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Pro Pundits - Simon

What can lockdown teach us about Fantasy Football?

Lockdown has been difficult for a lot of reasons and, while the lack of Fantasy Premier League will unlikely rank among the most serious of its effects, its absence has definitely been felt. But it hasn’t been a total waste, there are a few things we, as FPL managers, can learn from the experience of lockdown that might help us when football finally returns.

Don’t look back in anger

Is it time to invest in Arsenal assets after Gameweek 28? 5

Being in lockdown means you have more time than normal to think about mistakes or missed opportunities.

For example, in retrospect, I would have had that ‘one last’ drink at the pub had I known that ‘last’ in that context meant ‘for the next three months at least’. Equally, if I could go back in time, I might have bought shares of a certain video-conferencing app.

Most of all though, I wouldn’t have taken a hit to bring in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ahead of a Double Gameweek (which has yet to materialise), getting rid of Jamie Vardy for a hit (who I’d kept hold of despite him apparently ‘socially-distancing’ himself from goalscoring for the previous few months) only for him to score a brace in the very next fixture!
 
The point is; we can’t go back or change the past, those are ‘sunk costs’ as economists say and it’s a waste of time and brainpower to even think about them. Worse, because these mistakes bug us so much, we’re all too likely to try and ‘undo’ them, leading to even more mistakes. If we want to progress, we should look to the future and only the future.
 
Sure, it felt like a mistake to switch Vardy for Aubameyang but, it seems, Aubameyang will get his Double Gameweek after all so, if we’re only looking at the future (as we should) then it’s a logical move which could still pay off. I should really stop complaining about it…

Plan ahead, be flexible… 

 
2020 has definitely been a year for dealing with the unknown but it has also illustrated the importance of both planning ahead and of being adaptable to change.
 
The remainder of the FPL season will present unique challenges, many of which we’ve doubtless yet to even consider. However, having at least some semblance of a plan from the outset will be crucial for navigating it effectively.
 
Once the fixtures are confirmed, planning out what your team looks like over the remaining Gameweeks and which transfers you’ll likely want to make and when, will likely offer a big advantage. We know that plans don’t last long in FPL, but a foundation on which to pivot in response to what’s thrown at us may turn out to be crucial.
 
Of course, that also means not painting yourself so far into a corner that it becomes difficult to get out of. We’re kicking off with a Double Gameweek but be wary of filling your team with double-playing players that you might spend the rest of the season trying to get rid of.

 …but don’t panic buy

 
Remember at the start of all this when you couldn’t buy toilet roll in the supermarket because people were buying them in industrial volumes, leading, apparently, to a 5,000% increase in sales in places and a hysteria that has already been dubbed ‘The Great Toilet Roll Grab’?
 
It seems pretty ludicrous now, but this sort of behaviour isn’t all that uncommon and, indeed, has been observed throughout history. It starts with the ‘early adopters’ who seem to benefit from being the first to do something, people start to notice this so they start doing it too, then the behaviour starts to get some serious publicity and, before you know it, everyone’s doing it, driven, in part, by the fear of missing out.
 
It’s essentially the psychology underpinning any sort of economic bubble and, of course, FPL bandwagons. You see, in this context, there isn’t an enormous difference between panic-buying toilet roll and panic-buying Teemu Pukki at the beginning of this season, or Shane Duffy ahead of Gameweek 34 last season or Theo Walcott, well, literally any time, any season. 
 
You should never feel panicked into buying a player for fear of missing out, particularly not one who you have good reason to believe may not live up to their hype or sustain their success.

In summary, the key lesson here is that, while panic-buying might make you feel better in the short term, longer term it will almost certainly leave you with egg on your face, or stacks of toilet roll in your kitchen. If you got in there early, brilliant, if you didn’t, take a deep breath and focus on what the next big thing will be.


Simon March is a member of our Pro Pundits initiative, a team of Fantasy managers here to bring you regular advice and updates on their teams. Simon won the FPL title in 2014/15 and has become a fixture on the punditry circuit ever since.

Nominated for ‘Best in Fantasy Football – Editorial’ at the Football Content Awards 2020

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84 Comments Post a Comment
  1. dunas_dog
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 28 days ago

    V-FPL - Who is best option to replace injured Saiss. Got up to 5.7 m

    A Digbe
    B PVA
    C Gomez
    D Boly
    E Anyone better?

    Guaita
    TAA James Saiss*
    Mané KDB Bruno Neto
    Rashford DCL Jiménez

    Pope Cantwell Mariappa Bednarek

    1. Dr. Agabuse
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      B

      1. Dr. Agabuse
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        Amazing defesive fixs

    2. Dr. Agabuse
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Gomez isnt even playing

      1. dunas_dog
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        Thanks- he did in 2 friendly games I ran but agree is risk that Matip or Lovren play. Only slight concern with PVA means have double Crystal Palace defence with Guaita.

