Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Come Fly With Me...Part One

Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away
If you could use some exotic booze
There's a bar in far Bombay  Kings Cross
Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away...
 
Ok, the third line doesn't scan as right as it did when Ol' Blue Eyes sang the original, but I'm no Sinatra. Anyway, this is my FPL season review, and he's now long gone and unable to sue me for copyright infringements so who cares?
 
Well, where to start? The beginning I guess. No, not the beginning of this season, but a little bit further back with my FPL credentials. Unfortunately I'm not much of a record keeper, and it is a crying shame that previous seasons data is not archived and accessible in my opinion. All I have to go on is my final rank in previous years and as you can see, I have been an FPL aficionado for a fair few years now. 

2009/10 and 2007/08 are obvious highlights, and it is a pity I cannot remember how high a ranking I had actually achieved during the season, but I do recall being very high and taking a risk that backfired in 2009/10, but that did still result in a very respectable final standing.

2010/11 and 2011/12 were obvious disappointments, but in my defence I was out of the country for 6 months in 2010 (with very sporadic internet access) and I had a heavily pregnant Mrs Fly to contend with during the 2011/12 season! They're my excuses anyway, and I'm sticking with them...

This season, I decided to make a concerted effort to improve my fortunes, and try to endeavour to climb as high as I possibly could. I was helped with the amount of time I could devote to FPL by having an infant son who has not slept through the night in 2 years, and this allows me to access the internet and the FPL Manager App and Twitter in the middle of the night whilst he keeps me awake screaming.

And so we arrive at GW1. DGW1 no less, with an opportunity of loading up on Chelsea and Aston Villa players in an attempt to steal a march on those less experienced managers who may not have factored this in to their pre-season planning.

 
DGW 1
 


As you can see, I went with the safe option of Hazard as captain, stuck Petr Cech in goal, and took a gamble on Cesar Azpilicueta getting the nod as starting full-back. He didn't. Not until GW12 at least, by which time I had obviously dumped him. The only representative from Villa was Bentekkers who did ok for me until I dumped him for his Belgian counterpart, (and fellow tank) Romelu Lukaku. More about him later...

And so, a successful GW ensued, I definitely got lucky in that Azpilicueta was auto-subbed for Norwich City defender Steven "Forest" Whittaker, who scored and assisted in a 2-2 draw against Everton. This was the only thing he did all season. So yes, definitely lucky rather than an inspired pick.

This left me in 158,872nd position; a useful platform to build from. I believe a good start is extremely important, if not essential to your FPL fortunes in the main. Although it can be argued it is harder to defend a lead as opposed to chasing your opponents down. For proof of the latter, we only need to look at the fortunes of this years "Arsenal" manager, Luke Weston (@theSilvaSurfers) who was ranked number 1 in the WORLD for an astonishing 17 GW's (including a "longest run" of 9 consecutive GW's), and who was still No.1 going into GW36. He eventually finished 8th after being hunted down and overtaken at the final hurdle. Interestingly though, Luke made a fantastic start to the season (835th after DGW1) and although he slipped to 4334th at the end of GW2, he never looked back from there. Sorry for bringing this up Luke - if you're reading - but hopefully you are not too disheartened by your final ranking as it needs putting into context with the stunning season as a whole. We'd all like to be in your position, let's put it that way!

But, back to my own fortunes, I then suffered an early season collapse. Red arrows in 3 of the next 4 GW's saw me plummet to just outside the Top 1million. Not good. And to be honest, I was always playing catch-up from there.

GW 2-5




What happened here then? A poor points return in GW2 was compounded by a selection of RVP as captain (4 points) which had me a whole 10 points behind the GW average, with Eden Dzeko as my highest points scorer with a not very impressive 8. The following week I switched captain TO Dzeko, who did even worse than RVP and only scored 2 points after a 44 minute appearance. Hmm. 44 points was the average, and I scored bang on 44 points. This was when I SHOULD have noticed a certain Yaya Toure. He quietly picked up 11 points after scoring, keeping a clean sheet and picking up all 3 bonus points during Man City's 2-0 win over Hull City. I SHOULD have noticed this. But I didn't. Instead, I brought in the newly signed Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil. He did ok in GW 4, picking up an assist (and 6 points), but he was the wrong Arsenal midfielder to have in your FPL team, as history went on to prove. His assist points were picked up in making the goal for Aaron Ramsey. He also scored another that day. And got all 3 bonus points. The other assist for his goal game from Olivier Giroud. Who also scored. And who got 2 bonus points. The Gunners were hitting form after a shock opening day defeat to Aston Villa, and I had the wrong choice in my team. Bugger.


