Pro Pundit Teams

Understanding the difference between bad FPL decisions and bad outcomes

My years playing Fantasy Premier League has taught me a very important lesson: there is a distinction between a bad decision and a bad outcome.

Understanding how to tell the difference between these two concepts is key to FPL success, especially when it comes to your own personal morale and decision-making process for the next Gameweek.

Gameweek 9 gave us a great example. I have been travelling a fair bit on weekends so, recently, I can only catch three or four live games a weekend and the rest is all highlights. This Saturday was a different case. The house was empty, the television remote was exclusively mine, I was all set to watch eight hours of football and I had eight players playing on Saturday, including my captain. The excitement and anticipation was real.

The armband was on Timo Werner (£9.5m) and emotions ran high as I watched him behave like a world class points dodger. For me, it is much easier to accept a poor decision than a poor outcome and this was definitely the latter. It is even more difficult when you’re struggling at an overall rank of three million and you need these good calls to come through. 

But that is part and parcel of the game we play and once you’ve had your ‘tilt’ on the day, the brain functions more reasonably the next, at least for me. You have to ‘trust the process’ and take respite from the decisions you make are good or bad and not look at the outcome. Werner was a good captaincy call based on what we saw and I also bet against clean sheet odds and started Luke Ayling (£4.5m) ahead of Matt Targett (£4.5m). 

Being where I am at the moment, and scoring a meagre 46 points in Gameweek 9, this is what I can take solace in and hope that the outcome matches the decision-making sooner rather than later. There is consolation in the fact that this was a ‘could have’ week and it’s not just a case of Werner being on the wrong side of variance.

There were a lot of players that should have done a lot better than they did in Gameweek and the one I would like to talk about is Patrick Bamford (£6.1m). Leeds United had 52% possession at Liverpool, 53% possession against Manchester City and 67% possession versus Arsenal. They also had a staggering 25 shots on Sunday evening. 

In fact, Marcelo Bielsa’s men are top of the league for shots and shots in the box over the last six Gameweeks and that is all you need to know really to make the case for Bamford. I’m convinced he’s one of the best set-and-forget options in the Premier League at the moment because when it comes to Leeds United, fixtures don’t really matter. 

There was a great article on the Athletic about Bamford which you should definitely read. What impresses is his mentality. Bielsa’s undeterred faith in Bamford is quite heart-warming to read about if I’m honest (I wish someone backed me the way Bielsa backs Bamford) and it has gone a long way in making him the player he is today.  What really stood out to me is Bamford setting himself a target for 25 goals for the season. Whether he achieves that or not remains to be seen but that stats and the eye-test show he is really gunning for it.

My fellow Pro-Pundit Tom Freeman made a great point about Bamford on our podcast The FPL Wire which has stuck with me. He mentioned that Leeds were like Manchester City in the Championship where defences gave them a lot more respect due to which Bamford had a lot less space than he’s afforded in the Premier League and that does ring true. 

Neale mentioned on this week’s episode of The FPL Wire that his goal conversion rate is at approximately 20% right now which doesn’t seem very unsustainable to me and if Leeds United continues to keep playing this brand of football, I don’t see Bamford’s output changing. I’m likely going in on him this Gameweek and I’m very excited about the prospect. 

A lot of questions came in for the Manchester City assets and whether you should get them in. Yes they haven’t look convincing so far but given that their next four home fixtures read Burnley, Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle, you have to roll the dice in my opinion. 

I’m not someone who sits on the fence with my opinions. FPL isn’t a game about who has scored points in the past. It is a game about predicting who is going to score points in the future and in my opinion, when that fixture run shows up for a team that has scored the most number of goals in the league for the past three years, you have to roll the dice and go for it. 

Which premium midfielder you pick is up to you but I would definitely get at least one in there for the run and then maybe double if they show signs of form. You have to place your faith in the quality of the manager and the players and hope that their woes (which were compounded by not having a proper pre-season or a fit striker) are behind them.  Historically fixtures have always won and this set of fixtures is too good to not take a shot at it.

