OPTIMAL

Please choose one of the following options

Option A

It has been tough season so far,and the bad news, there are only 9 game weeks to salvage a decent rank.

I’m setting up my best team for Saturday’s 11am deadline (I might take a hit for a Chelsea defender) , we’ll know how things have shaken down after the first week back from International Break, because this week anything could happen when the players return.

We’re all in the same boat, we can sort this before GW31. We got this.

Option B

To be honest my rank could be better, but I’m still ok, it’s been tough but it’s been tough for everyone, I am still willing to give this a go. There is still a quarter of the season left after all, and I know weaker FPL players will drop away. Also I have a good knowledge of the teams and players, and with some double game weeks on the horizon, and some obvious captain picks to target – shield or sword- there is opportunity. How can I maximise my game from here ? How can I hit the ground running GW30?

If you chose A

OK so you have dropped behind, understandable, with injuries and cancelled matches blowing your points haul week after week, watching your mates breeze on through with their stellar triple captaincies and never ending bench choices.

Things wont be changing. I should say look ahead target some fixtures coming up, but the simple plan is to face it head on, week by week. Live or die by gut instinct, some knee jerks, get some form players in, (who scored big last week ? – I can’t remember who, it was 14 days ago now.)

Hits are fine or maybe not, so stick with what you know, that new striker is not going to outscore the guy you’ve held all year cos he hit 200 points last season. Your final chip, your last chance, everyone else is playing it GW35, you will lose out if you don’t do this too, group think is right, right ?

Surely your luck will change for the better, regression to the mean and all that ??

I doubt it, you’ve made bad calls all season and never had any 3 figure game week ranks. Because your OR is on a downward trend, the likely scenario is you finish on double your current rank. Shit happens. If I were you I’d find a content provider who is doing well ( Let’s Talk FPL Andy ) and copy his transfers from here on.

Next season you can be a new man and win it.

Thanks for reading my blog, hopefully catch up with you early August.

Best of luck mate.

If you chose B

Welcome to the beginning of your next adventure. How are you doing ? Staring ahead into the great unknown. Let’s put some markers down to point the way.

Take a good look at your rank, how does it make you feel ? What is your aim for the next 9 weeks ?

Don’t ask how, but Ideal scenario, realistically what would be a satisfying OR for the season ?

How do you feel now ? Acknowledge your emotion, it’s the first step.

Now zoom out a little, change your perspective, you are the manager, where can you see the possibilities for future gains ? Nothing in focus yet ? You need to read my next blog ;).

For me ranked 236k with 9 hands to play, I am not quite on target but strangely very similar to last season.

(Awaiting GW30 I was at 251k – I finished at 49k)

Conclusion; not brilliant but still in touch with my desired rank.

When you look at your own rank, consider your tolerance range – I don’t have mini leagues weighing me down, so my view on risk is more flexible.

The way I see things, 50K would be great, 100K is my target, up to 500K is meh but ok. So, realistically anywhere between 100K and 500K will register the same to me.

Can I stomach a 1M finish ? If my answer is yes, then I should proceed with a medium to high risk strategy.

My aim being to crack the 50K again means I can likely proceed with low to medium risks, such as identifying a couple differential captaincy weeks and going differential, rather than rising and falling with the herd. A higher risk would be going differential for each of the 9 weeks, even when the captaincy shout is so highly owned and everyone is on it – if I don’t match a haul my rank would plummet.

I am currently on 1816 points, I have TC, FH and WC so I will factor in a conservative 80 points compensation.

1896 points puts me around 50K, hmmm that nudges me towards low risk. Basically I should mostly shield, pick my differential moments to attack, and in addition make certain I hit those points targets I have assigned to my remaining chips. I can allow a little margin for error.

So my rank is not that bad, if all my competitors around me play on in their usual fashion, and I look ahead see and take my opportunities I can really make some gains and acheive top 50K. It’s no certainty, but it’s realistic and low risk.

But, you only live once, why not squeeze the accelerator pedal a little ?

