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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. Ginola
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 9 days ago

    I am chasing 29pts in my ML and think I am going to gamble instead of defending my 2nd place. Need a big differential captain, someone who ML
    leader will not have and hope for a hattrick.

    Would you go for Firmino or Wood? Or someone else?

    1. Big Hands Barry
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Bobby

    2. Poetry in motion
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Bobby out of those

    3. Daniel Jebbison
      • 12 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Bamford is the best shot imo

  2. The Knights Template
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    We need a Forbes rich list for all these FPL 'content creators', I'd like to see how much they make.

    1. No Professionals
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      not a lot hopefully

    2. Do I Not Like Orange
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      You'll know they've really hit the big time once they start challenging Magnus Carlsen to a boxing match.

      1. The Knights Template
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Magnus more of a cagefighter-type. Known leg sweeper.

  3. Tomsk
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Who should I start out of
    A) Watkins (home to Chelsea)
    B) Trossard (away to Arsenal)

    Thanks for any advice.

    1. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Shitkins unfortunately.

    2. Poetry in motion
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      I have the same dilemma and leaning towards Tross atm. With Welbeck and Maupay out, he might play in the 9 position again.

      1. Tomsk
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Yeah i got Trossard in for that reason at moment (though Connolly also option up front). Thanks both for replies

  4. RedJive79
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    I have just a 1 point lead in ML. Already done DCL to Antonio. Anything else for -4 or just stick? And correct bench??

    Martinez
    TAA / Dallas / Struijk
    Son / Willock / Salah(c) / Lingz
    Bam / Kane(vc) / Antonio

    Areola / Greenwood / Digne / Veltman

    1. JBG
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Stick, don't put yourself in an ever more difficult position to hold the lead. Correct bench as well.

      1. RedJive79
        • 2 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Thanks!

    2. OLLY G
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Nice team. Leave it as it is imo.

      1. RedJive79
        • 2 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Thanks!

  5. Spin The Wheel
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Guys, need some advice please.
    Have 1ft (2.3itb) and not quite sure how to best use it.

    Meslier
    TAA Azpilicueta Dallas
    Pereira Willock Mahrez Salah
    Watkins Kane Antonio
    ----------------------------------------
    Forster Ayling Bruno Shaw

    A) Meslier -> Alisson
    B) Bruno -> Mane
    C) Shaw -> Robbo
    D) Other

    1. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Shitkins to anyone

      1. OleGGMU
        • 2 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        lol "Shitkins" sounds alot like LEE from FPL Family, shame you havent noticed he's attacking returns recently and the the probability that should villa get something from the game at their home ground then Olly Watkins will probably have a part in that.

        @Rep Poulette : Shaw to Robbo is the way mate and stick bruno as 1st sub to cover any possibility of Mahrez not starting or playing at all. Robbo also has a higher points ceiling than allisson

        1. The Knights Template
          • 7 Years
          4 months, 9 days ago

          I wish you well in the wars to come.

        2. Spin The Wheel
          • 1 Year
          4 months, 9 days ago

          Cheers mate, appreciate it!

  6. OLLY G
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Who to transfer out and who to first sub?

    Zaha and Bruno.

    Thanks.

    1. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Bruno out. Troll sub.

      1. OLLY G
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Thanks bud

  7. The Knights Template
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Chasing 113pts in ML, all suggestions welcome! Will Foden play?

    Mendy/Forster
    Dallas/Shaw/TAA/Lowton/Mitchell
    Rashford/Son/Salah/Bruno/Lingard
    DCL/Bamford/Antonio

    1. mikess
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      I suggest you congratulate the guy who's in first

      1. The Knights Template
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Neveerrrrrr!!!

    2. Tonyawesome69
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Triple Liverpool - Bruno to Mane or Shaw to Robbo. Differential captain in Bamford/Antonio

      1. The Knights Template
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Like Robbo

    3. mikess
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Rashford and Bruno out. Should give you plenty of cash to play with

      1. The Knights Template
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Was thinking this.

    4. Dark Side Of The Loon!
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Go to his page. Click on "Report Offensive Name". Send a follow up mail to FPL.

      1. The Knights Template
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        This is what I'm after, thanks Loon. Can do this for the other nine ahead of me too. A virtuous knight is always offended!

        1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
          • 5 Years
          4 months, 9 days ago

          Kill 'Em All

    5. Gizzachance
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      only 114 more points you need on your rivals score this week!
      get rid of utd players who may be benched, have bit of gw 38 fun,
      mane, rudiger pulisic, ziyech, etc players who have something to play for . good luck

      1. The Knights Template
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        You are giving me the confidence I can do it!

  8. Tonyawesome69
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Which player scores the most points in GW38?
    A. Mane
    B. Bamford

    1. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Bamf

  9. artvandelay316
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Any suggestions for a Bruno replacement that isn't Mane? Have 3 Pool already and don't really want to waste transfers moving that around when I have potential changes for forward and keeper instead.

    Cheers.

    1. Tonyawesome69
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Auba, Torres, Havertz/Pulisic, Lingard, Raphinha

      1. artvandelay316
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Cheers! Torres is one I have been considering a lot. Was a bit doubtful about Pep Roulette being so unpredictable though. Havertz and Pulisic also. I have Lingard and 3 Leeds. Am leaning towards Torres.

    2. Hooky
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Pepe

  10. The Mighty Whites
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    You can get rid of Guaita or Zaha and you have to play the other - which are you getting rid of?

