Pitch & Pint Podcast: Episode 40 Show Notes

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Season 2, Episode 40 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast recorded Monday, May 27, 2019, Keys to the FPL Kingdoms

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Hello and welcome to Episode 40 of the Pitch & Pint podcast, my name is Stephen and you can find me @6thGoal on Twitter.

This episode begins Season 2 of The Pitch & Pint Podcast and I will look to build on what I created last season as the show will center around FPL and beer, two things that go great together!

It gets challenging at times, as a lone host, producing quality content without the friendly banter from a co-host, heard on many other shows.

Many of those pods are also driven by community questions, from you the listener. Last year I had to beg, borrow and steal questions, but the mailbag was rarely ever full.

As I mentioned in the final few shows of last season, a new podcast is in the works called the FPL Roundtable that will feature FPL Tornado, FPL Lens and at times, our token Canadian, FPL Shark. Due to personal commitments, were not sure how often Garf will be able to join us.

Early last season, we were podding as part of the Academica Vertex, but as the season wore on, we started to do our own thing, which has transformed into the project we are chasing now.

You can take a watch of what we did, as I have a few of them posted on You Tube, just do a search for FPL Roundtable. Casey, Gabe, Garf and I are looking forward to a great season, hope you will be a part of it.

Now with business out of the way, let’s get started.

INTRODUCTION (01:38)

While the 2019/20 Premier League season is still a few months away and fixture announcement is scheduled for June 13, we have plenty of time to discuss FPL factors that aren’t form or price related.

There will be all sorts of speculation on prices for many players, including the likes of defenders, who seemed to play their asses off last year, especially the Liverpool lads.

Many expect to see some big price increases on the back line, as some defenders outscored forwards this year. Not sure I can remember back to when that happened in the last six season I’ve played. Maybe it hasn’t.

There was much discussion in the post season pods about the viability of the premium forwards. Are they needed to have a good season? That was one I didn’t have to start last season that led me to activate my wild card ahead of GW3.

Then, my Achilles heal from last season…the midfield. Now, on paper I felt it was a solid midfielder five.

Okay, midfield four since Alexis Sanchez was a lost cause leading up to the start of the season, but for some damned reason I thought something would change when the season kicked off.

Buzzwords popped up on Twitter regularly. Underlying stats. Patience. Rotation. Form vs fixture. xG. Swords vs shields. Still don’t buy into that last one.

Hopefully in this episode we can sort though some of the bullshit and give some strong keys and principles to start this season off on the right foot, at the top of the overall rank, rather than chasing your goal.

That has been one of my biggest failures in the last six seasons, not getting off to a banger.

Last season I posted 67 to start the season putting me at 834k, followed by a 66, that saw me 6 points over the weekly average but a read arrow down to 970k.

Two weeks in and I am already considering how to turn the season around. That isn’t how we should be playing this game, is it?

My overall points and overall rank, bordering on 1 million had me considering my first big decision of the season? What is too early to activate my first wild card?

PLANNING & STRATEGY (03:33)

This year will be the start of my seventh season participating in FPL, aside from the 2015/16 season, a 75k finish, the 2018/19 season was the first time I felt a genuine improvement over the previous season.

That might have something to do with being active in the FPL community, on Twitter, writing for multiple websites and recording/producing/hosting The Pitch & Pint Podcast.

The jury is out until the end of next season and the possibility of improving on my finish of 31k.

Every new season starts with planning and strategy for every FPL manager. That doesn’t include the countless RMTs you see on forums and Twitter.

In fact, I find them a waste of time, especially early on, knowing your 15-man squad will change countless times over the weeks leading to the opening kickoff.

Last season, planning began in July, as I built five 15-man squads using different formations and concentrating budget on different positions.

Like other FPL managers, I had a “Beautiful Mind” spreadsheet I would work on every day, projecting out the entire 38-week season, but broken down into manageable blocks by international breaks and domestic cup competitions.

The double and blank game weeks were a separate block of time, starting with the activation of my second wild card.

Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” which is something commonly heard when we look back on why we failed.

