In my inaugural gameweek of the 2016/17 season I managed a hugely underwhelming 45pts against the average of 44pts.
This left me with an overall rank of 1,366,857th, languishing around the significantly below-average areas of all of my mini-leagues (136th in the Surgeons’ league), and the loser of my first two h2h matches*.
In other words- I had a certified stinker.
Here you can see the offending team. Note that I started with a 3-4-3, but Fabregas didn’t manage to make it off the bench allowing Friend to come in with his mighty 2pts.
So, what would anyone’s first reaction be to a relative disaster such as this?
- make a transfer (captain-fail Vardy surely deserves the axe)
- points hit?
- Play a wildcard??
- Delete account!
I think these are fairly common thoughts, especially after the first GW. All over Twitter this weekend we saw pundits having to urge managers to remain calm, like school teachers during a fire alarm.
And yet, by half an hour after the Liverpool match there were reports of 14,000 transfers bringing Coutinho in. And by Tuesday, the morning after the GW ended: Coutinho has risen to 143,618 transfers in, Negredo transferred in 89,883 times and Vardy has been transferred out an amusing 43,113 times.
Coutinho was the top scorer for the week with 15pts, Negredo bagged a goal and got 9pts, Vardy blanked with 2pts. The price of these players is now sure to change due to their transfer rates.
However, its the first week! How can anyone be sure these trends will continue?
-Well, in short, that is not the point.
The reaction we all have to any crisis situation is the desire to act, to take control, to do something- anything!
In fantasy football I also reckon there is an added element of trying to distance yourself from the team you chose that did so poorly. If you make a transfer you can think to yourself “I was a different person when I chose that last team, now I’m making amends. My team is different and better– I am different and better”
However, therein lies the false psychology.
Firstly: We are not in a crisis to begin with. It is only the first set of games in the season. Most of us have spent a reasonable (/far too much) time choosing our teams, and in most cases they are well thought out and have more than 1 gameweek in mind. GW1 saw last seasons champions beaten by an injury bedraggled Hull, 28 goals scored, and only 2 clean sheets- Swansea and West Brom. It isn’t an average gameweek, it can’t be yet, you can’t take an average from only one number!
Secondly: Taking fast action is not part of the logic of Fantasy Football. The only reason we would need to make fast decisions in FPL is the price change system. As of yet (Tuesday 16th August) no price changes have been logged and Coutinho is the only player due to rise in the next 24 hours ( via Fantasy Footy Fix). Coutinho is unlikely to rise beyond 8.2m by the deadline for GW2 on Friday, which is a price that most can realistically afford anyway. Team value can be important, but at this stage fast transfers are unnecessary.
Back to my team
So what am I going to do with my team then?
–I am going to make the conscientious decision to do nothing.
Looking at my team, there are three mistakes which I regret making in my team selection:
- Choosing Vardy over Mahrez
- Captaining Vardy over Agüero
- Owning Fabregas over Hazard
My defence did terribly, but as I said there only were 2 clean sheets anyway. Townsend and Deulofeu blanked, but they both looked sharp in their respective games and were unfortunate to not put away their chances.
I have heard anecdotal reports that Fabregas is out of favour with Conte in a major way and could be sold by the end of the window. Then again, I have also heard Matic & Kante as defensive mids pave the way for Fab to play in his favoured role further forward again. Either way, he only cost 7.5m and therefore isn’t going to turn into Hazard with 1 transfer.
Vardy over Mahrez could be down to the luck of the game. Mahrez seems to be back on penalties and Vardy horribly missed some good chances. Mahrez back on penalty duties does make him an even better FPL prospect, however Vardy is lethal in front of goal and is bound to make up for the weekend’s misses. I like his chances against Arsenal’s ragged defence next week.
Finally, the most frustrating mistake I made was captaining Vardy over Agüero. In my defence I tried to swap back 15minutes before the deadline and was caught up in the Great Server Disaster of 2016. However, I also got carried away with the idea that Hull were a wreck, waiting to be picked apart by a still powerful Leicester team. As much as I feel tempted to ship Vardy out of my team as punishment after he blanked, he isn’t going to care and it won’t do me much good. Besides, I should have known to #AlwaysCaptainAgüero.
Conclusions to draw
I’ve seen several people point out that bad starts don’t matter in FPL because it is a marathon and not a sprint. And they’re right- I was under 3 millionth in overall rank this time last year after a significantly worse start than this time. That required a wildcard to fix, and from there I went on to finish 18k overall.
I don’t have the cash to make any of the transfers I want anyway, and a points hit is a no go for me so early on. But thats ok- instead I’m just going to roll over my FT, set my team for next week, and hope for the best:
GW2 team selection (for now)