Community Submissions

How Mindfulness can help with your FPL decisions


The Community Trials is part of our ongoing mission to support the wider community of creators and expand the scope of our own content.

We are continuing to monitor everything submitted during this initiative and we thought we’d bring your attention to a recent article on Mindfulness and FPL from domwatts23, which received some excellent feedback.

For more information on the Community Trials, click here. If you want to read more article submissions, click here.


We’ve all been there. Logging on to the Fantasy Premier League website just to have another look at our team. It’s beautiful, a masterpiece. The only issue is that we’ve already looked at it today. Why are we looking again? The answer is very simple really, and it’s mainly dopamine.

Just as Facebook used ‘psychological hacking’ in order to (and this is a genuine quote) ‘take as much of our time and attention as possible’. FPL innocently and unknowingly exerts a familiar influence over many of its managers.

I’m not that good at FPL. I always have a good start but things get messy along the way and I end up somewhere in the top 10 of my mini-leagues, occasionally in the money. I also have an addictive personality by nature, and so ordinarily FPL takes up too much of my time.

I’m a Mindfulness trainer by trade and my aim for this season is to use my knowledge of psychology and mental health in order to have more fun and less stress. After speaking to lots of friends, I see that this seems to be a good recipe for many others as well.

I’ve seen more and more talk about the psychological blunders we all make with FPL, and reactive transfers is a great example of the relationship between Mindfulness and this dear old game. Reactivity is perhaps the number one trait we try to address in mindfulness and meditation courses.

There are a few other nuggets of wisdom within the principles of Mindfulness which relate quite nicely to FPL and the unnecessary issues it can cause. I thought it might be helpful for readers if I summarised a few of the key ones here:

CONTROL

How De Bruyne's new Man City role affects his FPL credentials this season

Perhaps the most important source of FPL suffering is the illusion of control. Despite all the statistics anyone can possibly muster, the truth (however hard to hear it might be) is:

You don’t know what’s going to happen in any of those football matches.

It’s worth reading again because this is vital. We really don’t know. We are guessing. Yes, of course, there are trends, and of course, there’s a high probability that Kevin De Bruyne is going to get quite a few points against Fulham at home, but we can never know for sure and it is totally out of our control.

The follow up truth from this is:

How many points you get this week, or across the season, is not in your control. 

Strange to consider, isn’t it? I bet some people reading this beg to differ, but think about it. Every single point you have ever gained in FPL has been because a random human being miles away from you did something with a football, and it had nothing to do with you. 

Remembering this should be a relief. It takes away a lot of the grasping and clinging to what you think you definitely know, or how well you should/could do this week. Perhaps the most important consequence of remembering this first principle is that we remember to enjoy the game.

FUN

Did you forget? FPL is supposed to be fun! We all started playing this game because it’s enjoyable to try to guess what’s going to happen in the future, and to be rewarded when our guesses are correct. Enjoying the thrill of the unknown. 

This year, with more advice, news and FPL services available than ever before, there is a real risk of many of us losing sight of the enjoyment of the game more than ever before as well. If you really think about it, do you want to give so much energy and time to something which you are not enjoying? None of us do. So it’s in our interests to understand those factors which suck the fun out of the game and attempt to address them in our own relationship with FPL.

Mindfulness is great for this. Any time you notice that you’re miserable or stressed out because of FPL, it’s a good chance to stop and take some time to investigate what’s really going on. Slow down and pay attention to what’s happening in your inner world; bring it into the light. This is a form of meditation, and it doesn’t need to be done sitting on a cushion with your eyes closed. Rather than letting negative emotions drive your behaviour, be ruthless in remembering the above two points: it’s not in your control, and it’s supposed to be fun. Let go!

CONSCIOUS CLICKING

FPL relaunches with/without unlimited transfers for all managers

I started this article by mentioning the relentless checking of the website which many of us have fallen prey to. This behaviour takes place because we get a dopamine hit released in our brain every time we look at our team and remember that we might be rewarded in the future for those players doing well this weekend. Just like Instagram, Twitter etc, this is creating a feedback loop which is incredibly addictive.

The good news is that this means the remedies are the same and there are many. We should consider why we are checking the website and our team and begin to transition to consciously checking when we have a reason to do so. When we pay attention to our behaviours, we begin to transform them.

This is another strategy which can alleviate stress and bring some fun back into the game. Less time wasted is only going to be a good thing. Gradually bringing consciousness into the checking of the website will filter into your thinking processes as well, and before long you will be wasting less energy thinking badly about your transfers during the week and confusing the issue.

