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.
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.
Yes, it is a good idea to reset Windows FPL10 if you can, preferably every game week, when possible.
Most users only resort to a Windows FPL10 reset if they are having problems with their arrow colouration. However, tons of data get stored over time, some with your intervention but most without it (commonly termed ‘noise’ ) .
This data can accumulate rather quickly and continue to rotate and slow your system down the more you use your browser.
If left unattended, the data obtained from social media (malware), bias (spyware), and other means, completely derails your system and may cause brain freeze and in the worst case, account deletion.
Resetting your brain (like you might do with your Android smartphone) ensures optimum performance and stability on a continual basis.
This bloody game. How come after all the time I put into research and reasoning I make the wrong decisions ?
Because no matter how much logic you apply to reduce the risks, it’s still a guessing game.
Walk away. Listen to music. Change the subject. Balance yourself. Go again.
Two weeks ago I had an anomaly game week, GW21 only 23 points, I did the right thing, ignored it as best I could and moved on.
I now feel I am in some yo-yo state, good week bad week, bottom line, I am not in a happy place – in every sense.
I can’t dress this up in a sugar coating, I am not winning FPL this year. A disappointing plot spoiler, with 25 blogs to go.
I now have 3 choices
Total wipe-out – delete my account and terminate the blog
Stick 2 fingers up to convention and go rogue with differentials and other nefarious activities
Re-balance and return to considered moves and patience
Well it won’t be deletion, and I tried rogue tactics and failed last season. Really ? I have to choose boring plodding.
The things I do for a 50k OR.
Someone’s gonna pay, I think I’ll be starting with Chilwell. And I might be treating myself to a hit or two, as the double game weeks come at us. And why oh why can’t I nail my captaincy ? Must I go premium captains only, how dull. Better look at adding some premiums back into the squad.
I have already used my Bench Boost chip – the reason I mention it, DG26 is a BB target for many, so I am mentally preparing myself for a rank drop here. Actually with doubles in 24,25 & 26, it’s chip playing season, it’s going to be a struggle to keep up without playing chips. I still have my Triple Captain, Free Hit and Wildcard.
So much to think on, and most importantly, this could be a period to once again cut myself some slack – easier said than done. Time to dig in and reassess in GW30.
In poker, bad beat is a subjective term for a hand in which a player with what appears to be strong cards nevertheless loses.
Only 1 of my 5 defenders played this week and he came off injured for 0 points.
And last week I played Martinez (1) benched Areola (10), this week I benched Martinez (10) played Areola (1).
I also benched Bamford after his recent barren spell, and of course he shone.
Kane injured both of his ankles against Liverpool last week, I had already sold him. Spurs struggled to a 1-0 defeat to Brighton this. Unluckily I still had Son.
Pep did Pep things, which included starting Jesus and resting Cancelo (and Stones), suffice to say Gundogan didn’t get much to work with.
I clipped this just before the final game of the week
I actually finished with a game week rank of 7,534,932. That’s some achievement as there are only 7,940,734 players.
I don’t think my Discord friends knew how to react, I laughed at it. It was so totally abysmal I had to write it off.
The trouble is,only I knew the real truth, the reason I could shrug this freak game week off, I had a much bigger fear.
I had already been triggered by a memory. Failure February.
This time last year marked my crash and burn out of the top 10K, over 5 weeks I dropped from 5,359 to 152,261.
January 23rd 2020. It all began with captain Mane off after 30 mins in the first game of a double game week.
Of course I dropped in rank due to this captain fail.
Four red cards in my squad followed – including one for Zincenko.
A match postponement meant I lost 2 premium players in a game week.
Five red arrows in a row.
February was a nightmare.
During this time, I was ‘alone’, playing FPL in a void – no one I knew played the game. I talked with myself in my diary.
Interesting to see, I told myself back to basics
‘cover biggest owned’ players
‘patience with transfers’
‘remove weakest link’
‘use eye test & shots in box stats’
‘a quick fix may only make things worse’
But it didn’t work fast enough. I lost patience and chose to select ‘some major differentials to try to stay ahead (of the curve) it didn’t pay off’. Diary entries ‘mix it up’ and ‘need to get away from the template’ further illustrate my desperation.
By the time the season locked down, in the middle of March, I had slumped to 238k.
Looking back, I recall how devastating this period was for me at the time. Now armed with far more knowledge (and the support in my Discord group) I would be able to handle it differently.
And guess what, time to practise what I preach, I have just had my worst week ever in FPL.
Groundhog day. Like the film, it’s happening all over again.
In a week where the average was 48 I scored 23 points, my OR dropped from 74k to 228k.
What it boils down to, the very essence of FPL, is that it’s a guessing game, which you play against 7 million other people, but equally, if not more importantly, you play your own self.
In poker there are 52 cards, you can count them, and make use of probabilities to predict your opponents hand (and psychology to ascertain how he might play it out).
In FPL there are 20 squads of 25 individuals, with 20 managers, all projecting their own ideas and current mental state, then add injuries, the weather, COVID, VAR, and on and on (as Vince says it’s like War & Peace) – that’s a mighty big deck of variables to deal with.
As the song says, you need to know when to hold, when to fold, know when to walk away and know when to run.
I am not at the running away stage yet. Let’s see how February pans out.
If I can’t pull it back by game week 30 – ie enter the top 100k again – I might have to turn the tables, abandon this season and test some theories for next.
Inspiration for this weeks blog
Lateriser’s very useful article from this time last year
Groundhog Day is a 1993 film where the hero awakes to find he is reliving the same day over and over.
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