Review of Game Week 17

GW Points: 124
Overall Points: 1,165
Overall Rank: 4,950
Transfers: None used

Game week 17 was a very stable week with little improvement on the leader board but no drop. This was slightly disappointing considering a decent points return. The decision to stick with Aubameyang was probably the most rewarding decision as he ended up scoring the most points for me this week after a very slow start in the team. I think the big reason for not making a big jump on the leader board can be put down to the lack of clean sheets for the bigger clubs other than Liverpool.

Positives:

Big points from Aubameyang, Kane, Salah and Hazard. I’m now considering Aubameyang as a better option than Aguero and may not bring the latter back in. Aubameyang has scored more points across the season and keeps some funds free to strengthen elsewhere.

A couple of clean sheets for Robertson was good to see. However this probably goes against me with so many other people having a lot of Liverpool representation. I may attempt to address this by bringing in another Liverpool defender or Alisson.

Potential Issues:

With two transfers in the bank for December, I’m still not even sure I want to make any changes. As a result the potential issues below are more for the long term rather than the upcoming game week.

Shaw is yet to keep a clean sheet since I’ve put him back in. However Man Utd have been much improved and still have a good fixtures. I thought they were unfortunate not to pick up two clean sheets in the past week. As a result I’m sticking with him for another week.

Kepa didn’t pick up any points this week. However Chelsea are still a strong side, also when the European fixtures kick back in, I’m hoping they will go far in the Europa League against easier opposition so he may come good.

Man City’s clean sheets have really dried up of late. However at this stage I’ll probably stick with Laporte. They’ve probably got the best draw in the Champions League and should come good.

Mane only managed 6 points during the past week. This isn’t enough and he’s been on my radar for a while in terms of being replaced. Liverpool also have a very tough game week. However with so many players potentially needing to come out I’m not sure Mane is top of the list to replace yet.

Richarlison is another player I’m not convinced and he started on the bench in their last game. Fortunately he came on and grabbed a goal but if I do retain Aubameyang I may use the extra funds to upgrade him.

Tips for Game Week 18:

Based on the fixtures for the game week and the fact that I’ve got so many players with slight question marks next to their names, I’ve decided I probably won’t make any changes this week. Van Dijk or Alisson are on my radar as players I might want to bring in (I’ll only go for one of them) however Liverpool have by far the worst fixtures this weekend. As a result I’m going to hold fire on this change. I also want to give Man Utd another week to see if they can keep a clean sheet. Here’s the top teams sorted by the best fixtures:

Man Utd Vs Bournemouth

Newcastle Vs Man Utd

Palace Vs Chelsea

Chelsea Vs Southampton

Spurs Vs Wolves

Cardiff Vs Spurs

Southampton Vs Man City

Man City Vs Liverpool

Liverpool Vs Arsenal

Arsenal Vs Fulham

Liverpool Vs Arsenal

Man City Vs Liverpool

The players I’m currently looking at for the longer term are Van Dijk or Alisson, Sane or Sterling and possibly someone like Eriksen or a Spurs defender. However I’ll probably look to set up these changes after I’ve seen how this game week pans out.


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68 thoughts on “Review of Game Week 17

  1. Are you not tempted to switch Mane to Eriksen if you see Spurs lineup? Better fixtures over the game week and still have Salah as Liverpool coverage

    1. Hi All,

      A good week for me 142 points but I have to say I’m very tempted by Eriksen as a possible replacement to upgrade Fraser who I feel hasn’t been hitting the mark and with possibly not bringing Aguero back into the fold could be a good change.

      2 Transfers Left, 1.5m in the bank.

      Kepa,
      Robertson,Laporte,VVD.Doherty
      Fraser,Richarlison,hazard
      Salah,Aub,Kane

    2. I’m tempted but there’s very little risk with Eriksen for me. If Mane does well I will drop massively in my league as he’s highly owned.

  2. I decided to get rid of Maddison and Richarlison in the end and switched to a 4-3-3 system as follows:

    Kepa
    Robertson
    Doherty
    VVD
    Laporte
    Mane
    Hazard
    Lingard
    Salah
    Kane
    Aubameyang

    For January when transfers reset I’m keeping an eye on both Laporte and Mane as I may switch these both out and switch back to 4-3-3 with 2 midfielders (Anderson, Eriksen, Sane and Sterling are all on the radar) – will see if Man City start keeping clean sheets again first before looking at how to move forward.

