Sunday, 2 July 2017

Two-Way Defensive FPL Rotation (2017/2018 Season) - Four Useful Sequences You Must Know About

In an ideal world your fantasy football back-line would always have reasonable fixtures every Gameweek, thus having a good chance of securing clean sheets. This can be achieved by identifying and adhering to simple rotation sequences with your team selections. That said, as a rule of thumb, you shouldn't rotate a premium defender/goalkeeper due to their prowess (unless they have bad form, in which case sell them). The fact is that there's more creative license to rotate with those valued at £5M or less in FPL without risking big points.

It should also be noted that a home game doesn't automatically equate to a reasonable fixture. For instance, a newly promoted team having to face the previous season's champions is a defensive headache. To add some complexity, away games shouldn't automatically mean bench duty for a defender. Some teams may perform better on the road, as shown here - Man City won more games away than at home last season. Another key point is that some teams may notably struggle to score goals. In which case, you may fancy your budget defender's clean sheet chances with an away fixture against them.

Let's be frank, you're not going to willingly start a Huddersfield defender at the Emirates or Etihad stadium and nor should you (unless they were on a goal or assist rush).  There are disciplined ways of rotating budget defenders, such as in a 'three-way' system. However with all its benefits, that doesn't necessarily cater for long-term form based on actual results as fortunes fluctuate. What if you wanted something a bit more short-term, just before you activate the first wildcard? Help is at hand...

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A two-way defensive rotation system is a simple and well-used method of benching a defender/goalkeeper for a difficult fixture and conversely starting an alternative one with a reasonable fixture in FPL. I have identified four initial rotation sequences which are worth considering and implementing via this method. My suggestions may not be the best statistically, but they seem to be good enough for now before a ball is kicked, as follows:

Liverpool* and Swansea

Gameweek 1 - wat
Gameweek 2 - CRY
Gameweek 3 - cry
Gameweek 4 - NEW
Gameweek 5 - BUR
Gameweek 6 - WAT
Gameweek 7 - new
Gameweek 8 - HUD

Burnley and Crystal Palace

Gameweek 1 - HUD
Gameweek 2 - WBA
Gameweek 3 - SWA
Gameweek 4 - CRY
Gameweek 5 - SOU
Gameweek 6 - HUD

Crystal Palace and West Ham

Gameweek 1 - HUD
Gameweek 2 - sou
Gameweek 3 - SWA
Gameweek 4 - HUD
Gameweek 5 - SOU

Everton** and Newcastle United

Gameweek 1 - STK
Gameweek 2 - hud
Gameweek 3 - WHU
Gameweek 4 - TOT
Gameweek 5 - STK
Gameweek 6 -  BOU
Gameweek 7 - BUR
Gameweek 8 - bri

caps locks indicate home games
italics represent away games

*Only rotate a cheap Liverpool defender
**Only rotate a cheap Everton defender
To learn more about 'reasonable' and 'difficult' fixtures until mid-October 2017, click here.