Without a plan are you setting yourself up to encounter errors, delays and potentially the waste of a free transfer, chip or wild card.

A plan will help to keep you organized and effectively achieve goals. Planning helps fulfill the following:

Gives a sense of direction. Without plans and goals, many FPL managers react to occurrences in FPL, without long term considerations.

Focuses attention on short term goals. Plans keep FPL managers focused on anticipated results, keeping sight of the goal also provides motivation.

Helps anticipate problems and cope with change. Plans can help forecast potential problems, such as bye weeks, heavy periods of scheduling, potential rotation and possibly injuries. While we can’t truly plan for injuries, having possible replacements assist in a smoother transition.

Provides guidelines for decision making. Decisions are future oriented. No planning means there will be few guidelines for making decisions. Transfers, captains and formations are our weekly decisions.

Do I roll my FT, allowing for more flexibility in another week or burn it this week to chase a hot player?

Should I start that 4th defender in a 4-4-2 or that 5th midfielder in a 3-5-2?

Before we go any further, I’ve already made my first decision of the season. It’s time for our first beer, here on The Pitch & Pint Podcast.

BEER REVIEW – SUDWERK FUN HOUSE BLOOD ORANGE (06:09)

One great aspect about being involved in the FPL Beer Club, is the fact this group has opened my eyes to some great styles of beers, that before last season I never really considered.

While not my first choices, stouts and porters are now a target on the beer menu. In fact, looking at the Untappd app, I see over the last year, a rye stout, imperial porter and an oatmeal stout are three out of my top five beers styles I now favor.

How’s that for a West Coast guy, who loves those big, hoppy DIPAs? Because that is what California is known for.

A style still relatively new to me, the Leipzig gose, American Wild Ale, Berliner Weisse, all of which seem to fall under soured beer for me.

There are minor differences between these three styles, but the underlining commonality is their tartness.

Go north an hour up California 113 from Oakley and you end up in Davis, home to Sudwerk Brewing.

The brewery was founded in 1989 by two German descendants determined to share the high-quality, familiar taste of true German lagers.

Since then, they have been relentlessly pushed the boundaries of traditional lager making for 30 years; pioneering the craft beer industry along the way.

Their beer making processes are rooted in traditional German brewing methods blended with modern, West-Coast craft beer practices and are not afraid of the time consuming and difficult nature of lagers but instead find it to be an exhilarating challenge.

Sudwerk Brewing showcases clean, crisp yeast character, powerful flavor-packed hop bombs, and beautiful malt backbones; all on a lager frame. This is not the dull can of lager beer you think you know.

Today, from Sudwerk, it’s their Fun House Series. I featured a can of Funhouse Raspberry in one of the later episodes of the pod last season. Today’s its their newest kettle sour, Funhouse Blood Orange.

​The Fun House series are limited runs of small batch releases featuring a rotating blend of freshly fruited kettle sour brews. Remember…we don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing!

Coming in at 4.5% ABV with an IBU nearly non-existent at 5, this kettle sour features a 2-Row Barley and White Wheat with a House Lager Strain of yeast and Man-darina Bavaria hops.

This hop is a daughter to Cascade, Hallertau Blanc and Hull Melon. It’s useful for both flavor and aroma and imparts slightly sweet notes of tangerine and citrus, especially when used for dry hopping.

Let’s pop the top on this 16 oz. can

Fun House Blood Orange pours a clean and bright, semi-opaque, dark orange color with almost no head but some carbonation that rims the glass leaving very little lacing.

The smell…is a mild fruity orange or tangerine, a hint of hibiscus with a tart or soured nose.

Let’s see how it goes down…its crisp and clean across the palette with a nice tart bite up front. It’s pithy with some orange rind bitterness and a hint of hibiscus on the finish.

Overall, it’s a good kettle sour, the hibiscus seems to get lost and the orange wasn’t as pronounced as the raspberry. Still both the raspberry and blood orange carry similar chrematistics, as this sour keeps my attention.

It’s smooth, easy drinking and very refreshing, especially on a hot day.

Sudwerk has now released a stone fruit version, featuring peach and apricot and at the end of this month will have a ginger lime.

