We are into Gameweek 32 of this brutal season and being frank, a lot of Fantasy Premier League managers are just about managing to scrape through to the finish line.
Huffing and puffing through this condensed season, a lot of FPL managers are approaching burn-out levels and it might be a good idea to tackle this issue with this article (thanks for the suggestion @FPL_Beard), especially with the amount of people deciding to quit this game recently.
We are at the back end of a gruelling season. There are many reasons for managers to feel FPL fatigue at the moment. I’m not even sure if its just fatigue about FPL, considering the sheer number of hours we have football on in long and dragged-out Gameweeks. As FPL managers, we are used to maybe watching two or three matches during a weekend and now there are some days where we have ten hours of football in a single day.
I am convinced these long drawn-out Gameweeks are the primary reason for football fatigue and so many managers I speak to now just find watching the sport to be a little bit of a chore and I completely empathise with that. What makes it even more drawn out is that we are still very much in the middle of a pandemic and our social lives are not as active as they used to be.
Even the break we had before the season started was a lot shorter than what we’re used to. It was barely a break if you ask me. And now we have a lot more matches condensed in a much shorter time period. Until recently, this has even affected the quality of the football that we’ve been watching. Nowadays, I find myself tuning out of games and avoiding watching football a lot more than I used to. The international break has definitely changed things though and the quality in the last two Gameweeks in the Premier League has been a lot better. A welcome change.
But yes, if you’re finding your love for football and FPL to dwindle this season, know that you’re not the only one. These are uncertain times. They are the anomaly, not the norm. Still, many will be wondering how one tackles football and FPL burnout. Well, here are a few suggestions.
PICK YOUR GAMES
You don’t have to watch all the Premier League games to do well in FPL. We never saw all the matches in normal seasons when there were five or six games kicking off at the same time anyway. If you ask me, watching Match of the Day and absorbing some statistics is enough to do well in FPL. Give yourself some time off from football and that should definitely help dealing with FPL burnout.
WHEN YOU’RE SWITCHED OFF, STAY SWITCHED OFF
Often when I’ve decided to not watch a game during a Gameweek, I find myself distracted while ‘doing that other activity’ I had planned to do because I’ll constantly be looking at Twitter, my FPL Whatsapp groups and there will be constant notifications from your football apps.
And considering that we have 15 to 20 hours of football to get through every Gameweek, and you’re not able to switch off when you switch off, burnout will naturally happen.
What I’ve started doing in the second half of the season is just have a little bit of a digital detox. I switch off notifications (highly recommend this for most of your applications so that you’re deciding when to check your phone instead of letting your phone decide that for you) on all my apps on weekends and try staying off my Whatsapp groups and Twitter.
Social Media around FPL has grown tremendously during the last few years and if you’re an active part of the forums and Twitter, on matchdays it’ll seem like every goal that is scored by someone is highly owned by everyone else but you. This isn’t actually the case and can be unnecessarily damaging for you to believe it.
MAKE YOURSELF MISS FOOTBALL AND FPL
Do other things. I find that if I have managed to successfully switch off for a day or two, I really enjoy catching up on things on the third day because I’ve truly switched off when I’ve needed to (probably not as often as I should but that’s my choice as a content creator).
I am hopelessly addicted to FPL and when I give myself genuine time off doing other things for a couple of days, the love for the game comes gushing back on the third day where I truly enjoy my interaction, writing and consuming football and FPL content.
Trying to box your time during FPL and other things will really really help. You can cheat a little with how you box things and its perfectly okay to have your score update applications on during Gameweeks but I would highly recommend switching off social media during matchdays, although it all comes down to your preference and how you can handle things.
FIND SOMETHING TO PLAY FOR
If, like me, you are having a poor season, you need to indulge in little mini-games and find something to play for. I am currently ranked outside the one-million mark and I raised the white flag a few weeks ago when it comes to overall rank.
So all I’m doing is getting players and differentials I like and trying to catch some differential hauls. I know managers that are taking multiple hits every week trying to achieve Manager of the week (because the hits don’t count) and I admire that because they are doing what they are doing to keep their interest alive in the game.
On a personal note, I will admit it is a little bit of a relief to give up on the season and has made the game a lot more enjoyable for me when I’m watching the matches owning players that I like. Yes, you can throw the ‘points are fun’ argument in my face but I’ll argue that it is entirely subjective. I’ve concluded that I am not going to achieve my Overall Rank goal this year and a Sergio Aguero (£10.3m) goal when he’s in my team will give me a lot more joy than a 200k green arrow at this stage. My advice on FPL will definitely be more rational than the moves I make and I’m completely okay with that.
A little bit of a sidetrack, but I’ve done some reflection on my poor decision making in 2020/21 and I’m chomping at the bit to start next season. That’s one thing you will always have when you’re having a poor season. The lessons learned during a poor campaign are usually more helpful than if you’ve had a good one and, of course, my motivation to make up for it in 2021/22 is very high. Not to mention the fact that I have the privilege to write and create podcasts definitely keeps the fire burning.
I hope you find some of my ideas helpful. I believe it is entirely feasible to play FPL, enjoy and do well in the game even by putting healthy thought-processes in place to protect our mental state.
These are only my suggestions, so please treat them as such. I am curious to know what you are doing to combat football and FPL fatigue, so feel free to let me know in the comments section.
Here is hoping we do not have staggered kick-offs next season. Never forget. FPL itself is not a sport. It’s a game.
If you want more detailed thoughts on the best FPL players to own for the run-in, Zophar and I discussed the fixture-swings, differentials and teams to target for the home-stretch in our latest episode of The FPL Wire which you can view below.
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