Pro Pundit Teams

We love FPL: Why Fantasy Premier League deserves more credit

Three-time top 200 finisher Lateriser explains why he hasn’t lost any love for the game despite a difficult season.


And just like that, we draw the curtains on another season.

Yes, I can complain about the painful (I’m currently sitting at 688k) and slow-burn (staggered kick-offs) nature of it. But the truth of the matter is, this game gives us a lot more than it takes from us and in my opinion, doesn’t get enough credit for it.

In a year where everyone has been cooped up in their homes, us Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers can log onto the internet and have a chat with thousands of strangers discussing statistics, captaincy polls, Jesse Lingard’s (£6.6m) sustainability etc – and just like that, another day will pass. That isn’t a small thing. Let’s acknowledge that. In fact, it’s pretty huge. So many around me are struggling to pass their time during the pandemic and have no real outlet when they are dealing with major real-life issues like losing a job or a loved one. We FPL-obsessed folks have it a whole lot easier. When we are faced with something like this, we just have this all-engaging world to dive into which gives us so much.

WHULEI + SHUARS Scout Notes

This little hobby of ours enables us to problem solve and exercise our grey cells on a daily basis. Every time you are making a transfer, deciding when to deploy a chip or figuring out how to best allocate funds in your FPL team, you are developing problem-solving and solution-oriented skill sets. To solve these problems, we talk, engage and interact with so many strangers, whether it’s on football forums or on Twitter. You are accumulating social skills while solving these problems. If you’re making friends along the way, you’re enlightening yourselves with cultures from all over the globe. Even expectation management is such an underrated skill-set you develop when you play this game. More often than not, FPL disappoints us and if it does that repeatedly, you learn to manage expectations and how to take it on the chin.

I’ve had my worst season (by a distance) this year and while initially it was disappointing, once you accept that you made some mistakes and bad decisions, all you can really do is learn from them and continue grinding away. The best thing about this game that we play is that there’s always next Gameweek and there’s always next season. Hope is one thing the game will never take away from us. I’m an optimist by nature (I think it reflects in the way I play this game) and there’s not been one Gameweek that I haven’t looked forward to despite being stuck with a seven-figure overall rank for much of the season.

I was actually very surprised by how much I enjoyed a green arrow despite the poor rank. It gave me genuine delight and that little bit of a good run I had in the past few Gameweeks just really made my week. All you really need to do is to re-calibrate your goal and try to achieve it. The worst seasons are the best teachers because you are able to identify the cracks in your game, learn a lot more and just become a better FPL manager. I can’t wait to sit down post-season and note down all my mistakes. In my head, I already have a lot of them jotted down but I want to look at them more carefully and closely without the distraction of ‘the next Gameweek’.

I also realised that this game is such a great leveler. After having the finish that I did last season, I think I was very overconfident at the start of 2020/21. That overconfidence led me to believe whatever narrative I wanted to in my head and I even made the stupid mistake of betting against Mohamed Salah (£12.8m) in Gameweek 1. That is a piece of advice I want to give all of you that have had a really good FPL season this year: your success is only temporary, so make sure you don’t lose your ‘filter’ for poorly concocted narratives like I did at the start of the season. What this did teach me, though, is to learn to laugh at myself. I mean, what was I even thinking? I screwed up, big time. After the debacle at the start (and the season I had), I was genuinely worried whether the guys at Fantasy Football Scout would let me write next season, but thankfully, they have a sense of humour and will let me continue in 2021/22.

I think I am fairly self-aware as an FPL manager and even pride myself in being one of the few that talks about being opportunistic and taking gambles. I genuinely think that doing the extra research to find that differential is the ‘purest’ form of joy that this game has to offer but I do realise it isn’t for everyone.

