Feeling Fuzzy: Gameweek 20 Review
“Clearly, Less is More”
Written by @FuzzyWarbles (That’s important)
Happy New Year to my fellow fantasy football fanatics!
During the festive period, scheduling was too hectic to put out a gameweek review after every round and I last checked in with you after Week 17. Since then, we have had three rounds between Boxing Day and New Year’s, a stretch where we had a least one match every day for all but one of ten straight days. It is almost too much to keep up with. And you know what? I think I like it better that way.
After suffering through week after week of painful returns for much of October and November, things began to turn around for your ol’ pal Fuzzy, and the past three gameweeks have been especially gratifying. In total, five straight green arrows that has seen 200k shaved off of my rank and I currently sit at a position I can feel comfortable with: 38k. What has been my secret?
Stop watching football.
The holiday season had made it difficult to watch as many matches as I normally would and the quickly-passing rounds had left me little time to mull over the many choices I could make with my FPL squad. This has worked to my advantage….extremely. I live in a corner of the world where night games in the UK are on at about 3-5am locally, so I rarely even watch them. For the past two Wednesday nights, I have slept through my club’s games. All I missed were two Tottenham wins, including one over red-hot Chelsea and six total goals scored to just one conceded. If I can sleep my way to a title for Spurs, so be it. Coincidence that Spurs have won five straight matches while my FPL team has earned five straight green arrows? I think not.
But, it is not just reality that has been improved with sleep, it is fantasy as well. The Friday night match between Hull and Everton last week? Slept through that too, only to wake up and see my cheapest starting attacking player, Robert Snodgrass, had come away with a goal and the maximum bonus points.
The only problem with this recent surge of success is that it does not lend itself much to humour. Your problem, not mine.
So, what has been the secret to this turnaround? I alluded to it in my last review column: no longer looking at Sergio Aguero as an essential player to own. In past seasons, I would have concocted an elaborate plan to get Aguero back into my side the week he was due back from his four-match suspension. Having seen how this season has been playing out though, I decided to ignore the return of Aguero.
Aguero is like that Christmas present you were hoping to get, because you knew every kid who got one would be the envy of his/her peers, lifting you up the social rankings, but the toy turned out to be a piece of junk. Basically, Aguero is the Nintendo Power Glove.
I remember how badly I wanted one of those silly Power Gloves back during Christmas of 1989 or 1990, whenever it was, and being so distraught when, after every box had been opened, realizing that I was not one of the lucky few to receive the almighty glove. My best friend Michael, who lived a few doors down, got one that Christmas morning, and it didn’t take long for him to call me up on the phone to gloat about it. Later that Christmas day, I headed over to his house, hoping for a demonstration and, if I were so lucky, a chance to operate the glove myself.
Well, as history would go on to show, the Power Glove was a monumental failure. I was kicking Michael’s butt with every 2-player game he owned, methodically beating him with a conventional controller while I watched his ever-growing frustration over trying to operate this useless apparatus. Before the day was through, he was begging me to use the damn thing so he could go back having fun, playing video games like he had enjoyed every day before.
Look it, the analogy here isn’t perfect. I am not saying Aguero is nothing more than plastic junk. He’s a class striker and has been the king of FPL for several seasons running. He will score plenty of goals and he still makes for a smart armband option most weeks if you own him. I am just not sure that his price tag is matching his value. If this were last year, that would be no problem. We all had money to burn because of essential players like Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy and Dele Alli. If Aguero went through a rough patch, no big deal. We all owned him anyway.
It doesn’t feel that way now. There is a case to be had for owning Diego Costa, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Harry Kane. It would be near impossible to afford those three and still have a good FPL squad. That still leaves Aguero without a home. Realistically, you can only afford two of these premium strikers. At this stage, I feel Costa is a must own for the season. So, that leaves space for one premium striker. Perhaps it will belong to Aguero somewhere down the road, but, with the season half-over now, it is fair to compare his stats to others. Now, having missed many games through suspension, one cannot directly compare statistic totals. But, you can look at the simplest of stats – points per games played. And, even taking the time Aguero missed into consideration, you can see that, based on his price, he has not been as essential as he has been in past seasons.
Costa and Ibrahimovic are tied at the top of the position, averaging 6.5 points per game. The next best forward averages 5.9 points per game. Aguero is that man, but so is Kane. And Kane costs almost 2m less. Here is the where the difference really comes into play for me though: my 3rd striker is Jermain Defoe. He is averaging 5.7 points per game. 2/10ths of a point behind Aguero and he costs over 5m less. 2/10ths, meaning every five weeks, Aguero outscores Defoe by one point on average. We have played twenty weeks. That means Aguero outscores Defoe by 4 points so far this season. What would you rather have with half a season to go – four extra points or 5 millions extra pounds to spend?
You think about that, I gotta get back to being productive and take a nap.