Thursday, 31 October 2013

FPL Hints - Gameweek 10

Disclaimer: *FPLH reserves the right to change this team at any time. Any changes made will most likely be confirmed on FPLH's Twitter account.


Gayle & Y. Toure  OUT / Aguero & R. Morrison IN (-4 Hit)

Hi all, before I ramble on about this week's preview, I would like to say...

This blog has been shortlisted by the Football Blogging Awards under the category of:

You can vote for us through Twitter, Facebook or SportsLobster.  Your vote is greatly appreciated by Walt, Matej and I.  If you have ever benefited from this blog in anyway and haven't voted for anyone else (post-nominations),  PLEASE VOTE FOR US.  I don't wish to go on about it too much, but this is the only FPL blog that has posted its own team for every single Gameweek for the past two years with decent results to boot!  More reasons as to why you should vote for us can be found on our "reasons why" post.

Ok now back to the bread and breakfast of this blog...

Unfortunately my choice of Townsend as captain didn't pay off last week, but that didn't prevent me from rising up the rankings and posting a satisfactory score.  It wasn't a good weekend for midfielders and if you didn't have Suarez you missed out!

For GW10, I decided to make Aguero my number one transfer target.  Mainly because he is on form, has good upcoming fixtures and is City's main goal threat.  I had to sell Y. Toure to accommodate him, which is fine, as the Ivorian hasn't been as attacking with the return of Silva.  

I had £5.8M to spend on a midfield replacement at the start of the week, but due to the rapid rise of Aguero's price, my budget truncated to £5.6M.  This made De Guzman out of reach, but I wasn't too keen on him anyway.  I was very tempted to buy Arnautovic but his fitness and off-field issues were a concern.  Ravel Morrison was the stand out midfielder with my budget due to his flair and potential.  Moreover, he leaves with me £1.0M in the bank.  The resulting transfer changes have left me with a talented and youthful midfield to complement my strikers.

My captain for this Gameweek 10 is Aguero (a no brainer).  My vice-captain is Ozil.

GW Reject:

GW Punt:

GW Hot Pick:

The origin of Aguero's nickname?

He has good upcoming PL fixtures.
Least likely to be rotated from all of City's strikers.
Has scored 42 PL goals in 72 games which makes him stand out.

FPLH's GW Star Picks:


C. Davies

R. Morrison

Aguero (c)


FPLH's Projected GW Results:

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

[CONTEST]: How do you say I HAD A KICK ASS WEEK IN FPL in your own words and in your own language?

Here's the story - today I realized that my followers come from 39 different countries and it immediately sparked an idea! 

What is the one thing that every fantasy football players does when he (or she, ahem) has a great week? That is easy - shares it (or wants to) with the world! Shouts it from the top of the lungs! That is why the most engaging questions from the FPL bloggers every game week are variations of: "How many points did you score this week and how happy you are with it?". We are all guilty of doing the following:

a) I HAD A GREAT WEEK (20%+ above the average) usually evokes responses that are either expressions of sheer joy (usually the more "junior" players say something like "YES, YES, YES, an awesome week for me. How did you do? And then ask me how I did? Please! :)"), exaggerated bragging ("Woohooo, I AM THE MAN!!! Sir Alex Ferguson (or Jose), step aside!") or contained excitement, reserved mostly for seasoned veterans ("Who me? It was a good week. I scored 90 points. But it's a marathon, not a sprint.")

b) I HAD A HORRIBLE WEEK - you log off the FPL site, delete all cookies and saved username and password in your browser in hope you will forget it and never go through the anguish of seeing your entire team deliver between 1 and 2 points with a rare CS for a midfielder that sees him notch 3 points. You swear never to play this stupid game again and walk around infuriated for the first two work days. Your co-workers wonder why this wonderful man has suddenly gone all Hulk on them, while the wife cannot understand what is so important about a game that is not even real? By Wednesday (before the next game week) the hope of an upturn crawls in. By Thursday you are back in planning mode and on Friday you are already full of hope for a great week (see above). Twitter activity? Starts with rants, mixed with "selected" words for the players that didn't deliver and either explodes into a funny article about visiting your FPL shrink (courtesy of our very own Walt) or … well, let’s not go there.

c) AVERAGE WEEK – usually evokes no action or only “Meh”.

