Here’s FFGeek contributor Andrew Ferguson with his teams FPL season review. Andrew finished with a 715 OR last season and 16k, 15k and 10k in the previous seasons
Andrew Ferguson with his FPL season review for 2018-19
FPL 2018-2019 Review
Overall Rank: 62,099
Variance from Last Season: +61,384
Last 5 Seasons Trend: 10,171, 15,674, 16,489, 715, 62,099
Hits Taken: 9 (-36)
After some very consistent seasons and a great finish last year, this season has been unspectacular and disappointing. I feel very fortunate to have finished where I have as I don’t feel my performance, allied with the poor luck I have had, warrant such a hefty rank. I am not whinging at the rank which is still just within the top 1%, but more my play which I feel has been poor this season. My overall rank trend is below with some headlines mapped to the big jumps/falls:
GW1 Started with RAM, Mane and Salah
GW2 Capped Aguero for his hattrick
GW6 Good spread of points with a Bernardo 14 pointer
GW8 Didn’t own Hazard, Wilson or Doherty
GW16 Sold Salah for his hattrick
GW19 Didn’t have Hazard, Pogba or Digne
GW25 Capped Sane – didn’t have Laporte, Sterling or Aguero as they blanked in GW27
GW26 Didn’t have Sterling or Aguero as they blanked in GW27
GW29 No TAA, VVD or Mane as they had no double gameweek
GW30 Landed Sterling hattrick – lucky as didn’t own Aguero who I would have capped
GW32 Failed FH chip
GW34 Failed WC
GW36 Capped Salah haul and had Jota – 106
An analysis of the factors that affected my FPL season
The trend has an irregular feel to it as usually I finish the season very strongly. Decisions aside, there are several factors I feel have influenced my play and rank this year with some learnings to take into next season:
A good start (!)
I was ranked around 1500 overall by GW6 which in hindsight subconsciously put me on the defensive, making moves a week or more after every else and playing safe. One of my strengths over the years has been to sniff out bandwagons before they emerge and whilst I was tipping up Doherty, Wilson, Jiminez and the like early on, I never acted on them as they were ‘punty’ at the time and subsequently missed out on their early hauls and never got on the front foot. Tip for next year – play with my gut no matter what position I am in.
Not watching enough football.
I haven’t watched nearly as much football as usual this season, not even MOTD very often. While I watched a lot of Man City, Liverpool and Spurs games I didn’t watch much else which has meant I missed the eye-test a lot on a lot of great options. I will certainly watch more next season.
Getting more involved in the FPL and Twitter community
Whilst I have really enjoyed sharing my plans and the interaction, again I think I have subconsciously gone for the safer picks and have been second-guessing myself. I’ll be having a think over the summer of how I share my planned moves to ensure I play my own game.
Reading and listening to too much information.
I am involved in a lot of chat groups, spend a lot of time listening to podcasts and reading articles with words and phrases such as ‘essential’, ‘must-own’ and ‘imagine not owning…’ have possibly helped move me away from my strategy, usual formation and the kind of transfers I usually make. Next season I will likely streamline my information intake and the noise down to the level I think will help me.
Playing and reporting on four different fantasy football formats.
With the vastly differing rules, scoring and transfers it is very easy to get confused with the best players for the best price for that specific format at a point in time, particularly around busy periods such as Xmas and double gameweeks. Also, it is very easy to fall into having player coverage across different games, eg, ‘not owning Aguero in Sky but it’s OK because if he hauls I have capped him in FPL’. This thinking doesn’t lend itself to optimal play in any format, maybe hence why whilst I have regular decent finishes, I have never come really close to winning a specific game.
The chips, blank and double gameweeks.
Wow, I haven’t done the math, but I am pretty sure if we didn’t have chips I would be around 100-200 points better off taking into account the transfers I have made from GW26 onwards and the actual double gameweeks themselves. I have come to the conclusion they simply aren’t worth the hassle even with the potential upside. In other seasons I have had mixed benefits from them and overall they haven’t warranted the planning and effort that goes into them, nor the output. Next season I will use them sporadically when the specific week looks right and may even use bench boost in GW1 if the fixtures are right for a potential quick start.
Fear of rotation
I have been reluctant to keep Sterling and get in Alexander-Arnold for fear of rotation throughout the season which has been to my detriment, particularly the latter. TAA in particular has been sensational and has set a new precedent for attacking defenders with great crossing and set-pieces, but as Gomez was lurking after injury I convinced myself he would get a rest but it didn’t materialise. The learning here is probably just go with who I think will be the best performers; I can’t influence rotation.
Not paying enough attention to underlying stats
Particularly xA (expected assists), xG (expected goals) and xGA (expected goals against). After chatting with some great managers these are stats they use regularly so I need to pay more attention and bring them into my thinking.
So lots of learnings for next season and there will probably be more as I reflect over the summer. In summary I’m going to try and streamline the noise to benefit-only levels, watch more football outside of the top four teams, play my own game with my gut, the eye-test and taking into account underlying stats, play the chips earlier so as not to plan my whole season around them and not be scared of the rotation I cannot influence. Hopefully these will help me get back into the top 20k and even higher.
Hopefully some of these points resonate with some managers. Please feel free to comment, add more points or let me know how your season has gone @Fergi222 on Twitter.
Thanks for reading and following this season and I am already looking forward to GW1!