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Fantasy League Weekly: Week 4 Roundup

By Patrick Gibson



August turns to September, summer continues as climate change wreaks havoc on the world at large, and Erik Ten Hag’s Manchester United loses away to another top-half opponent. These constants in our life surround the close of the 4th match week of the Premier League season returns and bring us into an international break with a table that, for the most part, reflects the chaos that the young Premier League season has brought. In the fantasy world, that chaos is giving way to a sense of normalcy as Erling Haaland returned to his perch atop the FPL landscape with a 20-point week. However, that wasn’t without challenges to his crown as Evan Ferguson and Son Heung-Min also managed their hat tricks in routs of Newcastle and Burnley, respectively. That said, it’s still early and all to play for, even if there are tiers of players starting to emerge amongst the 70+ players still contending for CCSG’s top prize.


Who Won the Week?

For the first time this season, a player in the league has eclipsed 100 points in a single game week. Plaudits go to Ben Carriere, manager of Peas and Rice, for his 102-point squad, highlighted by his captain Erling Haaland. The important thing to take from this lineup is that it is always vital to have an effective bench in case of an emergency. What took Ben over the top this week was the substitution of Sheffield striker Cameron Archer in place of the injured West Ham midfielder Tomas Soucek, earning Ben an additional 12 points. The irony of it all is that the 3 transfers he made ended up having a negative effect on his point total, as the sum total earned by the three players he transferred out was 4 greater than those he brought in this week, not to mention the 4 point penalty incurred for the season. This game week, he shot up the standings from 39th to joint 11th heading into the international break.


I would be remiss not to give special mention to the runner-up this week, myself. As a rampant egomaniac, I had to find a way to work in my 99-point week. That said, it frustrated me only because I wasn’t able to hit the triple digits or end up with a game-week victory. I’ll champion two decisions here, starting Matt Turner over Andre Onana, which in hindsight seems like a no-brainer, and bringing in Odsonne Edouard to start alongside Erling Haaland up front, which netted me 13 points from his brace against Wolves. Another special mention goes to our third-place finisher on 98 points this week, Billy Strathdee. A rampant comeback after such a poor performance in GW3 is something to note for sure. Billy Sadtimes no longer!


Pep Roulette

In a week that saw Erling Haaland return to form, Pep himself was equally in form as he spun the wheel of Pep Roulette for all. In defense, it was a rough week for anyone who had Josko Gvardiol. While the Tim Ream goal in the first half may have softened the blow for some, as the clean sheet points were no longer on offer, he was replaced by goalscorer Nathan Ake, whom I’ve seen dropped from a few teams over the last couple of weeks, probably does create a swing and roundabout sensation for those starting City players in their back line. With John Stones coming closer and closer to returning, it becomes a question now of who else is going to start missing time in the backline.


In the midfield, it was Jack Grealish’s turn to return to the bench. After the signing of Jérémy Doku, it would always be a challenge to figure out who would be starting behind Haaland and, now a seemingly permanent fixture, Julian Alvarez. With the return of Bernardo Silva to the team after months of speculation that he would be leaving in the summer, these spots are getting all the more crowded. Phil Foden has probably emerged as the only consistent attack midfield option from Manchester City, but even that feels in doubt with the signing of Matheus Nunes. That Kovacic is more comfortable next to Rodri in the centre of the park may signal a change you should make, but buyer beware when taking a spin on Pep Roulette.


Thank you for your donation!

Be careful what you wish for. Sometimes you can try to get a little too cute in making your teams on a weekly basis. You can over-tinker with substitutes or overvalue players not playing against one another in a given game week. Or, you can manage to convince yourself that it’s for the best not to have the player owned by ~92% of players around the world. On a week like this, where Erling Haaland manages to get 20 points, and for most 40, anyone without him in their team is at a severe disadvantage.


This is where the “Thank you for your donation” player of the week comes in. Congratulations to Harry Hussain on the achievement, scoring 1 more point in total this game week than anyone who captained Haaland or Son alone. Mostly, Harry’s poor week was due to unfortunate underperformances from players who have been able to rack up significant points this season, particularly in his striker pair of Isak and Watkins. Even so, he still did manage a decent chunk of points in the midfield, with Maddison, Salah, and James Ward-Prowse all contributing. Just in a week filled with players putting up big numbers, not having a 10+ point scorer is a big hindrance to any success. Well, that’s not entirely true, as Harry does have Trent Alexander-Arnold on his team; it’s just he didn’t end up starting this week. Between that and captaining Raheem Sterling, despite the decent scores elsewhere, creates an unfortunate combination. He may have only been the 5th worst scoring player of the week, but given the level of effort compared to those in the doldrums with him: Harry, thank you for your donation!


Weird Observation of the Week

This week's scoring explosion also brought forward the most 90-point scorers in one gameweek. Yes, I know it’s early in the season, but given that we had more than triple the total we had through the first three weeks, it’s certainly something to note. In looking at the ten players that managed to eclipse that barrier this week, the one thing that stood out to me was the team of overall leader Daniel Kerry. The Biscuit Men have been towards the top of the standings for every week of the season, and it’s clear that Daniel is maybe just one step ahead of the rest of the league at this point. In achieving this 92-point total, Daniel did not make a single change or have to play a single wildcard. There was no tinkering needed for the current overall points leader to establish himself at the head of the pack. Mbuemo, Estupinan, Rashford, and Eze are all players who have had big game weeks this season, all of whom were Biscuit Men when the season kicked off one month ago. There’s staying power with this line-up, and given that he’s very willing to let it sit, Daniel can be patient with his transfer decisions for when he absolutely has to make them. Combine that with all of his wildcards still in play, and we might be looking at the early frontrunner to win the whole damn thing.


Conclusion

With the international break upcoming, I suggest you wait and see if your potential transfer targets are still on two feet heading into the next Premier League game week. It’s advice I’ve not taken myself, as I’ve already input my one free transfer for the week, but “do as I say, not as I do” is a saying for a reason. Regardless, the Prem is just really starting to heat up, and the early September break should do nothing to cool that off. Hopefully, nothing about the fierce competition in FPL will simmer either. See you in a couple of weeks.


About Patrick

Having joined CCSG in 2022, Patrick started his footie career playing at the age of 4 and began watching the pros around the same time. While the first pro team he supported was Manchester United, as soon as Atlético Ottawa came to town, he was immediately on board. His wealth of footie knowledge has been a constant asset, along with his role as caretaker for Atléti Wikipedia pages.






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