Former HOF Number 1 FPL Manager Richard Clarke is an FPL veteran and has one of the most enviable best records out there, notching 2 top 500 finishes, 7 top 10k finishes and has never finished outside the top 33k in every single one of his 13 seasons. His articles take a detailed 'longer-term' view of the approach and FPL strategy to achieve success in a season. The aim is to exclusively give Fantasy Football Hub members perspective on the recent/upcoming period of games and relate this to their own team's position. Rich articulates his learnings and FPL strategy as we move through each phase of the season where international breaks, chip timing and fixture turns all come into play.
Summary of my current position @ Gameweek 26:
Current Rank: 87k (+315k on GW17) (Top 1.1%)
Team Value: 105.5M (+1.3m on GW17)
#transfers made in last 8 weeks: 9 (No hits)
(In: Grealish, Son, Salah, Stephens, Fleck, Calvert-Lewin, Mane, O'Connell, Lascelles)
(Out: Mane, Mount, Son, Sidibe, Traore, Jiminez, Martial, Kelly, Lundstram)
#transfers this GW: 2
Chips played: Wildcard in Gameweek 20
FPL Strategy - Observations
- The late playing of the first wildcard (GW20) led to a positive outcome to the Christmas / New Year fixtures
- Sticking to the basics - patient play, fixture planning, correct captain calls is working - albeit slowly
- The recent period of games has seen some truly unpredictable moments and luck has certainly played a part
- Transfers and chips remain highly precious, especially when fixture outcomes are unknown
- Patience can be a strong weapon when over-thinking and over-management are becoming common behaviours amongst FPL managers
Looking Back (GW18- GW26)
Firstly, let me apologise for the longer gap between articles. I thought about producing a write-up in the new year following the four Gameweeks (in ten days) over the Christmas period, but at the time, almost all the focus was around which three Liverpool players we wanted in our squads for Gameweeek 24. I felt that another article on this subject would not add much further value, so I decided to write now - still in 'after-math of 24' and look further forward.
My Ranking has improved somewhat since last writing, and this week I am sitting at around 87k - which is a big jump from around 400k just before Christmas. This improvement is partially due to strong fixture planning backing into a Gameweek 20 wildcard, which was then played with a medium-term focus on the January fixtures. Scores around the GW20 Wildcard week itself were not that spectacular, but what it did give me was an opportunity to build in strong-fixture 'value' players around the usual season keepers.
Grealish, Salah and Calvert-Lewin have proved to be good moves over the period, while Son (red carded when captained v Chelsea) and Mane (injured when brought back for 24) have evened out the regular transfers. Keeping Jimenez until just before Gameweek 24 was also a patient play but in hindsight I wished I'd kept him throughout. Martial and Ings were good wildcard acquisitions, but Soyuncu and the Brighton goalkeepers have not worked out well - so it's been a mixed bag transfer wise.
The wildcard helped enable a patient plan to bring in Sadio Mane alongside Mo Salah for Gameweek 24. I always wanted to have the strongest three Liverpool players for this double gameweek. An eventual huge swing to Salah triple captainers (over Mane) was a pivotal season moment and one I can only say I fell the right side of. The choice for me was always going to be Salah, through form and penalty duties (with the absent Milner) but I do feel sorry for managers who went the other way. I still think Mane is a great pick and have kept him in my squad for this elongated period. He has only missed one full Gameweek and now is something of a premium differential for the upcoming group of games.
Team Reveal & Double Gameweek Strategy
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