Happy New Year folks!

Another year of FPL ups and downs is upon us. The hectic Christmas schedule is nearing its end with GW21 right here. So, let us start off with our mid-season FPL review.

Mid-Season Review

The 2018/19 FPL is proving to be vastly different from the previous ones with many of the veteran players suffering as well. Let us take a look at the key takeaways.

  • Flying full-backs – Full-backs have always been great fantasy assets. However, this season they are on a roll with multiple options across teams. In defenders, 7/11 of the highest-scoring ones are all full-backs
  • Rise of mid-price forwards – 2017/18 FPL season proved to be a bummer for the mid-price forwards without many options. However, this season has seen them return with a vengeance. The likes of Callum Wilson, Jimenez, Mitrovic and Ings are proving to be great options this time around
  • Mad price changes – The total number of players is always increasing with the game hitting the 6-million mark this season. Be it because of that or otherwise, price changes have been frantic unlike before. Recently, Aubameyang and Pogba’s price increase are the best examples of this.
  • Midfield revolution – Most FPL veterans must have definitely started this season looking at the steep rise in Salah and Sterling’s price along with Arnautovic and Zaha being labelled as forwards this time around. It was the perfect smokescreen as midfielders are running the roost in FPL this season with more than a dozen options. In fact, this is exactly why rank changes are more drastic than previous years.

So, these are the key takeaways from this specific season so far. Now, let me elaborate on the last point.

Talking 3-5-2

More than any other year, this season is proving to be the best for deploying the 3-5-2 formation. I always loved having 3 forwards playing week-in and week-out for me in all my previous years until this one.

 midfielders

The data backs it up. Among the forwards, 6 of them have scored over 90. Out of them, there are 3 premium (£10 million+) forwards. Now, among midfielders, 13 of them have scored over 90 points and only 3 of them are premium ones.

This highlights how effective midfielders are this season. Further, these 13 midfielders belong to 9 different teams, which explains the major fluctuations all are experiencing this season.

For information purposes, there are only 4 defenders and just one goalkeeper above 90 points, and all of them are premium ones.

Thus, it is clear where to put in the money. Mind you, this is not the only way to play but it is one of the best ways to maximise output at the moment.

My December Learnings

A disastrous November pushed me out of the top 100k. My rank tumbled further down to 400k after missing out on Salah’s hat-trick against Bournemouth. I brought him back as soon as the game was done. While it looked knee-jerk, he passed my eye-test and the swagger was back.

I always like FPL dependables no matter how much they cost. Salah and Kane belong in that category for me. So, armed with both of them and shifting to a midfield five I started my rank climb.

I stuck to Jimenez despite fixtures turning, got it right with Son and Pogba (check my analysis here) while Kane cancelled out Aubameyang’s points. These moves and non-moves place me at 168k, a healthy position to break into the top 100k soon.

GW21 Team

I am going to roll over my transfer this GW due to the FA Cup games and the long break after this round of matches. I will have to work on replacing Son soon due to his Asian Cup commitments after GW22.

FPL player stats

Currently, my team is doing good against the high-ownership players as well. I am hoping to hold on to my wildcard until the blank and double gameweeks come about.

FPL Log - GW21 player tracker

The team once again picks itself. Robertson might not get a clean sheet against City but he sure can pick an attacking return. Good fixtures for most of the team.

The main captaincy debate is between Kane and Hazard, although Salah’s form cannot be ignored. Hazard plays Southampton at home, with an academy right-back waiting for Eden.

Kane plays Cardiff away and holds a terrific scoring record at grounds of newly-promoted teams. The con here is that Spurs look fatigued whenever they play with 3-days gap.

Salah will definitely cause City problems. However, it could also be a case of him occupying the defenders so that others get on the scoresheet.

This will be a last-minute decision and check my Twitter for my captain pick. Currently, Kane is the placeholder captain.

FPL Log - GW21 team

Thanks for reading and hope this article helps you.

May your arrows be green.

YNWA

All content rights are reserved to me i.e. Saketh Ayyagari!

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