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The FPL season From Hell: Part II

Following on from the popular ‘FPL Season From Hell: Where Did It All Go Wrong?’ article (which can still be read here), I thought I’d look at some of the less tangible reasons why a FPL season can go belly up. Hopefully this honest and laid bare opinion piece will start up a robust debate on the part that luck plays in the game.

In the FPL General’s The 59th Minute Podcast entitled “Gameweek 1 Watchlist 2019/20”, he – without meaning to – highlighted exactly 50 players who he is interested in going into next season. This nice round number really got me thinking. There are 50 players who could potentially do well and score heavily next season. I agree with almost all of the picks – at any given point of the season, they could indeed explode into life, go on a run, rack up the points and show some of that lovely consistency we all crave.

The obvious problem is this. We can only start 11 players in any gameweek. What if the 11 players we choose just so happen to be the 11 out of the 50 who conspire not to score points? Sure, we can study the stats, watch the games, read the articles, listen to podcasts and canvass opinion to make sure our players don’t blank, but what if we just get unlucky and keep missing the points? What if gameweek after gameweek events conspire against you and your team and you keep sidestepping the players who are scoring goals and getting assists?

Looking back at the players I had last season, they were primarily very good players backed up by the stats and by the eye test. But no player returns every week. In general, blanks are more common than returns. What if, as you make your transfers week after week, you get the timing all wrong? And as things get worse and your overall rank plummets, you get more desperate, chase points, take hits and keep bringing in good players at the wrong time? I think this is where – like in real football – confidence can come into play. In FPL, if things are going poorly and you are being pummelled by red arrows week after week, you confidence ebbs away, a low feeling engulfs you and you resign yourself into thinking that each transfer decision won’t come off.

Plain dumb bad luck compounds matters – and sometimes when the cold, unfeeling FPL Gods are feeling particularly cruel, it can be unrelenting. Take Man City for example. Sterling and Aguero can very easily score big in any game. What if you back Aguero with a transfer and/or an armband, but then Sterling bags the hat-trick while Sergio blanks in a high scoring game? Would anyone have been surprised if Aguero scored heavily? Could anyone say with 100 confidence that Aguero will blank in a plum fixture? But these things happen – football is random and difficult to predict. A deflected shot here, a bundledย home melee in the 6 yard box and a 1-inch goal line decision there. There are so many 50/50 calls in the game and no FPL Manager has a God-Given right to get them all right or even get one of them right.

Bournemouth is another classic example. Who scores the points for Eddie Howe’s team? Usually it’s one of Wilson, Fraser, King or Brooks. You pick one or even two of these four players in your team, but it’s perfectly possible that it’s the one guy you don’t own who scores all the points. They are all capable of scoring well, but it just happens to be the player you don’t have who scores. And there is nothing to say that this cycle can’t repeat itself gameweek after gameweek and throughout the majority of the season. It takes a lot of bad luck for this happen (and the confidence seeping away from you can certainly lubricate and oil the wheels of this bad luck), but it is eminently feasible.

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  1. FPL Managers and Lady Luck
    Rotation's Alter Ego
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 22 days ago

    Thank you for this FPLV!

    It's a problem a lot of managers have faced in recent seasons - luck can really play a major part in deciding how your season goes, especially with the sheer number of managers that sign up each year.

    An immediate example that comes to my mind is Dunk last season - I signed him as a temporary solution (a 4.5m defender that I could use for the 2 weeks I needed him then stick him on the bench) but ended up playing him for the two weeks he decided to become Brighton's new talisman!

    What stories of luck, or lack of, do you have from recent seasons?
    How large an impact do you think luck has on FPL?

    1. Zladan
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      There’s a fair percentage of luck involved. It’s effectively betting without money, particularly when looking for a captain who is most likely to score/return.

      You can play the team value game which will give you an advantage when it comes to wildcards.

      You can play the fixtures and hope that this can encourage form.

      You can play on form and hope the players carry it through to the harder fixtures.

      You can be smart and have price points throughout your team knowing you can bring anyone into your team in only 1 or max 2 transfers.

      There are a lot of tactics involved but there is a lot of luck involved.