And what is in this for you? Well, Chief has decided to revamp his store offer and we have decided to do a special edition t-shirt - celebration of FPL! 

We will launch a contest on Twitter tomorrow where we will ask you to describe how you celebrate your “kick ass” FPL weeks within Twitter character constraints. Share it in your own language (English counts as well ;)) and I will design a t-shirt with as many different languages that will fit in. The motto of the contest is "Many languages. 1 passion. FPL."

Out of everyone who sends it, we will select TWO LUCKY WINNERS who will be the first owners of this unique t-shirt.

Excited? We are! The contest will be announced tomorrow, so make sure you follow @matejp23 and @fplhints for details.

Just as hint on what you can expect, here is a sneak preview of one of the t-shirts we are currently preparing.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Introducing a new weekly feature: Walt's #JackInTheBox

Alright everybody; if you've been following the Fantasy Premier League Hints blog this year (which I know you have), you are keenly aware of two weekly features that currently keep Chief and Matej very busy, namely:

Chief's #HotPick, as disclosed every week in his gameweek preview, and...

Matej's #CalledIt Differential pick, as disclosed every week via Twitter and on the FPLH blog.

Well, I couldn't let these guys have all of the fun, so I am starting a new weekly feature as well, which I will disclose via Twitter and also via the FPLH blog.  It is going to be called:

Walt's #JackInTheBox.  A little intro:

Go back to your childhood for a second.  Okay, well maybe not all of you, but those of you like me who grew up before everything was digital and "virtual". We actually had real toys that you held in your hand.  I remember my tin Jack In The Box very well. It was a colorful box with a crank on the side; and when you cranked the handle the song "Pop goes the Weasel" would play.  As the end of the song got closer, the anticipation became almost too much to take, and as the song finally ended you would hear a loud POP as a big old clown jumped out of the box, surprising me and making me laugh with joy. Alright, maybe that's embellishing a little, but you know, you can see the same thing a hundred times as a kid and be just as excited on the 100th time as you were on the 1st;)

Same concept here. The weekly #JackInTheBox pick is going to be someone from the bottom 5 teams of the EPL table who also has ownership of less than 3%. Someone who could come from out of the blue and give a VERY nice surprise to the lucky FPL owners keen enough to search out the diamond in the rough and capitalize on their astute observation and forecasting.

I will post my #JackInTheBox prediction each week on Friday and then pray like crazy that I don't look like a fool come the end of the gameweek!  Please follow along and let me know what you think of my picks. I look forward to your banter, critiques, "told me so's", and general feedback, but please don't forget the "attaboy's" when one of these gold nuggets comes good and makes me look smart too:)

Oh, this is gonna be fun. Tune in Friday for the first "official".....

Jack In The Box

*Disclaimer: We reserve the right to adjust the parameters for the weekly #JackInTheBox at any time.


The Rearview Mirror: GW9 FPL Wrap-up

Well folks, 9 FPL gameweeks are in the books. Although technically just a tad short, most are considering the season to be 1/4 of the way over. It's a good time to check in and see where you stand. Season going the way you hoped/expected? Are you sitting pretty and hoping for the good returns to continue?  Regardless of where you stand, I hope this wrap-up finds you well and enjoying your FPL season so far.

So, the FPL GW9 average was a stout 57 points! This is the second highest gameweek average of the season, being eclipsed only by DGW1 involving Chelsea and Aston Villa. With that in mind, hopefully you notched a nice score this week. I know I've seen a lot of 70s and 80s (even a 90 or two, right Matej?) in the league tables I peruse for fun in my down time ;)

As far as the season as a whole is concerned, given that we are understood to be roughly 1/4 of the way through the season, I thought it an opportune time to give you some benchmark info. If you take the GW average of every GW and total them up, it amounts to 436 points. For what it's worth, this gives you a good idea what an overall "average" score is so far this season.

