Wednesday, 17 July 2013

(Un)conventional "Wisdoms" on How to Finish in Top 100 in FPL - part 2

“I have no clue how you managed to pull off last season! And I bet that it will hit you at one point in time this season that you don’t either.”

I don’t really know whether you have had the chance to read my FPL story (and my background) before you read the first of my posts on 6 (Un)conventional “wisdoms” to finishing in TOP 100 (by the way, the full story is available here), but in case you haven’t – well, in that case you might be surprised at the statement above. It was directed at me. By a dear friend of mine. Yesterday. And let me tell you something – HE IS SPOT ON.

Now let me break this down for you. I admit, I don’t know much more about PL than what I read on the 4 FPL dedicated sites I visit. I do not scout players and until someone writes about them, I don’t even know they exist. As said, being a basketball fan I follow basketball at least 10 times more. I watch one or two PL games a week while playing with my daughter, cooking lunch, or tidying up at the same time. So let me put this out in the open – “I am NEITHER a football NOR Premier League expert!“

Ufff, good. Now it’s out in the open. However, and this is my favorite part and the most beautiful part of it, I have earned my right to talk about it. And that is the exact reason why I am talking about unconventional wisdoms. I try to make educated guesses based on the limited information available. In a nutshell, I try not to overthink it. And guess what, it worked brilliantly for me last year. And what I am saying is, if I was able to do it, so can you. So, while I still enjoy the bragging rights from last year, I would like to share with you the second wisdom today (assuming you are still reading this after you found out that I am not a football scout master J).

RULE #2 – “Own two goalkeepers that you can alternate on any given week”

This one is a biggie. What do you do with the goalkeepers? Do you pay a small fortune for the likes of Hart or you try to save all your money for RVPs and Bales of the world? Do you alternate?

Well, in the previous years I always went with two moderately priced goalkeepers and it hadn’t really worked out to my advantage. There was a quite significant timespan this year when everyone was loading up on both Jääskeläinen and Begović and reaping great benefits off of it. I kinda missed the whole bandwagon thing with the two of them and for a couple of weeks I thought to myself: ”Man, you are ****ed.” But I stuck to my original plan. Which was what exactly, you ask?

Knowing that I will not be forking out the small fortune that was required for the purchase of Joe Hart (ok, I did eventually put him in my team with the WC that I activated before the last two GWs), I did my best to plan to have the best available upper mid/high tier goalkeeper (from a Top 5 team) and also spent significant number of transfers throughout the season to introduce them to my team and keep the momentum going. All of my “backup” goalkeepers were the cheapest ones available on the market at that time. A calculated, deliberate, risky gamble. So, how did it work out?

As you can see from the table above, I have managed to have 8 different GKs on my team throughout the season and only one of them was a complete blunder. After ditching Cech, whom I have recruited because of Chelsea’s double game week at the beginning of the season, I took a gamble on Howard, because Everton was “bound to start producing clean sheets”. Guess what? They didn’t. 

Best performers of the season for me were definitely De Gea with a 6,5 point average throughout 11 games (and I got him just before he really established himself as a clear #1 for Manchester United – here is where I expect a tap on my shoulder from the FPL mini version of myself for gamble well recognized and taken), Szczesny whom I had during an “easy run” of 5 games for Arsenal and for short timespan also Cech and Hart at the beginning and end of the season, respectively.

In total my goalkeepers produced 187 points during the campaign which accounts for 7,7% of all points that I have accumulated in the season (and I was without a GK for one GW, mind you). Given the fact the 1 player in a team of 11 represents 9% (roughly of the team) and that they do not score goals or assist and as such are not really magnets for bonus points, I am more than convinced to blurt out my next (nonsense) (un)conventional “wisdom”:

Yup, here I go again. I recommend against having two alternating goalkeepers. Invest into one from a good team, do not fear using transfers to get the proper one in and live (FPL) life dangerously. Those who take chances, make advances.

So, wisdom #2 from me for you is – BUY ONLY ONE MID/HIGH TIER GOALKEEPER AND DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON TWO GOALKEEPERS (and not leaving points on the bench when you opt for the “wrong” GK in the GW).

I would really love to hear from all of you reading this article – do you agree/disagree? Was I just lucky? Do you prefer to disperse the risk? Let me know in the comments section or via Twitter (@matejp23), I am really curious to know.

P.S. [in case you missed the opening post, you can find it here]