At least captain RVP scored, but it left me only 7 points above the GW average which, although resulted in a green arrow, was not making the gains I wanted. So I brought Giroud IN. And captained him! Result: 4 points. BUT, Ozil made 3 assists so that was good news. But hang on, if they weren't for Giroud, who was he assisting? Sagna, Mertesacker and that man Ramsey.

Time to bring him in then. OUT went Pablo Hernandez (!!) and IN came RAMSEY. Actually, I need to admit this here; I used my Wildcard. Yes, yes I know! I panicked early! We were only in GW6 and I had relinquished my "Joker" that in previous season's had proved to be an invaluable "force multiplier" in the dark days of Winter with rearranged postponed fixtures due to weather, unforeseen cup replays and advancements in European competitions meaning lots of juicy DGW's. But I took a calculated risk to try and start climbing again. What happened next in GW6 still brings me out in a cold sweat. Whilst fiddling around in my sleep deprived state, the deadline passed and for some unknown reason, I had not hit "Confirm Team" and this happened:

GW 6




Yes, that's right. Ramsey. Sat on the bench. With 13 points. At this time it didn't appear to be a complete disaster. As you can see from the screenshot, I had also taken the opportunity to transfer OUT the underperforming Christian Benteke, and bring IN Lukaku. After giving him the armband I had FINALLY stumbled upon the correct captaincy choice after 5 straight weeks of mistakes. Just out of shot is the 9 points received from also transferring IN Yaya Toure. I did something extremely foolish just three weeks later though; I transferred Yaya OUT - and didn't bring him in again until GW32. More about THAT error later...


Despite the benching of Ramsey, GW6 saw me pick up a very respectable 73 points and saw me embark on a run of 8 weeks of consecutive green arrows shooting me through the rankings to just outside the Top 25k. This was despite some abysmal captaincy choices; Giroud (4 points) in GW7 and Lukaku (4 points) in GW8.


What happened from GW9 until GW19 became arguably the season defining moment for many many FPL managers.


THE SUAREZ/AGUERO CAPTAINCY WHEEL OF FORTUNE


Your fortunes during these Gameweeks would have been directly impacted by not only owning both of these FPL powerhouses, but crucially - WHICH ONE YOU CAPTAINED!. For those managers out there who refused to believe the hype and delayed the transfer in of either of these players, I would suggest your overall rank after GW38 was not as high as it could/should have been. Luckily for me, I managed to select the correct one for the armband consistently time after time. Let's take a look:

GW 9-13


 

The formula during these weeks was simple: KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid. Captain Suarez when Liverpool were playing at home, and Aguero when Man City was at home. In GW9 Suarez bagged a hat-trick against West Brom. Meanwhile Aguero scored the consolation goal in City's defeat away to Chelsea. I decided to bring him in for GW10 and give him the armband as City were at home to Norwich. They crushed the Canaries 7-0 with Aguero scoring one and racking up a hat-trick of assists. Meanwhile Liverpool and Suarez were losing 2-0 away to Arsenal.

 
GW11 saw Liverpool at home to Fulham and Man City away at Sunderland. The armband went back to Suarez who scored two and assisted another. Man City lost 1-0 to the Black Cats. In GW12 it swapped again; Liverpool away to Everton saw Suarez score and assist, but Aguero had the captaincy as Man City destroyed Spurs 6-0 at the Etihad with the Argentine scoring two and assisting another.


 
The formula couldn't fail! The fixture computer had somehow managed to alternate Man City and Liverpool's home fixtures and we had two of arguably the world's best strikers in red hot form, particularly on home soil! GW13 proved unlucky for many. As the formula dictated, Aguero got the armband as Man City were at home to Swansea. They cruised to an easy 3-0 victory, but Aguero decided to have an off day and contributed appearance points and a yellow card. Not a massive disaster as Liverpool were busy losing 3-1 away at Hull with Suarez also having an off day. A green arrow was still gained as I was at this time fielding not one but TWO Arsenal midfielders (Ramsey and Ozil) who brought in a combined 26 points. Nice.


