Its been nearly a couple of months since my last blog , took some time out to get some planning in and really wanted to try improving on my rank and position, I’m please to say from December 3rd when I last wrote where I was sitting at #1853 , I’ve managed to climb up to #282 , I’ve had to use a couple more transfers then i planned to get there , so now OH becomes vitally important to really get it right and not have to use too many transfers through to end of March / Mid April , when I’ll need as many as possible to attack the fixtures , single re-arranged game days and of course our old friend ’rotation’. However our fellow team tonic blogger @dttwill is having an absolute blinder currently sitting top – really its him we need to be hearing from !!!!!
Single Game day Fixtures for February.
As I’m writing this we have had only a limited of re-arranged fixtures drop so far, rearrangements on certain game weeks for TV so as we look at through the month of February and March we have to make some provisions for our teams to cover off single game days and Captaincy if we choose to.
First up is Burnley v Watford , with almost everyone being burnt by Watford’s previous single game day disasters , their is likely to be heavy ownership on an old fantasy footie favourite Nick Pope , however has been the case most of this season it has the makings of another Captain failure and its definitely a transfer waiting to happen if you go with Pope, fixtures are unkind following Watford for Burnley – the only thing I would say its natural to want to start with him and then move to a Ramsdale, Sa or Mendy when your ready unless you are really short on transfers , then maybe a skip and hope for a boring score draw. I’ll be planning on Pope , definitely no Watford players for me even though another managerial change is in place, Weghorst if he signs for Burnley maybe under consideration dependant upon price.
Next single is Man U v Brighton , again many have been let down by Man U performances of late , the club is definitely not in a good place atm , but Rangnick seems to be slowly making progress to create ’his’ team and playing style to get some consistency back in terms of performances and results. Obvious candidates to hold from Man U are Ronaldo or Bruno , others could be DDG, Maguire, Varane, Fred or Dalot. With United the first 6 weeks post overhaul (PO) they will have the most games at time of writing along with Burnley and Watford , also they have on paper a relatively kind fixture run , imo you must look to have 1 asset or more , maybe looking to move on to a Chelsea asset once they return from the CWC. Brighton should also be considered , Dunk is an option yes, though he not played any competitve minutes yet following his return form injury , of course their is Webster the bargain £7.0 million option and generally good for bonus points. Personally its one of those two for me , others may say Duffy but again not for me even if Burn looks likely he will join Newcastles ranks.
Next up its Southampton v Norwich, I’m not sure anyone will be confident on any Norwich assets , for me its definitely a Soton pick , likely to be JWP whose trusted and very dependable in this format , another consideration is Broja ,at £6.6 million his a great budget option but is he really a defo starter for all games as well, for me this is the only worry , JWP we do know will start so its defo the safer choice , alternatively if you had a burnley asset you could decide to move them at this point having the advantage of seeing line ups.
Finally for February we have West Ham v Wolves , so many choices here , for me I will have Bowen , his one of the reasons I have climbed so well since December, his in the form of his life and if fit he will start. Others to consider for sure are Antonio and Rice , likely starters and I do believe Antonio is due a run of goals very soon , others within the West Ham ranks are really not for this format imo. Wolves also have some great options and have another single game day in March , so it maybe if you dont fancy a Hammer in your squad (i am biased of course) then a defensive Wolves asset is a very viable option. Kilman , Coady or Sa (GK) are great options as all generally start , Kilman at £6.2 million is a great budget enabler too.
As we head into March other single game days in place are : Spurs v Everton , Palace v Man City and Wolves v Leeds currently , others of course could be added , which makes this season much harder from a long term planning point of view, my best advice is to have a loose plan in place for March and ensure its fluid enough to change so you don’t get stuck with no way out of a potential situation, best way is if you can try to hold some money in the bank for any issues and not get stuck with a budget player with no escape plan.
