Preamble

The Pre-Match Preamble – Gameweek 38

Ten fixtures, 20 teams, no doubles, no blanks, no postponements (touch wood), and everyone’s pretty much used all their chips.

Gameweek 38 is Fantasy Premier League (FPL) stripped back to its basics, how we used to play it way back when.

I’ve seen plenty of commenters within our own weird little corner of the internet saying how much they’re ready for the summer now, how the endless procession of last-minute cancellations and short-notice rearrangements and blanks and doubles and catastrophic points swings has taken its toll. Thinking back to my journalism studies days, it’s felt akin to one of those live newsroom exercises where you’re repeatedly being fed absurd new nuggets of information and having to constantly rewrite your intro.

I share the jaded feeling to some extent but I do wonder whether we’ll look back with more fondness on a rollercoaster 2021/22 in years to come.

It goes without saying that the circumstances of how the week-to-week bedlam came about aren’t to be celebrated in the slightest, with Covid’s impact on our daft wee game small fry compared to the death and disruption it has caused in real life.

But chaos is part of the reason why we love football in the first place, so why shouldn’t our pre-conceived chip strategies and transfer plans be challenged once in a while?

We’ll likely soon be back to how things were, with maybe two or three Blank Gameweeks a season and as many Double Gameweeks following in their wake. They’ll be relatively easy to plan for in advance, as they’ll be around FA Cup/EFL Cup weekends, and we’ll not have nearly as much reactionary, short-term firefighting that has been a feature of 2021/22. It’ll all be very familiar, the cream will rise to the top again barring the usual luck/variance and we’ll be back to the ‘snooker player’ approach to FPL of thinking four to six shots/weeks/moves ahead.

How comforting, how rewarding, how… boring?

How many times in the past have we bemoaned medium-term templates forming and seasons stagnating? And with the rise of algorithms, points projections and automated team recommendations, you could easily get away without any manual ‘thinking’ in a routine campaign and still rank highly.

This season has been exhilarating, frustrating and agonising in equal measure, with beautifully-laid plans obliterated by a lateral flow test or three and so, so many 50/50 decisions rewarded handsomely or punished unimaginably.

Commanding mini-league leads have been overturned in the space of a Gameweek or two, entire seasons’ works have been undone with one red arrow. It’s been more snakes and ladders than Risk, with a big fat serpent catching many on square 99.

But it has seldom been dull and I think, over time, the short-term scars will heal and we’ll be left with some more positive memories of Double Gameweek hauls for the likes of Jarrod Bowen, Bruno Fernandes, Mohamed Salah, Kai Havertz, Philippe Coutinho, Marcos Alonso, Kevin De Bruyne and James Maddison.

FPL anecdotes are made from such points bonanzas and we’ve had about a decade’s worth in one year.


Just as a post-script, longer-term readers of the site will remember the Pre-Match Preamble being very much Mark Sutherns’ baby.

When David Munday and I joined the team four years ago, we made a concerted decision not to continue with these articles as they were so utterly associated with Mark and, quite frankly, who would give a toss about what we thought? Reading this, you’re probably wishing I’d stuck to my guns…

But the Pre-Match Preamble continues to be fondly remembered even now, so a final-day reflection seemed like a good excuse to resurrect it. Do let us know in the comments below if it’s a series you’d like to see revived in future, perhaps with a ‘Have I Got News For You’-style rotating writer.

Good luck with your Gameweeks, thanks for reading, and the very best for the summer.


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2,367 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Perthite
    • 11 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Looking at using my FT with Salah->Son.

    Is either of these worth a hit?

    Dennis->Toney
    Coutinho->Bowen

    1. TheAbear53
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Nope

  2. Jones Kusi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Final thoughts.
    Do you think James will start?

    1. The Knights Template
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Yes

    2. Perthite
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Can't change their ladder position, so maybe not.

  3. The Knights Template
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Ayling to Veltman done. Exciting times!

    1. Magic Zico
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Elite transfer!

    2. JELLYFISH
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      I’ve got him too. First on my bench

  4. Nightf0x
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    did i miss any leaks or something ?

    1. The Knights Template
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Yes, check last few pages

      1. TheAbear53
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Which ones sorry ? Can’t see em

      2. Nightf0x
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        whats going on

  5. abaalan
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    A. Weghorst to nketiah
    B. Kdb + weghorst to l Diaz + vardy. -4

  6. Magic Zico
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Ok final call ... Mount or Bowen?

    Dubravka
    TAA Robbo Cancelo Laporte James
    Saka Foden Kulusevski Mount*/Bowen*
    Kane [C]

    1. The Knights Template
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Bowen for me.

    2. The Mighty Hippo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      I think Bowen, simply because West Ham still have something to play for.

  7. Baron Saturday
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    GTG lads?

    Ramsdale
    Robbo Cancelo Alonso James Royal
    Son (C) Saka Mount
    Kane Nketiah

    (Foster Foden Gordon Broja)

    Good luck all!

    1. HM2
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Foden ahead of Saka

      1. Baron Saturday
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Interesting. Cheers

  8. HM2
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Best captain option if chasing:

    a) Vardy
    b) KDB

    1. Baron Saturday
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      I'm feeling Vardy

    2. PartyTime
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 14 days ago

      You know there is a Party today, I don’t need to remind you!

  9. Najj
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Choose 1 plss:
    1) play nketiah
    2) play Richarlison
    3) -4 to Vardy

    Leading ML by 50pts

    1. HM2
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 14 days ago

      1

    2. steveansell
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      3 - you can afford it with that lead and could get the -4 back multiple times!