Looking forward to each of those.

Now with our refreshment poured, remember to remain flexible and give different beer styles a chance. Who knows, maybe like me, you find that you like a kettle sour, stout or something in between.

Let’s get back to the FPL discussion.

REMAIN FLEXIBLE (09:43)

Before the beer break I was discussing planning and strategy, key components ahead of a new FPL season.

As good as any plan is, sometimes the unexpected rears its ugly head.

Even with the best plans or best-looking spreadsheet, FPL managers should remain flexible all season. No plan is that good there won’t be changes as the season moves forward.

Injuries and rotation are two of the biggest variables, out of our control, when it comes to planning and being flexible.

Take Pep Guardiola at Man City, FPL managers were sometimes weary of buying City players because of his penchant for rotation.

Over 38 games in the Premier League, there were nine played who players 30 or more games on the season:

38 games/169 points/4.4 PPG – Ederson

36 games/154 points/4.2 PPG – Bernardo Silva

35 games/177 points/5.1 PPG – Aymeric Laporte

34 games/234 points/6.9 PPG – Raheem Sterling

33 games/150 points/4.5 PPG – Kyle Walker

33 games/201 points/6.1 PPG – Sergio Aguero

33 games/143 points/4.3 PPG – David Silva

31 games/113 points/3.6 PPG – İlkay Gündoğan

31 games/156 points/5.0 PPG – Leroy Sané

FPL managers can be scared into transfers because of rotation or in my case avoid them altogether. Injuries are part of the game we can’t predict but must address.

Ben Mendy, another City player was a prime example last season, started off looking like the defender to own, posting 5 assists in 4 games, then disaster hit, as he was sidelined for a foot injury for three games.

He would pick up just one more assist after returning to fitness then miss the remainder of the year with a knee injury, followed by a meniscal injury.

We are aware of players who are injury prone; Jack Wilshere, Andy Carroll, Aaron Ramsey, Vincent Kompany.

While we might not want to avoid them, we are weary of drafting them into our squad and must keep a contingency plan handy, should they come up lame.

In the 2018/19 season, I worked backwards once the doubles and blanks were confirmed and started my late season plan, ahead of GW26.

I built my BGW31 squad using free transfers, activating my triple captain chip and then free hit for GW32. GW33 reverted to my BGW31 team with one free transfer.

I then activated the second wild card for DGW34 and bench boosted in DGW35.

Coming off a run of four green arrows from GW30 to GW33, I should have taken my own suggestion and remained flexible, changing my wild card and chip plan, as my players were in form, green arrows were plentiful, and I was just outside the top 10k.

One reason I didn’t was all the hoopla surrounding the desire to get in as many double game week players as possible. That high point was like a siren’s lure calling out to a say-lor. However, once sucked in, I was sunk.

Instead of “being flexible” and maybe a bit stubborn I held to my plan and posted my second lowest score of the season, just 45 points.

I felt I was learning yoga the following week, trying to be too flexible, not putting much thought into dropping a 16-point hit, to recover from a poor wild card. That resulted in a further drop that I was unable to overcome.

PATIENCE (12:19)

Over the course of the season there are many buzz words and phrases that pop up, seemingly over used at times.

“Underlying statistics” was one of those pretentious phrases last season, as Mo Salah was always near the top of the statistics, but the bottom line, he wasn’t scoring goals at the rate we saw the previous year.

“Swords vs shields” was another hokey phrase I just laughed at, never buying into, as it relates to playing it safe or taking a risk as we got later into the season in attempt to catch a ML leader hold on to the top spot.

Patience is, “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” This was one of those words that many managers have been unable to practice, myself included.

This was a difficult part of my season to manage, but one of the best examples of patience I’ve practiced.

Over the course of last season, I measured patience on two factors. First, the number of times I rolled my free transfer, second, the number of hits I took over 38 weeks.

The result would be seen in my total of 40 transfers for the season, with a 28-point hit but gaining 215 points from those transfers. Successful? Yes. Does it prove I was patient?