 
GW14-19
 

 
GW14 saw a resumption of normal service; Liverpool at home to a poor Norwich side. Suarez with the captaincy and probably the individual performance of the season (DGW's not included). 4 goals plus an assist, obviously all 3 Bonus points and a very welcome 48 points. Aguero also scored as City beat West Brom 3-2 at the Borethorns. But wait! What was this? A red arrow! And a fall in rank some 12,000 places?!? But...but...Suarez? 48 points? What is this nonsense??? The FPL world has gone mad! And I don't mean Nicklas Bendtner scoring in Arsenal's 2-0 victory at home to Hull...

I was missing something. I looked at my team. Suarez. Check. Aguero. Check. Ramsey. Check. Rooney. Check. Ozil. Check. Hmm...Well, I had transferred Oscar out prior to GW14 and drafted in Jordan Henderson. That had backfired. However, as we shall see, he proved to be a vital insurance policy in a couple of weeks time. Nope, I couldn't see what I was lacking. Crystal Palace were starting to rack up some clean sheets, but I was happy with my defence. I had got rid of my Chelsea cover but Oscar was dropped by Mourinho and never recaptured any consistent form for the remainder of the season.

I know now what I was missing. Because hindsight is a wonderful thing. I had fallen victim to a phenomenon I later wrote an article on for this very Blog; Player Prejudice. I was overlooking two crucial FPL players that ultimately prevented me from reaching the very highest ranks this season. Step forward Mr Hazard and Mr Toure. That's Yaya by the way, not his extremely useless brother Kolo. Yep, in GW14 Hazard contributed 17 points and that man Yaya a useful 15. And I had neither. Why? Well, as you have read I had both earlier in the season. My prejudice saw my adamant that Hazard's form would drift off as the winter nights took hold (don't forget GW14 was early December) and Yaya is primarily a defensive midfielder who was getting lucky with the odd free-kick. And we all know not to put defensive midfielders anywhere NEAR our FPL teams don't we? Gareth Barry anyone?

So, a red arrow it was and I ignored the danger signs because I subsequently went on another run of consistent greens (except GW18).

GW15 saw the formula work its magic again; A goal and 2 assists for that man Suarez as Liverpool beat West Ham 4-1 at Anfield, and a goal (plus a booking) for Aguero as Man City were held to a draw away at Southampton.

In GW16 I made a mistake. I strayed from the formula. Logic dictated NOT to captain Suarez as Liverpool were away at Spurs. Suarez goes on to score 2 and provide a hat-trick of assists as the Reds demolish Spuds 5-0. Hmm. The formula said I should have given the armband to Aguero as Man City were taking on Arsenal at home. But I predicted a 0-0 bore-draw with both teams cancelling each other out. Man City won 6-3. Luckily Aguero only scored the one, therefore accumulating the same number of points as the man I did decide to throw the armband to - Wayne Rooney. Man Utd comfortably beat Villa on the own turf 3-0, but Wazza only clocked up 10 points with the captaincy, compared to the 44 points Suarez would have returned with the armband. Nuts. But, this is where my insurance policy came up trumps, as the Jordan Henderson differential provided 13 points. As did the goalscoring, clean sheet gaining, Jon Flanagan. Those 17 missed points with an incorrect captaincy choice would have been mighty handy at the end of the season though...

GW16 was also memorable for being the end of any worthwhile contribution from Sergio Aguero. An injury in the Arsenal game saw him out until mid-Jan, when he returned with a goal and assist in a cameo appearance against Cardiff, but it was a false dawn. He went off in the following game (GW23) and didn't return until mid-April. In fact the next time he played 90 minutes was in GW38.

A new striker was needed. I chose Lukaku. Hmm.

I learned from my captaincy mistake though and Suarez got the armband in GW17 and 2 goals and an assist later, I was quite happy. Lukaku meanwhile picked up 2 appearance points. Hmm.

Aguero's injury had ruined the formula. GW18 had Liverpool away at Man City, and despite all of the alarm bells ringing I stuck with Suarez as captain. Mistake. 2 appearance points. Plus 2 from Lukaku. Hmm. Rooney provided some form of damage limitation but GW18 was a personal disaster. 35 points. Big red arrows. Looking back now, guess who was in the GW18 Dream Team? Yep, Eden Hazard. I still didn't see it.

