Tuesday, 30 May 2017

FPL General's Season Review (2016/2017)

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.
50/50 Decisions
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.
Triple Captain
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.
Wildcard/Bench Boost
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.

FPL General

Monday, 29 May 2017

Chief's Alternative World Cup

So what's this all about?

FPL lets you pick any country/territory when you register your team every season.  The flag and name of the said country/territory appears under your public profile.

I thought to myself that I have a better chance of winning the country league of a random country/territory than choosing England. In fact, I did so with Northern Mariana Islands a few years ago. I then thought why not reach out to my fellow fantasy football addicts on social media and ask them to also follow suit?  We all live in a globalised world, so why not adopt the same place? And how do you say we decide on the country/territory? Here's where the fun comes in...

Over the next 7 days, I'm going to hold a 'World Cup' to decide the winning entry. 16 will be whittled to 4, then to 2 and then to 1.  I have chosen 16 random territories based on the following criteria:

  • They appear high alphabetically on the FPL country list
  • They appear low alphabetically on the FPL country list
  • They have a small or negligible population
  • Their name just sounds cool

Despite the competition name, it's not something that you can enter yourself, but you can certainly take part! Each stage of the competition (groups, semis and final) will be decided by a Twitter poll on my timeline, between 29th May and 4th June.

The 16 countries/territories (with their respective populations) are as as follows:

Aland Islands - 29,000
Anguilla - 15,000
Antartica - 5,000
Aruba - 103,000
Bouvet Island - 0
Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba - 21,000
Christmas Island - 2,000
Cocos Islands - 600
Gibraltar - 32,000
Heard and McDonald Islands - 0
Northern Mariana Islands - 53,000
Pitcairn Island - 60
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - 30
Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands - 2,700
United States Minor Outlying Islands - 300
Wallis and Fatuna Islands - 15,500

I intended to do seeds based on population size, but I thought that would be taking it too far (if this 'competition' in itself wasn't outlandish enough). Also, the random draw generator that I used couldn't factor in seedings.  The randomly generated groups are as follows:



100% decided by Twitter polls on my timeline

Group 1 - 29th May (1 progresses)
Group 2 - 30th May (1 progresses)
Group 3 - 31st May (1 progesses)
Group 4 - 1st June (1 progesses)
Semi 1 - 2nd June
Semi 2 - 3rd June
Final - 4th June (1 winner)

Be sure to vote!  If you don't get a chance to or are unable to, please join my campaign and adopt the winning territory/country once the FPL game restarts in July!  You'll probably have a better chance of winning its country league than your actual one. Also, you'll know who all the citizens are!

I will adopt the winning country/terrtiory as my own in FPL and will encourage everyone else in the FPL Twittersphere and blogsophere to do the same.

It's all a bit of fun. But let's take it seriously and put the winning country/territory on the FPL map!

Saturday, 27 May 2017

FPLH's Performance and Review 2016/2017

FPLH Blog Team's Overall Rank:

43,184th out of 4,503,345 (Top 0.96% of FPL managers)
+6% OR improvement
Last year I was ranked in the Top 7% of FPL managers

Green Arrows:


(*6 green arrows in the last 8 Gameweeks)

Domestic Standings:

FPLH League:593rd
Last year I finished 1,545th.

Team’s value after GW 38:

Last year the team value after GW 38 was £104.4M

Average GW score over 38 weeks:

58.66 from 2229 points
Last year it was 54.95

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

21-30 points: 1
31-40 points: 5
41-50 points:7
51-60 points:8
61-70 points:9
71-80 points: 2
81 points +: 6

FPLH's Highest score, excl. transfer costs:

168  in DGW37
Last year it was 136 in DGW34

FPLH's lowest score, excl. transfer costs:

29 (GW23)
Last year it was 25 in GW 1.

Transfers made:

Last year it was 51

Lost points through extra transfers:

92 points
Last year it was 64


351pts in the last 3 Gameweeks (117 average) - 16% of overall points
Finishing back in the top 1%
Best OR since 2015
Highest points finish since 2013
Best season-season OR improvement since 2011


Not maximising chips (TC: +9pts, BB: +11pts, AoA: 4/8 blanking attackers)
Having a top 1% OR only twice in 2017/2018 (GW1 & GW38)
5 consectuve red arrows in the middle of the season (GWs 22-26)
Benching 28 points in GW35 which probably cost me 10-20,000 OR places


If 15/16 was my FPL equivalent of an annus horribilis (261k) then 16/17 had to be the season in which I immediately bounced back.  Despite starting the season with a bang (21k) it was almost an equally frustrating season as 15/16.  In some ways, similar patterns emerged in the first half of the season.  Green arrows seemed to be light shades, where as those pesky red arrows were extremely dark shades.  Scoring 71+ a paltry three times between August and December was indicative of the malaise. I had to change tact.