I feel on one level it does. The fewer transfers you make, the more you selected the correct players, this is especially the case to start the season.

If we go back to preseason and our planning, we hope to have a starting XI that produce points to establish a good OR early in the year.

This could potentially impact our patience both positively, by roll transfers, running with an in-form team but also negatively, as we might be quick to pull the trigger on a non-performer. Hesitate to say, pull out an early wild card or chip.

Through 19 weeks I rolled my weekly free transfer seven times, recording just four green arrows when I did.

Any correlation? Not really.

I took just two hits for 8 points in GW15 that resulted in 67 points and a green arrow. Over the next 13 weeks I rolled my free transfer just four times, which resulted in three green arrows.

The season fell apart coming off the second wild card (45 points), taking five hits for 20 points in the last four weeks of the season.

Combined with my weekly performance, I finished the season with four out of five red arrows, dropping some 20k!

Had I not been so bullish and considered changing my late season plan, results could have been different.

Back to GW34, had I not activated the wild card and continued with the same in form players, it would have resulted in an additional 14 points, for a weekly score of 58 points, four points over the weekly average, which could have changed that red arrow to green, having a positive impact.

I don’t feel patience can be defined by a timeframe. I’ve heard some managers quote 3-4 games to judge the form of a player.

Early in the season, if avoidable, I don’t believe we should be chopping and changing players weekly, especially if you start off with a strong XI that are scoring points. If that means eating a free transfer, then do it!

If possible, rolling the free transfer is probably more advisable, to allow more options, having multiple transfers in the coming week.

This all leads to GW1 and how we build our team out of the blocks as if it were midseason and we are in form.

BUILDING A GW1 STARTING XI (15:26)

Since the end of the season, I’ve looked back on the GW1 squad I built and continually ask myself one question. Why?

Why did I decide to start with these eleven players? What compelled me to put this squad together? Why wasn’t it stronger out of the box?

A team that was defensively strong (Ben Mendy, Andrew Robertson, David Luiz) but featured no Man City attackers and no starting premium forward (Marko Arnautovic & Wilf Zaha).

It featured a newly promoted midfielder (Tom Cairney), three proven premium midfielders (Mo Salah, Christian Eriksen, don’t remind me, Alexis Sanchez) and Pascal Groß, coming off a great first season (164 points) in the Premier League.

Compare this to Adam Levy, the overall FPL winner, who trebled up on City and Liverpool out of the box, something many managers did over the course of the season.

He was also ahead of the curve on Bournemouth, owning Ryan Fraser and Josh King. He, like myself also started with AWB on the bench.

Looking back, I can see some questionable players in my starting XI? The 2019/20 season will be a chance to redeem myself at the start of the year by building a stronger team of players, some of which I hope to own all season long.

Last season, just Robertson lasted 38 weeks on my team, he could potentially be the first name on the team sheet to start this season. More importantly, I feel the more players you can hold over the course of the season, the more potential your team has.

In the last episode I compared this to the 35 years of experience I have playing fantasy NFL football, here in the states.

In the early days of the league I managed, if you could have one player at each position scoring over 100 points on the season you had a good chance at setting yourself up to win the league.

Had I been able to hold the likes of Luiz, Salah, Eriksen and Zaha, who knows how many more points I would have scored, potentially bumping my overall rank.

Combined those four players scored 727 points, which based on my final score would have been approximately 30% of my total on the season!

Instead, patience got the best of me and all those players were moved out at some point during the season, only Salah returning to the fold after his best run of the season ended in GW23.

Looking at the big picture, scores of 67 points and 66 points weren’t poor scores over the first two weeks, based on my preseason goal of wanting to average 60 PPG, it did result in a red arrow GW2, being 6 points over the weekly average.

Getting off to a strong start is one of the top priorities this coming season, more than planning, remaining flexible and practicing patience. While each of those are key, putting the best XI on the pitch should ensure you a strong start with more managers under you, then above you. The remaining pieces will fall into place. The hard part, who are those best XI?

One practice I’ve got into, setting goals for the upcoming season.