GW19 was rescued by my defence. I lost confidence in Suarez (although he did provide an assist for Skrtel in Liverpool's 2-1 loss away at Chelsea. I had zero confidence in Lukaku (Hmm) but was sticking with him, so the armband went to Rooney. Who didn't play. By this time I had brought David Silva in for some Man City representation. Yes, that's David Silva. Not Yaya Toure. But the Spanish maestro was in a run of decent form so I had selected him purely as a differential as his ownership stats were still under 5% compared to every man and his dog (except me and Matej - @CalledItFPL) owning Yaya. But Silva only provided 4 points so it was up to my defence consisting of Liam Rosenior (clean sheet), Jonny Evans (clean sheet and 3 Bonus points) and Seamus Coleman (goal scoring and 2 Bonus points) to salvage some pride. Surprisingly, GW19 saw a green arrow and I broke into the Top 10k for the first time this season.

And so, that concludes Part 1 of my own personal FPL review. Stay tuned for Part 2 as we explore GW20-38. And I will finally reveal what happened that day in North London when FPL worlds collided as @FPLHints (The Chief), @CalledItFPL (Matej) and @FantasyYirma met up in person for DGW31.

Hope you enjoyed reading. Feel free to leave a comment or tweet me directly.

FLY

@meet_the_gadfly









Top 4 Best Fantasy World Cup Sites Review

The FIFA World Cup is undeniably one of the biggest sporting events on earth, followed - no, celebrated - by hundreds of millions across the globe, thus attracting fans of its fantasy games as well. Fantasy football (or soccer) is best said to be fans’ avenue to draw up their best XI, and effectively manage their teams. It is tricky to figure out the best fantasy provider (besides football giant FIFA themselves) that has the most offerings, so here is a look at some fantasy football games you may want to try:

1.       FanXT Fantasy World Cup & Prediction Game

FanXT.com, although relatively new in the fantasy games arena, has got a lot to offer. Their game Fantasy World Cup (http://fantasyworldcup.fanxt.com) welcomes World Cup fans with a Rio-inspired interface. A fantasy manager chooses 15 players (11 starters, 4 substitutes) to fill out the roster for each game round and they all accumulate points based on players’ statistics, with help from injury report, weekly graph analysis, performance table and upcoming matches. There doesn't seem to be any prizes offered for now (although rumours say they are revealing soon), but, for those who love the game, this fantasy football World Cup 2014 game is certainly a solid choice with virtual medals and manager badges. Available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Indonesian and Chinese languages, the game also supports captaincy, substitutes, formation options, dream team, transfers history; as well as ease of use like instant team creation, team auto-completion, player search and sorting undo changes, in addition to live scores, fixtures, and standings.


For users always on the go or who loves to be on Facebook, this game is also available on iPhone: (http://goo.gl/SilDSO), Android (http://goo.gl/mYzDbp) and Facebook (http://goo.gl/aduJVC)
The game has thorough social media integration, enabling users to login, like, invite friends via Facebook (allowing users to earn extra budget) and share team performance; as well as Twitter and Google+ share options. A World Cup Prediction game (http://goo.gl/hzS9qW) is included in-site, which challenges users to predict the outcome (including the score) of all 64 matches.


As for users who want to compete among friends, family or co-workers, FanXT offers a mini-league option, which includes easy invitation processes, either via a URL (without code) or Facebook. A delightful addition is the ability to have friendly banter via Facebook comments in each mini league, as well as comparing performance via mini league ranking. Users also have the option of having their mini league to be public or private.


FanXT doesn't simply stop with that. They've also got a Daily Fantasy Football for World Cup (http://ultimatefantasy.fanxt.com) option that allows users to join free and paid daily or weekly fantasy contests – enabling users to have a completely new fantasy World Cup team each day or week. This is most welcome, as footy fans are given the chance to participate in weekly fantasy games like American Football fans.

2.       The Sun: Road To Rio

The Sun is one of the leading tabloids in UK and Ireland with a great football section and had its hand in fantasy games – so it is not surprising that they have a fantasy game for World Cup as well; Road to Rio. Although the game only offers player statistics and upcoming matches, users are recommended to stay up to date with the latest news from The Sun for injury reports and weekly performance before finalizing their team.

Available in English, Road to Rio allows player search and sorting, as well as management functions of substitution, formation change, dream team, viewing transfer history and fantasy rankings. Road to Rio also has a mini-league with pin-code required invites, mini league ranking and option to make the league private or public, although there is no Facebook integration for communication within the mini-league.
As overall view, Road to Rio would fall under the usual fantasy game, but it is certainly fun to play, as users get the latest and informative facts from the close proximity of The Sun Sports itself.