    1. Tonyawesome69
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Depends on the replacement.

      1. The Mighty Whites
        • 6 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Got 3.0 ITB

        1. Tonyawesome69
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 9 days ago

          GKs generally have a low ceiling so I wouldn't be wasting a FT on a GK

    2. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Troll

  11. Gizzachance
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    thoughts appreciated
    A son & jota -4 to mane and 1 willock 2 pereira and bench 1 0r 2
    B jota to one of above for free and bench one of them
    cheers

    1. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Jota to Willock

      1. Gizzachance
        • 6 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Cheers

  12. Parsnips
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Who to choose out of

    1. Pepe
    2. Havertz
    3. Pulisic
    4. Torres
    5. Mahrez

    1. No Professionals
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      really tough. Chances of starting x chance of hauling makes them all really difficult picks in my opinion.

    2. popcoin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      1 or 4

    3. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      4

  13. FPL Smack
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    "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."

    Nailed it there LR..

    Comment of the Season Award 2020/21

    1. Lateriser 12
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Cheers Smack

  14. popcoin
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Bamford or Antonio?

    Reasons please

    1. Scots Gooner
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Bamford.

      I think he scores more.

    2. quayle99
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      bamford i think thatll be a high scoring game.
      tricky tho, antonio could bang

  15. quayle99
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Dubravka Sanchez
    Trent Dallas Shaw* Targett* Mitchell*
    Salah(c) Perriera Zaha* Son Greenwood
    Kane Bamford Iheanacho

    Bench Boosting

    Defence has bad fixtures...

    A. Shaw Mitchell Targett > Tierney RhysWilliams Mee -8

    B. Zaha Shaw Mitchell > Rafinha Tierney James -8

    C. Zaha Shaw Mitchell Targett > Rafinha Tierney James Tarkowski -12 going all in

    other suggestions?
    I'm top of mini leagues and not being caught
    18,000. dont want mad differntials just making the most out of the bench boost.

  16. jimbo90
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Martinez (McCarthy)
    Dallas Phillips Castagne (Digne Veltman)
    Bruno Salah (c) Lingard Raph Foden
    Kane Antonio (Watkins)

    1 FT 3m ITB

    Worth doing Bruno > Mane?

  17. OptimusBlack
    • 8 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Who To play ?
    A- Digne MCI (A)
    B- Dunk ARS (A)
    C- Konsa CHE (H)
    Or Sell one of them but already -4

    1. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      B

    2. Cabra
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      A

  18. Mooster©️
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Who is more worth a -4 transfer:
    Mane or Robertson?

  19. JBG
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    I'll try again, as I didn't get any response to this.

    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?

    1. OOJ
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      21 points should be enough to see you cross the line ahead. Do not overthink it and play your normal game...

  20. abaalan
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    2FT, 0.2ITB
    Man Utd going to be rotating? (own Bruno and Shaw)
    Gundo likely to start?
    1 x FT on Jota -> Who?

  21. Stupendous
    • 9 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    All set?

    Meslier
    Taa Rudiger. Dallas
    Son Salah(c) Lingard Harrison
    Kane. Antonio (v). Firmino

    Forster Pereira Holding Targett

    1. AC/DC AFC
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Looks nice.

      Good luck.

      1. Stupendous
        • 9 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Cheers

        1. burdinho
          • 8 Years
          4 months, 9 days ago

          meslier isn't playing

  22. AC/DC AFC
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Excellent article.

    One of his best and a more modest approach may work next season but bold in team picks.

    I too captained Mane in week one and from what I recollect he had chances too in that game.

    If course with Aguero departing the shores it's the Egyptian king for captain more times than not.

    Unless the Kane or incoming transfers happen into the Premier League.

  23. CAVEAT KING
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Football FPL is over for a while. It is amazing how many put there all into the game and have so little else to look forward to. Maybe some can take the time to push their compulsiveness to other interests.
    Go down to your local hospital, kids home, street sleepers and do something outside of money to make people's lives happier.
    Sorry a repeat but thought worthwhile saying.

  24. Toe Punt
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Kia Ora brother ... lovely article .. and some good responses 🙂

  25. WHUFCSmith23
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Really enjoyed that article by Lateriser. This has been my first season playing FPL "properly" I will definitely take heed of what he has said.

    Will reflect on my season in the summer. The good the bad and the lucky

  26. ackshat
    4 months, 9 days ago

    I see that Sherlock has been inspired by Poirot too...IYKYK..

  27. bitm2007
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Martinez,
    Shaw, Rudiger Phillips
    Salah, Bruno, Lingard, Greenwood
    Kane, Bamford, Nacho

    Guiata, Saka, Castagne, Veltman

    1.2m ITB, 1 FT

    Veltman and three United in my squad.

    What's my best move

    A) Castagne to TAA (three outfield subs)
    B) Veltman to Dallas (gives me three outfield subs)

    1. bitm2007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      two subs with A

  28. SuperG
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 8 days ago

    Lateriser, are you still going through the comments now? Then let me try to bring a ray of sunshine to you. Early this season, Son was injured. I’d just brought him in. Mourinho was double-speaking as is his gift, and I had an inkling Son wasn’t actually out. My my main mini-league rival was gloating at the hit I’d have to take Son out.

    I wavered. And at that moment read one of your articles. I posted a question to you: should I take Son out. Your kindly replied ‘I wouldn’t’.

    So I didn’t.

    And the next match was Man Utd. Kane and Son went berserk, my rival disintegrated and hasn’t fought back, and I battled up to an OR of 10k.

    All of which is a long-winded way of saying thank you for the positivity and great articles. Ok, this year isn’t your finest, but you’ve helped others make it their finest.

    See you next year.

    G.

    1. Zogzeg
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      4 months, 8 days ago

      Nice

    2. Lateriser 12
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      4 months, 8 days ago

      I did. 🙂

  29. Kabaranko
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 8 days ago

    you seem like a great guy. are you playing fanteam for money?

    1. Luton_Fan
      • 11 Years
      4 months, 8 days ago

      Thanks mate i often get told that