My Gameweek 1 FPL Team Reveal and Approach to the Season

Building on the last two seasons (83k – 2018/19, 33k – 2019/20), I’m really hoping to improve for the third successive season.

My target is to get inside 25k, as I believe, with the influx of new players each season overall and those on FPL Twitter who are more engaged than ever, it’s getting so much more difficult to hit a 4 figure rank or more.

We all dream of a 4 figure rank or higher though!

My Approach

Two seasons back, after hitting a very poor season that saw me finish circa 700k, I identified a certain approach that would see me spend less time discussing my ideas with people in the FPL Twitter community.

Mark @FPLGeneral has since outlined the same approach for this new season, after struggling (by his extremely lofty standards) last season.

I found, after the awful season, that I lost my own ideas. My own identity. My own FPL style.

FPL Twitter community is fantastic and full of incredible knowledge, tools, podcasts, videos and experienced FPL managers there’s no doubting that however, it is a vast ocean of opinions, ideas and open discussion and that can have a negative affect on a conscious and sub-conscious level.

Your ideas can become lost with so much noise – it can get too much. Your conscious mind doesn’t have the ability to cope with too much information in one go.

Like when you’re first learning to drive a car.

At first, it feels completely alien to steer with your right hand whilst needing to use your left foot to push down the clutch in order to change gear with your left hand, all while either accelerating or breaking with the right foot.

Your conscious mind is limited, and struggles to process all that information that then needs to be turned into actions, but after weeks of practice and many driving lessons, the actions become embedded and it feels like second nature – that’s because your infinitely powerful sub-conscious mind has taken over.

This is what I felt had happened to me, so I made sure from that point that I wasn’t discussing my ideas with anyone but perhaps a couple who had asked, or going into the community and looking at other people’s teams/dilemmas so that my thoughts hadn’t become infiltrated by someone else’s and they remained my own.

I’ll be doing the same again this year along with the following:

  • Disengage emotion – Never make a decision 24hrs after the end of a GW. Let the dust settle.
  • Log off social media on bad GWs for 24hrs – it won’t do you any good as you’ll likely see those celebrating good scores.
  • Be proactive not reactive with transfers.
  • Replace negativity with positivity – if you’ve had a bad GW, go and do something that makes you happy.
  • Cut yourself some slack – it’s a game that involves luck. We have to accept that sometimes, there’s nothing we can do.
  • Don’t dwell on mistakes – build a bridge and get over it. Be happy to make mistakes, it’s the only way to learn. View it as a challenge!
  • Don’t let ownership be the sole reason for a decision – if you think X is going to outscore Y, but Y has much greater ownership than X, don’t let that be the only reason stopping you captaining him or transferring him in.
  • Choose a few sources/people that you trust/value/enjoy – we all need some help/support once in a while, so pick a few different blogs, podcasts, videos or people that you trust and just listen/watch/read/talk to them.
  • Focus on getting the right players at the right time – team value will then take care of itself.
  • MAKE SURE to celebrate/enjoy the good moments – it’s a game after all for fuck sake!

The Team

Why 442?

It’s mainly a result of the personnel available to me after I chose the spine of my team.

I built this team around TAA, Aubameyang, Mané, Son and Werner. These are the most expensive and most nailed of my team, but the rest were negotiable.

After I had looked around, I first went to a 352 with the last spot in midfield giving me £5.0m or £5.5m to play with.

Outside of Saint-Maximin, I simply wasn’t convinced by the options here and you have to really get to £6.0m for there to be viable options in attack however, looking at the defenders, I felt there was a bit more value to be had, in particular, Kieran Tierney, provided he plays either LB or LWB.

A player who can get me some goals/assists and clean sheets is far more valuable at the same price than a player who can only get me some goals/assists.

If you factor in that he plays for a resurgent Arsenal under Arteta and the other potential options in Armstrong and Soucek play for Southampton and West Ham respectively, it’s a no-brainer in my book.

Covering potential future transfers

For me it’s important that I’m able to get to players that I want to bring in, in maximum two moves.

There’s 6 players I either may need (damage limitation) or actually do want (Man Utd/City blank) to bring in. They are:

  • Raheem Sterling
  • Kevin de Bruyne
  • Tony Martial
  • Danny Ings
  • Bruno Fernandes
  • Kai Havertz

These are the players that most interest me outside of those I already own.

I am planning on getting Tony Martial in for Werner, but this heavily depends on how he performs. I’m also planning on bringing in Sterling for Aubameyang, but this again depends on how he performs.

The rest are players with high ownership that I’m interested in that could cause damage to me, except Havertz. All of which I can get to using 1 or 2 transfers:

Son > Havertz = 1 transfer
Werner > Martial = 1 transfer
Mane/Auba > Sterling/Bruno/KDB = 1 transfer
Son > James Rodriguez or Doherty > 4.5m DEF, then DCL > Ings = 2 transfers

Danny Ings is the only one I’m not particularly comfortable on, because I’m already thinking of Werner > Martial, and my other striker DCL is £1.5m less than Ings, so that one is a bit more of a conundrum if DCL doesn’t match him or do better for value.

The obvious questions

Why Mané over Salah?

