The thing about the game though, there are no road signs. You don’t know when nor where the forks in the road are, and directions obtained from other managers, may not always be reliable! 😁 Momentum can also be your downfall when you throw cognitive caution to the wind, suddenly a bend approaches and your journey can have a drastic change indeed! XXIV. Momentum

So, there I was, content in the plan to roll the transfer and go into GW20 with 2x FTs… I could push this to a mini-wildcard🤔. In the end, I settled on a -8, all 4 players – in my head – good for both immediate and medium-term returns! I was pleased for holding my FTs for 6 days (which for me is a feat!) 🤣. Content. I unplug for a while… then step back into discord where my peers inform me of Vardy’s injury, my exact response was “Well that’s a -12 then!”. I’m immediately uneasy with a further hit. Warfare mentions that he’s popped his WC… and the quick mental calculations (KDB & Vardy injured; Salah/Robbo off-form; El-Ghazi rotation; no Antonio, or Leicester…) conclude that this plan of action is logically enticing! Mostly because not even the -12 really satisfies the image of the team I feel is best equipped to attack the coming fixtures and it will take more GWs than I’m willing to endure to achieve it, thus losing the opportune impetus!

Chaos. I’m almost oblivious to it now, it’s the norm – Acceptance. With the chaos dial turnt up a notch, hits will be taken by a fair few managers, an opportunity which can be manipulated to my benefit. It’s time to play the players, my opponents! Specifically the opponents who will give me points-for-nothing… I mean, an above average percentage of the game may well take hits 💉 to remove injured and/or poor performing assets, as well as discarding the ones they got solely for the DGW. I’ve even seen the odd manager benching KDB! #PointsForNothing This chaos will #breakthetemplate 🧨 and it’s replacement will form in the same gameweeks that this opportunity presents to be attacked! 🦾 #ThisIsTheWay

For my rank 2.2M, I don’t feel that I can afford to FT/hit💉 my way thru it. I’ve toiled 😨😁 to get here (3 red arrows since GW7) from my disastrous start and instead of using race-craft, I’m hitting the Nitro-Boost to overtake whilst tires & oils are changed… there will be time for race-craft later! 🏎

But what about “…cognitive caution“?! Well, every decision in this game comes with an element of risk and this is very much recognition, followed by adaptation to the situation I find myself in with my squad. I didn’t start the GW even thinking of WC’ing! I know I’m taking a gamble here, one which is pivotal to where my OR will end up this season (aiming to beat my PB of 165k)! As I recited back in XIX. Cogitate

“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” Sun Tzu

See what I did there?

This decision will be reflected in that which will come into full focus once the final whistle is blown in GW38. I also only have 2 chips left, BB & TC. The squad choices are crucial, there’s no getting away from that! The challenge is exciting!!! Unlike my WC in GW2, I’m agonizing over every detail scrupulously, trying to combine team/player form with decent fixtures over the medium term. The loss of big money premiums to injury or bad form, means that I have a lot of funds to play with, therefore, this team has no immediately recognisable “bench” assets. 👀

Tbf, I put the core of this team together in a couple of mins, I already had a plan of changing my team over the coming few GWsThe Regulars and I, all had a lengthy discussion in Hangouts where we went thru all the teams and their respective FPL assets on Sunday morning for 3hrs! I’ve christened it BlondeDread Talk, everyone involved came away with something, it may become a regular occurance. 🤓 Props to Blonde for another great idea! We don’t suggest assets, we all just talk about what we think of the teams/assets & their form, a real deep dive into the game focused through an FPL prism. It’s good to get the thoughts of other managers, they may have information that you haven’t considered! This is the main purpose of having a Discord, right?! 😁 This “talk” led to a re-evaluation, dropping Grealish, Shaw & Saka for the bench assets as you see it above. Grealish… he frustrated me too much when I owned him earlier this season! Not only that, the stats support Traore & El-Ghazi, the latter – who was on fire! – having lost his starting place to Barkley! I’ll be keeping an eye on him too!

My main takeaway from the Talk, is the grace afforded to premium assets. I/We trust them, even when their returns do not justify the investment! Why is this?! Many are gravitating to Sterling as a KDB replacement, but at his price, what has he shown this season to warrant such automatic faith?! Is it his high price that “affords” him this elevated status of a reliable points returning asset? Because the stats and points to date, say differently! I dunno, I could be reporting on a Sterling haul in the next blog 😂, but, right now, I’m not buying the hype. I believe BigMan called it “nostalgic“. The 2nd half of this season will be spent addressing unwarranted faith, thus being unceremoniously ruthless should any asset, especially premiums, not pay their way with points on the board! It’s not until I stepped back from this blinkered view that I realised the number of “lesser value” assets that have been returning premium numbers in the past few GWs! I mean, Gündogan, Blonde called it first! By the time I checked him out, he’d had 2 double figure hauls and a 9 pointer in the previous 4GWs!

So yeah, 4-at-the-back… I’ve been thinking 🤔 about this for a few GWs now. When the stars align, there are times to play more defenders I reckon. The team will lineup in whatever formation best exploits the fixtures for the respective GW – it will be 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 in GW21. The high-price bench assets are basically pre-owned “future transfers” which allow me to target certain upcoming fixtures whilst also exploiting the assets that have more fixtures to play than others. Might as well maximise every weapon at my disposal, plus, it would be silly to leave even more money sitting itb!

I know Vince will love this team, “…you’re gonna have a headache every week!” I can already hear him say… thing is, I see it as having options to maximise returns, every week.

It’s about perspective.

Will new manager bounce be a thing? #NoMoreFatFrank 🤔🤫