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West Ham Fantasy Football Challenge: Gameweek 17

15 Dec | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
West Ham Fantasy Football Challenge: Gameweek 17
West Ham United Fans Challenge

Every week this season, two West Ham fans will compete at Fantasy Football to win money for their chosen charities.

Will’s Team

GK: Dubravka

Def: Lascelles, Saliba, Udogie 

Mid: Gordon, Saka, Salah ©, Bowen, Ward Prowse.  

FW: Haaland, Watkins  

OK so after a couple of weeks of huge gains on James Jones, he’s back to relying on pure luck to edge a narrow five point victory over me to take his overall lead on me to just ten points. 

I resisted the temptation to captain Erling Haaland and left the armband on Mo Salah who returned a splendid 13 points which doubled up to 26. 

James of course left his on the Norwegian who would clearly have drawn a blank at challenging Kenilworth Road but his injury that no one saw coming meant James’ armband slipped to Salah and he fluked an extra 13 points. 

It’s OK though because I can tell the pressure is starting to tell while I am in a groove having to make just one transfer and a single change to my starting XI. 

Martin Dubravka is transferred in for Caoimhin Kelleher as I continue on the ‘getting points from backup goalie’ train. 

And James Ward Prowse comes into my starting XI in place of injured Tyrick Mitchell – a change I would have made anyway with Crystal Palace going to Manchester City. 

I left six points on the bench again with James Tarkowski last week so he is bumped to No 1 sub assuming Haaland doesn’t feature again.  

James is reliant on too many specific players where I have points scattered throughout my team.  

Salah with the armband again. This competition is only going one way. Viva. 

James’ Team

GK: Raya

DEF: Schar, Pau, Gabriel

MID: Bowen, Salah (C), Son, Gordon, Palmer

FW: Watkins, Haaland 

I had a bit more fortune in GW16, pulling in 56 points and five more than Will. That put me 10 points clear of him. Normal service may slowly be restored over the coming weeks, but there has to be a serious uptick in fortunes.

I’m now desperately waiting to play my wildcard in the new year. My team is nowhere near where I want it to be and, to make matters worse, Erling Haaland’s fitness doubts ahead of GW17 gives me yet another transfer dilemma.

With Man City blanking in GW18 due to their involvement in the Club World Cup, many would be seeing a Haaland injury as the chance to ship him out and use the spare cash to strengthen other areas of the squad. I’m swaying towards keeping him regardless, though. 

Why? Well, he still has an ownership of over 80%, which means if he does play against Crystal Palace this weekend that’s 80% of FPL players who will benefit. That’s too large a proportion to gamble with. Additionally, he was always going to be benched in GW18, so that’s not exactly a fresh issue. 

On top of all that, if I sell him, even if it’s only for two game weeks, it’s likely going to cost me more in transfers by reinvesting that money in, say, my defence. Then I can’t buy him back until my wildcard. Given his high ownership, the risk of missing out on any points he gets in any gameweek just isn’t worth it. He stays.

So this week, I’ve made two transfers and spent 4 points to fix my defence. Marc Guehi has been underwhelming since I brought him in and isn’t likely to return anything against Man City this weekend. Matty Cash hasn’t produced any meaningful returns since GW10 and hasn’t started any of Aston Villa’s last four games. Both are out this week.

Replacing them are Pau Torres and Destiny Udogie. Pau Torres is averaging just under 4 points-per-game this season and, with two goals to his name already, is a threat from set-pieces. He’s arguably the best defensive option in Aston Villa’s squad. Udogie averages three points-per-game, which isn’t exactly impressive, but Spurs look to be returning to their best and he’s in form, bagging nine points in Spurs’ 4-1 win over Newcastle last weekend.

So that’s two defensive changes, four points spent and a gamble taken by sticking with Haaland. Also, Anthony Gordon has a small hamstring injury and is yellow-flagged ahead of the Magpies’ home match against Fulham. I’m not spending any more points this week so he’s staying.

My captain this week? Mohamed Salah, obviously. The Egyptian has scored more goals (12) against Man United than any other opponent in his career. He averages a goal a game against the Red Devils and, with the way United are playing at the moment, a Salah haul at Anfield is a real possibility.