Disclaimer: *I reserve the right to change this team at any time. Any changes will most likely be confirmed on FPLH's Twitter account.
TRANSFERS: 3 - "Mini-Wildcard"
AGUERO, PAYET, OXFORD IN
VARDY, DE BRUYNE, MORENO OUT
CHIPS USED: 0
MONEY IN THE FPL BANK:
MONEY IN THE FPL BANK:
Howdy. Had a good break?
With 20 Gameweeks fried in the pan we have the passed the half way point - yet in many ways the season has only begun! It's safe to say that FPL 15/16 has been the most challenging in living memory. Who would have imagined Vardy scoring so much and Hazard scoring naught? With many of the big teams and elite players misfiring, a lot of seasoned FPL managers have been caught off guard via the variance in play while the casuals bask in glory. Chips only complicate things and with many already burnt out there's hope for us all.
The festive fixture rush proved to be moderately successful for my FPL team - 163 points banked, 2 green arrows and a 130k rise. This was probably my best festive performance in 3 years. Having said that, I haven't been ranked this low (867k) at the Gameweek 20 stage since 2008. There's no denying that if you want to shoot up the rankings you need to think differently and smash those (tem)plates! With the January wildcard being replaced by one that only works in the second half of the season, I think it's premature to wildcard now (consider 2FTs and a -4 mini-wildcard) when you have those plum Double Gameweeks due to pop up in Spring time. So be patient. Keep your chips for that time too, but I would strongly recommend using the all out attack chip during a truncated/shortened Gameweek - the League Cup final weekend (GW 27) fits the bill perfectly as 2 Premier League teams will compete in the final which means that 4 teams won't be in action for GW 27, thus you could make do with 2 defenders and invest further up the field if needed.
Looking at this week, I decided to act fast and make my Gameweek transfers earlier than usual due to a number of expected price rises and falls. I opted to sell Vardy due to doubts over his fitness and form. I think the Leicester mirage is gradually unravelling and it was time to look at a quality replacement - cue Aguero - He is fully fit and his recent competitive form is spot on. He costs £13m+ but is worth it due to his short term prowess, long-term pedigree and City's run of upcoming games. I also wanted to buy Payet. He hasn't scored or assisted post-injury but I am willing to take a punt on him before his ownership shoots up - de Bruyne was the fall guy. Why? His away form has been dire and I'm worried that he could be muscled out by Silva, Yaya and Aguero. Besides I have Kolarov and Aguero.
Finally, with the end of the festive period I wanted a "dud sub 3". I decided to sell Moreno due to his poor displays of late and harder run of upcoming games. I could only spend £3.7m on a replacement and Oxford fitted the bill. Looking beyond this Gameweek, I think it's hard to ignore Chelsea cover. I am looking at Costa/Alli in for Giroud/Barkley as a potential future swap. In addition, I would try and somehow get Sanchez when he is fully up to speed.
Aside from that, chin up and don't forget... we can be heroes, (even it's) just for one day.