Community Questions and Double Gameweek 37 Strategy

Myself and guest writer Anthony, otherwise known as FPL Stag, combine to tackle the community’s hottest questions ahead of Double Gameweek 37, as well as offering some thoughts regarding Double Gameweek strategy 

Welcome again to our community question series where I (Simon), usually have my say on the communities conundrums in an attempt to provide a different perspective, or perhaps some statistical information or insight some of you may not have thought about.

This week, I thought it prudent to bring on another one of my Twitter compadre’s to help provide you with a fresh, credible and interesting perspective.

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This week, it’s FBA nominee for the ‘young writer of the year’ category, Anthony, or as he is generally known on Twitter, FPL Stag.

Anthony is an advice columnist for Rotoworld and has been writing about FPL now for around 3 years, as well as being involved in the FPL community on Twitter for around the same time, with a following of over 9,000. He’s an avid FPL manager that has seen the top 1% on two occasions and has a highest overall rank of circa 12k.

You can follow him on Twitter here >> or if you’d like to sample his column, then you can so here >> AND if you’ve enjoyed the content that he provides, you can help him to reach his aspiration of becoming the ‘young writer of the year’ in the FBAs by sparing 15 seconds of your time and casting a vote for him here >>

Sell Willian for a -4? 

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Simon (FPL Connect): 

Given that Conte seems to have recently changed his system to a 352 with Hazard operating up front with one of Giroud/Morata, that in turn, negatively impacts Willian’s playing time. With his game-time fairly sparse even before the change in formation, I would say taking him out, even for a hit, is a good move.

Of the above options, I’d be looking at Pogba or Arnautovic.

Pogba has been the main beneficiary of Mourinho’s change in formation from 4231, where Pogba had greater defensive responsibility, to a 433 with Matic and Herrera, where Pogba has been free to roam and attack the oppositions box more aggressively – this is evident in his goalscoring form, with 3 goals in his last 4 games for United. He also ranks 4th highest for goal attempts over the last 5 Gameweeks with 13.

Arnie has been registering very highly on the goal threat radar in the last 5 gameweeks, with 33 penalty area touches, 17 goal attempts and 3 big chances. With Southampton picking their form up, West Ham can’t afford to let complacency set in and if they’re to ensure their own survival, they’re going to need Arnie at his best.

Anthony (FPL Stag): 

By a stretch, Arnautovic is the biggest goal threat of the players you have named – only Salah (17) and Sterling (16) have had more shots in the box than him in the last six gameweeks (Arnie 13) however, his xG isn’t quite as good as Paul Pogba’s (1.8 vs 1.5). The bulk of the Frenchman’s efforts have come from outside of the box but his few attempts in the area have been guilt-edged.

Right now, I am really struggling to build a case for the Arsenal players even if they are knocked out of the Europa League on Thursday. With so little momentum, I don’t see why Rambo or Mkhi would be attractive if Arsenal fall to Atleti and if they do go past them, the two players are amongst the most likely to be rested.

Bilva is an interesting punt but at the end of the day, it seems like you’re looking for a key third midfielder rather than a risky differential fourth whose minutes are unreliable hence I caution picking him. With that same hypothesis in mind, I would advise utilising your budget and concentrating your budget on a more statistically ground chance like Pogba or Arnie rather than Tadic, who has had one good game for Southampton in the past year.

Pogba or Sanchez as a differential pick for DGW37?

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Simon (FPL Connect): 

With the majority of active managers likely to have 5 or 6 Man City/Spurs assets, Salah and DDG, there’s greater emphasis on finding good differentials, especially for those looking to chase or climb the rankings.

If you already own Sánchez and have Sterling/Eriksen/Kane/Jesus, then I’d hold the Chilean, otherwise, I’d be moving him out for 1 of Sterling/Eriksen or to fund a move for Kane/Jesus. If you don’t own him, then I wouldn’t advocate bringing him in.

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Pogba however, I like. As I state above, he looks to be far more dangerous now operating in the 433 system. Herrera gives Mourinho that added defensive cover, allowing Pogba to roam freely and stretch those powerful, long legs of his in the direction of the opposition’s box. He’s only had 10 penalty area touches in the last 5 gameweeks, which isn’t great, but his stats are demonstrating that he’s making smart runs into the box, much like Alli is doing at the moment, with 3 big chances and 3 goals scored from 5 shots inside the box in that time.