    Good luck DTT

  3. Nice post dtt. I took out Mane for Eriksen and Shaw for Lingard. Losing ground on the top place guy due to his Liverpool defensive block of 3. Hoping Liverpool concede against arsenal and Man City. Then will use January transfers to try at least double up on my Liverpool defence. My last few transfers have been disasters, hoping for a change in luck!

    Current team. Points 1190. No transfers left

    Kepa
    Robertson, Laporte, Doherty
    Sane, Hazard, Eriksen Lingard
    Salah, Kane, Auba

  4. Now that Pogba is back on everybody’s radar, I dug into my archives and found something I had written about Pogba in detail. I thought I would be useful still so share it here. Word of warning – kind of a lengthy read as I do tend to waffle on a bit.

    Is Pogba still a Star Man favourite?

    In early 2017, I had the funds to upgrade a cheap midfielder to a premium one. I went for Paul Pogba, a player who played every game for United and picked up Star Man awards on a regular basis. He is known as a WhoScored favourite despite his lack of goals and assists for Man Utd. Well I put in my side expect those Star Man awards and in 7 games for me, Pogba got 0. I would have at least expected one since I paid 6.9m for him. After 7 games, I had enough, yes he was picking ratings in every game but I wanted more. I didn’t want the consistency of three points a game; that was too boring. I wanted a player of explosive nature; someone would have get me loads of points in just a single game. I replaced with Mahrez after taking a million pound hit (although in hindsight the explosive Coutinho or the big hitting KDB would have been better choices). Now with new season approaching, I am once again looking at Pogba and thinking (based on my experiences with him in my team) is he really a Star Man favourite?

    A Tale of Two Halves

    2016

    The label of Star Man favourite starts with his first game back at Man Utd. They won 2-0 at home to Southampton with Ibrahimovic getting both goals but Pogba took the Star Man award. In the 2-1 derby defeat by Man City, Pogba was criticized for his lack of discipline in positioning by Jamie Carragher. A fair point I think as I still don’t know whether he is a defensive (DMC), central (MC) or attacking midfielder (AMC) . His best performances have come when he is played as a DMC (7.9 WhoScored rating) but that takes further away from goal where the premium attackers do the most damage. He quickly gained a Star Man award when he scored his first premier goal against Leicester at Old Trafford. Another Star Man followed when he scored two goals, one from the penalty spot in the Europa league and he gained 18 points, his highest score in a single game for the season. There was now a steady flow of Star Man awards: two in successive games in November and then another two in succession in December. To cap it off he finishes the year with another Star Man performance against Sunderland. He is on fire with 8 Star Man awards, 6 goals and 4 assists in 25 games. ‘Roll on 2017’ say happy Pogba owners.

    8 Star Man, 6 Goals, 4 Assists, 25 Games

    Other Utd Star Man Awards: 8 in total
    Ibrahimovic (4), Herrera (2), Mata (1), Martial (1)

    Opposition Star Man Awards in Man Utd Games: 9

    2017

    Pogba starts the new year just like he started the old one: another man of the match award. This is quickly followed by another in the league cup semi finals against Hull at home. Then, Martial scores two goals against Watford at home and produces his best performance of the season but unluckily misses out on the Star Man to that man Pogba despite both having the same rating by full time. So even when the margins are tight, the WhoScored odds favour Pogba. He is the Star Man favourite. I put him in my team and expect to enjoy some Star Man awards that other managers up to now have been rejoicing in. Anyways, as explained above no such fruits for me. In fact, Pogba picked up his next Star Man award 15 games later in the Europa league (his previous barren run was 6 games) and that was his last of the season. His stats for 2017: 4 Star Man Awards, 3 goals and 2 assists in 26 games. Half his numbers in all categories compared to those achieved in 2016 and despite playing one game more. Looking at most recent evidence it seems that Pogba is no longer the Star Man favourite. The question is what happened?