Okay, on to the GW9 wrap-up. I will bring it to you in my usual format; and away we go:

Crystal Palace 0 - 2 Arsenal
Palace begin anew without the man who led them to promotion
Arteta slots home PK before later seeing red
Arsenal stay top!
Top FPL point earners: Mertesacker 9, Koscielny 9, Sagna 7 and Szczesny 7

Aston Villa 0 - 2 Everton
Howard puts in Herculean performance, deservedly earning crazy FPL points
Battle of the American Keepers is close (but not really)
Lukaku keeps rubbing Jose's face in it, Osman takes over nicely for Barkley
To the victors go the spoils: Howard 14, Osman 10, Lukaku 8

Liverpool 4 - 1 West Brom
Suarez steals the show with dazzling hat trick
Sturridge "chips in" with a beauty of his own
W Brom scored at some point too (questionable PK if you ask me)
Cheers to those with Suarez 17, Sturridge 8, Johnson 7

Manchester United 3 - 2 Stoke City
Tense nerves at Old Trafford as Utd fall behind 2-1
Rooney and Chicharito provide heroics as Man U scrape out 3-2 home victory
Are United losing that subtle edge of invincibility and intimidation?
Happy FPL managers started or captained Rooney 12, RVP 11 and Arnautovic 6

Norwich 0 - 0 Cardiff
Hooper to Pilkington a toenail away from going up in 65th; SO CLOSE!
Scoreless draw provides big clean sheet points all around
v Wolfswinkel and Fer provide excellent example of unsportsmanlike conduct
Marshall 12, Caulker 9, Ruddy 8

Southampton 2 - 0 Fulham
Lambert starts things off in 20th
Rodriguez doubles up in 42nd
Fort Southampton prove impenetrable once again
Lambert 12, Rodriguez 11, Ward-Prowse 9  *(Yes, Ward-Prowse; the one on our benches)

Sunderland 2 - 1 Newcastle
Fletcher rises to the occasion
Debuchy equalizes and does crazy knee-slide
Borini literally brings the fans out of their seats
Emotions/excitement of Tyne-Wear derby indescribable - WOW!
Borini 8, Debuchy 8, Fletcher 7

Chelsea 2 - 1 Manchester City
Torres feeds Schurrle a goal for lunch
Aguero continues scoring run with sublime equalizer
Nastasic to Torres (through/over Hart's onrushing hands) for the winner!
Big FPL points for Torres 9, Schurrle 7, Aguero 6

Swansea 0 - 0 West Ham
European involvement getting the better of the Swans?
Michu owners (including myself) getting a little antsy
Hey, that's Carlton Cole, isn't it!?!
Vorm 9, Williams 9, Jaaskelainen 9

Tottenham 1 - 0 Hull City
Visitors hold tight for 80 minutes
Soldado clutch from the spot
Steve Bruce nicely whispers his disagreement with penalty decision
Vertonghen 12, Soldado 9, Dawson 9

Onwards and upwards, everyone. Gameweeks 10 and beyond await!

Those of us at FPLHints (especially Chief) would like to thank you for voting for us in the Best FPL Blog category of this year's Football Blogging Awards.  

We would also like to congratulate our fellow and well-deserving finalists:
(@FanFootFirst @FantasyYirma @FFPundits and @FFScout).

Please vote for @FPLHints in the final round by tweeting the following:

I am voting in for as the Best Blog

If you don't have Twitter please vote for us via the alternative methods.

Additional information on this year's Football Blogging Awards can be found on Twitter: @TheFBAs.

Friday, 25 October 2013

#CalledIt Differential Pick - GW9

After watching Arsenal's mid-week Champions League game against Borussia Dortmund, I was amazed (yet again) by Santi Cazorla. He looked Gillette sharp and seemed to have that extra bounce in his step that "sealed" it for me immediately - he will be my #CalledIt pick for GW9!