What I have come to realise is that you need to find a balance. I’ve often spoken about timing being key when it comes to going for differentials and this season I definitely tried to do too much, too early and that left me far behind very early doors. I’ve never really had a good start to an FPL season and I think maybe going for more reliable, trustworthy picks at the start of the campaign is a good way to go about it. I do know myself though and I’ll definitely be wrestling with my own mind come Gameweek 1. Even right now, while writing this article, it is telling me: “But you had Michu and Petric who were huge differentials in Gameweek 1 in that season and it all worked out”. I still can’t wrap my head around what Timo Werner (£9.2m) has achieved this season, either. I’ve always believed that the repeatable skill is chance involvement but I will need to be careful because I’ve been hurt a lot by his finishing ability this season. One to talk about at a later time, perhaps.

It’s definitely going to be a long summer ahead as I contemplate all the mistakes I’ve made this season, but one thing I need to be careful about is what I decide to take into the future. I can’t completely abandon the style of play that has given me so much joy and so many good finishes but I can definitely fine-tune it a little.

I always like being personal in my final article of the season so apologies if you were looking for more ‘FPL-centric’ stuff. There are more ‘in-form’ managers you can take advice from at the moment anyway. Before I end this article, can we just talk about Sergio Aguero (£10.3m) for a minute? It is going to be an absolute shame to lose him at the end of this season and I might not get the chance to give him a ‘testimonial’ in my FPL team. The reason I love Aguero so much, especially in the Pep Guardiola era, is that he’s the perfect fuel for opportunists and risk-takers like me. The grinders, algorithm lovers and risk-averse managers will never punt on Aguero early doors (you know, because he’s not nailed) and us purists (deny it all you want, we’re the purists) will always go there because we’re the dreamers. He’s won me more than a fair share of mini-leagues and his presence will definitely be missed. It’s funny how much love I have for him despite being a Manchester United fan and him giving me probably my most heartbreaking moment as a football fan – but that is what FPL does to you.

Cut-price Aguero back on FPL radar as Guardiola rules Jesus out for "more months"

Before ending this article, I just want to thank everyone at Fantasy Football Scout for letting me ramble on this platform and David, Neale, Chris and Geoff for being amazing to work with. I want to thank all of you for reading my articles this year and always offering words of encouragement. I go through the comments more than you’d think.

I am nervous about next season because how this one has gone but honestly, I’m champing at the bit. I’m hoping to make amends – and if I can’t, there’s always the next one.

We don’t say it enough but this game gives us so much. So let’s just admit and acknowledge, we love FPL.

Pro Pundits 27

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503 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Tosa86
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 16 days ago

    my actua draft:

    martinez
    taa - cresswell - dallas
    salah lingard bruno greenwood
    kane ineacho bamford

    forster - jwp - shaw - struijk

    FT:1
    Bank:1.0

    1) Captain salah?
    2) any move to improve?

  2. KUN_DE_BRU_YNE
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 16 days ago

    Will Norris gets his nod if pope still doesn't recover?

    1. No Professionals
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      on a FH maybe worth a shot, using a transfer definitely not.

  3. hustler7
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 16 days ago

    Current team:

    Mendy
    Rudiger TAA Lowton
    Lingard Greenwood Bruno Salah Raphina
    Kane DCL

    Forster Vydra Coleman Konsa

    1FT & 1.7 ITB. Just Bruno to Mane? Could move on DCL too but would be for a hit?

    Current rank 103k and looking to secure a top 100k spot.

  4. No Professionals
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 16 days ago

    not sure that fantasy FPL deserves more credit? From who? It's only a thing to those of us who do it. Just a hobby. Does knitting deserve more credit?

    1. Gudjohnsen
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Totally agree.

    2. El Presidente
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 16 days ago

      From those who love to play it

    3. cheekumz
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      My sentiment exactly, I love FPL but this article was pointless, written for the sake of writing. It's no different to any other hobby.

    4. Wild Rover
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Stupid comment.

      1. No Professionals
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 16 days ago

        go on...

    5. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Knitting flying under the radar.

      1. No Professionals
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 16 days ago

        I for one won't rest until there is a clap for FPL managers on a Saturday at 11:00

  5. Little Red Lacazette
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 16 days ago

    GTG?

    Hoping by some miracle to finish in top 1k.

