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Here, Burning Questions co-host Sonaldo (aka Andy) delivers his final thoughts on the season.
In this final article of 2022/23, I want to touch on what I think might be a largely overlooked aspect in assessing your FPL season.
LOOKING BEYOND THE RANK
A majority of our time as super-engaged FPL managers is spent behind the scenes, in the days leading up to a Gameweek deadline. Yet, our Gameweeks and overall season are defined by the number shown in the rank.
Like in any sport or competition in life, an objective rank is still a very important marker because we as FPL managers inherently love the competition and want to beat everyone around us. If that drive and competition didn’t exist, we wouldn’t be so obsessed over those tiny jerseys shown on our phones. After all, my main objective is to get the highest rank possible and win all my mini-leagues.
However, I believe pulling back the curtain and shedding some light on the process is also important. Simply looking at our ranks and giving a judgment on whether we did good or bad doesn’t tell the full story. Every competition and game has its own set of challenges, and FPL is no different. While football itself is a game played against a single opponent, FPL is unique in two ways; first, there is no correlation between how hard you try and how well you do, and second, you’re essentially playing a game against millions of opponents.
Thus, managing expectations is something I especially learned this season. As I gain more experience playing this game, I keep getting reminded that most decisions don’t pan out the way you expect them to. On top of this, you naturally will miss out on other points and players as well. You can’t have them all.
For example, my season was damaged greatly by not owning Ollie Watkins (£7.3m) during his super-hot streak. While it was a brutal swing indeed (I opted for Kai Havertz (£7.4m)), looking back I realized that my inherent decision-making process for picking Havertz over Watkins was flawed. I didn’t necessarily believe in the player (Havertz) but wanted to pick him just because I felt I needed an edge on my Wildcard and thought this was a gamble worth taking. In essence, the pick was largely based on the idea of being a little bit ‘different’ from the template Wildcard team. Lesson learned: pick players you think will score the most points!
Managing expectations comes with having flexible goals throughout the season as well. We obsess so much about a top 10k rank but what do you do if you have five straight red arrows? Or if you begin the season 40 points behind the pack? These things are bound to happen (maybe not as drastically) so it’s important to set new goals throughout the campaign. This can be a rank-focused goal but it should come with realistic targets and letting the opportunities come to you. There is a fine line between forcing decisions and making smart calculated risks when the opportunities present themselves.
THE THRILL OF THE CHASE
There is also the idea of learning to enjoy the process (or the chase). If you’re taking the time to read this article, that probably means you’re like me – an FPL manager that enjoys consuming content. Yes, that one casual player might spend less than 20 minutes a week on his FPL team and might have a better rank (hopefully not), but that shouldn’t take away from our enjoyment of prepping days in advance for a decision we make close to the deadline. Even if a last-minute move is made, the process, as in, the process of watching games and players, consuming content and formulating our decisions is something we enjoy as well.
FEAR OF MISSING OUT (FOMO)
Finally, I really hope to eliminate ‘FOMO’ from my decisions next season. While there is a difference between a defensive transfer and a FOMO transfer, some of my moves this season were dictated by the fear of missing out. I bring this back to the point that most decisions should be made on who you want based on the idea that you believe that play will return the most amount of points. This FOMO decision-making process really takes out the joy of FPL as well.
With that being said, it has been a fun season for me still. I’m looking forward to the final Gameweek and currently sit at 29k in the world. As much as I would like to finish strongly, I’ve reminded myself that this final Gameweek will be absolute carnage. Good luck to us all!
A final thank you to everyone at Fantasy Football Scout for their support this year and especially Neale for all of his help. Thank you to Pras for another great season of Burning Questions podcasting as well. Also, thank you to all in the Fantasy Football Scout community for their continued support. It means the world! Have a great final Gameweek and catch you next season!