Take your time, hurry up, the choice is yours, don’t be late
Come As You Are, Nirvana
That one moment.Time stops and everything makes sense.
I had one a week ago, my Bench Boost moment. I had one last Friday amidst the fallout chaos, which arose when we heard both KdB and Vardy would be out injured for a month, and Salah lay vulnerable after 5 blanks in a row.
Whilst my team is no car crash, it could do with some restructuring, so I can be fully armoured up to attack the next batch of fixtures.
Before the GW20 deadline, I was considering playing my wild card, but, after asking around and reading the Twitteratti, I came to the conclusion, I might be able to get away with a -8 or -12, without too much damage to my rank.
Tactically I am still wary of planning too far in advance, but there are double game weeks on the horizon for some teams and GW29 may hold some blanks. Hitting keeps me flexible, with chips in hand.
After being so hit averse in the first 19 game weeks of the season, which served me well, what changed ?
One must change one’s tactics every ten years if one wishes to maintain one’s superiority.
Way back in August, I wrote how I was splitting the season into blocks, with different tactics. In FPL we don’t have 10 years but we do have blocks of about 10 weeks.Halfway through the campaign, having kept up and consolidated, it’s time to attack.
I have been around the top 100k for the last couple weeks and it’s time for the big push.
I accepted ‘ignoring’ the blank game week (18) would lose me rank and was more than happy with just the 100k drop.
With hindsight, I feel I could have been far more attacking for the double game week, even though I played my bench boost, I could have taken hits to capitalise on the fixture changes.
A lousy 10 point haul from the bench boost, but at least the millstone chip has been played now.
Game week 20 started last night, I took a -8, which was immediately covered by Cancelo returning 17 points.
In 3 days time GW21 starts, no time to sit back, more decisions to make. Probably my biggest decision is captaincy.
And there’s also the feast of games televised tonight, which one to watch, who to scout. Decisions, decisions.
GW 19 saw the start of the Super Cup, my group has been christened the group of death, I am trying not to look. I won my first match, my opponent also bench boosted. This week I am up against Gianni Butticè, I must admit I looked at his history, he is not averse to the odd hit, but didn’t this week – seems I gave him an eight point start.
I was asked this week why I didn’t give tips (player suggestions) well I could, but I would rather encourage thinking for oneself, education and discussion, that’s why I value group chats so much.
I was going to write about decision fatigue this week, but I’m done, maybe next week
“The thing about the game though, there are no road signs. You don’t know when nor where the forks in the road are, and directions obtained from other managers, may not always be reliable! 😁 Momentum can also be your downfall when you throw cognitive caution to the wind, suddenly a bend approaches and your journey can have a drastic change indeed!“XXIV. Momentum
So, there I was, content in the plan to roll the transfer and go into GW20 with 2x FTs… I could push this to a mini-wildcard🤔. In the end, I settled on a -8, all 4 players – in my head – good for both immediate and medium-term returns! I was pleased for holding my FTs for 6 days (which for me is a feat!) 🤣. Content. I unplug for a while… then step back into discord where my peers inform me of Vardy’s injury, my exact response was “Well that’s a -12 then!”. I’m immediately uneasy with a further hit. Warfare mentions that he’s popped his WC… and the quick mental calculations (KDB & Vardy injured; Salah/Robbo off-form; El-Ghazi rotation; no Antonio, or Leicester…) conclude that this plan of action is logically enticing! Mostly because not even the -12 really satisfies the image of the team I feel is best equipped to attack the coming fixtures and it will take more GWs than I’m willing to endure to achieve it, thus losing the opportune impetus!
