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Interview

Interview: A Title Winning Debut for Sky Sports Champion

Jason Barlow’s debut Sky Fantasy Football campaign proved to be one most managers can only dream of, as he took the title and grabbed the game’s £50,000 top prize at the first time of asking.

This achievement was particularly impressive given that he managed to hold on to the lead since the end of last year.

Going into the final day he also had to fend off stiff competition from one of Fantasy Football’s most experienced managers, Pascal Evans, who was leading the chasing pack in second spot.

Pascal has a fifth-place finish already across his seven-year Sky Fantasy career and also has five top 1,000 Fantasy Premier League (FPL) seasons under his belt.

In the latest of our post-season interviews, we ask Jason about his incredible Sky Sports campaign, his battle to hang onto the top spot and his tips for success in this limited transfers format.

Congratulations on the win. Take us through your emotions on the final day as you attempted to keep Pascal and others at bay.

Jason: The final day and the entire last two or three weeks were incredibly nerve-racking. On the day itself, I was at home with my partner, trying to keep myself distracted as I knew I had no decisions left to make – I was always going to captain Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and I was out of transfers.

Going into the day I was 22 points clear of Pascal and 37 clear of third place. Over the previous weeks I had managed to work out what Pascal’s team was and I knew he didn’t have any transfers left as well.

The only meaningful differences were that Pascal had Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk, Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and Manchester City midfielder Raheem Sterling versus my key differentials, Spurs’ Davinson Sanchez, Sterling’s team-mate Kevin De Bruyne and Everton striker Cenk Tosun. I thought his three were better than mine, but not 22 points better. As long as captains didn’t swing things too much then I knew I was well placed, but that didn’t stop the nerves.

In the end, we both captained Salah and I was fortunate that his three differentials didn’t do enough to close the gap. I got calmer as the matches went on, but it wasn’t until De Bruyne got the assist at the end that I really believed I might have done it.

By 5 pm I was sure I’d beaten Pascal and reasonably confident that I must have held off the third-placed manager. Thankfully once the tables updated that night, I saw that I’d done enough. The main feeling at the time was relief. Having been top since the end of 2017, it would have been devastating not to hang on.

Pascal is a really nice guy; it was great to see him claim second and earn a very well deserved payout (the runner-up wins £5,000).

What does your partner as well as family and friends think of your achievement? Have they been supportive over the campaign? Or do they see it as an unwelcome distraction for you?

Jason: They’ve all been incredibly supportive. My partner bore the brunt of the stresses as the season wore on, but she was always there to keep me calm. I think once everyone found out how much money was at stake they realised it had become more than just a hobby or meaningless distraction!

This season has been different with the addition of two Overhauls (similar to FPL’s wildcards). What is your opinion of them? Do they add to the game or hinder managers?

Jason: As this was my first season playing the Sky Sports game I don’t know what it was like without the Overhauls, but I thought they added an interesting dimension.

I think the first one, during the late summer international break, was well placed as it was just after the transfer window had closed and we had enough information to make some informed selections; to be honest I’ve always Wildcarded around that time in FPL anyway. It will be interesting to see what they do next season, as the transfer window closes before the season starts.

I found the second one, around the January window, helpful in setting up for the blank Gameweeks ahead. There is an argument that it punishes those that have saved their transfers, but I took the opportunity to load up on Liverpool players knowing that I had the luxury of removing them for players with a Double Gameweek once the postponements had passed. So even though it helped those with fewer transfers, I think there were still ways to gain an edge.

Who have been your key players and what have been your best decisions over the season?

Jason: My best move has to have been bringing in Alexis Sanchez while he was at Arsenal as captain at the end of December for the Gunners’ match with Crystal Palace, which was the only game that day. His brace and man of the match award took me to the top of the rankings for the first time, and I managed to hang on to that position for the remainder of the season.

Elsewhere, I had Salah for the entire season and for much of the campaign I had four or five Manchester City players as well. I also came out of the first Overhaul with double, and then within a few weeks, triple Burnley defence, which was very helpful during their flurry of clean sheets in the first third of the season.

Who have been your villains?

Jason: It would have to be Chelsea centre-back Andreas Christensen. Like many, I got sucked into the trap of believing he was a nailed-on, cheap route into the Blues defence. We all know how that turned out and I ended up keeping him from the second Overhaul all the way to the bitter end.

There weren’t too many other villains. I’m tempted to include  Davinson Sanchez as I had him for a while in the first half of the season when Spurs stopped keeping clean sheets and then he got sent off against Watford. However, he atoned for his sins recently, getting me a very handy 22 points across the last three Gameweeks, although the most recent rotation with Toby Alderweireld was less welcome.

With limited transfers and no price changes, the Sky Sports game requires different skills to FPL. What is your general advice to other managers in terms of strategy?

Jason: It does require some different skills. I’d say you need a bit more patience and to anticipate holding players for longer. That’s easier said than done and, of course, a lot of my players performed well given my rank, but it needs to be into any long or mid-term plans.

On that note, I’d say planning is incredibly important. In FPL you can afford to knee-jerk players in and out for a hit, but with limited transfers, you can’t do that in Sky Sports. You need to plan a few weeks ahead and have transfers in mind, not only to maximise their impact but also to ensure you have captains every match day.

Finally, bonus points have to be taken into account. The members’ area on FFScout is very helpful in this regard as it has all the data. Defenders who regularly get passing bonus are worth their weight in gold.

Is Sky now your preferred Fantasy game?

Jason: My record in FPL is fairly mixed. A few decent seasons interspersed with some rubbish ones. This season was one of my worst in FPL, so although there are parallels, success in one certainly doesn’t guarantee success in the other.

I’d probably say Sky Sports is the one for me now, which I never thought I’d say before this season. Although FPL is fun and I’ll always take part, the Sky Sports game suits my style more given the extra planning needed, which sometimes I feel doesn’t get rewarded in FPL.

Finally, what will you do with your prize money?

Jason: I haven’t fully decided yet. It’ll start with a nice holiday with my partner, and then I’m sure most of it will end up on something boring like a deposit for a house.

J0E Podcaster and writer. Tweets stats and stuff via @FFScout_Joe” Follow him on Twitter

406 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Deulofail
    • 4 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    Santi leaves Arsenal :'(

    https://www.arsenal.com/news/santi-cazorla-leaves-club

    1. Legomané
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 2 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Retiring, or what? 🙁

      1. Deulofail
        • 4 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Not sure, but I guess not. I think he's fairly close to a return if he wants it

        1. Deulofail
          • 4 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          "He will reportedly train with Spanish side Villarreal, one of his former clubs, before next season."

          https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/44203704

    2. speedyboyz - Barnes Nuts
      • 3 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Not looking good with Ramsey and Wilshere also linked with moves.