January didn't bring around an immediate turnaround in fortunes. It was quite the opposite in fact.  My OR (overall rank) nose dived further from 191k to 370k.  It was at this point that I decided to cut loose and embrace hits. I decided that I had to triple capatain Aguero in DGW27 with his generous fixtures and take a second -8 of the season (x 5 in total, which was unprecedented).  It paid off. A gross score of 101 lifted my morale in DGW27, as well as my rank, up to 198k.  This was improved further with the truncated GW28 as I pushed to 124k.

You would naturally think that I would kick on after rapidly improving my OR.  Frustratingly this wasn't the case as my OR hardly moved in the preceding gameweeks and only improved 15k between GW28-GW34.  It was as if people had settled for template team selections, including me (fearful of crazy differentials) which led to the stagnation of OR. Captain fails (and lots of them) didn't help during this period and through out the season for that matter.

DGW34 was incredibly frustrating.  Negredo's 8pts as a captain punished my team and had it not been de Gea's herculean 17pts my OR would have collapsed.  But GW35 was to change all of that, in which I benched Negredo as he somehow scored 11pts v Man City. I also benched Jakupovic as he racked up 14pts unexpectedly at St Mary's.  All that was left was for my MNF captain fail, Coutinho (2), as he hobbled off injured. I dropped to 147k and a top 1% finish seemed all but over. 43pts benched in DGW34 and GW35 was simply disastrous.

I needed three green arrows to end the season. I needed three big scores.  I needed some luck. DGW36 with Sanchez's 28pts as captain kicked things off marvellously and led to a 70k rise. The wildcard had made an instant impact.  This was just the tonic my team needed. DGW37 built on that with a monster 168pts.  Again, I captain Sanchez.  Had I captained Kane I would have got a few more points but the fact was that I halved my rank again, up to 46k and the door of the top 1% with one gameweek left.

I had to captain Sanchez yet again for the final Gameweek of the season as Arsenal had to score big with his rampant form and their need to finish 4th. Luckily for me, my front 6 delivered big returns and my -4 of purchasing Coutinho also seemed to pay off. 91pts surely meant that I would increase my OR massively? Wrong. Only a 3k rise, but it was just enough to finish back in the top 1%.  The minimum aim had been achieved.  I was back.

I make no excuses for that fact that I play FPL for OR.  It's all about finishing in the top 1%.  Last year knocked me back.  It was strange to think that I achieved my goal and yet I only appeared in the top 1% in GW1 and GW38.  To put that into context.  I have only had a top 1% OR in 2 of the last 76 Gameweeks.  Something that used to be so standard for me has become such a huge challenge.  With millions more 'managers' playing FPL, it's not going to get any easier.  This is compounded by the fact I no longer find FPL fun (not since 26.12.14 - Giroud, et al), but I still find FPL addictive.

I would also like to take this opportunity to say sorry for not blogging as regularly as I used to.  I simply don't have the time. At one point, it was a case of either quitting FPL cold turkey or carrying on but giving up the blogging side (I effectively did the latter). I even thought of taking a sabbatical from FPL for the 17/18 season but I won't now.  Unlikely as it seems impossible, I still think I can win this blasted game, or at the very least beat my all-time highest OR of 110th.

Looking ahead to the summer and 17/18 I need to try and switch off from FPL in order to recharge my FPL batteries.  I'll probably do so around mid-June. I hope you all achieved your FPL objectives for 16/17 and if not, I hope that it doesn't bog you down.  There's more to life than FPL.  This was exemplified by FPL Fly and how he dealt remarkably well with his very own battles in the face of adversity. On that note, I hope you all take it easy and have a footall-free summer.


