Alvaro Negredo quickly became chief scapegoat in what turned out to be a classic case of valuing fixtures over player quality and team form.
Asgleefully sunk Liverpool, ‘Negredon’t’ replaced ‘Blankaku’ as a watchword for the false promise of DGWs.
We’ve been here before, of course.
Who among us hasn’t felt like a player only ever scores as soon as we sell him?
19 goals and I've somehow managed to dodge every one of them #FPL https://t.co/MN3afHbccA— FPL General (@FPLGeneral) April 25, 2017
But while we curse the Negredos,s and s, there’s an alternate lesson to be learned here, and that’s being open to forgive that player who so callously betrayed your faith in him.
We all have our heroes and villains in FPL, but disaster awaits the manager who lets history get in the way of sound judgement.
Those who stubbornly ignored 24-goal ‘Blankaku’ this season, for instance, can’t have fared very well.
So never completely swear off a player no matter how much he’s hurt you, and the same goes for- they can go pretty smoothly sometimes too, you know.
@FFScout_Jonty Last seasons top score #gw34 ...— Joe Prenter (@JoePrenter67) April 22, 2017
Love ❤️ DGws pic.twitter.com/yUATLoCTQd
Are we seeing the end of the cheap alternatives?
As FPL managers, we’re always on the hunt for a bargain. The rewards can be great for those willing to pore over injuries and formations in the hope of pouncing on that perpetual benchwarmer’s transformation into first-team regular before anyone else does.
But for every circa 2014there’s a dozen present-day . And even the success stories can have the rug pulled out from underneath them at any given moment.
After a glorious run of 42 FPL points in four games,looks to be the latest casualty.
Time is also running out for other FPL squad players who have served us so well in recent weeks.
Son’s Spurs teammate Ben Davies has returned points in seven of the last 10 games he’s started, but could be replaced byas early as GW36.
So as we try to accommodate those big-name DGW stars, are there any new cheapies to chose from?
The FA Cup semi-final raised hopes of a new role for FPL’s cheapest defender, the swashbuckling- but alas, it was not to be. Keep your eyes peeled though - he could be in line for a start should Chelsea wrap up the title early, along with , who is surely hoping to ‘do a John Terry’ on the last day of the season.
Terry needs 4 more apps for a medal, do-able, if charitable— Doug Jones (@apple_bonkers) April 25, 2017
After injuries to some key Palace defenders, it looks like centre-back stand-inwill safely see out the season.
If you’re happy to rotate him, there’s little to fear from home ties against Burnley and Hull.
Sam Allardyce has singled defender Martin Kelly out for praise ahead of this weekend's clash against Liverpool 🦅 #CPFC pic.twitter.com/iP68YOL6dG— Crystal Palace 🦅 (@CpfcNews_) April 20, 2017
Though far from nailed-on,could offer a super-cheap route into the Gunners’ defence for those two Double Gameweeks, should Wenger keep faith in his 3-4-3 formation. We’ll know more when Mustafi returns.
Dirt-cheap out-of-position defendernow looks like a fixture in Stoke’s central midfield.
, and seem to be back between the sticks for their respective clubs. The latter pair offer decent value, though hardly worth burning a transfer on at this late stage.
Mind you, should Claudio Bravo be ruled out for the season,could be the answer for those hoping to invest in the new, improved (but frustratingly changeable) Man City backline.
£4.7m Caballero suddenly becomes an interesting wildcard proposition. 👀 #FPL— FPL Viper (@FPLViper) April 27, 2017
There will still be those who will keep their faith in, but willingly increasing your exposure to Mourinho’s rotation merry-go-round means you forfeit the right to complain about it.
And of course, we wait with interest to see how the game’s ultimate cheap(ish) stand-in -- fares in what promises to be a free-scoring conclusion to Man City’s league campaign.
Pep Guardiola really, REALLY loves Gabriel Jesus (and in the process, completely forgets Kelechi Iheanacho again). pic.twitter.com/Pu5beEfe03— Andrew Jerell Jones, Luke 1:37 (IG:twdbk3) (@sluggahjells) April 27, 2017
Gambling on the Brazilian prodigy now could prove a masterstroke - depending on how your team has performed so far.
With just four Gameweeks to go, now is the time to really concentrate on what it’s going to take to win your mini-leagues.
First of all, be realistic - unless you’ve had a dream season so far, there are probably some you can win and some you can’t. Prioritise and see what’s achievable.
If you’re behind, you have no choice but to gamble. Bring in the players you know your opponent doesn’t have and is unlikely to get, and hope for the best.
If you’re in the happy position of enjoying a healthy lead, simply do the opposite. Match your rival’s players, particularly those with high points ceilings like, and .
It’s the Tony Pulis approach to FPL - boring, predictable… but bloody effective!
The ‘Fix Rivals’ section ofdisplays a handy view of opposing teams, but if you’re really serious about your FPL you could always check out the site’s .
It’ll cost you a fee after the seven-day free trial, but you have a lot at stake it just might be worth it.
It basically “spies” on your mini-league rivals transfers, suggesting what move they might have made and recommending differential transfers you can make to counter them.
Cheating? Nope - it’s just a nifty way of presenting readily available data for those who can be bothered checking for and interpreting it. Indeed, it’s been happening for a while now on the Reddit FPL page as users try to predict the transfers of the famous Ville Ronka.
yeah, activate it now!— Ben Crellin (@BenCrellin) April 27, 2017
For all those lucky sods with their wildcard and Bench Boost chips intact, GW35 is the last chance to take a one-week punt before you tear up your teamsheet and load up on DGW37 players - and there are some exciting prospects to choose from.
The usual suspects from, , and could all score big, given their fixtures. Go with your gut and enjoy the ride.
If you don’t haveyou’ve probably noticed how he has found a way to punish you pretty much every week lately. Well, it’s about to get even worse.
Eden Hazard in April:— Hazard Stuff (@HazardStuff_) April 26, 2017
2 assists pic.twitter.com/0OyRKq9z7l
Sure, Everton may provide some resistance, but if you don’t have the league’s form player in your side ahead of ties against, , and , get best the Fabreeze out and make sure the back of your couch is at its absolute peak.
They may be enjoying imperious home form, but Hull City have conceded at least three goals in each of their last four away matches.
They travel to Southampton next, withlooking to replicate some of his incredible pre-injury form.
Manolo Gabbiadini in the Premier League for Southampton:— Squawka (@Squawka) March 4, 2017
100% take-ons completed
4 chances created
Inspired buy. pic.twitter.com/k2kAJwmCL3
Get him in now, and you can look forward to having him for those two Double Gameweeks in GW36 and 37.
. They may have salvaged some pride against Sunderland, but their upcoming fixtures may just prove a tad more challenging.
Buying #Boro for DGW34? Have an escape plan ready immediately after as their fixtures take a turn for the worse (CITY, che, SOTON, liv) #FPL pic.twitter.com/nN88yHYpZP— FPL Player-Manager (Sam) (@FFplayermanager) April 20, 2017