3.       Fantastar

Claiming to be “a comprehensive fantasy sports platform packed with features and supported by excellent customer service” as stated from its site, Fantastar’s world cup offering includes the basic features of fixtures and standings. Offered only in Spanish, the features to draft the team include captaincy, substitution, formation, team of the week, transfer history and fantasy team rankings, as well as the ability to search players and sort them by categories.

Their mini league offering requires a pin code for invites, but also uses Facebook for invites and comments. Although there is no choice to make the mini league private or public, they still have ranking; which really is the priority for mini league competitiveness.

4.       ESPN Word Cup Predictor

The sports giant has a prediction game which would have fans on their edge to see if they had correctly predicted the outcome of World Cup matches, thus includes livescore, fixtures and standings to keep its users updated. Users can also monitor upcoming matches, an important feature for match prediction.
Although there is a possibility of many games popping up much nearer to the World Cup kick off, the fact that these games are already up and running show the integrity of the fantasy providers, as well as their concern for fans to be able to get a headstart with their World Cup Fantasy teams.

About The Author

Rachel Lee is an independent digital media specialist. She loves sports especially football and motor racing, street foods, and hanging out at social gatherings. If you have any enquiries, do not hesitate to contact her at rachel88lee@gmail.com












Wednesday, 21 May 2014

FanXT Launches Multi-platform, Multi-language Fantasy World Cup 2014 & Predictor Game

After the success of its Fantasy Pre-World Cup game, FanXT has launched its Fantasy World Cup (http://fantasyworldcup.fanxt.com) game to offer World Cup fans a once-in-4-years chance to build a virtual World Cup team based on real-life World Cup players such as Lionel Messi (Argentina), Neymar (Brazil), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) and Wayne Rooney (England). These fantasy football managers earn points based on the performances of these players that play in FIFA World Cup 2014 matches.

As the world would watch in awe the action and drama behind the FIFA World Cup, football fans could take on the challenge to earn the coveted title of Legendary Fantasy World Cup Manager, something many failed to do in the previous Fantasy World Cup 2010.


The game offers 12 statistics for users to score fantasy points such as Goals, Shots On Goals, Assists to score valuable points, ability to assign a captain, analyse players’ performance based on detailed graph analysis, choose their team formation (4-3-3, 4-4-2 or 5-3-2) as well as create private or mini leagues for users to compete among their friends. The socially savvy can also invite friends to join via Facebook and earn extra $0.5 million virtual budget for each friend who joined. Fantasy managers start with the rank of Rookie Manager but as they advance in the game, they could eventually earn the Legendary Manager title, something many failed to do in the previous Fantasy World Cup 2010. A WorldCup Predictor game is included in the website, which challenges users to predict the outcome (including the score) of all 64 matches and predict who will lift the World Cup trophy this year.

For those early bird users that joined the pre-World Cup fantasy soccer game prior to this one, each of the fantasy manager shall have their fantasy points earned to be converted to extra virtual budget in this final World Cup game. It pays to be early.

Fantasy sports are enjoyed by over 83 million people globally and according to Alexa statistics, fantasysites are 3 times more engaging than popular sites like Yahoo, CNN, ESPN and even the official FIFA World Cup site itself. This highly engaging fantasy football game for World Cup is available in Spanish (http://fantasyworldcup.fanxt.com/es), Chinese (http://fantasyworldcup.fanxt.com/cn), Indonesian (http://fantasyworldcup.fanxt.com/id) and Portuguese (http://fantasyworldcup.fanxt.com/pt) languages and playable on these platforms below.



  
About FanXT [www.fanxt.com] [483, Green Lanes, London, N13 4BS UNITED KINGDOM]
FanXT aims to be fantasy sport and digital media provider for sport leagues across the world, by managing the internet and mobile rights of the leagues via the provisioning of official websites, fantasy sport game, mobile apps, Facebook apps and even Smart TV apps. We are supported by the U.S State Department via the GIST Initiative programme. We are the Official Fantasy Football Provider for Finland’s Veikkausliiga, Hong Kong First Division Football League, India’s I-League, Philippines’ United Football League, and Singapore S.League

For any information and enquiries, please e-mail us at info@fanxt.com or visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FanXT

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

FPLH's Performance and Review 2013/2014

FPLH Blog Team's Overall Rank:

34,913th out of 3,218,891 (Top 1.08% of FPL Gamers)
Last year I was ranked in the Top 0.2% of FPL Gamers

Green Arrows:

20

Domestic Standings:

FPLH League: 84th
Last year I finished 12th.

