Matt’s Team Reveal

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The time is finally here for our writers to spill the beans with all their thoughts on their current line-ups going into gameweek 1. I will kick things off, and with a lot of teams looking very much the same, I’ve tried to pick at least a couple of differentials. Here we go:

fpl GW1 201415

Firstly, I’ve tried to keep things as flexible as possible. What worries me is picking up a risky player, with not many alternatives if things go wrong. I’m hoping not to use my wildcard early, but it’s always there is my structure doesn’t work out.


I’ve been playing this game for 5 years, and I think it’s about time I tried something different. For the first time ever I will be going with a power defence. I don’t really need to explain my thought process behind these 3 picks. Baines delivered a massive 169 points, with 5 goals and 5 assists plus a monster 26 bonus points. Consider that he has created at least 10 goals in 3 of his past 4 seasons and you can see why he’s such a powerhouse. While I was at it, I thought I might as well pick up JT. Terry is a serious threat of set pieces, scoring 16 goals in his past 4 seasons, even though he hardly played in 2012/13. He has been bagging them in pre-season, and looks fresh after missing the world cup. He is a lock in Chelsea’s best XI, and won’t have to contend with the international breaks early in the season. To top it off he benefited hugely from the bonus system changes, profiting 29 bonus points last season alone. Finally I’ve selected Jones, who is a safe bet for the first 7 gameweeks. After that he can go straight to an Arsenal defender, who begin their kind run of fixtures just as United end theirs. Thanks to these 3 big hitters, there’s no need to worry about rotation and which 4.5 defenders may or may not play!


I’ve had to make one sacrifice to afford my defence, and that is forfeiting Sanchez. At 10.5 he needs to deliver big, so I’m happy to sit back and observe what he serves up early in the season before making my mind. I couldn’t go without Mata. His fixtures are too easy to ignore, and the fact that he’s being played in his preferred position means he could be in for a massive season, just take a look at his stats in 2012/13. He has promised more goals and assists this season, I can see him being a great pick. Ramsey is my pick of the Arsenal midfielders. 17 goals in his last 35 appearances says it all really, until he slips up he looks to be well underpriced for what he can deliver. Eriksen is my next pick, and it was between him and Coutinho. Liverpool’s tough start to the season has me siding with Eriksen for now, his set piece threat and role in behind the striker should be profitable. He produced returns well above his price tag when played last season and should get a good run at it under Pocchetino. Sigurdsson is my final pick, I’m giving him until the international break to prove his worth. Two kind home fixtures in GW 2 and 3 are too tempting to resist, if he doesn’t fire there should be another cheap mid who steps up in his place. Marney gets game time for Burnley and will get the odd assist and goal, decent pick at 4.5.


I’ve gone with 2 big hitters that don’t need much introduction. Rooney has everything going for him at the moment, I tried to take him out of my team and just couldn’t go through with it. I feel one of Hazard or Costa is a must as I don’t trust Fabregas. Costa has the potential to be huge and is priced fairly cheap for what he can deliver. My final forward pick is interesting. Of the cheap forwards, Diouf’s great job security, fixtures and potential makes him a solid selection. I’m purposely avoiding the midprice forwards as I don’t trust any of them in the slightest.

Strategy: Just quickly on my overall strategy. I’ve tried to play things as safe as possible, with get out of jail cards in almost every situation. I’ve gone with Diouf over Bojan because if he fails, I have numerous options to trade at at 6.5 or below. If Bojan fails, you’re in trouble. There’s only 2 situations which could force me into using my wildcard (Which by the way I am using as a get out of jail free card if my structure needs a change). Firstly, if Sanchez kills it then I will have to downgrade my defence, meaning my wildcard will have to be played to restructure. Secondly, if one of the mid price midfielders such as Tadic or De Jong fire, they will become must haves fairly quickly. That may also require a restructure from my premium and budget approach.

There you have it, hopefully this squad can take me to the top! Nick and Baysie will have their reveals tomorrow, before we round things up with the captains and the news wrap. The countdown is on!

