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Episode 26 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast being recorded Tuesday February 19, 2019 – Doubles & Blanks
INTRODUCTION – Episode 26
Hello and welcome to episode 26 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast. My name is Stephen, you can find me @6thGoal on Twitter.
It’s been an enjoyable week away from FPL, one of those well-deserved breaks, as the season defining weeks are nearly upon on. The business end of FPL, where you can climb gracefully or fail mightily, depending on how you plan.
Before Monday, my spreadsheet dead ended at GW31. Following guys like Ben Crellin, Peter Blake at Mathematically Safe and listening to James at Planet #FPL Podcast, I had some idea how my team would fair come 31.
Now with the 2-0 United win, the blanks are set for GW31. For some it might be a bit hard to swallow.
That said, it’s not going to get any easier, so buckle up, here go.
Tonight, we have a special guest who will help navigate the upcoming doubles and blanks.
I will take a look at my plan going forward, as well as running down my BGW27 team.
Before we get into the FPL opinion I must pour myself the Blank Gameweek 27 Beer of the Week.
Beer of the Week – Gameweek 27 (01:25)
Like last week’s offering, this week is another dark beer, out of San Diego and Modern Times comes Black House Nitro with coffee, coconut and cocoa.
Modern Times has been featured in the past. Located in the Point Loma neighborhood of San Diego, this is a brewery I visited last year.
Modern Times is names after a beautifully crazy Utopian community founded in 1850 and their beers are named after real Utopian experiments or mythological utopias.
They had a soft opening in August, 2013, followed by their grand opening a month later. Available throughout Southern California, Arizona, Nevada and the Pacific Northwest, I’ve seen some of the FPL beer club getting cans across the pond. Where there is a will, there’s a way.
Available January through February, described on the website as, “our beloved oatmeal coffee stout–nitrogenated and packed to the gills with coconut & cocoa nibs. The result is a decadent symphony of chocolate and coffee laced with luscious notes of coconut and a mouthfeel so luxurious it’s like drinking a velvet painting.
Lets pop the to top and violently pour this nitro stout.
Black House pours a very dark brown color as the nitro cascades leaving a well defined, dense and creamy khaki head that offers some excellent lacing retention.
The smell is roasted coffee from their Ethiopia and Sumatra blends, with a dark chocolate cocoa. Hints of coconut, caramel and roasted malts.
The taste…as expected a velvety smoothness on the palette with the roasted coffee and cocoa coming to the forefront with an accompanying fleshy coconut flavor.
Overall a nice nitro stout, one that has quickly become a go to favorite in the mini-fridge.
Now let’s get into some strategy discussion
Remember your choice of strategy, is yours alone. What works for someone else, might not work for you. It’s also dependent on players in your squad and the chips you have remaining.
I’ve already seen tweets from FPL managers wanting to see a strategy without the wild card available. These early season decisions often lead to more problems ahead of the doubles and blanks.
For me, I have all my chips, first time in 6 years I’ve made it this far without burning a chip or being fed up enough to use the second wild card to get that quick fix.
Maybe that comes full circle to an article I wrote ahead of the season, last July titled Keys to Success.
Now none of these keys are magical. They won’t guarantee you a top 1% finish or even a good season. At the top of the list for me, patience.
This has been the biggest key for me over the course of 26 weeks that I continue to practice. Now it hasn’t worked out perfect, I’ve held onto a few players I probably should have dumped earlier, Macros Alonso being a good example.
Conversely, I’ve been rewarded a few times by holding players when many managers decided to change direction. Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser come to mind in GW21 against Watford and coming off games’ versus United and Spurs.
You won’t see any statistics on patience, of course some will look to transfers made and transfers cost, which gives you the number of hits taken on the season.
Even that doesn’t equate to a successful or poor season. I’ve taken 2 hits, in GW15 but continue to struggle getting back into the top 100k.
Last week I discussed the SDM, or season defining moment. That point in the season where your season turns, for better or worse.