      As for stories I can barely recall them seeing as though luck can be with you or against you every week.

      Pogba (c) last season when he missed that penalty v Southampton and then got booked was about a 15 point swing.

    2. Ask Yourself
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      Though this HT was gonna be about our relationships statuses

      1. df34
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 22 days ago

        Think that would be a ‘cold topic’ for me !!

    3. The Overthinker
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      Luck plays an important role in all aspects of Life

    4. FPL Virgin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      Thank you so much for publishing this!

      I think the role of luck in FPL makes for a very interesting debate!

      It's entirely possible that out of the 50 or so players capable of scoring well, you keep missing them with your starting 11!

      1. Andy_Social
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 22 days ago

        "There’s a fair percentage of luck involved. It’s effectively betting without money"

        There a lot of luck but there's skill as well and in the end, skills edges it. I've been in a weekly money league for years now, $2 per game week. Every year I finish a few hundred dollars up although each year the margin decreases as rivals improve. Just like here the best FPL players end up with very high rankings year after year with maybe the occasional anomaly. Just like in real football, a single result might be determined by a mis-kick, fluke own goal or bad refereeing decision but over a whole season skill is the major factor.

    5. fclackless [RoboKlopp]
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 22 days ago

      Luck is definitely a factor but for me patience is a key aspect.

      By staying patient you often make your own luck.

      I can remember Numb ... well, languishing really after a poor start but no panic, stayed patient throughout and ended up with yet another top 10k finish

      I know at some point during the season I start to get a bit bored, a bit twitchy and the hits start to creep in to keep my interest, usually at the expense of my rank!

      1. FPL Virgin
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 22 days ago

        I was listening to numb talking about that on meet the manager this week actually. He went back to basics and redeemed his season.

    6. Forza
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      My last five ranks (3035th, 235K, 489K, 225K, 960th) suggest that luck can be very volatile... or I'm just too stubborn and don't adapt quickly enough when my season goes pear-shaped. There are too many factors at play for it to be calculable.

      1. Hernandez Lynam
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 21 days ago

        All that really shows is that last year you got very lucky haha

        1. Forza
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 21 days ago

          Perhaps, but 20% of my final ranks have been in the top 4,000. I've clearly been doing a lot of things right for ~76 gameweeks; it's unlikely that I randomly hit the jackpot so many times in a row in two separate seasons. It's a mix of good and bad luck.

    7. A Fat Spanish Waiter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I would have no luck at all” - Albert King

      Seriously though, while you need loads of luck to win FPL, I don’t think you need it to place well.

      The FPL game is 38 weeks long, which is more than enough time for good decisions to trump luck.

      Contrast that to the American fantasy football game (which I also play) which is only 13 weeks long and features position scarcity. In that game, its mostly luck. One injury to a star player and your season is over.

      1. FPL Virgin
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 22 days ago

        It was Lisa Simpson on The Simpsons sing the Blues who first said "“If it wasn’t for bad luck, I would have no luck at all”

        It is possible to experience bad luck for the majority of 38 gameweeks. Sometimes you can go on a roll with bad luck just like good luck.

        1. Hairy Potter
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 22 days ago

          "Born under a bad sign" , that one.

          1. FPL Virgin
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 22 days ago

            Yes!

        2. RedLightning
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 22 days ago

          Ray Charles and Jimmy Lewis composed and sang this in 1969.
          The Simpsons didn't start till 1990.

    8. Pieterke30
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      The difference (now that there are A LOT of players with a lot more ready-to-use info) between a top 10k and a top 200k finish is down to luck at a rate of 60% or so. At least.

    9. POLSKA GOLA
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      Example of bad luck is my experience with Digne last season. I got him on my January WC and had him for two weeks only, in that time he managed to score an own goal and get sent off. He contributed -3 points to my total score ๐Ÿ™

    10. Slouch87
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      If it was just down to skill I would win it every year. Just so many lucky buggers around.

    11. Business Cat
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      Skill will get you into the top 10-20K every time. The top managers and hall of famers do this year-in, year-out...it's not an accident.

      You need luck to be on your side in order to be pushing into the top echelons though. Skill alone will never win you FPL.