Who would want to be addicted to looking at a teamsheet of players from random football teams who you think are going to do well on the weekend? None of us do, and there’s no reason why we need to.

CLEAR THINKING

I was interested to see how well Magnus Carlsen did in FPL last year, and having just started learning to play chess, I think I can see some of the reasons why. Besides having a superhuman memory (which must really help when it comes to remembering stats and transfer options), chess requires extraordinarily clear thinking and decision making.

Magnus is incredibly good at blitz chess, which is when you have only a small amount of time to make your move, and this means he is very good at making decisions without wasting energy. This must be so useful for FPL. When he looks at his team and realises a strategy isn’t likely to pay off, I presume that he immediately discards it at light speed as he would do in a chess match, instead of ruminating over it as most of us would. This clarity of thought, unfortunately, isn’t something we all possess! However, we can still learn from this and try to bring some of it into our own play.

An example of this in relation to Mindfulness is to notice when you are thinking badly about FPL. If it’s just in the back burner of your mind, ticking away throughout the week, this isn’t necessarily helping you.

It would be better to consciously think about it for a short amount of time and make clear decisions which you understand. Make a routine for doing transfers which gives you enough time to gather the info you need and then make your decision, but doesn’t allow you to waste lots of your week. As you practice thinking more clearly and not wasting mental energy, you get better at it. That can only be a good thing.

MEDITATION

Perhaps the most important aspect of practising meditation is that it allows us to access a deeper state of mind. When we are in a deeper state of mind, everything is better. It brings clarity to our thinking and makes it more difficult for negative emotions to hang around and ruin our day.

Really slowing down and allowing the mind to rest fills it with energy, which is more powerful than the kind of energy we use on a day-to-day basis. This energy is likely to help us make much better decisions and enjoy our FPL season. So take a deep breath (or 100) before burning those four points!


FPL Lessons Learned from Gameweek 2

Become a Member and get unrestricted access to our data and articles

Full-year memberships are now available for the price of £19.99. Monthly subscriptions also cost just £2.99.

Join now to get the following:

  • Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
  • Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
  • Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
  • Get access to over 150+ exclusive members articles over the season.
  • Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
  • Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
  • Enjoy our brand NEW Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables.
  • View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
  • Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.

ALREADY A USER? CLICK HERE TO UPGRADE YOUR FREE ACCOUNT

NEW TO SCOUT? CLICK HERE TO START A MEMBERSHIP ACCOUNT

2,172 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Flair
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Pickford highlights ending all of my desire for Keane and Coleman. What tf was he doing?

    1. kennethrhcp
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      He's terrible

    2. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Went for Kepa last night, even the second goal was straight at him

      1. Old Man
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        😀
        How he can retain the England jersey is beyond me. Pope or Henderson should come in, but whether Southgate has the bottle to pick the latter while he's not getting first XI football is very doubtful.

  2. manu4life99
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Was DCL injured yesterday? (Subbed on 45min)

    1. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Prob just rested to protect his leg that was bandaged up after the WBA game

  3. unitednations
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Morning dzz, best option to fill in the blanks..22.1m

    Martinez Steer
    Saiss James XXX --- Lamptey Justin
    Salah KDB Podence XXX -- Reed
    DCL Werner XXX

    A: Robbo + Foden + Jimmy.....mid too light with 2 prem and 2 cheapies?
    B: Robbo + Rodriguez + Jimmy and downgrade Salah > Sterling
    C: Robbo + Son + Mitro
    D: Robbo + Son + Foden in a 352
    E:Taylor + Son + Jimmy

    1. Make America Greta Again
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      I'd get Ake, Son and Hames.

      1. ZAWAd25
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        I like B. Can you keep Salah by downgrade one of your defenders to Mitchell or Ferguson?

  4. tommo123
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    What 3 defenders would you start?

    VVD (ARS)
    Saiss (whu)
    James (wba)
    Taylor (SOU)
    Mitchell (EVE)

    1. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      First three

    2. Make America Greta Again
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      First 3, Nice 5 defenders to have.

    3. ZAWAd25
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      First 3

  5. Sickboy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Help please guys:

    A) Havertz & Reece James
    Or
    B) Son & C.Taylor

    Thanks.

    1. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      A

      1. Sickboy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Thanks!

  6. Make America Greta Again
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Who is going to be on penos for Chelsea? Might look at Havertz in on WC.