Anthony (FPL Stag): 

Tom, you’re not considering Alexis after the last double gameweek debacle, are you?!?

I’ll focus on your favourite Chilean first. His underlying stats in recent weeks certainly don’t merit shelling out his astronomical price tag. At best, he has appeared to be a creator, providing three assists (four going by FPL’s generous allowances) off the creation of 11 shooting opportunities for his teammates in the last six. He’s averaged a shot every second game in that period – not exactly scintillating by any means. I think opting for Sánchez at this point is blinding oneself by reputation and the notion that a big budgetary outlay automatically correlates with big scores.

Pogba is a much better shout in my opinion. He’s not quite as creative, averaging just one attempted assist per game in the last six but his shooting makes up for it. He has peppered his opponents’ goals in the last six gameweeks with 13 efforts. Three of those found their way into the net – all of those came from his five shots inside the box in the period. Maybe he’s learning that he can affect the scoreboard more from inside the box.

If ‘Kaku is ruled out (as seems to be the case as of writing this), a sneaky DGW differential could be either Tony Martial or Marcus Rashford. Neither will stretch your budget like the above duo, and both have fine pedigree as shooters even though they haven’t had as much of a chance to prove themselves as many fans would like.

Cheap to mid priced differentials to consider?

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Simon (FPL Connect): 

Something I’m sure a lot will be considering!

Having had a look around, this one is tough, as there isn’t an abundance of players in that price bracket standing out.

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If we look at those with a double who are also cheap in midfield, Gündogan is the only player I’d be considering. Yes of course, picking him like any City player comes with the risk of limited minutes, but given City’s remaining fixtures, one and a half games could be more than enough to return well for that price tag. In his last 4 starts, he’s scored twice, had 11 goal attempts, 6 of them coming inside the area, and had 2 big chances. He also might be on penalties with Agüero injured and Jesus missing his last one.

Some might say Newcastle are on the beach now, but in their last game against WBA, they peppered the goal, having 17 goal attempts, only Man City and Liverpool had more last gameweek. With that in mind, Ayoze Perez might well be worth some consideration as a cheap enabling 3rd striker, priced kindly at £5.3m. Over the last 5 gameweeks, no other forward has had more goal attempts than him (13). He’s scored 3 and assisted 2 in that time and with Watford as their first fixture in their double, he could well grab something in that game.

In terms of mid-priced options with a double, I don’t think you can look past Marko Arnautovic, but if you fancy something different to what others are likely considering, then I wouldn’t be put off by the fact Wilfried Zaha only has 1 fixture this week.

It’s against Stoke and both Palace and Zaha are bang in form, with the latter having scored more goals (4) than any other midfielder in the last 5 gameweeks. Only Sterling and Salah have registered more penalty area touches than Zaha (37) in that time and Stoke will have to attack Palace, leaving them vulnerable to the counter attack where the pacey, skilful Zaha can take full advantage. They also host a likely already relegated WBA at home on the final day!

Anthony (FPL Stag): 

This really is the million dollar question for a lot of managers ahead of GW37 with people trying to find money to afford the City and Spurs assets you mentioned!

In terms of defenders, one team with decent fixtures and plenty of motivation is Swansea City, who have a double and then Stoke on the final day. Mike van der Hoorn (4.4) is the cheap route into Carvajal’s backline although his attacking threat is negligible. Alfie Mawson (5.1) has a reputation for being dangerous in the box after scoring four goals in his breakthrough season last term, but his fortunes haven’t been as favourable in 2017/18, having hit the back of the net just twice. In the last six gameweeks, he has only had four efforts on goal.

Beyond the Swans, Southampton’s late push for survival could coincide with a clean sheet or two for them. Alex McCarthy is a decent cheap starting ‘keeper. Of the defenders, Cedric (4.7) is the best of a bad bunch but Jan Bednarek (4.1) should keep his place in the starting line-up as he kept Jack Stephens out of the squad last weekend when the Englishman was no longer suspended.

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Further up field, Dusan Tadic’s (6.2) man of the match performance and brace against Bournemouth was impossible to ignore. For the first time in a long time, he showed that he was still capable of putting up the numbers he managed in 2015/16. That said, Tadic scoring twice from two shots isn’t exactly the sort of precision we have come to associate with his finishing in recent seasons.

If you want starting bench fodder or a (most-likely) four pointer up front, Jordan Ayew (5.3) is your man. Swansea offer minimal attacking threat but the move would free up cash to get at the Man City and Spurs attackers you crave.