FPLH Cup: 110th
Last year I finished 42nd

Team’s value after GW 38:

£107.3M
Last year the team value after GW 38 was £106.8M

Average GW score over 38 weeks:

61.74 from 2346 points (PERSONAL BEST)
Last year it was 59.08

Season's GW Points Tally (excl. transfer costs):

0-10 points: 0
11-20 points: 0
21-30 points: 0
31-40 points:1
41-50 points: 7
51-60 points: 8
61-70 points:12
71-80 points: 8
81 points +: 2

FPLH's Highest score, excl. transfer costs:

173  in DGW31 (PERSONAL BEST)
Last year it was 112 in GW23

FPLH's lowest score, excl. transfer costs:

37 (GW 4)
Last year it was 30 in GW32

Transfers made:

53
Last year it was 48

Lost points through extra transfers:

72 points
Last year it was 52

HIGHS:

Name in lights - "Best FPL Blog" Finalist.
Double Gameweek 31 - 173 points
Finishing 5th in the competitive Pundits League.
Winning the @FPLDugout Champions League.

Football Blogging Awards (Nov 2013) - Good times!

LOWS:

Only scoring 80+ during 2 DGWs.
#MNF Captain fails via Ramsey & Ozil.
Injury-hit/No-show Double Gameweek 37.
Finishing outside the top 1%... by 0.1%!

ODD FACTS:

I never bought a Southampton defender.
I never bought an Arsenal forward.
I never bought a Chelsea forward.
I never bought a Stoke player.

Picks' Performance:


Click to view in full.
Main Pundits Performance

Me - Champions League winner and 5th in the Pundits League.
Matej - Pundits Shield (for topping the Pundits Cup pre-play offs) and 4th in the Pundits League.
Walt - Pundits Cup finalist and 9th in the Pundits League.
Fly - Pundits League winner.

Technically we did the "Treble" if we include the Shield, but in an undisputed sense we did the "Double" courtesy of the Pundits League and Champions League successes.


Comeback of the Season

Walt's sensational comeback: 1 millionth to 75k in the space of 23 Gameweeks is no easy feat. You are fighting ghost ships, quasi-nihilist thoughts and friendly jibes for one thing.  But he got back off the canvass, gritted his teeth and shot up the rankings like there was no tomorrow! He even managed to make the Pundits Cup Final.  For that dedication, focus and success... we salute you Walt!
Quotes of the season:

"Oh, does anybody really give a rat's patootey about the bottom 8 at this stage of the game?"
- Walt on his last #JITB of the season.

"So I'm cured then! No longer prejudiced against any particular player or club (except West Brom!)"
-Fly on one of his many musings (Glad he finally bought Y. Toure!)

"The guys explain to me that it is illegal for 3 pm games to be televized in the UK. Say what? A joke? Apparently not".
-Matej, as the mirage of English football falls flat to the ground!

"Full-backs are the new centre-backs - watch them score more goals this season!"
-Dolphin and his out-of-the-box thinking.

"Take a look at that bantasy points tally and you'll need to take a cold shower and conjure a mental image of Susan Boyle in a two-piece before you can leave the house without walking like a pterodactyl to cover your shame".
-Bantasy Jake and his active imagination.

"It's not a bloody convention!"
-Fantasy Yirma on my insistence that the DGW31 meetup was in fact a convention (it was!).

"COME ONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!" (Jumps from chair with fist aloft).
-Me: DGW31 as Suarez knocks in his hat-trick in the presence of fellow FPL chums.

Pundits League 


Click to view in full
4 of the Top 10 are FPLH Pundits!


FPLH League (Top 10)

Click to view in full
Won by last year's Overall FPL Champion!


