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. My management style is fixtures/eye test based, so my articles won't be too stats heavy.  I aim to make them quick and easy to consume alongside some of the excellent analytical tools on the Hub.

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 4 Performance - 69 (-4) points

best fpl team gw5

Rich's Gameweek 4 Points

Observations since last week

The craziness continues! For the third week running the goal count was high, the clean sheets completely random and the results almost un-thinkable!

The fantasy game has been turned upside down and spun around, with Tottenham triumphing 6-1 away at Manchester United and then Liverpool going down 7-2 away at Aston Villa!

The under-performance continued from reliable 'top half' teams like Leicester, Arsenal, Manchester City and Wolves. This means we are now looking at the likes of Tottenham, West Ham, Aston Villa and Everton in our immediate transfer plans.

My own side faired pretty well for the first time this season. I bucked the trend to sell Heung-Min Son and played him in the United game. A correct captain call on Mohamed Salah in the defeat at Villa, gave me a total of 69 (-4) points for the week. This lifted my rank up from around 4.5 million overnight on Saturday to 1.95 million at the end of the Sunday madness.

Had I not benched Allan Saint-Maximin (another differential 'hold'), it would have been a stellar score. I have to be happy though with the recovery of over 2.5 million places in a day! - so am re-motivated for the next block of games we have coming.

Lessons Learned!

I did go ahead with the planned hit (my first for eleven months), to bring in Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Raul Jimenez (for Timo Werner & Alexander Mitrovic). Overall the hit 'broke even', with the new pair outscoring the old by exactly 4 points. I gained in team value though and now have a better-set forward line for form and fixtures.

The biggest lesson though, was in practising the art of not reacting. As I said last week: 'Patience will often reward you for doing nothing'

Keeping Son and Saint-Maximin in my side, has given me immediate differential points for Son (18) last week and now an ongoing differential in Saint-Maximin. I'm happy to keep the dribbling Frenchman, who after his recent performance has earned a bumper new contract with Newcastle..

All this means I don't feel at too much of a disadvantage to wildcarders or managers that risked early transfers in the international break.

Transfer in Defence?

I actually quite like my team for this weekend. I have one free transfer and two possible options to mull over before the deadline.

Matt Doherty (£5.9m), has not been performing too well at Tottenham. He has now become a big rotation risk following Serge Aurier's goal and strong performance in the 6-1 demolition of Man United. £5.9m is a lot of money to have tied up in a player who may not start this weekend or in future Premier League games.  Spurs are still in the Europa league and EFL cups; Doherty just played 270 mins in the international break etc. etc. This suggests I should move him on and Stuart Dallas (£4.5) of Leeds United is my likely replacement.

Dallas has looked really attacking and almost reminds me of Doherty in his emergent season as a bargain £4.5m defender at Wolves. He has under-performed his 'Expected points' for the season so far by some margin but still tops a number of Expected points/million tables right now when looking at upcoming games.

The £1.4m saving will really help me with upgrades further upfield. Dallas provides me with a nailed-on player with decent fixtures when other members of my defence (James Justin, Tyrick Mitchell) could also lose their starts in coming weeks.

Transfer in Attack?

My other option is to remove Che Adams (£5.8m) this week. Despite having had (and created) a number of chances, he can't seem to put the ball in the net. Adams is surrounded by a number of players at his price bracket offering better form and fixtures than him.

Pick from: Ollie Watkins (£5.9m), Neil Maupay (£6.6m), Callum Wilson (£6.5m), Michail Antonio (£6.3m).

Adams can also now also be used to generate cash by moving to Rhian Brewster (4.5m) who is an intriguing enabler at Sheffield United and plays Fulham this weekend.

Having stretched myself to the limit (£0.0m in the Bank) last week with my transfers, I can't go up to any of the more expensive options without a hit, so I would be forced to do the Brewster move this week if I want Adams out.  This could work, but I am not sure I want to commit to a 3-5-2 formation most weeks without seeing Brewster perform first. Sheffield United have been poor so far; they have 3-4 other striker options and also face Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea in gameweeks 6-8. For these reasons I am leaning towards the defensive move (Doherty to Dallas) outlined above this week.

Brewster could still be an option to enable a Harry Kane transfer if his form continues, though I'm happy with Raul Jimenez for the next three games so this gives me time for these possible moves.  I also really want to take advantage of the £value strikers as well perhaps evolving to a front line of potentially Antonio, Watkins and Calvert-Lewin by Gameweek 8.

 

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