Monday, 15 July 2013

6 (Un)conventional Wisdoms on How to Finish in Top 100 in FPL

It doesn’t really matter whether you are a seasoned veteran of FPL, sophmore or rookie, you have probably already come across a set of “basic rules” on how to play the game the “right way”, i.e. playing the official Fantasy Premier League game by the book. These are most likely the rules that the experienced players have learned the hard way through the years and should, if played the right way, provide decent dividends along the way. Which makes sense.

However, at the same time, this most likely means that you will NOT have a breakthrough season, because you will be playing the game pretty much like the rest 2 million souls (hence the word decent in the previous paragraph). So, apart from having the right differential, how can you (with a little help from Ms. Luck, mind you) set yourself up for a season to remember? Well, if you are interested, this is how I’ve done it.

Throughout the course of next 10 days I will be sharing with you the 6 (un)conventional wisdoms that all (in some sort or form) defy the conventional (predominately accepted, at least to my understanding) ways of playing the game and have allowed me (throughout the course of FPL season 2012-13) to break into the Top 100 players globally and STAY there. Keep in mind though, that there is no ONE RIGHT way to play the game and there is no guarantee that if you follow these wisdoms you will actually be able to have a breakthrough season. All I am saying is, it worked for me. So, the rule number 1 goes something like this.

RULE#1 – “Always keep a stash of money in the bank”

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeck!! WRONG. The reasoning behind this very simple rule of always keeping some money on the side (in the bank) is that with this you will be able to make ANY move you want to make at any given point in time without having to resort to the dreaded 4 point hit.

Well, first of all, there is a great article that Walt (@eplfanforlife) prepared on his blog showing that taking hits actually worked to his advantage throughout the course of last season – he says, and I quote “In summary, I gave up 91 points scored by the players I transferred out, spent 92 points to transfer in other players, and those players that I transferred in earned 276 points in the week I brought them in; for a net overall season gain of 93 points.”. So I would say this rebuts one myth.

But even without that, I ask you, why would you wanna have enough money to make ANY move at ANY given point in time? I actually don’t even want to have such an opportunity, because it probably means one of two things – I am either chasing a “bandwagon” because a player had an outstanding FPL performance or is playing in a low hanging fruit game next GW or I have had poor planning in the past couple of GWs. Either way, it’s probably a bad decision and it’s best to avoid it.

That’s it. No ifs or buts about it. I want to have the best team money can buy and I want to have it now. In my opinion, there is no sense in having a mediocre team, with a possibility of , for instance, replacing Pogrebnyak with RVP the following week, if RVP scores a hattrick this week and Pavel doesn’t even dress up. What good does that 9 M in the bank do for me in this case? And I truly believe it makes sense to invest every last dime possible into your team, week in, week out.

At any given time during the last season, I have never had more than 0,2 M in the bank (apart from last GW where I intentionally wanted to have certain players as a differential) and I will for sure continue with this practice this year as well.


I would really love to hear from all of you reading this article – how did you play the game last year (or most of the time)? Did you spend most of your money, saved it or didn’t really pay attention to it? Let me know in the comments section or via Twitter (@matejp23), I am really curious to know.

COMING NEXT – Bench players or benchwarmers?

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