You are your own worst enemy. You waste previous time dreaming of the future instead of engaging in the present. Cut your ties to the past — enter unknown territory. Place yourself on “death ground”, where your back is against the wall and you have to fight like hell to get out alive.
Sometimes you can accomplish most by doing nothing. Now is not that time. The next 4 game weeks are what this whole season is about. We are at the extraordinary moment.
If you expect me to lay out my vision of attack in advance, you are going to be disappointed. I will say I have two chips, triple captain and free hit. I am also still in contention to advance in the Super Cup, the group stages are reaching a crucial point, the knock out stages begin in GW29 – ‘the blank one’. I also have my second Wildcard. I have flexibility and team value on my side.
Because of the importance of tactics over the entirety of March I have decided my blogs will focus on big picture topics, with a brief game week update and review included.
I will be indulging in some escapism to help me through the pressure, and spoiler alert, March is a Monster – but we already knew that 😉
Game Week 26
If you do not go all out to optimise your squad for this upcoming week you will regret it.
Many managers will be bench boosting, after playing their wild card last week. They have identified GW26 as a major source of points.
They were fully committed to this tactic, even though they were carding ‘blind’ as the fixtures were not officially announced until after the GW25 deadline.
If you are not utilising a chip to boost your score this week, cut yourself some slack and prepare your head to see some big scores.
No Chip? You can still aggressively attack this game week.
I would urge serious consideration of team restructuring, and if hitting is the only means to do this, I say do it.
This is a question I raised in chat earlier in the week.
A few tentative shouts of 4, 8 …an hour later we were exploring the best ever score from a double game week, 223 points using the bench boost AND A MASSIVE 20 POINT HIT.
This singular good outcome just bumped up my tolerance, I am now willing to spend 16 points to buff my team. Crazy ? maybe.
We played three days ago, travel, couldn’t train much. In three days, we play at 12:30. It’s an incredible challenge, everyone needs to be involved. Next game, we’ll change 5, 6, 7 players. The only way to sustain every player…
Pep Guardiola this week
Do I really want to take the risk that tired and rotatable players will generate me enough FPL points to cover my 16 points outlay ?
OK, how about I factor in that they should also be chosen to meet the needs of GW27 and GW28 also. My perceived risk diminishes.
Future positive bias rules, and why not, I don’t have the pressure of being in the top 10K, I can be more Gung ho.
My appetite for hitting changes by the hour, the pendulum swings as I consume more content and take more advice.
FRIDAY 19th FEBRUARY
Because I had to work deadline day, and the upcoming fixtures had not been announced, I made just two (free) transfers – 1 shield 1 in preparation for blank GW29.
Out went thorn in my side Chilwell and sadly I let Soucek go ( WHU fixtures turn) I only kept Grealish because of the promise of double fixtures, his FPL output has dropped off immensely.
In came Raphinha ( I only trust Leeds attack) and Brighton defender Ben White, a price lead decision, but also a player for GW29. I will need funds available if I opt for both Vardy and Kane. Southampton don’t fill me with confidence right now so I swerved them.
WEDNESDAY 24th FEBRUARY
Hindsight is a wondrous thing, Dallas scored 17 points this week, since I transferred him out in GW21, I have never been able to make peace with my defensive set up…
An OR gain of 2K is still a gain ( I have to keep telling myself )
Finally some action, I feel like I have been stagnating for so long. It is of course a now or never moment. If I don’t take some risks, be aggressive, I think I will regret it more than if I don’t. What I do next could be the difference between a final rank of 200K, 50K or 1.2MK.
The hunt is on. A predator knows that within the herd, there are weaker prey. In order to catch, devour and leave the remnants for the scavengers, the predator must first discover the weak points in the herd that lead to said prey and then utilise skill, stealth and every discernable advantage to maximise the chances of a kill. The predator must also know when to simply view all the delicious prey and yet walk on by as today is not the day to take a risk because the odds are unfavourable.
Although all managers in the game follow trends, knowing when to alight then subsequently disembark, is individually specific to the squad you manage. The unique combination of your 15 man squad, aligned with your style of management are the key ingredients which dictate whether you hunt (attack the gameweek), find a good vantage point to maybe plan a hunt (review both short/long term plans), simply chill on a branch and wait (roll the transfer), or relocate your position entirely (take hits 💉, play chips)! Points are prey! 😈
Belief Bias: the tendency to judge the strength of arguments based on the plausibility of their conclusion rather than how strongly they support that conclusion.
Bandwagon Effect: the tendency of an individual to acquire a particular style, behaviour or attitude because everyone else is doing it. It is a phenomenon whereby the rate of uptake of beliefs, ideas, fads and trends increases with respect to the proportion of others who have already done so.
