Tag Archives: football fantasy

Fantasy Premier League 2014/15: Halftime Report

Gosh….time really flew by during the on-going BPL season that I didn’t even have time to update about my 5th year foray into the world of fantasy football management in the fantasy premier league (FPL)!

Anyway, I started off the season quite solidly, scoring 69 points and ranked 66,50 globally. In my mini league, I believe I was in second or third position after round 1, which is rather important because getting a good start is key to a good campaign ahead.

Everything fell into plan until GW3, when i irrationally sold off Costa on news of some injury. That started a horrific freefall somewhat for the next few GWs. Fortunately, many of my other friends didn’t fare too well either and I was still able to stay in the top 3 position for some time.

This year, I triggered my first Wildcard only after GW5. It wasn’t due to injuries (like last year) but more of a strategic re-formation of my team pieces. This allowed me to steadily climb up and secure solid 50+ points for the next 4 weeks without sacrificing too many weekly transfers. It has been a pretty exciting race in my mini league too. Quite a roller coaster battle at the top with two Kenny’s, especially from GW8 onwards till about GW18, where there were many lead changes. I thought I totally suffered during the year end chaotic period but I guess so did everyone else! As of GW20, I still lead the league with only about 30 points breathing space from No. 2. That was when another contender, whom I shall call Bro J emerge from nowhere and is closing in very fast (as of this blog, post-GW21, Bro J is already in the No. 2 spot!)

My highs during the first 20 GWs was in GW16 when I hit 87 points and pushed my global rank to a season high 27,723. I even managed to break into the top 10 (at no. 9) of the BFM league! Another achievement was qualifying for the Knockout Cup, which starts after GW18. Unfortunately, I hit my low a few weeks later in GW19 with a pathetic score of just 27 points. This ensured a I was bundled out quite early this year of the cup only after 2 rounds! Sigh.

As of the halfway point of GW20, I have thus far accumulated 1,079 points and currently rank at a global rank of 58,491. My team budget has increased $5.7M to stand at $105.7M. My key strategies for maintaining my lead in my mini-league?

1. Keep lead at least till after Winter Wildcard – This instant reset button will make those playing catch-up very difficult to erm, catch-up!

2. Getting the captain’s armband choice right. For example, those that took the risk and captained Sanchez in GW21 scored 38 points vs only 6 for the majority who went for Hazard. Sigh.

Fantasy Premier League: 2014 Recap

Two Words: Champion Again!

Woo Hoo! Well…in my mini league of 26 friends, at least. Heh. On a personal note, I was really pleased with this achievement of (still) defending my mini-league title four times already ( 3 times in the Citizen Sports FB League and 1 time in the FPL) since I started to mange fantasy teams! Yeah!

Of the four past seasons, the recent one is probably one of the closest I’ve ever been ran before. I t wasn’t until probably GW37 that I was quite sure none of my friends could catch me. Check out the tussle for the top in my mini-league from GW 25 onwards:

GW25 Leader: Friend P

GW 26: P

GW 27: P

GW 28: P

GW 29: Me

GW 30: Me

GW 31: P

GW 32: P

GW 33: Me

GW 34: Me

GW 35: P

GW 36: Me

GW 37: Me

GW 38: Me!

It was quite an exciting FPL mini league overall. I was consistently in the top three early on in the season. Towards the end of GW10, I briefly took the lead, only to lose it about 3-4 GWs later. My form would stumble badly in the early part of Q2 of the season, falling behind to as badly as 7th place. I then started to pick up pace again after GW20 and played catch up week in, week out, till eventually catching up with the leaders by GW 29. It was really head-to-head from this point on. Exciting stuff. After the final GW38, I finished ahead of my second placed friend by a close 14 points. Phew! Definitely a FPL season to savour. :-)

In summary I amassed a total of 2,254 points, averaging 59.3 points/GW in the process. My overall global rank is at 158,420, out of 3,218,989 total players, just making the top 5% cut. :-) Biggest disappointment was the poor investment of players, making my yield only a measely $5.7M over the entire season, making my team value at $105.7M

Key Plays Down the Stretch:

1. Consistent Scoring: From GW31 till GW38, I had managed to score 60+ points in all but one GW, averaging 70.4 points in that span.