    Martinez
    TAA Phillips Rudiger
    Salah Son Raphinha Lingard Greenwood
    Bamford Kane

    Sanchez Watkins Digne Coady

    1. KLOPPS AND ROBBERS... the s…
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Watkins over Son for me

      1. Shatner's Bassoon
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 16 days ago

        If Leicester push for goals it could be decent for Son... if the real Son actually shows up.

        1. Little Red Lacazette
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 16 days ago

          Hope the real one shows up

    2. Pegboy
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      My exact team except Meslier for Martinez and Antonio for Bamford.

      I'm wrestling with whether to play Watkins, Raph, Lingard or Greenwood. I think I'm benching Watkins too.

  6. Fernandito
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 16 days ago

    Thoughts guys

    Mendy
    TAA Dallas Holding Coady Fofana
    Salah Lingard Mahrez Greenwood Jota
    Kane DCL Bamford
    2m itb 2FT

    A Kane & Jota to Antonio & Mane
    B Jota & Fofana to Raphinha & Robertson
    C Jota & Mahrez to Mane & Willock

    1. KLOPPS AND ROBBERS... the s…
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Save a FT, will need it next season 🙂
      B

  7. cescpistols111
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 16 days ago

    Better combo for GW38?

    A. Salah + Rodrigo
    B. Mane + Bamford

    1. Harry Ball Bag™⚽⚽…
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      A

  8. Kabayan
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 16 days ago

    Last push to boost OR, for gw38, would you have:
    Mid : Son or Pepe or Raphinha or Other (max 8.9)
    GK : Martinez or Areola or Casila
    Thanks

    1. Booked4Dissent
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Raphina & Martinez

  9. Shatner's Bassoon
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 16 days ago

    Hoping I'm not the only one sat with Jota and Fernandes but only 1FT.

    What we thinking folks?

    I don't own Raphinha so that seems obvious...

    1. HammersXI
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Wait out for Bielsa presser. There are threats to Leeds assets esp after the Pablo Hernandez news.

      1. Booked4Dissent
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 16 days ago

        What news is that sorry?

        1. HammersXI
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 16 days ago

          Pablo Hernandez is set to leave the club, he has literally carried the club back to PL and deserves a final send off

    2. Booked4Dissent
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 16 days ago

      I’m doing Fernandes -> Mane, but you might want to consider Jota -> Mount or something

    3. OLLY G
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Depending on the pressers and if you already have 3 Liverpool, l think you can justify a hit for Mane.

    4. Poetry in motion
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      I have those, but have 2 FT. For me my main target is Bruno -> Mane with Jota -> someone (news dependent, maybe Raphina) to give me the cash.
      If I had 1 FT, I would look to get Mane.
      Mane has 6 returns in the last 7 that he started in the PL (and that's with him missing so many great chances), Liverpool will play for top 4 in front of a crowd and Mane has a point to prove after his behaviour after the ManU game and the disappointing season he's had.

    5. Shatner's Bassoon
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      cheers everyone. Mane (-4) is what i was considering, funded by a Jota downgrade.

      Seems like it's staring me in the face but there are mini league implications....

    6. Boydinho
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      I'm in the same boat and have Coleman as my third defender (White as 4th) so not sure what to do.

      Mané and Willock/Raphina for -4 or -8 with Robbo

      1. Boydinho
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 16 days ago

        And not Mané in that case ofc

  10. OLLY G
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 16 days ago

    "Yes, I can complain about the painful (I’m currently sitting at 688k) and slow-burn (staggered kick-offs) nature of it."

    I would love it if they kept the KO times like they are. It means you get to sweat virtually every match when usually that wouldn't be the case.

  11. Booked4Dissent
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 16 days ago

    Great article Lateriser. Your upside chasing articles have been my favourite in the whole season. I hope you stick to that strategy and refresh the big hitters XG against Lescotts and Brambles during pre-season

  12. vincentwsho
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 16 days ago

    Which to buy, Lingard or Raphinha??

    Seems that Lingard is safer due to high ownership in top 10K, but Raph seems to be playing better recently?