Sergio Aguero was my season defining moment for the year. The difference between 40k and 140k based on his returns.
I had the chance to do the hokey cokey, but fucked around and decided to hold Aubameyang, who bent me over in the end. Something to remember, two games are usually better than one.
Then again, I don’t’ think ANYONE foresaw a hat trick incoming for Aguero against Chelsea.
So, patience has been my friend all season and it’s done me well. Currently on 1547 points for the season, which comes out out to 59.5 PPG, a half a point off my goal for the season.
While BGW27 won’t make or break my season the upcoming doubles and blanks will influence that average, as well as overall rank.
To prep for BGW31, we must work backwards to GW27, which starts on Friday.
We know BHA, CAR, MUN, MCI, TOT, CRY, WAT, SOU, WOL and ARS won’t feature in BGW31. That gives FPL managers potentially five transfers to build a viable GW31 team or even Free Hit
Looking at my current BGW31 team I only have 7 players, one of which is a backup goalkeeper, who last started GW26.
So effectively I have 6 starters and five transfers that should give me a full starting XI for BGW31.
I could then roll into DGW32 with the Free Hit chip.
Before we get too deep into the BGW, my squad is set for GW27. I have no BGW players from BHA, CHE, MCI or EVE. I also plan on rolling the FT this week in preparation for GW28.
The other option, plan on using the Free Hit in GW31, building my starting XI for DGW32 and DGW35.
As has been stated on previous podcasts, why drop players you will want to be getting back after their blank in GW31? City for example.
It doesn’t make sense to load up on players from teams like HUD, BUR, BOU, LEI and WHU if you only plan on dropping them after a game week
Saying that, I am continuing to hold BOU assets. If David Brooks and Callum Wilson return to fitness, the Cherries have good fixture starting after GW29.
I’ve held them this long, there is no reason to drop them now with viable fixtures coming up.
Leicester City have some good fixtures starting in BGW27, home to Palace. We can also look at some West Ham options from 27 to 32.
More on my starting XI later in the show. For now, with a full complement of players for BGW27, I have five transfers to build a starting XI, while looking deeper into the doubles and blanks.
Teams we could be considering, Leicester City. There has been a lot of talk about midfielder, James Maddison (6.6) and defender, Ricardo Pereira (5.3) on Twitter, however let’s not forget about Ben Chilwell (5.0) and Harvey Barnes (5.5), viable options at a lower price point.
A case can also be made for Demarai Gray (5.4) but I haven’t been impressed in the last four with his play, recording 90 minutes just once. Fantasy Premier League on Twitter is high on him too, so he’s destined to fail.
8.8 seems a hefty price for talisman, Jamie Vardy, just 89 points on the season, he’s coming off a goal in GW26, giving him 8 goals and 3 assists on the season.
Viable? How desperate are you? As a pseudo-premium, I am keeping him in mind. I am more interested in Chilwell but can’t bring myself to accept Maddison at 6.6
Reminds me of Richarlison, very inconsistent after GW8. Wonder if the grind of the league is starting to wear on him.
One return in the last 8 games and many will point to the underlying stats. 14 successful crosses, but those have resulted in a single return.
I am already figuring more FPL managers have triple Liverpool, as those players will make up the core of your starting XI, as a majority will live and die with Mo Salah wearing the captain’s armband.
Newcastle assets might come into play as an option. They took Wolves past 94 minutes last week in a game they should have won, was it not for the officiating.
Defensively, I think we can look at Jamal Lascelles and DeAndre Yedlin, possibly Fabian Schar. All are 4.6 or less and will feature.
Their midfield is a mess! I know there are a lot of questions surrounding Issac Hayden, who’s started the last 8 with returns in three of them at 4.3. Not the strongest option, but the cheapest.
Miguel Almiron looks the most exciting when he came on for 18 minutes last week, but his price of 6.0 is a big restrictive. Jonjo Shelvey (5.3) and Ki Sung-yueng (4.7) returning from injury, I don’t think I back any midfield players.
