The Pre-Match Preamble – Gameweek 31

Filed under: The Preamble - Posted by: Mark

Nothing quite revives our hopes like a double Gameweek. The pleasure of scanning your squad and seeing those two fixtures nestled under each name. The promise of double figures next to each player come the final update. A potential three-figure haul and the prospect that your selections would have given you an edge on rivals and transformed the mini-league landscape. It’s a giddy time.

When such scenarios arrive with eight Gameweeks to go, they also heighten a further dilemma – whether to use them to drive up your overall rank, or take some gambles in order to differentiate your lineup from rivals.

As I’ve mentioned in recent ScoutCasts, it’s very difficult to do both. In a season where clear “essentials” have emerged and are still in place thanks to some extraordinary consistency, the Fantasy manager left making up ground is continually struggling with the prospect of being forced to take a gamble against his better judgement. Either that or settle on the fact that the mini-league status quo will remain intact.

Personally I’m left wondering if somehow rescuing a respectable rank should always be priority. I’m still outside the top 400,000 – many would consider that a “shameful display’ given previous seasons and the fact that Fantasy Football consumes much of my headspace.

My prospects of bettering that position look fairly decent this week – I’ve nine double Gameweek players in place, with three Chelsea players to plug the gaps and maintain momentum following Gameweek 31. But do I gamble with the armband?

There’s little doubt that Luis Suarez is the “gimme”. A truly explosive Fantasy asset, Suarez has broken out of his recent drought to deliver double figures in his last two outings. Over the season no player can match the Uruguayan’s consistency when it comes to delivering big rewards. Despite that run of blanks, he remains the clear captain contender of choice, this week and almost every week.

Give him the armband and I’ll almost be assured of keeping pace with the masses. That will leave my few differentials to help me climb the ranks. However, that plan is unlikely to make a dent on my present mini-league position.

The 90-point gap between myself and Granville has been yawning for months. I’ve been unable to make any impression – I’ve made errors but so has he; the reality is, the opportunities to differentiate my score from my rival have been few and far between.

This morning offers the opportunity to change that. I could overlook Suarez. It would be completely the wrong decision for the preservation of my rank and perhaps my sanity. However, in terms of “playing” my present mini-league scenario, there is some logic and certainly the temptation of reward.

Should there be a freak pair of blanks from Suarez and an explosion of points from another candidate, the prize for those brave enough to gamble could be huge. It’s clearly risk versus reward. An uneasy situation in a season where taking risks has rarely paid dividends.

Double Gameweeks deliver excitement and expectation. Do I really want or need to add another layer to that? Can my existing differentials do a job for me or am I forced to expose myself to such risk?

So many questions. Here’s another. Am I even wrong to consider mini-leagues over rank?

I’ve asked this before and many have barked that it’s the case but, by chasing an improved rank, what do I really achieve? Is it pure vanity – kudos amongst my Fantasy Football manager peers that, when I consider that my rivals will always rank above me, amounts to very little?

About The Author

“Mark created the beast. He's now looking to tame it.”


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  1. Ended up with a last minute hit to make it -12.

    Did Hazard ---> Yaya(Bringing him back in next week/2 weeks later)

    Hope I don't regret it. Anyone else do this?

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
    1. Sounds like a crazy thing you would only do in a panic.

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
      1. Rank Granville?

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
        1. Dead easy to check for yourself. 103k

          • 1 year, 8 months ago
      2. It was a crazy thing. I agree :)

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
    2. Yes, hazard out allowed me to bring in both Yaya and Silva for two DGWs. #nobrainer.

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
      1. did exact same GL.

        • 1 year, 8 months ago

    COLEMAN - ZABALETA - Cahill (BRUCE,Ward)

    Hazard - YAYA - GERRARD - NOLAN (Noone)


    Bring it home boys!!!

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
  3. @tm / any other mod
    why is the word "shit" a perfectly acceptable word to say here?

    ive asked it before.

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
    1. Because nobody gives a shit.

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
    2. jokes?

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
      1. haha its fair enough... i just dont want to get banned if i ever say it :P/

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
        1. The word will get banned before you would.

          • 1 year, 8 months ago
  4. Just saw that FFS hosts the OFFICIAL fpl site 'scout page'!They have been doing it since start of season or few GWs ago??.