2. Edin Dzeko: Supposedly my third striker, Dzeko was one of my more consistent performers down the stretch, where it was littered with many coaches benching players and injuries, etc.

3. Depth of Bench: With so many double and even triple GWs, coupled with the fact that towards the end many teams were not fighting for much anymore, this led to many leading players being benched. Somehow this helped me because of my bench depth comprising of regular starters too.

4. Wildcard Playing: I thought I played both my wildcards at very timely moments in the season. The first one was played early on, around GW7/8 I think, due to the numerous injuries plaguing my team. I dealt my second WC before the international break, not only to offset the second round of injuries, but also to position a team ready for the final stretch.

5. Suarez Non Performing: With Suarez not firing on all cylinders down the stretch, it was a huge relief to me, whom I didn’t have him on my squad till late on.

Can’t wait for the new FPL season to begin again! 😀

Fantasy Premier League Q3 Review

With 30 GWs completed thus far this season, I have to admit the game in fantasy realm is starting to get exciting!

GW21-30 was pretty important because I was slumping in 3rd place in my mini-league and I knew I had to play some risks and catch up somewhat or not have a chance at all.

Firstly, I was forced to use my Wildcard early on, even before the January transfer window closed. This was (again!) due to the numerous injuries that decimated my squad to a worse than skeleton crew. Simply not enough bench strength to rack up the points to chase the leaders.

Of course, as suspected, the didn’t magically transform my squad into instant champions, but what it did was to stabilise the existing squad strength and provided bench strength as a base to chase the leading pack. With no other strange anomalies like Suarez scoring 5 goals, etc., I was able to rotate sensibly and leverage on my deep bench to provide strong outputs of 73, 69, 55, and 73 points from GW22-25.

Suddenly I was within range again of my mini-league leaders! I might even have caught up sooner if that strong gust of wind didn’t blow away two matches which I had more than 3 players, both my captain and vice were playing. And to add salt to that GW, I made two transfers that week to players who were affected by the weather!! Talk about tough luck!

Fortunately, I was still able to average out about 50-60 points per GW from GW26-30. My key move happened in GW 29 when I dropped Suarez and opted for Rooney, captaining him too, which he repaid me with a goal and assist! That proved to be a crucial differential in a season where almost everyone is stacking their teams with Sturridge and Suarez. The 69 points collected in GW29 was good enough for me to overtake the summit in my mini-league…almost 20 GWs since I led at the top!

Although the current lead is a fragile less than 10 points from the chasing pack, the patient chase from GW10 and eventual topping the mini-league (to-date) is so much more exciting that the season my Man Utd is having these days. 😛 Anyway, It is these kinds of exhilaration that makes fantasy football management so much fun!

In summary, as at GW 30, I have accumulated 1,731 points, sitting me in the Global Ranking of 129,819. This is a big improvement from about 266K ranking as at GW10. If there was one area I wish I could have improved more this season, it is in investing. I have failed miserably in this area in which the total value of my team is only 104.7M. Just have a bad feeling all these early bad and bothed investments may yet come back to haunt me before the season is over.

Why? Experience tells me that usually the final stretch of the season is usually controlled or owned by seasoned heavy hitters…which I just cannot afford to buy. Sigh.

With only 8 more GWs to go, I reckon it’s gonna be a very close race in my mini league because there are still a lot of games and twists of double GWs on the horizon. Final stretch. Feeling pumped up. Hopefully Man United are pumped up in the REAL WORLD too! 😀

Fantasy Premier League Q1 Review

I have to admit. Being a Fantasy Football Manager this season hasn’t been easy at all. Apart from venturing into a whole new ball game with new sets and scoring rules in the Fantasy Premier League (FPL), the unpredictability of the player’s performance thus far certainly adds to the challenge of managing a fantasy team this season!