    3. Nascimento
      • 4 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Turned down a player/coach role apparently. Would be incredible if he recovered even enough to just play semi-regularly.

    4. Mark
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 13 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Big shame. I genuinely started to think we'd see him in Fantasy again. He was huge in Sky for a while.

    5. BUZZBOMB
      • 5 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Will always remember him fondly and the carpet burns on my knees when he scored his captain's hat trick for me a week before Christmas in 2012 against Reading in the evening game.

    6. asquishypotato
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      As expected, he was lucky to be walking. That’s a big name off the wage bill, despite being a lovely footballer.

    7. G-Whizz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 2 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      ⚠️ This is a pretty emotional watch...

      @19SCazorla has a message for you all

      #GraciasSanti https://t.co/rRmDSp3Rem

    8. Make America Greta Again
      • 6 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Christmas cancelled at Arsenal!

  2. tambourineman
    • 5 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    Arsenal to appoint Unai Emery as new manager according to BBC's David Ornstein

    1. Fred54
      • 5 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Emery paper appointed to remove Wenger stains....

    2. Make America Greta Again
      • 6 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Bit of a Gary Neville doppelganger.

    3. Nascimento
      • 4 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Presumably he's messaged the board and said whatever Arteta's willing to do it for, I'll do it for less.

    4. Mark
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 13 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Mmm. I thought it was a smokescreen for Arteta. Maybe not.

      1. asquishypotato
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Maybe Arteta as assistant to bring him some experience back at the club.

    5. G-Whizz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 2 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Emery the new Arsenal manager

      https://t.co/JT0iDJ5YrR

    6. Yozzer
      • 2 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      He was 7/2 this morning and talk sport said Arteta was almost done at 1/6

  3. Pierce34
    • 4 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    What's Emery like as a manager? Is he likely to play Aubameyang and Lacazette together as part of a front 3 for example?

    1. Fred54
      • 5 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      More likely to sell both IMO. 🙂

    2. asquishypotato
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Played 4-3-3 with PSG.

      Played 4-2-3-1 with Sevilla against Liverpool but that may be a personal or tactical, so that will be his biggest challenge, fitting those two into a side.

  4. Azathoth
    • 5 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    No Lamela!!!!!Poor Argentina....

    1. ★Kuntheman★
      • 4 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Huge miss if you ask me. Great player for the bench.

    2. asquishypotato
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      No Icardi is a kick in the teeth for him.

      1. Yozzer
        • 2 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Hasn't Icardi got a picture of Maxi Lopez kids tattoted on his arm or something. What a scumbag. In what world is that acceptable

        1. asquishypotato
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          Yeh dates the same woman, what a relationship that is

  5. asquishypotato
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    Repost on current article!

    Unai didn’t quite do it at PSG but got an ok Sevilla side a Europa League and makes his home grounds fortresses.

    Aubamayang and kind home fixtures to start with and I will heavily be involved.

    Also think that arsenal will push for Nzonzi, a player he knows well. French. Combative midfielder. Pedigree at high level

  6. TorresMagic™
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 10 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    Congrats Jason Barlow!

    1. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Cheers.

      1. Nascimento
        • 4 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Well done Jase - did it for FFS!

      2. TorresMagic™
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 10 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Would need to change "low" for your surname and it wouldn't be to add "nes" 😛

    2. Cars and Mané
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Cheers TM... After years of reading the site it's very nice to feature on it!

      1. G-Whizz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 2 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Congrats J! Well played!!! You're making the game look easy 😆

      2. covport
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Thanks Jason for your kind words in the article.

      3. Yozzer
        • 2 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Nice one. You couldn't lend me tenner could ya?

    3. Ógie
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Yeah well done Jason.

      Great result for his first time playing the Sky game but i suppose his fpl experience stood him in good stead.

      Just imagine if fpl was won by some manager with no history Carlo Ancelotti's eyebrow would go through the roof.

      1. J0E
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 10 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        It happened three seasons back. That year when lei won. Never played any fantasy game before.

    4. the snazzy viking
      • 3 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      thank you for the kind words

  7. Sim Simma 🤷 🔑 🚘
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    It's all in the name.Destiny
    Arsene Wenger to Arsenal(1996)

    And now Unai to Arsenal 2018
    Pierre-EMERick-Aubameyang
    Unai-EMERy

    1. Berbinho's Forehead
      • 9 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Delete.

    2. the snazzy viking
      • 3 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      same person?

  8. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    How does FFS know about the 2nd place guy's Sky Sports history? I thought they didn't have a history page.

    If there is one somewhere I'd like to have a look.

    1. Will - Fantasy Football Hub
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Sky has a strong ff community, where most top players know each other.

      Facebook group links on FFH site (see my link) if you're interested.

      1. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        I've always played the Sky game and had more than my fair share of top finishes, yet I've never once took part in any of the specific Sky communities. Cheers I'll take a look.

        1. Will - Fantasy Football Hub
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          No problem. Facebook link here if anyone else is keen.

          https://www.facebook.com/groups/1562557563999566/

          Password is FFH

        2. Cars and Mané
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          I'd highly recommend joining the Facebook group. Made the whole experience a lot more enjoyable. Everyone's very friendly and supportive.

    2. covport
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Jonty, being a good journalist, asked me my History on the Facebook Group.

  9. Scratch
    • 10 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    Crap, just realised i posted in the last article. Was trying out the Telegraph's World Cup FF.
    https://fantasyfootball.telegraph.co.uk/world-cup/splash

    Seems decent, pretty straightforward with only slight differences to FPL and you can pick a solid team but not so generous that you can afford too many of the heavy hitters at once.

    11 players. No "set gameweeks" as in players can be transferred into your team right before Kick Off. No captains. 26 transfers in group phase and another 20 in KO stage. Assists classified as "key contributions" which I think means that 2 players can be awarded assist points for a goal in some circumstances rather than just the last person to touch the ball before it goes to the goalscorer.

    Seems simple enough which is a relief considering how needlessly convoluted some of the fantasy games were in the last world cup.

  10. FFFrøg⭐️
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    My current telegraph side

    Akinfeev
    Smolnikov Kudryashov Kutepov Meunier Trippier
    Mueller Isco Paulinho
    Griezmann Cavani

    Plan to go block Russia D after Saudi match to block Uruguay D for their two games before going block Spain D for their games against Morocco and Iran, planning a rotation between Mueller and Hazard and atm bringing in Jesus, Lukaku, Kane and Milik for Griezmann gw1.

    Thoughts?

    1. le flem
      • 6 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      I'd only play 3 at the back personally. Clean sheets hard to predict in a World Cup. Also may need Messi vs. Iceland. Odds on to win the Golden Boot after all.

    2. noquarternt
      • 4 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      U.K. Only 🙁

    3. Yozzer
      • 2 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      😉 knew it would tempt you

      1. FFFrøg⭐️
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        I’m a big fan of the idea of a potential 5 clean sheets each from those 4 sports across 3 weeks!