Yes Salah owners, I know what you’re going to say, “but Salah beats Mané on nearly every underlying stat.” – and yes, it’s true that he does, yet Mané had just 1 less goal contribution than Salah last season, despite him being significantly less motivated post-lockdown, than Salah was (chasing Golden Boot).

Salah is a greedy player and he has penalties over Mané, which is what makes him such a good FPL asset and what has contributed to him beating Mané’s points totals over the course of the last 3 seasons.

However, if you look at the FPL points differences between Salah and Mané over these last 3 seasons, they are getting smaller, and smaller each time.

What’s more interesting to note, is that the amount of big chances that both are receiving has levelled up over the years too.

I’ve watched these two intently over the years and it is my opinion, that Mané is improving and growing as a player, whereas Salah is getting slightly worse.

There will be times this season where Mo is on fire and will outscore Mané but equally, I believe there will be times where it’s the other way around, and come the end of the season, it’s my belief that Mané will come out on top.

Why DCL over Ings?

Admittedly, I have a soft spot for Ings, I do.

I brought him into my team in GW11 last season and managed to catch the vast majority of his points on his incredible run that lead to him finishing just one goal short of the Golden Boot.

However, I cannot let my heart sway my head, and my head says £ wise, DCL will be better value at £1.5m cheaper, which is mainly down to the fact they’ve signed 3 brilliant midfield players, one of which, the exciting former Bayern and Real Madrid man James Rodriguez (be sure to check out our article on him >>

I feel the impact of these new players, especially the Colombian maestro Rodriguez (should he be able to keep himself fit), and a potential shift in formation to Ancelotti’s preferred 4231 system, could see DCL move up front on his own and subsequently improve his 13 goal return from last season.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Ings is a fantastic finisher, I’m just expecting Everton to have a really good season and I feel DCL will benefit the most from it from an FPL point of view.

19 thoughts on “My Gameweek 1 FPL Team Reveal and Approach to the Season

Add yours

  1. We nearly have same team, I have gone with kai in the middle and Wilson upfront instead of Werner and bissouma, with McCarthy in goalpost.


  2. Why tierney if you don’t mind me asking? 5.5m can get ya any of the Sheffield lads, tarkowski, wan bissaka, aurier, maguire.. Have you just got a lot of faith in arsenal for this season?


    1. Tierney, if played at LB/LWB looks a great prospect at 5.5 mate. If he’s gonna play LCB however then yeah, I’m not as keen.

      Will see if Arteta sheds any light in the press conference. Tierney is the ? in my team currently.


    2. Why would you counter yourself with Spurs and Everton aw well as Werner vs Ryan? It makes no sense. It would be better to put like McCarthy on goal and someone else instead of CL there.


  3. Hi Simon,

    Great article!

    Like you I’m filtering out all the noise this year.

    My plan is to use my own ideas and be patient, but the problem I have had in the last couple of years is not having enough time to spend on researching FPL transfers.

    My plan this year is to follow 2 blogs in the know, with you being 1 of the 2.

    That way I can compare what I’m doing with you and my other blog to make sure my transfers are roughly in the right direction.

    Do you post your team prior to every FPL deadline via the blog?

    Thanks so much!



    1. Hi George,

      Thank you.

      Great plan and I’m delighted to have made your cut!

      I don’t post my team updates on my blog each time no, but I do on my Twitter account if you want to give me a follow there and keep up to date with my progress 🙂


      1. Hey Simon,

        Ah that’s great news.

        I’ll deffo give you a follow on twitter!

        All the best for the season and look forward to your updates.

        All the best,



  4. Great article! We have similar picks bar for Mane where I’ve gone for Kai. I agree with you on DCL given the quality of their new arrivals but I don’t think any of them will be playing in GW1, so having him afterwards is better in my opinion. Everton have a good run of fixtures in the opening weeks.


  5. Hi Simon,

    Thank you for your article very well written and full of ideas which again it’s making my head spin😅.

    I’m coming to the end of finishing my FPL team having some issues now over the defence, which I basically worked round Vinagre, now it look’s very uncertain he’s going to play and looking to move away, so now I’m looking at the 5m & 6m’s players in the defence. I do how ever like your picks in defence, i was looking at Ben Davis and working towards rotation on my 4.5m players which so far I have Justin-Taylor & possible Taylor-Saiss what do you think of these rotations?

    What’s your thoughts on Che Adams? Also Mitrovic which is in a lot of people’s teams has he been in & out of your draft of the weeks?

    Thank you Simon.

    Kind Regards



    1. Hi Daniel,

      Appreciate the kind words! Haha. It’s been a manic week.

      Vinagre I think should be okay now based on the press conference comments.

      Generally speaking, I’m personally not a massive fan of rotations because it’s so difficult to nail them. Always the odd surprise result but I think both of those rotations look good. I think yo’ve targeted the right defences there and I’d be more tempted by Taylor with Burnley than Justin who’s likely a transfer waiting to happen.

      I think Mitro is a better choice than Adams but I’m not completely convinced on either if I’m honest.

      I haven’t gone anywhere near any striker below 7m in any of my drafts.

      Happy tinkering and hope you can finalise the team soon! Good luck for the season mate.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Start a Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: