Our brains don’t see everything—the world is too big, too full of stimuli. So the brain takes shortcuts, constructing a picture of reality with relatively simple algorithms for what things are supposed to look like.
Magic is all about exploiting the gaps in human perception. And so is FPL.
Think straight or curveball ? Your season depends on you.
SMOKE & MIRRORS
Some game weeks are just anomalies, and should be eliminated from critical thinking. And some features of FPL are temptingly easy to fixate on, and so appear more significant than they actually are – blanks and double game weeks for example.
And perhaps the greatest illusion of all, player value…
Now you see it, now you don’t.
Not the greatest of platforms from which to launch the biggest game changer chip.
Wild card activated, understandably my head is a scramble of sampling and sound bites. It follows my blog will be too.
“Pump Up the Volume” is the only single by British recording act M|A|R|R|S.
Recorded and released in 1987, it was a number-one hit in many countries and is regarded as a significant milestone in the development of British acid house music and music sampling.
MARRS took samples from 26 other songs to create their masterpiece, I have a pool of 20 teams to create that elusive combination of a great melody and lyric. It can be so easy to get wrapped up in the details of the music itself, such as which chords to use? How the melody should go? How should the snare drum sound? Sometimes the central concept of the song can often end up as an afterthought.
KISS – keep it simple stupid – it’s about a very simple hook, points.
So in a not so rare blonde moment, what’s the premise here ?
Buy maximum points on a budget – and try not to get sidetracked.
So my baseline, 15 players at 4.5M = 67.5M, each player plays 90 mins and gets me 2 points.
I don’t appear to have spent all the money, may I buy into some extra points (goals, assists, bonus) ?
Sure, points are points.
Now those of you who know me from Discord chat or from reading this blog, know that I am more Rocket Girl than Rocket Scientist, I am the muse, the adventurer, the opportunity hunter.
There are far better people to walk you through stats and player choices, I am just here for inspiration and re-framing, after all a change is as good as a rest.
Even if you are not activating your Wild Card, you should have some notion of how to attack the run in.
In an attempt to squeeze every point I can from the last 8 weeks, my head is a maelstrom. What follows are my thoughts, in all their chaotic beauty, on pulling rabbits from hats.
This is my fourth serious year and I have never held so much money in the bank. The wealth of great value high scoring options in midfield and forward positions means I have the luxury of considering ‘premium’ GK and defenders.
It would be remiss not to investigate GK rotation over a set and forget – but I am going to pass. I got Martinez for 4.6m, and it wasn’t many weeks ago Twitter was screaming season keeper, so I’m keeping. I did have a brief think about switching up to a premium, but 0.1 above the baseline with his yield seems a no brainer. Save money to spend elsewhere.
As for defence, this has been my Achilles Heel this season.
Dias picks himself. With both Rudiger & Christensen at 4.7M (ignoring the WBA debacle) I am torn about TAA, there seems to be a move towards getting him in, it I get TAA I don’t get Salah… I am getting triggered here, over thinking, STOP & objectify.
I’m not going to stress, it’s a waste of energy, I am going fairly template ( wisdom of the herd) but with an eye on price points. I will more than likely stick with a 3 at the back formation it’s just my style, and as I am not in contention to win the darn thing, I will take my joy where I can. But I am going to be deploying a very solid bench, to counter some rather risky outfield tactics.
Early transfers, this is something I have avoided all season, as a precaution against injury or illness, with a good budget I will be able to continue this – not an option every season, when risking an early transfer has to be done to avoid a shut out price rise.
Chip play timing. I have held on to both TC and FH. With potential double game weeks on the horizon, I feel powerful and hopeful this will be a low risk way to more points.
Double ups and stand ins. By this I mean, double Leics attack with both Vardy and Iheanacho, or double Liverpool with Salah and Jota.
When I use the term stand ins, I am referring to pairing off a lucrative but rotation risk player with an average scoring ‘plays every week’ hero. An example might be Stones paired with Andersen or Coady. Last year I enjoyed considerable success with a high risk rotation/rotation combo Mahrez/Foden so I am hoping to recreate this strategy this season – oh the joy of out thinking Pep.
Tripling up. This used to be a taboo tactic, but I love it. High risk but high reward when a team is juggernauting through some favourable fixtures.
The Knowledge. At the start of the season we don’t have much to go on, so fixture difficulty is a marker.
At this stage we have considerable insight into how teams work, and for me fixtures can be a trap, when a teams inconsistency is overlooked because on paper they have great match ups.
I know my fixture proof players, my set and forgets until the end of the season – and I know what teams I trust too.
Do you really need to be married to that highly owned player ? A big risk but …moving off first because you can be objective and don’t have any emotional attachment, well, very satisfying if you get the correct replacement. For me I employed No Salah No Fear back in GW18.
But things change, Salah is 29.8% owned, Fabinho is minding midfield and the fixtures are good…
Playing against ownership – is not for the feint hearted.
Ok here’s a thing, that I have been utilising this season, and it is a work in progress, reading the other FPL players and exploiting their ‘tells’.
How do you even do this when you can’t see body language ?
I watch them on social media.
Have you ever heard yourself say ‘ why?’ ‘are you nuts’ ‘yes please buy him cos it will help my rank’ these are not throw away comments, STOP and check the answer to ‘why?’
Look into them, if you hold a belief that it is contrary to the trending theory, and can back up your hunch with evidence such as stats, this might be the start of your differential story.
For example, due to their incredible fixtures, interest in Wolves is gaining momentum, particularly the defence – last season their defence was notably good. But that was last season and it is no guarantee of this.
”Having started the season considered as one of the best defences, they are now ranked only 12th best at home and 11th best away.”
Consider a technique used by the legendary pickpocket Apollo Robbins..researchers asked him about his devious methods—how he could steal the wallet of a man who knew he was going to have his pocket picked—they learned something surprising: Robbins said the trick worked only when he moved his free hand in an arc instead of a straight line. According to the thief, these arcs distract the eyes of his victims for a matter of milliseconds, just enough time for his other hand to pilfer their belongings. When we see a hand moving in a straight line, we automatically look toward the end point—this is called the pursuit system. A hand moving in a semicircle, however, seems to short-circuit our saccades. The arc doesn’t tell our eyes where the hand is going, so we fixate on the hand itself—and fail to notice the other hand reaching into our pocket.Magic and the Brain: Teller Reveals the Neuroscience of Illusion
Strategise your pursuit system, focus on the end game. Know what is logical for your own team. Avoid deviation from the straight and narrow.
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.Theodore Roosevelt
I used @FPL_GFCT great article to help me with my Wild Card.
Interestingly, the Billboard hot-100 singles in1987 was topped by …The Bangles – Walk Like an Egyptian…surely a sign ?