However, teams with a new manager usually play much better all of a sudden, almost like a new team - could it happen to Crystal Palace as well? I don't really think it will (as I know the majority of the #FPL managers will be captaining Özil, so it must work out, right?) and with Santi still coming back from an injury (and all that midfield talent Arsenal has all of a sudden), I decided to steer away...EH, who am I kidding? It was just a gut feeling that I have. And my gut is telling me NOT to settle for the obvious choices of either Santi, Cabaye or Torres, though ALL of them could (and should) be included as viable differentials for this week. 

So, I have decided to go with Bony. High expectations before the season have not yet paid dividends and at times he even seemed to hold back Michu. But he has managed to take 10 shots (4 on target) and has created 5 chances (1 assist) over the last three games, which makes me believe he can deliver against West Ham. Wilfried Bony, (you can get him for 7.5m at your local #FPL shop) is my #CalledIt for GW9.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

FPL Hints - Gameweek 9

Disclaimer: *FPLH reserves the right to change this team at any time. Any changes made will most likely be confirmed on FPLH's Twitter account.

Transfers*: J Morrison OUT / A Townsend IN

One transfer? But doesn't my team look a bit different? The sharp-eyed among you will know of my last minute panic transfer* last Saturday. After reading of reports that Van Persie was a significant doubt, I sold him for Rooney and changed my captain to Suarez at 11.28am BST.  Ironically, Van Persie did play after all, yet I bagged more points with Suarez as captain, Rooney rewarded me with an assist and as a result of the transfer I have £3.0M in the bank!

For this GW, I was tempted to use my spare change to make a decent acquisition.  I didn't want to modify my team too much due to their decent fixtures as a whole.  But I did want to offload someone with lack of game time and dipping value.  I offloaded J Morrison after his failure to squeeze into WBA's new look midfield.  I should have sold him sooner as I lost £0.3M on him.  Lallana tempted me as a replacement, but I didn't want to eat too much into my spare funds.  Fortunately, there was a player with the same price as Morrison + form on his side - Andros Townsend.  He is now a mainstay flank player for Spurs, can use both feet and has some good upcoming fixtures against teams that have conceded more than a goal a game as follows:

GW 09 Hull (H)
GW 10 Everton (A)
GW 11 Newcastle (H)

Townsend has a decent EA Sports PPI rank and finally scored his maiden goal for Spurs last week.  He was rested midweek for Spurs' Europa League tie.  His offensive attributes are such that I have decided to captain him against a Hull team that have conceded 8 goals in their last 4 PL away games.  Such stats and my bullish instincts encouraged me to captain him.  This is despite the fact that I have other captain candidates via Ozil (my VC), Rooney and Suarez.  However, Ozil and Rooney played in Europe midweek, where as Suarez is playing a WBA team that have only conceded 6 goals in 8 PL games.

GW Reject:

GW Punt:

GW Hot Pick:


At £5.7M, Townsend is value for money.
Overall 10th best EA SPORTS PPI rated midfielder.
A flair player that can score & also create chances.

FPLH's GW Star Picks:



Townsend (c)


B. Davies

FPLH's Projected GW Results:

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

VOX POPULI #CalledIt Differential Pick - GW9

The preparations for the #CalledIt differential pick for GW9 are in full swing and as part of those, I have asked my Twitter followers this question today:

Much to my surprise, I have received a large number of ideas (which I will happily include into my consideration for this GW) and I thought it would be interesting to see which are the ones that you favor, statistically speaking. As a totally ad-hoc decision, I decided to put together a "Vox populi" article on your differential picks and here they are:

Andros Townsend leads the way with 18% of your votes and this has a lot of merit to it. Great form during the international break resulted in a goal and 2 bonus points in the game against Villa. With 5 shots in the game (2 on target) and 3 chances created, there was potential for even more.

Yohan Cabaye follows with 12% of votes riding on his amazing goal vs Liverpool, but the stats show that he had only 1 shot on target (out of 5) in the game and created only 2 chances in the last two games. He also tends to shoot from distance which clearly diminishes his attacking potential. But who cares about statistics, if he can score goals like that?