  7. Rolls-Royce
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Tried a bit spectacular here on the WC.

    Martinez
    James Siass Dier/Kean
    Salah KdB Sterling Foden Podence
    Werner DCL

    Steer Brewster Lamptey Mitchell/Dunne

    0.0 inb.

    No Jimenez but I like to have Sterling as the captaincy option. No pool defence but I am hoping to rotate among cheap 5.0/4.5s according to the fixture. Thoughts?

    1. CumberdaleUK
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Like many of you; I'm wildcard this week to regroup.
        Could I get some feed back please:

        A) - **Militant MID**
        Martinez Button
        Mitchell, Reguilion, Justin, White/Lamptey, VVD
        Rodriguez, KDB, Auba, Salah, Podence
        DCL, Bamford, Davis

        B) - **Militant MID + TAA**
        Martinez Button
        Mitchell, TAA, Justin, White/Lamptey, Dallas
        Rodriguez, KDB, Auba, Salah, Podence
        DCL, Bamford, Davis

        C) - **Even Spread**
        Martinez Button
        Gabriel, James, Justin, Lamptey, Reguilion
        Rodriquez, Praet, Auba, Havertz, Foden
        DCL, Jimenez, Kane

      • CumberdaleUK
          2 months, 9 days ago

          I’d have issue with 3 city mid, reckon Mahrez might start

      • Old Man
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        We are going to feel the loss of Ndidi very badly. Far fewer clean sheets and less possesion for the likes of Barnes/Castagne/Maddison etc. Vardy's supply lines attenuated.
        🙁

        1. GuenDoozy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 9 days ago

          Yes this is why i am selling Justin on WC after he rises tomorrow

      • cnewman7
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Another silly question - If everyone is bringing in KDB (and a lot captaining), you're thinking that Man City might rack up a few goals against Leicester.

        Wouldn't Sterling be the beneficiary of KDB then? very low ownership comparatively and if you captain and scores well this will be a massive rank boost.

        1. Salarrivederci
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          I have both, but I also have triple ManU for this GW which is punty enough for me 😀

          (K)DB here.

      • RIDZ
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Which one better for the next 5:

        a) Costa: shu MCI WOL avl LEI
        b) Foden: LEI lee ARS whu shu

        1. Julesandal
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Foden, if you can handle rotation.

        2. Dr. Rog
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          costa had like 3 goals all season in the championship last year
          not an option

          1. RIDZ
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            thank's mate

      • Julesandal
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        WC thoughts please?
        Martinez / Steer
        Castagne/Saiss/ Justin / KWP/ Mitchell
        Salah/ KDB/ James/ Barnes / Podence
        Jimi / Ings / DCL

        Thanks

        1. Dr. Rog
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          to much sitting on bench

      • Blurryface2
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Currently settled on this on WC

        Emi
        TAA Saiss Taylor
        Salah KDB Son Foden Podence
        Werner DCL

        Bench- Steer Lamptey Michelle Brewster

        Any changes you guys would suggest. I am thinking of fitting in Jimi somewhere but don't know how

        1. GuenDoozy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 9 days ago

          Jimi to outscore Werner in the short term imo

      • WeakAssTeam
          2 months, 9 days ago

          First of all i love football and i will never stop reading articles, reports and info 24/7 it keeps me happy inbetween games.

          If your FPL was a betting game and all your transfer decisions had financial consequences i am pretty sure you would not have girly feelings like these.

          Yes its a fun game, but what is more fun than beating your mates, or just taking the piss out of them because they made all the wrong decisions in that GW and in life generally.

          The solution is not to change from being a big hairy beer drinking football loving parking attendant smacking neanderthal geezer to a princy wincy emotionally delicate liberal democrat antifa wannabe AND CREATE A SECOND FPL TEAM SO YOUR F***UPS DON'T SHOW UP IN PUBLIC.

          #YouCanThankMeLater

        • Young Müller Bebe
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 9 days ago

          Just want to say I really enjoyed this article and parts of it strongly resonated with me. Thanks Dom!

        • LucasMoregametime
            2 months, 9 days ago

            RMT Post WC
            Pickford (Ryan)
            VVD, James, Saiss (Justin, Mitchell)
            KDB, Hamez, Zaha, Podence (4.5)
            Kane, Werner, Jiminez

          • jesperdalagersuri
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 9 days ago

            I've bookmarked your great article, and I'll have to re-read it before making a transfer as a rule 🙂

          • FPL_SMR
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            2 months, 8 days ago

            TOP TOP article... having started GW1 with a 4.5m rank and a small green arrow to 4.1m after GW2, this is exactly what I needed to read!