Like what I did for my previous seasons of fantasy management, I always like to reflect on my personal performance on a quarterly basis, thus after the completion of GW10 two weeks ago, here are my thoughts on Q1 to-date:

For me, GW1 started off with a bang – bagging 90 points and scaled the overall global ranking of 107,452…is a pretty good way to kick off the season! Key player was Benteke who performed admirably in his double GW, together with my Chelsea trio who had a double GW too. I was placed third in my very competitive friend’s league.

From GW2 to GW4, I was really struggling to adapt to the FPL system of having only 1 Free transfer each. week. In addition, the new Bonus Point System (BPS)  is giving me analyzing nightmare, lots! Surprisingly, I still managed to hang around 2nd to 3rd place in my friend’s league regularly till then. It wasn’t until the results of GW5 rolled out that really forced me to reconsider my tactics. GW5 ended with yet another ‘below average’ score coupled with a -8 hit and a team plague with serious injuries and suspensions. My global ranking had dipped to 375,596! I realised I was not able to rotate my squad as much as I would liked to because I was virtually running on a skeleton crew!

After many sleepless nights following the horrific GW5, I decided to play my WildCard…totally reshuffling my entire team, framed around a healthy rotatable team and to be able to run the next few GWs (at least) without using any FTs. I breathed a huge relief after GW6 brought me a respectable score that pushed my global rankings up to 201,822, but more importantly, pushed me to the top of my friend’s league for the first time this season! Yay me!

For the next four gameweeks, I managed to get by without having to take any hits to transfer in players. I still managed to stay in front of my friend’s league up till GW10 with a total of 630 points where my global ranking stood at an FPL career best of 49,454 (sub 50K…yay!) and a team value of 102.4M, which  is rather pathetic compared to other more savvy investors of the FPL…sigh.

But even as I write this, I know that Q2 would be a rougher ride. The signs were there already. By GW 10, I was forced to re-organise my squad with a -4 hit, unlike the previous GW6 to GW9. GW 11 will see me producing my WORST FPL score yet, resulting in me being knocked off the top of my friend’s league into 2nd spot, and I foresee a very tough Q2 battle ahead, what with many other fantasy managers in form catching up really FAST!

Of course, I believe that it is always more FUN to do the chasing than maintaining the lead in front. Heh. 😀

 

38 Tips to be a Successful Football Fantasy Manager! (Part 3 /3)

My final installment of my trilogy of 38 tips to be a successful Fantasy Football Manager….

25. Every year, your Fantasy League will try to be more innovative and introduce new parameters for scoring, eg. Shots on Target, or Bonus Saves. The tip here is to be well aware of these new parameters and choose the best players who can benefit from this.

26. In the event that you are CHASING a leader in your league, try to use DIFFERENT players from the ones your leader has. I know it sounds like a risk but if you are trailing in points, you can never catch up if the majority of players you have are the same.

27. In every season, there is bound to be a ‘template line-up’ formed after around 10-15 GWs. Template line-ups refer to the typical formation and players that have performed well to-date so much so that the majority of fantasy managers would have also picked in their team. The trick here is to quickly improve your salary cap and achieve the template line-up as soon as you can. For those still confused, try to recall last season when after GW10 or so, the popular line-up became one that was littered with players playing in the ‘hole’ like the midfield template of Cazorla, Michu, Bale, Feillani and Mata.

28. In your selections, try to pick some star players from mid level teams. In the long run, this could turn out better than the oft rotated stars of big teams. For example, many managers stayed clear of Man City’s star-studded midfield last season because Mancini tended to frequently rotate his midfield.

29. Plan for 2-3 GWs ahead, whilst keeping in sight upcoming games for the coming 5-6 weeks. If planned properly, you’d notice you’d have strong players to rotate to suit every upcoming GW. :-)

30.If you are trailing in your league, especially whilst chasing the leading pack….DON”T GIVE UP! The entire season lasts 38GWs….that is a very, very LONG time. Accurate selections of captains or a hattrick here or there could see you collect many points in a flash!