Chaos. I’m almost oblivious to it now, it’s the norm – Acceptance. With the chaos dial turnt up a notch, hits will be taken by a fair few managers, an opportunity which can be manipulated to my benefit. It’s time to play the players, my opponents! Specifically the opponents who will give me points-for-nothing… I mean, an above average percentage of the game may well take hits 💉 to remove injured and/or poor performing assets, as well as discarding the ones they got solely for the DGW. I’ve even seen the odd manager benching KDB! #PointsForNothing This chaos will #breakthetemplate 🧨 and it’s replacement will form in the same gameweeks that this opportunity presents to be attacked! 🦾 #ThisIsTheWay
For my rank 2.2M, I don’t feel that I can afford to FT/hit💉 my way thru it. I’ve toiled 😨😁 to get here (3 red arrows since GW7) from my disastrous start and instead of using race-craft, I’m hitting the Nitro-Boost to overtake whilst tires & oils are changed… there will be time for race-craft later! 🏎
But what about “…cognitivecaution“?! Well, every decision in this game comes with an element of risk and this is very much recognition, followed by adaptation to the situation I find myself in with my squad. I didn’t start the GW even thinking of WC’ing! I know I’m taking a gamble here, one which is pivotal to where my OR will end up this season (aiming to beat my PB of 165k)! As I recited back in XIX. Cogitate…
“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” Sun Tzu
See what I did there?
This decision will be reflected in that which will come into full focus once the final whistle is blown in GW38. I also only have 2 chips left, BB & TC. The squad choices are crucial, there’s no getting away from that! The challenge is exciting!!! Unlike my WC in GW2, I’m agonizing over every detail scrupulously, trying to combine team/player form with decent fixtures over the medium term. The loss of big money premiums to injury or bad form, means that I have a lot of funds to play with, therefore, this team has no immediately recognisable “bench” assets. 👀
Tbf, I put the core of this team together in a couple of mins, I already had a plan of changing my team over the coming few GWs… The Regulars and I, all had a lengthy discussion in Hangouts where we went thru all the teams and their respective FPL assets on Sunday morning for 3hrs! I’ve christened it Blonde–DreadTalk, everyone involved came away with something, it may become a regular occurance. 🤓 Props to Blonde for another great idea! We don’t suggest assets, we all just talk about what we think of the teams/assets & their form, a real deep dive into the game focused through an FPL prism. It’s good to get the thoughts of other managers, they may have information that you haven’t considered! This is the main purpose of having a Discord, right?! 😁 This “talk” led to a re-evaluation, dropping Grealish, Shaw & Saka for the bench assets as you see it above. Grealish… he frustrated me too much when I owned him earlier this season! Not only that, the stats support Traore & El-Ghazi, the latter – who was on fire! – having lost his starting place to Barkley! I’ll be keeping an eye on him too!
My main takeaway from the Talk, is the grace afforded to premium assets. I/We trust them, even when their returns do not justify the investment! Why is this?! Many are gravitating to Sterling as a KDB replacement, but at his price, what has he shown this season to warrant such automatic faith?! Is it his high price that “affords” him this elevated status of a reliable points returning asset? Because the stats and points to date, say differently! I dunno, I could be reporting on a Sterling haul in the next blog 😂, but, right now, I’m not buying the hype. I believe BigMan called it “nostalgic“. The 2nd half of this season will be spent addressing unwarranted faith, thus being unceremoniously ruthless should any asset, especially premiums, not pay their way with points on the board! It’s not until I stepped back from this blinkered view that I realised the number of “lesser value” assets that have been returning premium numbers in the past few GWs! I mean, Gündogan, Blonde called it first! By the time I checked him out, he’d had 2 double figure hauls and a 9 pointer in the previous 4GWs!
So yeah, 4-at-the-back… I’ve been thinking 🤔 about this for a few GWs now. When the stars align, there are times to play more defenders I reckon. The team will lineup in whatever formation best exploits the fixtures for the respective GW – it will be 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 in GW21. The high-price bench assets are basically pre-owned “future transfers” which allow me to target certain upcoming fixtures whilst also exploiting the assets that have more fixtures to play than others. Might as well maximise every weapon at my disposal, plus, it would be silly to leave even more money sitting itb!
I know Vince will love this team, “…you’re gonna have a headache every week!” I can already hear him say… thing is, I see it as having options to maximise returns, every week.
It’s about perspective.