Exploitation. There are many tools to be used to gain an advantage, and as in any game, the more tools you simultaneously employ, aka “strategic layers“, the greater your probability of plump, juicy point hauls become. The phenomena of group think inexorably combined with belief bias, leading to bandwagon effect, can allow you to exploit trends when they develop by either avoiding or joining them! Let’s take DGW25 as an example, firstly understanding, that any outcome is likely (😁 one for the Hangouts/Gulag Discord regulars there 😆). If any outcome is likely, you’ll either fly or crash and burn if you, for instance, had triple SOU and/or LEE assets for their DGW. However, we know that the lure of DGWs will induce the aforementioned phenomena. So, the terrain for potentially favourable hunting is within your horizon. As a second point of understanding, acceptance of unconTROLLable variables must be made peace with, this will abate emotional attachment.
My style of management lead me to not overly indulge in DGW25, with a view to looking ahead, as more than one Leeds asset was not appealing to me in the immediate future. Therefore continuing with the plan of mainly concentrating on the weak links in my team was affirmative. While Raphinha was an obvious purchase, returning 12pts over his 2 matches, where sticking with the premium cap rule would’ve seen Bruno return the same points in a single match 👀, the further additions of what I was convinced were targeted hits 💉💉 Digne 🔄 Dunk (cheaper asset with better form, playing in BGW29) & Antonio 🔄 Kane (about to enter a good fixture run, who alongside Bruno & Salah creates a 4.5% overall differential*)… Both of these assets blanked. 🤡🤣😈🤣
Dunk blanks after 7 consecutive returns, vs Crystal Palace who’ve been in dire form! Kane, despite having 6 shots in his match, only managed to trouble Flappianski, once! I relocated to a place of briars & brambles, which wouldn’t have mattered, IF, I had followed my instinctual #busteam selection! Lesson learnt.
XX!X. Probable Evolution. “…the guesses we make are not completely blind. Consciously or not, our probability management is mostly weighted by known knowns.” The trick is not second guessing yourselfand sticking with your first instinct.
Those that tripled up on Leeds assets had a stormer!!! Raphina 12pts, Bamford 8pts, Dallas 17pts!! Well played! 👏🏿 Southampton asset owners, particularly Ings owners… #InTheMud!! 😈🤣 The uncontrollable variable being Ings who started his 2nd match of the double-gameweek, ON THE BENCH! 🤣🤣 But, when you think about it, hasn’t Ings’s fitness always been an issue? Is his minutes being managed all that surprising?!
I really wanted to capitalise on the previous gameweek’s points haul. Losing the next match after a good win, kinda negates that good win. It was a frustration. One which I and the team do not want to sit through the aftermath of again! The average of the last 2 gameweeks is over 80pts, this does not reconcile a 1st red arrow in 8, especially when it could’ve been avoided. The lads did what they always do, I simply employed the wrong tactics. The team is good!
The return match for Brendan Saunders V Dread FPL was the sweet taste of revenge. My lads, probably a bit cocky 😜 sitting top of the table, were handed an 80pts – 52pts thrashing!! 💪🏿 WE GO AGAIN!! 💪🏿 Out of sheer fortune, I still have a 3 point buffer. This group is far from decided!
It will go down in the annuls of history! The time when the PL trolled the FPL Community! Friday 19th February 2021 @ 18:31hrs – 1 minute after the DGW25 deadline!! EPIC!!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
The final BIG DGW is here. As has become a trait of mine, there will be no hits going into it. I prefer to position in advance, in order to fully maximise the points return. In my head, I play the players, as it seems the general consensus is to take the hits in the same GW. Does it really make any difference? 🤔 What I love about this DGW26… the captain choice isn’t obvious…
My season has stagnated and I am not the only one it seems.
I scored 86 points this week, the average was 64. A small green arrow. Well that’s something. But I feel nothing.
One of the biggest stories of GW24 was the collateral damage caused by the preceding FA Cup games (3 days before). A lot of teams, which had been steadily built with GW24 in mind were all yellow (well amber).
Also the template team was impacted, Justin was stretchered off (amongst other casualties). Alas not enough of them moved over to Lowton to reap his 17 points. And did no one get the memo about Fulham assets ?
I decided to do nothing and roll a transfer into GW24 – I wanted to be as flexible as possible entering GW25, with a hope that more double game weeks would be announced.
I still have my Triple Captain chip, I doubt we will see better (double) game weeks to play it after GW28.
Mee, Gundogan, and Stones played one of their potential two matches. Martinez did Martinez things.
Well that was short and sweet. And sour.
I think FPL Fatigue is real and it’s happening now. Time for some tactical advice, from me, Pep and Mr Vardy.
I should press when we know we’ve got a chance of winning the ball. Before, I’d have probably sprinted from right-back to left-back and back across again, which is just burning energy up for no reason.