PRESEASON GOALS (18:12)

The upcoming season will be my seventh, coming off my best finish last season at 31k. The main goal on the season, finish better then I did last season. Possible? Should be.

Another goal will focus on scoring consistently, this led me to setting 60 PPG, as a goal last season that would put me in contention to finish in the top 10k, a rank many FPL managers target before the season.

As luck would have it, I finished with a 61.39 PPG average over 38 weeks. My best average in six years. By way of comparison, the overall winner last season averaged 69.97 PPG!

In the 2017/18 season, the runner up, Paul Gee scored 2504, an average of 65.89 PPG.

This season I am looking at 63 PPG as a target that would see a score of 2394, which could put in running for a very good finish. However, that average might be a bit aggressive.

Last goal, as it’s been for a few years, survive 4 rounds in the FPL Cup.

In the past I haven’t really followed this in game competition but did watch it this year.

However, the first round was GW17, a week in which I scored a season low, 40 points and ended up losing by 30 points.

I’ve have more on goals in upcoming episdoes.

Let’s take a quick break and look at some beer news.

BEER NEWS – STONE TITS UP IN GERMANY (18:35)

Last month, Greg Koch (pronounced Cook), Stone Brewing’s executive chairman announced they were selling their Stone Berlin facility to the Scotland based, BrewDog.

In an article on Good Beer Hunting, it was said, “there was a cascading series of problems that added up and led to the sale. It wasn’t only the costly construction delays.

It wasn’t only slow sales in Germany and other markets where people are used to lower prices. It wasn’t only the high operating costs of the restaurant, which had yet to turn a profit”, though he says it was growing more successful.

“It wasn’t just anything,” Koch says. “It wasn’t just any of those, but when you compound and compound and compound, it just kind of got away from us a bit.

It’s natural—the tendency to be reductionist is natural. But we live in a three-dimensional world. It’s a little more complex than that.”

The brewery and restaurant were scheduled to open in 2015, but a years’ worth of delays and it was April before beer was being poured at the Liberty Bar. It would be September before the bistro and beer garden opened.

Koch singled out the construction as a major issue in Germany.

“The truth is, the construction industry in Berlin is broken. Yes, there’s a lot of bureaucracy. The U.S. has more than a bit of that, so we were prepared for it. The real challenge was the tendency of our contractors to stop everything when a problem arose. The refrain I heard over and over was, “These things take time.”

Got a question? Stop everything. Unanticipated challenge? Stop everything. Review the contracts. Stop everything. Reconsider. Throw the baby out with the bathwater. But most of all, stop everything.”

BrewDog got the keys on May 1 on a facility that wasn’t centrally located for public transportation, more of “destination, a special occasion venue” but not am everyday place. In fact, that was a similar feeling I got when I visited the flagship world bistro and gardens in Escondido, California last year. Not sure I would go that far out of my way, just to get a Stone and some eclectic food.

The bistro was also noted by Koch, as not turning a profit. This could have been due to the menu offered, which was a “California-esque” style cooking, not the typical bar food.

So BrewDog at the helm now, as they look to make the place their own and “similar to the vibe we have created at our Columbus brewery.” The menu, dumbed down to pizza, wings and burgers, while Berliners and tourists can partake in shuffleboard, arcade games and pinball machines.

It will be curious to see how BrewDog gets along in Germany. Stone, too much, too soon?

I’ve never had a BrewDog beer, rarely does it make its way to California. I hear a lot made about Elvis Juice and the Punk IPA. Do these craft beers compare well to what we have in California and the rest of the US?

I do know one thing. The beer I have shipped to Scotland and the UK have been well received by several FPL managers in the FPL Beer Club.

Now, they are tasting some of the “best of the best” when it comes to craft beer, not out of California but Massachusetts and Tree House Brewing Company.

In my 5 US Craft to UK flight from Episode 39: Season Ender Bender, I wasn’t impressed with the offerings I tasted. But in my opinion, they don’t represent good craft in the US. Stone IPA was probably the best of the bunch that included Stone Go To IPA, Bear Republic’s Racer 5, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Founders All Day IPA.