      1. Collie01
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 22 days ago

        I think top 10k is getting tougher every year though as more and more people play and have easier access to stats, info, chip strategy etc. For example, 50pts can be massive, probably the difference between 10k and 100k but a 50pt swing can happen with one or two unfortunate captain picks.

        Skill is the main factor but it is essentially a game of probability. So many 50-50 calls on paper can vary hugely in actual points return. Even the very best managers can have a season where they are 200k plus.

    12. acesingh
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      Sane triple captainers vs aguero triple captainers last season when aguero scored the hatrick.

      1. Rasping Drive
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 21 days ago

        And to compound that, the Aubameyang injury scare the following week which meant many of the Kun owners held instead of switching and he scored another bleeding hatrick against Chelsea. (I was a Sané TC’er and Auba owner)

  2. Azzastaan
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 22 days ago

    Ederson
    Dunk Coleman Robertson A.Smith
    Salah Sterling Perez Fraser Sigi
    Vardy

    Thoughts?

    1. FPL Virgin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      Template.

  3. df34
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 22 days ago

    I remember I was playing against an opponent and I couldn’t get a break in 2017-18.
    He had Smalling third on his bench when United came back to beat City 3-2, and he got the points, when Smalling scored. Also that year when Van Der Horn scored for Swansea , that same rival had him on his bench and got his 10 points too. I had the Pogba captaincy debacle last year too. However , no doubt I’ve had lots of LUCK , but I think we tend to remember the hard luck stories that little bit more !!

  4. GARY AND JAMIE
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 22 days ago

    The game is football poker. You play the percentages and hopefully over the very long term you tip the road up to a 55-45 gain in your favour. There will be outrageous variance along the way that you have to try and keep the emotions out of, particularly the bad 'on the river' type breaks like say a missed pen saved by your ML rivals keeper. Or someone injured in the warm up.

    1. FPL Virgin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      Correct. +1

    2. POLSKA GOLA
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      Very good comparison. Keeping your cool is a must to be successful. This doesn’t mean being stubborn. Some hands you win and some you lose. It’s not uncommon for a weaker hand to win if played cool, in FPL terms that would translate as avoid chasing last week’s points, don’t do early transfers, keep patience if player’s stats are good

  5. Markus
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 22 days ago

    I'm a strong believer that patience evens out luckiness, but there's always the temptation to seek to outperform average. The classic is 'form' which is arguably not actually a statistically significant factor https://www.google.com/amp/s/princetonsportsanalytics.com/2016/06/12/form-in-soccer-not-always-a-winning-formula/amp/ There is huge randomness in team performance because of few goals in football let alone who scores or clean sheets so anything that focuses on a single match (captaincy, rotation, sub decisions, free hit, single gw score) is highly highly luck dependant... My worst was having Gross as sub for his first 19/20 pointer. Could have just as easily been 2.

    So in part you bring on how luck-dependant you want to be (positive or negatively) with a focus on ix players who you only transfer out if injured and perma-cap being the ultimate anti-luck strategy to Gk rotation, jumping on form players, switching captaincy, a few 'gut feels' here and there, single gameweek punts (hello Moura) being the other extreme...

    1. FPL Virgin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      Very true. Great point well made.

  6. RedLightning
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 22 days ago

    Having one exceptionally bad or good game-week may be largely down to bad or good luck.
    But if either continue for many game-weeks then there are probably other factors involved.

    As Arnold Palmer and others said - "It's a funny thing, but the more I practice the luckier I get".
    He might not have been able to predict exactly when he'd get a hole in one, but with plenty of the right kind of skill and practice, he was able to increase his chances of getting the occasional one.

    It is too easy to ascribe our successes to our skill and our failures to our bad luck.

    1. MINUS FOUR
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      Exactly. I couldn’t crack the 100 point mark in any GW last season. Not even the doubles with BB etc. It was frustrating, but I still beat all my rivals who had multiple 100+ GW scores and I got a crazy high finish. Consistency and lots and lots and lots of decent decisions for 38 weeks is the key. There’s always going to be variance along the way.