    I've tried comparing the stats, but both have different ones that are better than the other.

    My no.2 rival has Lingard and 1 transfer, while no.3 has both Lingard and Raph....

    1. fcsaltyballs
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Take a risk... Rapha

  13. El Presidente
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 16 days ago

    I love FPL

    1. Booked4Dissent
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Me too

  14. SHOWSTOPPERRR
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 16 days ago

    Guys sitting at 9.8k. Would like to be inside 10k.

    A) son dcl to mane bam -4
    B) son to mane free
    C) dcl to bam free

    1. Sean
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Who would you have to start if you don't do two transfers?

      1. SHOWSTOPPERRR
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 16 days ago

        Dcl and son themselves.

    2. Gizzachance
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      C

    3. Poetry in motion
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      B because of Mane

  15. Sean
    • 11 Years
    2 months, 16 days ago

    Do we reckon Bowen or Benrahma gets the nod this weekend?

  16. fcsaltyballs
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 16 days ago

    Who to bench, pick one from each:

    1. Son (lei) [have Kane]
    2. Greenwood (wol)
    3. Lingard (SOU) [have Antonio]

    A. Shaw (wol)
    B. Holding (BHA)

    Cheers

    1. Gizzachance
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      1 & B

    2. Bucket Man
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      2B

    3. Pegboy
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      2B

  17. Slitherene
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 16 days ago

    RmFHt?

    Ederson | Peacock-Farrell
    TAA Cresswell Dallas
    Salah Mane Harrison Raphinha
    Wood Antonio Kane
    | Willock Tarkowski Holding

    0.4 ITB

  18. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    2 months, 16 days ago

    Next season is shaping up to be a big old template GW1

    Guesstimating prices - the overwhelming majority of sides will Shirley be built around the Bruno (12.0), Salah (12.0), Kane (12.0) core - and probably with TAA (7.0) too assuming VVD is back & Robbo is the same price

    Budget mids, strikers & defenders will be the order of the day with 36.0+ needed to accomodate those 3 attackers

    1. DannyDrinkVodka
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Shirley you can’t be serious

      1. POTATO
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 16 days ago

        I am serious.
        And don't call me Shirley.

    2. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Wooohooo!! Arise, everyone!

    3. Shatner's Bassoon
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Foden as well. Can see him being in a lot of teams if he's a "mid price" midfielder.

      1. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 16 days ago

        Could see him still being an absolute FPL troll/fools gold

        1-0-17-2-0-1-0-14 type thing

        Pep will make him difficult to go near id say

        At the same price as a fit (and at Villa) Grealish he’ll find it very hard to compete point for point I’d imagine

    4. POTATO
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 16 days ago

      My son suggests going with a cheaper side to begin with, then buying the in-form players through single transfers without having to make double transfers to generate cash.

      I just hope Leeds players don't go up too much from their current prices.

    5. dark91
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Depends if Salah and Kane will still be around. If not, there won't be much big hitters (Bruno and Sterling maybe) and the funds will be distributed fairly

    6. Goonsquad245
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Fixture dependant obviously, but at those prices I don’t think Kane makes it for me. The premium mids have such an unfair advantage with the scoring system.

      Kane has had his best season ever in FPL terms, and yet is only just ahead of Salah’s worst. Telling.

      1. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 16 days ago

        Have to agree re:Kane but if he’s starting the season at Man City it’s a bit of an all bets off situation

        You don’t want him going out and scoring 2 penalties and a tap in vs some mid table team & going on a run for 3-4 weeks...

        If he’s still at Spurs I’d easily swerve though, the other two lads - not so much

        Son at a Kane-less Spurs could be very interesting though - you’d have to think he automatically gets pens which instantly makes up some/all of the supposed deficit that would arise without Kane in the team

        But he actually could become even better than Kane veer was a a single focal point (from play he has 17 goals to Kane’s 18 this year & basically same amount of assists)

  19. Kielty
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Morning guys, should I start DCL or Lingard? Think it should probably Lingard, right?

