The Conundrum – Team Structure

Every season the toughest question to decipher is what structure to pursue. In my opinion it’s the most important aspect of picking your team in GW1. You will never pick every breakout player, they’re easy to grab after a couple of gameweeks. There will however be a beneficial way to structure your team whether that be an expensive defense, premium midfield, loaded forward line or a heap of midpricers. These are my thoughts on the different structures available to pursue…

I’m sure we all have the same problem when we log on to fpl for the first time each season. Where the bloody hell do you begin? Usually you end up about 10m over budget, but where is the best place to start? Firstly, pick your formation. I always go with 3 at the back, I don’t play this game to wish for clean sheets. I want to see my players bagging goals! 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 is up for debate, with a gaping hole in the forward line this season 3-5-2 is more viable than ever. I’m currently running 3-4-3, but this could easily change depending on how the prospects travel during pre-season. After you have your formation comes the tough part, which players do you pick first?! Personally, I always pick 2 or 3 guns that I am absolutely set on owning. For some that may be RVP, for others it may be Sanchez. Perhaps both. More on the premium options later, but you get the general idea. This season I’ve locked in Sanchez, and honestly that’s it. I can totally see why everyone wants RVP, however I’m not a fan (Arsenal supporter speaking). Usually I like to go big up forward, but this season I’m struggling to sell myself on many of the big options. With Suarez gone it was back to square one for me. Is Sturridge worth the extra price tag? Will Aguero stay fit? None convinced me. So where better to start than the defence? That’s where I advise everyone to begin, it will give you a great idea of how you’re travelling with your budget.

This year I’m totally sold on the idea of rotation in defence. It was proven last year how successful some of the smaller teams can be at home, and there are many fortresses to pick from. Firstly Mannone at 4.5 is a steal regardless of Panillimon’s arrival, he won’t be dropped after last season’s astonishing performances. I don’t feel fully comfortable having him as a lone keeper to begin the season, fortunately his partner in crime is staring us in the face. After a poor season Krul is priced at only 4.5, serious value regardless of Newcastle’s dodgy defence last campaign. For those who don’t know, Sunderland and Newcastle rotate their home games, so you will get a perfect rotation for the full 38 gameweeks. Whilst you will never get it perfect, these 2 seem a great option to own for just 9.0. The other option is to just pick a sole keeper, and De Gea seems the way to go at 5.5. Van Gaal will play defence to begin with, no question. An easy run for United makes him a no brainer, however he won’t pick up many save points. These proved to be vital last season. If you don’t want the headache of rotation, pick someone solid and back them in!

There are always bargains in defence, and this year is no exception. I’ll be picking 5 defenders I’m all reasonably comfortable in starting. Guys like Jones, Debuchy, Cameron, Ward, Collins, and Simpson name just a few who look to be great value. Whether you want to pick 5 solid starters or a couple of bench warmers and some bigger names is a tough question, I just never trust big defences to start campaign’s. History tells us investing in a stronger defence is usually beneficial towards the later part of the season. At this stage my 5 defenders are worth 25.0, a reasonable amount in my opinion.

Firstly a bench warmer is needed if you’re to play 3-4-3 and Albrighton look like solid option, whilst Marney is locked on for Burnley. I don’t recommend spending any more than 4.5 on your 5th mid if he’s not starting. Midfield/forward rotation is a nightmare and will usually end in heartbreak  The question from here is simple, go for 5 premiums and a couple of value options or go hunting in the mid-price bracket. History tells us that a midpricer is bound to have a breakout season somewhere, and missing the bandwagon is simply not an option. Picking them is a lot harder, but as long as your structure is sound chasing them shouldn’t be too difficult. Ramsey and Michu are prime examples from the past 2 seasons. Bear in mind Mirallas was also on our radars, but flopped at the start of the season. It doesn’t always work out. At this stage I’m going for a gun midfield, all of them above 8.0. This is mainly due to my lack of conviction with the forward options available.

So finally the forwards, the last line that I tend to fill in. It’s risky as all hell, and it will probably change, but at this stage I’m going for 3 midpricers. If I can gain some confidence in one of the promoted strikers, then I will certainly make room for a gun. One thing you need to make sure you have is a reliable captain option, if not two or three! Picking a few of the top line premiums is a must.

So that’s a quick guide to team structure, it’s all up to how you want to play the game. My advice is to pursue a 3-5-2 or a 3-4-3, but that’s just my opinion. Just make sure you have some top quality premiums to guarantee you some points, remember you’re not just picking one uber premium, you’re picking two! It’s hard to say what will suit best until we see more of the pre-season, but there’s some basic tactics for you guys. Hopefully this helps you all in building your first squads!

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15 comments on “The Conundrum – Team Structure

  1. jhking0313 says:

    Great Read matt!
    I think i’ll be going with the 3-4-3 formation this season

    Thoughts on this team?

    Mannone (Krul)
    Chester, Cameron, Debuchy (Shackell, Dummett)
    Hazard, Sigurdsson, Silva, Eriksen (Albrighton)
    Rooney, Giroud, Sturridge

    Sigurdsson is only in there if he does in fact transfer out of spurs (which seems highly likely).
    I can downgrade sturridge to pelle/remy and get ramsey for sigurdsson and phil jones for cameron.
    Should I keep it as is or make those transfers?

  2. kingcolesy says:

    Cameron, Dummett, Sigurdsson, and Mannone need to be monitored preseason but looks good! Id hold the trades.

  3. boges11 says:

    Great write up Matt. I, like you have little faith in the forwards so am going with 3-5-2 this year.
    Mannone (Krul)
    Shaw, Mertesacker, Evra (o’Shea, Vlaar)
    Silva, Sanchez, Tadic, Eriksen, Arnautovic.
    Dzeko, Lambert (Ings)
    Not really set on Evra, still have 1M left so could get Terry, Debuchy, Distin or Azpilicueta, but the Man U fixtures are awesome for the 1st 8 weeks or so. I did want to get Mata in the mids for this reason too.

  4. theultimateandy says:

    Excellent article Matt! Great to see u guys back in it!

  5. Lance says:

    Hi, rate my team…

    De Gea… (Krul)
    Debuchy – Dawson – Shaw… (Cameron + Rosenair)
    Hazard – Ozil – Gerrard – Boyd… (Cork)
    Rooney – Giroud – Dzeko

    Silve perhaps for Gerrard / Ozil?

  6. ozgunners says:

    Great article Matt!!

  7. Jus says:

    Hey champion, thoughts on my team:

    Mannone (Krul)
    Davies Davies Debuchy Vlaar (Ward)
    Eriksen Sachez Mata Fabregas (Siggy)
    Giroud Rooney (Zamora)

    I agree with you about picking big fwd guns, hope rooney can be the standout, loking forward to a big year!

    Cheers

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