    4. PDM (Top 1000) ANY Season L…
      • 10 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Did my first draft and ended up with 5-3-2

      Muller seems a “Bargain”

      1. G-Whizz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 2 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        I've gone 5-3-2 as well in my first draft...

  11. Will - Fantasy Football Hub
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    Congrats again Jason. Huge achievement!

    Managed 64th here... can only dream of winning the big prize!

    Good to hear Sky is now your prefered game 😉

    1. J0E
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 10 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      98th for me. Made same Sanchez v Palace Captaincy move too.

      Incredible achievement to win it first time of asking - and not by fluke - Jason genuinely knew what he was doing and adapted to the different format really quickly.

      1. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Definitely not fluke. Unlike FPL I think Sky is a game where skill can take you all the way. I think at some point someone will win it twice.

        1. J0E
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 10 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          Yep there’s a few top managers who keep appearing in the top places, including winners.

        2. Will - Fantasy Football Hub
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          Yeah, it's certainly possible. Dan Cox (last year's winner) wasn't a million miles off the top this time around

      2. Will - Fantasy Football Hub
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Couldn't agree more. I don't think you can win Sky by fluke to be honest.

        Very nice season by you Jonty. First top 100 Sky finish?

        I've got to get out of the habit of hedging my bets in FPL for next season. My worst FPL season in 7 years

        1. J0E
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 10 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          Yep first time. Also first time I stopped hedging sky for my fpl decisions. No coincidence.

          1. Will - Fantasy Football Hub
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            2 years, 6 days ago

            Nicely done.

            Yeah, for sure. Lesson learnt for next season!

    2. Cars and Mané
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Cheers guys. A lot of luck required along the way, but the beauty of Sky is that it's an achievable target for anyone who's decent at the game and gives it some time.

  12. RoysCallerAnne
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    All these posts regarding Emery.

    I'm board already.

    1. FC Lackless [BALEGIUM]
      • 3 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      papering over the cracks

    2. Limited & Mediocre Mana…
      • 4 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      I know you didn't finish as high as you wanted but seeing an entire season's rank inside 100k is beautiful.

      1. RoysCallerAnne
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Thanks! I actually did it last season too. GW1 rank of 17k that time and never looked back.

        1. Limited & Mediocre Mana…
          • 4 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          Please let me copy your GW1 team next season 😀

    3. Mark
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 13 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Ooh you are awful. But I like you!

      1. RoysCallerAnne
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Well done Mark
        A family friendly Dick joke!

        1. Mark
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 13 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          Heh I was worried it would be lost!

          Classic comedy though if we look back to that show now I bet it’s absolutely dire. Best not ruin one of my comedy heroes.

  13. Limited & Mediocre Mana…
    • 4 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    50k? Up your game official FPL 😆

    1. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      They don't need to up their game. Sky has to have a decent prize otherwise people won't play it. People will always play FPL.

      1. Limited & Mediocre Mana…
        • 4 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Would be nice if it had bigger prizes is all, given the size of the player pool

        1. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          Aye or even if they just increase the prize places.

          Only a prize for the top 3 players in a game of 6 million is a bit stingy. I'm sure they could afford to give the top 500 a game of FIFA or something.

    2. Will - Fantasy Football Hub
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Great for cash leagues to as its all run through Skybet. It's fairly easy to make a tidy profit if your half decent at fantasy football

      1. FPL Kangaroo
        • 2 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Yeah , you can say that again Will...I won over €3,000 this season from all my cash leagues!

        1. Will - Fantasy Football Hub
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          Great season Kanga. Nipped in front of me in quite a few leagues... Well played!

    3. FPL Kangaroo
      • 2 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Jason won a hell of a lot more than just the 1st place prize of 50k btw....add in all of his cash leagues he entered and I reckon were talking near 100k!!

      Play #SkyFF lads

  14. Triggerlips
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    Anyone know when the FPL game deletes this seasons data?

    1. RoysCallerAnne
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      From memory, maybe 4 or 5 weeks after end of season.

      1. Triggerlips
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Thanks, that should be long enough for my nefarious meddlings

        1. Limited & Mediocre Mana…
          • 4 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          http://fplarchives.com

          Keeps player data.

  15. Ógie
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    I am reading that Roman Abramovich's UK visa is up for review and his application is not going as smoothly as it has on previous years.

    His Chelsea love affair could be coming to an abrupt end.

    1. Syd.
      • 10 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Expired 3 weeks. He has applied for a new one but there is some kind of delay.

      People are speculating that it is because he is a close friend of Putin

      1. Ógie
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        I think he has been asked on his application to explain his wealth which is fair to say would be a very tricky question to answer.

        1. Sánchez
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          How does that work?

          Hardly like he didn't have it when they allowed him entry before. Or it was some big secret he was rich.

          They should just say what they mean. It's pretty well known how he got his money wasn't in a nice way. After communism was like reset on time and everything was up for grabs again. So only tge ruthless got rich. A bit like how our aristocracy got their wealth if you go further back.

          1. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            2 years, 6 days ago

            They'll be tightening up the rules on what evidence they need to provide. A handwritten note explaining that his money is legit probably won't cut it this time around.

            1. Syd.
              • 10 Years
              2 years, 6 days ago

              What about a handwritten note along with a bundle of £50 notes?

              That usually does the trick for the Tories

          2. Ógie
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            2 years, 6 days ago

            I suppose he would have to show his account books from the early days of his empire which would be interesting.

            I am sure his status as the 13th richest man in the UK could get him over this hurdle if he really wants to.The UK is just as addicted to questionable foreign oil and gas money as the football clubs are after all.

            His attendance at Stamford Bridge seems to have gone down which might suggest that his interest has waned somewhat regardless.

          3. Lets Talk About Six Baby
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            2 years, 6 days ago

            I always thought Abramovich only brought Chelski for somewhere to hide his dirty money in the Uk. Shame its taken how many years, for this country to wake up and make it harder to get in.

            1. Ógie
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 7 Years
              2 years, 6 days ago

              I have often wondered about Roman's motives for such a big high profile investment in the UK.

              My own thinking was it was to raise his profile in the west so it would make it harder for the up and coming Putin to grab his wealth without it making waves on western media outlets.

              If this was the case it has been a success.Abramovich is now a household name and has survived the faith that some of his other unfortunate oligarch compatriots have suffered although he has sacrificed lots of his wealth back to Putin/Russian state and gave up his political position in Russia he is a survivor and has cleverly aligned himself with Putin in the possess which is key to staying out of trouble in Russia.

  16. Numb
    • 5 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    Congrats Jason - a deserved winner. Would be great to see you post on here more. 🙂

    1. Cars and Mané
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Not enough Sky chat over here 😉

      1. Mark
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 13 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        We need to fix that Jason!

