Each week as part of our Round-up of all the top fantasy content being created in the Scout Network our members will also be tackling a key FPL question. This week we asked: How does the International break impact your FPL planning?
As a content creator, each FPL week is whirlwind fast; the international break is a chance to take a breath and reflect on my decisions but also a useful time to work on some new graphics.
I always think wildcarding is a useful option during an international break. You can take your time deciding which players to pick, build team value and have the ability to react quickly to any injuries. If you are not wildcarding, holding your free transfer until the press conferences is a wise move.
I don’t tend to take note of player form in other competitions as there are too many differences to the Premier League. Players play in completely different teams with different setups, sometimes in different positions. The standard of opposition may not be as strong either.Ted Talks FPL
There is never a universally good time to WC, but the first international break is always a milestone I like to reach before considering the WC. By now you have 4 weeks of data so start to get a feel for which teams to focus on and who you need to ensure is in your side. The good thing about wildcarding over the break is you have two weeks to plan so it doesn’t feel rushed. If you aren’t WC then you need to resist the urge to transfer early to catch a price rise. Two weeks is a long time in FPL especially with COVID to contend with too, I would be holding off on my transfer(s) until the press conferences just in case someone has picked up a knock while away, or even if they tested positive for COVID which is becoming more and more regular now too unfortunately.El Statto
The international break is a good time to perform a little surgery on your broken team with a wildcard. However, if you can afford to save it, I always feel the best time to play a wildcard is a week before you play bench boost because that can help you maximise the points. If you can survive without using a wildcard till a week when only 10 teams play or 8 teams play double, and provided half of your picks click, you should be able to add at least an added 30-50 points via this back to back wild card + bench boost option (and if you can plan it right a free hit next can help you cover 60-70 point gap).FPL Poet
At FPL Greece, we are strong advocates of playing the game without following strict self imposed rules.The international break provides indeed a good opportunity to assess what has happened so far and make correcting moves while keeping the team value above the baseline, but in essence, it is nothing more than a regular break.
If using the wildcard now is the outcome of meticulous planning, based on fixture swings, players’ form or the realisation that certain issues needs to be addressed asap, then it might make sense. If not, then there’s always next GW with the hope that it is triggered from proactive planning rather than bad performance.FPL Greece
We at The FPL Wire believe that during the international break, it is always recommend to hold onto your transfers as long as possible, especially during the pandemic. We have already seen a few players test positive and with that added risk, it only makes sense to wait. The only way we’d recommend it is if you’re getting players like Son or Salah who are not playing during the international break and if you have zero room for manoeuvring is the price changes occur.The FPL Wire
Son and Kane celebrate scoring against Manchester United in Gameweek 4
On the basis that 19.1% of the Top 1k have already used their Wildcard and 32.2% have used at least 1 chip, there’s plenty of chance to catch up if you are using your chips more strategically!FPL Gameweek
International Break is a point in the FPL calendar that we love to hate. On the one hand it gives thinking time to assess the issues and problems within our individual FPL teams, on the other hand I spend it constantly on edge worrying about injuries or players that return late to their Premier League clubs.
Playing wildcards over International break can be a really useful strategy in terms of removing the injury worry as it is easy to swap a player out if the worst happens, as well as enabling you to catch price rises and avoid price falls thus building team value which will be pivotal later on in the season, however Wildcards can be so handy in the later part of the calendar year so for me trying to navigate this first set of International fixtures without it if possible seems a good idea.FPLFamily Sam
In most seasons we typically plan to wildcard over the first international break, after witnessing a good four weeks of games and analysing the data. This also allows us to catch the price rises over the break and dodge any injuries that may have occurred to our players otherwise. This season however although we haven’t had the best of starts, our teams look salvageable so we’ll be holding the wildcard a bit longer. Chasing team value is not worth the risk of a potential injury or COVID case. Sit back & enjoy the international matches and wait for the press conferences before deciding on your moves!KingFut
The Transfer Algorithm isn’t particularly toggled for international breaks. In general though, planning for two free transfers ahead of the break is a great idea due to the somewhat increased risk of events during the break. Perhaps particularly so this year and this international break in particular, with as much as 3 international fixtures per team and a touchy Covid situation. I am not very confident in the players professionalism for avoiding Covid when leaving their PL – bubble for some time off around the continent. It wouldn’t surprise me to get an uptick in Covid-quarantines at the other end of the break. Anyway, playing the WC at the early stage this season based on just missing out on the most recent haulers seem a silly idea. The value of keeping that option in case of a fat-tale event is so important this season. If it doesn’t turn out, having the wildcard intact ahead of the first likely DGW will be great anyway.Transfer Algorithm
I always use the first International break to take stock of the season so far. Where have I failed, how could I have navigated it better. Once this has been completed, I usually hit the wildcard button with glee & promptly tear up my team to accommodate the conclusions of my earlier findings.FPL Take the Hit
What’s happening in the Scout Network?