With Pope likely to be a poplar starting pick because of the single game day that starts us off , the question maybe where and when to go to next : Sa of Wolves could be a very quick exit playing on the first Monday game of GW26 , allowing 2 games and a captaincy with Pope. Also playing that Monday is Ramsdale of Arsenal , but atm they have the least games in February so possibly if Ramsdale is your pick wait until GW30 would be my advice. DeGea is another good option if you are thinking of staring with him , good fixtures and currently in form. If your holding on for Mendy , again GW30 maybe your best option and start with Pope. Of course Allison and Ederson are solid picks but do take up a lot of your budget and although good for CS , they do not always get save tiers. I’ll be on Pope then moving to SA or Ramsdale i think.
For February and March its hard to look past Man City defenders, Cancelo has to be in your 11 , I have had Laporte most of the season too and likely both these will be in my starting 11. Also Dias must not be overlooked , and with a 3 match Champions league ban , Walker is a likely starter for Feb / March and a relative bargain at £9.0 million , as long as he starts. Liverpool are next , TAA , VVD and Robertson all great picks and although less games than MCY in the next 8 weeks following OH , they have a nice run of fixtures for sure, Matip beware , with CL starting up again he may well get rotated when needed for recovery days. Chelsea are away for CWC so you may not be picking from the outset , however when they return build a plan in to have 1 or 2 in as they have a great run of fixtures upon there return, I woudl just maybe take in a game or two before committing to a transfer , maybe GW 31 when they play sunday so you can maximise the change and would see line ups. Choices would be James , Silva and Rudiger for me – others are risky. Others to consider would be :
Maguire , Varane and Dalot ( not sold on Man U defenders personally)
Dunk , Webster of Brighton are good choices
Gabriel good for Arsenal as most likely to achieve bonus , though White is good value and Tierney is an option just worry about injuries.
For Wolves really is Kilman only for me , seems to be nailed and is a great budget option.
I personally like defenders who get bonus points for passing as well as clean sheets, others for me would be budgetary or Capt variants , but more riskier than those I have already named. I think I’ll be starting with a 4-3-3 , 4-4-2 or 5-3-2 to be able to hold maximum MCY and L’pool defenders.
As either of my likely formations require just the 3 midfielders, this is an area where I’d like to be picking a set and forget. But also it may need to cover me important Captaincy days if my defence is loaded towards two man teams. Also its vital to be thinking and worrying re rotation, so picking talisman midfielders from outside of the CL teams is a safe option for sure.
I’ll be choosing from : Bowen , Gallagher , Raphinha , JWP , Tielemans , Hojbjerg , Rice and Norgaard from those not involved in CL
Those teams in the CL , choices will be from Bruno F, Fred , Rodri , KDB , Silva , Foden , Mount , Jorginho. Likely I could narrow that further and it will be Bruno (budget allowing) and Rodri (great for bonus) that likely enter my thoughts for a spot.
Your first question is Mo Salah in from the outset or bring him in once you know his back, with Egypt definitely playing Sunday 6th February , its unsure when Mo will be available for Liverpool again. With other teams having more fixtures and the potential for a MO no show , is it a risk worth taking. I think I will be, Ronaldo will be in my starting line up , making way for Mo in GW30 , with me likely hiding when Liverpool take on Burnley and Norwich (sounds worse now I have written down). Other options currently in my thinking along with Ronaldo and Salah are :
Broja for the single Soton game and at £6.6 a really good budget enabler to even leave in place in the difficult to fill forward line, Antonio (instead of bowen) , Jota until Mo returns , Kane and Son will make an appearance but likely I’ll bring in when there single game day comes around , Lukaku is not under consideration in case you had thought I had forgotten about him , Daka maybe if Leicester start to become an option worth considering and Vardy remains absent , outside of that I’m really not seeing many forward options at this point that are stand out options.
Thank you for taking the time to read this update, I hope its been helpful in some way , I’ll follow up midweek with an update on my final draft of my teams , feel free to follow me at http://Www.twitter.com/scheek , DM if you want to ask any direct questions, or even if you just want to chat. Everyone keep smiling , its a game to be enjoyed so no stress, and of course good luck.
Steve ‘Cheeky’ Brit