It is almost customary to stock up on players from top-table clubs in your FPL teams. After all, these are the ones that are scoring consistently, keeping clean sheets, and putting in good performances.
Of course, that is not to say that players from other clubs are universally ignored. But rarely will you find an active FPL team which has been doing well and is without a player from a top-three club of a real-life league.
The not-so-popular picks become what are called “differentials” while the obvious picks form a “template”. Refuse to pick any template player and you will find your team tumbling down the mini-leagues when he performs.
These template players are owned by a majority of managers and with good reason.
This year is no different that others in this aspect.
Erling Haaland alone is a part of 84.2% of squads, such has been his impact since transferring to England.
It is needless to say that most FPL squads must have at least doubled up on players from these two teams, if not more.
This is all well and good when the two clubs have fixtures in a gameweek, which has been the case thus far. But Gameweek 12 changes this.
The scheduled top-of-the-table clash has been postponed to accommodate a Europa League fixture that the London club needs to participate in.
Gunners’ game against PSV Eindhoven was put off and had to be rearranged in light of Queen Elizabeth’s passing last month.
With a super-active football calendar this year, it was difficult to fit this in anywhere, because of which the PL tie, originally intended to play on 19th October, was rescheduled.
This has brought up a conundrum for managers of the fantasy game. What should they do with their City and Arsenal players who have a blank gameweek and thus, will get 0 points?
One approach is to ignore it as it is only one GW and other managers also have these players meaning any dropped points will be neutralized.
In an ideal world, you’d want City and Arsenal players to stay in your team given their fixtures from GW13 onwards but it is also important to field a competitive team every week.
The second approach is something we will talk about in this article: To shape your team in a way such that you have at least 9 to 10 playing members and can maximize points, thus climbing in your leagues.
A note on Free Hit
The Free Hit chip will allow you to make unlimited transfers for a gameweek and then revert all transfers once the gameweek has been made. It is recommended to NOT play this chip as there will be better opportunities going forward.
Either Haaland or Jesus should be in your team by now. If not, you’ve been doing something seriously wrong.
Haaland is not going anywhere. The player is unlikely to see a price drop, on the contrary, may get a price rise if people transfer him in post-GW12.
Jesus on the other hand can be sold but after their GW11 fixture against Leeds. Aubameyang (£9.1m) against Brentford can be a good alternative and could even keep his place if he performs well.
Those looking for a proper differential can even go for 2.5% owned Odsonne Edouard (£5.3m), who faces Wolves in GW12.
With two goals in two games, the striker’s performance against Leicester should define your approach towards a pre-GW12 transfer.
Martinelli has seen a constant price rise over the last few weeks and should not be done away with, as he will cost more to bring back after the blank.
Shifting the Brazilian to the bench seems like a more prudent strategy.
Foden has seen a much lesser price rise and so, between the two, the Englishman should be one out of your team.
The decision to sell him comes down to how many other blank players your team has. It is perfectly fine to have 3-4 players blanking in GW12 but any more and Foden may face the axe.
The same holds true for other City mids like Bernardo or De Bruyne.
City facing Liverpool next means City transfer-outs can be made this window itself, leaving you with a minimum of one more transfer pre-GW12, where another City or Arsenal player can be removed, if needed.
The Haaland and Martinelli logic applies to Cancelo as well. Most have money invested in them and there is little point in losing that.
Arsenal defenders, if any, can be replaced with Tripper (£5.6m) or Coady (£4.9m), who face each other in GW12. Veltman (£4.6m) against NFO can be another option for that week.