Santi Cazorla joins Cabaye at 12% - a great player, should be back in the squad this week and has big scoring potential (remember his hat-trick last year?), though sometimes lacks consistency.

Is anyone missing? Should Torres be in the top3? Who will get the #CalledIt call this week? Tune in on Friday.

Looking back at Gameweek 8 - Chief's "LESSLINES"
















*"LESSLINES" is a portamanteou of Lessons and Headlines.  They are intended to be bite-sized summations of what we learnt during the Gameweek!

Friday, 18 October 2013

#CalledIt Differential Pick - GW8

With 6 chances created in GW7 match-up with Everton and an ownership of just below 5%, this one really is a no-brainer. Amazing player, fun to watch and one helluva sportsman. And mark my words: "He WILL outscore Yaya between now and the end of the season!". David Silva, #CalledIt for GW8. 

To make it more interesting, I decided to introduce a BONUS section this week. If you (for some reason) can't (or won't) fork out 9.3M, but would still need a differential - a poor man's #CalledIt for GW8 is Marko Arnautovic. Plays OOP and had 6 shots in the game vs Fulham. Trigger-happy (football wise, of course), impulsive AND plays for Stoke! Outlook not good, but if he does score it will be BANDWAGON time! Get him before others do.

May the #FPL gods be kind to you!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

FPL Hints - Gameweek 8

Disclaimer: *FPLH reserves the right to change this team at any time. Any changes made will most likely be confirmed on FPLH's Twitter account.

Transfers: None

The group stages of the qualifiers are over and England are joining the samba party in Brazil!  They came back from the brink and played their A-game.  England last qualified unbeaten for a World Cup under Bobby Robson.  Let's hope they maintain momentum with their new "more flair/no fear" policy.  Qualification is fantastic news for FPL gamers, as English players will try and enhance their own performances in the PL so that they are considered for selection.

Enough of the World Cup for now and back to PL...  As you can see I have made no transfers this GW.  This is significant as I have taken -4 hits since August in almost every GW up to now.  The decision to not make any transfers required patience on my part.  Having said that 8/11 of my first XI are playing at home with decent fixtures.  I didn't wish to take another -4 hit but was looking to do a simple in-out transfer.  I wanted Lukaku put couldn't fit him in.  Distin for K. Toure was an option, but Distin's lack of attacking threat was a concern.  Januzaj for Morrison was also another possibility, but I want to see the young winger prove himself a bit more first.  In the end I decided that I should hold the trigger for this GW.

I had a good think about RVP.  I was tempted to sell him, but he is the kind of player who doesn't tend to suffer from long-term bad form.  With 2 decent home fixtures it made sense to keep him.  I will start with Ozil, even though he is a doubt.  Had he been 100% fit I may have even captained him.  But in the end I decided to take a chance on RVP with the arm band.  It won't be easy for United to score 2+ goals at OT against Southampton especially considering their decent defensive record this season (5/7 clean sheets).  But this won't put me off from captaining RVP.  On a side note, my vice-captain is Barkley due to Everton's good home record and Hull's poor away record.

GW Reject:

GW Punt:

GW Hot Pick:


Doesn't suffer from long-term "bad" form.
56 PL goals / 28 assists since August 2011.
RVP has pedigree & is due a goal or two in the PL.

FPLH's GW Star Picks:



Y. Toure

Van Persie (c)

B. Davies

FPLH's Projected GW Results:

Friday, 11 October 2013

From World No.1, to World No. 1.3 millionth

One word can sum up my start to the season – terrible. Currently ranked 1.3 millionth in the world, this season has been a real come down for me from the excitement of last year where I spent more time inside the top 10 in the world than out of it.

I’m not doing anything different to last season, my strategy is the same, but like a lot of the other top players from last year I seem to be having a lot of bad luck and ‘sensible’ picks don’t seem to be working out for me.

Players like Mirallas and Soldado who haven’t performed as expected, or injuries to players like Coutinho and Walcott have really had an impact on my team. Combined with some surprise performances from Ramsey, Barkley, Brady etc. I’m left languishing in my lowly position.