It’s about keeping that energy and that mindset so you’re ready to (he clicks his fingers) fully go 100 per cent when you know that there is a chance to win the ball, rather than trying to do that when there is a 10 per cent chance of winning the ball.
Sometimes you are the winger, others the goal post.
Pacing yourself throughout the season, knowing when to attack, when to consolidate and when to play defensively, isn’t always easy, especially when you live in the moment.
You don’t have to win every game week,keep sharp, be like Vardy, watch the game and take the best chances.
fortune (noun) 1.chance or luck as an arbitrary force affecting human affairs.
This thing about making your own luck. It implies preparation. Forethought. Aside from this, I had to remember the underlying reasons as to why employed strategies were defined. It’s funny how you can devise a plan and then somehow lose sight of it. One of the strategic layers added to The Plan was to have a strong bench. The baseline security being the ability to ride injuries, rests, CV19 positive tests, etc.., and still field a strong 11. I figured the humour 😂 of benched assets outscoring on-field assets would be an acceptable down-side to maintaining those above average gameweek scores, thus limiting the need to use FTs reactively, as using them proactively is always best! So, I gathered my thoughts and banished all concepts of hits. 💉 I arranged the squad into what I deduced to be the optimised formation, sticking to the strategy, having faith that the hours of thought accrued in its development would reap rewards. For context, before the raft of flags due to last week’s FA Cup matches, my team looked like this…
Gündogan was always going to get the armband – this is a newly applied strategic layer incorporated for the first time this gameweek! – with AVL assets all benched. Considering BHAs form, I didn’t expect much from them, nor Maddo v Liverpool. I tend to always set my team up the day before deadline, but with the state of things, I needed to wait for more data to become available and leave the finalised team sheet as late as possible. Carlo confirming DCL out of the FUL fixture, combined with all other flags being of little to no consequence, the final evolution of the teamsheet was…
Now beyond this… everything is in the fate of the FPL Gods! All anyone can do, is make their best guesses and then hope for the best! If your guesses are more weighted by sound analytical data than raw data, then your chances of good result sets will be greater. You also, increase your chances of “lucking out”!
Barnes 🔄 Salah. A transfer made in a gameweek where “The 🇪🇬👑” dropped in price?!🤯 It feels good to be going against the trend. This was a strategic purchase. I noticed in the last GW how any return from Salah drastically affected the gains made to my rank as the fluctuating points are tallied whilst the games are live. If I want to maintain momentum, Salah is a requirement (this may only apply to my current tier, so I’ll keep tabs on this). He also broadens my captaincy options. Surely, he’s had his barren run for the season now, right?! 🤔😁 There may yet be one or two more strategic purchases on the horizon… 👀
😂 Thanks Bhuna, you fucker!! 😂
So, Luck. Captaincy. “…the resolute practice of always capping a premium…”XXX. Unorthodox. I gleaned this from the current World No.1, a strategy I’d adapt for the rest of the season, in an experiment to see if my captaincy returns improve against the 1st half of my season where they were nothing short of abysmal! Naturally, I always add my own twist to anything that I adopt. As far as I’m concerned, if an asset returns FPL points like a “Premium”, then that asset is a premium, irrespective of their actual price. Thus, it simply now boils down to picking the best premium option in the squad. Gündogan – on form, City are the best team this season, plus, they have a DGW. It’s literally an ABC pick, no need to get smart about it, cap him and move on.😈
This game will draw you into long in-depth machinations, so when the Gift Horse 🐎 is blatantly neighing at you, don’t look it in the mouth!#taketheeasywins
This, my own personal brand of analysis, 😂 bought me into the luck of a Gündogan haul!! ThankYou Universe!!! Prior to this “always cap a premium” strategy, I could have punted on Cancelo or Pope. I honestly toyed with TC Pope, no lie!! This was before the Ola Hovde deep dive however. 😁
#DGW24: Matchday 1 – I have never amassed such a score after just 4 matches!! 😳 10 yet to play!!
The second-leg matches kick-off, with me currently occupying the 2nd of the two qualifying places in the table, hosting Ben Dinnery. The Gods smiled on me, having thoroughly won the cheers of the Colesseum crowd!🏛🥁🎺 The dust settles… I’m in top spot, recording home & away wins against the vanquished! ⚔💪🏿I even have breathing room to make tactical manoeuvres!😈 I sit 3pts clear of the rest! 🔝
Typically, #DGW24: Matchday 2 – was a bit of a comedown from the euphoria of the previous day, even if I only had 2 assets to play. Bruno did Bruno things with 9pts! Digne?!! 1pt!!! Well, I fucked him off quicker than a door to door chamois salesman! 😈 You’ll have to wait for the next release to find out who for, I did refer to “under the radar” assets. 😉 Also, I’ve begun to notice that ROI 📈 is a very weighty factor in my deliberation process, 🤓 I must expand on this in a future entryand how I believe it affects the squad as a whole. Bruno returning (again) is also noted, in fact, all 3 “premiums” in my squad have returned this GW. The obvious added security of capping a Premium is, they can pull moments of quality out of their locker, even if they or their team are having an under par performance. 👌🏿 Quality… I knew this subconsciously, but completely failed to appreciate the weight it should hold in my probability management. 😏 Lesson learnt.