Will new manager bounce be a thing? #NoMoreFatFrank 🤔🤫
It’s the start of the EliteFPL Super Cup!! In this, my first match of the group stage, it’s Dinnery vs Dread!! But, first…
BGW18, FH Chip played as part of my plan to gain some much needed ground on the pack. I’m past the all the cars now and the only thing between me and the rear of the peloton is a short empty stretch of road! 🚴♂️ It’s been a steady climb to get here, but I can finally see the pack ahead! My pre-FH squad would’ve returned 26pts, my FH team returned 52pts. Maybe, saving the FH for later in the season would’ve allowed for a more profitable points return… maybe it wouldn’t! Who knows!? 🤷🏿♂️ Right now, I’m happy with the 500k rank rise 📈. Oh, did I mention that my Foden punt paid off handsomely! 😊
Having restructured my team in GW17, I emerge from the FH with a team setup to attack the coming GWs. The main change being, price structure. The ability to accommodate a premium striker. My gut says, be ready!
I wanted a starting lineup of 11 DGW assets, but, somethings are beyond control, I’m not going to use further transfers to make this happen. Instead, I’m rolling the transfer and using this DGW as a scouting mission in order to ascertain which teams/assets are looking like hitting a run of form… Robbo & Liverpool, getting particular interest as to whether they’re worth the £7M investment when compared to cheaper defenders.
So, we’re halfway through the season. Where am I now in my quest to improve my FPL management?Well, there is improvement, mostly in planning and utilising my own cognitive deliberations in all strategic decisions (I’ve had 3 red arrows since GW7, for me, this is huge!). This is not to say I do not listen to content creators and/or fellow managers, I just don’t take anything at face value, all consumed data is subject to relatively prolonged comparison, processing and evaluation through my own prism. Then I act accordingly.
I brought in Vardy for the double up until Leicester play Fulham in GW22. His hip problem bothers me though. Is this the season that age finally catches up and the #VardyParty goes from being a full-on late 80s rave, to a CV19 era party in an care home with Jelly & Ice-cream?! 😁 I have 2FTs, much thought will be processed on where to improve, between now and the GW20 deadline.
So, the value of not being hasty with my transfers, which has been a consistent theme this season, has shown it’s worth. At present with just one more match of DGW19 left to play, the news of KDB’s injury, the confirmation that Liverpool’s issues are not fleeting, plus the underlying feeling that a shift in the FPL “Force” is imminent, my thinking of how to utilise my 2FTs has changed and morphed into many different plans & options. Then… this morning – minutes ago actually – I had a rush of blood and fell into an old habit that I’ve not quite completely tamed! 😄 haha… I just have to have balance, my zodiac sign (they say) demands it, patience married with recklessness, conformity with rebellion… #ThisIsMyWay
💉💉 HITS!!!!! #breakthetemplate 🧨 🧨
Salah 🔄 Maddison; KDB 🔄 Gündogan💉; El-Ghazi 🔄 Grealish💉; Adams 🔄 Antonio
Will the 3rd time be a charm? Everytime I take more than a -4 hit 💉, I end up on a red arrow! This time will be different! #addict 😁😄🧨 2 things with these transfers. I’ve gone back to Grealish… I have memories of him frustrating me just a few GWs ago when he was last in my squad, it’s more a fixture pick than form and I’m uneasy with it. Gündogan, is a safe pick, a bit against my persona, as I’d prefer the more reckless pick of Foden, so this also uneases me. I’d like to just have one hit flurry come off perfectly, the anticpation is exciteful! The “Holy Trinity” is finally broken and disbanded and the form points to lesser owned assets that I’ve already targetted for my squad in the coming GWs. Vardy dissappointed in this DGW, but I’m gonna keep faith with him. I’m really loving how reckless ditching both Salah & KDB in the same GW feels! I’m energised!
My first match of Group I is decided, I’m ahead by 12pts, Ben is all out, and I still have Emi & El-Ghazi (if the latter gets any minutes) to play. On to the next…
Roll on GW20, I wanna see my newly reshaped team in action! LET’S GOOOO!!!!!!
If your guitar is out of tune, then sing out of tune with it.
