Each gameweek, a member of the FPL community will kindly reveal their immediate plans and give us some insight into their decision-making process.
Ahead of Gameweek 17, it’s the turn of Geoff Dance to tell us what he intends to do with his team.
Hi, Geoff. So how did your Gameweek 16 go?
Going into Gameweek 16, I was worried that I wouldn’t have 11 players. I owned Diogo Jota and Phil Foden, both of whom I expected to get 30 minutes from the bench, along with Harry Kane, Ivan Toney and Keinan Davis.
I transferred Kane, Toney and Josh Brownhill out for Michail Antonio, Joshua King and Marcus Rashford for a four-point hit, moves that didn’t pay off immediately but could do long-term. However, Rashford looks to be an issue for Gameweek 17.
After a promising start to the season, where I had only two red arrows in 12 Gameweeks that put me in the top 40k, I’ve now had four red arrows and dropped to 170k. Still, I’m confident of pulling it back and am aiming for a top 10k finish.
Are you pleased with your current squad? Who is a player you’d like to own but don’t?
For me, one of the realities of being an FPL manager is that I’m never pleased with my squad! There’s always room for improvement. That said, while Illan Meslier has a bad fixture run and I have a Rashford problem, I think I’m well set up with a slightly stronger bench than what I’d normally have, to account for the festive fixtures. I would like to find a mid-priced forward I can count on but that’s difficult at the moment.
I’m wondering if someone at Arsenal will emerge as an option in the coming Gameweeks and will be keeping a close eye on Manchester United as the new manager implements his tactics. I own five of the six most-owned defenders, three of the four most-owned midfielders, plus the most-owned forward. Cristiano Ronaldo (32.0%) is probably the player I’m most scared of and therefore the player I’d most like to own.
While through much of the year I’m looking at ways to get ahead, right now I’m looking at ways to survive. That might be the wrong attitude to have and could account for my four consecutive red arrows but I suspect that run is down to luck and a few 50/50 decisions I’ve missed. I’m confident my squad isn’t far off and I’ll be able to adapt to the next bandwagon that starts performing.
What are your transfer plans for Gameweek 17 and beyond?
This Gameweek I’m looking at selling Rashford and am considering Gabriel Martinelli or Martin Odegaard; however that is, even now, quite speculative. I’ll wait as long as I can with my transfer so I can hear the press conferences for news from managers. The general lay of the land could either make me downgrade Rashford to free up funds for later or to invest in a premium asset; alternatively I could just hold my transfer but this is quite unlikely.
Going forward, I’ll try as much as possible to hold my transfers until near-deadline in order to react to any late news. As I said above, there are a few teams I’m keeping an eye on, like Manchester United, but I’m keeping my mind and options open.
And finally, what about captaincy?
At 73.5% ownership, the next highest-owned player is Trent Alexander-Arnold at 42.2%. Salah is also far ahead as the top FPL scorer (160 points), top goal scorer (14) and top assister (10).
I’ve captained Salah for nine straight Gameweeks and, as he has an attacking return from all but Gameweek 2, he’ll continue to have my armband until his form disappears or he is ruled out of a Gameweek.