Thursday, 28 May 2015

How Kåre "The Conqueror" finished in the Top 10 of Fantasy Premier League (2014/2015)

I was lucky enough to finish in the Top 10 of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) and as #1 in Norway! Firstly, I would like to  mention that due to the nature of FPL I find good previews more impressive than summaries and I don't worry about who I captained in hindsight. I say this because my choices obviously paid off enough to get me this high, but I could just as easily ended around 10k, or even lower.

I know a lot of people use statistics, and I would never discourage a good use of statistics.  I have a Masters in Economics and I'm quite comfortable with numbers and I know that the 2014/2015 champion (@MarchSimon) said he favoured a more statistical approach.  I love to watch Premier League football, and I usually base my choices on what I see. I like this approach because it usually allows me to identify key players early on.  But more importantly, I can also gauge when I need to drop them. As I based my team around a lot of heavy hitters I needed to know when players like Tadic/Sigurdsson/Downing/Kane/Austin had outlived their usefulness.  This is the team that I selected for Gameweek 1:

How the journey began (Gameweek 1)

Starting from the first week, I actually did less work on my team than previous years. I usually enjoy tinkering with fun and "original" ideas, but decided that this year I would drop all differentials, and just try to keep to the biggest hitters. This tactic worked wonders, as there was such an abundance of great low priced players, exemplified by Kane and Austin in their peak periods during the 2014/2015 season.

As stated, I wanted a strategy with as few differentials as possible, and focus on having as many heavy hitters as possible. That meant I always strived to get players such as Aguero, Silva, Hazard and Sanchez into my team as soon as possible. My thinking was that I didn’t want to have a GW where I would lose massive amounts of points compared to everyone else above me, and rather hope that I will have more heavy hitters than most and that will benefit me in the long run. 

Of course I still had bad GWs.  But as per the team's URL below my “bad” weeks didn't drop me too much down in the rankings, because the average score tended to be low as well in those weeks, while my good weeks tended to be extremely good for my team. I developed a line of thinking that made my picks similar to the teams higher than mine, with choices such as Terry, Ivanovic and Diego Costa during their peak weeks.  I would have preferred having more variation but didn't want to be at a disadvantage and be cut off from the higher teams.

On a final note, the most single important decision I made this season was to use the Wildcard in Double Gameweek 34. I chose 3 Liverpool midfielders and while that was pretty bad at the time I still stand be that decision, as the wildcard as a whole gave me the tools to launch myself into the Top 10.  It made it possible for me to double up on Leicester defenders and freed up funds for Silva and Arsenal midfielders. 

As I mentioned at the start, I love to watch teams, and that also gave me the knowledge (and punt) to use the Wildcard to drop Kane and Clyne, while benching Giroud and Van Aanholt for GW37. So while the "Triple Liverpool" didn’t work originally, I got many other calls spot on. This, together with a lucky line of clean sheets from Hull and Double Leicester gave me the standing I needed for my #8 global finish in the 2014/2015 FPL season.

How the journey ended (Gameweek 38 team)

Kåre is an Arsenal fan from Norway.  

Feel free to follow him on Twitter through this handle:

Final FPL Standings (14/15)