So the choice was simple: one treat right now or two treats later.
Preseason I made a plan to wait until GW3 and mini wildcard, two weeks information being better than one.
Did I falter ? Yes.
By Thursday I was taking a -4 to remove two weak links, what stopped me ? I stepped away from the FPL noise, and took time out to plan my moves, which made me realise how fixated I was with success in GW2, to the extent that I would be narrowing my options for GW3 onwards and most likely needing to hit my way out.
When we play FPL we are exposed to a series of unpredictable/unreliable experiences. Which drives us to a ‘grab it while we can’ mentality. Can we really trust in our assets long term ? Shouldn’t we just go by last week’s form players or this week’s bandwagon ?
Taking the focus off of each individual game week (which is subject to such incredible variance and randomness) and putting the emphasis on the processing instead (research and making informed decisions) is my aim this season.
Two hours to deadline, no hits taken, team stays the same.
I have read Salah’s incredible stats for last week, seen why Werner needs company up front and eagerly await follow up information to last weeks metrics. Are Everton really that good ? Where is the best value Newcastle or Leeds ? Are the Manchester lads sharp enough to spend big money on ?
See you on the other side.
‘I wouldn’t say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one.’
Inspiration for this post was taken from The Marshmallow Experiment
Glad that week’s over, how did you do ? How are you feeling about your team ?
Do I really care ? NO. Do you really care about my rank ? NO. Good for you.
“I ain’t no white trash piece of s**t. I’m better than you all! I can out-learn you. I can out-read you. I can out-think you. And I can out-philosophize you. And I’m gonna outlast you.” Max Cady Cape Fear 1991
So I find myself hiding in plain sight, 54 points, kind of average. I don’t consider one week a large enough sample size to make any wholesale changes. As I planned, I’m rolling my transfer. Mini WC lined up for GW3.
My aim for GW1 was to survive, and not fall behind, who knew Salah would score a hat trick, unexpected but it happened. Although I had him in my team, I thought Auba the better captaincy pick. Good process bad result.
I am only looking forward, like the psychopath, I am not attached to failure, I am too interested in self advancement.
Where are my current opportunities ?
SAINTS & SINNERS
I loved watching Leeds. Over the next few weeks we should get a better picture for which assets to select. Bielsa does not rotate, new recruits need to be drilled in the aggressive playing system, so once the preferred striker option becomes apparent, I will most likely lock him in. Meslier and Ayling interest me too.
Liverpool defence struggled, but they take a few weeks to sharpen up. Salah was FPL gold at home on day one again – but unlike last year I didn’t triple captain him. He looks a sharp, definite hold.
SOU are still very attacking, and were unlucky not to score. Ings had chances, KWP (YC) 23 touches in the final third.
Ryan (set and forget) and the SHU crew faced tough opposition, I didn’t expect much more than appearance points anyway, this week. I will be monitoring the SHU defence going forward.
My FPL sin, I might be fixated with Arteta, Saka given the #7 shirt then not played ? I’m watching you Mikel. Auba was reliable, just what I want in a captain.
Risk: if you don’t take risks where is the fun ? Three days before the WOL game, Wilder swapped one of his strikers for lost boy the pacey attacker Oliver Burke. Listed as a MID 4.5m he is an ideal enabler, he was on the bench. Could Wilder be going for the OOP double, after gifting us Lundo last season ?
In my last blog I highlighted the amount of points NewC midfield generated, now they have striker Wilson too. Park them until GW10.
The invisible man Vardy showed up to score 2 penalties, Castagne mildly interesting, but I’ll pass on LEI assets.
Alas poor WBA, I will be targeting them and FUL.
CHE didn’t look ready, I’ll give them some time.
SPURS, after watching the All or Nothing documentary and the fixture congestion, I decided to avoid. I’ve not changed my mind.
EVE wow, time to research the assets.
PAL are you all you seem ?
When I say I am channeling my inner psychopath this season, let’s be clear, I know my weaknesses and honing certain psycho traits will strengthen me.
Being a psychopath doesn’t mean that you’re a criminal. Not by default, anyway. It doesn’t mean that you’re a serial killer, either.
When psychologists talk about psychopaths, what they’re referring to are people who have a distinct set of personality characteristics, which include things like ruthlessness, fearlessness, mental toughness, charm, persuasiveness and a lack of conscience and empathy.