FPLH 2014 Battle Royal "Rumble Champion": Back2Basic5

Click to view in full

(Special thanks to FPL Daily for automating the stats on his website)

Summary

I may have scored my highest GW score (173) and attained my highest ever FPL points score (2346), but I feel that I didn't fulfill my potential.  I only scored 80+ on two occasions and my inability to do so during any non-DGW contributed to my eventual rank.  Three things were problematic for me this season - not captaining the eventual highest points scorer in my team (semi-frequently), switching captains at the last minute (a handful of times) and making a few rash late panic transfers.  I was targeting a Top 10k finish and got awfully close to it up to GW35... but bottled it with incorrect captaincy picks, failed transfers and injures as a I plunged down 20,000 places in the space of the last 4 weeks.

Even before the season began I made few panic changes by selling Nolan, O'Brien and Southampton defensive coverage which lost me a few early points.  I shudder when I recall that I had Downing, J. Morrison and Snodgrass in my squad... who were total fails.  I started the season in medicore fashion and only moved from 227k to 117k in the first half of the season.  Having said that, I was fortunate in buying Suarez, Ramsey, Y. Toure and Ozil relatively quickly, before they became bandwagon players but was reluctant to captain them early on which didn't help me.  Also, I sold Toure as I thought his fine form couldn't continue! But I did re-buy him again.  As the new year chimed and the ghost ship FPL accounts sailed away, my team gradually rose up the table.

I took an eye-watering 72 points worth of hits. (the highest ever for my Blog Team)  Sometimes they paid off, sometimes they didn't.  Interestingly I only took one -4 hit between GWs 25-35.  During this period I had risen up the rankings from 76k to 15k.  Food for thought perhaps?  My GW teams were atypical of past seasons' teams, 3-4-3/3-5-2 (cheap goalies and defenders) with robust midfielders and solid strikers.  Having said that, I could have done with the likes of Skrtel and Baines in my team but they were over-priced (and will be more so next season).  In terms of my wildcards, I didn't panic and I believe that I used them at the right time.  The time of their usage kept me in good stead and if anything were damage limitation for me.  Had I panicked and used my all-season wild card early, I wouldn't have score 173pts in DGW31.

As the season progressed, I shifted my Arsenal core team (Gibbs/Koscielny-Rambo-Ozil) as their wheels fell off and emphasised on Liverpool ("SAS" combo).  I joined the Gerrard-bandwagon late on, but still managed to reap some rewards from it.  This was complemented with my City core of Zabaleta-Silva-Toure (later becoming Zabaleta-Toure-Aguero).  I shouldn't have been so patient with Lukaku and to my dismay Barkley seemed to fail when I had him and did well when I sold him/didn't have him!

Despite having a sub-par season, I sensationally won the much coveted @FPLDugout Champions League.  I got lucky along the way as I won some H2H ties by a few points and my opponents sometimes benched the "wrong" players.  Winning it means a lot to me, as you get some great banter with the participants and I won their regular league to boot back in 2012. To date, I am the only person that has won those two prestigious @FPLDugout accolades and I did so in the space of three seasons. 

I would like to finish off by thanking all of my writers (and pick makers) that contributed so fantastically over the last 38 Gameweeks.  They are a great bunch of lads who took time out of their lives to make your lives that bit easier.  Just think about that for a moment.  Also a special thanks to all of our partners and their superb support.

And finally...

As you all know by now, I will be taking a backseat from punditry as of the 2014/2015 season.  There will be no more weekly hints from me.  I will only be offering a skeleton service - perhaps posting up my private team every week or two.  Fear not, I should have writers at hand to provide their own hints which will hopefully meet your fantasy needs.  I am semi-retiring as a pundit knowing that my Blog Team never finished a season outside the Top 1.1% for 3 years in a row.  Considering that I am only an amateur that means a lot.  With my "one foot in, one foot out" status, I leave you with this confusing song:


Monday, 12 May 2014

FPLH's Team of the Season 2013-14

Our team of the season is based on a unique algorithm created by FPLH.  It isn't simply based on the PL's actual ranking.  Rather it considers an array of subjective and objective things, i.e. did a team punch above its weight?  Did a team under-perform?  How did a team actually do? 


