HEARTS

This bloody game I don’t know if I love it or hate it.

Find the answer at the end of the blog.

When Jason (Elite CEO) gave me the opportunity to blog for a year, he was a little uncomfortable with certain subjects, if you are reading this Jase, I smell burning, is the shed on fire ?

Bottom line this blog is about passion, desire and promiscuity.

Head or Heart

As in life, FPL is a never ending struggle between head (logic and reason) and heart (passions and emotions). We like to think we are driven by competition but in truth we are motivated by feelings and needs, such as feeling involved and receiving rewards and attention.

Channeling my inner psychopath I can stand on the periphery, be objective.

I can use players when they are ‘hot’ (Jlingz), ‘fit’ (John Stones), ‘peng’ (silky Ilkay), I can even enjoy a one week punt on a guy.

And equally I can bin them off without a second thought – remember the one I said was a season keeper, my game week one success story, what was his name again, it doesn’t matter he is gone.

(Bamford)

As an aside, in hangouts chat, conversation often turns to how do we know when a player is coming into form, how do we recognise that ? Well, maybe it’s more carnal than stats driven, wow, that’s interesting and that needs exploring.

So stats are the facts, the head. And the recognition, the ‘phwoar’ factor, the desire to have, is the heart, pure lust driven emotion… hey Dread, here’s one we won’t see on BlackBox 😁

Heartbreak

In my FPL bubble this week, I have seen a lot of emotion, negativity, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and a disturbed atmosphere.

Many people announced they are quitting .

Heart on my Sleeve

Although I would like to think I have conditioned myself to be more psycho, I think I have only reached 80% completion.

I too have been a slave to my emotions, reviewing my blogs, I see the signs of how tortuous I was finding it a couple weeks back.

  • SHUCKS Feb 10 – ” I am not in happy place ”
  • TRUTH Feb 18 – ” I am sour ” ” I think FPL Fatigue is real and it’s happening now. ”

If they make you feel like no matter what you’re doing, it always seems to be the wrong thing, and that no matter how hard you try, it’s never going to be enough to please your partner—those are red flags.

SIGNS OF A TOXIC RELATIONSHIP

If your heart’s not in it…re-frame

FPL this season has been a war of attrition, an abusive situation, where our emotions have been exposed.

For me acceptance lead to liberation. I admitted my season was over, I had to let this one go. I took back control and shifted my goals to look for joy elsewhere – and that included my predilection for role play (oh please, behave) and exploring the human mind and how we can trick it into being a better version of itself.

Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference

Winston Churchill

Self-love.

It is not about being conceited, vain or selfish, it’s about confidence and belief, and strength of mind.

Respect yourself. Know your value.

The Heart of the Matter

My FPL team and my thoughts going forward.

Acts of defiance and small victories – I will take my endorphins where I can

Of course I am going to stand up and go my own way, I get a kick out of being contrary. But I will not stray too far from template. Low risk, just a couple maverick differentials, but if the mood takes me, I am open to temptation – options and opportunities….

Follow your heart but take your brain with you

GW31 WILD CARD

DALLAS

So Dallas and I, back together again. This game week I left him 3rd bench, 17 points missed …again…oh the irony – you have to laugh.

Last time I owned him was GW20 I stood at 74K, I transferred him out and my life was never the same again.

Taken from my blog TIME 25th February 2021

TORRES

We are living in the era of one of the greatest managers ever, who would dare to outplay him ?

Me, spin that roulette wheel.

I took a risk and went for Torres on a 2 week punt – whenever he has played 90 mins this season he gets a return and Pep told us he was deploying ‘fresh legs’.

He only went and scored

INGS

I also captained Ings, luckily it was a week to try a differential captain, it didn’t pay off. It didn’t hurt my rank too much.

WHY Ings? Watching him the week before, he had that swagger about him, I thought he was coming back into form, but I had underestimated Big Sam and the pride of the WBA players.

5 green arrows in a row does not soften the dissatisfaction of being stuck in the 200k zone, but small steps.

I am going to hide in the herd this week, captaining Kane (and after a coin toss moment, triple captaining him)

CONCLUSION

As the weeks count down, and the mind turns to reflection, it’s been a hell of a season, soon we will be seeing the haul of ‘so glad it’s over’ ‘never again’ messages, but over time I think we will look back on this season fondly, we were after all, all in it together and we got through. It will become a benchmark for seasons to come.

Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.

Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

CONCLUSION #2

I can’t believe you just did that Blonde. That gush of sentimentality. Pass me that jar.

You can get it back when the season’s over. Now answer the question, FPL – love it or hate it ?

Seriously ???

It’s just a game get over it

I don’t have time for this, I have to get out there, research for next week, find fresh meat…

TRAJECTORY

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.

ABRACADABRA

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.”

Remember, you are the manager, you decide the risk level and when it’s time for take off.

CONCLUSION

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

POSTSCRIPT

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 ?

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…?

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.

WEREWOLF

Werewolf the quintessential shape shifter of popular culture, leads a veritable canon of transforming notables throughout folklore, mythology and religion..

Werewolves (literally “man-wolves”) are shape-shifting creatures with unusual speed, strength, reflexes, and senses.

In Greek mythology Zeus assumed many different forms for seduction, including a white bull and a swan. In Egyptian mythology, Anubis is depicted as a man with the head of a jackal.

Various Christian Byzantine-styled St. Christopher depictions

In Christian religion, Saint Christopher,was asked by a small boy to be carried across a river,the child got heavier and heavier, then on reaching the other side, the boy revealed he was actually Jesus Christ.

