Tag Archives: football manager

Fantasy Premier League 2015/16: Halftime Report

Gosh, I’ve been late trying to get this report up – we’re already in GW24 as I write this.

Anyway, FPL this season has been somewhat of a nightmare for me. Every player purchased, punt, captained, selection just didn’t work! Let’s check out my awful performance as at GW 20 – the halfway point:

At the conclusion of GW 20, I was already free falling down my mini-league, hovering around spot no. 15 (I think). I had only managed to amass a total of 1,002 points and globally ranked at 1,149,644. From a financial viewpoint, I only managed to increase my team value +2.8M . I even failed to make the cut for the FPL Cup after GW18. Sigh.

Comparatively, last year, by this mid-point, I had already increased my team value pass the $105M mark and globally ranked in the 50K bracket. Of course, I could take comfort that this year’s edition is proving exceptionally challenging for many old hands or those who have scored well in previous seasons. Hmmmm

As I ponder at my disappointing season, I can only reflect on what I did right or wrong…

What I Did Right

  1. Keeping faith in Aguero and Kane – The Argentine striker singe handedly rescued my season in GW8, when I scored 105 points; and Kane continues to be consistently scoring points for me in recent weeks
  2. Good early punts – I already had Mahrez and Payet early on on my team, and now we see both them on the template midfield on most teams

What I Did Wrong

  1. Punting with my Wildcard – After the early form struggle, I managed to surge to the top of my mini league after GW8. My mistake? Immediately using my WC to solidify my team by making punts on cheaper strikers and messing around with my solid original team.
  2. Pathetic defence – Somehow I was cursed this season by buying in defenders who either don’t play or get injured almost immediately thereafter- Rojo, Darmian, Gabriel, Rose, etc. The non-points from my defenders seriously hurt me this season.
  3. .Bad choice for captaincy – Strangely, high scoring captains this season don’t seem to be from teams playing at home. Hmmmm.
  4. Too much faith in high scoring players of the past – Hazard, Rooney, Sanchez, etc. comes to mind.
  5. The Vardy denial – I just somehow refused to believe Vardy would continue scoring as he did so far. I thought having Mahrez to provide cover for Leicester would be good enough. Sigh. Too late to turn back now. He’s become too expensive!:-(

By mid-way point, it would be very difficult for me to claw back into my mini-league. Most teams would undoubtedly have the same template, so the number players that are different would be too small to make significant impacts. My only hope of surging up to catch the leaders?

  • Taking risks on players not from the template. For example, choose Deeney instead of Ighalo.
  • Taking risks on non-popular captain choices. For example, with everyone putting the armband on Aguero, I may have to take the risk and put it on Payet instead
  • Play my remaining gamechips properly…

Oh well, there’s always next season! :-)

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 Q2 Review

Nightmare. Insidious. Sinister. Desolation. Not Good.

Some words to sum up GW11 – GW20 of my FPL campaign. Sigh. After sitting aloft my friend’s league throughout Q1, I had continued to plummet so deep till even 4th place somewhere in GW18. I only managed to claw back to 3rd place as at GW20.

Main factors of my drop?

#1. Suarez – Failed to pick him up when he came back from suspension. Figured Sturridge would provide excellent differential to all other template managers who picked him up. Sigh…turns out Suarez was to be another (and perhaps the BEST) streak performer along with Ramsey, Coleman, Barkley, etc. which I had also missed out. Double sigh.

#2. Injuries. Injuries was what forced me to play my WC earlier on this season and it was injuries again that is hurting me in Q2. Good news about these injuries is that they are also causing massive template break-ups for other managers too.

As at GW 20, I have amassed 1,153 points, putting me at a global rank of 266,057 (big drop from sub 50K global in GW10). My investment skills have been pretty bad this year too as I only managed to increase my team value up to 104.5M. At this rate I can forget about finishing my season with heavy hitters…sigh.

So what do I do NOW?

Well, for everyone else in the same predicament as mua, ie. CHASING the leaders…here are some useful pointers:

1. Research and play the January WC well. This would be our only chance to even up the playing field once more with the leading pack. Of course it would also mean buying players at premium prices. If you are not in a rush to earn a couple of bucks buying ‘sure-rise’ players right now like Eriksen, Walcott, etc. my advise is to WAIT till AFTER the REALITY transfer deadline closes to see what new players have been brought into the BPL for the second part of the season.

2. Risk differential line-ups. With the leading pack obviously sporting some similar template line-up right now, it is crucial that we pick out a line-up that is different from that. How else would we be able to catch up if we also sport the same lineup, right?

3. Risk picking CAPTAINS that are not popular choices. For example, Suarez is the most likely choice of everyone for the captain’s armband. Why not pick SOMEONE ELSE so that we’d stand a chance to gain some ground in the event that Suarez doesn’t deliver. :-)

Of course, the exciting thing about being behind in FPL is the fun of catching up with the leaders. Looking ahead for the next half of the season! 😀

 

 

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!

 

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! 😀