        1. Cars and Mané
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          Would be very happy to see that Mark. In all seriousness, I do come to the site most days during the season and usually listen to the Scoutcast etc.

          1. Mark
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • Has Moderation Rights
            • 13 Years
            2 years, 6 days ago

            We don’t do enough and the Sky community and crossover with FPL is strong. Some great managers who play both.

            I’m on it and will start discussing what we can do for next season.

            1. Cars and Mané
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              2 years, 6 days ago

              Brill, look forward to it.

            2. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              2 years, 6 days ago

              Ahhh man. I was planning to win it one day. Now that dream will be ruined. Or at least that will be my future excuse for doing poor.

              1. Yozzer
                • 2 Years
                2 years, 6 days ago

                Feeding time for all the sky casuals Epic ...the dream is over my man.

            3. Numb
              • 5 Years
              2 years, 6 days ago

              Nice one. I think Disable does a good job with his articles though, always read them.

  17. FPL Kangaroo
    • 2 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    Congrats Jason! Winning Sky in your first season is some achievement! Your the man to beat next year 😉

    #Sky > #FPL 😉

    1. FPL Kangaroo
      • 2 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      After coming 23rd in the world in Sky this season I think I should change my name to SkyFF Kangaroo 😉

      1. Will - Fantasy Football Hub
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Haha, good shout 😉

    2. Cars and Mané
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 years, 5 days ago

      Thanks Kanga. Great season for yourself as well.

  18. dunas_dog
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    Why are Arsenal wanting to appoint someone not good enough for PSG?

    1. noquarternt
      • 4 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Lol

    2. Sánchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Didn't he do the treble?

      1. dunas_dog
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Yes with a shed load of money behind him

        1. Sánchez
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          Obviously its pish easy but he did also win 3 Europa Leagues in a row with Sevilla. And surely a treble isn't failing at any club in any season?

    3. diesel001
      • 3 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Agreed. He has gone from a club spending money and still not achieving to a club who has no money and not achieving. Let's see how good his talent development and coaching skills are. Ancelotti would have been a better choice IMO.

      1. Triggerlips
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        What style of play did Sevilla have when he was there

        1. diesel001
          • 3 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          A Europa League style....

          1. diesel001
            • 3 Years
            2 years, 6 days ago

            There isn't anything there re the dedication and attention to detail that I didn't read when Villas-Boas was appointed at Chelsea. I expect dedication and attention to detail from a football manager. The Cowleys at Lincoln employ similar levels of dedication and analysis, but you don't see them getting a shot higher up the leagues.

            Arsenal's problem is not their coaching - it is their personality. I haven't seen anything from Emery from his personality that he will demand responsibility, accountability and courage from his players. The losses to Barcelona and Real Madrid in the CL are good evidence of that.

      2. noquarternt
        • 4 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        What a strange post...surely a Spurs fan?

        Look at Emery's work before PSG. He's a quality manager and looks the perfect fit for Arsenal.

    4. Syd.
      • 10 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      What do you deem to be successful?

      His track record is fantastic

  19. The Tinkerman
    • 4 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    How is my World Cup iTeam first draft looking? Struggling to predict starting XI for some teams. Brazil attack in particular.

    ter Stegen
    Vertonghen, Kjaer, Varane
    Hazard, Pogba, Son, Sterling, Sane
    Diego Costa, Griezmann

    1. Sánchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Is Neuer not first choice?

    2. Bad Kompany
      • 2 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Think Neuer will start for Germany

      1. G-Whizz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 2 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        This

    3. AndyCook
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Son not good enough to carry a nation. Pogba not for me, Hazard and Sterling overpriced. You need to look beyond the premier league more

    4. AndyCook
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Sane a potential rotation risk with Draxler and managerial favourite and no other attackers form the two favourites. In fact Inculd genuinely drop every player. If I had to keep one it would be Griezmann. Prefer Meunier for Belgium and I think Kimmich is a good pick, Alba..ore attacking players. Guerreiro if it looks as though he will play. I also think Isco is the Spain man to have

  20. Syd.
    • 10 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    You know you are bored when you are watching a meaningless cricket game

    1. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Or just watching cricket in general.

      1. Syd.
        • 10 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        I shall switch the TV off and sit in a dark room

    2. Sánchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      It's because you're watching cricket that you become bored. Catch 22 type thing

      1. Syd.
        • 10 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        That’s true but I do actually enjoy watching it

        Does that make me weird

        1. FC Lackless [BALEGIUM]
          • 3 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          Not in my book ... love test cricket.

  21. Bad Kompany
    • 2 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    Predicted starting 11 for Spain in the wc?

    1. Syd.
      • 10 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Ask Siri

      1. Bad Kompany
        • 2 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Lol. I’m actually interested to see what she would say

        1. Syd.
          • 10 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          Probably knows more about football than most on here

    2. AndyCook
      2 years, 6 days ago

      De Gea, Carvajhal, Ramos, Pique, Alba, Iniesta, Busquets, Silva, Asensio, Isco, Costa.

      I think Busquets, Asensio and maybe Costa are the most at risk of not being starters.

      1. Bad Kompany
        • 2 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Cheers! Looking at Asensio as he’s 3.6 while Isco is 4.9 in telegraph and was wondering if he’s likely to start

    3. AndyCook
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Isco is the one to have. Defence fairly fixed too

    4. CloudSky
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      DDG, Alba, Pique, Ramos, Carvajal, Busquets, Iniesta, Alcantara, Asensio, Isco, Costa.

      There could be Koke, Silva or Saul (mainly the first two) in place of anyone of the front 5.

      1. Bad Kompany
        • 2 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Cheers! How likely do you think it is that Asensio starts. Looking at him for the Telegraph game as he’s way cheaper than the others

        1. CloudSky
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          Fairly likely. Theres two more friendlies which should give us a fairly accurste guess on how Lopetegui wants to line up.

  22. Triggerlips
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    Good to see Pascal Evans still performing at the top.
    Ranked over 600 on the scout hall of fame but only One of Three players
    in the world with 5 top 1k finishes.
    He is third on the real hall of fame though
    https://twitter.com/drbenmcnair/status/997448767002431488

    1. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      This is one of my lowest HoF ranks. It clearly has major issues.

      1. Triggerlips
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Im a little biased towards this One 😀

        1. Triggerlips
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          Cant deny Pascals record although detractors always claim the game was very easy back then. Not how I remember it but maybe there some truth in that.
          Fact he finished so high in the sky game show he still has it though.

          1. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            2 years, 6 days ago

            Aye he definitely knows what he's doing.

            Evs is pretty high considering he gave up this season.

