A lot of experienced Fantasy Premier League managers are having a tough start to the season. After each bad game week I had argued that results will turn our way eventually and the fantasy options with great underlying stats will start producing points soon.
During the break before the Manchester United – Liverpool match began, I took a look at the transfer page, created a high-scoring team (pictured) and began to wonder if some change is required.
If Kolarov had been the captain every week, the first eleven would have scored well over 400 points with another 78 sitting on the bench. If you had all these players in your start-of-season team, it would have set you back just 81.5m.
The point of this article is not to say let’s rush out and buy all these players, but simply to say that we should keep our minds alert to potential changes in what is required to be successful at the game.
The three thoughts that struck me from looking at the list of highest scoring players this season were:
- Premium defenders are doing well – not one of the top nine were under 5m;
- Premium midfielders are doing poorly – only three of the top 13 were worth more than 7m at the start of the season; and
- There are few strikers generating returns.
For someone like me, whose strategy has been focused on building team value early in the season, it might be a time for a re-think. I still think some premium players will kick into gear this season, but there looks enough depth in the mid-priced midfield that it might be possible to do well this season without trying to squeeze in all the so-called big hitters. Therefore, it might be time to stop chasing team value and not worry about having money sat in the bank. The FPL manager with money in the bank will be able to move quickly if a premium player finds form.
In the meantime, clean sheet points look plentiful and we’re beginning to get an idea of which teams will harvest them. There could even be an argument for shifting from 3-4-3 to 4-4-2 with investment in a strong back line to take advantage of the consistent point returns defenders are delivering.
After today’s games I remembered what a company consultant said to a struggling firm, which went something like: “If you are failing and don’t change, you will continue to fail.”
I don’t intend to panic; the season is still young and five gameweeks is still a short period of time in which to judge proceedings. But after another low-scoring gameweek it would be wrong not to consider alternative paths to success.