#DGW24: Matchday 3 –❤ “You know I said it’s true…”🔊 😂😈 IN THE MUD ANTONIO OWNERS!!!😈😂 🙌🏿“I can feel the love, ❤ can you feel it too?…”🔊 Which doesn’t really matter when MaddoLad comes off the bench with 8pts!!! Also, Cresswell baggged all 3 bonus to deliver 12pts!!! 🔊“…I can feel it, ooo-ooah!!”🙌🏿❤🔊😁 Was it jammy?!🤔 💌 Was it a Valentine’s Gift?!🥰 Or the sign of a strong squad?🏋🏿♂️
It’s been 5 gameweeks since the WC, which I must say, has served me very well. That said, on my GW20 WC, I invested in Everton assets. Outside of DCL, my punts on Richarlison & Digne have been the very worst decisions of the whole 15 man squad! Do what you will with this info! The latest strategic development – and pretty much a pattern that I’ve noticed – every 4 – 6 gameweeks, repositioning 👀 is required – however this transition needs to be more seamless. 🚫💉🙇🏿♂️💡 I’ll utilise the terrain this coming gameweek, to camouflage behind the limited DGW fixtures and potentially the captaincy to further reduce my exposure. 😈 #opportunemoments 😈
#DGW24: Matchday 4 – The final day of this gameweek. A new PB#nochipsnohits😊 GW score! Plus the record for consecutive green arrows continues! An unbelievable 111pts collated by my lads this gameweek, despite Stones & Gündogan no-shows, and no CS for either of Cancelo or Pope in the second games of their DGW fixtures! But, Digne, yes, Digne popped up with a #gtfoleavingpresent of an assist!😂
💯😁 #BabygotBack #BigAtTheBack #100Club 😁💯
They all get a day or so off! 🍾 1st 💯 Club this season! 🍾 Go on lads, enjoy yourselves!! 🍻😁
The real fun in this game are the challenges you set for yourself!
Double-Double, Triple Doubles?!! Injury selection troubles! 🚑🏥 I’ll need the gift of a Seer 🧙🏿♂️ to cement my eleven for DGW24, as the FPL Gods are drunk, striking thunderbolts of yellow ⚡⚡ all over the shop! 🤕👨🏽⚕️ I have no FTs – early Barnes 🔄 Salah move – and I’m pretty sure I’ll not get a fix – 💉 #takethehit – to get me through it! I’m rehabilitated. 😇
I must confess, I went off on tiltas the beacons were lit in my team. Half of my double-gameweek assets! In one fell swoop my starting frontline put on notice! The automated, second-nature, default, habitual neuro-pathways did their thing and off I was on a myriad of potentials and hypotheticals, on the merry-go-round of lining up possible hits & options… teetering as none of the combinations give me peace… incomplete data… Hold on, that’s it! Incomplete data! Step out of the River Chaos, sit on the bank, resume the role of Voyeur. Wait for the path to be illuminated. Check yo’self! Patience my friend. “…transfers for nothing, and your points for free!” I’ll let the herd offer me points while they’re hitting 💉💉 it up! “…I want my, I want my, I want my free points please…”
I unlocked a new level in GW23, achieving my 1st ever 6th consecutive green arrow! 🌟😊. This streak has coincided with the plan of attack 😈 commenced in BGW18 and bolstered by the impromptu WC in GW20. The FPL Gods, obviously challenged by my recent fortitude, have seen fit to throw down a gauntlet! So this weekend in the Colosseum 🏛 I will battle ⚔ to defy their tyranny and reach the 7th Heaven! This 38 gameweek battle is but a series of little victories.
To be fair, once I realised my demons and blocked the path of least resistance… I looked at my team from a more blasé perspective… both Antonio & Pope will be fine, with Digne, not so far behind. Worst case scenario, I reckon, is that DCL misses the plum FUL fixture. Meh. So, I’m watching and waiting for a sign. I feel there are going to be form changes in these immediate gameweeks. A fine balance between popular picks and under the radar assets are what I need for the next few, stepping away slightly from the very differential overall team rating I’ve possessed of late. There is no set plan of when I’ll play my two remaining chips, BB & TC, but when the heavens align, I’ll know. Patience. Stalking and pouncing at the opportune moments 😈, my strategy, during this next mad rush of fixtures.