But, over the course of a season I’m confident I can use the stats at my disposal and begin to climb the rankings. A few gambles and good captain picks and I’ll soon be heading towards the top again, albeit I’m dreaming if I think I can challenge for the title again now.

My time in the spotlight as one of the best fantasy football players in the world has passed, and even though I had the disappointment of finishing second last year, the excitement of playing and earning the respect of so many people is something I’ll never forget. 

I’m not giving up this season like I’ve heard some people are, but I’m taking a much more relaxed approach to the game now. It’s great interacting with people on Twitter about their teams, and seeing some interest in the moves and choices I’m making – even though they generally aren’t paying off yet this year.

Looking forward, I’m just trying to keep my eye on the fixtures and form of various teams, and I’m trying to spot a few opportunities to catch up on some points.  Putting in Ramsey, Mignolet, Giroud, Sturridge etc. isn’t going to help me claw back the points, but spotting a couple of differential players and making a few risky captaincy gambles may yet pay off.

For me, fantasy football is about taking an interest in football in general. Having something to give you the motivation to watch Stoke v Norwich, and something to talk about over a few pints in the pub. I’ve chatted to some really knowledgeable and interesting people on my journey to the top of the world, hopefully I can influence and chat to some more now I’m making my way down the rankings.

Those are my thoughts on the 2013/14 Fantasy Premier League season so far. Feel free to catch up with me on Twitter @K3lviN and see how my team "Why Always Me?" is getting along.

Guest Post from Kelvin Travers, Former World No.1 Fantasy Football Manager

Thursday, 10 October 2013

What if my FPL team was a "real" Premier League team?

Ok folks, I know it's the international break and I should be relaxing but I couldn't stop myself writing about the following...

If my FPL team was a real Premier League team during the 2011/12 season I would have finished 3rd and qualified for the Champions League.

If my FPL team was a real Premier League team during the 2012/13 season I would have finished 6th and just missed out on a Europa League spot.

What on earth am I talking about you may ask? I'm talking about an alternative scoring/ranking system for your FPL team.  It is a subjective method and requires a bit of imagination.  So here's how I worked out my "real" table positions:

First of all, I took screen shots of my GW 1-38 history for the 11/12 and 12/13 seasons.  In addition, I tallied up my scores in ranges as follows:

Points exclude transfer costs

0-10 points: 0
11-20 points: 0
21-30 points: 0
31-40 points:1
41-50 points: 11
51-60 points: 6
61-70 points: 10
71-80 points: 8
81 points +: 2

Points exclude transfer costs

0-10 points: 0
11-20 points: 0
21-30 points: 1
31-40 points: 4
41-50 points: 8
51-60 points: 7
61-70 points: 9
71-80 points: 2
81 points +: 7

To convert my scores into real life points, I had to define what each range stood for.  My definitions are as follows:

Win = Add range tallies of 61+ points
Draw = Add range tallies of 41-60 points
Loss  = Add range tallies 0-40 points

The aforementioned definitions can also be used as vague indicators for your weekly FPL performance.  To calculate goal difference I added up the tallies of the top 3 ranges and subtracted them with the tallies of the lowest 4 ranges.

With the above in mind, here's how I did over the past two seasons:


Played: 38
Won (10+8+2): 20
Draw (11+6): 17
Lost (1): 1

Goal Difference (20 - 1) = +19

Points: 77

Premier League position: 3rd
FPL position: 110th


Played: 38
Won (9+2+7): 18
Draw (8+7): 15
Lost (1+4): 5

Goal Difference (18 - 5) = +13

Points: 69

Premier League position: 6th
FPL position: 5,038th

With the above in mind my 13/14 FPL team would currently be rated as follows:

2013/14 (Up to GW7)

Played: 7
Won: 3
Draw: 3
Lost: 1

Goal Difference = +2

Points: 12

Premier League position: 7th
FPL position: 290,156th

What do you think? Does it makes sense? Are you able to calculate your score?