My success these past two matchdays revolved largely around the question of choosing the right captain and his mates.
Matchday 5: Musical captain's chairs
For Die Toten Lederhosen, Matchday 5 was largely a success. I replaced Ousmane Dembélé with Aubameyang and an under-performing David Alaba for Dortmund’s Sokratis. On my bench, I dropped Ingolstadt's hapless Ørjan Haskjold Nyland for Leipzig's Péter Gulácsi. Sokratis and Auba did not disappoint, with 12 and 13 points respectively in Dortmund's match against Freiburg.
Changing captains: I failed to maximize the points from Auba's performance against Freiburg, because I still had Lewandowski as my captain - even though Dortmund's game began before Bayern's. You see, you can change your captain at any time, but you can only choose a new captain from players whose games have not begun. By the time I realized how it worked, it was too late to go with Auba.
With Lewandowski disappointing in Bayern's match against Hamburg (7 points), I decided to switch captains to my favorite player at Schalke, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who was playing Hoffenheim on Sunday. This was a wise decision: Choupo-Moting scored his first goal of the season against Hoffenheim and had an all-around good game: 9 points - or 18 as captain.
I thought I could top that total with Frederik Sörensen of Köln, who was playing in the final Sunday match. I quickly made him my captain - but then realized that Köln were playing dangerous Leipzig (they drew 1-1). In hindsight, I should have stayed with Choupo-Moting. Sörensen nonetheless managed 8 points, so the net loss was only 2 points. I put this experience to good use for Matchday 6.
Matchday 6: All-in in Berlin
With Hamburg coming to play Hertha in Berlin, I could already smell a dinosaur BBQ. My first move was to trade Choupo-Moting for Vedad Ibisevic, whom I immediately named captain. I thought it was far more likely that Ibisevic would roast Hamburg than Lewandowski roast a tough Cologne side (or Aubameyang vs Leverkusen). Sure enough, Ibisevic was a beast: in fact, he had the single best performance of the matchday, earning a whopping 19 points. With Ibisevic as my captain, that gain rose to 38 points!
My other two signings were Hertha's Genki Haraguchi (replacing Javi Martinez) in midfield and Ingolstadt's Konstantinos Stafylidis (replacing Leon Balogun) in defense. With Ribery resting, I went to a 4-3-3, and maximized my defenders. I expected Haraguchi to have a good day at Hamburg's BBQ, and Stafylidis had accumulated an astonishing 56 points despite being a defender for one of the worst clubs in the Bundesliga. These moves brought a decent return: Haraguchi took 9 points, and Stafylidis earned 6, despite another loss.
My only regret was that I traded away Choupo-Moting instead of Aubameyang for Ibisevic. While Aubameyang was helpless (5 points) in a surprise loss to Leverkusen, Choupo-Moting scored yet again in Schalke's dominant victory over Wolfsburg (13 points). Those 8 extra points would have made a significant difference.
Still though, riding high on Ibisevic’s performance, with 552 points, Die Toten Lederhosen are now tied for 2nd place in the BFW-FTW Fantasy League and 238th overall. Can I keep the momentum going?
Coming next: reboot!
During the international break, from October 3rd to October 14th, Bundesliga.com has announced that users will have a chance to start over from scratch: it will be possible to make unlimited transfers ahead of Matchday 7. This is big news that will completely change my strategy for the next round. I'll write more on that subject next week.
So what worked for you these past matchdays and what didn't? Do you have big plans for Matchday 7?