      1. RedLightning
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 22 days ago

        Your season was in many ways the opposite of mine. I had three 100+ game-weeks, two of them in the first two game-weeks (without using chips), my best ever flying start, but made too many serious errors after that and finished way down the rankings at 187k.
        The success of my initial squad was down to a mixture of skill and luck, but I wouldn't blame bad luck for my subsequent slide down the rankings - that was just due to my bad play.

        1. The Champ is here
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 21 days ago

          It's funny that you guys have chosen 100 point gw as the arbitrary cut off. Don't get me wrong we have to choose arbitrary cutoffs to discuss these things but just the lure of 100 being a special category just shows exactly what we are up against trying to reason this sh11t out. As riddled with strange quirks and cognitive biases and false pattern recognition as we are it's amazing how highly we rate our ability to reason logically.

          1. RedLightning
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • Has Moderation Rights
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 21 days ago

            A 100+ game-week is just an occasionally achievable target figure that we can relate to and celebrate, like a century in cricket, but the points total and OR for the season are far more significant than the number of 100+ game-weeks.

    2. FPL Virgin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      I like that quote ๐Ÿ™‚

      I do think there is something to be said about "missing points" even though you have good players, and the very realistic prospect of your season spiralling.

    3. A Fat Spanish Waiter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      Exactly! Well said.

  7. MINUS FOUR
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 22 days ago

    Yes luck is a major factor, but over the course of a season we all experience both ends of it to varying degrees. Nobody is immune to bad luck, even though some FPL managers lurking a long way down the rankings sometimes seem to think it strikes only them. The difference between good and bad outcomes over an extended period is making enough optimal decisions to counteract your bad luck and take advantage of your good luck.

    These are some of the things that happened to me last season, which I would categorise as either bad luck or a very unfortunate result of a 50/50 decision:
    - Deulofeu 23 points first spot on my bench as had a strong team and someone had to miss out. I had been playing him every other week, and been getting injuries to starting 11. This time? Every player started and the points sat on bench.
    - Digne 17 points when he scored two goals, again first on bench as squad depth was strong. Again my whole starting 11 played, while rival had two surprise no shows and banked the Digne points from 2nd bench spot.
    - Triplce Captain fail
    - Decided against Laporte in DGWs and went for all out City attack. Massive fail and rank drop despite using chips.
    - Brought in Deeney for red card and suspension.
    - Brought in KDB for immediate injury in the DGW (1 point) when all the obvious alternatives I considered ended up scoring.
    - Kolasinac own goal for lost CS and bonus points with last kick of game.
    - The list goes on.

    Where did I finish the season? OR 290. That was my worst OR since around GW20. Highest I reached was OR 25. That’s despite all of those things going wrong.

    The reality is I also had my share of good luck and I also made a lot of good decisions based on reasoning that paid off. Most notably I was bold and aggressive, and jumped on opportunities quickly that others would talk about but be passive on e.g. got Moura straight away when Kane went down, for his hat trick vs relegated Huddersfield who had been conceding a lot of easy goals to strikers in previous weeks. It just seemed obvious, yet most ignored the opportunity. Those types of decisions are how you get ahead, not just picking the template with the odd random ill advised punt, never taking hits and ignoring great fixtures, and simply hoping to get lucky.

    Luck can make you or cost you points and rank positions, but only to a certain extent. Luck is not the difference between top 1k and 500k. Perhaps up to around 10-30k maximum swings either way depending on how truly good/bad your luck was on close calls. After 38 gameweeks, you finish roughly where you deserve, whether you want to admit it or not.

    1. MINUS FOUR
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      I also had a fairly low % of overall points from captain picks - much lower than many FPL managers who finished a lot further behind me. I’ve checked. My captain results were largely underwhelming. You really can’t blame everything that happens on some personal poor fortune that only strikes you and nobody else. Better off owning it and trying to improve.

      1. Pep Pig
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 22 days ago

        Hi mate. With Origi creeping into your drafts, are you going Salah-less to start or just one defender?

        1. MINUS FOUR
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 22 days ago

          Hey buddy. Been meaning to email you back sorry. Still undecided on Origi, if I bench boost with a view to an early WC he’s in, but if I play it safer then I won’t pick him. Right now leaning back towards the latter. So I will have Salah no matter what. It would be VVD who made way for Origi if I did it.

