Anyone who watched England versus Slovenia at Wembley last Thursday, whilst also taking part in charity alcohol abstinence for the month, has much greater will power than I mustered up. It was a bad enough performance to endure after a couple of fine ales, I can only wonder what it must have been like sober!
After the second International break of the season the Premier League is back this week, and with it our minds turn to Fantasy Football. Who are we going to bring into our teams, and just as importantly when?
My take on transfer strategy for the Sky game is to use the vast majority of my trades on attacking players. These articles will be based around transferring Midfielders and Strikers, as they score the most points and are almost exclusively chosen as captains.
There are five teams with more than a single non-Saturday fixture during the month: Brighton, Everton, Leicester, Newcastle and Southampton. Should we be looking to this quintet for possible transfer routes? Well that depends on several things:
- On which day is their match being played?
- Is it a stand alone fixture, or do you have someone currently in your team playing on the same day?
- Does their team have a player that you would trust with the armband?
As can be seen in the below tables, there are only a pair of players from these five teams with more than 5% ownership: Pascal Gross and Matt Ritchie. Among the stikers Jamie Vardy is the most owned, albeit in less than 4% of teams. Most managers are going to have to use a couple of transfers to get someone in for these fixtures, or go without a captaincy option in five of the six offset Matchdays. Sunday of Gameweek 9 features clubs with many highly owned stars.
The most popular current attacking formation, depending on whether you play 3-4-3 or 3-5-2, is something like:
Salah, Matic, Alli, Eriksen
Lukaku, Kane, Lacazette/Mkhitaryan
Based on best win odds available: Dark Blue < 1.5 > Light Blue < 2.5 > Yellow < 3.5 > Orange < 10 > Red
Southampton have the best fixtures for their couple of offset Matchdays, although a lack of current attacking threat makes their players an unlikely source of goals or assists. Oriel Romeu, however, does lead the way in bonus points with 17 so far this season.
Jamie Vardy for Kane or Lukaku might seem out of left-field, but when you look a bit more closely has plenty of appeal. Leicester host West Brom and Everton in ideal games to utilise him as captain, as well as visiting Swansea and Stoke.
You could then bring back your big-hitter next month, with them having only missed a pair of games: their sides play each other in Gameweek 10, following United’s trip to Huddersfield and Tottenham’s visit to Liverpool.
The aforementioned Gross or Ritchie could also be tempting to bring in for Matic. Brighton have 3 captaincy days opposed to 2 for Newcastle, although either option will give you the same 4 fixtures instead of 2.
A more maverick move would be to bring in Javier Hernandez for West Ham’s Friday night match in Gameweek 9. The Hammers follow this with a trip to Crystal Palace, then also play on Saturday in the next round at the start of November.
Original plans have been altered due to Chelsea now playing on Saturday rather than Monday in Gameweek 10. Eden Hazard could well be coming in for Aaron Mooy this week instead, assuming a fit return from International duty.
Firmino will be giving way to Vardy on Monday. The Leicester man’s replacement for Gameweek 11 might well yet change from the previously earmarked Sergio Aguero, if the Argentinian remains a doubt at the end of the month.
Seeing that I have Ritchie in my team, I will probably pass on Gross to save the transfer for a rainy day. Mkhitaryan might become Romeu, on the way to a Manchester City asset next month.
Who are you you planning to transfer in? Let me know in the comments below.
The key to being able to maximize your scoring potential is being at least one step ahead of everyone else.
I have updated my handy spreadsheet designed to keep you abreast of these crucial details:
Your overall budget, remaining transfers available, plus – just as importantly – who is playing who and when!
I will be preparing regular articles designed to guide you through who to bring in and out of your Sky Fantasy Football team.
Next month – Fireworks!
Which players will be the rocketing into our November teams, and who will be going out like a damp squib?