Welcome to our review of the latest talking points in the Fantasy Football Scout Community as we turn our attention to Gameweek 5.
Here we bring to your attention some of the best articles submitted through our Community Trials initiative, which is part of our ongoing mission to support budding contributors and creators.
This piece will also cover the latest in the Community mini-leagues and competitions.
Many Fantasy managers have been left reeling from the unpredictable start to the season but Community members have responded with humour and innovation. With the odd Wildcard thrown in for good measure.
Legomané, the well-known curator of the colourful FPL matrix, offered up a dose of relaxing art therapy to help ease our suffering. Are you able to identify the easy fixtures?
Community scribe, Greyhead, has been struggling to make sense of the Fantasy carnage. And his cohorts in The Great and The Good aren’t faring much better: Ville Ronka has now sold Son Heung-Min (£9.1m) twice – both times before his mega hauls; the hit-averse Matthew Jones (aka Numb) took a -4 to bring in Raul Jimenez (£8.6m); and Joe played a maverick Wildcard – without telling a soul!
This week, Joe’s famous Goals Imminent table came under the scrutiny of Steven Reinaldo Rusli, who concluded that perhaps it is something we should be paying closer attention to:
The table is undeniably one of the most powerful tools to predict hauls… Between Gameweek 2 and Gameweek 4, the Goals Imminent table has had eight unique players on the list, and so far six players have produced at least one attacking return!– Steven Reinaldo Rusli
Kroos Kontrol provided reasoned insight to its success in the comments section:
The reason the table works is that season-on-season there is a positive correlation with: 1) more attempts = more goals, and 2) more big chances = more goals. So if you get a high number of shots/big chances, it should lead to more goals given the high correlation.– Kroos Kontrol
The alliteratively-named Community member also offered us his take on the Chelsea defence. His in-depth analysis, which included looking back on the improvements made to Liverpool’s rearguard in recent season, proposed that:
With better defenders and a new goalkeeper, Chelsea’s version lines up a lot closer to Liverpool under Karius/Mignolet, rather than Arsenal under Martinez/Leno. Liverpool conceded a similar number of shots on target to Chelsea throughout, and jumped from PSxG/shot of 0.32 (14th best) to 0.28 (best in the league) after the arrival of Van Dijk, while Alisson meant they began overperforming their xGA.– Kroos Kontrol
Kroos Kontrol feels that Kurt Zouma (£5.0m) will be the defender of choice but Giggs Boson used his coaching knowledge to argue that Reece James (£5.1m) should not be discarded just yet, despite his benching against Crystal Palace:
The reason why Reece James was dropped is because the experiment with finding a Ziyech replacement on the right wing was a failure, so the best alternative was Callum Hudson-Odoi, someone who would stay naturally wide. The problem is that CHO occupies the same space as James, so Azpi was needed for balance sake.– Giggs Boson
Indeed site-veteran Camzy feels that Chelsea players could be the next bandwagon, given their kind fixture run. In a post that sparked much debate, he chastised Wildcarders for chasing last week’s points, and instead urged them to “Look ahead, not behind”.
However, The Rumour Mill, a regular contributor to discussions on Fantasy Football Scout, added to a comment from ktk_interista defending those reorganising their squads by outlining four reasons why Everton players are better picks than Chelsea players.
And early Wildcards can be successful, just ask Chaballer. As Greyhead revealed in a special Community version of The Great and The Good, the wheeler dealer has gained 54 points from his transfers this season, thanks largely to a successful Gameweek 2 Wildcard.
Among the changes Chaballer made was the addition of Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez (£4.7m). Although it was their attackers who surprised us all in Gameweek 4 with their demolition of Liverpool.
Ollie Watkins (£5.9m) is among the options being considered, with HurriKane pondering a move for the former Brentford striker. While Pro Pundit and Villa fan Tom Freeman (aka avfc82) thinks Ross Barkley (£5.9m) could be on penalties, potentially adding to his Fantasy appeal.
However, in his eye-test review, FPL Fetish sounded a note of caution following Villa’s big win over the Reds:
Villa only beat a much deeper defensive line in the shape of Sheffield United one-nil, and that Sheffield United side played most of the game with ten men. Surely opposing managers will learn from this and blunt Villa’s counter attack by allowing them to play with the ball. Only then can we fully judge Grealish and co.– FPL Fetish
It’s fair to say that the topsy-turvy results aren’t making life easy, but perhaps all that’s required is a new perspective. Homeandhosed decided to bring some order to the chaos by developing a mental model to gain insights and improve our predictions.