          However, Moura is 100% lock in my GW1 team either way.

          How is your latest draft looking?

          1. Pep Pig
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 22 days ago

            Currently...
            Pope
            Robbo Coleman TAA Zinchenko
            Salah Sterling Pereyra Schlupp
            Vardy Wilson

            I've had Moura in all my drafts up until last night when I decided I wanted Vardy as well as Wilson

            1. MINUS FOUR
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 22 days ago

              Looks pretty good. Schlupp is interesting, I highly doubt he stays OOP and starting by actual season. Not with Ayew there, Zaha maybe back, etc. To me that’s a punt without the upside as he’s not even that good anyway. But he’s cheap I guess.

              Vardy I understand but not for me when Perez is 2.5m cheaper and a mid. That’s a lot of money. If Leicester are scoring a good amount of goals, I can’t imagine Perez isn’t involved somewhere. He will be high up the pitch in and around the box a lot supporting Vardy. I see Perez as amazing value for that price difference to his own attacking teammate, in the opposite way to how Mane is poor value now because his price is too close to Salah. That said, Vardy is reliable, I see the appeal.

              1. Pep Pig
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 22 days ago

                I hear you mate. If Zaha stayed then I would re-think it. I completely agree with your Perez comments. I just feel I need a higher priced forward to make necessary switches as and when.
                I can't rule out Kane/Auba in week 1 yet.

    2. FPL Virgin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      Such a detailed reply - thank you!

      I do think there is more to it than "you finish where you deserve." A game like FPL is invariably not that simple. Bad luck can snowball and seasons can unravel.

      1. MINUS FOUR
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 22 days ago

        No problem.

        I said you finish roughly where you deserve, and I believe that is true. Of course a number of factors will contribute to exactly what number that is, but overall if you finished at 300k it’s not due to endless bad luck, you’ve had a pretty poor season, made mistakes and probably either chased points or tried to be too clever. Or been overly stubborn and refused to take hits to fix the issues in your team. You need to be proactive yet strategic, not spiral out of control compounding bad decisions.

        Similarly if you finish top 1k or top 10k it’s almost certainly not a fluke. You have made enough good decisions to get there. Of course you’ve had some good luck too, but you probably also had some bad luck. 38 GWs is a long time and no series of small events alone can lead to a complete disaster or great success. I’m the end, you make your own luck to an extent. Single moments, gameweeks and even months can feel unfortunate, but a season tells the story.

  8. deepmind
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 22 days ago

    "football is random and difficult to predict." It's by no meaning random. A single event is random, but not a full season. If you are a bit patient you will eventuelly get big hauls from the top players. Chasing points and transferring back and forth increases the luck factor, and thus the randomness. For the fifth conscutive year Aguero has scored 20 or more goals in Premier League, a bit too random if football is random I'd say.

  9. A Fat Spanish Waiter
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 22 days ago

    Many moons ago, I had a university professor who was trying to explain why the “best” money managers are really just lucky and not good.

    His analogy was this: fill a football stadium with people. Give them each a coin and tell them to flip it. Heads they can stay in the stadium, tails they need to leave. After 15 or 16 throws, there will be one person left... and someone from the Financial times will be there to interview them to ask them “how they managed to be so successful.”

    Luck helps, but we have 38 weeks. The odds of flipping 38 heads in a row is one in 275 billion. As Minus Four said above, you probably end about where you should.

    1. Business Cat
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      There was a Derren Brown TV show about how to win at gambling that was entirely centred around this.

      In one part, he walked up to the camera and flipped a coin and got heads ten times in a row.

      At the end of the show he revealed that they'd filmed him doing the scene (walking on, talking, flipping coins) over and over again for several hours until he got 10 in a row.

      Of course they only showed you the final take ๐Ÿ™‚

      The main part of the show was showing someone winning 6 horse races in row, putting all the winnings from the previous race on another horse in the next one. Of course, it was just a giant pyramid scheme...all paths through the 6 races were covered, starting with 1000s of people, quickly whittling them down each time. They only showed you the 6 time winner ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. FPL Virgin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      I disagree. There are something like 400 players in FPL. Consistently picking 11 of the best across 38 gameweeks is a situation more conducive to bad luck and things going wrong than the former.