Uefa Champtions League Fantasy Panel - Matchday 4

While we’re not sitting on the fence, let’s talk about Diogo Jota (£6.6m). Yes we can’t for sure say if he’s nailed-on to start but his numbers are comparable to his premium Liverpool midfield counterparts. The upside is more than the downside for me especially given the price. Historically, we have seen that he’s a very streaky player and he’s on a hot run at the moment. Get in while he’s hot would be my advice. Even if he doesn’t start, I reckon he’s Jurgen Klopp’s first attacking sub and I would expect him to play at least twenty to thirty minutes every game. If it doesn’t work, you’re only paying a small amount and the game that we play does allow us to transfer players out. 

While we’re talking about Klopp, one thing on my mind is that I need to get Mohamed Salah (£12.2m) as soon as possible. Liverpool seem like the most trustworthy attack in the league at the moment and they have a great run of fixtures right until mid-January. Klopp is very much aware of the patched defence he has but is not compromising playing a more defensive approach (something I thought might have happened). Instead, he’s sticking to the team’s identity and going for goals. 

I’ve gone freestyle with this article and quite enjoyed writing it. Looking forward to your feedback in the comments section and on Twitter as usual. I’m really hoping to see you on the other side with a warm and fuzzy green arrow to talk about. You know, process and everything. Unless a certain Sergio seduces me (it does feel like its too early but I’m writing on a Wednesday afternoon before their Champions League game).  

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932 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Andriy Shevchenko is Back
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    Kane to vardy only. No hits pls

    1. Andriy Shevchenko is Back
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      Ok time to go to bed

  2. JBG
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    Why the f... didn't they just put the Palace - Newcastle match on Saturday??

  3. thepuntmaster
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    Do Palace live stream their pressers does anyone know?

  4. Sturridge Wars
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    Which option?

    A) Werner > Vardy
    B) Steer > Johnstone
    C) Save FT

    McCarthy
    Justin / Chilwell / Coufal
    Bruno / Grealish / Rashford / Ziyech
    Werner / Kane / DCL

    Steer, Soucek, Struijk, Mitchell

    1. lindeg
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      Save

    2. yosim
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 23 days ago

      I did A - depends if you think Werner will outscore Vardy or not

  5. Albert_Luque
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    Jrod and Kane to Sterling (C) and Bamford for a -4? Yay or nay?

  6. huhhh
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    Kane to vardy for free
    Son to salah or kdb for-4?

    1. JBG
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      Kane to Vardy yes.
      Son out for -4 no, unless you are going to C Salah or Kdb. But even then I wouldn't.

    2. Andriy Shevchenko is Back
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      Yes
      No

    3. Bavarian
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      No
      No

  7. PogBruno
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    Who would you start?

    A) Soucek (villa H)
    B) Brewster (wba A)

    1. JBG
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      A

  8. Stevie G
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 23 days ago

    Best replacement for Saïs :

    a) Robbo
    b) Cancelo
    c) Dias

    1. JBG
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      C

  9. Camzy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    It's an upbeat article by Lateriser here but I dislike this line: "For me, it is much easier to accept a poor decision than a poor outcome and this was definitely the latter."

    It is not 'definitely' the latter. FPL is not so black and white. Captaining Werner over DCL is not so clear cut as one being the right decision with the wrong outcome and the other being a lucky outcome on a bad decision.

    Fact is, Lateriser's decision making has been poor so far this year. He's moved on the wrong assets at the wrong time. Maybe some of it is poor luck, poor variance, but maybe some of it is genuinely poor decision making.

    Being insistent on keeping Sterling through poor fixtures and form is a poor decision imo. The fact he kept him through Liverpool and then Spurs suggests to me that his decision making has been off when he could instead have been investing in Spurs players instead (he has not owned Son all year).

    Perhaps in a few weeks going all-in on City will pay off but it sure doesn't look like it now and then in 4 weeks time when City have flopped and eked out 1-0 wins, it'll be tempting to say: "I brought in the City guys for these good fixtures and was just unlucky." Well no, you brought in out of form expensive attackers to chase fixtures over in-form ones. That is a decision you made and it could well be a mistake this season.