Up top, there’s an argument to be made to bring in Salomon Rondon (5.7) or Rondon-aldo, as FPL Lens refers to him as, the Venezuelan Ronaldo.
At 5.7, he’s worth a sniff, coming off 2 goals in the last 4 games. The scheduling is good for the Magpies, as they get HUD in 27, BUR in 28.
Only concerns 32, away to ARS and 37, home to Liverpool. Rondon might make it into the starting XI.
He’s in the same price bracket as Danny Ings, flagged with a hamstring, Ashley Barnes, who’s looked good in recent games and I’ll also offer up Troy Deeney, just because I am a Watford supporter.
I bought into West Ham earlier in the season with Marko Arnautovic (6.8) and Felipe Anderson (7.2). Defensively, this hasn’t been a good team, one reason why Fabianski leads the league in saves with 101.
Fabian Balbuena (4.3) is reported coming back from injury, still flagged with a potential return of February 22.
Anderson has been the best midfielder for the Hammers, but as I already highlighted, just one attacking return in the last seven games.
Fantasy managers are moving off Leroy Sane and Richarlison to Anderson, already brought in by over 120k.
A quick aside, using Fantasy Football Fix, why the hell is Aguero the most bought player when City doesn’t play? Over 215k new managers!
If that’s not crazy enough, Aubameyang is the most sold player, dropped by over 185k managers. Can’t see the logic in wasting a transfer for either player.
Let’s talk a little beer or maybe drink a lot of beer before we look at some chip strategy.
Beer News (10:59)
First, I want to pass on a big thanks to Josh and Brandon at Always Cheating for giving me the proverbial “30 seconds of fame” on episode #160 of Always Cheating. There was a quick 5-minute discussion as they had “ale in Yale” last week as they cracked open the Two Cheaters Ale I brewed and bottled in December.
I appreciated their feedback and had a great time putting together 14 video shorts (all less than 2 minutes) during the brew day, fermentation and bottling of the Two Cheaters Ale
You can find all that information on 6thgoal.com listed under #FPLBeerClub. Click on Two Cheaters Ale.
I am open to suggestions if you want a homebrew named after you. Current brew schedule has me working on a Imperial Russian Stout in March, planning on calling it, “PVA’s Doin’ Bits Stout.”
This will be a bold, dark stout that boasts roasty, bready flavors with the aromas of coffee and chocolate and weighing in at about 8.5% ABV. The only drawback to this stout, it should age 6 months.
That said, I have no doubt I will be cracking a few open after 8 weeks.
So, if you have suggestions for another IPA for March, let me know. Always looking for good FPL beer names.
While the Twitter account was originally created for my personal use, it became FPL related late last season and have started building a small following based on FPL and beer.
I post all my 30 Second Beer Reviews on Twitter, as I approach 200, 30 seconds reviews. Now, for those in the UK, sorry most of these are stateside beers, some which are available across the Pond, but most that are local, regional or even beer I bought off the Internet. Tree House, being the BIG favorite.
You can watch any of these reviews at 6thgoal.com, listed under #FPLBeerClub, click on #30SecondBeerReview. You can also follow me on Untappd.
Speaking of Untappd, I know I have promoted this mobile app in the past, but I just pasted by first year using the app. It’s sometimes scary to see how much beer I had last year.
In the last year I have consumed 518 beers! 244 of those were unique with a new beer ratio of 45%. I thank the Internet for that. There is so much great beer to be had, not only locally.
With a relatively open pipeline to Tree House, there are still a handful of their beer I have yet to sample.
My favored style, the DIPA with a total of 68, followed by the American IPA and NE style IPA.
No surprise to see the Mike Hess Grapefruit Solis as my top beer over the last 365 days, as it’s my “go to” favorite. Second on the list, Pliny the Elder.
Speak of local favorite, with the new Russian River facility in Windsor, CA, about 90 minutes north of me, there is more Pliny than ever before.