In the folklore that emerged across Europe and Scandinavia in the Late Middle Ages (15th to 17th century), belief in werewolves was quite common. Enough so that they were mentioned in law, and reports of attacks were numerous, along with subsequent court trials and convictions.

‘The Sorcerer’, found in the Cave of the Trois-Frères, approximately 16,000 years old, and to the right Henri Breuil’s sketch of ‘The Sorcerer’ (Clottes and Lewis-Williams 1998)

In this ancient cave drawing the animal is depicted with human feet, the shaman would channel the animal, becoming the beast so the hunters might learn the best ways to catch it. In his 2002 book ‘The Mind in the Cave’, Lewis-Williams argues that shamans created cave art after experiencing hallucinations during rituals.

In a 13th-century Icelandic work, the “Völsunga Saga,” men wear the skin of wolves to fight as wolves. This may also tie in to the Norse berserk warriors, who were named for the bear skin they wore in battle.

2016 European Championships

And this brings me to my first point of relevance to FPL, focus.

Becoming the beast.

To know something, you must be open to learning about it. Put yourself in the place of a real football manager, the season is a long haul, as soon as the fixture list is announced, some games are targeted for attack. There might also be a need for periods of patience, rest, or just plain grinding out results.

Last season Pep achieved incredible metrics with Man City (as he did the previous season) the results didn’t follow, Liverpool, with worse metrics won the title. Luck played it’s part.

It is highly unlikely you ‘win’ every week. Prepare yourself – forewarned is forearmed.

This leads onto my second point, know yourself, play to your personality – how you adapt to the various periods in the season is down to you.

If you regularly read my blog you will know I have been channeling my inner psychopath to try to correct some of my FPL weaknesses.

Just what is your playing personality ? Hopefully not so volatile you turn into a slavering, angry beast as regularly as the moon phases/Pep roulette sets in.

My aim is to achieve balance, I aim for a calm consistent low risk thoughtful style. Others prefer a more high risk pro-hitting style. However you #playyourowngame it is yours to tame.

My third FPL point of interest, is the need to shapeshift as an ongoing concept.

Transformation in your team, this can be weekly formation changes to capitalise on fixtures, or more transitional restructuring as a coping mechanism for refreshing and strategy tweaking. I am not dismissing the need for an overall plan, rather advocating refinement and adaption. Remember how quickly we got in penalty takers at the start of the season? Thanks VAR.

Currently I am considering shifting shape from a 3-5-2 to a 5-4-1 or 4-5-1, goals seem to be drying up. Why ?

im really putting it down to the managers fear of injuries to their key players… they are literally telling their teams to play a low percentage type of football…. not much sprinting and a greater empthasis on playing to “feet” to control the game .. rather than explosive movements to create space… so we are seeing far more possession based football as a pose to creative goal creating play..

1lifesoccer, professional football manager and Elite FPL member

Fourth and final FPL concept for this blog, this is a competition, behave like it is.

Men are not gentle creatures, who want to be loved, who at the most can defend themselves if they are attacked; they are, on the contrary, creatures among whose instinctual endowments is to be reckoned a powerful share of aggressiveness. As a result, their neighbor is for them not only a potential helper or sexual object, but also someone who tempts them to satisfy their aggressiveness on him, to exploit his capacity for work without compensation, to use him sexually without his consent, to seize his possessions, to humiliate him, to cause him pain, to torture and to kill him. Homo homini lupus.

Sigmund Freud on how to win your mini league.

IN CONCLUSION

I have blogged many times about refreshing, re framing and restructuring for success and motivation.

If channeling your inner wolf gives you more self-confidence and resilience I say do it. A shapeshifter is not a mythical super human, shapeshifting is about adaptability; being able to change yourself or your approach to change in the world you live in.

The pace of the Premier League is very fluid, so you need to be able to write and re-write (and re-write again!) your strategy if required

James Egersdorff Ranked #1 Fantasy Football Scout Hall of Fame 2017-19

CATCHING UP ON THE LAST 2 GAME WEEKS

So the longest and biggest double game week has passed. Not using any of my lucky charms, I was mentally prepared for a red arrow, and result, I got it – but it wasn’t as bad as thought it would be.

I fell from 232K to 296K, finishing 3 points ahead of the average. I did take a -8, removing Bamford, Antonio and Grealish, and welcoming DCL, Barnes and Raphinha. We all know how that went, as Ancelotti continued his new diamond formation which sacrificed DCL somewhat, tragically Barnes fell injured, but Raph is looking more than OK.

I saw some big hits being taken, and some major lamenting as the goals dried up as the week progressed.The best score (without a chip) was 165 points, from a team dead since GW4 – it figures.

Kings of the Week GW26

GW 27 concluded last night, with all the fun that Pep roulette brings, only Gundo played twice in my Man City double game week triple up. Comme ci, comme ça.

A rise from 296K to 282K – is that all ???

Confession – 20 mins after the deadline I realised I forgot to play my TC chip on Gundogan, que sera sera. I swapped out Barnes for Lingard, who returned straight away. In a week where I am currently discussing 5 at the back in chat, my defence below scored a shocker.

How do the top scoring players of the week line up then..

Kings of the Game Week GW27

It’s do or die in the Elite Super Cup, as GW28 is the last week of leagues before we reach the knock out stages.

I have not featured this competition on the blog, as my regular readers will know, I only play for overall rank. However I face FPL Salah next week and I may play a chip to ensure the win.

Stay hungry – like the wolf