The leak of the FPL prices list, followed the unexpected release of the 2018/19 FPL game has taken many fantasy managers by surprise. In fact, I had just downloaded the PDF from Who Got The Assist when I noticed team ID numbers being posted on Twitter. Quick in signing up, naming my team and auto draftomg, I was number, 446. While these numbers are irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, it’s the earliest I have seen the official game launched, in my 5 years playing and the lowest ID I’ve recorded.
No doubt there will be countless articles on players, prices and strategies in the upcoming weeks linked on Twitter. The FPL doesn’t open until August 11 and we still have the 2018 World Cup to keep an eye on, as the quarterfinals start on Friday. However, there are some aspects I want to touch on, as the squad building madness begins. These are a few key points I have picked up over some 36 years playing fantasy sports, more importantly playing FPL the last 5 years. While these keys don’t guarantee anything, hopefully they help you succeed in your FPL season. Enjoy the read.
This is listed first because I feel it’s a very important component heading into the FPL season. Those rash, knee jerk or Twitter decisions seemed to come full circle last season and nip me in the ass, as opposed to be a successful twist before a deadline. Although important, it’s one of the most difficult aspects of the game. How long do you stick with a player out of form? What about a tough run of schedules before a sea of green presents itself?
Make Your Decisions
Consulting fantasy football websites and social media for advise and opinions are a wonderful part of our community and the fantasy game. IN the past, there have been times when my decisions were purely based on the latest statistic or fact I just read. Sometimes that lone fact leads me down a primrose path, resulting in questioning my decision making process. Advice and opinions are great and can potentially be helpful (@AnfieldExpress last season), but use your knowledge and and gut feel to make your decisions. Remember, it’s YOUR team.
Last season was my first using Twitter as my main source of FPL news. Sometimes those tweets would lead me to a few websites and podcasts I respect and use to help make my decisions. The problem with social media, it’s such a small cross section of the game as a whole. Much like making my own decisions, I let social media dictate some strategic and weekly moves that left me hunched over and defeated because I would have prospered if I had made my own decision. There are much knowledge to be gleaned from social media, but tread cautiously and refer to the previous point.
Have A Plan
Regardless of how you play the game, having a plan can help ease some of the questionable decisions and tough runs in the schedule. Last season I broke the 38-week season down, into more manageable blocks. To start this season, I am paying particular attention to the first eight weeks of the season as a whole, while breaking it into two, 4-week blocks, as the international break takes place after Gameweek 4. This sort of planning can help identify players and teams with good runs or good potential, based on match ups. Fantasy managers can’t take the planning too far, which can result in more questions and concerns.
The last piece of advice, be flexible, especially as it pertains to planning. Remaining open to new idea, players and strategies can always be advantageous. Maybe it’s a blurb in the local newspaper or something cited on Twitter from a reliable source. Don’t be stuck in your ways to the point of not accepting alternatives. Last season, I started in a 5-2-3 formation, rolling the dice on clean sheet possibilities, it wasn’t but 4 weeks later I found myself shift my formation to take advantage of 3-forward set.
For those who have played the game longer than I (just 5 years), much of this is second nature. For the last 36 years I’ve used these key principles when it comes to fantasy gridiron, here in the US. The concepts are basic, but mastering them take time.
One thing I have read and heard from pundits the last few years, “play boring.” This pertains more to those who achieve a high overall rank, in order to maintain rank. Moves end up being orchestrated, while risk needs to be assessed before making a move that could be a determent to your position.
Have fun, this is always a great time of year, the run in to the start of the English Premier League. Twitter is blazing with all sorts of “hot of the press” information as we start to gear up for another FPL season. Don’t let the stress of the game ruin your life, it’s a game and meant to be fun. I say that now, remember back to all my Harry Kane captain failures to start last season. Best of luck to all the fantasy managers!