    3. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      With 1 min to go, B. On penalties at least too.

    4. Legohair
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Whats wrong with saiss?
      Just got him few weeks ago...

      1. Hazz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        Out with an injury until GW36

    5. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Did you go with PVA?

      1. dunas_dog
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        Not gone through tonight’s games yet but sounds like I will be regretting not getting him! Think if had read your post pre deadline would have gone for him as forgot he was on pens but went for Digne home to Bournemouth- I know he did not start ( nor did James) so not looking forward to going through the games shortly.... My rank of 52 will be no more I fear!

  2. Hazz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Jota is a G of late.

    Neto > Traore didn't do all that much, but the AI is still encouraging. Looks like he was unlucky.

  3. FPL Virgin
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    How far down do the Europa League places go if Man City's appeal is rejected?

    I would like to see a team by team article of what each team has to play for in the final 9 games.

    1. Ginkapo FPL
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Be what you want to see in the world.

      Write what articles you want to read in the world.

  4. Scottyib
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Is Saiss i injured??

    1. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Out till GW36.

    2. SweepaKeepa
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Oh - virtually. Panic over.

  5. Little Red Lacazette
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Jota in paid off.

  6. Ginkapo FPL
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Brilliant article

  7. Jinswick
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    What’s the consensus on what to do for those with all chips left?

    1. Ginkapo FPL
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Panic

      1. Ginkapo FPL
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        Or consider whether they offer a point advantage in any given week and use when favourable

    2. Fantasy Gold
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Don’t worry Jinswick, the spoonfeeding will be readily available once the game reopens.

      Can’t wait for your endless RMTs.

      Open wide!

      1. Ginkapo FPL
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        Trolls didnt leave as you can see

      2. Ginkapo FPL
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        What is wrong with having a discussion

        1. Fantasy Gold
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 27 days ago

          A thousand RMTs being posted is not a discussion.

          Asking what chips to use and when is not a discussion either last time I checked.

          1. Ginkapo FPL
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 27 days ago

            Posting negative comments on everything is even worse

            1. Fantasy Gold
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 27 days ago

              Yeah if I see something positive I’ll post a positive reply, like with Berbs below.

              Unfortunately, this place has gone to the dogs.

              So you can pipe down now monkey.

              1. Ginkapo FPL
                • 9 Years
                1 month, 27 days ago

                This place has gone to the dogs because everyone emphasises the criticism and negativity and few try to add positivity.

                1. Nightcrawler
                  • 1 Year
                  1 month, 27 days ago

                  Spot on

      3. Pumpy Pro
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        😆

        Brace yourself mate. They are coming. Just wait till the main ones get a whiff of the season starting

        1. Bossworld
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 27 days ago

          "hey guys just logged in, I can make unlimited transfers?"

          -_-

          1. Fantasy Gold
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 27 days ago

            😆

          2. Pumpy Pro
            • 11 Years
            1 month, 27 days ago

            😆

  8. Ginkapo FPL
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Gotta get Targett though

    1. TwiggsJameson
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      For TC presumably.

      1. Ginkapo FPL
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        I've been hearing big things

  9. Feanor
    • 11 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Brought in Timo Horn as my Bundesliga keeper this week, and he saved a penalty.

  10. Kung Fu Football
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Is anyone else playing the Fantean 250,000 season long game? Logged in and it would appear they have issued an extra WC to all, is this the case? Haven't received an email about it from them and can't find any info on it elsewhere but it does say 'wildcard activated' and on making transfers no points are being deducted, can anyone confirm please? Thanks.

    1. Pipermaru
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Got an email about it on 5th of June, yes we have a free WC. There's the quote from it:

      "Therefore after lengthy discussion and consideration here at Fanteam HQ, we have decided that the only fair solution for all season-long entrants is to add unlimited free transfers to teams – but these are only valid until the Aston Villa vs Sheffield United game kicks off at 19:00 CET on June 17th, 2020."

      1. Kung Fu Football
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        Ok, thanks for confirmation mate, i've not received one for some reason, performed a search on my email to make sure but nothing? Good to know. While we're here can i ask you what you think to this Fanteam WC side i've just put together? Any glaring changes you would make at all? Thanks :

        Hendo
        TAA / Doherty / E.Stevens
        Salah / KDB / Pepe / Fernandes
        Auba / Aguero / Jota

        Reina, Saiss, Martinelli, R.James

        +1.0 ITB for likely Pepe > Son after the DGW.