FPL Statistico Anewpla Analysis:

Actual Points Total Points for the above Gameweeks : 2229 Total Benched Points for the above Gameweeks : 246 Total Weekly Points Averaged Over All Gameweeks : 58.7 Total Base Points for the above Gameweeks (no captain doubling/trebling) : 1962 Average Base Points for the above Gameweeks (no captain doubling/trebling) : 51.6 More OptionsCanvasJS.com Captaincy Total Captain Points : 525 Total Captain Points as % of Overall Score : 23.55% Total Vice-Captain Points : 292 Possible Captain Points if you Always used your Vice-Captain instead : 584 Possible Captain Points if you Always Captained Highest Gameweek Scorer : 1056 Total Actual Captain Points as % of Highest Possible Captain Points : 49.72% Difference Between your Captain Points and Highest Possible : -531 Possible Total Points if you Always Captained Highest Scorer out of (C) and (VC) : 2334 Difference Between your Total Points and the Above Number : -105 Possible Total Points if you Always Captained Highest Scorer : 2490 Transfers Total Transfers : 58 Total Points Hits : 92 Total Auto Subs : 13 Total Auto Subs Points : 24 Total Immediate Points Gained from Transfers : 353 Goal Keepers Total Played Keeper Points : 166 Total Benched Keeper Points : 79 Times Played 'Wrong'(fewer points) Keeper : 7 More OptionsCanvasJS.com Ranking Averages Highest Gameweek Score : 168 Lowest Gameweek Score : 29 Median Gameweek Score : 57 Current Rank : 43184 Highest Gameweek Rank : 9,248 Lowest Gameweek Rank : 3,443,341 Average Gameweek Rank : 1,282,850 Median Gameweek Rank : 1,070,946 Total FPL Users : 4503345 In Top x% of All Users : 0.96% All Players Total Of All Users Average Gameweek Points Averaged Over All Gameweeks : 47.6 All Users Gameweek Average Points Total : 1807 Points Differerence from Total Average : 422 All Highest Points Total : 4823 Points Differerence from Total Highest : -2594 Formations 3-4-3 (22 times - average 55.5 points) 3-5-2 (7 times - average 54.7 points) 4-3-3 (4 times - average 65.5 points) 4-4-2 (2 times - average 81 points) 5-5-3 (1 times - average 168 points) 2-5-3 (1 times - average 64 points) 5-4-1 (1 times - average 62 points) Captains Used Agüero (8 times - 93 points - average 11.6 points) Sánchez (7 times - 162 points - average 23.1 points) Kane (5 times - 70 points - average 14 points) Mané (2 times - 8 points - average 4 points) Lukaku (2 times - 56 points - average 28 points) Ibrahimovic (2 times - 40 points - average 20 points) Hazard (2 times - 10 points - average 5 points) Costa (2 times - 16 points - average 8 points) Walcott (1 times - 6 points - average 6 points) Vardy (1 times - 18 points - average 18 points) Sigurdsson (1 times - 6 points - average 6 points) Negredo (1 times - 8 points - average 8 points) Giroud (1 times - 10 points - average 10 points) Coutinho (1 times - 2 points - average 2 points) Christian Benteke (1 times - 4 points - average 4 points) Alli (1 times - 16 points - average 16 points) Point Difference To Rank 1 : -335 Rank 101 : -225 Rank 501 : -185 Rank 1001 : -165 Rank 5001 : -107 Rank 10001 : -77 Rank 25001 : -31 Rank 50001 : 9 Rank 100001 : 57 Rank 250001 : 133 Rank 500001 : 206 Total Squad Stats Played Goals - 132 Assists - 68 Clean Sheets - 54 Own Goals - 2 Red Cards - 1 Yellow Cards - 61 Benched Goals - 5 Assists - 2 Clean Sheets - 12 Own Goals - 0 Red Cards - 0 Yellow Cards - 13 Clean sheets are for defensive players only, 3 players from the same team would equal 3 cleansheets. Times Active Players Achieved Double Points in a Gameweek : 69 Times Benched Players Achieved Double Points in a Gameweek : 3 Total Goalkeeper Points : 171 Goalkeeper PPG : 4.5 (from 38 goalkeepers used) Total Defender Points : 423 Defender PPG : 3.44 (from 123 defenders used) Total Midfield Points : 853 Midfield PPG : 5.43 (from 157 midfielders used) Total Forward Points : 607 Forward PPG : 5.89 (from 103 forwards used)

GW Played
GW Benched
Avg Points
Avg Points
Avg Points
Clean Sheets
Bonus Points
de Gea20201000201001002003
De Bruyne10101000101000020002
Christian Benteke1044002210000000

Individual Players UsedTotal Appearances In SquadGKDefMidForwPointsPoints Per Appearance
West Ham3223924.2
Crystal Palace32121432
West Brom54632942
Man Utd5391221914.9
Man City72711322278.4