I (Simon) reveal my Wildcard FPL team and provide the justifications for my choices ahead of Gameweek 5
Why I activated the Wildcard
As you can see from the above, my team was fairly strong and I certainly didn’t NEED to activate the wildcard. But rarely have I been in a situation in the past where I haven’t NEEDED to activate my Wildcard after 4-6 Gameweeks – so I saw this as a chance to be proactive, rather than reactive, with me at a healthy 200k overall and me having a majority of the template players.
First of all, van Dijk was an issue. I had got the decision wrong to go with him over Robertson and upcoming, are fixtures that I simply can’t see Liverpool keeping many clean sheets in. For VVD, it’s all about the clean sheets, as he’s showing 0 goal threat from set pieces, which I was banking on him having. He seems to be playing the role of distractor for others to find space – not what I want from the giant!
Bailly was another issue that had to be sorted out with him not playing and United overall looking shaky defensively to say the least.
Mkhitaryan was a poor move. I anticipated Son’s return and took Lucas out 2 GWs earlier than I had originally planned for a player that was in greater form and had greater fixtures AND at the time, seemed more nailed on. It seemed logical but it bit me very, VERY hard! With his position in the team unsure after his 1 minute cameo, I wanted him gone.
Zaha was also a position I wanted to change, with Mitrovic, Wilson and Deeney all providing better returns for a cheaper price, I saw that as an opportunity to profit some money and use it elsewhere.
Then there’s Sorloth and Boruc on the bench – that needed sorting. Simple.
The ‘New Look’ team – a bold move
So here’s what I’m shooting with, here it is in all it’s glory. Most of you will probably be shocked at a few omissions and inclusions, so let me explain them one by one.
Nope. He’s started extremely well, but the numbers suggest he is definitely over-performing at the moment and I can see a regression.
Some will argue; “We said that about Salah last year and look how that turned out” – well yes, but Mané isn’t Salah.
He’s not producing the same kind of numbers as Salah and that’s what makes me think we might see this form drop off.
Just because someone is in great form, doesn’t mean it will 100% continue. The truly great FPL players get on players before they become a bandwagon and get off players just before they see a downturn in form – I’m hoping to emulate this trait with regard to Mané.
If I’m wrong, he comes back in. Easy. What’s not so easy, is getting Salah back in.
Those that know me know I heavily dislike Hazard, almost as much as FPL General, but even so, it wouldn’t stop me getting him if I thought he was worth the outlay.
I don’t have Hazard, simply because I can’t justify spending that much money on him, when Pedro for a LOT cheaper, is producing similar returns as him.
I know in the future Hazard will start more games and will outscore him, but value wise, I don’t think he will outscore him enough to justify the extra £4m!
Pedro, despite limited minutes, has demonstrated he can still return great value, and at his price, I have no problem with him being benched on the odd occasion, because I know he has a decent chance of still returning from the bench, as he did last week.
Hazard is also a very unselfish player. At that price, I want him to be selfish. I want him to be a greedy bastard and take lots of shots, like Alexis did when he was at Arsenal. His price is too much for someone that loves to link play and assist as much as score.
Yes, I kept him. His underlying stats haven’t diminished – they are still ridiculous.
He’s missed so many chances too and yet, he’s returned 2 goals and 2 assists in 4 games and is ahead of his score at this same stage last season.
He’s top for expected goal involvement (3.68) of any player, he’s had more penalty area touches (34) than any player and has had the second most amount of goal attempts (19), second only to Agüero. He’s also created the joint most amount of chances of any player with David Silva (13).
That should tell you everything you need to know and why I will not be selling him. He faces tough opposition soon and with UCL, should see his minutes managed somewhat, but he’s gearing up and I sense an explosion of points in the nearer future.
His ownership is also still extremely high and I’d likely face big captaincy numbers if I went without.
Yes, this one is a risk, I’ll admit it. I don’t know for sure that he’s nailed on, but after his previous performance, I think he’s earned his spot for the immediate future and if he continues to perform, I think he makes it his own.
I’m gambling on that eventuality, but with great fixtures and at just 3.5% ownership, I think it’s a risk worth taking for the next 5 Gameweeks. If it doesn’t work, then I will drop him to Arnautovic for West Ham’s turn of fixtures and then upgrade David Silva to Mané.
Rotation city – Trippier, David Silva
Again, yes, I know both will be subject to rotation during UCL, but I believe at their prices, and given the fixtures coming, they will be able to provide great value regardless.
David Silva’s underlying numbers have been fantastic considering his limited game time. Yes he’s only got the 1 goal so far, but with Fulham, Cardiff and Brighton the next 3 opponents, I can see that tally greatly improving.
Trippier has played in 3 of the 4 available games in the Premier League so far, and has returned 23 points, which is 5.75 on average. That is an extremely healthy average for a £6m priced player. With UCL coming up, we can expect a similar ratio of games played.
Because I know he has such potential to get attacking returns, having now knocked Eriksen off set-piece duties, I am happy to take the rotation on the chin, as I know what he can do when he does play.
This, like Lacazette and David Silva, is roughly for the next 5 Gameweeks. Trippier will then become Robertson/VVD as Liverpool fixtures turn for the good again.
It’s a bold move that has an experimental feel to it. It’s a 5 week gamble that I’m taking in the hopes of climbing high into the the top 50k, but I’m trusting my gut for this and if it backfires, then I have provisions in place to return to a more template and ‘nailed on’ team.
Last year, I listened too much to what others thought and I rejected my own first instinct. I’m determined to listen to it this year and that way, even if it does fail, I have no-one but myself to blame and I can live with that decision.
All the best for Gameweek 5 everyone!