        1. Pipermaru
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 27 days ago

          Looks solid, I'm not a fan of all this "rate my team" thing because everybody's different, has his own ideas and preferences. But if you insist I'm not a fan of Reina, Martinelli and Aguero, I feel like you can have a better trio for the same money.
          Of course I know why you pick Aguero, he plays twice next week, so I'm not saying to change them right now but in the next gameweek or two Vardy might be a better pick, then you can upgrade both Reina and Martinelli.

          And Pepe to Son looks like a no brainer.

  11. Jordan.
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    long round of applause for vardy as he scores yet again....

    1. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      I mean at this point you are essentially playing the role of a masochist.

  12. Berbs
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Mo Salah, Andy Robertson and goalkeeper Adrian sat out of todays' 11v11 internal friendly at Anfield as a precaution due to minor knocks. [Via
    @TheKopHQ
    ] #LFC

    1. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      One of those is not like the other 😛

      Assume all will be fine to start the season, but that's good to know - thanks.

    2. Fantasy Gold
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Nice info, cheers Berbs.

    3. jtreble
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Thanks for sharing.

    4. POLSKA GOLA
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Interesting, I doubt either of Salah or Robertson wouldn’t be ready for the derby but may be hauled off early if the result was good

  13. headfried
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Any news of when app is available to use for changes transfers and such.

  14. TorresMagic™
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 11 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Scored 102 in VPL and still in the Cup.

    Sold Bruno + KDB (7) for Mount + Salah (27)

    1. BNMC
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Managed 93 points, without Salah too.
      Quite a high-scoring GW for everyone.

    2. The Mandalorian
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Congrats

    3. Ragabolly
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Mount especially is a great move this week, well done!

    4. bitm2007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      83 points, lost 3 places (40th to 43rd)

  15. jtreble
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Jeremy Ngakia will leave WHU. He won't play out the rest of the season.

    1. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      West Ham have really screwed the pooch on that one. Thought they had a long-term protect in him & didn't invest. Also didn't do due diligence in tying him down to a better contract.

      Hopefully the kid has made the right move. Put in some good performances.

      1. Hazz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        protect > prospect*

      2. jtreble
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        For whatever reason he wanted to move on. He's a good looking prospect ...

        1. jtreble
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 27 days ago

          ... and only 4.0 m.

        2. Hazz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 27 days ago

          Once you've been round Stratford once or twice it gets a little bit boring. Don't blame the fella.

  16. The Mandalorian
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    vFPL question

    I've used two transfers this GW but now want to free hit. Will those transfers be undone or will they stand.

    1. TorresMagic™
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Undone like FPL.

      1. The Mandalorian
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        Thanks

    2. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      As in, you've made 2 FT post deadline of 7PM tonight?

      I would assume it works exactly the same as in FPL. If you play your Free Hit - your Free Hit team will be whatever it is saved as, as of 7PM tomorrow.

      Your team for the following GW (after the FH GW) will be your team, without those 2 FTs made.

      1. The Mandalorian
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        Yes I've done the two transfers 5 mins ago but now want to FH. So basically those 2 FTs will be undone.

        1. Hazz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 27 days ago

          Yep, as TM said above.

    3. Ragabolly
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Undone yes

  17. The Mandalorian
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    What GW are you planning to use your free hit in vfpl?

    1. The Mandalorian
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      GW 34 or 36 here

    2. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Not 100% sure - potentially GW33 or GW35.

    3. HamezMace
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      No idea, might get burnt to be honest.

    4. Jafalad
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      32 looks good. Liverpud at NOR and CTY at home too to lowly oppo.

  18. Remaining Premier League fixtures announced
    andy85wsm
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Remaining fixtures - https://www.premierleague.com/news/1678153

    1. Berbs
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Eh, 10 games on at the same time?

      1. andy85wsm
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        Someone didn't read 😉

        "The dates and kick-off times for these fixtures are also subject to change and the planned kick-off times in the UK for live matches will differ from the traditional times.

        We will announce the dates and kick-off times of the remaining fixtures as and when appropriate"

        1. Berbs
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 27 days ago

          Ah right. It's just misleading to have Saturday 3pm etc 🙂

    2. Nightcrawler
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 27 days ago

      No reason to delay reopening any more now

      Would be scandalous if they wait another day

      1. andy85wsm
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        I agree!

        Although not likely to come out on a Sunday night - we'll probably be waiting until tomorrow now

  19. Nomar
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Running out of options to TC in VFPL.

    Salah away to Norwich tomorrow or get in Aguero for Man City v Villa in GW34.

    1. andy85wsm
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      I like the Aguero punt! I'm wildcarding to get him for that game

    2. The Mandalorian
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      I'm FH aguero for villa

    3. bitm2007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Auba home to WHU

  20. The Mandalorian
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Watching SAS series on Channel 4 catch up, awesome program.

  21. Jafalad
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Rugby's back in NZ and so too are the fans. Level 1 today 🙂 Stay safe y'all.