    3. TheAbear53
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      1

  10. Better luck next year
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Zaha + Ings > Mount + Jesus worth a -4?.

    1. RAFA THE GAFFA
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      I like it

    2. RAFA THE GAFFA
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Although Ings could do well I guess

  11. steveansell
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Nobody considering Foden? Had a rare rest v West Ham, just announced as Younger Player of the Year, in front of home fans with an aim to win the league title. Could be a rmid price differential.

    1. The Mighty Hippo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      I didn't have the money to get him in without taking a hit, otherwise he'd have been my first choice as a Coutinho replacement.

    2. Magic Zico
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Sealed in my team

  12. Milkman Bruno
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Planning on doing Zaha to Bowen. Would you play Rodrigo or Cash to Sessegnon -4?

    1. RAFA THE GAFFA
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Play Rod

  13. RAFA THE GAFFA
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Last big one! Any late news yet? Either of these worth a -4? Thanks all! 🙂

    A. Davies >> James
    B. KDH >> Kulu (bench Davies)
    C. G2G

    Schmeichel

    TAA Robbo Cancelo Laporte Davies
    Son(C) KDB Saka Mount
    Nketiah

    (Foster, Pukki, KDH, Dennis*)

    1. Hairy Potter
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      B

      1. Hairy Potter
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Actually maybe not for a hit

        1. RAFA THE GAFFA
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 14 days ago

          Yeah that’s the thing mate. Tricky.

    2. The Mighty Hippo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      C

  14. FCRS BGD
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Guys
    Pick one to start, who will score more points
    1) Walker
    2) Azpilicueta
    3) Gabriel ?
    Thanks

  15. Hairy Potter
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    1 FT and money ITB. Any of these worth doing?

    A) Zaha to Bilva/Grealish
    B) Jota to Diaz
    C) Saka to Bilva/Grealish

  16. camarozz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Son or Kane capt?
    I'm sure my rival will get Son (he has Kane)

    46 pts ahead and not sure who to go for tbh.

    1. El Presidente
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Son obviously

  17. yanky
    • 12 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Sa > Ramsdale/Schmeichel worth a -4 pt hit??

    1. El Presidente
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      No

  18. Nightcrawler
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Everyone read for one final MUD MANIA of the season?

  19. Tribecca
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    BRING PREAMBLE BACK! I really enjoyed reading it and always look forward to it during the week!

  20. Junks
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Sterling worth a differential captain punt? I'm chasing big time??

    1. BurlingtonDriftersFC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      someone from city could score 4 - it might just be his turn

      1. Junks
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Yeah its done... thanks and GL

        1. BurlingtonDriftersFC
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 14 days ago

          you too

  21. Simon69
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    20 points between me and ML leader. Cancelo + Ings > Alonso + Kane (C) worth a -4? 3.8m in the bank

    Dubravka

    James - TAA - Matip - Cancelo

    Son - Maddison - Kulu - Zaha - Saka

    Richarlison

    Bench: Rams - Ings - White - Broja

  22. El Presidente
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    What happened to David Munday?

    1. The Mighty Hippo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      He left and went to work elsewhere. A pre-season transfer.

    2. Baron Saturday
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Dunno. I saw him Tuesday and he seemed alright

  23. FCRS BGD
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Guys
    Which goalkeeper to start?
    1) Kepa
    2) Sanchez
    Thanks

  24. JELLYFISH
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Maddison or Bowen on FH? Got Vardy

    1. DF
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Bowen or erikssen

  25. Jinswick
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Chasing a 39 point lead - best move given below teams?

    A) Salah -> Mane
    B) Salah & Nketiah-> L Diaz & Vardy (-4)
    C) Something else keeping Salah

    ME:
    Ramsdale
    Laporte, Cancelo*, James*
    Salah*, Mount, KDB(c), Kulu, Martinelli
    Pukki, Nketiah
    Bank 0.0m

    HIM:
    Schmeichel
    Trent, Robbo, Cancelo*, James*, Alonso
    Salah*, Cout, Saka
    Kane, Weghorst

    Expect he will do Salah -> Son or Cout -> Mount (or both)

    1. WhatWouldYourZlatanSay
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      B. What are the chances of rival doing Salah to KDB to block you though?

      1. Jinswick
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        I’m in 3rd and 2nd has Son so I think he’ll prioritize blocking him

  26. JariL
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Salah to Mane for free or hold? Already have Son and KDB.

    1. DF
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Yeah

  27. Radzio
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Richarlison for -4 to:

    a) Jesus
    b) Toney
    c) not worth it?

    1. DF
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      C

  28. Garlana
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Suggestions? Salah to son looks obvious but will need a -4...also I need to try to be at least be a tad different to get a differential captain that will get me over a 22 point gap with first in my league who is likely to captain son.

    Dubravka
    James, Trent, cancelo, dier
    Salah, kulu, Saka, Gordon
    Richarlison, Kane

    Ramsdale, schar, coutinho, broja

    1ft 0.3 it

    Thoughts?

    1. Phlajo
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Get Mane. Captain him or Kane. Pray for Son to keep quiet

    2. Baron Saturday
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      FWIW I did Salah to Son and Kulu to Mount. Something similar and the armband on a punt or Kane

  29. FCSB
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Pick one to bench:

    1. Jesus (AVL)
    2. Matip (WOL)
    3. Alonso (WAT)
    4. Nketiah (EVE)

    1. Lionac
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      2 or 4. But Alonso might be benched by Tuchel

  30. The Units
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Got this for a -8. G2g?

    Ramsdale
    TAA Robbo Cancelo Laporte
    (S)on Maddison Saka Kulu Mount
    Kane

    Sanchez Broja Gelhardt Cash

    1. RAFA THE GAFFA
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Very nice