fantasy premier league – interview with regular contributor Alex Ball

Here’s an interview with regular contributor and fantasy premier league commenter on the site Alex Ball.  Alex has an excellent FPL history with finishes of 28k,  3k,  54k and 14k in the last 4 years and is always well worth listening to.

fantasy premier league – interview with regular contributor Alex Ball

Hi Alex. Firstly how’s your team doing? Do you have an overall goal?

In a word; terribly! I was down to about 430K. I’m creeping back up now but its been a painful processes. I’ve found this season particularly difficult, lots of choice and my usual strategies don’t seem to be working. Bad decisions haven’t helped; selling Sanchez a few weeks before West Ham and selling Kane for a hit the week before Watford. I have to say I’ve had my fair share of bad luck as well for example, two penalty misses in a single game week and this has happened twice now!

As for a goal, this is my 10th season playing and I’m quite proud of the fact I’ve never finished outside 61k so my goal is to make sure I’m within that.

Here’s his team at the moment.  He’s currently 258k after a gameweek score of 57.  Team Value £104.7

What do you think is different about this season compared to previous seasons?

The pace of price changes has affected the way we all play the game. You and I play in a similar way; measured decisions and waiting for as long as possible to make transfers. If we want to gain team value , we have to move early this season. I’m finding that hard to adapt too. Early moves have undoubtedly cost me this year.

The sheer amount of information and making the game more mainstream, thus increasing the number of players is also meaning we are finding it harder to maintain ranks we have done in the past. I guess like all things; we have to adapt as it progresses forward or get left behind.

When are you planning on using the chips and wildcard?

I still have all my chips and wildcard available, the plan at present is to wait and use them around the double game weeks. the ‘all out attack’ chip i’ll use if and when its required.

Are you planning on bringing back Aguero?

He’s already back! I’m not sure if its a good move but with a poor rank I’m happy to have Kun in as a differential.

Are form, fixtures, underlying stats or their full season history your principle guide when making transfers in?




A combination of the first three. I also use the ‘eye test’, if I like the look of a player, i’ll follow my gut. Whilst I certainly look at previous history it doesn’t worry me to much as players form can change so much.

Pick one from each team:

Sterling, De Bruyne or Silva

Sterling if he can keep his starting birth.

Lallana, Firmino, Coutinho or Mane

Lallana now, Coutinho when he’s back and starting.

Hazard, Pedro or Costa

Costa, Hazard, Costa, Hazard. Ok Costa. Just.

Sanchez, Ozil or Walcott

Easy, Sanchez.

Eriksen, Alli or Kane

Trickier, its a little like the Liverpool midfield, they seem to be sharing the points. I’ll say Alli as he is cheapest.

What would your team be if you wildcarded tomorrow?

By the way this team is not overlayed on Alex’s team.  This was just to make it easily viewable

Quite a risky WC. I’m aiming for the big 3 up top. This might be very similar to my team in a few weeks.

How do you find watching games and catching up on news in NZ?

I tend to record the games and watch them early the following morning. Later kick offs I watch live. My wife is not happy with the amount of games I watch!

Thanks as ever for the time you put into the site, I really enjoy reading the articles. All the best for the rest of the season.

thanks very much for your thoughts Alex and good luck for GW21

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Comments

17 comments
  • Stephen T

    Thanks Alex. Interesting use of the WC if you were to use it now, especially packing in large chuck of your budget up top. Although it seems to go against the trend of adding “in form” players through the WC and there is no Spurs coverage in the midfield. That said, it’s a bit of a risky WC, but I like the options you have for its use.

    I do agree about the change in prices, they seem to fluctuate wildly. As you said, do you sit and wait for weekly news before the transfer or look to bump your budget and grab an early transfer? Either way it has bitten a few times this year, waiting to buying early. Luck always plays a part. Good luck, thanks for the interview!

    • Alex

      Morning and thanks Stephen,

      I agree with you on Spurs. I’m certainly looking at them hard this week. Plan at present is to roll transfer and then assess after FA Cup and GW21. Sounds a good plan to me but I will have lost team value in that time, I believe Alli has already gone up 0.2. Its part of the game this season. It will be interesting to see whether pricing is asjusted for next year.

      I’m still tempted by the big 3 but we will see.

      All the best for the rest of the season.

      • Dave

        As the price changes rolled in before this weekend, couldn’t help myself screaming “It’s a Cup weekend, FFS!!” at the screen! But if there’s someone you really want, you have to go with it and pray for injury-free games.

        • Alex

          I hear you Dave. I’m holding and trying to avoid looking at price changes! Ake is an interesting issue now….

  • Kiwivillan

    No Spurs attack? I dumped Hazard>Alli this week and now have all 3

    • Alex

      Hi villan,

      Are you based in NZ (judging by your name). I think Spurs will be coming but got to work out how. Very difficult to balance the team this season. An ever changing field of good players to choose from. Good luck.

  • James R

    Geek and Alex,
    Great post, very interesting reading especially regarding how your wc team could look. I’m also considering the holy trinity up front but am struggling to afford it by keeping Sanchez and Alli in my team. What do you think about dropping Ibra for Crouch which frees up big money to improve the mf? I have a feeling Aguero will fire city up the league now and he’s a great player to have for captaincy as my league mates don’t own him.
    Good luck for the season Alex.

    • Alex

      Thanks James, glad you enjoyed. I won’t be dropping Ibra anytime soon. I have Kun so will be giving him a few weeks to see what happens but losing pens could be costly. Who is your other forward? I think Alli/Eric, Sanchez, Ibra are important now. Good luck to you also.

      • James R

        My other forward is Costa. Unfortunately my third is Anichebe! If I don’t get Kun in and keep Ibra/Costa I can wc and get in giroud or Defoe. I’m eager to double up on spurs/Arsenal due to form and fixtures. Toughest season ever to predict!

  • Simon

    I wildcarded last week, to get Aguero in, before his price starts going up. Current value £104.8, squad is –
    Foster, Jakupovic
    Jones, Klavan, Pieters, Mee, Friend
    Sanchez, Alli, Lallana, Phillips, DeRoon
    Aguero, Zlatan, Costa

    Defence not ideal, but very happy with midfield and forward line.

    • James r

      Good team Simon.one thing that would worry me is there are more clean sheets in the league now things have settled down. I’m thinking of Kun and Costa and ditching Ibra to free up funds for Alonso, Jones, Baines, Yoshida and Lloris. Risky?

      • Simon

        Tough call, but on Zlatans form atm, id back him to score, more than any defence keeping a clean sheet. WBA, Burnley, Boro and Stoke all usually strong defensive teams (especially at home), so I’m happy to swap and change them as needed, and go all out for goals and assists.

    • Alex

      Good team Simon, I like a lot. Keep an eye on Ake, he could be a very cheap way into the Chelsea defence.

      • Simon

        I’ve actually taken him out this week, for Pieters. Yes he’s a cheap Chelsea defender, I just don’t see him starting anytime soon. With game time only likely from the bench, his value likely to drop, so cashed in at what I hope will be his maximum value.

        • Alex

          I can understand your thinking. I just think that Conte will have a plan if he’s brought him back. It could just be as cover but why would he? Leave him to develop at Bournemouth. I think he’s seen something in him and he wants it in his first team. One to monitor for sure.

          • Simon

            Tricky situation, that’s for sure. With Terry (possibly) suspended, and Ivanovic possibly on his way out (if rumours are to be believed), I think he’s just back as cover. From what I’ve read, was a clause in the loan agreement stating a January recall was possible, maybe wouldn’t be possible after January? Conte covering all bases maybe.

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