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…?