Premier League: GW11 Draft Retrospect

It was a mixed performance for the draft squad this week as we continue to look up at the top spot in the 8-team league. A final score of 53 points saw my move 19 points close to the top spot, now trailing by 49 overall points, I feel confident I have a good squad to make that ground up. As for Gameweek 11, we enter the break in form and will look to make a few transfers to shore up a questionable defense. I might have to look at swapping out my bench, as I got caught with 2 players who didn’t start this weekend, but only one available off the bench.

The waiver wire was very kind to me this weekend, as I picked up Nick Pope, Charlie Daniels and Kiko Femenia, all of whom started. Pope has been playing very well for Burnley and posted a season high 9 points on a CS, 3 saves and a bonus point. It was a good time to bring Daniels in, as Bournemouth kept their second CS of the season. Femenia was in and out of the BPS ranking much of the game, but 3 unanswered goals from Everton and he ended up with a single point. On the day, 15 points from three new players helped key my squad to their overall total.

The midfield continues to struggle. Dele Alli didn’t start, Philippe Coutinho is still nursing a groin injury, but due back for GW12. Wilfried Zaha struggled, as I knew he would, against Spurs this weekend but Palace looks great through GW19. Eric Maxim Chuopo-Moting returned another assists, giving him 3 on the season. Richarlison scored a goal, but was robbed of an assist as Cleverly couldn’t convert. A total of 14 points, modest return for my 4 midfielders.

Up front, Sergio Aguero scored his 179th goal for City and returned 2 bonus points for 8 points. This week I partnered him with Tammy Abraham, who failed to return for the second time in 3 weeks.

I still point to the midfield for my current struggles. Alli with just a single return in 5 weeks, as well as being injured for GW12 coupled with Coutinho out with the groin, it’s been tough going. Thankfully the defenders and forwards have help offset some of the pain. Richarlison and Chuopo-Moting have helped settle the midfield, but will be looking at Zaha with a run of good fixtures upcoming.

Some question of David Luiz falling out of favor with Conte, but he failed to start in GW11. This brought Femenia into the starting XI. My final bench slot is filled by Ibrahimovic, who isn’t fit to play…yet. However it’s my plan to get him in early to take advantage of his potential. Not sure if I will retain the injured star or sacrifice him for a third, healthy bench player. With the international break upon on, I will take a most of the 2 weeks before I figure out who to draft into my squad.

Premier League: GW10 Draft Retrospect

It was an off week for my draft squad as I scored just 30 points on the week and maintained my position in the league rankings, holding the number two spot. However, I dropped 35 points and now sit 67 points behind the top spot with many games still to play. I feel confident I can chip away at that lead.

The only active transfer I made this week was the introduction of Maya Yoshida for Aaron Cresswell. It was my belief So’ton had a better match up away to Brighton, while West Ham visited Crystal Palace. It was the wrong decision, as Yoshida didn’t feature and Wesley Hoedt started. Cresswell picked up his third assist on the season.

The injury to Philippe Coutinho had me shift my formation to a 5-4-1, as I opted to go with Sergio Aguero as the lone forward, forcing Tammy Abraham to the bench. Outside of Caesar Azpilcueta and David Luiz, who combined for 14 points, the defense was lackluster on the day. Ederson and Stones combined for just 2 points, while Toby Alderweireld didn’t return, giving up 1 goal to United in Spurs 1-0 loss. Looking ahead, Yoshida might not be the strongest plan, as there could be rotation in place.

It was Wilfried Zaha leading the midfield group with 7 points, following his second goal in the last 3 games against West Ham. Following the Spurs game next week, Palace go on a nice run of green fixtures. Dele Alli, Richarlison and Eric Maxim Chuopo-Moting all disappointed, with a combined 5 points. Richarlison wasted futher chances, but continues to lead the way with 35 shots from the midfield. My squad has struggled without Coutinho in the starting XI and there is no guarantee he will feature in GW11.

Up front, I was burnt by Pep, as Aguero didn’t see any time against West Brom, as  Jesus got 81 minutes. No longer are we assured that Aguero will feature in every City game, as Pep continue to be unpredictable in his lineup selection.

Looking ahead, Yoshida will be moved this week, hopefully picking up a new defender from the waiver wire, Friday. I’ve put three claims in; Charlie Daniels, Harry Maguire and Aaron Cresswell. Daniels appears to have the strongest run of fixtures, but Maguire (or Simpson) could be a surprised transfer. With the upcoming fixtures favorable for Spurs, I am on the fence with Toby Alderweireld. He hasn’t really impressed but after Arsenal in GW12, Spurs have a run of good fixtures; CRY/ars/WBA/lei/wat/STO/BHA.

Not sure what direction I will take for GW11, as options abound. I could stay with a 5-man defense, running out a 5-3-2 with Aguero and Abraham up front, moving Chuopo-Moting to the bench in favor of a fit, Coutinho. I like the look of my midfield right now. Depending on what Stoke City does, I could move Moting in favor of RLC, as Palace look at strong fixtures through GW19, after the GW11 match up away to Spurs.

Premier League: GW9 Draft Retrospect

Unlike the traditional FPL game, many of the moves I have made in FPL Draft have worked to my advantage. On the week I finished with 54 points, which took my up to second place, just 32 off the top spot. Prior to GW9 I claimed John Stones, Wilfried Zaha and Tammy Abraham, all of whom took their place in my starting XI.

There has been no set formation for my draft squad, this week I ran out a 3-5-2 with the addition of Zaha and Abraham. Initially Aaron Cresswell got the nod, but illness sidelined up and Alderweireld took up the third defender spot for the weekend. Defensively, my squad fared well, led by Azpilicueta and his second goal of the season (7 points). I’ve doubled up with Man City, John Stones and Ederson recorded the clean sheet, combining for 12 points. It was the Spurs leaky defense at Wembley against Liverpool that saw Alderweireld with no return. Overall, I am pleased with my defense. If Chelsea can turn things around I will double up with David Luiz.

