With so much going on in the world and so many important issues to ponder, it would behoove me to relieve your anxiety as much as possible by addressing your biggest worry immediately - how did Fuzzy Warbles do in Week 36?
What if I were to tell you, Week 36 saw the most points left on my bench all season - 21. Keep in mind, I had Etienne Capoue in my team from the 1st deadline, and had the four goals he scored in the opening five weeks all left on the bench. So, to shatter that dubious record, one would imagine that it was another deeply disappointing gameweek for your humble writer, right?
Week 36 was a rousing success. Here are the big stats - a round score of 108. Earned my highest rank for a single gameweek this season - 2,316. After a depressing drop in the ranks, where I was ranked 45k heading into GW35 and ended GW36 with a 82k ranking, using my All Out Attack chip and 2nd half wildcard in the process, I now head into Week 37 ranked right on 30k. It's a nice place to be, especially considering I had no confidence I could make up that much ground at this stage of the season, where managers ranked, say, in the top 50k, are all making very similar moves to take advantage of double gameweeks. It just goes to show, even when things are looking dire, you are never out of it until you are out of it. "A chip and a chair" as they say in another hobby of mine. Yes, Fuzzy has ungraciously begun his column this week by patting himself on the back. But hey, I made a promise during the rough patches of this season, when I had gone several weeks in a row wallowing in the doom and gloom, that, if things ever turned around, I would be just as vocal about relishing in some success. I am merely keeping my promise folks.
So, if you recall a couple weeks back, I put out a special column that focused on building a wildcard for the impending double gameweeks. My wildcard plan was no secret. I wanted to have as many double gameweek prospects as I could, for both Week 36 and Week 37. Pretty much every manager has carved out a similar plan. Why, then, did my team do so exceedingly well this past week, in comparison to most others? The answer, I feel, lies in the balance of my squad. I hunted down clean sheets in defense, heavy hitters in attack and budget plays to round out the side. Basically, I ignored the mid-range priced options. My side included one heavy hitter that I felt would provide a differential, because his stock wasn't too high before this past weekend, Mr. Kevin de Bruyne. I think many never even considered de Bruyne. In order to fit him into my squad, I took a budget option in both the midfield and forward positions, Victor Moses and Victor Anichebe. I am not sure how many managers had Eden Hazard, Alexis Sanchez and de Bruyne in their side last week, but I am sure most will want the trio in their sides heading into this weekend.
Right, so with only two weeks to go, I am once again tinkering with my column in order to be of the best possible help. The traditional format does not seem to me to be as helpful in the last few weeks of the season. The idea this week is to simply rank the best options to buy at each position. There is not much need to talk about who to sell. Basically, if a player has two games and is fit, you aren't selling him. If you have a player with only one match, he is up for the chop. The only single gameweek player I can recommend holding, though I wouldn't use him on a wildcard or spend a transfer, is Josh King. He is simply scoring too consistently and is too cheap, even now, to ignore. Otherwise, the Gylfi Sigurdssons and Romelu Lukakus of the world, great FPL players but only with one fixture, should bid your team adieu this week. Unless, of course, you burned your wildcard long ago and you aren't comfortable spending points to have all double gameweekers. Then, I could see a case where someone like Lukaku stays in one's side.
Still, you want to push for inclusion of as many double gameweekers as possible in this round. It is way more important than previous double gameweeks this season, simply because half of the clubs in the league play a double, rather than only two or three. And, unlike the week where Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace had a double but produced disappointing returns, this round features clubs you can depend on for points - mainly Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City. To give you an idea of how much I believe in this notion, of the fifteen players I have in my squad for the weekend, where I will be playing my bench boost, 10 are from those four clubs. Three others are from Southampton, the remaining two from Sunderland.
When you look at the other four clubs on a double this week who are nowhere to be found in my side, there is plenty of logic behind it. Three of the four clubs have undesirable fixtures, have little to play for in terms of motivation, and generally are not the most dependable sides for fantasy points in recent months. Those three clubs are Watford (at EVE, at CHE), West Brom (home to CHE, at MCI) and Leicester (at MCI, home to TOT). I would not be shopping in and around these clubs. The last club with a double not yet mentioned - Manchester United. This club has plenty to play for and there is plenty of chances for a few of their players to have massive double gameweek scores. The problem is, there is too much uncertainty, outside of David de Gea, as to how United will line up. Playing both of their matches on the road, including against Tottenham, who have the best defensive record in the league and will be surely fired up for the final match at White Hart Lane...these factors take the luster off of investment.
Ok then, with that in mind, the column this week is a bit top-heavy on explanation above and streamlined with the rankings below. Buckle up kids, Week 37 could be a wild ride. Someone is going to break 200 points, someone is going to take a 60 point hit by accident. It's gonna be nuts. One thing we can probably all agree on - let's hope Chelsea doesn't wrap up the title tonight with a win over the Baggies. Should that happen, we could see changes abound for the Blues second game of the double and it could cause Tottenham to mix things up for both of their games. So, come on you Baggies.
*Just as a reminder, keepers should always be the last position to think about using transfers for, unless there is an urgent need. So, when you see who I have listed here, bear in mind that my keeper advice does not carry as much weight as the outfield positions.
1) Petr Cech
3) Willy Caballero
6) Hugo Lloris
7) David de Gea
2) Nacho Monreal
10) David Luiz
1) Kevin de Bruyne
2) Alexis Sanchez
3) Eden Hazard
4) Dele Alli
6) Mesut Ozil
7) Leroy Sane
8) Dusan Tadic
9) Riyad Mahrez
11) Cesc Fabregas
12) Ander Herrera
1) Gabriel Jesus
2) Harry Kane
3) Diego Costa
4) Jamie Vardy
TOP CAPTAIN CHOICES
1) Kevin de Bruyne
2) Alexis Sanchez
3) Gabriel Jesus
4) Eden Hazard
5) Harry Kane
That's it from me this week folks. Please, bear in mind much can change between the publishing of this column and the FPL deadline Friday night. Remember, some injuries are not revealed until just before the deadline. Always try to refrain from executing your transfers for as long as possible to avoid wasting it on a player who turns out to have had a problem in training. That said, if you only have just enough money for the player you are looking to bring in and that player is at risk of rising in price, then sometimes you need to take a calculated risk and hope the fantasy gods will be kind to you.
With the luxury of two saved transfers for this week after playing my Wildcard two rounds ago, I have tweaked my side. I will be playing the bench boost and could potentially field 30 starters. I will take 27. Fuzzy's squad heading into this penultimate gameweek is as follows:
GK: Cech, Pickford
DEF: Alonso, Monreal, Vertonghen, Yoshida, Stephens
MID: Sanchez, de Bruyne, Hazard, Moses, Ward-Prowse
FWD: Kane, Jesus, Anichebe
Good luck, and may your arrows be green.