BAD BOYS (and girls)
Seems like I am not the only fledgling ‘psycho’ on the FPL block. Watching the Elite stream last night, it was revealed two characters had a bet to see how many people they could con into unnecessarily wild carding for GW2.
Remember, psychopaths will literally make up and say anything in order to achieve their aims. Blatant lies, distortions, deceptions, are just some of the common devices used to enable advancement.
Confession: I have engaged in them all these past few weeks.
Trust only in yourself.
Ever wondered where you sit on the psychopath spectrum ?
“I feel back home. I am extremely happy and proud to have been given the honour of being manager of this football club. I have prepared for the challenge and am ready. If I didn’t feel that, I would not be sitting in this chair.”
Having paid my money, queued (for what seemed ages), taken my seat and buckled in, the ride has started!!
(earlier that morning) Maybe your team’s too risky?!
I made changes to a structure I was happy with since the game opened, then reversed them all. In the end, I only changed two assets, sticking to the price-point structure. ASM goes out for JWP & I’ve gone balls-deep on Chelsea attack, Son 🔄 Pulisic, joining Havertz & Werner!! The Son pick started at Willian, went to Dele, then Son, now Pulisic (just back from a hamstring, but trained with the squad).
EliteFPL Discord general chat is 🔥! A plethora of questions, certainty, banter, sabotage, insights, panic & hilarity! It’s a Mad Hatter’s tea-party in there! I’ve got a busy day and the stream starts soon!
Anticipation. That initial jolt as the breaks are released and that slow climb towards kick-off commences. At 12:30pm, we’ve reached the first apex of this 38 gameweek ride and we’re thrown headlong into the twists & turns, ups and downs of the ride. It’s not long before I’m wondering why I didn’t stick with Willian who had been in my drafts for so long!
That ship has sailed, move on.
At least my captain has come in, so that’s good. It’s an area of my game that needs vast improvement. Turns out, that’s not the only part of my game which needs improvement!
Lesson learnt for the start of next season I guess! 😆
It’s possibly the worst gameweek I’ve ever had, but, I think I got 27pts once. The final game of this gameweek finished minutes ago and my team is an inferno. I have to do something about Pulisic as he’s gonna be out until GW3 it seems. Why I ignored the risk associated with starting him, is a mystery! It was obviously a bad move. That’s not even hindsight, just common sense! Havertz was dismal and Werner did his post-match interview with a massive ice-pack on his knee! On the face of it, there’s probably at least 5 changes I’d make to my team right now, but, I simply do not have the information required to complete a wildcard team that I’d have any confidence in. I’m staring down the barrel of double Chelsea assets (Pulisic’s already out on a FT), going into CHELIV without Salah who will give them more trouble than Lamptey did!! The latter was a thorn in Chelsea’s right-side all night!
Chelsea were poor and still scored 3 though!
To top it all off, KDB will rise tonight without having even kicked a ball!
“I don’t want special relations with one of them (his players). I hate to speak about individuals. Players don’t win you trophies, teams win trophies, squads win trophies.”
The essence of the game is to get points, let’s not complicate things.
Looking at last season’s player rankings we can see which individuals got most points – using information gathered in preseason I can surmise if they might regress, maintain, or better their rank.
Along with players I like to reference team data.
I look at teams as a whole, how they set up/rotate, where they generate most FPL points. The top 6 teams’ assets are most desirable, but the limited budget means selecting enablers, cheaper players from less regarded teams.
SELECTION PROCESS I
Building my team for GW1, I use a price point structure, not only for flexibility, it simplifies things. It makes me objectify players, they are points producers and should be treated as such. Every season is a clean slate, but I like to start with a responsible core who more than likely will keep me in the running and to get me to the next stage, transferring in the form players, without too many hits. I try to put one player of the highest cost in each position to enable me to do this.
nailed first team players, who get 90 mins, those I trust from last season
offensive players get more points, bonus point magnets
premiums suitable for captaincy
consider 4 weeks fixtures, not only week 1, bookies odds might be useful for CS & goal scorers
spread the risk, minimal doubling up ie GK & DEF in same team. Triple Spurs no thanks
minimum spend on GK & bench
look at rotation for cheap defenders
player pool watch list – for enablers, out of position players, newly transferred, promoted, breakouts
ownership stats, I trust my judgement but keep an eye on this too
SELECTION PROCESS II
Bucket list for teams to target via position.