Ahead of GW5, KingFut pundits Mohamed Korain and Omar Khairallah recorded two episodes of ‘King El Fantasy’. The duo first recap GW4 before looking into their transfer strategy for the international break and upcoming weeks. You can find all this and more on YouTube
This week El Statto welcomed Scout Academy member FPLTalkingPoint to the team of writers and we’ve used the break in game weeks to look at “results orientated thinking” and how this impacts fpl. FPLTalkingPoint’s provides great insight and a different way to thinking about FPL strategy.
This weekend’s Live Stream looked at some of the action that occurred over international break and touched briefly on the injury fears with the likes of KDB, Kane and Sterling and how much worry we should give them as FPL managers. We also looked at Lee’s Wildcard draft as well as the drafts of our Patreons who currently have their wildcards active. We also passed the magic 7k followers mark over on Instagram just prior to the International break.
Scout Network Spotlight: Ted Talks FPL
At the age of 18, I surprised my dad by appearing in his work fantasy football league. I had always helped him pick his team in previous years, but that year I was determined to compete. I had contacted the organiser out of the blue, asked to be involved and he generously obliged. Thus an 8-year rivalry began with my father, discussing the pros and cons of Clint Dempsey, why I’d overlooked Herman Hreidarsson and one-liner cliches such as ‘Never pick newcomers to the Premier League’ drilled into me. The difference being that this was a restricted format of Telegraph Fantasy Football with only 12 transfers available in the entire season. Patience was key, which is probably why age and experience trumped youth and enthusiasm, more often than not…
In 2017 this league came to an end and I switched my full attention to Fantasy Premier League. I couldn’t believe the difference, the possibilities – 1 free transfer every week, hits, wildcards & chips! I started reading articles on Fantasy Football Scout & started interacting with other enthusiasts in the FPL community on social media. I was hooked and wanted to improve. In 2018, I started producing my own content and with a bit of beginner’s luck achieved an overall rank of 63rd in the world.
Since then, my focus has been on supporting the FPL community with simple but meaningful graphics. I am a firm believer that clear, visual information is the best way to convey an idea – lasting longer in the mind of the reader. That is why I’ll always favour presentation over complexity.
This graphical fixture ticker shows the teams with the easiest fixtures in the next 6 GWs. Green/Amber/Red colours to signify fixture difficulty, home games are full squares & away games only have a border. The 20-team version can be found here.
I keep a close eye on which teams are performing well going forward, as well as those conceding the fewest chances. Football pitch charts are used, like the one below, to compare two separate stats, which help us form a conclusion about a team. In this case, we’re looking at attacking prowess, measuring low % shots (small chances) alongside high % shots (big chances). One hypothesis might be Man City are creating lots of chances (as they typically do) but are struggling to create big chances with the lack of a fit recognised striker.
You can find a similar chart for defensive prowess here.
One of the most recent additions to my repertoire has been the ‘top 5’ lists, showing the best players to pick from each outfield position and price bracket. Here are the must-have players from GW5:
I attempt to use all of this content in my weekly videos, which focus on the week’s hot topic; always with a stats-focussed theme. You can find my most recent video here, looking at the players to bring in from the most attacking premier league sides.
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