31. Always remember to MOVE your bench pieces too…they do make a difference! Although you are well aware of the automatic substitution based on player position, moving bench players to your preferred priorities would help in teh event that some of your subs are injured and you’d want your best sub to come on instead.

32. Especially in pre-season, keep an eye out for unknown (and golden) prospects! Keep abreast of other leagues and read, read, read on player bios, form, etc. to identify these gems. For example, by following the Primera Liga in the seasons leading to last year, Michu and Cazorla had already caught my eyes, so it was a no-brainer for me to snap them up the moment they crossed over to the BPL.

33. As mentioned above, it’s always good to do additional research on player bios, character, temperament (yellow card prone?), past statistics, etc. before buying a player. This is especially true at the beginning of the season when everyone wants to start off well! :-)

34. Anticipate a players game time. For example, if Man Utd has a mid-week match and Kagawa was rested in the mid-week match (eg. League Cup, Europe matches, etc.), there is a bigger possibility of Kagawa starting in the BPL match over the weekend!eg. run out in mid week game usually means starting 11 in weekend BPL

35. Always scan the upcoming GW and ROTATE your squad to face weaker teams. There is a higher risk of allowing your star-studded squad of primarily Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal players to remain as they are then the next GW fixtures sees Man Utd vs Arsenal and Chelsea vs Man City! Reduce this risk and use your other fringe players so that some of your stars are benched in exchange for example, your mid-level Kevin Nolan (WHU) playing at home against QPR…

36. No idea who else to buy or improve your squad? Don’t be shy…go ahead and pry on other teams to see who they are buying and their positioning strategies! There’s even a filter in the Stats area to show you which player in which position is the most popular purchase to date!

37. If you are playing in a league (friendly or unfriendly..:-p), it is always good to check out your competitors team and formation too. This will help you to plan your upcoming trades too. For example, if you are leading the pack, you;d want your team to have more or less the same players as yours! And if you are trailing, you’d want to know which players you need to improve your team so that you have a chance of catching up!

38. RAP. My final tip is to remember that in fantasy football manager, all you need to do is RAP. You need to start off by doing some Research – on players, teams, form, injuries, suspensions, etc…. Analyse the current scenario, upcoming fixtures…and Plan your next course of action…which players to buy…when to buy….when are DGWs coming up, etc.

But above all, HAVE FUN!

All the best in the upcoming BPL season!

38 Tips to be a Successful Football Fantasy Manager! (Part 2 /3)

Continuing my trilogy of tips to help you become a better fantasy football manager…

13. Be aware that the Africa Cup of Nations is one tournament that will totally affect your fantasy team, particularly if you have loaded it with a big African contingent. Typically taking place around early Jan till mid Feb, my advise is to slowly offload your African-based players by the end of December. Also you are encouraged to keep abreast of the news of players involved in the tournament. If you are lucky, some of your African-based players may be omitted from their national squad!

14. In the BPL, one of the more kan-cheong periods is during the Christmas-New Year madness. With all teams required to play like 5-6 matches within a 2 week stretch, it is something pretty stressful in reality football, and very much so too in fantasy football! During these periods, take note that the trading windows open and close at a very fast and furiious rate. Sometimes even as tight as 24 hours…miss these quick trades and you could easily lose pace in the fantasy league standings…

15. I would encourage you to ALWAYS make trades during every GW. There is a rare chance that your lineup is good enough for consecutive GWs. There will always exist a a chance for a trade to strengthen some position or to make a quick buck at the trades. The only exception here is when you are planning some 4-5 weeks ahead for a Double/Triple GW and you factor in additional trades you may need then… :-)

16. Don’t pack your fantasy team with too many players of the same team. Too risky, I reckon….unless it is for a double GW, of course…

17. It may be actually quite fun to have a Target dream team line-up at the start of the season and slowly work your way through the GWs to achieve it.

