This was Game Week 1.
It's like a who's who of terrible current fantasy football players.
I began the season in two minds. Was I to go with tried and tested characters? The Usual Suspects? There was nothing false about how limp some of these players' performances were. (eh? EH?!)
I did OK with a few. Wilson was an inspired choice for a while, even daring to bag a hat-trick while on my bench. Gomis scored four weeks in a row, but my two main gambles did not pay off.
For £30 million quid I expected Benteke to be the first name on the team sheet, and he duly was, but he has yet to convince and I took the opportunity to sell him as soon as he had a dalliance with injury. Oxlade-Chamberlain was to be my 'I saw it first!' gamble. I don't know how others feel about players of teams they support but I thought I had a bit of an inside run with Ox, having followed his progress closely. I thought this would be the season his end product improved but alas, not yet.
Actually three of my 'safe' picks were the worst. I couldn't see much reason to presume Chelsea would fall apart, but Fabregas, Ivanovic and Courtois all basically took the piss. I LOST points on Courtois. I've had good times with Chelsea 'keepers before, captaining Cech on a double gameweek once, but not this time.
I gave the team a chance in GW2, but captaining Benteke for 18 points was about all the return I got, so I began chasing points to get the momentum going. Kompany, Yaya and Mahrez all came in for Ivanovic, Fabregas and Ox in a shameless show of point chasing, but it yielded results.
The next stage of the recovery was nominative. 'Willian Defoe' was way too obscure. I don't know what I was thinking. 'Puttin' on the Reus' was clearly the way forward, and so it has proved to be.
Part 3 Was All About The Wild Card.
I had considered playing my wildcard directly before a double game week, but chose against it for two reasons. 1) I didn't want to end up with a load of players I wasn't all that keen on just because they had two games in one week, and 2) I think playing your wildcard after the summer window has closed is pretty wise as it gives you a nice long time to benefit from how you play it. It's worked so far for me.
Mcauley, Cech, Zouma, De Bruyne, Mane and Vardy all came in and mostly they have proved their worth. De Bruyne, Vardy and Mane have added points immediately, and with Mcauley and Cech my defensive strategy is stronger. Arsenal get a good amount of clean sheets and I'm going doubles on West Brom, putting all my eggs in Tony Pulis's big basket of clean sheets, where hopefully they won't break.
Also, I knew Alexis would come good. Captaining him on his hat-trick at Leicester was extra sweet as I had been very close to taking it off him on the Saturday morning, but also because a lot of people had lost faith in him. He got me 40 points, my second best haul ever on one player if my memory serves me correctly.
The wildcard gave me the chance to make some better calculated purchases. There are certain players that I think you have to buy even if everyone else has them (Mahrez for example), but players like De Bruyne and Mane I noticed weren't being backed by many managers. Mane had chalked up two assists against United and registered his first goal of the season in the League Cup, so I took the chance there, and De Bruyne was just obviously a man with end product, but strangely is only now beginning to get the backing.
I'm going into GW10 with the best line-up I've had so far in my opinion. Captaining Sanchez v Watford away just feels like the kind of game he'd love. Cosy stadium, under the lights, 154 goals in his last 3 games for club and country. It feels right.
|What a man what a man what a man what a man.|