Fantasy Football 2018/19 : Gameweek 1

Our Man Baz Has Had A Scorcher In GW1…and He’s Here to Tell You All About It!!!

It’s back! The moment fantasy football managers across the globe had been waiting for – the start of the Premier League season and the return of FPL! Granted, it’s hardly been a football drought over the Summer, but, OH! how sweet it was to have it back.

I was lucky enough to be sunning myself in Portugal when the season got under way at Old Trafford at the unfamiliar time of 8pm last Friday night, but it afforded me plenty of thinking time to assess my options ahead of a crucial season.  As I sipped a Sagres on a sunny Friday in Lisbon, I couldn’t help but think I’d gone and done it! Here it was staring back at me! A team capable of mounting a title challenge from the offset. I settled on a decent team name, a great XI and a solid bench and I was ready to go. Every manager feels like this on the eve of the new season, but this time – this time, I knew I was onto something. Maybe it was Benjamin Mendy at left back? Or was it the €1 beers? Either way, I was certain I was onto a winner.

Barry Robinson, Fantasy Football, GW1 Results
Big Week Had

Gameweek 1 could not have gone much better. A total of 98 points was enough to have me sitting pretty in almost all of my leagues. I say almost with a somewhat heavy heart, as I am second in the one that matters most. The boys are running a money league – £30 a pop, winner takes all. I’ll not mention who’s out in front, but he’s a bit of a Ball-X!!

I decided to invest heavily in defence this year. This is an area I usually neglect in favour of more premium options further up the pitch but the additional spending here proved fruitful in GW1. A return of 46 from my back three and ‘keeper was only seven points shy of the overall average points score and, although my £6m assets of Mendy and Robertson scored well, I was most surprised by the 12 points landed by the £4m Aaron Wan-Bissaka of Crystal Palace. If he can keep this up I will be delighted, but a tough fixture against Liverpool lies in wait in GW2.

I captained my most expensive player; Mo Salah. Although he was not the stand out performer for Liverpool, he scored, unsurprisingly enough, so I was happy  with a 16-point return. Jorginho was asurprise for me. I fired him in because I needed a cheap, guaranteed starter and this man thrived under new Chelsea boss Mauricio Sarri last year. The guy was the top passer in Europe last season and he could maybe pick up a few bonus points throughout the year – a debut goal was the icing on my 98-point cake.

Richarlison and Sane completed my midfield quartet. One man had a dream debut for his new club netting twice in a man-of-the-match performance. The other? Three minutes from the bench and £9.5 mil p*ssed against the wall. Cheers Pep!

My three strikers scored a combined 12 points. Meh. So, so.  I’m far from concerned. Bigger things from Firmino and Aubameyang surely lie ahead.

Roberto Firmino, Pierre Emerick Aubamayang, Fantasy Football, Barry Robinson
Two men that will be focal in coming weeks, Roberto Firmino and Pierre Emerick Aubamayang

Despite furious protestations, the prize pot has not yet been paid to Mr. Ball-X – a man who made a lot of noise when leading after week one last year, before fading to mid-table. Attention now turns to Gameweek 2 and it’s a classic case of whether to stick or twist. 98 points has afforded me the luxury of perhaps banking my transfer and carrying it into next week. Many would argue this is the smart thing to do – assess your options after two weeks and if major surgery is needed then use the extra transfer to help with the cushion of the points gained in week one.

The devil on my shoulder however is telling me to twist, I have a feeling City are about to paste Huddersfield and I don’t think my £9.5 million man is likely to get a taste of the action. I am considering binning Sane in favour of a guaranteed starter for the Mancunians, although with Pep’s midfield merry-go-round, I don’t think even Derren Brown could predict the champions line up this Sunday. I had considered KDB but the Belgians knee injury suffered on Wednesday saw that go on the back burner. I think its back to the drawing board for now…

Elsewhere, I think things will be left as they are, but if I were to make changes, I’d be looking at Spurs and Liverpool players as potential high scorers this week. Spurs have a home fixture with Fulham whilst Liverpool travel to Palace. Klopp’s side look to be brimming with goals early doors.

As always, preparation is key – but I look forward to frantically scrambling to make last minute changes at 11:29 on Saturday morning. ‘Til then, happy picking!

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