CM_Hints takes a look at how he prepared for FantasyChampMan Double Gameweek 4 and how his team fared over the weekend.
On the eve of Double Gameweek 4, I was ranked around 300th in the overall FantasyChampMan table. I was looking to kick start my season but had a bit of a predicament. On the one hand I was satisfied with my squad for the long haul, albeit with a couple of noticeable exceptions. On the other hand I wasn’t happy with most of the players’ fixtures that I had at my disposal for Double Gameweek 4. All of this led me to one option – using Free Hit rather than using my Wildcard. I was expecting this to be the case with a lot of other managers. To my surprise, using Free Hit was a minority position. In fact, only 9 managers including me, opted for this. Bolton and Charlton had the additional fixture and it didn’t feel right to take hits for their coverage or to waste a Wildcard over relegation material players.
Despite having Nolan, I didn’t actually start him as I was worried he would be rotated, so kept him as bench fodder. I decided to pin my hopes on Dean Kiely, Jason Wilcox and Jason Euell from Charlton Athletic. It was a 50-50 between Jason Euell and Shaun Bartlett, I could have easily tossed a coin between them rather than running my own simulations to decide. Ultimately, Euell had a better scoring record in the Premier League in real life and that tipped it in his favour for me and I also made him my captain. My other players on Free Hit included Julio Arca and Luis Boa Morte due to their out-of-position potential, as well as Robbie Fowler and Thierry Henry in part due to nostaliga and in part due to their potential to score big. Notable players that I reluctantly removed included Ian Harte, Ryan Giggs and Ruud Van Nistelrooy. So long as I scored well above the average and more than my Gameweek 3 team I would have considered Free Hit a success.
Despite United’s assured start to the CM01/02 season they were absolutely done over by Leeds United. Surprisingly the likes of Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka didn’t find the back of the net in a three goal rampage. My temporary removal of Harte didn’t help my cause with him securing a clean sheet and bonus points. To add insult to injury, David Beckham who I retained with the Free Hit, got a booking and only delivered 1 point. This inauspicious opening was far from great and I was already fearing the worst. Surely it couldn’t get worse? Then came the 3pm kick offs – Arca did nothing. Fowler blanked. Kiely conceded. Wilcox blanked. Henry blanked. Gerrard blanked. Riise didn’t even start. It was evolving into one of those nightmare Gameweeks in FPL that were laden with disaster in every position. To add to the randomness, Titus Bramble scored a 70 yard screamer. Thankfully, among the melee, Euell’s captaincy wasn’t a fail as he delivered a goal and three vital bonus points. As it stood, with my average score via the imaginary FantasyChampMan app, I was heading for a red arrow.
Then came the 5.30pm kick off, Fulham v Southampton. Luis Boa Morte was my last hope. He was a Free Hit transfer on audition for a permanent move. He had been in good form. Surely he could nick just one scruffy goal to nudge me over the average score? Unfortunately, it didn’t look like that for the first 45 minutes with it being goalless. But then the flood gates opened. Two goals in three minutes, followed by an assist and 90th minute goal that sky-rocketed his tally to a blistering 23 points, which was a fantastic way to bring an end to Saturday’s action. It was all completely unexpected but salvaged my Double Gameweek and validated my use of the Free Hit chip. I basically fluked it after almost all of my other players failed. Then came Sunday’s match. It was too much for Euell to score a hat-trick. Kiely couldn’t keep a clean sheet and Wilcox kept quite again. Despite blanking in Sunday’s match Euell got two bonus points and helped me score 73 points in the end which was well above the average and catapulted me to 97th place, a rank rise of over 200 places.
With no Double Gameweeks in the immediate future, I’m glad I used my Free Hit chip when I did (and in a successful manner). I now have the momentum to build from this point onwards. Thankfully, my original team has a better set of fixtures in Gameweek 5 than they did in Double Gameweek 4. I’m tempted to make no transfers at all, barring unexpected injury news or the wishful thought of Cherno Samba getting bought by a Premier League club. I might need to have a careful think on captaincy but other than that I don’t seem to have any major headaches at this stage of the FantasyChampMan season. Here’s to hope that my squad can hold up for the foreseeable future.