18. One of the more oft forgotten stat is the VAL of the player. This simple stat gives very valuable info to monitor all the players so that you’d know when the best trade can be made. for example, after a particular GW, you have no clue as to which player actually ‘performed’ well. All you need to do is just to filter the VAL list and look at which players are fast approaching the 1.0 mark. Player that have a fast rising VAL would surely increase their price too!

19. Always be on the lookout for players who are nearing an automatic suspension (accumulating 5 yellow cards). An overlook here may see you fielding a crock player in your line-up…

20. I know it may sound morbid, but try to make it a habit to check up on player injuries every other day, especially after each GW. Info like this goes a long way in determining which player to be used in the starting line-up or sold immediately!

21. There are plenty of resources out there to help you experience the complete action of fantasy football. Some of my favourite sites for Fantasy Football news and updates are Skysports and Fantasy Football Scout. My suggestion would be to follow them on Twitter to get the current updates, or to visit their website regularly…

22. All football matches are NOT played over weekends only. Be alert with those niggling mid week matches like the  Capital One Club, UCL matches, FA Cup matches, etc.

23. Be familiar with team formations. One of the ‘revolutions’ of last season was the ‘ man in the hole’ position. In other words, the position of an attacking midfielder who would play behind two strikers in a typical 4-3-1-2 formation. Last season, several ‘man-in-the hole’ players excelled to great effect, like Feillani, Kagawa, Mata and Cazorla.

24. Look out for “misplaced gems’. With so many players involved in the BPL, it is fairly common for some players to be wrongly identified in their positions. For example, some players who are naturally strikers could be seen as tagged as a mid-fielder. Buying these gems would be great because they can offer you more points at a (possibly) cheaper rate..

Stay tuned for Part 3/3 coming soon!

 

38 Tips to be a Successful Football Fantasy Manager! (Part 1/3)

 Image Credits

Before barreling straight into my blog for today, I think it would only be fair if I started off with a disclaimer that despite the catchy title of the blog, I am NOT a fantasy football expert! Honest! :-)

I started my addiction with Fantasy Football only three years ago with 100% football fanatic enthusiasm and absolutely 0% knowledge of how to play the game. Many people do say that football fantasy management is really a whole lot of luck and accurate predictions. However, over the course of three years of managing football fantasy teams, I would clearly beg to differ. Whilst luck does play a role in managing your fantasy team over the course of the entire season, the management point of the team also plays a big factor. I should know because I have never been really good at predicting matches, but yet I seem to be doing pretty OK in this fantasy football management business. Another proof is that many people that do well in these Football Fantasy games are the SAME people who would do well every other year! Thus, I don’t think it’s very likely that these same people happened to be just as lucky and good at predicting matches every other season, right? :-p

So, in three years of managing Football Fantasy teams of the BPL under the Citizen Sports Fantasy League on Facebook, I have continually and steadily improved myself from 1,764 points; global rank 1,341 (2011) to 1,773 points; global rank 789 (2012) and finally 2,329 points; global rank 218 (2013). Three years of playing this game has taught me many tips and tricks of the trade which I felt I should share with everyone leading up to the upcoming new BPL season next month!

Since  there are 38 gameweeks in every BPL season, I thought it would be best if I shared 38 tips – one for every GameWeek! – in a three part series! Have fun and enjoy!

1. There is no need for a proper formation in your Fantasy Team. For example, you could easily enlist THREE leftbacks in as your Defenders without worry that your centreback position is exposed. :-)

2. Always seek to buy players who can get you points at the Fantasy level; and not players who can perform in real life football. For example, players like Scott Parker and Dembele are excellent players with fantastic influence for their teams. Unfortunately, they offer very little in terms on points return.

3. Don’t fall into the trap of buying great players for all 15 slots of your team. Commit to a preferred formation and work around it. For example, if your preferred default is a 3-5-2, focus on strengthening your starting 11 with emphasis on your midfield.