    Point is, I think you need to own your decisionis. If you get it right, pat yourself on the back, but if something doesn't work, own up to it as a mistake rather than 'I made the right decision but it didn't work out."

    1. Andriy Shevchenko is Back
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      Have to agree here. Big fan of late riser but I think we’re covering some bad decisions here. Timo`s fpl returns have not been consistent enough to ensure captaining him over Bruno or even dcl was a good decision. Onwards and upwards. Lateriser’s season will turn

      1. Baines on Toast...
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 23 days ago

        I just realised his name is Late Riser. I've always read it like 'The Lateriser'

        1. Andriy Shevchenko is Back
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 23 days ago

          Haha. Love your name though. Made me laugh

    2. Lateriser 12
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      I've owned them and written and article about them in the past. I'm convinced Timo (c) wasn't is all. I'm only talking about one decision here.

        1. Camzy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 23 days ago

          Yeah I liked that article.

          Sorry this sounded quite harsh reading it back. But are you not worried that the stats aren't exactly backing heavy City investment here?

          They are not showing attacking fluency, their stats are down across the board compared to last year. This really does not feel like a good time to have KdB + Sterling. I remember posting a while back that maybe the toughest adaptation this year is that we have to accept that City have become a team in transition since the loss of Silva and the potential decline of Aguero. Backing them seems a bit like blind faith at this point.

          1. Lateriser 12
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 23 days ago

            I have both and I feel like selling one before these two games isn't something I want to do. If they don't do enough these two, I might get rid of one.

            And in no way am I justifying 2 city mids with this article. I'm only recommending one despite poor form because fixtures.

            1. Camzy
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              1 month, 23 days ago

              Yeah getting rid of them now is silly, obviously.

              But I do worry that the strategy of betting on City to deliver this season could be flawed. The stats and performances are telling a story for City, and it's one we don't want to hear, but maybe we ought to listen.

              I'm concerned that I'm falling for it. I have KdB + Cancelo now because I angled my team to be ready for these fixtures but I think my patience is wearing thin and there are other stories being told that we should start listening to - Kane being a season keeper/monster for instance.

            2. Pep bites Kun
              • 4 Years
              1 month, 23 days ago

              Thanks for the article LR and also thanks to Camzy for the robust & intelligent responses. I find this a good site for debate at times.

              LR Do you you think you were a bit headstrong before the season started with your picks? I won't go into specifics as you've covered them well in this and previous articles.

              By continuing to disregard some performing players and sticking with non-performing assets, against the run of form (sic stated above and below); do you think you have somehow over-thought obvious moves or has some stubbornness managed to infiltrate and colour your free-flowing flexible game judgement?

    3. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      In my years of playing, this season more than ever has (continuously) spat out odd results on 50/50 calls. I've seen it in the wider FPL community, with many seasoned managers struggling a bit, but also in smaller sample sizes such a private leagues: there are a fair few more players, who are usually awful, bang up to the top of the table.

      It's hard to prove this rather than it actually being "you've been crap" (don't worry, I certainly have been at times) - but I agree with Lateriser: bad decisions are not the same as bad outcomes.

      Werner puts away just one of his multiple chances in that match, and this decision isn't even being had. Perfect storm of a high ownership player being AWOL due to Salah & another player filling the void with a good fixture, delivering (after a big haul in the previous).

      Undoubtedly Fernandes (C) should and would have been considered, but it's really not like Werner was a bad choice when watching that match. On another day Fernandes misses (..!) or doesn't that penalty. Not saying that Bruno was lucky. He wasn't. Could and should have had more watching the game... but that really just leads us back to Werner who was in the same boat.

      Both sensible decisions. One worked out better than the other.

      1. Hazz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 23 days ago

        Forgot to add: A main reason for he wider-spread poor performances is obviously the failure to adapt, but it's terribly difficult to predict the variance of an example such as the Werner/Bruno performance above.

        As a counter-point & other example. I wildcard-ed out Son in GW3 in advance of the Southampton match. That, I know, was a bad decision made by me. I 100% advised people on here not to sell Son before that match due to the Southampton high line at the time yet swayed myself via group-think & panic of a poor start in GW1-2.