POSTSCRIPT

This is not the blog I have been writing the last couple days, that will follow shortly, (it’s a mystical quest to find a unicorn. Well actually it’s about the hunt for actual opportunities, not just your standard differentials predictions, some more outside the box thinking.)

But back to the point

I don’t want to appear rude, well hell yes, life is too short. Some of you need a slap.

Don’t let fear come between you and opportunity – especially at this stage in the season.

https://twitter.com/FPL_Blonde/status/1377176966579638280?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1377176966579638280%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_c10&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fread.elitefpl.com%2F%3Fp%3D2196preview%3Dtrue

Now I feel like a psychopathic school mistress, so pens down, sit up straight, go home and get a good night’s sleep because tomorrow I want you to write me a 500 word essay entitled ”My Best is Yet to Come”

Dismissed.

HYDE

And so we come to the final entry in the Monster mini series. I have been surprisingly pleased at how rewarding these tangents have been to my game play.

Last week’s blog inspired me to switch tactics for GW29, more on that later.

This weeks lesson: master your own self.

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.

F Scott Fitzgerald

The respectable Dr Jekyll and the depraved Mr Hyde – are both the same person – in the classic horror from Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, published in 1886.

Stevenson’s point: every human being contains opposite forces within him or her, an alter ego that hides behind one’s polite facade.

Once released, Hyde gradually comes to dominate both personas, until Jekyll takes Hyde’s shape more often than his own. Indeed, by the very end of the novel, Jekyll himself no longer exists and only Hyde remains.

Playing FPL can turn us all into frustrated angry monsters, and sometimes the biggest challenge we face every week is returning to that state of rationality that we need to make our best decisions.

Like Dr Jekyll, I am doing my own little experiment this season, recognising my weaknesses, for the most part emotional, and using my psychopath alter ego to negate them. The saga is ongoing. Has my game improved ? Maybe, actually yes, I have certainly learnt a lot about myself and found some tricks I want to build on next season.

Method Acting

There is definitely something to this role play tactic, an FPL manager needs many different strategies throughout the season, especially, as Pep would call it, the art of Pausa (That’s the understanding of knowing the game and when to attack).

For the majority of the season, we play smart and keep possession (of our rank), but we should never stop eyeing the field for a chance to attack.

Alfred Stieglitz – Grand Central Terminal NY

But sometimes, perhaps only 3 or 5 times a season, the chance comes to you. A golden moment, out of the blue.

And perhaps you are the only one to see it – if you are lucky. Be courageous, make use of it.

What I am saying here is, trust in yourself, don’t wait around waiting to be told what to do – like a casual watching a Let’s Talk FPL livestream. Get yourself into the zone and have a real deep dive into how to make some ground.

If you are intelligent, if you are alert, the ordinary becomes the extraordinary.

Osho,, The Secret of Secrets

Looking through the fixtures at any time of the season is one way to identify a chance.

For example, a simple exercise such as looking at the next 9 fixtures and nominating the popular captaincy choice, then suggesting a more differential choice ( I roped in some community members in the chat room to do just this, to look ahead with no noise and go with their gut, no time for analytics ).

Some game weeks the captain choice is obvious GW34 shouts Kane, going against group think is high risk high reward if it pays off ( I am willing to take that chance, as a more lucrative captain choice is calling me ). Some game weeks there is arguably no obvious choice, a low risk time to go more differential.

A by product of this is I now have some guidance on what teams to cover for my Wild Card.

Where do I stand ?

Holding on to my WC, TC and FH, has meant being stuck in the 200k to 300k zone, as I deployed caution and balanced my game weeks to protect not advance my rank – and watching members of the community leap ahead has been soul destroying (if I had a soul that is).

So why haven’t I played them ?

Free Hit ; I have watched most players use this defensively to cover a blank game week (GW18 or GW29). I would rather use it to capitalise on a double game week.

Triple Captain; call me old fashioned but surely this is best played in a double game week too ? OK it’s negotiable.

Wild Card; the fixture swing after GW30 was always my target to refresh for the run in.