          2. Mark
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • Has Moderation Rights
            • 13 Years
            2 years, 6 days ago

            He does, but he's a point to prove in FPL as his best seasons were some time ago.

            Given the prize money on offer and his talent, he's probably best doing his thing in Sky though!

    2. Numb
      • 5 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Apparently he is busy these days so chooses one game to focus on each year - this time it was Sky! Obviously a FF talent.

      1. Yozzer
        • 2 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        He mentioned on FISO somewhere that he gave up playing fpl serious as he couldn't adapt to the chip lottery or something. Can't blame him really,.

        1. Mark
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 13 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          Yep, I can understand that. Don't doubt he could crack them, though.

          1. Triggerlips
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            2 years, 6 days ago

            I tried playing sky but it really difficult if do not live in the UK on a permanent basis. Pretty much need to be awake whenever a match is due to kick off

    3. covport
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 years, 1 day ago

      Thanks for noticing Nick. So busy with work nowadays that I do only one game properly a season. Unless there are midweek games I can only really prepare on Friday nights so often miss price changes in FPL. Games without price fluctuations are easier for those of us with long work hours - in my case about 14-15 hours a day. I hope the Sky finishes of 2nd and 5th plus 2nd on Metro, 3rd on Mail and 4th on Mirror are an indication that the old FPL results wee not just due to there being no competition. FFS has become rather FPL centred.
      Although FPL may have been easier in the past, it can’t have been that easy or else the top players in the current HOF who played back in 2006 would have had much better results. From the top 50, 15 played in 2006 and only Kenneth Tang had great results back then and Mike Varcoe was quite strong. Even Jay was fairly ordinary until 2009. I started in 2005/6 with a top 300 finish (that is not recorded) but there was nowhere to get advice so it was down to totally different skills. It is similar to Premier League records. The standard has gone up but football did not start in 1992.

  23. disable
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 9 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    Congrats Jason. Life changing money.

    Couldn't of happened to a nicer guy.

    Have been saying it for 6 years now at least, I honestly can't see why more top FPL managers (that qualify to play) don't take it seriously. The same 100 or so names are at the top every season so it's an achievable target and a truly great game in it's own right.

    1. Red Dagger ✪
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      How does one qualify to play on Sky? Do you have to be in the UK? Or can us Yanks play it?

      1. Syd.
        • 10 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        I think it is limited to UK residents only

        1. Red Dagger ✪
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          Ok. Thanks SYD.

    2. Mull
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      There's a much higher skill cap to it which means lower variance in your results. Being able to enter two teams massively improved your chances also.

      I think if roughly 1000 people take the game seriously that there's about a 100/1 chance of winning for the very best players. For a free game that's pretty good value!

    3. Cars and Mané
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 years, 5 days ago

      Cheers Luke. Always enjoy your articles over here, hopefully they continue next season.

  24. BrockLanders
    • 5 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    Sorry if I've missed it but I presume the issue with the WC cup fantasy code 1887 hasn't been resolved yet??

    1. Mark
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 13 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Should be tomorrow. It's an Android issue.

      1. BrockLanders
        • 5 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Cheers Mark

      2. G-Whizz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 2 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Great stuff!

  25. Make America Greta Again
    • 6 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    Its a pity one of the mega rich players of FPL day doesn't throw in a massive prize or start a mini league where the winner gets a million euros. Be fun to see the advice on hear when the stakes get serious.

    1. Syd.
      • 10 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      It would kill any enjoyment in the game

      The best things in life are free

      1. Make America Greta Again
        • 6 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        How have famous people like Harry Kane and Andy Murray done this year? Any followers?

    2. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      The advice would be fake.

      1. Syd.
        • 10 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        How could we tell the difference

        1. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          I would actually be giving advice for starters 😉

        2. Bad Kompany
          • 2 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          This. Would stop spoon feeding but unfortunately would also stop people from getting lots of other useful information

  26. Polka Wakey O'Dot
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    So the Arsenal fans already don't like their new manager...and life begins again under a new cloud of doom and gloom at the Emirates.

    Arsenal beat themselves most of the time.

    1. Triggerlips
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      I thought he sounded quite good in articles been reading, good at bringing out young stars.
      From Fantasy perspective sounds like the full backs are going to play a big role

    2. noquarternt
      • 4 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      You mean Arsenal 'Fan' TV.

      I'm ecstatic at his signing!

    3. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      ArsenalFanTV?

    4. Nascimento
      • 4 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      You'd never get a universal backing for any manager from any set of fans in fairness. Always going to be the odd ome that would have preferred someone else.

      1. Syd.
        • 10 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Exactly just ask Big Sam

        According to him 97% of Everton wanted him to stay

      2. Polka Wakey O'Dot
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        It won't be the odd one at Arsenal. I'm not surprised the team play crap sometimes in front of such negative fans....I wouldn't feel inspired playng in front of them....quite the opposite.

    5. Make America Greta Again
      • 6 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Might start with Bellerin and Auba, should be fresh and decent value.

  27. Triggerlips
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    Emery likes to watch 12 hours of videos on each opponent.
    Hope they are paying him plenty, he gonna be watchin some real rubbish

    1. Mark
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 13 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Some Premier League teams will test his resolve.

    2. Ógie
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      How could you pay anyone enough to watch that much Arsenal Fan TV.

    3. Syd.
      • 10 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      He should watch 12 hours of Arsenal before he agrees to take the job

      1. Mark
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 13 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        You could put a good 12 hours together from last season with some great editing tbf.

        1. Syd.
          • 10 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          If he does he will soon realise that he needs a new goalkeeper and 2 centre backs. The rest of the team is actually in pretty good shape

          1. Red Dagger ✪
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            2 years, 6 days ago

            You are correct but I think the midfield is also poor.

            1. Syd.
              • 10 Years
              2 years, 6 days ago

              There is no doubt it could be improved but the priority should definitely be the defence

              1. Nascimento
                • 4 Years
                2 years, 6 days ago

                Funnily enough the new manager is going to inherit almost the opposite to what Wenger did in some ways. He inherited an absolutely class backline but had to sort the attack out. Now someone's going to have to barely worry about the frontline and focus almost solely on the defensive setup.

                1. Red Dagger ✪
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 2 Years
                  2 years, 6 days ago

                  Agreed. They certainly have a wonderful frontline but they lack steel in the midfield and solidity in defense.

          2. Mark
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • Has Moderation Rights
            • 13 Years
            2 years, 6 days ago

            Yep, true enough and they are positions that can be filled - defensive mid too. They shouldn't need to shop for creativity and goals, so he has little distraction in the market aside from those positions.

            1. Triggerlips
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              2 years, 6 days ago

              Worse thing is he makes the players watch the videos as well, when he was in Moscow they could not wait to see the back of him

  28. Polka Wakey O'Dot
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    Feeling quite vindicated about a comment I made last summer.