This is subjective and rather simplified, it relates to FPL points generated within a team, which throws up some interesting anomalies, which if interpreted correctly might mean opportunity.
Goal Keepers – SHU, BUR, TOT, WOL, ARS (MCI 17 CS) MUN
I want to expand on SHU who scored 1588 FPL points in total, ranking 7th overall. Their playing style meant; excellent points value in defence/goal keeping. Poor for midfield. Good for forward points, however, rotation meant these points were split between 4 different strikers. I am eagerly watching to see if they sign a potentially nailed forward.
SELECTION PROCESS III
As FPL is an attack weighted game, this is another important area for potential points.
Reading statistics can be daunting, I narrow my focus to show a teams creativity in attack, in particular big chances created.
The top three were MCI 108, LIV 88, CHE 69.
SHU 61 were 5th, with EVE 59 6th. Food for thought.
Interestingly BHA and SOU both showed 49 BCC, with goals scored over the season 39 and 51 respectively.
Post restart, SOU ranked 5th in attacking stats (shots, shots on target, shots in the box, BCC). I rank their attacking players high priority for my team.
SELECTION PROCESS IV
With so many variables already in the mix for how to arrive at the deadline in the best shape for securing points, I need to add one more, pertinent consideration, uncertainty management.
I won’t be deciding my team until the final hours – yes I have names, but I have back up names and contingency names too.
Scripts from press conferences will be examined in detail. The most up to date information is vital.
It occurred to Dr. Lecter in the moment that with all his knowledge and intrusion, he could never entirely predict her, or own her at all.
Thomas Harris, Hannibal.
In conclusion, although I will set up my GW1 team with the best possible chance for points, I do not have a crystal ball, so failure is also an option. I can accept this and will have the flexibility to change things as necessary.
Well the clock is ticking and the information is changing by the minute, see you on the other side.
My job was to give us the best possible chance of winning. That is what drove me.
Automatically, as soon as the game opened, I started playing with the price-points. I know that flexibility is key, especially at the start of the season when the unknowns are peak! I looked at where the majority of those shiny things I love so much are located and created a structure to fit.
It was a very quick decision to write-off the cheap strikers. My style doesn’t enjoy the potential of having to monitor and swap out £6.5 FWs. So that leaves £8.5 & above strikers. Out of those, maybe 3 are explosive? It also quickly dawned on me that the £8.5M MF options were more exciting and explosive – imo – than the FWs in the same price bracket.
Ok, just one striker up top then... I hear the single starting striker risks. I care not! 🙂
Please go on loan Brewster!!
There are riches to be had in MF. Definitely five spots. Two of which must be £12M slots, as I plan to set/forget KDB, and my style demands another slot to chop & change with when fixtures/form dictate. The mid-priced options are also exciting, possible explosive returns and potentially captainable! I’ll need 2 slots there too, because I don’t want to have to pick between Havertz & Mahrez, I want them both! At fifth mid, I’ve managed to squeeze in a £6.5M price-point… The Foden spot! Nice! 🙂
I did start with a double Liverpool defense structure, TAA & Robbo are obvious value, but, you know, shiny things in the midfield put paid to that. TAA is essential though (yeah, I said the “E” word!). I toyed with rotating GKs, but bollocks to that, get a DF from the other team and get the other GK’s points that way.
Initially, look at your team as price-points not names on a team sheet.
Now, to maximise my xJoy swapping between those juicy MF options, I need to set/forget the GK, DF & FW assets in my team (as much as is possible). Ideally, they all stay in the side until WC1 (bar injury and/or a serious loss of form).
Yeah, that’s never going to happen!
With the baseline pricepoints set, I simply need to find the best assets to slot in. This means, I’ve already narrowed down my decisions per slot, as only a player in a specific price range can occupy said slot. This, I hope, will benefit my style and reduce my chaotic tendencies. To this end, I’ve spent the vast majority of pre-season deliberating cheap DF/GK options, so as to not have to spend much time thinking about those slots until I play my first WC.
The rest of it is easy, the shiniest things available, get picked! 😀