GW29 was snakey, only 4 fixtures, I was really indecisive on how to play it, in the run up I left my options open, to Free Hit or not to Free Hit.

Because it was an opportunity, a chance to make ground, but only if you nailed it. I just couldn’t be sure.

WHEN IN DOUBT DO NOTHING

I ended up rolling my transfer.

WHAT? WHY?

  • I hated the match ups of the fixtures – they were too close to call
  • the group think fixation on 1 game week to the detriment of the weeks either side, I smelt opportunity
  • lack of faith in BHA or any team keeping a CS (oh hindsight is a wonder)
  • the wastefulness of playing such a powerful chip on such a small player/points pool
  • I trusted my self and I didn’t let fear dictate my decisions – thank you Vampyre blog

The world of FPL does not pay any respect to the individual, it forces everybody into a certain pattern. Stay strong, know yourself. Enter the playing field, stand tall, observe and encounter it, let it flow around you, but don’t let it in. Know your enemy and overcome it.

GW29

GW29 Let it Go F.C.

Yes I was lucky and nailed my captain, and yes I could have taken a -8 to field more players, and Holding was a bad choice, and I could have gone Bamford cos he has great GW30 fixture… but I didn’t and that was my choice.

With 2 transfers for GW30 and 3 green arrows in a row I feel confident

(about DGW26 I did expect a drop in rank as I wasn’t activating any chips and I took a -8 to restructure the team for the coming weeks)

Looking at the last 10 game weeks, after the disaster of circumstances that was GW21, I have held my ground.

On the face of it disappointing, but bigger picture, I kept my chips, I am set up to attack the last quarter.

The benefit of not being mini league driven and no longer in the (knockout stages) of the Super Cup is I can actually specialise in rank progression over the next 9 weeks.

I am thinking through low risk and high risk plays, as well as trying to target less interesting/obvious matches.

I think I will stop here – looks like next week’s blog is beginning to write itself.

POSTSCRIPT

The International break affords us time to think. Observe. Form ideas. Discuss.

Is there anybody in the hangout chat right now…?

XXXVIII. Weaning

This International Break is probably the best time to start thinking about what you’re gonna do with your life as an FPL manager come the summer and next season! This 2020/21 season has been a constant “tit in the face and teet in the mouth!”. We’ve sucked on the never-ending supply of milk and enjoyed it!! I mean, who wouldn’t!! 😉😆 But now we’re gorged!

We’ve been spoilt by the rapid-fire nature of matches, the endless amount of televised games, the continuous stream of FPL Twittersphere (ok, the latter might not change 😄). Do we even remember the FPL “norm”?! Life beyond this season’s ample buxom bosom?

Why is there a gap between my boobs?

The FPL season has been a blast. It has at least mildly, filled a gap, preoccupying the mind, a distraction from life as we currently know it. However, there’s a time and place for everything, plus, too much of a good thing may not always be, a good thing. Not many of us will have a Wild Card to ponder during this break. I’ve already made my FT move on an asset with no BGW29 fixture nor international commitments anyway, so my #busteam has been set since the game updated!

I’ve had vague thoughts of best practices to remember when pre-season planning commences for 2021/22, but I’ll just let those subroutines rattle around in the back of my mind without creating and executing a scheduled task for now, there’s the height of summer to enjoy first!! 🌞

“In the summertime when the weather is fine…”

Mungo Jerry

My surprise at the cynical disbelief that I’d captain Dunk in BGW29 (CS, 12pts). In Discord, on Twitter & Instagram, people asked me if this was “legit?”. My question was, why would I mislead you and why is this your goto assumption? Is FPL social media a hotbed of subterfuge? I mean do I really care for anyone’s opinion enough to purposefully mislead them? I could do it for kicks I suppose, but what would be the point? If someone’s brain-dead enough to copy my selections, good luck! 😆 If I had a tactical reason, like before I got knocked out of the Super Cup, I’d simply not reveal my team until after the deadline. Some weaning from whatever bias has their addiction may be called for here! 😆 They’ll have too get used to it, as part of my closing strategy is the discard of an adopted conditioning where you “Never captain a defender!”.

