#FPL OCD – Gameweek 15 Review: Je peux avoir une petite dépendance à la fantasy football
Give John a follow on twitter at @JohnOC1991
It is always a strange time for an FPL manager when they spend a weekend detached from the football, away from the comforts of the screen, inhibited by a refusal to pay a £1.99 data roaming cost – that can get you a bottle of wine abroad, provided quality is not a concern. Paris was the backdrop for my gameweek 15, and as I quaffed Vin Choud, lingered around Boulangeries, and bought a frankly preposterous slab of Comté, FPL was forced to take a backseat.
Ed: Comté is a French cheese made from unpasteurized cow’s milk in the Franche-Comté region of eastern France…now you know!
Sure, I tried to subtly veer my fiancée into the Montmartre cafés with Wi-Fi signs outside, and attempted to sneak a look at any televisions visible in the bars of Saint-Germain, but for the most part, I was cut off from the hustle and bustle of the Premier League, reduced to checking the results at night when in the haven of the Wi-Fi filled apartment. It is an odd sensation for us obsessives; we are so accustomed to the real-time ups and downs that the weekends bring – refreshing Twitter, watching Sky, having the immediate reaction to an incident, and suddenly we have all of the information delivered to us in one late night burst. It is an experience that I had after Aguero destroyed Newcastle, and it was repeated on 3 occasions this week, as we did not arrive back in London until 21:40 on Monday night.
The thrill of the FPL weekend? Mahrez’s 21 point haul is an obvious contender but, just like Kane’s last minute strike a few weeks ago, there is no better FPL feeling than a late captaincy goal on a Monday night. Romelu Lukaku, for the 2nd consecutive week, was entrusted with my armband, and he delivered once more. 6 goals in 5, 11 for the season – the Belgian may be hoping that Jamie Vardy’s PL record is extremely brief. He has stepped up from being an FPL “troll” to showing an almost unmatched consistency, and with Sanchez and Aguero unable to maintain fitness, he may now be considered the default captaincy option.
After a disappointing week, I am back on track. I know that, realistically, I have gained absolutely nothing from my wildcard. The two key moves – ditching De Bruyne and buying Aguero – have been an unqualified disaster. After Coutinho was ruled out, I swallowed my pride and rebought De Bruyne. Aguero failed to recover from his injury, but all was not lost as Nyom came off my bench, giving me 3 defensive returns this week (De Gea, Nyom and Alderweireld). I discovered this morning that it could have been much more.
You may recall that, sat in my team, is one Alberto Moreno. My Paris trip saved me, for had I been in London watching the Liverpool game at the weekend, I may have exploded. You can accept some bad luck in FPL, but this morning I watched Moreno’s disallowed goal. Lampard vs Germany? Mendes vs Man Utd? Screw those, they didn’t cost me valuable points. Moreno was so, so clearly onside, and goal-scoring defenders tend to take maximum bonus. It could have been 11 points, instead it is 1. Added to Gareth Barry’s controversial assist taking Lukaku’s additional bonus point, I could have had an extra 12 points.
However, 70 points is a good week, and begins to repair the pain of the wildcard. I have climbed back into the top 15k, and if Aguero can regain his fitness, I believe I can save my transfer this week – always a huge bonus in the Christmas period. If I could give you one piece of advice now, it would be to only use transfers when necessary – 2 FTs is a wonderful luxury as the fixtures pile up.* I have a number of captaincy options this week; Aguero and De Bruyne at home to Swansea, Ozil away to Aston Villa, Mahrez at home to an increasingly hysterical Chelsea, Mr Reliable Lukaku away to Norwich. It is a tough call, but the captaincy currently rests with Harry Kane. After a 4 week flurry of goals, he has disappointed in the last 2 weeks, and Newcastle just kept a clean sheet against Liverpool, but I refuse to believe that a Newcastle side that have been so dreadful for so long have suddenly turned it around overnight. They are a very, very poor side, and I am hoping that Kane will bounce back in a plum home fixture. It could change, but he is my main man as it stands.
The Christmas period provides us with our own hectic schedule, as selfish people disagree with the assertion that FPL should take precedence over “family”, “friends”, and all of those distractions. We must live with this, and suddenly we may miss games, even whole weekends, because of morons who think that “loved ones” are more important than a Gareth Barry assist. It provides another challenge, as FPL managers may have to make decisions based on little visual evidence – an irreplaceable tool. Stats are wonderful, but sometimes watching matches is the only way to get a clear picture. It is a difficulty to which we may have to adapt, and one that, alongside rotation, gave me big problems last year. I hope I have learned, and can continue my assault on the top 10k.
*Just as I finished this, I heard that Lanzini is out for 6 weeks. All best laid plans to save a FT come crashing down…
Written by @JohnOC1991
John went to University, finished his degree, and got a good job in the City of London. He is now in the process of throwing it all away in favour of FPL, a game with no notable rewards for success. He firmly believes this to be the correct decision.
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