    4 Star Man, 3 Goals, 2 Assists, 26 Games

    Other Utd Star Man Awards: 15 in total
    Ibrahimovic (5), Mkhitaryan (3), Herrera (2), Felliani (2), Martial (1), Rashford (1), Blind (1)

    Opposition Star Man Awards in Man Utd games: 6

    The Past

    As Jose Mourinho and Star Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic were new to the club, Pogba having previously been at the club could easily settle in life in Manchester. He knew the club and good fluency in the English language so communication was not a problem. His strengths of dribbling, long shots, passing, aerial duels would help in his dream team prospects. So with Zlatan getting used to English football and other Marquee signing Mkhitaryan struggling to get used to life on and off the pitch, all responsibility seemed to be placed on Pogba to be Man Utd’s key player. He would receive the ball and so would play more passes than his teammates. So a reason why Pogba was a Star Man favourite was the lack of competition from other united players (apart from Zlatan who did receive 4 Star Man awards in 2016) and despite lack of goals, Man Utd and Pogba in particular would see more of the ball and dominate possession than most of their opposition. Another factor was the Europa league group stage in where Zlatan was rested given his age allowing Pogba to gain 3 of his 8 2016 Star Man awards. So Star Man competition at Utd was between Pogba and Ibrahimovic but 2017 saw other Utd players get into the act.

    From December onwards, Mkhitaryan started to find his feet and began to make an impact with his goals and assists plus it helped that he played in the attacking positions near the opponent’s goal. Herrera started becoming a key player for Utd as well. He started to play as the DMC allowing Pogba to play forward but this might have affected Pogba’s Star Man potential given that his WhoScored Rating was 7.6. Herrera was maybe seeing more of the ball, making tackles, breaking up opposition attacks and starting the team’s own from the back i.e becoming the team’s deep lying playmaker. Now Pogba had more freedom to go forward but goal scoring is not his forte. He takes plenty of shots but mostly from range and his finishing is poor only 5.8% shot to goal conversion in the league. The Pogba I have seen in games is the one that is comfortable being deep spraying long balls forward to others to run onto.

    Another Utd player in the hunt for Star Man awards was Felliani. He came to the fore towards the end of the season as Utd started to play a more direct (long) style of football as the players were running on empty due to the amount of games being played at the business end of the season. Given he has height advantage over many of his opponents, he would win the majority of the aerial duels thus scoring high on the rating algorithm. In the Europa cup, he won 14 aerial duels and that along with an assist earned a deserved Star Man award.

    The Future

    Now that Ibrahimovic is no longer part of the equation, Pogba could be a more pivotal player for Manchester United. He is likely to be first choice penalty taker although Man Utd don’t benefit from many. His goals and assists stats need to improve and may do if attacking reinforcements (even defensive ones could help) are brought and settle in quickly. At 6.0m, he would be a decent investment if he once again brings in 240 points but a player of his quality should reach 300. Pogba is still a Star Man favourite in the game but faces greater competition than ever before from Mkhitaryan, Herrera and others.

    1. Excellent piece RR. 👌🏼

      It’s probably a toss up between him and Eriksen as to what my next midfield choice will be. Probably just swaying towards Eriksen at the moment after seeing Lingard take the last pen and not Pogba. Eriksen should be pretty fresh now as well after having the lay off with his adductor injury. That could all change though if I see Pogba step up and slot the next penalty away.

    2. Thanks for the write up – I believe Pogba is still a star man magnet but I’ve still got a few doubts over Man Utd. They’ve played well in the last couple of games but they’ve had fairly easy opposition – I can see this dropping off against the bigger teams going forward. However Pogba is still on my list of midfield options but probably not at the top. The players I’d put above him (including ones I’ve already got) are: Hazard, Sterling, Sane and Mane. I’d probably then put Pogba and Eriksen as my 5th and 6th favoured choices.

  5. Really need Sterling and/or Sane to perform this weekend should they play. My closest ML rival has Aubameyang and no City coverage except for Ederson so these last few weeks have ensured that he’s breathing down my neck now only being 14 points behind. Would love a goal or two from Lacazette too in order to redress the balance with Aubameyang. Just preying he starts. 🙏🏻

    1. I’m hoping for the opposite – Sterling and Sane can both do me some damage if they hit some big points this week. I’ve got a feeling one of them will at some point shortly. At the moment I’m just weighing up my options to see who to bring in next.