    I called very early that the worst signing if last summer was Jordan Pickford for daft money by Everton.

    My point was that the money could have, and should have, been much better spent elsewhere in the squad by Everton because the Premier league has a large reserve of really good goalkeepers wallowing in the reserves itching for a chance...and for peanuts,...as indeed plenty of keepers in the championship as well.

    Pickford is a great keeper, of course he is, but Nick Pope's inclusion for England (along with Pickford) proves my point in spades.

    1. Red Dagger ✪
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Pickford was a good signing because he is a very good GK. In fact he will likely start for England. Pope is good too but Pickford's distribution of the ball is another level compared to Pope's. I would say all of Everton's other signings let them down.

    2. Triggerlips
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Good point, value for million might have been better elsewhere, but where are all these quality players that would play for Everton?

      1. Polka Wakey O'Dot
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 years, 5 days ago

        That's the right phrase Triggerlips. Value per million to the whole team.

        That sort of money for a quality keeper, and he is, is for the likes of City who can pay it and just carry on paying for top quality all around the pitch. Everton can't and need to choose wisely where to spend money....

    3. Ghost Gooner
      • 6 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      The waste of money was in getting Keane but not getting him a better partner than Williams. Klaasen was another total waste as he was not PL ready. Rooney was a great PR transfer but a failure. Not getting a striker to replace Lukaku's goals at was the issue.

      Pickford was necessary as Robles and Stekelenberg were not good enough

  29. Alonso vs Willian a Value comparison
    Deulofail
    • 4 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    So who *was* the best value, Alonso or Willian?
    Who *will be* the best value, Alonso or Willian?

    Before the season, there was a debate about the value of Willian and Alonso. Those who sided with Willian seemed to do so, in part, due to the cheaper defensive options available and the principle that you could get your more for 4.5-5.0m in defence than you could in midfield. Besides, fodder can be 0.5 cheaper in defence, so Alonso's value must be calculated relative to the minimum spend. Glancing at the season's stats, you could forgive me for claiming a victory for the Alonso brigade:

    PPMM (Points per Match per Million):
    Alonso: 165 / 33 / 7.0 = 0.71
    Willian: 130 / 36 / 7.0 = 0.51

    ^However according to the this Reddit poster, PPMM overvalues defenders (link provided by Roosta on the HT about the death of 3-4-3: https://www.reddit.com/r/FantasyPL/comments/6r60fu/exploring_a_key_metric_value_added_per_1m). So let's look at VAPM (Value Added Per Million). Roosta sees this as the future of FPL (well, the present, but people like myself are stuck in the past).

    VAPM ((PPM-2[appearance])/price):
    Alonso: (165 - 33*2) / 33 / 7.0 = 0.42
    Willian: (130 - 36*2) / 36 / 7.0 = 0.23

    ^Willian is undervalued because he has had more appearance points deducted than he has accumulated. The OP on reddit sees this as a positive: "by deducting 2 points from PPM, we eliminate the effect of points earned by simply existing on the pitch for 60 minutes. This also diminishes the value of substitutes who score 1 point for a cameo." If anyone could explain in simple terms why this is a pro, I would be very happy to listen 🙂

    Also, Willian is undervalued because VAPM figure assumes we'd own him for the whole season, but people would more likely buy him in periods that he was more likely to get more game time and more 60 min appearances. In this case, PPMM seems a fairer comparison some respects. However, since defenders tend to be more nailed (at least the ones we actually buy), does VAPM overvalue them too?

    VAPM (minus actual total appearance points ):
    Alonso: (165 - 64) / 33 / 7.0 = 0.44
    Willian: (130 - 53) / 36 / 7.0 = 0.30

    ^The gap is reduced: Willian does slightly better here, but he is still undervalued for a projection of any game (or period of games) in which we expect him to play more minutes than he did last season. - Of course we're not as likely to buy an unnailed player, but VAPM seems to punish players who happened not to play 60 mins most of the time *last* season. - This value still weighs Alonso's actions from 90 mins the same as Willians from, say, 20 mins.

    VAPM (only including 60 min+ performances):
    Alonso: (165 - 31*2) / 31 / 7.0 = 0.46
    Willian: (105 - 19*2) / 19 / 7.0 = 0.50

    ^Willian is valued more fairly, if we are projecting greater nailedness for his future, but overvalued if not. A smaller sample size, here, also creates even greater issues of reliability.

    Further, this still doesn't take into account player positions and alternatives. What happens if we take heed of RedLightning's advice (from the same HT) and consider VORP (Value Over Replacement Player). - Actually, I will take liberties in my interpretation of this: since we aren't comparing combinations of players, I will use the rationale that many Willian-supporters used before the start of the season, which is to calculate value based on the minumum cost of players in the same position:

    VAPAM (Value Added Per Added Million: as above, but also minus the minimum price for that position):
    Alonso: (165 - 31*2) / 31 / 3.0 = 1.11
    Willian: (105 - 19*2) / 19 / 2.5 = 1.41

    ^Here, it seems Willian added 1.14 points per game (in which he played at least 60 mins) per 1 million above the minimum price for a midfielder (at the start of the season). If we believe him and Alonso to be nailed next season, this could be used to argue that Willian is considerably better value than Alonso.

    However, if we use VAPM or PPMM, we would have the opposite conclusion.

    Finally, PPMAM (Points Per Match Per Added Million:
    Alonso: 165 / 33 / 3.0 = 1.67
    Willian: 130 / 36 / 2.5 = 1.44

    Using this metric, it looks like we're back to where we started. So who was the best value, Willian or Alonso? Who will be the best value if, hypothetically, both are nailed next season? Who will actually be the best value?

    I think we have to be very careful when treading this territory. For a start, FPL points-scored don't predict FPL points -cored particularly well. However, if we use projections (like the RMT feature in the Members area) to give us expected values going forward, these metrics could be useful and dangerous in equal measure.

    So, how do you determine value? 😀

    ****There could be mistakes in here. I'd be happy to be corrected.****

    TL;DR - Meh

    1. Mull
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Not for a 4 point hit.

    2. Polka Wakey O'Dot
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      All I know is that I said to my son, no more than half an hour ago, that Willian is the best player in the prem who doesn't start week in and week out....and he is...

      1. Deulofail
        • 4 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        I probably agree with that. I was willing Arsenal to place an offer last summer, since I feared he would see a little too much of the bench otherwise. Well, actually, I saw that as an opportunity for Arsenal to swoop in for him. In my dreams!

        1. Polka Wakey O'Dot
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          Aye. Good signing if Arsenal could have gotten hold of him.

      2. Roosta
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        Willian would certainly be a popular asset if he actually played.
        Personally the one guy who would instantly be in my team if he actually played is Martial. Lingard is another one who has fantastic numbers for his price, but if he starts he is always subbed off, and if he doesn't start he is always subbed on. Typical FPL nightmare player.