That said, four of the five beers were brewed in California, but this state alone could keep an Englishman happy when it comes to good tasting beer. Big resiny and hoppy DIPAs are how I roll.

Now, let’s get back to some FPL as we look ahead to next season

LUCK VS SKILL (22:56)

Since there isn’t much reason to get into early player news and speculation on price or transfers, I figured I’d look at a raging debate the doesn’t have an answer.

While not the first, there was a recent thread regarding luck and skill when it comes to FPL started by Giroud’s Top, who quoted an anonymous tweet saying, “Luck evens out over a season.”

In some 36 years participating in fantasy sports and with as little as I have won, I finger luck as a key component when I happen to win some money.

I believe I can count on one hand the number of top place finishes in my NFL fantasy league I’ve managed since 1983.

Over that time, I’ve won the league just four times. That’s winning just 11% of the time, in a league with 10 teams. Does that make me a poor manager?

Now the fantasy NFL game I manager is more like the FPL Draft game, where each team is unique and none of them can have the same player.

Does that make the game easier or more difficult to navigate?

I feel the draft game carries more skill than the fantasy game, having the ability to chop and change players using the waiver wire and free agency will allow you move on, in form players.

The FPL game gets challenging as your squad will be like many others in a game of over 6 million managers. Realistically, maybe 3 million of your closest FPL friends.

Being engaged in the FPL community, running a website or hosting a podcast won’t make you a better fantasy manager. There is no correlation between time spent “doing FPL” and success.

If that were the case, then we would be FPL experts, like Holly, Fantasy Football Sscout and those on the official site. Oh wait, maybe they are experts?

There is something to be said about gaining more knowledge and experience when it comes to managers, players and teams in the Premier League.

However, no one of can get inside the mind of a manager like Pep Guardiola. Even during the weekly pressers, managers speak with a forked tongue and doesn’t give us the complete story.

As Josh and Brandon, of Always Cheating brought up in episode #160, there is no official injury report, like we see in for the NFL.

Where is the skill in selecting Leroy Sane as your triple captain for DGW25, only to see the City midfielder play 58 minutes and score one point. Bad luck?

Fantasy managers have strong convictions for each side of the luck/skill coin. Gareth Marshall, @FPLBrit on Twitter and host of What the FPL Podcast posted a poll question back in January:

 

Based on the limited votes, the results didn’t provide a definitive answer, which correlates with opinions voiced on Twitter. Both skill and luck play a part in being successful in fantasy sports, not just FPL.

We can look at two situations from last season.

Sead Kolasinac in GW 26, on 12 points, Arsenal are 2-0 up against Huddersfield into 90’+1. Then an “oh shit” moment, he nets an own goal and gets a yellow card in the span of 60 seconds! His 12-point returns disappear to just 2 points.

Take Wolves in the same game week, going in 90’+4 are losing 1-0 at Molineux to Newcastle.

Wily Boly goes up high, both arms around Magpies goalkeeper Martin Dubraka, with no foul called by official, Graham Scott as Boly nets to draw the game level.

Was it the skill of Boly and the bad luck of Kolasinac? Ahead of the Huddersfield game, Kolasinac, based on form and fixtures appeared to be a great call, as managers had moved off Marcos Alonso.

The point is, no one wearing their FPL cap could have predicted either late outcome. So where do we draw the line?

Even Aguero’s second hat trick in two games could be luck. We know he’s a highly skilled player but the probability to score three goals in consecutive weeks. That’s about as rare as Leicester City winning the Premier League title.

FPL Terry Tibbs on Twitter as @geordio_julio said, “Luck won’t prevail through the course of a season.

Over 38 weeks of the Premier League, I subscribe to the law of fantasy football averages.

This is a theory developed by Russ Bliss, sports talk host and former owner of Fantasy Football Starters out of Phoenix, Arizona. He says:

“The Fantasy Football Law of Averages is a theory I came up with many years ago that dictates you need to recognize the fact that every player will have “spikes” (commonly referred to as peaks and valleys) in their fantasy production from week to week throughout the course of an entire season.

Barring injury, there will be a common average a player will usually hover around in terms of the amount of fantasy points he should score each week.