My initial BGW29 #busteam captain, Lingardinho, out-scored Dunk by 6pts. What I take from this is faith in my selection process, as both my captain choices returned, so my cognition is on the right track. My one-week Aina punt for Cancelo was a bust, he’s straight out again for Azpilicueta. Ødegaard was instrumental for the 3-3 thriller away to WHU, he blanked but he’s going nowhere, in fact, another Arsenal asset is under scrutiny! I’m gonna have to finally face Laca’s stats, combining these with the eye-test and FDR has persuaded me, the guy is on fire! He should’ve had a hat-trick, so he’s in the spreadsheet planner! Not gonna take any hits 💉💉 though. Iheanacho is already on the planner, has been for a while too! These two will come in to replace DCL & Watkins asap! Alongside Kane, this frontline line excites me, so it will test my resolve to have patience and let the FTs come to me. I have to focus on building my BGW33 starting-11 anyway! That said, I’ll need one hit 💉 to do so! 😁

I anticipated that getting a green arrow this GW would be difficult. Keeping my original captain choice would’ve given me a small green arrow as opposed to the small red arrow I ended up with, my 2nd in 5 gameweeks, although, it’s also my 2nd in 12 gameweeks! See, you can present stats to support your cognition bias if you choose too, beware this trap! Why create your own traps and then walk straight into them!?? You’d think that the most important aspect of this game is about being right, as opposed to amassing points! 😂

Always strive for objectivity.

So yeah, I’m ready for the break. Not gonna think much about my team, I’ve already pre-planned my potential next few transfers leading up to BGW33 and my GW30 #busteam is set. It’s a fair way to the 3rd April, 11am deadline, so this team is subject to change… I mean, if Son’s back, #NEWTOT cannot be ignored! Bale captain would be a fun pick! 🙂

Aina 🔄 Azpilicueta

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We’ll all be able to socialise soon! Maybe I’ll spend more time planning for real ones!!! 😉🤤😁

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VAMPYRE

Has Blonde gone bat shit crazy? This has nothing to do with FPL.

Let’s get to the impaling point, this week is all about FEAR.

Fear is an emotion, with major side effects. A tilting mechanism which distracts us from making balanced, reasonable decisions. It can also sap our time and energy, leaving little motivation for the actual task in hand.

Count Dracula. Possibly the most charismatic iconic monster yet, an outsider, dark and uncontrollable. Draining the life blood from victims and terrifying the neighbourhood.

Vampyres can force humans into submission sooner than a unchecked bias can an FPL player.

The first mention of the word vampire in the English language is in the 1730s, in newspapers which carry reports from the edge of Europe, of bodies being dug up and looking bloated, and having fresh blood around their mouths. They report that these stories have come from peasants, but they make them sound very plausible.

Roger Luckhurst, who edited Oxford World’s Classic’s reprint of Bram Stoker’s Dracula

hic incipit pestis

Diseases were frightening things before the age of medical science. Plagues and epidemics could appear without warning and cause death and misery. Speculation and superstition were rife. People turned to the supernatural, the irrational, in their need to understand and explain.

Having trouble relating ?

Before 2020 none of us knew what it was like to live under the shadow of a highly contagious deadly disease, with no known cure and no means of stopping it. Was it real or fake? Who started it ? Who is to blame?

Who can save us ?

Facebook has the answer, no Twitter does.

Pets are carriers. Buy more toilet roll.

Inject cleaning fluid.

BBC.co.uk 24 April 2020

NB Sunlight kills vampires, not Corona Virus

Back in the Middle Ages, trying to kill vampires, or prevent them from feeding, was a way for people to feel as though they had some control over disease.

The fear that the dead, once buried, could still harm the living, by raising from their coffins and sucking the blood from the healthy – even if people didn’t believe it, they were still drawn to the hype.

The remains of a medieval “vampire” have been discovered among the corpses of 16th century plague victims in Venice, according to an Italian archaeologist who led the dig.

