Former Sky Sports Fantasy Football Champion Dan Cox brings us his team diary following the highs and lows of his fantasy football management over the course of the season.

GW1 review

I’d spent a lot of the summer finalising my team and assembling a starting XI that was going to start well. This would set me on the road to a top 100 finish and mini league glory. I’d studied the fixtures, last season’s points and looked at pre-season results and predicted XI’s.

The first name on my team sheet was Raheem Sterling, especially given his price of just 11.6m. The shift from being classified as a midfielder to a forward didn’t bother me in the slightest.

So I’m still at a loss that I had a last-minute change of heart and swapped out Raheem Sterling for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

As much as I like Sterling I just felt I should save transfers and went for Aubameyang who would provide me with a better calibre of captain for Sunday and the following Saturday. Well that worked out well (crying emoji).

The plan was to start with Sterling and on Sunday transfer him out to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

However, I decided that I didn’t want to use a transfer on a player after just one game. So I thought I’d have Aubameyang for Newcastle, Burnley and Liverpool rather than Raheem for West Ham and Spurs. Hopefully, you can see what I was trying to do and the logic. Anyway never mind, it didn’t quite start how I wanted it to. Move on and forget about it. My only consolation is that I always had Kane pencilled in as captain so it’s just 22 points lost.

Starting XI

Pickford

Stones Zinchenko Guilbert Robertson

Jota Maddison Deulofeu

Kane Salah Aubameyang

Friday was good enough for me with a goal, an assist and MOTM for my captain Mohamed Salah. But as I only had Andy Robertson I was quite pleased in a way that Norwich scored. Despite losing the clean sheet for Robertson I was more than aware that there was a lot of people with Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold. And the thought of a goal and clean sheet for the Dutchman was a major concern.

Robertson picked up tier one passes which was pleasing. Agonisingly for many was the site of Alisson being withdrawn with a calf injury just before half time. Luckily I’d opted for Jordan Pickford so that has now forced 30.8% of managers to make their first unplanned transfer to remove the Brazilian ‘keeper.

Saturday

Onto Saturday and it was a relief to see Oleksandr Zinchenko and John Stones start for Manchester City. You can never be 100% sure with Pep. And the clean sheet was great.

What wasn’t so great for me was Raheem Sterling bagging a hat-trick and MOTM. Annoyingly he was the first name on my team sheet and had been an ever present in my drafts right until the last day.

Not having Sterling, meant that I had Harry Kane as captain and I was more than relieved when the Spurs hitman bagged two late goals and MOTM.

Jordan Pickford kept a clean sheet as Everton drew 0-0 with Palace at Selhurst Park. And further up the M1 Gerard Deulofeu failed to make any impact as he was withdrawn at halftime in Watford’s perhaps surprising 3-0 home defeat to Brighton.

The much talked about Frederick Guilbert, the 4.5m Villa defender that looked to good to be true. Turned out to be just that.  Not even in the match-day squad after featuring heavily in pre season. This now poses the problem that to remove him will almost certainly result in having to make three transfers to free up budget.

Onto Sunday and with three players in action I was hoping to break 100 points to try and save the game-week somewhat.

Aubameyang

Again I was pleased to see Aubameyang start and left him as my captain. Whilst I was hoping for a couple of goals, a goal and MOTM will more than suffice for a 24 point captaincy. Annoyingly James Maddison and Diogo Jota just returned a starting eleven two points each but nonetheless, I broke 100 points. Finishing up with 119 points and with no transfers used.

This meant I finished the week in 17,069th position. The top team is on 188 but position and the leaders points aren’t of any concern to me at such an early stage.

My main hope for this weekend is that Aubameyang can outscore Sterling to try to rebalance the deficit between the pair and not compound the fact further that I should have kept Raheem in my side at all costs.

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