If a player is failing to meet his average production, it stands to reason that if his projection was realistic in the first place, the player will have to have weeks where he exceeds his average to even the discrepancy out.

It also applies in reverse to players who are exceeding their average; they’ll have to have weeks where they fall short of their projected average.

It’s hardly an extreme idea and if you recognize it, it can help you in making sure you’re smart in your fantasy football management skills.

While ALL fantasy managers attempt to play pundit and read into press conferences and manager’s comments. No one really knows what’s going to happen when the whistle blows to kick off a new Premier League weekend.

Nick and Tom at Who Got the Assist said, “like real managers, we can’t do anything really once the players cross that white line – for us, the analogy is the lock in after the deadline. Luck invariably plays a huge role in FPL.

The skill lies in managing your team throughout numerous situations to ensure you maximize your chances of getting lucky.”

Now, much of my previous experience has been playing fantasy NFL football, many of the principles that guide us are similar. Select players that are going to perform and make smart transfers. The bottom line is the same, score more points than your opponent.

In August 2011 I wrote a piece called “A Perfect Plan Does Not Exist” that talks about some of the same facets that face FPL managers.

When it comes to fantasy football, there is only one sure thing, it’s dynamic. You never know from week to week just how you are going to do. But until the game is played and the final whistle is blown, anything is possible.

That right there could be a definition of luck. All the preparation in the world, you can’t plan for what’s going to happen, good or bad. All fantasy managers look at trends, tear apart statistics, using a variety of metrics and crunch numbers to help make informed decisions to bring in players that could potentially return attacking points. Even the best options on paper could result in no return.

“The problem isn’t that the fantasy game is completely devoid of skill. It’s that too many factors in the actual game of football work outside the control of a fantasy owner,” said Nando Di Fino in his WSJ article in 2010.

There are random occurrences that happen each season in the Premier League.

Fantasy managers must consider surprise elements, like Pep’s rotation, or a weekly presser that doesn’t mention a knock, a highly owned forward is carrying.

Your luck can improve depending on your weekly transfers, but many managers base their selections off an array of data including form and fixture, as well as the eye test or what’s heard in a presser.

In conclusion, Brandon and Josh from Always Cheating, sum it up nicely, “the short answer is that it’s clearly both. It’s a bit like poker, if there wasn’t luck involved, the data-driven crowd would simply cleanup year in and year out, and that’s definitely not the case.

That said, I think people *way* underestimate the role of luck – they don’t blame bad luck enough when things go poorly, and don’t credit good luck enough when things go well actually think people would enjoy the game more if they gave more credence to the importance of good luck – people get too mad when a transfer goes poorly even if it was by all accounts *the ideal transfer*.”

Casey, @FPL_Tornado on Twitter offered sage advice, “A good chunk of FPL is luck, but also a lot of it is about how you handle bad luck. Don’t compound bad luck by making rash decisions.

There are opinions from each side of the argument. Skill or luck, which you decide is up to you.

CONCLUSION (30:46)

<queue Spanish Flea>

That’s it for Episode 40, thanks for listening.

We are still months away from the start of the 2019/20 FPL season and many are taking time off, away from FPL. I feel lost at work, not really knowing what to do.

I am sure in the coming weeks, after time away there will be more information as it relates to the upcoming season. Schedules will kick off in June, followed by FPL prices in early July…maybe.

Not sure what else I will bring to the preseason podcast, I do know beer will be involved. So, whatever you are doing with your downtime, enjoy.

All episodes of Pitch & Pint are available at 6thgoal.com. You can also find them on your favorite podcast client include Apple iTunes, Soundcloud and Spotify.

With all the other quality podcasts out there, hopefully you will continue to support the show.

If you like what you hear, tell your friends, if you don’t, tell me.

Follow me on Twitter @6thGoal providing FPL opinions, as well as craft beer content, posted using the hashtag 30SecondBeerReview.

For all my weekly FPL content head over to 6thgoal.com, as I always have something to say.

Thanks for listening to The Pitch & Pint Podcast, FPL from inside the six.

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