  6. Kepa
    Laporte
    Robertson
    Doherty
    Sane
    Hazard
    Maddison
    Richarlison
    Salah
    Kane
    Auba

    One transfer left. Been bold and transferred Maddison out for Pogba. Leaves me £0.00 in the bank which is a concern, and makes it difficult to bring VVD in to the team for January. Will cross that bridge come the January transfer window.

    Hope using all my money in the bank pays off. Watch Maddison bag a few today.

  7. Maddison missed penalty, probably wld of got starman aswell, first opportunity he’s gone, choice between Doherty, he just keeps picking up pts regardless of opposition or Lingard, no injuries for Man-utd, interested to see if he is still in starting 11, if he is who do I go for.

  8. Lacazette benched again, what an absolute nonsense, Chris, might also consider 442, & Van dyke in, unacceptable, restraining my self from swearing.

    1. 😂 Yeah it is frustrating but I suppose it was always going to be a risk. Not sure what Lacazette has done wrong to find himself on the bench so often as he gets the best out of Aubameyang as well when he plays. Hoping he gets some game time for the FA Cup tie as I can see Aubameyang getting rested for that one. A nice little hat-trick before waving farewell to him would be nice. 🤞
      It’ll be interesting to see what frame of mind Lukaku comes back with after his little break (think a family member of his died or something). He may come back all guns blazing and with United finally being released from their shackles he could become an option. I agree though that we probably need to get VVD in with the January fixtures that Liverpool have.

        1. Yeah, think that’s the move I’ll make for Lacazette. Have you ever gone with just the two strikers before when playing DT RR?

          1. Currently now playing 442 in my main team. 433 has the long term favourite (suits me as I’m attack minded manager, useless at picking defenders) but it is important for dream team success to be adaptable. For example, looking back one of my mistakes last season was not playing 442. In November 2017, my research pointed that I just needed just two strikers: Kane and Aguero/Lukaku with 4 quality midfielders (Salah, Sterling, Hazard, Eriksen etc) behind them but instead I just went with the my comfortable option of 433. In fantasy football, I will ask questions: Now do we need a third striker after Salah and Kane? When it is the best time to use 442,433 or 343 formations? In telegraph fantasy football, I am using 451 formation (a system I never used before) but in that game Salah is a midfielder so I just need one striker and rotate with Kane, Aguero or Aubamenyang. I think the 442 formation is a generally a good formation, it really helps if team budget is low and midfielders are generally more consistent than strikers as the forwards usually get 0 points if they don’t score a goal. My research topic will probably be looking at the merits of different formations.

          2. Or Pogba, might cover Man utd revival with Lingard, if he’s a regular, leaving Lacca to Van Dyke, one transfer in reserve.

  9. Took a gamble and transferred Mane out for Eriksen 🙈 now 9 points down than I would’ve been. Luckily none of the top 5 in my ML don’t have him so didn’t hurt me too much.

        1. It’s just typical Spurs isn’t it? As soon as they close to looking like they could challenge in the league they trip up.

          You have to admire Wolves this season though as they’ve proved time and again they can mix it up with the big six when they play them.

  10. What about Lacca to Firmino, as a three pronged liverpool attack, has been on a dreadful run of form prior to yesterday, & still wasn’t dropped, confidence sky high now, could really kick on.

      1. KOTN, with January transfers looming, funds will allow me to do 2 transfers initially, which pairing do you think will score most pts throughout January.
        Option A
        Van Dyke
        Lingard
        Option B
        Pogba
        Doherty
        Option C
        Firmino
        Doherty

        1. Tough one DK. Liverpool have good fixtures in Jan. Could be clean sheets galore. Firmino and Pogba back on form. I was possibly looking to get Pogba if Eriksen flops.

  11. My final December transfer of mahrez to pogba worked a treat. A respectable 49 points which would have been better if maddison scored that penalty but very pleasing none the less.

