Reflecting on 2016/17 & looking ahead to 2017/18
After the highs of the previous two seasons (two top 400 finishes), the 2016/17 campaign brought me back down to earth. I was confident of another top 10k finish at least but things didn’t go as planned. The element of luck that is required in FPL deserted me this season and a couple of 50/50 decisions killed my rank. Diego Costa was constant thorn in my side. I won’t go into too much detail about my season but I wanted to analyse it to some extent to gauge how I will approach certain aspects of the game next season.
Total Transfers & Hits
In 2015/16 I made 39 transfers. I don’t have the figures for the 2014/15 season but I’m sure I made roughly 40 transfers as well. In my two seasons in the top 400, I was very much against hits and rarely incurred them unless necessary. This season, I have become much more open to the idea of taking hits, taking a more long-term view rather than just one GW. I made 54 transfers this season and sacrificed 76 points in hits. It would be easy for me to say now that next season I’m going to go back to the strategy that brought me success which was taking very few hits but I’m now of the mindset that calculated hits can pay off. I do plan to be more patient with underperforming players next season especially with the big hitters, which should bring my total transfers back to below 50 but I will continue to take hits if I feel they are worth it.
Diego Costa & Harry Kane
One of the big turning points in my season was in GW’s 16 & 17 when I captained Harry Kane for his plum home ties against Hull and Burnley only for him to blank in both games. I rage transferred him out after those two blanks and he then scored 6 goals in his next 4 matches racking up 39 points in the process. Kane’s two successive blanks as my captain saw my rank drop from 22k to 93k in just two GW’s. I never really recovered from that and hovered around 100k from then on until I played my wildcard and bench boost in GW’s 35/37.
For anyone who followed my FPL journey on Twitter this season, you will know how much pain Diego Costa caused me and how much I despise the guy. I was one of the many managers who refused to bring him in early in the season when he was in form due to his imminent ban for a 5th yellow card which took months rather than weeks to arrive. I owned Costa in 6 GW’s this season and somehow managed to miss every one of his 20 goals. I’m praying that he moves to China this summer and never returns.
I got burned by 50/50 transfer decisions on a few occasions this season most notably, opting for Leighton Baines over Seamus Coleman in GW23 and bringing in my nemesis Diego Costa instead of Jamie Vardy in GW29. From GW23 – GW29 (Coleman’s last appearance before his leg break) he outscored Baines by 41 – 23.
Choosing Diego Costa over Jamie Vardy in GW29 was another damaging 50/50 call that went against me. It was also the wrong move. I was ranked at 72k at the time and should have opted for the player with low ownership in Vardy rather than the highly owned Costa. I guess the pain he had caused me earlier in the season was a factor in me bringing him in.
If I had went for Vardy and Coleman over Costa and Baines, my end of season rank would be 21k rather than 41k. Fine margins.
One of my biggest regrets this season was selling Ben Davies for PVA in GW34. Davies went on to score 36 points in his final 6 fixtures. Painful.
I’ve never been a fan of the chips in FPL. I triple captained Sergio Aguero for Manchester City’s double in GW27 against Sunderland and Stoke. He only delivered 27 points as TC but I have no regrets about playing it when I did given the potential of the player against those opponents. I’ll always play the TC chip in a DGW.
I played my bench boost in DGW37 having wildcarded in GW35. My initial plan was to WC in GW36 but when I looked at the fixtures for GW36 I felt there were gains to be made by playing it a week earlier. The likes of Caballero, Blind, Coutinho, Benteke & Gabbiadini all had nice fixtures in GW36 but didn’t deliver and I ended up with a red arrow. In the long run though, my wildcard/bench boost was a success as I battled back from 114k in GW35 to finish the season at 41k (my 4th consecutive top 1% finish). I hit 177 points in DGW37. Despite this high score, the BB wasn’t really that effective as Gabbiadini got zero points and Holgate one. Next season I’ll consider using the BB in a single gameweek. Gabbidaini was another disaster. 6 points in his last 8 games.
BB - DGW37 – 177 points.
All Out Attack
I played this chip early in the season when I didn’t need to. There were many occasions late in the season when I wished I still had it. I’ll be keeping it for the latter stages next season unless I encounter a defensive crisis before then.
I’ve always been an advocate of the 3-4-3 formation in FPL. This season however, the lack of mid-priced strikers coupled with the vast array of performing midfielders, the 3-5-2 formation was popular. As you see from my tweet below, I planned to change to a 3-5-2 formation in January but I ran into injury problems during the transition and never got around to completing it. Junior Stanislas was going to be my 5th midfielder in my planned 3-5-2 only for him to be inexplicably dropped from the Bournemouth team. Next season we should see more mid-priced striking options and I’ll start the season with a 3-4-3 formation and take it from there.
I’ve really enjoyed my first season as part of the #FPLCommunity on Twitter. I hope you have enjoyed my account and I look forward to interacting with you all again next season. For now though, my brain needs a break. I’m logging off Twitter on Wednesday 31st May and won’t return until mid-July at the earliest. I need to recharge my batteries after a very tiring season. See you all in a couple of weeks. Enjoy the break.