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.
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 8 Performance: 79 points
General Observations since last week
Gameweek 8 seems a long time ago now, but it was a generally high scoring week with lots of points coming from defensive assets and most of the popular captain choices providing required returns.
If I can comment briefly on the International break, it has been an absolute nightmare for fantasy managers with Covid cases and injuries all over the place. It holds true that two free transfers is very valuable this week, along with the strong advice to wait as late as possible before making any transfers.
It was a good week for my team, with 79 points and no hits giving me an 800k rank rise to just inside 1.3 million. This is closer to the 'average' rank (apparently) for the monitored group of top FPL managers - so some hope yet that this season will turn out OK for me.
My transfers in of Ben Chilwell and Jack Grealish both gave immediate returns and they are both long term plays, so I was very pleased with this. I made a last-minute decision to keep Trent Alexander-Arnold, instead shifting out Tyrick Mitchell for the Chelsea man.
My logic here was two-fold; if strengthening the bench by getting rid of a flagged player (Mitchell) for a playing one - I would be less exposed in the international break to only having one free transfer. Secondly - I still retained Trent - whom I believed would come good and be something of a differential. Unfortunately, Alexander-Arnold pulled a calf muscle in the Man City game and so I'm no better off at the moment!
Once again Salah and Kane matched each other for points, but I was happy with the (late) captain returns for Kane and think I will keep him for the foreseeable future.
I left some useful points on the bench through away clean sheets for Ezri Konsa and Charlie Taylor but these two will be useful assets and start for me this week.
Planning for Gameweek 9 (and beyond..)
Whereas last week was about strategic planning, this week is about survival!
Each managers team will be very different, in terms of the strength of their bench and the number of 'flagged' players they have coming into the weekend. This is probably the worse time I can remember for possible absentees, so my advice would be to firstly look at your team this week and see if you are likely to get eleven starters.
Pick your 'Bus team' and then look at your bench - if you have an available bench player there you are doing quite well. If you have two you are doing great!
This will then give you an idea of who you should consider selling.
My position with regard to flagged players is that I have Mohamed Salah and I still have Trent Alexander-Arnold (likely to be out for more than one more week). James Justin (away to Liverpool) would likely be my 1st sub then, meaning I would go with Allan St-Maximin (CHE) and Thomas Soucek (shu) starting if I make no transfer.
Gameweek 8 Transfers (Provisional) - 1 available transfer; £1.5m ITB
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