4. The key every GameWeek (GW) is to earn points and increase budget at the same time. Thus, weekly target is to achieve at least one of these.

5. Set a personal GW target of total points to hit every week. If you are playing the FB version, the average target should be around 50 pts/week.

6. Buy low, Sell high. Very simple principal to remember but not so easy to carry out.  Always try to BUY early (ie when the trading is open) if you know the player’s value will increase. For example, if Benteke, valued at $10M scored a hattrick in GW 3, chances are high that his value may soar towards $11 way before GW4 as soon as the trading window opens. Similarly, try to SELL quickly if the player on your roster has a high chance for going down in value, ie. red-carded, long-term injury, sold off to other leagues, etc.

7. Start to love numbers and make full use of system statistics offering invaluable data on players who scores the most goals, provides most assists, etc. Familiarise yourself with sorting these data to obtain best info required on who to buy next!

8. Always have this mentality that you are creating a fantasy team for EACH GW, and NOT for the ENTIRE SEASON! Many people fall into this trap of wanting to form the best team possible for the entire season. Definitely not possible. Form a fantasy team that is flexible enough for you to customise and tweak to deliver high points for you for each GW.

9. Make sure you draft in 15 players…that can play. Many people tend to have a solid starting 11 but deadwood bench. Always fill your ENTIRE roster with players who can PLAY, preferably players who play regular first team football in real-life too!

10. I noticed that for many seasons, picking the right captain for each GW is critically the key to a successful fantasy football season. Whilst there are no secret formulas in selecting your captain, my best tip is to choose your captain based on Form>Home Ground>vs Weaker Opponent

11. Don’t be too emotional over the team you support. For example, if you support Chelsea, don’t stack your fantasy roster with Chelsea players. Similarly, if you have much hatred for Liverpool, you don’t need to line up or stack up players on your roster that would be facing Liverpool for that one GW. It’s suicide. For example, although I devotedly support Manchester United, there are quite a number of GWs that I have a roster without any Man U players!

12. Be alert and plan for double GWs. Double GWs are bonus weeks where certain teams play TWICE or sometimes even THRICE! Always plan ahead and keep these GWs on the horizon so that you can deploy as many players as you can from teams playing in these double GWs. Failure to take advantage of these GWs would result in a great big gap of points from those who played their cards right here.

 

Stay tuned for Part TWO!

 

 

Football Fantasy: Q3 Report Card

Phew. 30 gameweeks down with 8 more to go. With the Fantasy Football calendar taking a 2-week rest with international games on the horizon, it is a great time indeed to reflect on my fantasy football management achievement so far.

Since GW 21, things have been sailing pretty smoothly in the 3rd quarter of the season. From the point collection standpoint, I managed to bump it up to 1,786.5pts, averaging 66.8pts/GW in the third quarter span. Disregarding GW 24th’s pathetic 37 point collection, the key stretch for me was the torrid GW 25-28 stretch where I exponentially amassed points of 64.5, 76, 81 and finally culminating in my career-high 107 point in GW 28.

Key factors that helped me during this period was the consistent form of (shockingly) Liverpool’s dynamic duo Gerrard/Suarez coupled with lucky captaincy picks on Bale, Rooney, etc. I also successfully off-loaded RVP at the right time because he is still struggling to find his scoring touch (till now!)

In terms of money, I only managed to add another 2.2M to the kitty, making my current team value at 160.5M. In all fairness to the new system FF came up with, this is still consistent with the fact that after Q2, we can’t expect to increase our salary cap much already. :-(

All this adds up to a global rank of 101, which is quite satisfying considering I had what I thought to be two ‘below-par’ performances in GW29-30 with hauls of 43 pts and 50.5 pts respectively. Surprisingly, I observed that my global rank dipped only 6 places following those two GWs. I guess this phenomena is an indication that I would have achieved what is termed ‘template-line-up’ as with the majority of the players.