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
  5. New Post

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
  6. That awkward moment when you get a big fat greenie but still can't be pleased because you spent weeks planning for that one dgw.

    Wont be happy unless I cut my rank in half... at LEAST.

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
  7. Zep
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member

    Oh god... I just took a shot of Absinthe...

    Needless to say, I regret it...

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
    1. haha.. Now suck on a boiled sweet 😉

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
    2. Well it's making you post on an old post, so good start.

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
    3. Hey Zep...I've always wanted to try it but cannot get it in the States. Why do you regret it? How did it actually make you feel?

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
  8. nice article Mark.. i ended up bottling it and switched c & vc to suarez and carroll in that order
    hopefully the carroll points will be enough of a diff to make a dent

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
  9. Any one hit a century of points :) What a week for goals. I am on 109 points with 10 to play haha. It would be awesome if someone in the league gets 200, I dont think I have ever seen that

    • 1 year, 8 months ago

Scout Picks

Gameweek 13

  • De Gea
  • Dann
  • van Dijk
  • Dier
  • Mahrez
  • De Bruyne
  • Sánchez
  • Mane
  • Bolasie
  • Kane
  • Lukaku
  • Coleman
  • Wijnaldum
  • Giroud

From the Community…


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The Watchlist


Last updated: 24 Nov, 2015 6:59pm
Player Club Factors
No Change De Gea MUN A
Up Mignolet LIV C, Vs
Up Butland STO A, VsX
No Change Hennessey CPL B, Vs, Rest, £
Up Gomes WAT B
Up Lloris TOT B, Vs
Up Pantilimon SUN C, VsX
Up Adrián WHM C, Vs
No Change Cech ARS B
Down Begovic CHE C, Rest
No Change Myhill WBA B
No Change Stekelenburg SOT B
No Change Howard EVE C
No Change Hart MCI B


Last updated: 24 Nov, 2015 6:55pm
Player Club Factors
Up Moreno LIV B, Vs
Up Dier TOT B, Vs, OoP
Down Bellerín ARS B, Vs
Up Coleman EVE B, Vs
No Change Smalling MUN A
Down Otamendi MCI B, Rest
Up Zouma CHE B, Vs
Down Dann CPL B
Down van Dijk SOT B, VsX
Up Cresswell WHM C, Vs
No Change Janmaat NEW C
Up Simpson LEI B, £
Up Wollscheid STO A, VsX
No Change Dawson WBA C, VsX


Last updated: 25 Nov, 2015 8:42pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Ozil ARS A, Vs
Up Coutinho LIV A, Vs
Down De Bruyne MCI B
Down Sánchez ARS C, Vs
No Change Mahrez LEI A, VsX
Up Eriksen TOT B, Vs
Up Barkley EVE A, Vs
Down Mane SOT B, VsX
No Change André Ayew SWA B
Up Deulofeu EVE A, Vs
Down Wijnaldum NEW A
No Change Lanzini WHM B, £
Up Bolasie CPL B
No Change Willian CHE B
No Change Tadic SOT B, VsX


Last updated: 24 Nov, 2015 6:53pm
Player Club Factors
Up Lukaku EVE A, Vs
Up Kane TOT A, Vs
Up Aguero MCI C, Inj
No Change Vardy LEI A, VsX
Up Ighalo WAT A
Up Diego Costa CHE C, Vs
Down Pellè SOT C, VsX, Sus
No Change Giroud ARS A, Rest
No Change Martial MUN C, Inj
Down Benteke LIV B, Rest

Selection Factors

A, B, C Current Form
Vs Favourable Fixtures
VsX Unfavourable Fixtures
Rest Rotation Risk
Inj Injured/Returning from Injury
OoP Out of Position
£ Potential Bargain
Sus Suspended/Near Suspension
Player Team YC
Clark AVL 4
Ritchie BOU 4
Cabaye CPL 4
Zaha CPL 4
McCarthy EVE 4
Huth LEI 4
Can LIV 4
Clyne LIV 4
Mangala MCI 4
Tioté NEW 4
Bassong NOR 4
Romeu SOT 4
Whelan STO 4
Williams SWA 4
Nyom WAT 4
Yacob WBA 4

“All players will blank a few times during the season. When almost all do it in the same Gameweek, it is tough to take, but that's just the dark side of probability.”

Abreu 42 Community regular