Lateriser, who finished 30th in the world last season, discusses “overthinking” in FPL and reveals his Gameweek 1 team.
This time of the season is a delicate time. I don’t really tinker too much but while I am reading articles and assembling information, the subconscious is working overtime in the background debating every minute decision in our Fantasy Premier League (FPL) team while the conscious is pretending hard to remain interested in the conversation on the dinner table.
I am generally a very decisive manager and normally after about two to three sessions of spaced-out, focused tinkering, I arrive at my team. Just before recording Episode 2 of our new Podcast, The FPL Wire (also available on all podcast platforms), I had one of these long tinkering sessions on Sunday night and the outcome was a team I was really happy with (it involved me not having a single Liverpool attacker but more on that later).
Monday and Tuesday passed and I was convinced that I was there. I even mentioned on the pod that I was feeling good about my team since I was so close to the final piece. Then came yesterday and I happened to watch France’s highlights versus Croatia and watching Anthony Martial (£9.0m) reminded me how much I love this player and that simply put I need him in my team.
When I referred back to my post-season notes that I had scribbled in my little notebook, I found “You Love Tony Gloves” scribbled in there. I hadn’t planned for Tony (except for a lazy afterthought that I’ll do Timo Werner (£9.5m) to Martial in Gameweek 2) until then and had Bruno Fernandes (£10.5m) sitting on my bench Gameweek 1. Panic set in because I know I’m not going be happy with my team until I get him.
This led to me immediately logging on to the FPL website and just not being happy with all the compromises. Suddenly, it all feels imperfect. This happens to most of us (we overthink way too much). Our FPL decisions (at least for me) are constantly evolving in our heads and while there’s panic at first when something strikes you, all you really need to do is put on some earphones, dig in some more (statistics + highlights + articles) and you’ll find that in some time you’ll arrive at a place you’re happy with.
The key to all of this is the earphones. You need to be away from all the noise when you’re ‘Beautiful Minding’ (as my friend Walsh likes to call it) your team and after some time and thought you’ll get there. Yes there will be some sacrifices along the way but mentally you’ll have debated all sorts of decisions and as long as there is reasoning to the team you’re building, you should be okay.
After all of this, I really think to myself: why do we even overthink? The chances of us getting Gameweek 1 right are so slim. But then I see Mark Sutherns, who is possibly the best instinctive FPL manager I know, talking on his new fabulous show “FPL BlackBox” about having a set of rules and filters for his decisions.
In my head, I just went, “Mark, don’t do it because of one rubbish season. You were careless last season. Your strength is your instinct and filtering will just stop you from being naturally instinctive and aggressive”. I might have even DMed him the same. Seems like we’re all just wired to overthink. It’s probably me doing just that with my decision to not go with a Liverpool attacker.
Let me take you through that decision and some other relevant ones while building my Gameweek 1 team.
The elephant in the room is that as of today, I plan on starting without Mohamed Salah (£12.0m) or a Liverpool attacker for that matter. There are two primary reasons for this.
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