  12. Bit of a stalemate in my ML this week with only the Pogba and Aguero owners making any real headway in mid-table.

    I’m considering going budget with my Ryan replacement in January. I’ve always maintained a gut feeling this season that Burnley would turn things around at some point, and more importantly, tighten up with the rear guard. After an impressive win today against the Hammers I’m wondering if the returning Heaton could be a good budget option for January. Apart from United away their fixtures are pretty nice and I can really see them building on todays result.

    The only “premium” keeper I could afford (without downgrading other players) would be De Gea but I still don’t see many clean sheets forth coming from that United back line. I seem destined to scrat around the bargain bucket for keepers this season but I do still maintain that of all the positions available, it’s probably the least imperative. The only keepers so far this season to score well consistently are Alisson and Kepa so hats off if you own either.

    Thoughts as always most welcome. 👍🏻

    1. Heaton would have been my first choice if fit from the start so I chose hart but thankfully ditched him early before too much damage, I own Kepa but if Burnley can tighten up and he stays 1st choice then he’s a good option to free cash up definitely, there are some awful budget options but he’s a decent one. Chris is it not worth sticking with Ryan, like you said keeper isn’t imperative and apart from the 2 you mentioned none of the keepers score big , Ryan isn’t losing you any points and for January you could use the 3 transfers on strengthening outfield players . Hopefully Ryan comes straight back as 1st choice but if not in Feb you swap him for heaton, chances are they will be same price by then? Just a thought

      1. It’s certainly an option but think I might go with my gut on this one and get him in. When I’ve ignored my gut in the past it’s bitten me on the arse many times.

    2. Are you considering any of the rotation risk Man City players such as Mahrez? He should get game time at the start of January with the FA cup and EFL cup games.

  13. Hi all
    As previously mentioned an a complete novice but relying on you guys to keep me top
    I missed DTT’s pair of transfers last month so plan to get them in before last transfer date for Dec
    When is last day for transfers?
    Cheers

  14. Not sure if anyone is considering this but Lindellof will be a great option after the spurs game. He will have 2 weekly price drops before then so a very attractive cheap option with favourable Man U fixtures.

  15. Richarlison & Maddison ABYSMAL, one more game each FA cup weekend, against lower league opposition, if they play, probably have to keep Lacazette now, only going to be able to add Van dyke or Pogba.

  16. DTT what about Lindelof for shaw and pogba for Richardson for last two transfers before we get three again ? Or is it too late now ?

    1. Looking at fixtures for this month city chelsea spurs have the extra fixtures for the elf cup! Think they play 6 games compared to 4 for everyone else chelsea spurs play each other city have burton in the other 2 legged semi!

    2. Almost certainly going to make this transfer. Frees up funds for elsewhere in the team. Not sure about Pogba though. Might go for a City midfielder based on their additional games in the EFL cup in January.

  17. Everton are a team that is too inconsistent for my liking and for that reason I think I’ll be saying goodbye to Richarlison at some stage in January (I may leave him in for the FA Cup game but I can see him being rested for that one to be honest). I’ll probably give Lacazette a stay of execution for now and go Richarlison to VVD with the funds I’ll save from swapping Ryan for Heaton.

    I could then go Lacazette to someone like Mane when the time seems right (ie Lacazette dropping to the bench again). Liverpool seem to be finding their stride attacking wise so Mane appeals to me again now. Other options would be Eriksen, Pogba, Firmino or Pogba. Swaying towards Mane, Eriksen or Pogba at the moment though.

    Let me know your thoughts guys. 👍🏻

    1. I dropped Maddison for Pogba at the start of this GW, using all money I had in the bank. Was a gamble given I now have to be a bit creative with transfer upgrades but it paid immediate dividends.

      Maddison missed a penalty and was benched for the Everton game, whereas Pogba bagged 20 points and still has a game to play.

      Not sure how I can upgrade Richarlison. I also wanted VVD but I’ll need two transfers now.

    2. I want Van Dijk at some point but might put this on hold to try and benefit from the EFL cup games. Surely someone like Mahrez is going to get a decent amount of game time against a weaker opposition. Not tempted to try and make the most of these games?