Past practice was to find Pliny at a grocer called Whole Foods, where you had to ask the staff and was limited to 2 bottles. Now, I’ve seen it on the shelf with a 6-bottle limit.
Just this weekend, I saw they are open fermenting Pliny the Elder at the Windsor facility. I will be very curious to see how this turns out.
I could bore you with stats from Untappd, but if you like beer, check it out. If you don’t do apps, then take a listen to the Untappd podcast, hosted by Kyle and Tim.
I watch the most recent episode of The Four Brewers hosted by John Holzer and Jason Harris, featuring Kyle and Tim from Untappd. Some good beer fun, check out both podcasts from your favorite podcast client.
Now, let’s take a big drink from our beer of the week and dig into the chips. Sorry I didn’t make any guacamole.
FPL Chip Strategy (14:25
I welcome Casey, who goes by FPL_Tornado on Twitter to the Pitch & Pint Podcast.
It seems like GW26 was a long time go, so long, I forgot who Everton last played?
I am just kidding, I know it was a rough game at Vicarage Road and the return of “The Snake” Marco Silva to Watford.
Before we get into strategy, answer me this. What do you think of Silva, now that he’s been at Goodison Park for 26 weeks? <Casey answers>
You can catch Casey, along with FPL_Shark and FPL_Lens, as we occasionally host episodes on Academica Vertex. However, schedules being what they are, we have difficulty getting all four of us together.
So how’s going? <Casey answer>
So before we dive into strategy, what’s you total points, where are you in the overall rank and what chips do you have remaining? <Casey answers>
Let’s start with Ben Crellin, I assume you follow his work. Have you used it to help in your planning for the doubles and blanks? <Casey answers>
So first, tell listeners how you are setting up, then we get into some common strategies. <Casey answers>
FPL Strategies (52:33)
I want to thank FPL_Tornado for his time on the Pitch & Pint Podcast. You can follow him at @FPL_Tornado.
There is no one strategy that will work for every FPL manager. Depending on your OR, current players and your chips will dictate how you plan from this point on.
A double and blank expert, I am not nor, do I claim to be. I can only do what I feel is best for my team.
I’ve spent a fair bit of time since the conclusion of the United Chelsea game on Monday looking at different variants and chip strategies.
Between now and BGW31, there are 5 free transfers upcoming. I have planning, using those transfers to build for the DGWs in 32 and 35, while putting together a Free Hit team for BGW31.
This could leave me a bit thin for BGW33, depending on what games are confirmed as blanks. Right now, we can just speculate on what teams will miss out. There is enough information to plan that far ahead, just be wary and remain flexible.
My strategy for now will be to Free Hit in BGW31.
Use FTs to build my DGW32 team, which should allow me many of the same players for DGW35.
During DGW32, I will be using the Bench Boost chip. That would leave me three of my four bench players playing in a the DGW.
I am not planning on moving any of my Liverpool assets; Robertson, van Dijk or Salah.
BGW33 could be a bit thin as I only carry over 6 players from DGW32, but have 2 FTs, so at best, I would only be starting 8 or 9 players.
GW34 would then be the second wild card to build ahead of DGW35 and beyond.
The key for me, keeping an extra transfer from GW28 through 33.
This is my plan, this works for me but might not work for you. As the Cheaters said, it’s tough to really get in depth and talk details of chip strategy without the laser points and some snazzy power point presentation.
You will find all you need on Twitter from many different sources. Use the general information and tweak it for your use.
Team Preview GW27 (54:37)
So BGW27 is small, missing 4 teams; BHA, CHE, EVE and MCI. I moved my last Chelsea asset ahead of GW26 and thanks to Kolasinac, he fucked me. Still he finished higher than Alonso’s -1. I guess I look upon that as a positive, right?
It’s been my intention for a few weeks to roll the GW27 FT, giving me 2 FTs ahead of 28.
