FPL Draft Community League – Gameweek 2 League A Roundup
Two weeks into the season after the long summer break and it already feels like home. Applauding a defensive aerial challenge in the middle of the park; tweeting Ben Dinnery about the status of Sheffield United’s third-choice left back; seeing your subs score more than half your team put together. Yep, Fantrax is well and truly back.
Still so many question marks around new signings yet to feature, and figuring out the starting 11 of some teams is akin to Pogba continually taking penalties – it doesn’t make any sense – but there’s still real value in the WW/FA market. In fact, we’ve seen no less than 50 acquisitions in League A since the end of GW1.
We had a higher amount of pickups this week because there were still some signings from Transfer Deadline Day that hadn’t gone through on Fantrax when we had our first WW last week. Our league, for those that don’t know (although, I suspect, only players in the league itself will read this and you’d hope they were aware of this by now), uses the FAAB system so each manager receives 100 Traxcoin (excusing the pun, I’ve just coined that phrase – Fantrax, you’re welcome) to use for the entire season. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. You’d think, therefore, that managers would be a little conservative when it came to splashing the cash…
Le Celso was picked up for 73 by J Will’s Mustachioed Mustafi Mafia, whilst Cancelo was picked up for 52 Traxcoin by my own good self (admittedly, I was drunk when I made this bid so it’s probably higher that it needs to be). We’ll ignore the fact that Ari Jons dropped Mason Mount for Sissoko in GW1, and focus instead on Draftiola, who picked him up (Mount, not Jons) for 23 which seems like an absolute steal based on his first two performances of the season. In the 4-0 loss at Man Utd, he scored 14 points, whilst his second game saw him score his first PL goal and scoring 21 points as a result. Kieran Tierney, out with injury until October, was snapped up for 29 Traxcoin by Zaheer’s Strikers.
InSane in the Brain (@arijons) 75.5 – 110.5 Fender Buendia (@greaves_colin)
Moving onto this week’s matchups, then, and it was Ari’s boy Eriksen who couldn’t stop thinking of all that sangria he’ll be drinking from next month – he scored just 4.5. Potentially a controversial view, but Ari might also be disappointed that Firmino only scored 1 goal against the Saints. A return of 14 points is certainly not to be sniffed at, but it was hardly the whitewash several were expecting after GW1. A gamble on Reiss Nelson didn’t pay off, and Billy Sharp didn’t play – although he may feature more in upcoming weeks due to injuries in the Blades’ front line.
My team, however, were pretty consistent throughout. 7 players scored over 10 points, with Nick Pope – making 7 saves in the 2-1 loss to Arsenal – scoring highest with 16.25 points. The round 16 Harry Wilson punt seems to have paid dividends, and the return of The Ox to the Liverpool starting 11 is one to keep an eye on.
The matchup was over by the end of Saturday, truth be told, but Ari’s lads would have scored higher on another day. Ari should be concerned, though, with his bench spots – he
currently has all 5 of his 5 subs – Mendy, Rudiger, Alli, Hudson-Odoi and Sanchez – with the red injury flags by their names. He’ll need to be active in the WW or trade market this week to rectify that.
Conversely, I’m happy with my bench in Trezeguet, Hayden, JWP and Danny Ings, who all played in GW2. My 5th, Cancelo, will hopefully come into play in the near future. A second win in two for FB but InSane in the Brain are still looking for their first victory.
#Rigged (@DraftGenie) 107 – 85.5 Team 32chickens (@benchickens)
A wish for his first victory came true for the FF Genie, who – let’s be honest – ate Ben’s Chickens for lunch. Villa’s Elmo scored a huge 17.25 points with no goals, assists or clean sheet! A cleanie from keeper Dean Henderson and a team high of 21 points from Lanzini saw an easy win. A risky strategy to go with the two Palace forwards – particularly as Palace haven’t yet scored this season (in two whole games!) – but he had more than enough cover in the rest of his team.
