One of the reasons why FantasyYIRMA.com is going into its 6th season is the community of people I’ve met and befriended along the way. I’ve quite literally met 1000’s of people across the world via the ridiculous world of Fantasy Football.
@FPLHints is someone I stumbled across back in the very beginning and it’s been a pleasure to converse with him on a daily basis for half a decade. I’ve lost track of the amount of times he’s contemplated “retirement” so who better to give us an overview of how to avoid FPL burnout!!
If you are interested in featuring here on FantasyYIRMA.com drop me an email at Ryan@FantasyYIRMA.com
Burnout isn’t something you usually associate with a game of fantasy. If anything, the former and the latter are a contradiction of terms. But even in the world of fantasy football you can burnout for numerous reasons and even quit forever.
In my experience you are more prone to burnout if you are addicted to something or if you no longer find it fun. I should know as I have suffered from it at times to the point where I have said that I would ‘semi-retire’ from FPL (whatever the heck that means) or thought of packing it in altogether. Of course, one day I will quit FPL but I would want to do so on a high or at the end of an organic journey, not because I was fed up or hated the game.
I have been playing FPL since 2007 and have been a fully fledged FPL addict since 2010. By addict I mean taking the game more seriously than I should and shedding my status as a casual manager. You would naturally think I would get better and better with this approach, right? Wrong. Until May of this year, my end-of-season overall rank got progressively worse since my best ever finish in 2012:
Naturally there is a correlation between a decline in my fortunes, being unlucky and not enjoying the game as much as I used to. I certainly don’t find FPL as fun as I used to. For instance Giroud’s red card, when I happened to captain him on Boxing Day 2014, was a watershed moment from which I have found it slow and hard to recover. It was the point from which I stopped playing FPL with a risk-inclined mindset to adopting a heavily risk-averse approach. (ED. Funny as **** from a neutral, non-Giroud owning perspective though)
Aside from my own experiences, there are plenty of FPL accounts and websites that used to be popular which no longer exist, no doubt in small part due to burnout.
However, with everything in life, we need context. Less than 3 million managers played FPL when I finished 110th in the world, yet since then millions more play the game. Probability would dictate that my overall rank will go down due to this. I think it’s a bonus in itself if my overall rank improves substantially from the previous season in which less managers played the game. I’m not ashamed to say that overall rank matters a lot to me when I play the game. That said, there’s no way I’m going to finish 110th ever again in FPL.
That’s enough of me banging on about my team. I wanted to share my experiences as I do at times suffer from ‘FPL burnout’. With this in mind, here are my 7 tips to allay burnout in the weird and unpredictable world of FPL:
1. Set realistic goals
You’re not going to hit every one of your FPL goals for a given season. You need to be practical in what you’re looking to achieve. This is all the more true if you regard yourself as a non-casual FPL manager. None of us are experts in the true sense of the word and we’re all prone to suffering from a below par season or bad run of form here and there. An achievable aim could be winning a small mini-league or aiming to finish in the top 1% of the overall rankings. I’m glad I have been able to achieve the latter in 5 out of the last 7 seasons as an addict and this is one of my motivations
2. Try other fantasy football games
I have had the good fortune of playing multiple fantasy football games on the side when also playing FPL, without overloading myself. Those games tend to be smaller and different to FPL. I have found them to be a good alternative. There have been weeks in which I haven’t done well in FPL, but done well in them. They serve their duty as a good release from the intensity of FPL
3. Take a sabbatical
If you’re really fed up of FPL and are only playing it as your online and offline mates are playing it, STOP. There’s no harm in saying no. I took a sabbatical for two seasons (albeit to dedicate more time to other pursuits) and would gladly take another sabbatical. If you can’t recharge your FPL batteries during the off-season take more time out.
Keep. It. Simple. Stupid. You may be prone to burnout if you plan heavily in advance but then fail to achieve your goals with the desired amount of fantasy points or overall rank. Have a strategy but be prepared for unexpected events in FPL. Plan within reason, with margin of error and always up to a foreseeable point.
5. Have fun
I became addicted to FPL as I found it fun. It should be a window into the world of fantasy, away from the hustle and bustle of every day life. If you’re not finding it fun take a break. A good way to have a bit of fun is by selecting Christmas Island as your FPL nation!
6. The community
To a significant extent, had it not been for the FPL community (primarily on Twitter), I would have packed it all in along time ago. They act as a sounding board for my ideas and very public FPL journey. I also feel happy to provide hints and insights to them. If you aren’t acquainted with them, what are you waiting for?
7. There’s more to life than FPL
This should have been my first point, but I have made it my last. FPL isn’t the be all or end all. For every bad Gameweek there’s a good Gameweek. For every Giroud red card, there’s Aguero scoring 5 goals. Dealing with reality should trump fantasy, always. You catch my drift? Of course, you do. Now go on, and make the world a better place!
Beaten & bedraggled fantasy football manager | Former Top 100 ranking | Lapsed NUFC fan| x5 Top 1% finishes | HoF: 91% |
#FPL | been known to enjoy a Virgin Cuba Libre on mad nights out.
Follow @FPLhints on twitter and visit his site fplhints.blogspot.ie