Triple up on City assets?

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Simon (FPL Connect): 

This question really depends on who you’re taking out for Silva/Sané. We really can’t know what team Pep will choose for the second game in the double against Brighton and I think all of the team are at risk of being benched/rested with perhaps the exception of Jesus.

If you’re taking out someone like Willian/Mahrez, then I’d say go for it and in that context, I’d suggest going with David Silva, as he’s had a nice rest back in Spain with his family, so he will likely see more minutes than Sané in my opinion, but ensure that you research around the relevant channels to see if he’s back from Spain before committing to the move.

Anthony (FPL Stag): 

Of the two, I think you should opt for David Silva as long as reports show that he is home from Spain again. Both players have had their rests, but of the duo I think Silva is more likely to play more minutes in the DGW as he is far less replaceable in the City starting XI than Sane, especially when you’d expect that Kevin de Bruyne and others may be given a day off of their own in the DGW when City have just three days between games.

Both players are comparable in terms of FPL points potential and form, as is indicated by the fact that just seven points separates them overall over the course of the whole season.

Salah Triple Captain in GW38 a better option than DGW37 choices? 

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Simon (FPL Connect): 

Salah has been a freak of nature this season, so I can certainly understand the temptation to give him the TC on the last day, as there is statistically a higher number of goals scored on the last day and Liverpool have a fantastic fixture at home to Brighton.

Having said that, the ceiling is higher for a good player playing in a double vs Salah in a single gameweek, so I would definitely be looking to DGW37 for the TC.

Sánchez is a strict no for me in this United team. He seems to be more the creator rather than the all-out action man he was at Arsenal. Of course we know he has the potential to explode and historically loves a double gameweek, but Arsenal play a more fluid attacking style to United, and it suited him much better than United’s more controlled approach.

Aubameyang is also a no in my opinion. Whilst I think he could perform well and he’s been very consistent so far in terms of his FPL returns, Arsenal could see a younger side against Burnley after their Europa League exertions and I can’t see Aubameyang getting the quality service he may normally do when the likes of Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Wilshere and Özil are in the side.

So it’s definitely between Sterling, Jesus and Kane for me. I personally think Jesus is the one this week, down to the fact I think he gets both games in the double with Agüero injured and City not having a like-for-like replacement, as well as him and his team being in much better form than Kane and his team.

Anthony (FPL Stag): 

Now that Liverpool have qualified for the Champions League final, I would be reticent to give Salah the armband on the final day as I believe he is likely to be subbed or even rested. He should break the 38 game league record in gameweek 37, as the laws of football dictate that he will score against his ex-club. Furthermore it seems like the race for the Golden Boot is already over as Kane continues to struggle to hit form.

Don’t triple captain Sánchez. As I alluded to earlier in another question, his underlying stats are questionable and those opting for him yearn for the player of last season who had luck on his side and a team which operated to feed him. I wouldn’t go for Auba either as I have great misgivings about Arsenal at this point.

That leaves you with Kane, Jesus, and Sterling to select from. Based on form and the chance that Sterling will be rested, I think Jesus is the safest bet – he’s scored in each of his last four. Two goals, appearance points and maybe a few BAPs isn’t bad for a TC. That said, of course Kane has the higher points ceiling if he goes anywhere near his potential.

Keep Liverpool assets despite no double gameweek?

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Simon (FPL Connect): 

I think you hold Salah yes. His form against the big teams, Man United aside, has been throughly impressive;

Arsenal – 11pts (H), 10pts (A)
Manchester United – 3pts (H), 2pts (A)
Spurs – 15pts (H), 7pts (A)
Manchester City – 11pts (H), 1pt (A)
Chelsea – 7pts (H), (A)?

He also has the potential to go big on the last day, so I’d definitely be holding him.

Outside of that, it becomes more difficult, as it really depends who you’re looking to bring in. With Brighton left on the last day, and Liverpool’s defence being quite stable Champions League fixtures aside (3 clean sheets in their last 5 in the PL), I’d be looking to hold onto Robertson or VvD, as that looks a nailed on clean sheet to me.

Mané and Firmino I think are expendable, as ideally, you’ll want Kane/Jesus as your more premium priced forwards and you’ll want Sterling, Salah and either another City mid or a Spurs mid making up the more expensive portion of your midfield.

