With 8 gameweeks left, some teams will have already called it a season with nothing left to play for. I’m hoping that those managers are at least setting some active lineups for the sake of league integrity. Then there will be a group of teams with an outside chance of a title challenge, or potentially pushing for a “prize money” spot in leagues with prizes. If you are currently sitting in 6th place, but only 4 wins back of first, not only will you need some luck, but simply playing it safe won't be a way to make a serious push to pull off the upset. This article will give those teams looking to pull off the miraculous a few ways to “go big or go home”.
Go All-in for the Stack
Those who have read my articles before or have been in leagues with me know how big of a fan I am of stacking. Your hopes live and die with the results of just one team. If that team gets hot, your team gets hot. There are still teams with something to play for in the EPL so they're the ones to go for. However, I am not saying here to go and trade in the entire Everton team because they are fighting off relegation. Going in for a team either fighting for the title or a European spot is the way to go. Unless you already have a few of the stars from Liverpool or Manchester City, it will likely be impossible to form even a small stack from these 2 title challengers. The other teams I would look to target are Arsenal, Spurs, and Manchester United. These three teams are battling it out for the final Champions League spot and will have everything to play for over the last 8 weeks.
For Manchester United, I would mainly look to target their attackers and midfielders, but it's important to callout that the stack will not work without Sancho and/or Bruno who should be their two best assets over the rest of the season. When it comes to Arsenal and Spurs, trying to get in 5-6 of their top assets would be a strong enough stack to make this push. Both teams are battling for the top 4 and can churn out some great results on their days. Both have decent schedules to end their season as well.
From Manchester United, I would look to acquire at least 4 of the following players: Sancho, Bruno, Pogba, Ronaldo, Fred, Dalot, or De Gea.
From Spurs, I would look to acquire at least 4 of the following players: Kane, Son, Kulusevski, Reguilon, Lloris, or Doherty.
From Arsenal, I would look to acquire at least 4 of the following players: Saka, Martinelli, Odegaard, Lacazette, Tierney, Ramsdale, or Partey.
Now obviously this is probably the highest risk strategy in the article, but if done correctly could be the bold move you need to make a push for the title or a prize money spot. Not everyone will agree with the success of stacking, but from personal experience stacking can win titles. As said before, the most important component is ensuring you bring in or roster the best fantasy assets on the team you are trying to stack from.
Make Ruthless Drops
Unfortunately, we have reached the part of the season where there is no more time for "he will come good". If you want to make a serious title push, you must be ready to drop the big names to not only have more flexibility in your roster, but potentially use those spots on free agents who could put up better numbers than your underperforming big-name asset. There are a lot of players who fall under this category who either had a lot of draft/trade capital spent on them or at one point in the season were undroppable. To be successful you need a shorter memory in this game especially when we reach the last 7-10 weeks. Personally, there are a lot of players who I can think of who fall in this category. Before dropping these players, it may be worth sending some offers out to get anything of value for them. Players such as Calvert-Lewin, Rashford, King, Smith Rowe, Kovacic, and any United defender. These players just haven't been putting up serious points needed to help you mount a title challenge.
Looking to play week to week using players that have double gameweeks or friendly fixtures against the likes of Norwich and Watford is a much better strategy than hoping the players that have struggled all season finally put it together.
On top of dropping underperformers, dropping players with injuries that put them out until GW34 or later is a must at this point. The only exception would be if you were in a league with playoffs. In normal 38 gameweek leagues those players will serve no help to your title push.
Transfer Out Players for a FAB Monopoly
With only 8 gameweeks left, your leagues may not have any FAB left in them, or you may be in a regular league with "rolling waivers". If that is the case, my best advice would be to plan for 2-3 gameweeks ahead, such as stashing the defender who plays Burnley and Norwich in an upcoming double gameweek.
If your league still has some FAB left in it, now is the time to trade for all the remaining FAB. It will give you complete control over the last few weeks' waiver wires. This will be huge with double gameweeks being announced late sometimes. Having FAB control will always allow you to pick up the best 2-3 players per gameweek and give you some later flexibility. If it came down to it and say Salah was benched in the final game, and your only hope of a win was to drop him and bring in Fabinho for 4 points, then you will not have to worry about getting him back since you control the waiver wire!
I would only recommend this strategy if you can get full control of all the FAB, with the rest of your league mates having 0. I wouldn't trade away any of your top stars to get this done, but useable players slightly better than FA level could get the job done. If someone currently has a FAB monopoly, a player on the level of Michail Antonio may tempt them to give it up, and I would give up Antonio for full control of the waiver wire.
Sacrifice Depth for Star Power
Now this one may be a bit more obvious, but you may need to overpay in these trades to get it done right. If you have plenty of depth, potentially above-average players with nice fixtures coming up, but your only "big star" player is Kane for example I would try to package some of those players for another big name such as Mane, Son, Bruno.....basically players who can single-handedly win you the week. I fully believe there are enough players on the waiver wire that you can fill in the gaps among 2-3 superstars to win each week. An example of one of these trades could look like you packaging Tielemans, Dennis, and Watkins for Mane. Those 2 extra roster spots will allow you to stream players with friendly matchups or potential double gameweek hidden gems. Some teams may struggle to get deals like this over the line so late in the season, so throwing in a defender with an upcoming double gameweek may always help to get the job done. With these types of trades, I would look to target teams who are maybe fighting to avoid "relegation" or the last place punishment prize. Where their strategy to rely on one big name all season has failed miserably, and they could use some depth for the final few gameweeks to try and climb out of the basement.
Players that I would actively look to target in these types of deals include Kane, Salah, Bruno, Mane, De Bruyne, Trent, and Cancelo.
The next tier of players who I would target could offer similar upside value but at a cheaper price would be: Sancho, Robertson, Son, Saka, and Coutinho.
For all the latest from The Draft Society, follow @Draft_Society on Twitter!
And for more in-depth and exclusive resources, become a member of The Inner Circle.