As seamlessly as Jose Mourinho combines his defensive formations, Halloween and Guy Fawkes now appear to be joined up into a late autumn festival. Have fantasy football managers been spending too much time on toffee apples and sparklers, rather than Toffees and Sparky? The Premier League takes its third International break just after bonfire night, but then the season really starts to ramp up with an additional midweek round of matches slotted in at the end of November.
With fixtures then coming thick and fast, it is imperative for #SkyFF players to be on the ball when it comes to planning and preparing for the busiest time of the year. Who will be the worn-and-torn, bin-bag witches being discarded from our teams, in favour of the bright, shiny fireworks rocketing towards us from across the skies?
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.
The four November rounds of Premier League games are spread over ten Matchdays: Gameweeks 11 and 14 are both played over consecutive days, with Gameweeks 12 and 13 occupying three days each.
Watford have the most offset matches with 3, so might be worthy of consideration for potential captaincy options over the month. Bournemouth, Liverpool and Swansea all play on Saturday and Wednesday throughout, whilst the other sixteen teams have either one or two rearranged games.
Based on best win odds available: Dark Blue < 1.5 > Light Blue < 2.5 > Yellow < 3.5 > Orange < 10 > Red
There are only a trio of single games: Sunday and Monday in Gameweek 12, plus Friday in Gameweek 13:
- Watford v West Ham
- Brighton v Stoke
- West Ham v Leicester
Should we be looking to anyone from this quintet (notably West Ham who appear twice) or Watford for possible transfer routes? Well that depends on a couple of things:
- Do you have someone currently in your team playing on the same day?
- Does their club have a player that you would trust with the armband?
As can be seen in the charts above, there are only four players from these six teams with more than 5% ownership: Richarlison, Gross, Doucurie and Hernandez, with Jamie Vardy just below with 4.6%. Most managers are going to have to use a transfer to get someone in for these fixtures, or go without a captaincy option. With the paucity of attractive long-term targets from the aforementioned teams, this is definitely a possibility for November!
The most popular current attacking line-up, deployed in a 3-5-2, is something like:
Salah, Matic, de Bruyne, Alli, Eriksen
Richarlison is currently in the top 15 points scorers for the season. Priced at just £7.6M – compared to Matic at £8.5M – he offers terrific value. You can bring him in after Manchester United play on Saturday November 4th, and then captain him at home to West Ham on the Sunday after the International break.
Leicester have struggled so far this season, although Riyad Mahrez did score over 20 points last month. A change of manager at Leicester could just be boost that Jamie Vardy needs. Both are prohibitively priced, so will need to perform strongly to warrant inclusion for the London Stadium fixture on Friday November 24th.
West Ham are another team that have started the season poorly, Hernandez and Antonio are their top scorers – but neither have broken the 40 point barrier yet. The Hammers are, however, the only team to have a pair of single Matchdays in November. Also, their games take place on Sunday in Gameweek 12 then Friday in Gameweek 13, so it is possible – if you have sufficient transfers – to rotate a big hitter on a two-for-none swing.
Mame Biram Diouf might seem a left-field pick, although he was the 7th highest scoring striker in October. He would be able to fill the captaincy slot on Monday November 20th when Stoke visit Brighton. They follow this with a trip to Crystal Palace, before two more consecutive home matches.
Having already used three transfers in October to bring in a trio of potentially long-term Manchester City assets, I then took my monthly tally to an excessive five last week.
Femenia came in for the inconsistently selected van der Hoorn, whilst the late injury news for Harry Kane persuaded me to take a punt on Alexandre Lacazette’s ideal fixture for Arsenal at home to Swansea. The least said about that move the better!
My only definite plan for November sees Richarlison come in for Ritchie on November 5th, when Watford visit Everton. He will also be my captain a fortnight later. Kane will return, but when and for whom will depend on when he returns from injury.
Owning Jamie Vardy means I do not need to bring in a West Ham player for their Gameweek 12 & 13 fixtures. I have now already used more transfers than expected, so am unlikely to spend another one on either Gross or Diouf for their match-up on November 20th.
How are you planning to negotiate captaincies for the standalone fixtures? 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 – Advent!
As we plan our December teams, which players will be beckoning towards us through the window-pane and who will be having the door slammed firmly behind them?