Ben’s boys did ok – Callum Wilson scored an impressive 16.5 points, and Enda Stevens also pulled in 15.25. Although another 3 players scored 10+ points (including Trossard – a great prospect), a blank from Kane and a -4 from Ederson meant his chickens did not come home to roost, and the game was over before Man Utd rocked up at Wolves on Monday evening.
On Bench Watch, FF Genie had Shelvey with 15.5 points, Giroud on 10 points, and a very impressive-looking Pepe also scoring 10 points in a brief cameo on Saturday. His team could be one to be reckoned with in future weeks. Ben, on the other hand, has Sarr for Watford who, although he didn’t start this week, could be a great prospect when he breaks into the starting 11. Moutinho had a great week and will likely see a return to Ben’s starting 11 in the next few weeks.
DeLigtMyBallllsss (@bjamesweed) 75.5 – 99.75 gd_bristol (@GD_Bristol)
Ben/Egg’s Ballboys had a relatively decent week – Ndidi scored a monster 18.5 points, Matt Ritchie reached 13 points, whilst Fantrax cult hero, Ashley Barnes, scored a goal to pull in 14.5 points. Salah returned a disappointing 3 points, but ultimately it was the decision to start Chilwell, Gomez and Stones – who all didn’t play – that lost Ben his matchup this week.
Gareth’s Bristolians took a second victory in two weeks with – who else? – Digne basically winning it single-handedly (a mere 27.75 points). Gareth will be hoping that his early withdrawal from the match on Saturday was a precaution rather than anything more sinister. A risky start for Chicarito also came off for Gareth, with a goal and 11 points, but ultimately it was Team Defence that saw home this week’s victory.
On the bench, Ben will try and ignore Bernard’s monster total of 26.5 points that would have seen him actually win this week. Sure, he’ll blame timezones but sleep is for the dead, my friends. Gareth himself has a solid bench, most notably containing Maupay for Brighton, who many on Draft Twitter back to be a big player this season.
Once Upon a Time in Sane (@draftiola) 96.25 – 78.25 What Divock?! @ruaridalgetty)
An intriguing matchup saw a tight maiden victory for Draftiola over Ruari’s men. The big scores came from Yerry Mina (18 points) and Ceballos (26.5 points) who could be in for a huge season. Losing Sane to a season-long injury (assuming he wouldn’t have been sold) could have seen him struggle for points, but picking up Ceballos in the 6th round of the draft could prove to be one of the steals of the season judging by his full debut this weekend. In Aguero and Martial, Draftiola has a strong frontline, and if Fraser gets back to form, this could be a dangerous team.
Ruari’s challenge this week came mainly from Sadio Mane who, despite having a relatively quiet game against Southampton, still racked up the stats and points, returning 33 points in total. Only one other player scored double digits though, with Rodrigo bringing in 10. A couple of other players, such as Tielemans, might be expected to score more in other weeks, but Ruari might be concerned at the sparseness of points throughout his team this week.
Draftiola has a strong looking starting 11, but three of his subs didn’t start this week. Willian had a terrible game against Leicester and may struggle for minutes in future weeks. Ruari, likewise, had three non-starters on the bench, but two of those are Anderson and Haller who will surely come back into West Ham’s starting 11 in the next game.
Pjanic! At the Isco (@AHiggles) 50 – 135.75 Zaheer’s Strikers (@ZBayant)
The winner of the Simpson’s Stop Stop He’s Already Dead Award this week goes to Zaheer, who sees his team take an early lead at the top of the league. His opponent, Arran, despite having the best team name in the league, probably can’t say the same for his actual team. Just the 50 points scored, with Moura – who started on the bench against Man City – scoring the most with 15.5 points. With Son returning to the Spurs side next week, there’s no guarantee his best player this week will play in the next. He does have a number of players capable of bigger scores, they just didn’t deliver this week.