    3. Deulofail
      • 4 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      (Of course, I'm aware that people bought Willian at the start of the season because Hazard was out. The debate didn't rage on for months and months haha!)

      1. Triggerlips
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 years, 6 days ago

        I think you should compare Alonso to 7M mids in general rather than just Willian , because the real question is 343 or 433 with Alonso acting as a mid.
        Alonso 165 points which seems around what most would have expected? and none of the expected mids came anywhere near that. Grob did but he really not like for like. Your Zaha,s Ramsey's willians etc all fell short

        1. Deulofail
          • 4 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          I agree. I actually had a HT before the start of the season in which I suggested that some followers of this comment section may be being blinded by their conceptions of flexibility and becoming accustomed to having at least one 7m mid slot in their teams. I thought that many selected Zaha mostly because they'd originally had Willian and/or Ramsey in their teams, but realised that Zaha might be the safer bet for the slot, even though the slot was unnecessary. Of course, that is yet another generalisation. I don't claim to be enlightened or experienced, and similar thinking might prevail once again next season, even though it didn't seem to this time around.

          I didn't do a thorough analysis here, I know :). my simplification of Willian vs Alonso plus various metrics against each other was complex enough to make the point that value and expected value(s) is a complex business. And I mostly wanted to raise questions because I would be interested in learning about these things myself from any closeted experts loitering on these threads 😀

        2. RedLightning - The Last Ten…
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 9 Years
          2 years, 6 days ago

          You could get Gross(164 points for 5.5m), Milivojevic (144 points for 5.0m) and Otamendi (156 points for 5.5m) for the same price as Alonso (165 points for 7.0m), Tom Carroll (85 points for 4.5m) and Loftus-Cheek (77 points for 4.5m).

          So Gross et al would have been far better value than Alonso et al. And Azpilicueta (175 points at 6.5m) would have been better value than Alonso.

          But it doesn't have to be either Azpilicueta or Gross - why not have both?

          An ultimate dead team that would have beaten Yusuf by 40 points was posted on twitter, containing Azpilicueta, Alonso and Otamendi, and with Milivojevic on the bench.
          It was in 4-4-2 formation with an extremely strong defence, midfield and goalkeeper, a forward line of Vardy and Firmino, and with Salah (starting at 9.0m) as its most expensive player.

          1. RedLightning - The Last Ten…
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • Has Moderation Rights
            • 9 Years
            2 years, 5 days ago

            I don't find it very useful to compare a defender with a midfielder in isolation without also considering the effect on the rest of the squad.

            It is better to compare players in the same positions, or same combinations of positions.
            For example, you could compare Alonso (7.0m) plus a minimum cost midfielder (4.5m) with a minimum price defender (4.0m) plus a 7.5m midfielder.

            But Willian was not the highest scoring midfielder available for 7.5m or less. That honour belongs to Gross (5.5m), and the 2.0m saved would allow upgrades elsewhere - hence my comparison of Alonso, Carroll and Loftus-Cheek against Otamendi, Gross and Milivojevic.

            Does this prove that Gross et al are better value to the squad than Alonso et al though? Not necessarily, since you have to field at least 3 defenders in your starting eleven - you can't play 2-5-3. Also, if money were no object you wouldn't be able to improve on Azpilicueta, Alonso and Otamendi, but there are better (though more expensive) midfield options than Gross and Milivojevic.

            And as the ultimate dead team shows, it is possible to make money available to improve both the defence and the midfield by spending less on the forward line.

            1. Deulofail
              • 4 Years
              2 years, 5 days ago

              Hi Redlightning. Do you have a link for that dead team?

              I actually had both Azpi and Alonso in my team for most of the season, and Otamendi joined them for a long period too. I think these were fairly assured points-collectors compared to Gross, who was still surprising us when getting points towards the end of the season.

                1. Deulofail
                  • 4 Years
                  2 years, 5 days ago

                  Thanks

    4. RoysCallerAnne
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Well done, that's some serious investment to a post on FFS. I've seen similar over the years but my brain doesn t compute this kind of information well.
      I admire you guys that can process these sorts of things and can convert the knowledge into ML victories or a good OR.
      It's just never been my sort of thing and spidey sense can be more fun and more beneficial when making transfers or choosing players for certain periods of time during an FPL season, especially when you're on a roll and the momentum has swung your way.
      All the PPMAMs and VAPMs in the world can't come close when your FPL pheramones are flowing.
      Or Pharahmones. When you have Salah caotain.

      1. Deulofail
        • 4 Years
        2 years, 5 days ago

        I agree. Whether you believe it or not, this post didn't actually take that long to write. I'm no maths whiz by any means, and these calculations are (thankfully) pretty simple. But I can see that presenting a bunch of acronyms to try and entice people into a discussion about value could actually be rather inaccessible and so counterproductive!

        I make most if my decisions based on more subjective measures like the eye test and banter, but in the off-season at least, I like to get a feel for how to improve decision making by thinking and learning about NUMBERRRS

    5. Roosta
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      I really enjoyed your post, it's great to see well communicated content like this.

      Comparing performance stats from 2 players will always be a complicated thing, as sub appearances and short term variance will make it quite challenging. It's easy to get lost. You need to be so careful, as you can manipulate the numbers in all sorts of ways to suit your narrative, almost subconsciously.

      What I do with my own data is to create projections based on xA and xG with some constants to help judge bonus and clean sheets.

      My numbers estimate that Willian should produce on average 2.76 points per 90 minutes (plus appearance points), or 0.395 points per million.
      For Alonso I estimate 2.99 points per 90 mins, or 0.427 points per million.

      A good lesson here is that players who regularly play 90 mins are a lot more valuable, this is particularly true for attacking players, and Alonso played 1000 minutes more than Willian in 17/18.

      This is using Opta numbers from FFS, which are slightly different to the Understat xG model. I don't know which one is better. Understat has slightly better xG numbers for Willian.

      Interestingly, I make quite a lot of defenders to be better options than Alonso, but I suspect this is partly due to the xG system undervaluing his free-kick ability. In reality I think Alonso is probably one of the best FPL assets, but you already knew that.

      1. Deulofail
        • 4 Years
        2 years, 5 days ago

        Thanks for you detailed reply. It's great to have an insight into what other people do.

        What I think would be great is if you could answer a basic but crucial question about VAPM: why should we remove appearance points from calculations of value.

        It could be argued that we are paying for appearance points. E.g. a 4.0 defender is usually not going to bring home 2 appearance points every gameweek, so the extra 0.5

        1. Deulofail
          • 4 Years
          2 years, 5 days ago

          ... in defence pays for 2ppm, not 0ppm.