On paper, my 5-man midfield looks solid. Although Dele Alli has been under performing, but this year has mirrored last year in terms of performance. Maybe this 9 point return is what he needed to kick start his run of returns. Still pleased to have Coutinho back, but he played uninspired football in their Sunday loss, but still expect solid numbers to come. Last week’s transfers, Richarlison and Chuopo-Moting combined for 10 points, while newcomer, Zaha finished with 3 points. Not great, but really need Coutinho to up the offensive game.

Up front I introduced Abraham to partner with Aguero, who got off the mark with a successful spot kick and bonus point. Depending on fixtures, I could see Abraham moved to the bench in favor of a 4 man defense as part of a 4-5-1 formation.

On the week I have already put in a claim for Rooney, not sure he will remain part of my squad for any length of time, but in the short term Everton appear to have some good fixtures; lei/WAT/cry. Will have to wait and see if a new manager can reverse the poor start Everton has had this season.

Premier League: GW8 Draft Retrospect

It was a very off week for the draft team, much aligned with how the overall gameweek went for many in the traditional game. A overall score of 26 didn’t help my case, as I dropped down to third place, now 52 points off the top spot and just 5 points out of second place. All is not well with my squad, as I have been struggling to find offensive points with Aguero still sidelined due to injury. Thankfully I do feel I have strengthened my squad through transactions.

Defensively, Alderweireld was the only player to show up and return 7 points, on the back of a CS and a single bonus point. Chelsea losing to Palace saw Azpilicueta and Luiz combine for zero points, giving up an own goal and Luiz picking up a knock headed into GW9. Between the sticks, I thought City would keep it clean against Stoke, but Ederson gave up two goals, while Fabianski (bench) recorded his 4th CS of the season.

With the recent acquisitions of Richarlison and Chuopo-Moting, I look to play a 5-4-1 or a 4-5-1 to take advantage of some good midfielders. Richarlison was my top midfielder, picking up the assist. Alli and Coutinho each picked up a point for a CS and Pedro still not got on track with just a goal and assist on the season.

Up front, I moved Hernandez, but retained Carroll, even though he picked up a red last week. Thankfully he wasn’t starting as he took a -2. Aguero still injured resided on the bench with no intentions of dropping him. So it was Joselu making his second appearance in my squad. Great underlying statistics, but still came up with no attacking returns.

This week I have claims in for 3 new players in Tammy Abraham, John Stones and Wilfried Zaha, all of whom could make a start this week. Luiz is currently flagged with a calf injury, but going 4 at the back would not be a problem, given the players I will hopefully get when waivers is run.

It’s still early in the season and my squad if performing. The top squad is living off the likes of Lukakau, Mhkitaryan and Jones from United, as well as Eriksen. However this team is getting Morata back, which could only strengthen the hold on the top spot.

Premier League: GW7 Draft Retrospect

We are not 7 weeks into the EPL season and FPL Draft isn’t holding the sort of thrill and excitement I thought it would. Initially, I felt there could be some interesting aspects to the game. Considering I come from a fantasy (NFL) football background of 38 years, this draft game did show some early promise. To date, I am just not impressed. Maybe my thoughts would be different if the 8-team league I play in were local friends and not some unknown Internet alias.

That said, I climbed into 2nd place in my draft league after a strong-ish showing this past weekend scoring 44 points, which was second highest in the league. After 7 weeks I have scored 305 points, which is now 36 points off the top, which I expect to take in the coming weeks after the international break.

Its interesting to not as we get further along in the season, the more transactions I am taking through the week. I stated the week with 3 waiver claims; Hoedt, Chicharito, Mustafi. I ended up getting all three of the on Thursday and dropped Mendy (inj), Benteke (inj) and Lascelles. But that wasn’t enough, the merry-go-round continued into Friday, adding Niasse, Richarlison, A. Carroll, Cresswell and Choupo-Moting. In the end Richarlison and Niasse, along with Stones, Jese and Joselu were dropped.

On the week I started Fabianski in goal over Ederson because of the match up. Only a late goal by West Ham denied Fabianski his 4th clean sheet on the season, but he did scoop up a bonus point. Defensively, my squad is sound, as I started a 5-4-1, tripling up on West Ham. Mustafi, Cresswell, Alderweireld and Azpilicueta combined for 20 points, with only “Dave” not keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 loss to Man City. My fifth starter was Hoedt, who was benched in favor of Van Dijk, which mean Pedro was slotted in.

The midfield looks good on paper, but Alli continues to struggle, posting another no return, while Coutinho continues to look good in the Liverpool midfield with another goal and 10 points. The new boy, Choupo-Moting (5 points) was a late add over Richarlison, but he secured an assist, his first of the season. Pedro was the first player on the bench and I had no intention of starting him against Man City but felt he had a better chance than Ritchie to gain points. I was wrong, Ritchie scored 2, Pedro, just 1 point.

With Aguero now sidelined and down a bench player, I moved both my struggling forwards and doubled up on West Ham; Hernandez and Carroll. That move failed to pay off as they combined for just 3 points. The Hammers still have some favorable fixtures; bur/BHA/cry out of the break, but I am not sure if they will retain their starting spots or not.

With 2 weeks to plan and make moves, the waiver wire is open until Friday, October 13, which means we have a lot of waiting to do. I have put in a claim for Fellaini, even though they face Liverpool out of the break, followed by Huddersfield. The other wire claim I put in is for David Luiz, somewhat surprised he is out there, as it SHOULD be a Chelsea CS when they come out of the break against Palace.