My Fantasy Football Failings: Time to buy my way out of trouble!

Fantasy Football

Yeah, I remember now. I remember why my Fantasy Football seasons only tend to last a fortnight. Because of early weekends like this one. Average points across the world….? 39. My tally of points for the weekend? 22. Yeah, great. Mind you, David Silva might score two and create 6 against Everton tonight, which would help. That’s unlikely though, I am sure we would all agree.

I tinkered with the team during the week, not that it made much difference. I decided to revert to three at the back (because that’s what all the cool kids are doing in the Premier League this season) to maximise the opportunity of getting my three strikers in the starting line-up. I admit, I hadn’t realised I could do this in GW1.

Out went Leighton Baines, banished to the substitutes bench as I had forecast Manchester City to dick all over Everton and for Silva to get me the 50 points I appear to be short of. I also delved into the transfer market, selling Kieran Trippier (injured and now surely outranked by Kyle Walker-Peters) and bringing in his mate Ben Davies (scored last week and now surely better than Danny Rose). I left Davies on the bench because, you know, I am a fool. Mind you, picking him would have given me an extra point so it wasn’t a disaster.

In my wisdom, I had invested my money in a front three of Kelechi Iheanacho, Harry Kane and Roberto Firmino for reasons explained in last week’s piece.

How was I to know that Iheanacho would fail a late fitness test? Nobody told me he was even struggling with a toe injury. My cunning plan to play three strikers had failed spectacularly before kick off. I am a fricking genius.

Let’s have a little summary of how the team did. This will be fun.

Ben Foster, 6 points: This is how good I am at this. I told you last week I had signed Fraser Forster of Southampton, with some very solid groundwork being put into the signing. I haven’t signed Fraser Forster. I have signed Ben Foster of West Bromwich Albion. I mean, how do you even make that mistake? I am bloody glad I did though as Big Ben nailed his second clean sheet of the season as WBA co-exist at the top of the Premier League.

Joel Matip, 6 points: What am I moaning about? Two clean sheets from the first two names on my team sheet? This is the stuff Fantasy Football dreams are made of. Sure, we expect WBA to not concede but Liverpool? I was playing with fire picking Matip in the first place!

Rob Holding, 0 points: It turns out that Arsene also noticed that Rob was a bit pants last week so decided to drop him for the game against Stoke City. That worked out for you, didn’t it Arsene? 1-0 Stoke, I dodged a bullet of sorts. I picked Holding this week as (a) I thought he’d be in the team and (b) even I didn’t think Stoke could score, let alone against Arsenal.

Cesar Azpilicueta, 2 points: I don’t understand the scoring system properly, clearly, as I assumed that Cesar would have 0 points for conceding a goal. Plus, it was the dodgiest Chelsea performance I’ve seen him have so I will take the two points with a smile.

David Silva, we don’t know yet: See above. David, I am counting on you big time.

James Ward-Prowse, 1 point: Seriously Jamesy, what the hell? You are playing West Ham United and you muster up a single point? Pathetic. You take every single set-piece known to man, and yet when it comes to penalty kicks you are nowhere to be seen? The guy could have scored TWO penalties for me but no, he lets Tadic nearly miss one and then Austin score the winner. Thanks James, thanks.

Jon Walters, 1 point: So, back in the first ever season of Fantasy Football when I finished in the top 150 in the world (honest, I did) it was mainly down to the fact I spotted that Dwight Yorke was listed as a midfielder for Aston Villa and I knew he’d be playing up top and he’d score quite a few. Stupidly, I presumed that Jon Walters could play the same role for me this year. When Sean Dyche bought the guy I believed he might actually pick him, and pick up front. Pah, sod you Sean.

Dele Alli, 2 points: I’m not going to shout at Dele, I’m not. It’s not his fault that Tottenham are playing at Wembley this season.

Kelechi Iheanacho, 0 points: See above. Next time, if you could let me know Craig Shakespeare it would make life a little easier.

Harry Kane, captain, 2 points: Harry always scores in a London derby and the only reason he hasn’t scored a Premier League goal in August is because he has always been injured. Well, that’s what I told myself. Kane has hit the post in both matches this season, and even Michy Batshuyaui has scored more goals for Spurs this season than him so far. Awesome.

Roberto Firmino, 2 points: Sure, Bobby did well last week but I am really questioning my judgement in signing him. Is he a 20-goal a season striker? Probably not, probably not. Mind you, 2 points this week means he is one of my top scorers – which says more about my team than him.

Current League Placing: So as a result of this absolute shambles I sit 32nd out of 40 in our FMG league. That’s a drop of 7 places. I am also 7300th in Spain, which is only nice as it is a round number. This has not been a good week.

So what do I do? I am sorely tempted to forgo some of the points I have and have a complete refit of the side – Matip, Holding, Walters, Ryan Fraser and Iheanacho are all on the “get rid of” list.

The Plan

I had a little looksie without hitting save.

Out: Iheanacho, £6.9m

In: Steve Mounié, £6.1m

I watched Huddersfield yesterday, and I liked the look of this lad. He scored twice on the opening day, played very well yesterday and I think at £6.1m he will do OK as the third striker.

Out: Roberto Firmino, £8.5m

In: Javier Hernandez, £7.0m

The Little Pea was back doing what he does on Saturday, scoring twice from about 5 yards in total. Even in that West Ham side he guarantees goals – so far, I would be 4 points down.

Out: Jon Walters, £5.5m

In: Aaron Mooy, £5.5m

Am I bringing in Mooy just because he scored at the weekend? Maybe, maybe. But, everything good that happens to Huddersfield seems to go through him so I reckon he is a better use of £5.5m than Walters now. That’s 8 points I’m down.

Out: Ryan Fraser, £5.5m

In: Richarlison, £6m

See, this is what I did with Dwight Yorke – try and find the player named as a midfielder who will play as a striker and get some value goals. He’ll keep scoring, right?

Out: Rob Holding, £5.5m

In: Phil Jones, £5m

Yeah, I’m a fool. I should have just done this in the first place. Who picks an Arsene defender ahead of a Jose defender? Plus, Jones will prove invaluable to Jose this year.

As a result of all this, I will lose 16 points – but hell, I’ll make that back next weekend right? I also have an extra £1.8m in the bank if I need it at some point but I think I’ve nailed it now. This team will not fail me. We’ll have to change the title of the column….

Ooooh, hello. What’s this Wildcard thing? That’s 16 points I’ve saved myself. See, this week is already getting better.