With the planning I have done through BGW33, I plan on continuing to roll my FT through 33.
Last week what started as a 3-4-3 finished as a 5-4-1, as Aubameyang and Rashford missed out.
This week I plan the same 3-4-3 formation. Defensively I start Ethridge at home against Watford. The Hornets continue struggle putting shots on target and I could see this a 0-0 draw.
The back line will feature the aforementioned Kolasinac, home to So’ton. Struggling in 17th but scored 7 goals in their last 5. I really have no confidence in the Gunners defensively, so one can only hope for an attacking return from Kola. That said, a clean sheet isn’t out of the question.
I retain both Robertson and van Dijk as a Liverpool double at the back. It hasn’t been 1 CS in the last 4 for the Reds and this week they head to Old Trafford and Man United. Don’t see a CS on either side, which means I’ll be hoping for some attacking return between the two players.
The midfield will feature Salah and Pogba, along with Ryan Fraser returning to my starting XI, as I continue to ride Heung-min Son.
Son is gaining quite a following this weekend as a differential captain, after the popular selection of Aubameyang.
Spurs travel to Turf Moor and a revitalized Burnley squad, who’s posted 9 points in their last 5 games. Their last loss coming on Boxing Day, a 5-1 loss against Everton.
Now defensively they don’t look as strong, when comparing this defense to last season. Burnley has conceded 63 total shots and 21 shots on target over the last 4 games, 4th worst over that period. That said, they are 3rd best with just 4 conceded and a CS. I do think Spurs will continue to roll on, with or without Harry Kane.
Up top, I roll the dice and stick with Josh King, this was a transfer I made ahead of DGW25, when I had the chance to do the hokey cokey with Aguero and Aubameyang but went a different direction because I had a gut feel.
That gut feel was nothing more than gas and the King transfer failed. David Brooks continue to be flagged and won’t play, which could affect the midfield mojo, I expect Fraser to be the centerpiece with Junior Stanilas playing an important role, if fit for the match. Currently he’s yellow flagged with a thigh injury.
Wilson is still injury, so King should be spearheading the attack against Wolves.
Speaking of Wolves, just 2 clean sheets in the last 10, but that did include a CS against Bournemouth back in GW17 at Molineux. This could be a high scoring game as Wolves are in good form.
Marcus Rashford will get the start, coming off a rest in GW26. Expectations against Pool? They aren’t very high to be honest. The last time these two faced off in mid-December, Liverpool won 3-1 at home. Goals by Mane, Shaqiri and Fabinho, as Lingard picked up the lone United goal.
I expect this to be a 3-2 or 4-3 game. Winner? I don’t really care. Since I don’t support United, I want to see Liverpool keep the top of the table tight.
Finally my captain for the week, Aubameyang, as the Gunners are home to So’ton. If Spurs were playing at Wembley or better yet their new stadium, I would give Son a second look. After Aubameyang missed last week due to illness, he’s got a little making up to do.
What better week to start than this week over a So’ton team that continues to leak goals.
I take their defensive stats with a grain of salt since they haven’t really played anyone the caliber of Arsenal in the last 4 weeks; EVE, CRY, BUR and CAR. Need to go back to GW20 and 21 when they lost 3-1 to MCI and played Chelsea to a scoreless draw.
I feel good headed in to BGW27, then again, it’s been common to have that same feeling ahead of many game weeks and in the end, it didn’t work out.
Currently I am on 1547 points with an overall rank of 142k. DGW25 was a killer on my OR, dropping me 59k from 82k, which was my second best OR on the season, behind an 81k OR back in GW15.
Conclusion [queue outro music]
That’s it for episode 26, thanks for listening. Lots of information to digest, from this and other podcasts as we are on the brink of the first BGW of the season. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out with City.
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You can follow me on Twitter @6thGoal providing FPL opinions, as well as craft beer content, posted using the hashtag 30SecondBeerReview.
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Thanks for listening to the Pitch & Pint Podcast – FPL from inside the Six