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:
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!