    4. Brosstan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      He says himself that he doesn't think this game is about luck so the logical conclusion is that he's played very badly to be ranked below 3m

  10. FPL Bielsa
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    This is a great article. I'm having a similar season ranked 2.3m after last 4 seasons 21k, 7.5k, 7.5k and 1.8k. It's been a combination of a terrible aggressive early wildcard in week 3 (in the past this has worked well) and then lots of bad luck Pulisic hamstring in the warm up, Zaha covid last week, Trent doing his calf etc etc.

    Your struggles have made my own a bit easier to bear and I am impressed by your constant positive attitude. As you say it's about making good decisions that you believe in and accepting the consequences. I'm considering a -8 this week to bring in KDB, Vardy & Cancelo who should all return well in the next few weeks.............that's the theory anyway !

    As an aside I'm a Leeds season ticket holder who secretly scoffed at so many getting Bamford in after seeing him miss so many chances last year. But after the Villa hat-rick he had to come in and I now agree with you, with the number of chances he's going to get every game he is great value..............I'm definitely not brave enough to captain though.

    1. Steve The Spud
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 23 days ago

      Yep, reminds me a bit of poker where someone with tons of World Series top 1000’s will randomly just go out in the first round sometimes

      And also, thus, a complete nobody can finish in the top 100 or even win it, Such is the variance of cards/fpl

    2. Lateriser 12
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      Neither am I. Hoping things turn for both of us.

  11. Dave Dreamer
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    What do you guys think the current Meta is?

    Def - Chilwell, Robo,
    Mid - Brun, Salah, Grealish
    For - DCL, Bamford

  12. joey
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    My plan was to bring in Salah and Bamford for Hamez and Kane before GW 12 using free transfers, already used mine this week getting Cancelo in for Struijk. I currently have 0.3m spare if I were to do them now, will I have the funds to do it still? Hamez will drop I'm sure by at least 0.1m by then and a rise for Bamford and Salah wouldn't be a surprise either. More than 0.1 for either of them and the plan is knackered, what do you think the chances are of getting away with it?

  13. noahzark22
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    sterling played 76 minutes yesterday. Should still be good for a differential captain shout saturday?

    1. huhhh
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      Even he start he is nt gonna do anything

  14. evilfish
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    Hi all. Thoughts on Grealish > Jota? Would leave me enough money to do Rodriguéz > Salah.

    Current Mid: KDB, Bruno, Ziyech, Rodriguéz, Grealish

    1. Andriy Shevchenko is Back
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      I’d rather lose Rodriguez

      1. Andriy Shevchenko is Back
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 23 days ago

        Sorry, didn’t see the second row. I just don’t think Grealish out is a good idea with the fixtures and form

        1. evilfish
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 23 days ago

          Do you think I should just roll the FT?

      2. evilfish
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 23 days ago

        That is another option, just wary of Grealish if Barkley is not available.

  15. trafalgarlaw
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    Help me guys
    1FT, 1.8ITB

    McCarthy
    Justin Digne Mitchell
    Ziyech Son Bruno Barnes
    DCL Jimenez Kane

    Nyland Konsa Ayling Bissouma

    A. Kane -> Vardy
    B. Kane, Barnes -> Watkins, KDB (-4)

  16. Twisted Melon
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    Kane of KDB?

  17. Captain_Shirokov
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    Torn between DCL, KDB and Bruno for captain this week. Thinking DCL comes out on top.

    1. cheeky moses
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      All good shouts. Go with your gut

    2. Surfreak
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      Could be chasing last weeks points but hes definitely in the mix this week

  18. cheeky moses
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    Got a front 8 of:
    Rash, Son, Ziyech, Grealish (4.5)
    Kane, DCL, Watkins

    5.2 ITB and 2 FT.

    A) Kane, Rash and 4.5 > Bamford, KdB and Salah (-4)
    B) Rash > Kdb and roll 1 FT
    C) Suggestions?

  19. DagheMunegu
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 23 days ago

    Taa Bruno to Cancelo Salah(c) -4?