I lay in bed this morning (about 4.25 am) and wrote this weeks blog in my head, it was a masterpiece that then evaporated.
Now as I sit here, keyboard ready, I am textually constipated. When opportunity shows itself, be ready to grasp it, however and whenever.
My FPL life changed for the better when I joined Discord, I don’t have anyone to talk FPL with in ‘real life’, eventually I found the courage to enter the chat room and so began my vocal odyssey, from polite vanilla to outlier extraordinaire.
It’s a fantastic position to be in, to be surrounded by positive people, you trust, who want to push boundaries and be conventionally challenged.
Where am I going with this ? KdB, John Stones and Ilkay Gundogan, and how they ended up in my team.
Monday 4th January, get back from work, read the boards ‘KdB new role’ ‘Pep uses KdB as a forward’ .
My thought process, oh yeah Aguero & Torres injured, no faith in Jesus, Pep’s trying something new – guess I better watch last night’s game back. Now I have been vehemently opposed to having any City players in my team up to this point, but I put 3 in after this game week 17 match between Chelsea and Man City.
If KdB hits any sort of form he’s a given, add to the mix the upturn in City fixtures and Salah’s drop off, well the stars aligned.
When I saw John Stones the 2021 version, I have to say it was part awe part carnal. And we all know, someone had to take the Laporte role attacking the set pieces in the opposition’s box.
Gundogan, it was obvious even to me, was being used in a more attacking way by Pep – but I still did due diligence as no one else seemed to be talking him up.
In the chat room Tuesday morning, I tested the waters. After some gentle ribbing ‘you’ve changed your tune’ (over City) , some shock and joy over the Stones phwoar moment, the conversation turned to ‘that weird differential’ that positively impacts your team. Was this the time to bring up Gundogan ? I just couldn’t.
Wednesday chat, I finally raised the subject of Gundogan. Everyone chipped in. We worked through the pros and cons. I was convinced, the consensus was ‘worth a punt’.
My lack of confidence was a major factor in adopting the characteristics of a psycho to enhance my success this season, in particular the grandiose, superiority, and invulnerability traits.
I know I think differently, expressing this and going against the herd takes courage.
Reading the above, it’s obvious how seminal GW18 was to the season.
In my little FPL bubble, it seemed the world had decided to negotiate blank game week 18 with the Free Hit chip. I saw this as a very defensive play, I couldn’t see much to gain, few fixtures meant a small player pool, and very similar teams, I decided to ignore GW18, this idea formed in GW13 and was pretty much decided by Boxing Day, GW15.
As the GW18 deadline loomed, I was on the edge of 100k, feeling the burn, being talked about in my Elite FPL community, due to my consistent rise in the mini leagues. So, to keep my head straight, a drop down the ranks, going back into hiding, well it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss – and banking the FH chip to play it more aggressively in the action end of the season appealed.
I also took a -4, which I thought acceptable to both increase my players in GW18 and improve my team going forward.
The deadline was 16.30, I waited to hear the most recent team/weather/Covid news. I did the Salah to KdB earlier to avoid a price rise.
So, ignoring GW18 meant I fell from 130k to 202k,and came out smiling,tactical advantage obtained
Two days after GW18 finished, GW19 began. I had no playing interest in the last game of GW18, bar scouting Arsenal players. When I looked at my team, that Thursday morning, to set up before Saturday’s 11am deadline, my head said Bench Boost – which was strange because traditionally weeks of planning go into a BB, even combining it with a wildcard.
freedom – don’t let the chips dictate your season, there is an element of caveat with the bench boost chip, it can lead to fixation and distraction, to the detriment of strategy
power – I can use my Wild Card more powerfully if I don’t have to use it in conjunction with a bench boost. I can concentrate the value on the pitch, not spread it to create a playing bench.
aggression – what do I want from my BB ? Points.Hopefully extra points. Which I can use going forward to take hits to attack attack attack. Because of the fixture swing from GW21 I already see a need for restructuring.
strategy – playing the BB now suits my ‘always keep options open’ ideals. Maybe the Triple Captain chip might get more points this week, but the TC chip is more magical, in that it can be played any time with no pre-planning.
pocket rockets – I have Aces in hand with FH, WC and TC, a rewarding morale boost. Tactically I am well placed to capitalise on potential points opportunities such as hastily rearranged schedules.
play the cards you are dealt – I didn’t plan on BB this week, and my team certainly wouldn’t pass most people’s optimal test, but for me, I saw more positives than negatives in playing the chip. Certainly this is no season for planning too far ahead and for me, the BB chip is all about planning, optimising variables, the current climate is not conducive to that = stress.
