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. Ste7ieBoy
    • 12 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Best combo to bring in?

    A) Mane & Nketiah
    or
    B) Diaz & Toney

    1. Brewstercat
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Can you do Mane and Toney haha. I like Mane over Diaz and Toney over Nketiah

      1. Ste7ieBoy
        • 12 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Can't afford it unfortunately otherwise I'd have both for sure

    2. YoungPretender
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      B by a landslide

    3. Twisted Saltergater
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 13 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      B

    4. FPL_ UP_Down
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      B

  2. YoungPretender
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Start 1;

    A) Mateta (MUN)
    B) White (EVE)

    1. Ste7ieBoy
      • 12 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      A

  3. Ohh1454
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Thoughts on Kulu and Trent > Son(C) and Sessengon ?

    1. Lord Flashheart
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      if leading its great. if chasing no

    2. mdm
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      No

    3. YoungPretender
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Not for me. Kulu and Trent as good a chance of going big. Depends on your league positions etc though.

    4. AC/DC AFC
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Yes

  4. Louis Van Gaalstones
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    According to FPL's stats, Mane is in the same form as Hojberg, Fernandinho, Cornet and Xhaka...

  5. Lord Flashheart
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Mount or maddison to bring in?

    1. Geriatric Unathletic
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Either great shouts but I vote Mount.

  6. Geriatric Unathletic
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Here's an idea that would possibly bring a further dimension to our wonderful FPL................... How about the possibility of trading £'s for points.???

    . The traded points can ONLY be used for transfers (so no instant rank jumping).
    . £'s can only be taken from a profit in the "bank".
    . Say 01.Mill = 2, 4 or whatever is agreed a fair exchange rate points for a transfer.
    . Transfer points can also be banked against future transfers but can't again be reversed if you later change your mind and don't use.
    . Gives a choice of points hits or £'s hits.
    . There could be loads of variations, such as more points for a transfer from a lower half Team or less popular players. etc etc etc.

    Probably wouldn't be greeted with glee by the purists who only take 3 hits a year, lol. However, I take lots of hits as can't stand seeing a weak Team staring back at me 🙂 any my overall rankings still manage to compare with most..
    Just throwing it out there.

    1. Qaiss
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Very bad idea. Why make it so complicated? FPL is about football, not checking player price rises all the time to gain points.

      1. Geriatric Unathletic
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Complicated, really? Simplest form 0.1Mill = 2 points. What's so difficult?

        1. Geriatric Unathletic
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Just an added dimension. If its just about football then why bother having price increases/ decreases at all?

          1. Qaiss
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Because it makes it more complicated and FPL doesn't need to be more complicated. Some people like to check their team on a Saturday morning, make a transfer and then go and live their life or purely just watch football matches (which is ultimately what this game is about). This season has been exhausting with all the variance and pot luck cancellations in December/January, so I'm not sure why it would be such a good idea to add an even further dimension which has to make you check your team non-stop and possible price rises every single day. That makes it even more exhausting.

            1. Qaiss
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 10 days ago

              Pretty much any idea that involves you having to check your team more often or even almost non-stop, is a bad idea.

    2. Baps hunter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      My hit cost is "only" 116 pts and my OR is now basically where I hoped it to be in start of the season 🙂 Nothing wrong with current rules.

      1. Geriatric Unathletic
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Well done Baps. You have had a good year! :).

  7. Wax
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Which one do you think nets moat points?

    A) Son + Rich or Pukki
    B) Son + Toney (-4)
    C) Son + Jesus (-4)
    D) Mount + Kane (-4)
    E) Diaz + Vardy (-4)

    1. YoungPretender
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Any out of B, D or E.

  8. Al Pacho
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Kasper
      TAA alonso cancelo robbo
      Bowen son mount kulusevski diaz
      Kane

      Bench: 3.9, nketiah, veltman, Greenwood

      FH activated

      G2G?

      Any opinions would be appreciated
      Thx

      1. the dom 1
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        G2G

      2. AC/DC AFC
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Is Alonso sure to start?

        Guess you've got Nketiah cover.

        1. Al Pacho
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Thanks guys !

      3. Baps hunter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Which one to start?
        1) Sessegnon
        2) Zaha

        Protecting 16 pts OR "lead" with template team (or almost Scout pick team)

        1. Atimis
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Somehow more sure about 1

        2. Mind över Mata
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          1

      4. Atimis
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Salah to Son (c) and GTG? Looking good enough without hits?

        Ederson
        TAA/Robo/Cancelo/Alonso
        Salah*/KDB/Mount/Saka/Kulu
        Pukki

        1. Qaiss
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          It's a good move but what if Salah starts?

          1. Atimis
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Hard to say

      5. Ronnies
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Best option;

        A) Diaz
        B) Kulu

        Cheers.

        1. Atimis
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Recon A with higher potential

      6. Mind över Mata
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Do you prefer Foden or Maddison this week?

        1. Atimis
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Would say Madd but not sure about his minutes

        2. mdm
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Mount/Barnes? Of the two - Foden

          1. Mind över Mata
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Already have Mount

      7. Whats the Mata?
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Start Che Adams or take a hit to get Toney?

        1. Atimis
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Toney

      8. oyho
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Play Pukki or Dier?

      9. corderz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        A) Mount
        B) Maddison

        1. mdm
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          A

        2. oyho
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          50/50. I just pulled the trigger on Mount, but might be the wrong decision. Scared about not owning Madds.