By categorising teams as either ‘Perfectionist’ or ‘Predators’, he sheds light on some of the performances we have seen so far. In essence, ‘perfectionist’ teams are not going to change their approach, even if it is going disastrously wrong (see Southampton, Man City, Liverpool), whereas ‘predators’ adapt to take advantage of an opponent’s weakness.
This new way of looking at teams then helps us to plan ahead:
Rather than targeting fixtures based on perceived opponent strength, it could be that embracing chaos by looking for Predator v Perfectionist match ups for your attacking assets could be the right approach for this season.– Homeandhosed
Meanwhile markdmwilliams proposed three strategies routed in social psychology to help us manage our emotions and make sound decisions:
- Push back against ‘Herd Mentality’ by restricting your intake of FPL content.
- Eliminate ‘Overchoice’ by forming a strategy
- Combat the ‘Pleasure Principle’ by adopting a price-change strategy
The issue is perhaps more pronounced with many people having more time on their hands given the increasing numbers ‘working from home’ (WFH). He concludes:
In a probability-based game in which we have no control over the outcome, our challenge is not to manage our players but ourselves. WFH thus gives us more time to wrestle with our biggest mini-league rival and that person lives much closer to home than we think.– markdmwilliams
More sound, practical advice – with custom graphics added for good measure – was provided by FPLHaggis. A back-to-basics approach based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, designed to ensure that we don’t miss out on season-defining hauls, such as Michail Antonio’s (£6.3m) four goals and 26 points against Norwich last year.
The above forms the composition of my dream Fantasy asset. Very few players, even premiums, will ever tick all of the boxes at the same time, but I feel that it has been a rewarding process to visually prioritise my desires to help filter the plethora of options we sift through each week.– FPLHaggis
Fantasy Football Scout Mini-Leagues
League code: 5u05vz
Eligibility: Open to all
There are currently 47,996 people participating in the open-to-all Fantasy Football Scout mini-league.
Shahen Withana is the new leader and is 39th overall after captaining Harry Kane for a Gameweek 4 score of 108. He has only used one chip so far: triple captaining Mo Salah in Gameweek 1.
This is his fourth FPL season and he is one point ahead of Suthikiat Boonpensilp, who has not yet used any chips. Nonetheless Suthikiat scored 121 in Gameweek 4 thanks to double-digit returns from Son Heung-Min, James Rodriguez, Harry Kane, Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and captain Salah.
This is Suthikiat’s fifth FPL season, his best finish an outstanding 331st in 2018/19.
Fantasy Football Scout Community Members
League code: Available on Members page and the Scout Leagues widget when signed in.
Eligibility: Open to all those who have a registered Fantasy Football Scout account – paid or free.
Shahen is also top of the Fantasy Football Scout Community Members mini-league.
The leaderboard below, courtesy of the Mini-League Mate, gives more insight into each manager’s performance. The percentages in the final two columns on ‘Team Similarity’ show that we can expect to see changes in the pecking order with big differences between the teams.
We’re dishing out £2,500-worth of giveaways throughout the season, however only those who have registered a Fantasy Football Scout account (paid or free) will be able to claim a prize. Also, managers must be registered one month in advance of the awarding of a specific prize to be eligible.
The next prize will be the Manager of the Month award for October, which will be handed out after Gameweek 7.
Bruce Savage was the luckiest manager to record a victory, his total of 39 points was the lowest-winning score in League 1. While callum croal (aka Jambo17) was the unluckiest loser, his 61 points were not enough to overcome Meet the Manager guest Richard Clarke, who beat him by four points.
A flying start to the season is no guarantee of success in the Head-to-Head leagues. Shahen Withana, the leader of both the Fantasy Football Scout mini-leagues, is the highest-ranked manager taking part. But Shahen does not have a 100% record and currently sits third in Division 14 of League 8.
A fixtures table will be published in the Scout’s Guide to Gameweek 5 ahead of the deadline. However, if you can’t wait to find out who you are playing next, follow this link. Use your browser’s find in page function (Ctrl+F) to locate managers.
