Three Gameweeks away from a more normal schedule (well, potentially not for the clubs qualifying for Europe), I find myself getting more and more invested in the game, as a stark contrast to the feelings of tiredness and borderline boredom that accompanied the first nine Gameweeks of the season. After a nice boost from a Park The Bus chip deployed in Gameweek 10, I’ve taken a number of punts with varied success, for every Jo Inge Berget, there’s been a Nabil Bahoui. What I think I’ve accidentally stumbled upon lately though is the xFun factor, where playing to your own strengths and not being too caught up in the metagame around it all leads to a much more enjoyable experience, regardless of the actual outcome.
For some like myself, that includes taking frequent hits and chasing upside players, something generally frowned upon in the community. For others, it’s sticking with a carefully laid out strategic plan, avoiding hits and seeing that patience eventually pay off. There are managers who get their kicks from going in heavy on the club they support, avoiding rival clubs’ players despite their fantasy prospects. There are those who avoid players that they’ve been burned by in the past, and those who keep returning to underperforming players based on nostalgia and a vague hope of them rediscovering their form of yesteryear… And that’s just scratching the surface of different kinds of fantasy managers, but I think it’s important to remember why we’re in it in the end – to have fun. Fantasy football is a distraction from a life and a world that’s increasingly complex and tough, and we sometimes need to take a step back and try to enjoy both the roughs and the smooths, the incredible Gameweeks where everything goes your way, and the bad ones, where rotation hits and you struggle to field 11 players.
Fantasy football is, for all of us here in this small community, a big part of life and for some, it’s a way of living and a very time-consuming devotion. For others, it’s just a cherry on the cake, the additional spice in an already superbly tasting cocktail, and the inevitable backhand to the face when it proverbially hits the fan. It’s a game about a game and we’re all rolling the dice each week, taking our best stab at being on the right side of luck and probability – which is part of the attraction. Beating the odds, proving to ourselves and others that we “know what we’re doing”, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. I think the problem stems from not realising that we can make the best calls possible with the information at hand, and still be on the wrong side of it though.
That’s why it’s so nice to have a group of likeminded people to discuss with and both gather and contribute information to about players and teams, about transfer thoughts, captains and chip-plans. As long as you play your own game and try to remember what brought you to fantasy football in the first place, what makes you happy and content with a Gameweek or a season – plenty of points is a perfectly acceptable answer to that, though it’s not really in your hands even if you can make it more or less likely.
Taking all of this into account, I intend to let the xFun factor dictate a lot more this season and see how it pans out. Maybe it leads to a good rank, maybe it doesn’t. Regardless, I expect I’ll be a lot more relaxed, happy, and able to enjoy the game for what it is – rather than what I want it to be.
As always, if you want to chat about fantasy football either comment here below – or hit me up @FF_Meltens on Twitter!