          I think a clear answer to.this question could help people understand the value of VAPM 😉

        2. Roosta
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 years, 5 days ago

          I realise this the most confusing aspect of calculating a players value.

          Essentially we need to think about what appearance points really are, and how they function. There is some smoke and mirrors going on here.

          Do players really earn them, or are we simply awarded them for being smart and picking from an active pool of players?

          Would the game function differently if appearance points were scrapped, and we all began the week with 22 points as a reward for picking 11 players who played? for the most part this would be exactly the same thing.

          FPL arbitrarily adds these points into player totals, but the players don't earn them. We do. Appearance Points are in the game to force us to pick 11 players who actually play.

          If you calculate PPM in the 'normal' way that is listed on most sites, this will make us think that cheap players are great value, but what it's really telling us is that cheap players are a super efficient way of earning Appearance Points.

          It would be interesting to hear peoples thoughts on the topic.

    6. Bad Kompany
      • 2 Years
      2 years, 6 days ago

      Wow. Thanks for doing so much research. I personally prefer Alonso to Willian as for the weeks Willian missed you’d most likely have a 4.5 defender sub who would probably only score about 3 points on average making Alonso a better option. However I feel like you need to compare him to 7.0 mids in general and they outperformed him together. A lot of people had Ramsey near the start of the season and the Arnautovic and then Shaqiri and the then Zaha or something like that which easily outscored Alonso.

      1. Deulofail
        • 4 Years
        2 years, 5 days ago

        Unfortunately for Willian last season, it's even worse than that, since there were only 2 gameweeks in which autosub would have kicked in.

        The problem with jumping from mid to mid is that you might not choose the right mid! It also uses up precious FTs. This is the reason I chose to start the season with 5 at the back. You might be right about the optimal 7.0 mids outperforming Alonso, but I preferred to avoid that lottery with so few obvious choices prior to GW1 in in the first quarter at least. Only from GW37 did we really have a number of desirable 7.0 mids competing for slots in our teams 😆 okay maybe an exaggeration...

        I also feel that Alonso owners were a little unlucky that he didn't get a few more hauls 😀

        But you could say the say of Willian owners (I wouldn't 😆 )

        1. Ronnie Hotdog
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 years, 5 days ago

          i don't mean to be picky but there was actually only 1 game where Willian would have been autosubbed as the other game where he played zero minutes was in DGW34.

          I really like these kind of posts - thank you for taking the time and effort to do all the number crunching.

          As for assessing value during the season I generally take the lazy approach and look at the Value(form) stats in FPL. I expect outfield players to get 20 points per million over the whole season (so a $7m player is expected to get 140 points). That equates to about 0.52 points per million per game. So if a player's Value(form) figure is above 0.5 I reckon he's doing ok - if it falls below 0.5 then I might start to think about replacing him.

          1. Deulofail
            • 4 Years
            2 years, 5 days ago

            Cheers for your response. My mistake was a purposeful one to bait people into a discussion! Haha no, I wrote it last night when I was supposed to be sleeping, so I was far from thorough. And I based my response off last night's work as I'm busy at the moment, so picky corrections are more than welcome.

            Where do you get the 20 points per million number from, may I ask? Do you think this is skewed by appearance points or is that not a problem?

            1. Ronnie Hotdog
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              2 years, 5 days ago

              The 20ppm rule just helps to put a player's price into perspective. It gives a rough estimate of the level each player is expected to achieve and then it's down to personal judgement whether or not you think a partcular player is capable of achieving that level.

              Taking the season as a whole, I think it's reasonable to expect a 4.5m defender to get to 90 points by the end, but for premium price players it's a bit trickier. For instance, at the start of the season I thought Kane was overpriced at 12.5m as that meant he had to get 250 points. His previous best was 224 in 2016/17 and I really couldn't see him doing any better than that.

              In terms of value the two non-budget forwards who stand out are Vardy & Firmino. They were both 8.5m at the start of the season, so at 20ppm they were expected to get 170 points. They actually got 183 & 181.

              As for Chelsea, Azpi & Alonso did exceptionally well, and Kante & Moses were spot on their expected points. Everyone else was a bit disappointing.

    7. Deulofail
      • 4 Years
      2 years, 5 days ago

      VAPAM

      ^Here, it seems Willian added 1.41**** points

      (better than Alonso)

    8. WesMantooth
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 years, 5 days ago

      I kinda like that last segment of that reddit article "application of VAPM". That first part about 2300 being a great season, and one worthy of a top10k finish is true for most seasons, except maybe 13/14.

      The author then goes on to suggest that having players who average more than 0,35VAPM should secure a 2300pts season, and I'm not gonna argue against his maths, it seems sound logic.

      If those same mathematical suggestions were to be used with the ppm-train of thought, then the math suggests that having players with an average greater than 0,61ppm should be able to achieve the same goal.

      The thing is, I've run vapm through the 288 players i studied for my article on ppm. Out of those 288, 53 player had a vapm greater than 0,35 - while 99 of the players offered a ppm greater than 0,61.

      Now, a lot of the players who made the cut were shitty picks, whos value probably was botchered due to not playing enough games through the season. This is a problem that both ppm and vapm fails to include. So lets put a cap at 25gms. If a player played atleast 25gms, chances are he looked a solid pick for large parts of the season.

      With that in place, the two pools of players get smaller, with 65 players meeting the ppmcriteria, and 34 meeting the vapm criteria. However, a lot of the players meeting the criterias are goalies, and with goalies only taking one slot in our formations and it being fairly easy to make a good pick, lets exclude them to better see what were dealing with.

      Taking goalies out of the equation leaves 42 players in the ppm-pool, and 27 in the vapm-pool.
      ppm-pool: 21defs, 19mids, 2strikers
      vapm-pool: 12def, 14mids, 1striker.

      My take on the two different ways of looking at value is that ppm might be a little harsh against the premium options of the game (you wont get to 2300pts by having 10m in the bank each round) --> while vapm is probably a bit harsh against the cheaper players of the game (simply accumulating appearancepoints does have some value, and cheap players are needed to afford the more pricey selections).

      vapm might be more accurate than ppm but also believe that they'll tell the same side of the story in most cases. But i think its harder to apply it, and i believe its easier to spot the different ways of hitting your mark by using ppm rather than vapm. I also believe the player pools mentioned shows that in a good way.

      1. Deulofail
        • 4 Years
        2 years, 4 days ago

        Great response, thanks!

  30. Mull
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    2 years, 6 days ago

    Congrats Jason! Very well deserved.

    No matter how many times I had a good week the gap never seemed to shrink below 100 points. Hoping to go 63 places better next year!

    1. Cars and Mané
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 years, 5 days ago

      Thanks Mull. I think in the second half of the season, most teams fell into a pretty similar structure. A good start was absolutely key for me. Hopefully a bit more variety to teams next season but that's down to Sky and their pricing.