#FPL OCD – Gameweek 31 Review:
“the game in which no points total is satisfying”
One of the oddities of FPL is the difficulty, at times, to quantify quite how well a gameweek is going. A score that can one week be dreadful could, the next, result in a green arrow; the pendulum swings through the weekend, as your score increases so does the average. My score from this week would, in any normal week, have propelled me through the rankings at breakneck speed, it would have caused a remarkable GW rank and cemented me in the top 10k. As it was, 85 points was good, possibly very good in fact, but it was not as season-defining as I had hoped. Let’s be honest: when you have 4 players on a Sunday, your defender keeps a clean sheet, a midfielder banks an assist and clean sheet point, and your captain romps home with 32 points, you expect that day to provide significantly more than a 2k jump.
I will try to give you a brief insight into my mind (and believe me, you will not want to stay in there for longer than absolutely necessary). On Sunday, the wonderful FantasyYIRMA site-runner*, the always brilliant Ryan (let’s hope that that spares me from any sarcastic editorials for a while), sent me a message regarding his gameweek. He mentioned that he had changed his captaincy from Kane to Wijnaldum, a costly move, but said “I’m on for a good score so can’t complain”. I replied: “you can always complain, believe me”. This was, of course, a reference to my penchant in these articles to focus on the negatives, to always look at what could have been, to somehow make an above average score sound like an impending apocalypse. Yes, this is often for entertainment purposes, and my reply to Ryan was obviously slightly tongue in cheek, but…it is there. I can’t help it, it is always there, that niggling “what if…?”
*Ed: Left out Billionaire, Philanthropist, Playboy… but that’s ok.
I ended this week with a GW rank of 166k, meaning that the last 2 weeks have been my 2nd and 3rd best of the season respectively. I have moved from 41k to 14k in 3 weeks; if you’d offered me that jump 3 weeks ago, I’d have bitten your hand off. Yet here I sit, playing out an alternate universe in my mind. Let’s just go with the past 4 weeks.
GW28: I bought Charlie Daniels and benched him. Minor hiccup, 5 points lost. GW29: I don’t want to relive the details again, revisit the review if you missed it – 20 points lost through sales and benchings. GW30: switched the armband from Kane to Aguero on the Friday, costing me 11 points. This week: my first thought, start of the week, was bench Ozil, play Wijnaldum, and keep Vardy. This changed numerous times through the week, and I ended up benching Wijnaldum and doing Vardy to Lukaku. Loss on those 50/50 calls – 8 points. I know that expecting a mistake free run is unrealistic, but these aren’t far-fetched decisions, these were all very close calls. In this alternate universe, I have gained 44 points in the last 4 weeks, leaving me on 1,821 points, and an overall rank of around 2,500. Yes, I know, I know, this is focusing only on the negatives in a spell of real positives. What if you had done, say, Kompany to Dawson instead of Kompany to Williams this week? What if you had bought Silva instead of Sigurdsson a few weeks ago? I know, I know, but I can’t help it. I could be top of the world, and I would be disappointed that the gap to 2nd wasn’t larger. I am flying, and all I can do is complain that I am not going quickly enough.
This is the problem that I encounter as my rank improves. My goals shift, and what seemed fantastic before suddenly seems like it could be better. It is frustrating to feel like this but, as with last week, I must look at the positives. Once again, I have managed a good score, a green arrow and, ahead of the DGWs, WC and chips, I am in an excellent position to now hit the top 5k, and possibly higher. I do not wish to sound like a lottery winner who complains that the jackpot is only a few million, and I am extremely happy with my recent form. After months of floating in limbo, I have firmly smashed through the glass ceiling with 5 green arrows in 6 GWs. The prime weeks are still ahead, the ones in which the difference will truly be made – this is just the appetiser. The wonderful, yet maddeningly frustrating, appetiser. Ahh FPL, the game in which no points total is satisfying: would we have it any other way?
The double gameweeks have been announced in the past week, and I have all of the requisite weapons still unused in my arsenal. Wildcard, bench boost and triple captain: I have to deploy them perfectly. This is an opportunity never before seen in the game, an extraordinary chance to make up ground to an extent that has previously been impossible. I am apprehensive about this week: the fixtures do not look great for my side, and I am determined to not lose ground before the DGWs. If I can at least maintain my position, I then have the opportunity, while I may not choose to take it, to bring in 15 DGW players if I wish (there is a way to do this, navigate the blanks in GW35, and get 11 DGWers out for GW37). I may well keep Mahrez and/or Kane, but anyway, I am getting ahead of myself. I have all of the tools necessary to blitz the final furlong of the season; the question now is whether I can use them effectively.
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.