38 comments on “Matt’s Team Reveal

  1. Bio Eden Hazard

    Hey Matt, you rated my team before (and I upgraded my defense following your advice) so I guess I owe you one :). So here’s my (humble) opinion!
    I’m not so sure Terry is nailed on. With Felipe Luis in the team, Mourinho has several options in central defence and could play Cahill/Ivanovic. I was tempted by Terry but I’ve gone Azpilicueta as I’m under the impression that Mourinho is a big fan of his, but he doesn’t have the goal threat though…
    In midfield I’m slightly worried about Eriksen. The reason is I have a feeling that Lamela may flourish under Pochettino and take Eriksen’s spot in the hole. Maybe that’s just me though and you can always swap one for the other if need be. Are you not tempted by Sterling for another 0.5?
    Finally I wouldn’t be brave enough to have Diouf as my third striker 🙂

    Overall I think your team is strong though mate! Hope my comments can be helpful too

    • mattcraigdt Post Author

      Very much appreciate it 🙂 I think Azpilicueta’s position is under just as much jeopardy as Terry’s with Luis’ inclusion. If Lamela does turn out to be a gun, it’s a simple straight swap. I know people will scoff at Diouf, but everyone is ticking off Bojan like it’s a safe bet. In all honesty I see him as a much riskier pick, I have the choice of numerous other strikers if Diouf fails, including Bojan.

      I had written off Sterling because of his age, but watching him in pre-season he’s clearly taken steps forward. I still think he’s slightly overpriced, if he was 8.0 I’d lock him in. To be a CONSISTENT premium at 19 years old you have to be pretty bloody amazing. Coutinho is another I’m strongly considering, all in all the risky picks are replaceable which was my overall aim. Good luck mate!

      • Bio Eden Hazard

        I agree with you on Bojan, people are jumping on him as if he had not failed in every single team before!! Good point on Sterling too, I tend to forget that he’s only 19 and he might therefore lack consistency.. I’ve got the same idea of being able to easily replace my risky picks. Based on you previous comments my team now goes like this:

        Speroni (Myhill)

        Azpilicueta-Jones-Chester (or Yoshida?) (Duff, Wisdom)
        Fabregas-Ramsey-Mata-Siggy (or Henderson?)

        0.5 in the bank to switch Jovetic to Dzeko if he gets dropped once Aguero returns..

        Better I think…

  2. RobG4

    Thank you for your Team Reveal! I’ll jump into the Chelsea discussion.

    I’ve had every likely starting Chelsea defender on my team this pre-season. But the only one I think is immune from rotation is Cahill. Am I wrong here? Luis/Azpil/Ivanovic all can be rotated for each other. Terry is getting old, and Ivanovic can fill for him. I feel like he might be subbed out of “easier” games and kept fresh for the big ones.

    The only player I never hear about getting subbed for is Cahill. Am I wrong?

  3. Steve

    Solid team mate. I also think Cahill has a better chance of being the starter each week and will be less prone to rotation. Bench cover is a bit week and taking a gable with Bojan but have gone with:

    De Gea (Myhill)
    Debuchy Lovren Cahill (Bruce Wisdom)
    Sigs Hazard Mata Ramsey (El Ahmadi)
    Rooney Costa Bojan

    • mattcraigdt Post Author

      Cheers. I’m thinking Cahill will be prone to rotation after international breaks, Terry is immune from that. There’s no reason for either to be rotated until December to be honest, people get paranoid. Bench cover really depends on how strong your starters are. Solid team if the gambles pay off

  4. brandonpietie

    WOW Matt… GREAT writeup!!!

    I also went big at the back… then again a pretty same team… What you think:

    Mannone (Krul)
    Jones, Terry, Shawcross (Wisdom, Duff)
    Mata, Ramsey (V), Silva, Eriksen (Huddlestone)
    Rooney(C), Giroud, Wickham

  5. Tom

    Nice team – liking the Diouf punt!

