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, 8 top 10k finishes and has never finished outside the top 0.5% in every single one of his 14 seasons. Rich will be revealing his team on a weekly basis in 2020/21 season; providing observations and strategy comment where appropriate.
Gameweek 17 Performance: 69 points
(Rank rise = up 19,000 places to 126k)
Brief review of Gameweek 17 and current situation
Well this is fun isn't it?
The beginning of the last game week was eleven days ago, New Year's Day! It seems almost a lifetime ago with the amount of chaos and re-scheduling that has occurred since.
Almost every fantasy manager will have been impacted in some way by the postponements and sudden rearranged fixtures. Luck has played a part and perhaps the most serious of planners feel the most discombobulated by it all.
All we can do is play the fixtures immediately in front of us and accept that the next few weeks will be subject to sudden change.
My own team got through Gameweek 17 with a decent green arrow - with some good (and bad) decisions. Captaining Harry Kane (24 points) and transferring in Rob Holding (10 points) were the good bits.
Second benching Thomas Soucek and missing out on his 11-point haul was not so good. I had benefitted from four straight Stuart Dallas returns (three of which were off the bench) - so figured the Leeds man was never going to blank again as I went 4-4-2 for a change. It didn't work out.
Nevertheless, I'm happy with the overall ranking progress to 126k at this stage. The climb has been enough to see me get back into the Top 10 in some 'All time FPL Manager Ranking' lists this month which is nice to see and a good position to improve further.
Gameweek 18 - Free Hit!
As a Gameweek 16 wildcarder, I had always planned to use the free-hit chip this week. The various fixture additions and cancellations in the last two weeks, have not made this a straight-forward decision for many fantasy managers on other strategies.
I have only four players with a fixture this week (Kane, Son, Fernandes and Holding), so my decision is an easy one. If you are out there, with 7 or 8 players in your squad (and maybe have one or two transfers?) - the decision is not so easy. It may well pay off in the long-term to save the free-hit chip and look to survive this week fielding a smaller team.
Writing just after confirmation that the Aston Villa v Tottenham game has been replaced by Tottenham v Fulham, this means I can now start to get serious about the selections this week.
The late confirmation of an easier Tottenham fixture actually makes the free-hit squad selection a simpler process.With four 'Traditional Big-6' teams now having a fixture, it is possible all eleven starters could come from these sides.
The draft below will likely be selected overnight, following the FA Cup 4th and 5th round draws this evening, and assuming there are no further government announcements over football cessation. There could be further news right up to the deadline of course, but I feel with the confirmation of the Tottenham game being 'On' for Wednesday - there is a strong chance Gameweek 18 will be played out.
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