Thursday, 8 August 2013

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

So, it has finally come down to this – the final chapter of the series. The 6 (Un)conventional “wisdoms”, as I call them, chapter 6.

In the first 5 chapters I have shared with you all of the “technical savvy” and tricks I have in my arsenal that have enabled me to finish last season as 15th player overall in the FPL. And, I have to admit; I have had so much fun writing these posts, that I even neglected my own team for the new season in order to prepare the posts in time (errrrr, my team is still in total disarray at the moment). And, boy oh boy, was I blown away by the buzz the series generated on Twitter and the enormous number of people flocking to the official FPL Hints blog to read my ramblings. Thank you for this, it really means a lot. [wipes away tears of joy, sobs] Moving on.

To be completely honest, I already kind of started my vacation this week, while the previous week I had home office (really HOME office, back in Slovenia) for the entire week and hanging out with family and friends in the evening. You can imagine that my schedule didn’t really leave much time for writing. But, I need to do it now. As of today, I am off to the Croatian coast where I have no guarantee of internet access (which worries me as, because as said, I don’t really have my GW1 team put together AT ALL!). But, we’ll worry about that when sh** hits the fan, as the Americans like to put it. It’s not like GW1 is the most important GW of the season. Ahem, ahem.   [sarcasm off]

As of today, we are T-9 days until kickoff and I assume most of you reading this blog have already assembled your respective teams, took them apart completely, tried to squeeze in both RVP and Bale (which is borderline impossible if you want to have a strong TEAM), contemplated whether Baines is worth the investment this year (while I have NEVER EVER had him in my team, I had actually read a really cool article on FFPundits regarding this conundrum that had me thinking – no final decision made yet - link), let out a scream of enthusiasm when the news of Bale asking for a transfer to Real Madrid came out, tried to be smart about newcomers like Soldado, Bony, RvW and others, somehow built the team again, read a different opinion on one of the TOP20 FPL sites that Walt from #fplhintsteam put together, completely changed your mind, cursed, cursed again, turned to gods for help, started screaming, lashed out on your computer and started inconsolably crying because you just can’t fill your team with ALL the players you would want...and then went back to the drawing board. Too bad you cannot take a loan on FPL money, something like 20M GBP would probably do the trick, huh?

You see, the (Un)conventional wisdom #6 touches exactly that and MUCH more. However stupid, simple and straightforward this last wisdom might seem, it is actually my TOP recommendation for all FPL players out there.

Huh? Has he gone mad? What kind of a dumb*** lame advice is this? I bet these are some of the thoughts currently running through your mind, coupled with the annoying feeling that you have just lost 2 minutes and 13 seconds of your life that you will JUST never again get back.

Relax. Let me elaborate on my advice.  It has three distinctive parts:

PART I – Really, just have FUN

For me, there is nothing like the Saturday morning. First off all, you know you still have today AND tomorrow before you need to go back to work. Second of all, you already know that in a couple of hours there will be the first game of the week and you sense the adrenaline rush building up. The siren goes off. No more transfers. It’s just you and your team right now. You check the points for the current GW for the very first time. The game is still being updated. Sigh. You wait for the starting lineups to be published on your Twitter feed. Ka-ching. First 2 points registered. You made the right choice fielding the differential midfielder just for this week. Then the first game starts and every time the player you have on your team gets the ball you observe with anticipation if there is a possibility he can smack one down the middle and score a goal from 70 yards down. Sadly it does not happen. But hey, you can always hope for some bonus points as the game ended in a draw. You refresh your score for the GW and quickly check the guys in your private league if someone actually had the guys who scored or assisted on their teams. When you find one, you think to yourself “You lucky son of a gun…PURE LUCK!” 

Before you know it, the rest of the games start. You pick one to watch, but always keep an eye on the game where your captain is playing, hoping he will score at least three goals and have five assists. With all the reservation you possess you limit yourself to refreshing the data on your smartphone of choice only every 5 minutes.  Every time you hit refresh button you hold your breath and pray to god that it will show a massive improvement over the score total you had before. As the games move into the second parts of second halves, you already cash in the 4 points for defenders with clean sheets and nervously cough every time the opponent makes it over to their half of the field. And god forbid your defenders concede a goal in the waning moments of the game – you really feel cheated about those 4 points. And so on and so forth. This, for me at least, is by far THE BEST PART – this is what I mean by having fun. Enjoy it. Even if you don’t do well, the sheer anticipation of what happens every GW is enough to keep your juices flowing. Don’t berate yourself or congratulate yourself too much either, just enjoy it. Repeat after me: 

PART II. – Don’t overthink and/or overcomplicate

You see, this is one advice I would like to put out there that does not only come in handy when playing FPL, but also in real life.  Too much information leads to overcomplicating and causes confusion. My advice – LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF FPL INFORMATION you soak in. For me it means no more than 3-4 dedicated FPL sites. No more. I have my sites, I trust their judgment and advice and apart from looking for a replacement for one of my favorite sites (Never CaptainNicky Butt – you will be sorely missed!), I have no intention of adding new ones. Thanks to Walt’s list of Top20 FPL sites, I should have no issues finding a replacement.

PART III. – Don’t be too smart for your own good

I have seen this over and over again – people who know a whole lot about Premier League tend to, and I will use the same word again, overcomplicate and fill their teams with differentials. Play it smart, but not too smart. Have you fair share of “players who everyone has”, “must-haves”, jump on one or two bandwagons a year, just because it really makes sense. You do not have to reinvent the wheel… (feel free to re-read my differentials chapter to learn more about this).

After last year, I can see myself going in that direction as well – looking for non-obvious players choices, having too many differentials in my team vs. the proven, more obvious ones, and I realize I need to wipe my slate clean and start from scratch. It’s a new season. Anyone can win it, just like Matt has last year (btw, have you read his story?). Will it be you this year?

I have already started implementing all of my wisdoms (especially the last one) in my team for the upcoming season and I must admit – it is harder than last year. But the more challenging it gets, the more fun it will be during the season, right? All the best to all of you and make sure you come back during the season, I will continue to write for FPL Hints blog all season.

And that’s it, folks! The last of my wisdoms for you. I hope you make use of all of them and they will make your season a memorable one!

And, as always, looking forward to your comments – reach me on Twitter (@matejp23).

In case you have somehow missed the (un)conventional “wisdoms” from #1 to #5, make sure you read them before the start of the season!