    1. Il Capitano
        1 month, 23 days ago

        Just Trent out

      • Andriy Shevchenko is Back
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 23 days ago

        Taa to city defender only. Jury is still out if cancelo keeps his place with Mendy out

        1. Andriy Shevchenko is Back
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 23 days ago

          Mendy back

    2. Parsnips
        1 month, 23 days ago

        Should I do Dunne > Cancelo or Van Aanholt?

        1. rnrd
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 23 days ago

          I'm going PVA for this wee on a WC.
          I think Cancelis actually a rotation risk this GW with Zinchenko.

          Zaha not here so possibly PVA playing on the left + PVA will be on penalties. What's not to like about it?

          1. Parsnips
              1 month, 23 days ago

              Very true. 2 nice games coming up as well. I have Mitchell on the bench as well in case he’s not playing

          2. trafalgarlaw
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 23 days ago

            Cancelo

          3. Reacher
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 23 days ago

            Cancelo

        2. Reacher
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 23 days ago

          Looking at bringing Cancelo in this GW, but for who...

          A, AWB
          or
          B, Reece James

          1. trafalgarlaw
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 23 days ago

            A

          2. StayoutheSpiceZone
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 23 days ago

            I think AWB looked more injured than Ole eluded to on Tuesday.

            1. Reacher
              • 10 Years
              1 month, 23 days ago

              Cheers that would help

        3. noahzark22
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 23 days ago

          zaha out for Barnes for a hit? fixtures change after two games of which Zaha can't play one. Next four for LEI look good. Barnes most threatening of LEI midfield.

          1. Reacher
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 23 days ago

            Telemans looks decent

        4. Steve The Spud
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 23 days ago

          Zaha confirmed out by WOY

        5. Miguel Sanchez
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 23 days ago

          Which of these options? Captaincy will be on the first player in each scenario.

          A) Vardy (FUL) and Rodriguez (LEE)
          B) KDB (BUR) and Bamford (eve) -4
          C) Fernandes (sot) and DCL (LEE) -4

          1. wulfranian
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 23 days ago

            c

        6. Naby K8a
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 23 days ago

          Digne out for 2 months with ankle injury

          https://twitter.com/francefootball/status/1331952377382002691?s=20

          1. rnrd
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 23 days ago

            who is the natural replacement? Nkounkou?

        7. StayoutheSpiceZone
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 23 days ago

          Anyone got a city double up of Sterling and KDB on here? Trying to get ahead of the turn...

          1. Parsnips
              1 month, 23 days ago

              Possibly going KDB and Cancelo

              1. StayoutheSpiceZone
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 23 days ago

                Good luck. I am sure that this is the weekend where City turn on the style. Burnley have no pace in attack to worry them.

            • abhirup780
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 23 days ago

              I have. Till GW12 at least.

          2. Surfreak
            • 11 Years
            1 month, 23 days ago

            Should we be wary of Vardys scoring record so far in Home matches? Currently on Vardy (C) but unsure if a Bruno, Kane, Son, DCL pick might be more secure. Thoughts please 🙂

            1. Pep bites Kun
              • 4 Years
              1 month, 23 days ago

              You should be aware of Vardys scoring record from open play v penalties. Vardy is the standout pick v Ful based on past record

          3. Kabayan
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 23 days ago

            Which one is better? (From gw11/12) Both have Son and Bruno.

            A. Robbo - Grealish - Ziyech - Kane
            Or
            B. Cancelo - Salah - KDB - Bamford

            1. Reacher
              • 10 Years
              1 month, 23 days ago

              B

              1. Kabayan
                • 4 Years
                1 month, 23 days ago

                Cheers

            2. Zim0
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 23 days ago

              Both r good

          4. Original - Wolves Ay We
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 23 days ago

            KDB, Sterling double up worth it?

          5. wulfranian
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 23 days ago

            Nick Pope set to miss game against Manchester City after head injury suffered on Monday. Dyche said "unlikely" and could be "touch and go"

            1. StayoutheSpiceZone
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 23 days ago

              Great! Who is back up?