To be precise, the FPLH algorithm factors the following things:

  • FPLH's pre-season league table projection. (Subjective)
  • 4 layered ranking ratio based on pre-season projection. (Objective)
  • Goals Scored in PL during the 13-14 season. (Objective)
  • Clean Sheets in PL during the 13-14 season. (Objective)
  • "Impress Factor" based on actual performance. (Subjective)

With the above in mind, our calculations produced the following results:

Position Teams Total
1 Liverpool 1,132,200
2 Man City 1,038,400
3 Arsenal 867,000
4 Everton 729,600
5 Chelsea 623,000
6 Stoke 604,800
7 Southampton 524,400
8 Crystal Palace 472,500
9 Sunderland 371,800
10 Hull 369,600
11 Newcastle 333,900
12 Man Utd 300,300
13 Tottenham 291,525
14 Swansea 241,800
15 West Ham 194,400
16 Aston Villa 168,000
17 West Brom 125,000
18 Cardiff 117,975
19 Norwich 80,000
20 Fulham 72,000

Congratulations to LIVERPOOL FOOTBALL CLUB .  

You are FPLH's Team of the Season 2013/2014.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Chief's FPL Team - Gameweek 38

Disclaimer: *FPLH reserves the right to change this team at any time. Any changes will most likely be confirmed on FPLH's Twitter account. 
 
  2 FREE TRANSFERS WERE AVAILABLE FOR GW38.

TRANSFERS (WITH A -4 HIT):

ROONEY & KI OUT
SUAREZ & STERLING IN
I tumbled from 18k to 31k in the penultimate GW of the season. I can sulk OR feel like this:

Nostalgia & apt as it's also a World Cup year!
(Note - Fast forward the first 30 seconds).

The GW 38 Temptations:

ROMELU LUKAKU
Everton technically have nothing to play for. But Hull may be fielding a B-team in their final PL fixture of the season with the FA Cup Final in mind. It's Lukaku's last match for Everton and didn't he score a hat-trick at the stage last season?

STEVEN GERRARD
He sort of made up for that "slip" against Chelsea by nicking in with some assists in DGW37. Liverpool will be looking to romp home with a big win v NUFC and will be hoping that City get hammered by West Ham.

EMMANUEL ADEBAYOR
Sherwood brought him in from the cold and helped him rediscover his scoring boots. Adebayor will be looking to sign off in style and help Spurs seal the remaining Europa League spot by scoring a goal or two.

The GW 38 Transfers:

3 of the 4 players I sold on the eve of DGW37 did well and scored good points! That, along with a -12 hit (I bought Vidic at the last minute), proved to be costly for my team. To top it all off my team was hit by injuries/rotations (Rambo, Rooney & Azpi were no shows), oh and yes I captained Mata, when I should have given the armband to Y. Toure.  Enough of those knockdowns and let's look at GW38... It's usually notorious for big players being rested and random players being given game time. With this in mind, I decided to only buy players who still had something to play for and were playing at home against questionable opposition. I decided to re-buy Suarez (I shouldn't have sold him last week) as LFC are still mathematically still in the title race and he will be looking to break the PL scoring record.  My second transfer was for his teammate - Sterling. Liverpool will be looking to win with by a cricket score for their fans and he will be integral to their brand of free-flowing football on Sunday.

The Captain:

If Aguero wasn't blighted by hamstring injuries, I may have opted for him.  After all he scored that famous Championship winning injury time winner v QPR in 2012. I have retained him, but instead have given the armband to Suarez.  He will be looking to end Liverpool's PL campaign on a high and if anyone will score a hat-trick on Sunday it will be the Uruguayan.  

The Personal Competitive Context:

Despite having a horrific DGW37, I actually took a +7 lead in leg 1 of my Champions League final! While I had a rocky DGW37, The Fly took a huge lead in the Pundits League and is on course for an outright win!  Sadly, Matej lost his Pundits Cup match and Walt got Rumbled out of the FPLH Battle Royal 2014.  However, Walt got through to the Pundits Cup final! While we can't do the collective Quadruple, we are still on course for the Manchester United-esque League, Cup and Champions League Treble!


#TEAMFPLH


And finally...

As some of you may have heard via Twitter, I am due to semi-retire as a "Pundit" from August onwards.  The blog will carry on and I may still post my team from time-to-time, but you will get less hints from me - it will be a re-jigged format.  I will have a think as to what service we will provide after the World Cup.  

Special thanks to this season's regular FPLH writers, as follows:

Matej - The Cool One.

Walt - The Zany One.

Fly - The Cheeky One.

Dolphin - The Statto One.

Bantasy - The Comic One.

(Also thanks to our #SpacePick & #DiamondGeezer contributors!) 

PS - I am due to post my usual all-season summary & stats after GW38 (but before the World Cup).  Stay tuned for them!