In 2006, archaeologists unearthed a skull in Venice, Italy, that had been buried among plague victims with a brick in its mouth. The brick was likely a burial tactic to prevent strega—Italian vampires or witches—from leaving the grave to eat people.

Though Bram Stoker did not invent Dracula or vampire lore, he did more to solidify it in the imaginations of English-speaking audiences than any author has since, when, in 1897, he published Dracula. He also drew on historical accounts of the 15th-century Romanian prince Vlad Tepes, or Vlad the Impaler. Born in Transylvania as the second son of the nobleman Vlad II Dracul, he took the name Dracula, meaning “son of Dracul,” when he was initiated into a secret order of Christian knights known as the Order of the Dragon. (In Romanian, Dracul means “dragon.”). It was claimed that Vlad liked to dine among the impaled bodies of his victims, and would even dip his bread into their blood.

Professor Van Helsing emerges as a well-matched adversary in the novel, and he is initially the only character who possesses a mind open enough to contemplate and address Dracula’s particular brand of evil.

He is versed not only in the modern methods of Western medicine, but with an unparalleled knowledge of superstitions and folk remedies.

The nosferatu do not die like the bee when he sting once. He is only stronger; and being stronger, have yet more power to work evil.

Van Helsing

So to FPL and the living nightmare that this season has become.

38 weeks is a long time to maintain balance and positivity. There might be periods of fatigue and weakness, when you may invite fear in.

In the spirit of Foreshadowing is Forearmed, let me introduce the Van Helsing Guide to Fear Management & Resistance in FPL

  • Rumours that sound plausible and cause panic and hype – Take a step away. In a calm place, perhaps in the company of trusted others, apply logic and reasoning until fear is dispelled.
  • Resisting Group Think – Accept that we are geared to stay connected to others, but learn to trust in your own decision making ability. Build a strong mind set to help resist noise.Trust no one. Seek responsible sources to inform yourself. Sometimes with template & ownership there is safety in numbers, the herd falls with you. When you take a solo path, there is no shame in retracing your steps to rejoin the crowd. Always remember when travelling alone, keep opportunities for escape foremost in your mind, do not get caught in a blind alley.
  • Don’t get hijacked by superstition and speculation. eg.1. FOMO (fear of missing out when not owning a particular asset.) eg.2. Bias such as Loss aversion (for individuals, the pain of losing is psychologically twice as powerful as the pleasure of gaining) Others may Free Hit on a blank GW, I choose to save it for a DGW to optimise my gains. eg.3. ”The Gambler’s Fallacy‘ is the belief that a “run” or “streak” of a given outcome lowers the probability of observing that outcome on the next trial. Statistics/metrics/xG/xC are a guide not a reliable forecast.
  • Failure and the need to control – human beings believe that they can control or at least influence outcomes when, in fact, they cannot. Eliminate this useless urge from your timeline. Instead of focusing on the outcome, focus on evaluating decisions and transfers, these are factors you can control.
  • Behaving out of character due to stressors. Develop a strong mind, believe in yourself. Find ways to restore balance and calm.Play to your personality, if you fear risky plays then don’t make them.
  • Descent into madness -Accept this is a game of chance, of randomness. SHIT HAPPENS learn to move on to the next week without baggage. If you don’t your vulnerability will eat you up.

see I nailed it

CONCLUSION

Van Helsing sets the example, with his open probing mind. Investigation tempered with reasoning, results in accepting what we can’t change, extrapolating what might be of actual value, then making a considered decision free from prejudice.

Fears are good for us, and they are mostly irrational, they motivate, or thrill (upside chasing) and most importantly they are a survival mechanism. It’s the side effects that do the damage.

Feel the fear and do it anyway – don’t miss out on great opportunity.

POSTSCRIPT

I try to make my blogs no longer than a 10 minute read, this week I could have kept you here for hours. Well thank you for trusting in those huge leaps to the ‘next thing’ that are a consequence of an extreme edit.

Vampires, pandemics, irrationality, FPL. Who knew.

I love the fact that Stoker would walk through cemeteries to find character names.