I reckon for the final quarter, I could either choose to play safe and opt for the standard tried-and-tested 5-man midfield, which would more or less guarantee my global rankings won’t increase of drop so drastically…OR opt to rick breaking up the midfield 5 and push for a higher global rank.

Starting from GW 31, you may have noticed that I have decided to take the risk and go for the riskier 3-4-3 formation, which is less stable but promises higher returns provided the strikers score…

Planning ahead in Q4 also tells me that the battle for points would be crucially decided between GWs 32-35 where all managers would have to do well to plan and navigate their teams through various gameweeks with no-games and double games. There are also many uncertainties with some top clubs like Chelsea who’s schedule could still be well disrupted by Cup competitions.

Anyway, that’s the Q3 report to-date….here’s me pushing forward into the final 8GWs with confidence! 😀

 

Football Fantasy: Q2 Report Card

The Football Fantasy Q2 report card always seems to show up much faster, no thanks to the super hectic Christmas-New Year game frenzy!

Anyway, by GW 20, I had more or less stabilised my team and brought it back up from the miserable 1,454 global rank to a more respectable 271th position, accumulating a total of 1,185 points in the process. In terms of budget, I managed to slightly increase it by 5.1M to 158.3M. Though it may not be as good as my trading skills of previous seasons, I guess it is pretty OK considering the volatile market this year.

Having a deep bench probably helped me get through the festive game weeks without much significant damage. As a whole, I still lead my friends with the second placed team about 100 points away. Of course from GW21 onwards, it will be really tougher to climb up the rankings because the so-called ‘template line-up’ would have been covered by most of the top teams. Only key differential would probably be choosing the right captain for each GW.

How has your fantasy team been faring thus far?

 

Fantasy Football: Q1 Report Card

Well, 10 Gameweeks (GWs) have passed since Fantasy Football started, so it’s that time again for me to provide a full 1Q report how how I’ve fared so far…

In brief, I got off to a really blistering start on this year’s FF competition. Not only did I score back-to-back 80 points to push me to top 88 globally by GW3, it was probably my career-best position ever! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to consolidate my high position nor push it up over the next couple of weeks. I did hover up and down around the 100 – 400 ranking range globally, but that would be about it.

Then disaster struck in the final GWs of 9-11, where I performed miserably, scoring 41.0pts, 31.5pts and 44.0pts respectively. These sub-par scores sent me spiraling down the global rankings from 135th to 1,454th!! Totally kicked out of the top 1,000! SIGH.

The entire 1Q of FF simply proves how unpredictable and cruel football management is. Haha. By GW5, I seriously had super high hopes of achieving my personal KPI of Top 500 this year (an improvement from last year’s 789th ranking). Suddenly, three straight bad GWs, and I’m dumped out of the top 1000! 😮

Some notable changes to this year’s format:

1. Volatile player prices – It’s almost impossible to increase one’s budget this year, for whatever reason. The prices keep dropping and increasing so quickly that the overall budget for most managers should hover around the original budget of 150M. I used to be able to reaped and grow my budget by a couple of million by 1Q, but this year, my budget has only increased by $3.2M. Still quite OK when I noticed many managers are already in the red (ie. below 150M) by this period!

2. Additional scoring parameters – Not sure if this has made things more fun or complicated things further, but now we have a whole list of new stuff to look out for, like Shots on Target, Fouls Conceded, Fouls Won, etc. After a few GWs, I have concluded that the PAR-score for GWs should now be 50pts (compared to 40pts previously). These new parameters would ensure that more points can be scored each GW – making it more tense and also easier for people to catch up (or runaway too!)

Although I’m currently on a ‘losing streak’, thanks to my blistering start, I still carry a lead over my friends who are playing with me. Of course, my lead of 100+ points at one point has now dwindled to just about 34 pts by GW11, where Friend Z is patiently whittling away my lead. Gasp!

An exciting 2Q ahead? You bet! 😀