It’s that time of year. When Fantasy Football managers have a terrible start to the year, panic and desperately try and bring in the most in form players into their team. And I am no different! I’m officially manning the panic stations as I opt to use my wildcard to transform my team.

Only half of the team has changed but I needed to act fast before prices went up on certain players and to also take advantage of this weeks fixtures, so shall we begin with the defence?

The Defence

Both of my goal keepers have been changed. Jordan Pickford makes way for Eldin Yakupovic of Hull, primarily to free up an extra 0.2m in funding. I do not intend of picking Yakupovic though as they play Chelsea, Man United, Liverpool, and Arsenal all in a row before a nice home tie against Burnley. And Artor Boruc makes way for Ben Foster. West Brom under Pulis are usually always tight at the back, but haven’t kept a clean sheet in 9 games and with some very favourable fixtures coming up, I expect that to change soon. Other logic behind this decision was that the manager in 1st place has 2 West Brom players, so if I can cover off at least one of those players then it will be less damage for when they do keep a clean sheet. West Brom are up again Sunderland this week so there is definite potential for a debut clean sheet for Foster.

After his incredible brace in GW 21, Marcos Alonso keeps his place in the Letdowns despite some attractive alternatives from Tottenham as Chelsea take on Hull at Stamford Bridge. Here’s hoping Marcos continues with the goals… and clean sheets.

I’ve stuck with having a Burnley defender, but have swapped Ben Mee for Stephen Ward to free up some funds, though he’ll be on the bench this week. And Winston Reid, the master stroke of my season so far, also keeps his place in the Letdowns in hope that he continues his fine form away at Middlesbrough.

I’ve swapped Jonny Evans out for Donald Love who is getting a run out for Sunderland at the moment, though this was purely just for some extra funds to relocate across the team and he’ll likely be benched for the rest of his time in the Letdowns. I do not intend on playing Mr Love. Urgh, just the thought of it.

And finally, I’ve swapped out last weeks Bellend of the weekErik Pieters. Though he brought in some clean sheets, there were too many zero points return for my liking. I’m not a fan of defenders from teams that a gung-ho in style and forget about defending and that’s what Stoke seem to be doing at the moment. The man replacing him is Fabio from Middlesbrough. Putting my obvious bias aside, Boro aren’t a team that concede many. They’ve taken a new approach to trying to keep their Premier League status and that is to draw 0-0 as many times as possible and hope goal difference comes into play (I’d love to be joking about this but it’s actually quite true). They also have an attractive set of fixtures in the next 13 game weeks which I’m hoping to capitalise on, starting with West Ham.

So that’s Foster, Alonso, Reid and Fabio in defence this week and I’m hoping for 2 clean sheets. Prediction: 18 points.  

The Midfield

Alexis Sanchez retains his place and he’ll be a key differential for the Letdowns as 1st place in the league don’t have him (Madness). He’s up against Burnley this week who are awful away from home so I’m hoping for big points!

Adam Lallana keeps his place, just. He’s been shit since I’ve had him but with no other alternatives around his price and with a severe lack of Liverpool players in my team, he stays where is he, though I’ll be expecting more from him starting this week against Swansea.

Now, on to the changes! Even after his solid points return in GW21, Robert Snodgrass loses his place for the inform Matt Phillips. He is in some good form at the moment and with Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Stoke up next, I’m hoping it continues.

I’ve continued with a Spurs midfielder, but Christian Eriksen, despite bringing home the bacon last week, loses his place for Dele Alli. Eriksen has done very well in the team, but Alli has outscored him over the last few weeks and is playing almost like a second striker for Spurs at times so is a much bigger threat. I’ve jumped onto the band wagon and gone for Alli to nullify his threat from 1st place. There were too many differences from the Letdowns and first place and it’s cost me since the start of the year. Spurs are away at Man City, which could be the perfect time to play them as they are in disarray at the moment.

And finally, gone is the ever reliable Glenn Whelan and in his place in the bright new prospect, Tom Davies. Koeman is bedding this young lad into his Everton team and though they’ve just bought Morgan Schneiderlin, he plays a different role to Davies. I think he’ll play, and if he doesn’t, I have adequate cover for him with the rest of the team. This week he will be on the bench for the Letdowns as other fixtures take priority, but he’ll certainly be a player I keep my eye on over the weekend.

In midfield, we have Phillips, Lallana, Alli and Sanchez. I expect big things. 3 goals and 2 assists I’m going for. Prediction: 28 points

The Strikers

The God that is Zlatan Ibrahimovich obviously keeps his place as he continues to bring home the points and with the next three fixtures being: Stoke, Leicester and Watford, you’ve got to think he’ll continue his current form!

Olivier Giroud has kept his place despite cheaper options. He’s been Arsenals saviour of late and against teams like Burnley and Watford who will defend deep, he’ll be counted on for more moments of magic.

The final transfer, is Diego Costa out for Harry Kane. It pains me to do this, I really do hate it but will Costa continue his form with all that has happened? Will he even play as much? Chelsea could experiment with a False9 (#shoutout) as they did in GW21 to get ready for the enviable summer move to China. And with Harry Kane destroying my dreams, I’ve swallowed my pride and brought him back in. No doubt he’ll be absolutely shite again, but everybody in the league will go for Kane now so it won’t be too bad.

Note: I was very tempted to stick with Costa after Conte said he is available, but I’ve lost the 100% trust that he would play every game. Though, the way this year has started, he’ll smash a hat trick, everyone else in the league would have transferred him back in, and Harry Kane will do nothing against City…

Okay so we have Giroud, Ibrahimovich and Kane as the top three for the Letdowns. What a strike force. And so I’m going for 3 goals. Prediction: 18 points

Captain

It’s a toss up between the two Arsenal lads, Giroud and Sanchez but because the Chilean is my key differential from 1st place, I’m hoping to capitalise on whatever he scores. Sanchez is this weeks captain.

Summary

So, I’ve choked and used my wildcard. 2nd and 4th have use theirs and I’m guessing 1st won’t be too far behind using his either. It’s make or break now, can the Letdowns get themselves back into contention?

FUCKING YES THEY CAN! HAWAY.