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GW5 Wildcard Reveal

After a disappointing GW4 which ended on 57 points (-4) and a captain blank saw me double my rank. I started the weekend at 288k which plummeted to 537k after the Everton vs Burnley match. Ranks are still extremely volatile this early on in the season. A good score can skyrocket you to the holy grails of highs and a lacklustre score can drag you to the bottom of the food chain. A clean slate was needed and the wildcard was triggered! I do believe I’ve absorbed as much information as possible and joined in on some trends for the new few weeks.

This is what I’m currently sitting on. The 3 Premium approach in a 4-4-2 system seems to work best at the moment. I’ll break down my picks and why I’ve chosen them below.

1) Robert Sanchez / Remi Matthews: Brighton have been quite solid defensively so I did not feel the need to dump Sanchez. He’s rewarded me with two clean sheets so far for a 4.5m GK which I’m content with. Brighton is in the top 10 for best xGC (4.05) on @FantasyFootyFix. Matthews was just an enabler for the rest of my team. Guaita is the first choice GK for Crystal Palace however, I don’t mind a dead weight on my bench hence the choice.

2) Trent Alexander Arnold: He really picks himself. (20) chances created from a defender is just ridiculously good. He has the highest xA (2.06) from any player so far. He keeps his place in my team.

3) Nelson Semedo: During his tenure at Benfica, Bruno Lage turned his fullbacks into monsters. Grimaldo and Diogo Goncalves both ended on scintillating attacking numbers for defenders. Fast forward a few months and Bruno Lage is implementing the same style upon Semedo and Marcal at Wolves. Semedo has (11) touches in the opposition’s box which is the joint 3rd best among all defenders. My third eye of truth senses a massive haul coming up in these next few weeks which sold me. Wolves also have some great fixtures in the next 5 so I’m hoping their strong defensive numbers carry on. Wolves have the 3rd best xGC in the league (2.68).

4) Reece James: The main purpose of investing in James now is because of Chelsea’s fixture swing in GW7. I want to be ahead of the curve and not book in a transfer later on. He has more upside than Rudiger but there’s a higher risk of rotation with James. Tuchel’s Chelsea has had fantastic numbers since he arrived last season in GW20. I might look for the double up in defence around GW 8/9.

5) Joao Cancelo: One of my better decisions was having this man from the start of the season. He’s taken (7) shots at goal and has the 4th highest xG (0.69) among all defenders. Pep seems to trust his versatility as he can play RB/LB. He’s started all 4 games this season and has Southampton at home next. My defence is pricey but I believe these picks can sustain me for the longer term and have the best value.

6) Tino Livramento: Tipped him at the start of the season to be our 4.0m gem. He delivered and seems to be Hasenhuttl’s favoured man over Kyle Walker Peters. He passes the eye test significantly for me. He can also play as a RW in Ralph’s system. A great enabler to have on your bench.

7) Mo Salah: Not owning arguably the best FPL asset last week cost me big time. I tell myself it’s good I mess up at the start of the season when you still have a chance to rectify those mistakes and that’s exactly what I’m doing. Admitting when you’re wrong is key in this game. He probably is the standout captain option this week and I can imagine with his effective ownership he’ll be the most popular option. He’s a no brainer on the wildcard as Liverpool have some tantalising fixtures coming up

8) Jack Harrison: This was a tricky call for me. Since I opted to target 2 heavy hitters in the forward department, I could not afford Patrick Bamford who I ideally wanted as a double up with Raphinha. Jack Harrison fits the bill as I planned to target Leeds great run of fixtures from GW5-10. It may have gone under the radar but he has created (10) chances so far. I do know there’s a big chance of rotation with Dan James knocking on the door for a starting place, however, I like a risky punt now and then which has upside and Harrison has become the chosen one.

9) Raphinha: One of the easier decisions on my wildcard, not a lot has to be said about him. Leeds haven’t clicked as yet but I have no doubt they will soon and Raphinha is the talisman in that team.

10) Connor Gallagher: The 5.5m – 6.5m is a complex bracket among budget midfielders. Some great options have emerged with the likes of Gray, Doucoure, Sarr, Townsend, Benrahma etc. Looking at some underlying data, Gallagher has (10) shots, (7) in the box and (4) big chances despite missing GW1 for Palace. These are some great numbers compared with others in his price bracket. So the question comes again, do you trust form or fixtures? He has the form but not the fixtures. I’m generally a fixtures type of manager. I like targeting fixtures especially weaker teams but my mind has been changed this time. I simply can’t look past the data he’s delivering at the moment. Palace does have a nice patch of green fixtures from GW8 so you hop on then. As I’m on my wildcard I decided to go early and not waste a transfer later on when the fixtures turn. I could get bitten but I’m willing to take the burn.

11) Moussa Sissoko: He’s playing slightly more advanced at Watford and enables me the 3 premium strategy so it wasn’t a hard decision. There are not many seductive options in the 4.5m department and I believe Sissoko is the best one. He’ll be on my bench for most of the time. The trouble is the flexibility of this team when you go for these cheap options. Pros and cons to each but that’s the life of an FPL manager.

12) Cristiano Ronaldo: United don’t have the best of fixtures for a while but I simply can’t go against the greatest goal scorer in recent years. You could argue his fixture proof as he’ll be the talisman of that team and on penalties. He is the best captaincy option for GW6 in my opinion. I could downgrade Ronaldo to Antonio in GW7 and spread the funds elsewhere but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. For now, I’m quite excited to own him.

13) Romelu Lukaku: Is he the missing piece Chelsea have been finally after? He had (12) shots on goal which (11) have been in the box. The next two fixtures aren’t ideal but again it’s preparing for the GW7 fixture swing for Chelsea. He can be a menace for any team and with the chances Chelsea can create I’m hoping Lukaku can turn them into goals with his clinical finishing ability. Against Aston Villa, he only managed (2) shots and scored twice from both attempts.

14) Dane Scarlett: Enabler

Thank you for reading if you made it to the end. I wish you nothing but green arrows for GW5.