      1. A Fat Spanish Waiter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 22 days ago

        Like we hillbillies here in America say, “you don’t have to outrun the bear, just your friend.” You will never pick the best 11 every week, but you don’t need to.

        Just be consistently better (or have consistently less bad luck...if that makes any sense) and you will do fine.

      2. A Fat Spanish Waiter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 22 days ago

        I should say though, that I do take your comment about bad luck snowballing to heart. It can definitely happen in FPL. For example, once you get stuck with a bad team and no wildcard, or very low team value, it can be hard to recover.

      3. MINUS FOUR
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 22 days ago

        If you genuinely think there are 400 decent FPL options, there's your first problem. Realistically there are only a handful of potentially good FPL players at each club. What makes them good at any particular time is based on various factors. For example, if Aguero got injured I'd say Jesus would just about become an automatic selection in my team. As it stands, though, Jesus is not an option. Narrow your watchlist or pool of targets, and concentrate on getting the right player with the right fixtures at the right time. Do that well, over and over and over for 38 gameweeks, and you will not finish outside the top 100k.

  10. Dare Do The Punt
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 22 days ago

    Salah or Auba for the first two GWs?

  11. MINUS FOUR
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 22 days ago

    Having seen a lot of your posts and articles Virg, I'd also respectfully suggest that attributing your results to bad luck is holding you back as an FPL manager. You need to own it and focus on working out why last season went so horribly for you. What kind of mistakes cost you points? What kind of opportunities were you too slow to react to? How many silly points-chasing punts (like a Ross Barkley, for example) did you take? Did you target plum fixtures or get obsessed with 'form' (which is constantly changing)?

    I guarantee you that luck isn't the reason you finished 400k or whatever it was. The sooner you acknowledge that, the more likely you will be to turn it around this season. Get back to basics.

    1. Slouch87
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      I think the major issue is that his vision must have been blurred from shite on spectacles after being stuck up mods ar**holes for so much of the season.

      1. MINUS FOUR
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 22 days ago

        Well yes, that too. I just think Virg needs to take a step back and spend more time really thinking about his own team rather than trolling and/or sucking up to 'experts'. At a guess I think I probably consume about 10% as much FPL related content as Virg does, but I bet I also spend 90% more of my FPL energy on my own team, working out optimal multi-transfers and targeting great fixtures. I'm always thinking about how to manage my squad, how I can get the team I want in as few moves as possible etc. I'm only ever actually considering a handful of players, not 50 to 400. There's so much garbage out there and I think managers like Virg tend to absorb way too much of it and get themselves in a spin mentally.

        The most fun thing to do in FPL is score points. That's it. Focus on YOUR team.

    2. Wild Rover
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 22 days ago

      You better hope you don't have a stinker after all your holier than thou posts following your one great season. You had a great season, it doesn't make you the oracle.

      1. PUMPKINHEAD
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 22 days ago

        He's only been playing 1 year. He has much to learn mate. Not read it but if the jist of it is that FPL doesn't involve a lot of luck then he has to learn the hard way like most of us vets. Noobs have to learn too ๐Ÿ˜‰

        1. Wild Rover
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 22 days ago

          It's not his first season, just his first really good one

          1. MINUS FOUR
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 22 days ago

            I was happy to finish 25k the season before. I took the game way more seriously, put in effort, and that's where I finished. I wasn't lucky to get 25k and I wasn't unlucky not to get higher. It's about the rank I earned.

            Same goes for every other season. I was a casual player who liked winning my tiny ML with a couple of Aussie friends, and all my ORs are about where I'd expect them to be for the effort put in at the time. If anything, my record is proof that it's not all about luck. I made no secret of the fact the last two seasons I have tried extremely hard to do well at FPL - paying attention to the game like never before. I said as much as I was doing it, not just in hindsight. The results of that effort clearly show that you can improve at FPL.

            But what I'm not saying is that all my rubbish ORs through my history were 'bad luck'. I deserved them, they're mind, they are what they are. What I can't understand is someone as dedicated to the game as Virg suggesting that his awful OR was unlucky when it wasn't.