On the flip side, Zaheer probably has the best team in the league. He’s got 5 top players – Grealish, Lamela, Pukki, Sterling and Rashford – who put together a combined total of 112.5 points on their own, and a Liverpool clean sheet would have seen an even bigger score. Frankly, the other managers in the league think his team could be extremely hard to beat this season and next week’s opponent Ari will be looking to somehow prove us all wrong.
The good news for Arran is that Azpi – on his bench – is scoring well again this season (11.75 this week). The bad news for Arran is that Azpi, in real life, didn’t play well and many Chelsea fans – in-between getting the #lampardout hashtag trending on Twitter – are demanding he be dropped. Foden may, eventually, get some games this season, but possibly not until later on. Even a double digit return from Neves – courtesy of a screamer that deserved double the points (Commissioner – take note) – wouldn’t have been near enough to save this matchup. Zaheer has Tierney on the bench, as well as Alisson – both injured now, but will be strong additions to the starting 11 when they get fit in the next couple of months.
The Mustachioed Mustafi Mafia (@JWillDraft) 55 – 141.25 Krul Operator (@ChuckBoothSport)
J Will has obviously spent too much time commissioning the league rather than focusing on his team, as he slumped to a second defeat in two. His highest scorer came in the form of Monreal (12.25 points) whilst Ramsdale scored 12 points himself in goal against Villa. However, there will have been too many 2s and 4s across the team for his liking this week. Two Newcastle players in the starting 11 is…brave, but the likes of Pulisic and Bilva should win matchups on their own in other weeks, so I don’t think he’ll be panicking just yet.
Chuck’s team finally showed what it was capable of: Lacazette scored a goal and 15 points; Norwood pulled in 14; Jack O’Connell a clean sheet and 16.25 points; Ndombele an assist and 18 points; Mason Mount (a very shrewd WW pickup this week) a goal and 21 points; and Kevin De Bruyne with a characteristic 2 assists and 34.5 points. Bear in mind he also has a yet-to-get-going Richarlison in his starting 11, this might not be the last three digit score we see from him. Certainly, it was the highest score of the league this week: 141.25 points.
J will be desperately hoping that Lo Celso and Son start in the near future, whilst Daniel James could be a big player this season if Ole plays ball (we’ll ignore the -0.5 return this week, it was his first PL start, he’ll get better). Not convinced by Chuck’s bench, to be honest – Mepham (scored last week, didn’t play this week), Harvey Barnes (doesn’t appear to be starting/playing any time soon), Brooks (injured and now has Harry Wilson playing well for competition), Moise Kean (not yet starting games) and McBurnie – the most Scottish man I’ve ever seen – only coming off the bench in the last two games. I’d have his starting 11 in a heartbeat, though.
Hard to ignore the 287.5 points Zaheer has scored in just two gameweeks there…
Next Week’s Fixtures
1. Fender Buendia (3rd) vs Once upon a time in Sane (9th)
2. What Divock?! (8th) vs DeLigtMyBallllsss (6th)
3. Team 32chickens (4th) vs gd_bristol (2nd)
4. Krul Operator (5th) vs #Rigged (7th)
5. Zaheer’s Strikers (1st) vs InSane in the Brain (10th)
6. Pjanic! At the Isco (11th) vs The Mustachioed Mustafi Mafia (12th)
Game 1 should be a tight one – both teams have scored consistently, if not that highly. Hard to pick a winner. After Ruari’s performance this week, it’s hard to see a result different than a Ben win – he’ll need to act in the WW/trade market this week to close the gap in terms of points. Game 3 is potentially the game of the week – Gareth has won both his matchups but Ben has scored slightly more points. All to play for! Game 4 will be another top matchup – can Chuck’s team take their form into the next week? If so, you’d think it’d be hard for any team to beat him. Write FF Genie off at your peril, though… Game 5, and I’m really genuinely trying not to sound too harsh to Ari here, but Zaheer has scored more than double
the points Ari has. Game 6 is one for the purists – one of these teams will get their first points of the season!
Best of luck to all the gents in the next week!