All this information and more is contained in the main Head-to-Head page.
Last Man Standing
League code: 48n69x
Deadline: Open now until Gameweek 18*
*entrants must pass all previous safety scores to qualify
The threshold for elimination increases to 6% for Gameweek 5.
4,130 managers have entered the competition so far and it is possible to join up until Gameweek 18 – although you must pass all previous safety scores to qualify.
Aside from bragging rights, the winner will receive a free Fantasy Football Scout Membership for the 2021/22 season.
You are able to keep tabs on the action throughout the season via Ragabolly’s website Live FPL.
Elite Community Mini-Leagues
Elias Kharma is the new leader of RedLightning’s Top 10k Any Season mini-league (league code 8kcvzq). Elias is 3,998th overall and is in his tenth FPL season. He has an excellent two previous top 10,000 finishes.
Moving to the top of PDM‘s Top 1k ANY season mini-league (league code 2agvvx) is Sven Ove Berg. The Norwegian boasts one top 1,000 finish among his five top 10,000 end-of-season ranks. This is now his 11th season playing FPL.
An impressive Gameweek score of 99 points saw Stephen Brogan rise to first in Chaballer’s Top 1k HoF League (league code mr8dyh). Stephen is 899th in our Hall of Fame (HoF) with a season history dating back to 2006. His best previous finish was 1,040th in 2015/16.
In second place, one point behind, is Fábio Borges, our Career HoF number one.
Despite slipping to 154k overall, Arkadi Pinachyan goes straight in at number one in RedLightning’s Multiple Top 10k Finishes mini-league (league code 8t42p6). Arkadi is in his 14th season with two previous top 10,000 finishes, the best of which was 382nd in 2016/17.
He has a four-point lead over last week’s leader, Emil Gustafsson, sixth in our Career HoF.
An above-average 50 points helped 2017/18 FPL winner Yusuf Sheikh maintain his lead in Simon March’s exclusive FPL Champions League. 2013/14 Champion Tom Fenley moves up to second, 37 points adrift.
Pros and Cons
Christos Tsaras Sui (aka FPL Greece) remains top. FPL Greece is the largest FPL community in Greece, providing streams on their Twitch channel. Although you will need to speak Greek to understand the secrets of his early season success. Currently 13,881 overall, Christos finished 200th in 2017/18.
In the FFS Mods & Cons mini-league I’ve moved one point ahead of the unfortunate Lee Cowen (aka Granville), who took a four-point hit to replace Ollie Watkins (19 points) and James Rodríguez (18 points) with Raúl Jiménez (two points) and Tomas Soucek (three points). Ouch!
Lee will be on FPL Black Box this week, where Mark and Az will be “winding him up” about his disastrous Gameweek.
This is my 11th season playing FPL and I’ve had two previous top 5,000 finishes, the best of which was 2,774th last year.
Elsewhere, Sng Jungyang is the new leader of Skooldaze’s FPL Vets 2006 or before mini-league. His best previous finish was 3,300th in 2018/19 and he is now ten points ahead of last week’s leader, Baz Sahathevan.
Meanwhile Md Masud Parves takes over at the top of Greyhead’s The Next Great and The Good mini-league. He’s 6,628th overall in just his third FPL season.
Currently second in the world and first in the Fantasy Football Scout mini-league on Fantasy Allsvenskan, Love Hallerby played his Wildcard this week to load up on some Double Gameweek 25 players early.
He captained Jo Inge Berget who returned 14 points, and ended up on 58, seven above the average. That wasn’t enough to ward off the competition though, and he dropped down from first place in the overall rankings as Fredrik Sävås scored 68. Fredrik is now ahead not on points, but on fewer transfers made.
Very interesting to see how the final seven Gameweeks shape up at the top!
Second in the FFS league and 16th overall, Niklas Tysander had a strong Gameweek and finished up on 74 points even despite a measly two-pointer from his captain, Sead Haksabanovic. Standout performers for Niklas were Johan Hammar (13 points), Anel Ahmedhodzic (14 points) and Per Frick (12 points).
To join a featured mini-league that you are eligible for, simply enter the League code in the ‘Join private league‘ section on the FPL site. Any questions relating to community competitions please email firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below this article.
Thank you very much to RedLightning for his contribution to this article.
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