      10. Geriatric Unathletic
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Here's an idea that would possibly bring a further dimension to our wonderful FPL................... How about the possibility of trading £'s for points.???

        . The traded points can ONLY be used for transfers (so no instant rank jumping).
        . £'s can only be taken from a profit in the "bank".
        . Say 0.1Mill = 2, 4 or whatever is agreed a fair exchange rate points for a transfer.
        . Transfer points can also be banked against future transfers but can't again be reversed if you later change your mind and don't use.
        . Gives a choice of points hits or £'s hits.
        . There could be loads of variations, such as more points for a transfer from a lower half Team or less popular players. etc etc etc.

        Probably wouldn't be greeted with glee by the purists who only take 3 hits a year, lol. However, I take lots of hits as can't stand seeing a weak Team staring back at me

        1. The Mentaculus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Not really the best time for a discussion like this... have to say my initial reaction is not enthusiastic either

      11. FPLMACKEM
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Morning guys. Feeling a bit hungover here and not really thinking straight. Yesterday was a special day. Can anyone help?

        Schmeichel
        TAA, Cancelo, Alonso, Laporte
        Salah, Son (c), Saka, Mount
        Richarlison, Pukki

        Matthews, Davies, KDH, Dobbin

        1ft 1.5 itb

        A Pukki to Toney
        B Pukki and Salah to KDB and Toney -4

        Currently at 86k and looking to finish in the top 100k.

        1. the dom 1
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          A, I think Salah will play imo

        2. The Mentaculus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 10 days ago

          I would sell Richarlison over Pukki. Not in the FFS predicted lineup. What about Salah & Richarlison - Diaz & Vardy?

      12. Al Pacho
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Guys!!

          Kulusevski or Maddison??

          1. No Totti No Party
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Maddy

          2. Qaiss
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Kulu, feel he's due a haul today

            1. Al Pacho
                1 month, 10 days ago

                Alright thanks guys!

            2. artvandelay316
              • 1 Year
              1 month, 10 days ago

              Kulu

          3. fijuhmon
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Play Cash or Weghorst?

          4. No Totti No Party
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            My back 5 are
            Cancelo VVD T.Silva Amartey White
            Will i have at least 3 starters ?

            1. fijuhmon
              • 10 Years
              1 month, 10 days ago

              Tough one. VVD injured and Silva not in the predicted lineup.

            2. The Mentaculus
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              1 month, 10 days ago

              Dicey. Might scrape 3

              1. No Totti No Party
                • 10 Years
                1 month, 10 days ago

                I can switch 1, not sure who has less chances to play

                1. The Mentaculus
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  1 month, 10 days ago

                  I sold Thiago Silva for Sessegnon

                2. The Mentaculus
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  1 month, 10 days ago

                  VVD also big risk

          5. TyroneGAA
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Mendy

            Robertson matip james Zinchenko

            Son mount Maddison Kulusevski saka

            Kane

            Ramsdale Nketiah pukki holgate

            Bench correct???

            1. iveseenitall
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 10 days ago

              Think I would start nketiah over saka but its a close call

              1. TyroneGAA
                • 4 Years
                1 month, 10 days ago

                Yep I e been moving back and forth but will ultimately make the wrong decision

          6. Buck The Trent
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Kulu to Maddison for -4?

          7. SteJ
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Good luck all in this final gameweek.
            May all your mini-leagues be decided by shrewed picks hauling and not through your opponebts picks miss firing.
            I wish you all big captain hauls and kerper penalty saves to drag us all over 100points to sign off the season

          8. Jones Kusi
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Best moves here? Im 17 points ahead

            1 FT 1.5 ITB
            My team:
            Ramsdale Foster
            TAA Robbo Cancelo Dias Alonso
            Martinelli Kulu Son Gordon Zaha
            Ings Watkins Rich

            His team:
            Pickford Ramsdale
            TAA Rudiger Cancelo Amartey Schär
            Saka Son Zaha Coutinho Maddison
            Kane Nketiah Broja

            1. AC/DC AFC
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 10 days ago

              Ings and Gordon look the weak links or Martinelli.

          9. FCSB
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            On Australia time, was going to go to sleep then wake up with an alarm just before deadline… I’m scared I’ll miss the alarm or something

            Would you say it’s safe enough to make transfers now?

            1. AC/DC AFC
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 10 days ago

              Yes.

              There may be some leaks from Liverpool and Leicester etc but the site has crashed before so may as well play it safe.

            2. The Units
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 12 Years
              1 month, 10 days ago

              I reckon and I am on NZ time.

          10. AC/DC AFC
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Besides Everton, Chelsea and Norwich team picks have many of the normal selections.

            Where will the surprise rotations occur?

          11. Van der Faart
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Jesus likely to start?

            1. AC/DC AFC
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 10 days ago

              Probably.

              As likely as can be.

          12. Marty McFly
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Salah + Coutinho + Pukki > Son + Diaz + Toney for -8?

          13. rdamjan
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Last pieces of FH, help me out:

            A. Maddison, Diaz,Vardy (3-4-3)
            B. Barnes, Bowen, Mane (3-5-2)

            1. iveseenitall
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 10 days ago

              B

            2. Mr. O'Connell hates DG…
              • 10 Years
              1 month, 10 days ago

              A

          14. AdamJ91
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            A) Cash > Sessengnon
            B) Pukki > Toney (-4)
            C) Both