      1. I can see the logic but within a couple of weeks I’d probably want to take him out again more than likely? I’ll probably stick with Sane and Sterling for now as my City coverage and re-assess in February when Mendy will be close to a return.

        I think as long as you’re happy for it to be a short term punt (more than likely) then it could bear fruit?

  18. Hi all,

    Happy new year.

    I decided to use my last sub last week to lose Mahrez. My choices were either Anderson or Pogba… I went with Anderson, who blanked whilst Pogba bagged 20!! To say I’m gutted is an understatement!!

    I’m keeping Pogba on my radar, but I feel that quite a few people will move him in on Friday, so it would have been nice to get ahead of the curve, but I felt that West Ham should have had a result against Burnley and could see Anderson getting a goal or two..

    1. You were right to shift Mahrez in my eyes though mate. He just isn’t getting the game time to justify picking him for DT. West Ham can be a bit inconsistent (similar to Everton) but when West Ham do fire, Anderson is usually central to it all so he could do very well for you. Having said that, short term I’d say fixtures are against him as they do stiffen up somewhat.

      1. Yeh, to be honest, it was a mistake on my part.

        I think I got caught up in the moment with Anderson’s brace against Southampton (which benefited me in my TFF league). Twinned with the fact that he was 1m cheaper and a guy creeping behind me down in 3rd or 4th had him, I decided to go with him over Pogba. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I’m still top of my league so it wasn’t a total disaster.

        Just disappointing not to extend my lead further. You have to be ruthless in this game and are never really safe with a 40-50 point lead. I don’t think you can fully relax until your lead gets into the 100s.

        A few seasons ago, I came from 230 points behind in the new year to beat the leader by over 100 points so it proves that you’re never truly buried, although it did feel like it at the time.

        230 went to 180, 160, 130….. – I still thought it was a long shot, but once the deficit went under 100, I felt that the pendulum was with me, in spite of still being some way off.

        The guy I beat has such a laid back attitude and was happy with 2nd, but I have to say, that I’d be p*ssed if someone pulled a 230 lead from me!! Much can be learnt from his fantastic, stoic attitude!!.. 😉

        1. Well, he is certainly due.

          I clearly brought him in at the wrong time. He earned me 0 points from 5 matches then gets a 7 rating in the very next game after taking him out, but even in spite of any pending form on the horizon, he is benched way too often for my liking!

          The only real regulars in the City midfield seem to be B.Silva and Sterling at the moment.

          1. I must admit, I do feel vulnerable with such little City coverage.
            I only have Sane. (Laporte doesn’t count!)…

            I’ve ridden my luck with that lately given their form and recent losses, but it’s only a matter of time before I get hammered by those with combinations of Sterling, Mahrez, Aguero, B.Silva, D.Silva…..

            With this in mind, I feel I need to bring in Sterling.

            1. If you’ve got Sane I can see why you moved Mahrez on. Sane is probably enough coverage with the way those two are rotated. Do you think Sane will start in the EFL Cup? I want to get at least one of them in for those games but it’s a lottery when it comes to who might play.

              1. I was hoping so, but I think that Sane is slightly favoured for the bigger games. Mahrez seems to start against the lesser teams or early cup games, so I’m not totally convinced.

                One thing for sure is that I’ve finally lost faith in Laporte!! He is likely to be gone this week when we get subs.

                Originally, I had Ederson, Mendy and Laporte in defence. Mendy went when he got injured and Ederson went about a month ago. I kept Laporte thinking that a clean sheet was around the corner, but here we are 12 games later, with just one clean sheet to show for it!!

  19. I mentioned him as a good budget option for a defender earlier in the season but has anyone been tempted with going for Ricardo Pereira? Bang on form right now and dragging in plenty of SM awards.

    I’ll personally be sticking with Doherty for the time being as my budget choice but RP looks to be a great alternative for those looking for a differential?

    1. He has crossed my mind a few times. I’ve also noticed that the ownership for Schlupp of Palace is slowing rising since he’s down as a defender, but plays in a more advancing role.

      Also a bargain at 1.7m…

      1. I looked at Schlupp earlier in the season too. I’m not sure he’s nailed on week in week out though is he? Has he had a good run in the team recently?

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