      1. OLLY G
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 16 days ago

        Definitely

      2. Bucket Man
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 16 days ago

        Lingard

    • Werner Bremen
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Leading by 16. Opponent has Shaw. Should I also play Shaw or Cresswell?

      1. OLLY G
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 16 days ago

        Shaw probably won't play so it doesn't really matter.

    • ShaunGoater123
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Morning all,

      2 points behind in a mini league and pretty certain rival will captain Mane. I have my triple captain and planning on using on Salah but think its wise to get Mane in too. What option would you go with to get him in:

      A) Fernandes > Mane
      B) Son & Vestegaard > Mane & 4.2 defender - 4
      C) Fernandes , Son & Davis > Mane, Smith-Rowe & Aguero -8

      For context rival doesn't have Son, but does have Fernandes

      1. Bucket Man
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 16 days ago

        A. Bruno could be benched

      2. OLLY G
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 16 days ago

        A

      3. Paulo67
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        2 months, 16 days ago

        Definitely go with A you’re in the driving seat there

        1. ShaunGoater123
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 16 days ago

          could be a nightmare situation though where Bruno hauls and i've taken him out and rival still has him.

          hopefully Ole will shed some light

    • JBG
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      21pt lead in my ML. Differentials are: Bruno*(if he starts) v Son, Lingard* v Rodriguez(if he keeps him) and R.James v Phillips

      *My players. If Bruno doesn't start I'll probably get City player or Son just to block him even more.

      Am I good?

    • POTATO
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Greenwood's minutes GW38?

      1. JBG
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 16 days ago

        30-60min imo.

      2. POTATO
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 16 days ago

        0, 15, 45, 65, 90?

      3. OLLY G
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 16 days ago

        68

    • The Head-Ake
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Tryna' win ML but behind by 15 points. 2 FT and 0.1ITB. Leader and I have Bruno, Kane, Lingard, Salah and Bam in common. Suggestions? Thanks

      1. The Head-Ake
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 16 days ago

        Guaita
        Phillips - Rudiger - Dallas
        Bruno - Lingard - Salah - Greenwood
        Bamford - DCL - Kane

        Ryan - Zaha - Godfrey - Lowton

        1. JBG
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 16 days ago

          Mane in for Bruno and either DCL to Antonio or Greenwood to Raphinha if Greenwood doesn't start.

          1. Pegboy
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 16 days ago

            This and probably captain Mane and hope for the best.

    • Bucket Man
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Hey all. Greenwood or Mahrez out and for who? 2.3MIL ITB

      Areola
      TAA, Dallas, Rudiger
      Salah, Mahrez, Greenwood, Lingard
      Kane, Bamford, Nacho
      Martinez, Perreira, Dias, Veltman

    • Paulo67
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      2 months, 16 days ago

      I’m in the same boat. I’m 10pts behind with similar team. I’m thinking my rival will either use transfer from Bruno to mane or Watkins to bamford. I’m thinking now of jota to Torres and dcl to firmino as a differential. What you think?

    • AD2110
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Have Bruno and Greenwood. 1FT and 0.1ITB

      Obvious move would be Bruno to Mane (-4), but being 1 point ahead in my cash league, a hit is something i want to avoid this week.

      What are the best midfield options for up to 11.3m? (can't get Raphina unfortunately)

      Team below:
      Martinez, Forster
      TAA, Dallas, Coufal, Struijk, Veltman
      Salah, Bruno*, Greenwood*, Son, Lingard
      Kane, Bamford, Davis

    • quayle99
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Chances of Shaw and Greenwood starting?

      1. JBG
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 16 days ago

        Greenwood high. Shaw medium to low.

      2. Big Hands Barry
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 16 days ago

        5%

    • OptimusBlack
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      I Did this last Night before sleep
      Son & Zaha > Mané & Raph
      For -4 pts
      Was that a right decision ?

      1. Big Hands Barry
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 16 days ago

        Could definitely work out!

    • Big Hands Barry
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 16 days ago

      Great article Lateriser, always good content