a yellow, recording a single marker in GW1. Honestly, the only reason I selected Kante was the price tag of 5.0 but any hope of him rising anytime soon probably won’t come, putting him on the transfer block.

Up front, I was impressed with new boy, Ibrahimovic, his 30 yard strike just reconfirmed by I didn’t blink at his 11.5 price tag, as he looked sharp nearly the who game. He finished the day with 9 points. Aguero grabbed a goal and all 3 bonus points, as well as being captained and finished the day on 18 points. Gray of Burnley, after an amazing Championship season last year didn’t get off the blocks after a hot preseason with just 2 points. Another who might be on the transfer block, yet any scoring from Burnley will come from him.

Averaging 60 points a week, 10 points a player will yield 2280 during the 38 week season. That score puts you into the upper 1& of nearly 3 million managers playing fantasy football. In that respect, I am right where I want to be, just a single tally off that 60 point start, knowing I was on the right track with my initial selections.

While I am holding tight early in the week to see what prices do, I am considering one transfer this week either at the defensive end of the pitch, moving Morgan for McAuley or up front with Gray making way for another 6.5 forward. The Morgan/McAuley move would save me 0.5, allowing me to upgrade Kante to Snodgrass.