How far should I go to reshape my team for a GW18 BB?
I had 2 Leeds assets, who should have a double, but were now facing a single game week. A Wolves defender at home to a lacklustre WBA (who’d have thought that would turn into a 2-3 thriller) and a bargain basement Lascelles who may or may not be back from injury with two games to play this week.
I had only one free transfer, I could get another playing GK, prudent going forward, with all these postponements. And DCL was crook and blanked this week, maybe a hit for a DGW player would pay off. Of course I could take some further hits to boost the squad.
After evaluating the team, and the fixtures going forward in the aftermath of GW19, I decided to be frugal, and avoid the extra hits. Resolve.
As I write, there are still 2 games to be played, including Liverpool at home to Burnley, which may be a sofa job – I have no Liverpool players.
To be continued…
I’ve just been called to chat, seems a good place to halt the blog.
If you are reading this and have never ventured into our chat room at Elite, please join us, the support, knowledge and banter is immense
I think that pizza I had was a bit dodgy, had some weird dreams…
”I like driving in my car, it’s not quite a Jaguar”
We’re only halfway there, shall we come off at the next service station?
”Are you turning left or what mate ?”
…last blog was a bit mehh, inevitable after the drama of the previous week, much like raising your game to play Liverpool, a poor week will always follow. Ipso facto 95% – is that significant ?
‘Park Park Park’
Don’t look now but there’s a guy by the frozen yogurt stand giving you the eye…his tongue is enormous
Comfort break & lippy
The urinals ? seriously ?
I miss you.
I miss you too.
In mid stream ??
All warfare is based on deception – Machiavelli
Sun Tzu actually.
Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.
They never saw it coming. 3 Games in a row, no one wants me sacked now.
Everything, everything, is geared for the 6th of February.
Oh, he’s sat at my table, yogurt man, I can’t hear what he is saying, his mouth is moving, I can hear piped music but not what he is saying.
Steve-O? Steve-O is standing behind him, cross-armed, I look back to see Jose Mourinho – the yogurt man is Jose ?
He flashes his eyes towards the next table, there sit Kane and Son, in their Spurs strips…
Deadline, what’s the time ? Let’s go.
Just need to buy a postcard, hold on, it’s already used…
A lot of people used to say, ‘Oh, Mark’s making it harder by giving this information out,’” he says. “But a lot of it is about how you process it. The key is to identify the key data that really does matter, and contributes to a good decision. You can get fantasy advice from many different sources, and it’s everywhere on social media. But the skill is to find the right stuff. And I don’t think it’s ever a silver bullet.
Time to go
‘No mate I don’t want to buy a shed’
And I wake up
So information, how do you process it ? There is certainly an abundance of ‘advice’ out there for the FPL manager.
Do you like to sleep on it ?
By analyzing dreams, Freud thought people could increase self-awareness and gain valuable insight to help them deal with the problems they faced in their lives. Freud made distinctions between the manifest content and the latent content of dreams.
Thoughts from a motorway service station. Why write a blog around a dream ? To highlight FPL’s dominance of my every waking hour – and sleeping hours too.Not really. And it’s not to suggest I am overthinking either.
It’s about information, data, knowledge, stats, and processing it, thinking for oneself, yes ask questions of others, take advice, but always factor in due diligence, to arrive at the best decision for your team.
There’s really no time for reading blogs this week, as GW19 rolls in as soon as GW18 finishes, and fixtures are shuffled and postponed as COVID is at the wheel.