When you’re still struggling this far into a Fantasy Premier League season, it can be easy to ask, even now, what went wrong?
I’m currently ranked 910,047 in the world, albeit with 10 players left to play in Gameweek 26.
After a season-high 97,729 rank in Gameweek 3, I haven’t been higher than 506,273 since Gameweek 10.
Even though we’re not at the end of the season yet, and there’s plenty of points to play for, I’ve still been looking back at I could have done differently.
It’s fairly common knowledge that my FPL account was compromised between Gameweek 6 and 7. This resulted in me having to use one of my chips early. I haven’t used that as an excuse, but it is where the overthinking began.
Because John Lundstram (£5.0m) wasn’t £4.0m any more I questioned whether he was still worth a place in my team. I’d have to pay £4.4m, which looking back I have to laugh at how I even questioned it.
He’d even scored 12 points for me the week before. When you see a player like this you buy them, simple. Instead, I looked to try and play the fixtures and looked at defensive rotations that saw me buy Fikayo Tomori (£4.4m) and Issa Diop (£4.4m) instead.
A player listed as a defender, playing in midfield. Genuine attacking threat and clean sheets to boot. In the past there’s no way I’d turn this down, I’m still not sure why I did this year.
In Gameweek 23 I wanted a Marcus Rashford (£8.9m) replacement. I need to take money out of my attack to use in defence and looked at both Neal Maupay (£5.8m) and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£6.1m).
The Everton man had scored three goals in the previous four matches, Maupay had one assist.
There wasn’t even anything in the underlying statistics to say that Maupay was the better choice either. Below is Gameweek 19 to 22.
14 shots in the box versus just two should have been all I needed to tell me who was the better pick.
Instead, I turned to the fixtures. I don’t think that using fixtures as a basis to bring players in is wrong, but I tried looking too long term and ignored the clear difference in form between the two.
Maupay’s next seven – Aston Villa (home), Bournemouth (away), West Ham (away), Watford (home), Sheffield United (away), Crystal Palace (home), Wolves (away)
Calvert-Lewin’s next seven – West Ham (away), Newcastle (home), Watford (away), Crystal Palace (home), Arsenal (away), Man United (home), Chelsea (away)
Although the next seven fixtures at the time were better for Maupay, Calvert-Lewin had a nice short-term run and given the form should have been the obvious choice. While long-term picks are nice it’s clear that a mistake was made here – ignoring form, and also the shorter-term fixtures.
Short Term Transfers
Back in Gameweek 12 I made a fairly big move by taking Raheem Sterling (£11.7m) out as part of an eight-point hit to bring in the in-form Jamie Vardy (£9.8m) and Raúl Jiménez (£7.7m).
It worked well. Since then Sterling has only hit double figures twice, and has one score of seven outside of that.
This is where tunnel vision kicked in. Because a risky move had worked once it would definitely work again, right?
In Gameweek 18 I wrote an infamous article about why I was taking Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.7m) out for a hit. I gave it a good bit of thought. He had a blank, Leicester (away), Wolves (home), Sheffield United (home), Tottenham Hotspur (away), and Man United (home) to come.
Not the most ideal fixtures, but I didn’t take into account that I’d almost certainly want him back at some point and mostly ignored the fact that Liverpool were the best team in the league, using their full-backs to attack and also had plenty of clean sheet potential. This was a short-term move that didn’t work out.
I think what I’ve learned from the above is that I’ve ignored my own advice of sticking to your game-plan even if things are going wrong.
I haven’t reacted well to doing badly and have been overthinking, ignoring form and making moves that are too short term at times.
I Wildcarded in Gameweek 26.
I feel I’ve picked a team that fits in better with how I like to play, and eliminates some of the bad decisions I’ve made above.
No Kevin De Bruyne (£10.8m) was a big decision (I owned prior to Wildcarding) and it does feel a little like the Alexander-Arnold call but I feel with Son Heung-min (£10.0m) I’ve made a calculated risk to get a player who I hope can keep up with De Bruyne in the coming weeks at a lower ownership.
Up-front, I’ve picked two players in Jiménez and Roberto Firmino (£9.7m) who have both the form and fixtures. As you can see below both are in the top six forwards over their last four matches for Expected Goal Involvement.
And while Danny Ings (£7.0m) doesn’t feature there it’s worth noting that he’s played Leicester, Wolves, and Liverpool in the last four fixtures and was rested for most of the match versus Crystal Palace.
I’m expecting him to find form again with the upcoming fixtures.
I think whatever happens from here I’m probably going to have my worst ever finish in FPL.
There’s been some bad luck like the Sadio Mané (£12.2m) Triple Captain in Gameweek 24 but ultimately I’m in this position because of some bad decision-making.
My only hope is that it will allow me to remember how I like to play FPL and what has worked best in the past.
I’m inspired when I see people like Lateriser who make big decisions like betting against Jamie Vardy when the crowd isn’t necessarily thinking the same way, but that’s not how I play the game and I think I need to stick to what I know.
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