Draft Community League: The Gold League Experience – Episode Two – The Opener

Seven years of drafting, a “Draft We Must” league title, a “International Genie League” title and (most importantl) a Draft Community League Champions Cup title…it’s not often you get to brag about your Fantasy Football achievements so I’m grabbing this opportunity with both hands!

Why the (not so) humble brag? Well, my Togga/Fantrax experience has inadvertantly landed me with my biggest and toughest task of all…qualification to the Draft Community Gold League and (in partnership with the Fantasy Football Community) I am tasked with writing about my experience. This is unarguably the toughest league and Twitter so I could genuinely finish dead last…hopefully not eh?

This week I talk you through my first matchup of this season’s Gold League against old friend/foe… Team @andrew6569.

It’s great when a plan comes together, especially when it happens far better than anticipated!

The draft strategy coming into the season was to get in as many decent midfielders and forwards as possible in the hope that I can stream well among the defenders and goalkeepers. In a week which yielded a much better than average 141 points, my back five contributed 62.5 of them. This certainly won’t happen every week!

My season kicked off with Martin Odegaard in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Palace on Friday night football. I love watching a match where I have a decent player involved and my opponent has no one but this proved to be massively disappointing with the new Arsenal captain providing just 3.5 points. I’m far from worried about Odegaard, however, as he got into plenty of very good positions and is clearly playing as an orthodox number 10. Plenty of assists to follow!

Saturday dinner time signalled Mo Salah’s first game for Team FF92, the man I traded so much draft capital away for before the season even began. I was nervous about this one with Andrew first rounder in Trent Alexander-Arnold playing as well as Roberto Firmino. Fortunately, Salah showed up with an assist followed by a trademark goal while Trent…didn’t.

This gave me a comfortable lead of 26-4 going into the Saturday kick offs. I wasn’t busy at all at the 2pm deadline. I had a feeling that Ivan Perisic would be benched but that Emerson Royal would probably start for Spurs v Southampton, a hunch which proved to be correct and led to an easy switch at 2.01pm. That was it really!

The Emerson Royal punt was an inspired one, giving me 20.5 points to all but seal the deal early on in the matchup. Those Spurs wing backs are going to be absolute dynamite this season but a rotation nightmare. I was trying to get Ryan Sessegnon from my opponent this week but Andrew is a tough customer when it comes to the trades and won’t let Sess go cheap, even though I do expect Perisic to make that position his own by the time Wolves come to town in GW3.

I bigged up Jack Harrison a lot in pre-season too following Raphinha’s departure so was delighted to see him threaten to explode on day one. One assist, seven key passes, 22 points…thank you very much! He could easily be my top scoring midfielder this season and potentially in the top 10 Fantrax midfielders overall. I’ll be keeping hold of him unless a big offer comes in, the same being applied to Patrick Bamford who looks to be approaching his best once more.

The Villa boys were a little disappointing but I fully expect Philippe Coutinho and Leon Bailey to put that right at home against Everton this weekend.

The matchup was all but over once the Chelsea game kicked off at Everton but I feel like I still need to raise the issue of Cesar Azpilicueta who looks set to be my sleeper of the season. He was all but off to Barca when I drafted him in round 13 (yes, thirteen) but a signed contract and positive interview later and he’s captained the Chelsea team to a win and helped himself to 17 points for team. Lovely! He could inadvertently become my DEF1 this season after all.

Overall, a great day at the office and I’m genuinely relieved to pick up a win on day one in what will be a fiercely difficult league. My first objective was to win one of my first three…objective achieved!

Gameweek Two sees me take on South Suffolk Analogue who won his Community League last season. Tough test…but they all are.

Too early to look at the table? Not when you’re top of it…

Waivers and Trades

Pretty boring this week I’m afraid. Ben White comes in for $0 after a decent showing a right back for Arsenal last week. He seemed to push forward into a central role quite a lot so hopefully he can get involved in some attacking play against Leicester. The plan is to save the FAAB for as long as I can and I still have the full $100 in the bank so far.

No trades to speak of either! I’m happy with where the squad is and feel there’s no glaring weaknesses at the moment. I sent a couple of opening offers out but didn’t bother chasing them down/negotiating! There will be trades though, that’s a promise!

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