            Side note: Let's be honest, I've pretty much set myself up for failure this season. You know it and I know it. But I'll say it right here, right now: I will take the credit or accept the blame for whatever rank I get, good or bad.

        2. MINUS FOUR
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 22 days ago

          If you read it you'll see that I listed a whole bunch of 'bad luck' that I experienced myself. The difference is that I'm not suggesting luck is what decides the results you achieve after 38 gameweeks. If you play well enough, you'll do okay.

      2. MINUS FOUR
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 22 days ago

        The thing is, if I do have a stinker, I'll admit to the errors made. Maybe I'll be too aggressive and it will backfire, and if it does I'll say so. But pretending that a 400k+ finish is 'bad luck', that's just fooling yourself.

        1. Wild Rover
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 22 days ago

          Maybe, but many overall winners have been one season wonders and finished the following year outside the top 100k or even 1m. Did they become bad players? Were they unlucky? I've no idea

          1. MINUS FOUR
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 22 days ago

            I don't know the answer, but I'll take a wild stab and say that perhaps when an elite player with an outstanding record has a poor season, they simply didn't play the game as well and adapt to changing trends etc. I've noticed that a lot of top (or at least well known) managers talk about being patient, making less transfers and taking less hits. That kind of strategy probably led to a lot of solid finishes, but it could also be detrimental to a bad finish in a season where it pays to be more proactive. Likewise the reverse may be true. Perhaps this season if I go in all guns blazing and taking hits galore like last season, it won't work.

            The 'skill' will come down to whether I can recognise it and adapt if necessary, or whether I too am stubborn and refuse to play it safe even when the evidence is telling me I need to slow down. Either way, I believe if you finish in the top 1k in any particular season you deserve credit for getting there, it's not easy and you don't fluke your way there. But I also know that if I have a shocker this season it will mostly be my own fault.

            1. The Champ is here
              • 10 Years
              1 month, 21 days ago

              The key is being as objective as possible. We are riddled with inescapable cognitive biases. The lure to look back on points gained from a decision as a skillful decision and points lost from a decision as luck is a strong one. I try to not be too results oriented when assessing. Rough example if you chose player A over player B and player A plays really well and hits the post twice while player B is anonymous but scores a penalty and gets three bonus points well despite the unlucky outcome I take that as vindication I made the right call. And vice versa if I went the other way.
              Luck is a massive factor and unavoidable. The hard bit is understanding when you were lucky and when you were good. When you were unlucky and when you were bad. If I can be objective in assessing the decisions I made with the information I had at the time then I can seperate and ignore luck, good and bad, and focus on my decision making.
              I've finished between 78th and 12,791st in 9/12 seasons. The other 3 were my first two seasons at 22k and 27k and one ugly outlier 59k in 2016/17

              I point this out for two very important reasons. First because I like to brag about it. Second because you'd think with this record I'd be inclined to say luck isn't a big factor. But I don't I think that at all. It's a huge factor in this game. I've been good and I've been lucky and I know both because I assess it as objectively as I can.

          2. The Champ is here
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 21 days ago

            There is huge swings for luck. An overall winner in one season can be and probably had to be extremely lucky. Just like a 400k finish can be extremely unlucky. The longer you play the more it should balance out. If you are finishing 6 figures each year and then win you are probably a jammy git. If you are constantly 4 figure finishes then have a six figure season like mark did good chance luck was a big factor.

            But I'm just guessing here. If you aren't able to look back objectively and be honest in what you were thinking when you made decisions then you'll never be able to know when you were lucky vs good and unlucky vs bad.

            Mentioned my worst season below in 15/16. It's an outlier from my usual ranks. Could be easy to dismiss as bad luck then. It wasn't though. Iirc luck was fairly standard that season but I made a lot more mistakes than usual. Two other seasons stand out as my worst luck seasons. So much for such long periods I nearly quit (actually did stop for a month during the worst run) but those seasons I was able to course correct with good play and also balanced out with good luck at the business end. Finished top 10k in my most unlucky seasons because I managed to play really well and finished 59k because I played really badly and it would have been worse but I got some lucky breaks.