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.  

Rich's FPL record

Objective

After writing a series of 'Vet's guides' over the last two seasons, I have decided to reveal my team for Hub members on a weekly basis. I like to play quite 'subjectively', so my articles won't be too stats heavy.  I aim to make them quick and easy to read alongside some of the excellent other content on the Hub that provides the analytics.

I'm happy to answer members questions after the reveal is published.  Please ping me a question in the comments and I'll try to help.

Gameweek 3 Performance - 42 points

Rich's Gameweek 3 Points

Observations since last week

I thought Gameweek 2 was a crazy one!  Following a record number of goals in Gameweek 2, last weekend gave us equal drama to match! Shock results had a big impact on the 33%+ of fantasy managers who wildcarded. Popular assets from Manchester City and Wolves featured heavily in 'Transfers In' only to devastate their new owners as thrashings were dealt out by Leicester City and West Ham respectively.

Late stoppage time penalties also led to massive points swings in the games at Brighton and Tottenham in what was a low scoring gameweek for most.

It was another difficult week for my own side, missing the overall average score (43) by a single point and treading water at the 3.1 million mark. No goals, but four assists overall (Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mo Salah, Che Adams and Thomas Soucek) saved me from a worse fate. The Kevin De Bruyne (c) choice was also disappointing after such a promising first game for the star Cityzen.

It feels like we are in for more of the same this coming weekend. As a result of my mediocre start,  I am looking to play more aggressively going into the International break.

Lessons Learned!

Last week I made early transfers (to react to prices) and got burned.

Heung-Min Son (for Kai Havertz) at £8.9m after his four-goal return seemed like a no-brainer. I did not however, expect him to play both the EFL cup and Europa league games as part of Spurs' crazy schedule.  The (resultant) fatigue and a half-time, injury-related substitution against Newcastle was hardly surprising. Similarly, a mid-week move to get De Bruyne at his base price, anticipating an EFL cup rest (Pep said he'd play the kids!) was also a wrong call. De Bruyne sustained a near-concussion challenge in that game that made him a doubt for the weekend.

This early 'slap in the face' has made me adamant to stick to my key principles from now on. I won't make early transfers because of volatile prices. This is particularly important if players have games in other competitions before the next round of FPL fixtures.

Patience...

It would have been tempting to move my flagged, injured (and falling in price) assets (Son and Saint-Maximin) out early again this week. Sitting on my hands, has actually given me some different options!  Son now even has a chance of playing this coming Sunday against Manchester United (according to Mourinho) so he should be fine to resume after the international break. Saint-Maximin is also back in training; although he's not a player I want long term, he's OK for the bench this week while I focus on other areas.

The subtle point here is that patience will often reward you for doing nothing. I view the Son 'recovery' as almost like getting two free transfers as I can avoid re-structuring my midfield as a result.

Waiting for the midweek games to conclude can also confirm a new target or give existing squad members a clean bill of health.

Transfers & Possible Targets

I am writing Thursday evening before the remaining EFL cup and Europa games so based on my above principles, moves are subject to change!)

Having watched how bad Fulham are as a side, I can't really go into the weekend without any Wolves players.  Raul Jimenez at £8.6m did not have his best game last week against West Ham, scoring an own goal for zero points.  I view that as a bit of a blip though, and the Mexican could very well haul against the Cottagers this weekend. I am conscious also of the significant ownership of Wolves players by 30-40% of the field, so there is something of a 'hedge' to the move here.  Timo Werner (CHE) at £9.4m (the player I will downgrade) could well also return in his next two home fixtures (CPL / SOT) - so there is risk to the change back-firing.

If I make the moves tonight (Thursday), I will likely have exact money to take my first hit in eleven months(!) and also bring in the red-hot Dominic Calvert-Lewin (EVE) at £7.4m (for Aleksandar Mitrovic FUL (£6.0m).  First of all, I have to admit that I got the decision over Calvert-Lewin wrong at the start of the season. Having enjoyed success with him for the middle part of last season, I ditched him for the 're-start' where he never got going again. This tarnished my view of him and I have missed out on a lot of points already.  Do I remain proud and resolute? Or get him in before I can't afford him any longer? - I think the latter.

I'll still likely ponder the minus four all evening. I'll debate whether to just do the Jimenez transfer and vow to take a hit for Gameweek 5 (if needed). Having gone so long without a hit can make you believe you never need to take one. I do recall ducking a Jimenez transfer last season before an international break (also for a minus four), he hauled and I ended up getting him straight afterwards to correct the cautious mistake.

One alternative second transfer I would like to make to the Calvert-Lewin move, is to upgrade Matt Doherty (TOT) (£5.9m) to Andrew Robertson (LIV) (£7.0m). I really like the idea of the Liverpool defensive double-up (with Alexander-Arnold) for the upcoming few weeks. Two things that are swaying me to the Evertonian this week, are his rocketing price and overall ownership! If the above defensive move suits your team better (you may already have Jimenez and Calvert-Lewin for instance), then I would recommend this.

Harvey Barnes (LEI) (£7.0m) and Leandro Trossard (BHA) (£6.0m) also both really impressed last week and are on my radar for midfield moves - but they will likely need to wait now due to the better fitness prognosis on my current midfielders and more pressing needs up-front.

Gameweek 4 Team reveal (Provisional)

 

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