The second double gameweek of the season is here and it’s a predictably boring one with the FPL gods giving Manchester City and Arsenal two games each. However, with the FA Cup still in the running and two DGWs and a Blank Gameweek coming around the bend, things become even more complicated.
Don’t jump on the Ismaila Sarr band-wagon
Ismaila Sarr was wonderful in Gameweek 28 and has been wonderful when he has started but that 'when' is a massive issue. So far, the 23-year-old hasn’t been able to put together a string of good performances when he’s started but yet the stats say that the last six starts have been brilliant. They have with Sarr contributing to six goals in six starts, which are wonderful figures.
But that also saw him substituted at half-time against Sheffield United and then dropped after a great run of form by Nigel Pearson in early February. He only made his comeback the week before the Liverpool win with a 21-minute appearance off the bench because Sarr is yet to show his consistent self. That has been the issue all season for the Hornets and it’s why he’s managed only 18 appearances so far.
However, take nothing away from the 22-year-old because in those 18 appearances, he’s shown magnificence without being consistent. All it takes is the right knob to be turned the right way before he’s off and running. But that hasn’t happened and with both Joao Pedro and Roberto Pereyra doing breathing down his neck, questions will be asked off Sarr.
A better decision would be to jump on the Diogo Jota, Bruno Fernandes or even the Richarlison bandwagon with all three doing brilliantly. Jota maybe a forward but if that's a risk too far then either of the other two are great options.
Doubling up on Manchester City
The entire world knows what happens when you double up on Manchester City especially with Pep Guardiola still in charge. FPL managers know it well after last season’s Leroy Sane triple captain debacle but things may have become even worse this season. While Kevin De Bruyne’s possibly the only undroppable player in FPL this season, no other Cityzen has managed to consistently make the team.
But even the Belgian is struggling with a back injury and may not play both games which has caused panic around the FPL world. However, even with Riyad Mahrez rumoured to start, Sergio Aguero rumoured to start and even Phil Foden on that list, things could get even more complicated. Their fixtures do not help with the Cityzens playing the double game-week against Manchester United and Arsenal.
Then there’s the Pep roulette, with the Spaniard overthinking everything on his team and then shuffling the pieces as and when he feels it will help his cause. It has seen many try and predict his teams with nobody coming close to getting things even remotely right.
Don't double up but definitely bring one in with Kevin De Bruyne being that man. The Belgian may miss one and given that the one maybe against West Ham, definitely pick the midfielder. Because we all know just what he can do against Arsenal and for those who don't, De Bruyne has seven goal contributions in the eleven games he's played against the Gunners.
Banking on only form or consistency and not both
In FPL, neither form or consistency will help managers out on their own. This has worked wonders this season but in recent weeks, the trend has shifted. With the consistent players hitting a plateau as they struggle past bad patches, the in-form men have found their way onto teams. Ismaila Sarr, Robert Snodgrass, Matt Doherty and even Nicolas Pepe are some of the top picks. But they haven’t been consistent over the course of this season which makes picking them up risky. Yet, then there’s the fact that neither was Danny Ings or Adama Traore but both men have been consistently good this season and it proves the point.
Form and consistency is fine but it has to work in tandem and not alone. Otherwise, after what was a rare terrible gameweek (26 points per team average), the entire world panics and opts to use a chip (133,773 wildcards played) or scrap the game completely. Things don’t need to be taken so far but with a slew of great games ahead the right picks might change your season.
Risks are a part and parcel of playing FPL but not when it means picking up Robert Snodgrass, who was the best thing that happened to fantasy managers nearly a decade ago. Finding the right balance between the two is tough but in the end, well worth the hustle.
Not planning ahead
But that slew of great games just happens to be the toughest ones to plan. Because first up is the double-gameweek 29. Two gameweeks later and Blank gameweek 31 walks into the party with just eight sides in action. Then comes double gameweeks 34 and 37 although which team plays when has not been confirmed.
But for the managers who’ve already used their wildcard, free-hit or both, it causes a catalogue of problems which is where planning ahead comes into play. There are options but each manager has a different team and a different method to move through the madness which might cause an all for one, one for all problem solver hard to create. Yet, it’s where planning ahead and not wasting any free transfer works wonderfully well. Sometimes the simplest solution is the right one.
If you do have the wildcard, free-hit and bench boost left on your books then feel free to use them. The free-hit in Gameweek 31, free transfers to help you tackle Gameweek 34, Wildcard in the Gameweek 35 or 36 (depending on when the PL schedules the double gameweek) and Bench boost in Gameweek 37.