It was in Poland, Hungary, Silesia, Moravia, Austria, and Lorraine, that the dead made this good cheer. We never heard a word of vampires in London, nor even at Paris. I confess that in both these cities there were stock-jobbers, brokers, and men of business, who sucked the blood of the people in broad daylight; but they were not dead, though corrupted. These true suckers lived not in cemeteries, but in very agreeable palaces………

Voltaire 1772

nobody mention patreon

PPS – My team is treading water, acceptable green arrow, 8 weeks in the 200 to 300K zone, yawn. Still hold TC FH & WC2, mwah ha ha haaaa.Back to the bat cave.

XXXVII. Endgame

By now, we all have very good knowledge of the where points are most likely to found. We’ve had 28 gameweeks of observational knowledge which we can combine with our current assets, alongside any remaining chips, in order to strategise our closing moves of the season. It’s now time to utilise that knowledge to it’s fullest extent. I believe that this may well be the time where this knowledge can allow you to corner the available points and obtain the massive gains!

There will be trends that occured during your individual season where you’ll know when a certain strategy worked or did not. You should have by now realised your strengths and your weaknesses! You can look back at 28 weeks of data, and with some certainty, decipher the better investments. The exisiting trends are unlikely to change drastically as the remaining weeks of this season dwindle. We can already see which teams have something to play for and those who do not. Outside of the randominity, which will always produce outliers, there’s not really much out there now to surprise us. If you apply this knowledge thoughtfully, you should be well placed to clear the board!

Many blogs ago, II. The Voices: Flashback 2019/20 I realised that I’d have to find my way in this game and it has been a journey! I only now feel like I’m ready, like I’m on the verge of becoming intune with my very own style of management. How I play the game! I’ve dropped adopted conditioning. All information is reprocessed through a prism of my own making. I’ve curbed my less fruitful tendencies. I’ve been to over-thinking and back again, and now, I’m about simplification, much like you do in mathematics. I’ve seen a few tweets during this FPL season “complaining” that this is the year of the “casual”, and I wondered why? Casuals are not as conditioned to group-think nor over-thinking, they’ll do the things that more involved managers will laugh at, then at the end of the gameweek, the casual will be like, “I got 85pts!“. Simplification. As a more involved manager, this simplification, aligned with the flood of information I absorb on a weekly basis, dipped in a touch of the unorthodox will be the underlying essense of my endgame strategy. No more rigidity! #belikewater We all have access to the data, we all watch the games or at least the highlights. After all of this it’s then how you process what you’ve absorbed, the output that creates and then how that cognition is applied. Style. #playyourowngame

Having played my FH in BGW18 & my WC in GW20, this is a squad which has evolved over time with one eye focused on the gameweek at hand and BGW33! I used my FT for Cancelo 🔄 Aina, FUL defence has been pretty decent of late and I could keep Aina for 2 to 3 gameweeks (although this is unlikely). Aina is mainly a one-week punt, possibly the first one-weeker I’ve made all season, it’s not something I’m keen on doing, as I never know when a fire could start in my side.

Son, with his potential hamstring injury is out (a move I made before any real confirmation of how severe the injury or how long he may be out for). For me, an asset with this type of injury who relies on his explosive pace, has no place in my squad. Furthermore, in my mind, with his high ownership, getting rid of him immediately allows me to steal a march on the field as many may hold out. Son 🔄 Ødegaard (-4💉), a player who is relatively fresh when most assets have had a long hard season (which is catching up with them) in a team which is slowly finding form and has good fixtures through the end of the season. With him having just scored and returning 10pts in his first full PL 90mins, his confidence should be on the up! I could be getting in on him as near to the start of a decent run of returns?! He seems nailed in his No. 10 role for the Gunners… let’s see how this develops! At his price, it’s a punt I’m comfortable with. Opportune moment?

Dunk Captain! My #busteam was Lingard captain, but I feel that potentially, Dunk has the higher ceiling. Another punt I’m comfortable with, as I own Kane anyway, so will get half the points his captainers will. Opportune moment?

I feel good! 🙂

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