“Somebody messes with me, I’m gonna mess with him”
– Al Capone
This week, The Don is on the warpath.
Who dared to mess with me, you ask? The crew known as the FPL Lemmings, that’s who.
And it’s time they were sleeping with the fishes.
Why am I putting out a hit on this bunch of jokers? Well, they screwed up my WC team last week. And their time has been coming for a while.
Also coming up, the Assists Curse and the question of whether the price system in standard FPL is broken…
I had it all set up so nicely.
A monstrous attack of Kane, Morata and Firmino.
A powerful midfield featuring Eriksen, Salah and the red-hot Paul Pogba.
Then, disaster struck.
On the evening of Tuesday 12th September, Pogba got injured in the first half of a Champions’ League game against Basel and because of all the Lemmings running off the cliff over the weekend and driving Mkhitaryan’s price up by 0.1 already, it meant I couldn’t get him in as the obvious replacement for his teammate.
My only consolation was that some of the Lemmings would have bought Pogba themselves (or Tom Heaton, another popular choice who also got injured that week) and then had to take a hit to get him out again.
But it was scant consolation for the wreckage of my carefully-laid wildcard plans.
My only decent alternative in the £6.9m-£8m range was Cesc Fabregas, who has forgotten The Art Of How To Assist so far this season (none) when he is usually a total through-ball machine.
I did own Cesc in week one and that went well, as you may remember he promptly proceeded to get a stupid red card and suspended for three matches, kindly making the decision on who I should transfer out first for me.
I also apparently cursed KDB in the first three gameweeks and caused him to lose his assisting mojo too; his owners can thank me for binning him for Eriksen just before he exploded with 2 assists vs Liverpool and then another one last week in the 6-0 demolition of Watford.
Fabregas does, however, have one goal to his name and with decent fixtures (Stoke, Palace, Watford, Bournemouth all in the next 5) I am backing him to come back into some semblance of the ‘Assistregas’ we used to know and love.
In regards to Pogba’s injury, reports have been conflicting so far with some saying he’ll only be out around a month and others speculating his absence could be as much as 12 weeks. His price will drop and I’m banking on Fabregas improving slightly as he hits form, enabling me to get the Pog Man back because with Matic in the side and his buddy Lukaku up front he will be in the points all season and is excellent value at around £8m.
Now, let’s take a brief dive into the mentality of the FPL Lemmings. Look at this classic example from last weekend.
Thousands of managers making transfers on a Sunday, I just don’t get it.
Even back when I would have been considered a ‘casual’ a few years ago (oh for those days when I blissfully ignored price rises and didn’t check FF Fix every night) I still never would have made any transfers before mid-week at least.
Why run the risk of a player, whether he’s one you own or one you are thinking of buying, getting injured either in training or more bafflingly when they have cup or European games?
A few weeks ago after his third blank in a row against Burnley, Harry Kane was getting dumped shortly after the game on the Sunday. In fact, I’m pretty sure I saw a tweet that a few hundred binned him just after the final whistle.
Are these grown adults, or the type of petulant kids who start scoring own goals when they are losing on FIFA or have a tantrum, smash their controllers and switch their PlayStations off?!
I did have to laugh though when Kane plundered a 13-point haul against Everton the week after 🙂 (sorry for bringing that up again @fpldraftboss)
Ignoring price rises, which I will get to in a minute, it makes absolutely zero sense making a move really until a Friday when you know firstly, who is fit, and secondly, have a better sense of who might start or be rested following the managerial press conferences.
Then I took a step back and remembered my blissful ignorance of price rises from years past. What is the point of the whole price rise system anyway?
To me, it creates an unnecessary distraction and adds nothing to the core of the game which is about winning your mini-league or achieving a good OR.
You buy players because they’ll get you more points than the rest that week – and for the next few – not as ‘an investment’. I’ve never seen anyone saying ‘buy this guy, he won’t get you a ton of points but over the season he’ll probably go up 0.6m’.
It’s even more of a fallacy because – injury excepted – you will never own a top player all season for them to accrue ‘value’ which you will only see if you sell them right at the end of the season, will you?
Points are worth more than a few quid of value, particularly at the business end of the season and those vital few weeks when any DGW’s usually happen.
I’ve heard of some managers playing a ‘value’ game where they ignore points completely and just try to build the highest value squad they can. Well, if that’s you, whoop-de-doo enjoy finishing the season low down all your mini leagues and with a squad ‘worth’ £115m, it will go nicely alongside your stamp collection I’m sure.
In reality, I’d be amazed if anyone playing the game properly has ever built and actually used more than about £2m of value over a season, especially as you only get half of every price rise anyway.
What makes it even more redundant is that all the good players will increase in value over a season. So while you congratulate yourself on ‘making’ £0.2m on someone (i.e they’ve risen £0.4m)…anyone you might be considering swapping them for has risen £0.1m or £0.2m in the meantime anyway, effectively negating your ‘investment’!
The more I think about it, the more pointless the whole price rise system in standard FPL seems.
Now, I’m already a draft football fan, as you might have guessed and as you probably are too from visiting this site. However, the Lemmings and the unnecessary hassle and hysteria of the price system are driving me towards draft footy, full stop.
The great thing about draft footy is, first and foremost, the draft itself – assuming you aren’t playing the very basic and buggy official FPL version. The preparation you (should) be putting in, the thrill of your first pick, the agony of someone else taking your guy just before you, the investment you have in every player you choose and much more.
Players aren’t just disposable assets either that everyone else owns and there’s no contrived price rise and fall system either, you focus on getting the most out of YOUR guys for the season and working the waiver wire to replace any under-performers.
And one of my favourite things? Not one Lemming in sight.
So consider this a warning, if I catch any Lemmings making stupid, knee-jerk transfers on a Saturday evening (or afternoon), or even a Sunday, don’t be surprised if there’s a horse’s head appearing on your pillow the next day.
Or if I hear you banging on about ‘building team value’ over points.
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