    I think I’ve pretty much completed my team. I’ve gone very cheap in defence because I think all the top teams have some issues. Also with my 4 rotating defenders at the back, I don’t play any top teams all the way to January (hardest teams I will come across are Newcastle and Southampton)! After a few GWs I plan to downgrade Tadic to De Jong and upgrade something in defence, most likely Yoshida


    Jones Ferdinand Chester

    Ramsey Silva Mata Eriksen Tadic

    Rooney Costa

    Krul Yoshida Duff Zamora

    • mattcraigdt Post Author

      Looks like a solid team mate. Only thing that could go wrong is the signing of Florin Gardos (centre back) at Southampton, but Yoshida should start the first couple of gameweeks for sure

  6. joelharrison82

    Really interesting team. I’ve gone lighter on my defence and heavier on my forwards so I’m sure I’ll be scrambling towards a baines or Terry type character at some point in the near future

  7. Marty White

    Hey Matt, got another newbie question for you.

    How would you assess the risk/reward ratio of a mid-price strategy in FPL?

    In AFL Fantasy my friend changed it up this year with a mix of mid-pricers and quirky premiums. He started out with McGlynn, Parker, Smith, Swallow, Gray, McRae, Jacobs, Sidey and Sloane and is now sat inside the top 40 as he’s been able to do luxury trades virtually from day one (Scott Selwood may have cost him a top 10 spot).

    Could a similar approach pay off big-time in FPL if you got them all spot on or is it a bad idea? With all the vanilla teams sharing the same players I’m thinking of mixing it up with guys like Coutinho, Henderson, Hart, Nasri, Paulinho and Johnson to try and give myself a big edge (and make it more interesting of course).

    • mattcraigdt Post Author

      Very risky, but in this game you have a get out of jail free card in case things go wrong (Your wildcard). I like the idea of incorporating some differentials, guys like Lamela, Coutinho, Tadic, De Jong, Henderson, Wickham and Remy are all worthy of consideration. I would avoid Paulinho and Hart, but the rest are viable.

      • Marty White

        I’m thinking a WC in GW3-4 is a good idea anyway. But say the PODs I bring in are not going well in the first few weeks and drop in value, does that mean I’m going to struggle to get strong players in to replace them? I’ve heard people say they use the wildcard early in the season to generate cash but I don’t get how that works.

        • mattcraigdt Post Author

          Yeah ok. Basically a player can go down or up by a maximum of 0.3 in any given week. This is judged by how many players either transfer them in or out, not by how much they score (Like DT). That’s why you can generate cash, because if you bring in a player early in the week they can go up by 0.2 or 0.3 and make you some extra cash. As long as you’re players aren’t a disaster, they really shouldn’t drop too much by the international break. There is usually a player who excels in GW1 and 2 and you need to find a way to get on board, as they might rise by as much as 0.5 within a couple of weeks and continue to go up until most players own them. The players who drop early are mostly injured or not getting game time

          • Marty White

            Yeah I’m doing my best to pick it all up so I don’t make rookie mistakes! FWIW, your site is by far the most user-friendly and easy to follow of the 6 or 7 I’ve come across. Great job all round.

  8. Marty White

    Hey Matt, how are you liking the premium defence strategy so far?

    I’m already finding it a bit tedious that everyone has the same teams and am thinking about WCing next week and bringing in some big DEFs to make things more interesting. Might even go 4-5-1 to be really different. When I look at value for money, the GKs and DEFs are way higher than MIDs and FWDs. I could get a really solid team that is much more protected from rotation.

    • mattcraigdt Post Author

      Look it hasn’t really worked so far, but I’m sticking with it. Ivanovic is the poster boy for how successful it can be. I agree totally that expensive defenders are mostly far more successful than mid price forwards/mids. Baines will explode soon, he continues to look dangerous down the left side. I haven’t looked into owning 4 defenders, but it’s definitely worth a shout as long as they all maintain an attacking threat.

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