Anthony (FPL Stag): 

No DGW fixtures AND a Champions League final to stay fit for AND almost no pressure in the league as their top four rank is safe. I would be slowly selling Liverpool players from your team.

The leaky defence is sure to be rotated in the final gameweeks to rest key men and give the squad a run out, whilst the same can be said of the attackers. The only player I personally would hold is Mo Salah. Keep Danny Ings in mind for a differential addition to your team ahead of Gameweek 38 though, when Brighton will most likely be safe and a turkey-shoot may ensue at Anfield.

Which players are worth taking a hit to bring in for DGW37? 

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Simon (FPL Connect): 

I think you have to look at what a specific proposed move can give you personally. Looking at ‘what players are worth a hit’ in any given gameweek generally speaking, is difficult, as the answer is dependant on your situation, your team etc.

When I take hits, I like to look ahead at how many points I think the player can deliver over the period of time I’m looking to own him and cross reference that against what I think the player I want to take out could deliver over that same period, less the hit.

If I, and nobody else, think it’s worth it, then I’ll do it.

In general though, I’d say owning Sterling, Jesus, Kane, DDG and a Spurs mid (Eriksen/Alli) are important for this week, so I’d say taking a hit for any of them would be justifiable on a general level, but as I say, you need to calculate what the move you want to make could give you vs what you think you might get if you didn’t do it and assess whether that’s worth it for you.

Anthony (FPL Stag): 

Very hard to say when I can’t see your squad, but usually I think it’s justifiable to take a hit to bring in a DGW player for A) a single-gameweek player as in effect with minutes played you only take a -2 reduction or B) a DGW player whose minutes are uncertain – you need to make the most of the two fixtures.

To answer what you’re really asking, three players are certainly must-owns even if just to negate the same move be managers in your leagues – Jesus, Sterling, and Harry Kane. I would accept adding David de Gea to that list too given his fixtures are so favourable.

Beyond that, your decision to take a hit is a calculated risk which you must be comfortable with yourself. If you believe Tadic is essential this weekend because he had one good game and has plenty to play for – do it, especially if you’re chasing point in your minileague. I certainly wouldn’t advise a speculative hit if you’re trying to cling on to a lead though.

Double Gameweek 37 Strategy

Triple Captain

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Simon (FPL Connect): 

Gabriel Jesus – Based on he fact that I believe Jesus starts both games in the double against Huddersfield and Brighton, I’ve got to go with him. He’s in great form and I can see City destroying both Huddersfield and Brighton.

I’m in a position this year however where I’m not playing for a great deal, so I can afford to take more risks with it, but if I was in the same position now as I was last year where I was top of my mini-leagues, then I’d likely put it on Harry Kane.

Anthony (FPL Stag): 

Gabriel Jesus – I’m too nervous to give such an important captaincy to Raheem Sterling when he is sure to be rested at some point in the near future, thus I think the striker is the best option as his role in the side is much more secure with Aguero injured.

He’s a good goalscorer, with four in his last four games in the PL. That tally correlates with his expected goals score of 4.2 for the last six GWs, equal with Salah and behind only Raheem Sterling (4.8). Unfortunately, he may not be on penalties now after his miss against Swansea in GW35 but he is still the focal point of the champions’ attack and very dependable.

Bench Boost

Simon (FPL Connect): 

GK – Lukasz Fabianski (£4.7m)

DEFs – Naughton (£4.6m), van der Hoorn (£4.4m), Bednarek (£4.1m), Cedric (£4.7m) 

MIDs –  Gündogan (£5.4m), Kenedy (£4.8m), Milivojevic (£5.3m)

FWDs – Ayoze Perez (£5.4m), Jordan Ayew (£5.3m)

Anthony (FPL Stag): 

GK – Lukasz Fabianksi (£4.7m)

DEFs – Ben Chilwell (£4.4m), Jan Bednarek (£4.1m), van der Hoorn (£4.4m)

MIDs – Kenedy (£4.8m), Andy King (£4.2m), Gündogan (£5.4m)

FWDs – J.Ayew (£5.3m)

Free Hit

Simon (FPL Connect): 

This Free Hit team would leave £0.2m according to my Team Value of £104.6m.

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Anthony (FPL Stag): 

This left me with £0.2m with a lower Team Value of £101.5m.

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Before you go! 

Still not convinced on who to Triple Captain this week? Then check out our ‘Captain Metric’ article that analyses the key candidates for this week and make your choice >>


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