Gameweek 30 (2015/2016)

Hello noobs. It’s been a while.

We decided this week is great timing for some NOob-adVICE. Just look at what is being lined up:

12 Mar 20:45 Norwich Norwich vs Man City Man City
12 Mar 23:00 Bournemouth Bournemouth vs Swansea Swansea
12 Mar 23:00 Stoke Stoke vs Southampton Southampton
14 Mar 00:00 Aston Villa Aston Villa vs Spurs Spurs
14 Mar 04:00 Leicester Leicester vs Newcastle Newcastle

Unfortunately, all your reliable Ozils, Lukakus, Bellerins and Ighaloes will not give you any points this week.

If you planned for this week in advance and have a fighting fit line up on Saturday, congratulations! This is probably the week you leapfrog those folks you have been chasing and keeping pace with.

If you didn’t do prior planning and have half your team without fixtures…

DON’T PANIC

Probably more than half the world are in the same situation as you. Don’t worry excessively. Don’t go into the week thinking you need to have a full 11 playing players on the pitch – that is not what this game is about. Don’t make more transfers than you need. Reminder: every additional transfer from your FT will cost you -4 points (so if you change 5 players and have 1 FT, you start the week 20 points down on your league table).

Rule of thumb: every new player you bring in should at least bring you 4 points immediately, otherwise don’t make the transfer.

Frankly, why didn’t they should just call it a HGW – Half Gameweek (opposite of what is a Double Gameweek)…

All the best folks. Happy noobing!

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The FPL Christmas Period

Hello noobs! First and foremost…

merry christmas

Merry Christmas!

Unfortunately, in the FPL world, Christmas can be a little less joyous and a time for real concern. Especially more so if you are fighting to stay Number 1, this can be a less enjoyable period for you. So, what’s up with this?

3 Games in 9 Days

Because the footballing gods in England decree that all Englishmen shall watch soccer as a post-feasting activity as well as cheer, sing and jump their winter fats off, all teams will have to play on Boxing Day.

you didn't really expect that boxing day was about people fighting, did you?

You didn’t really expect that boxing day was about fighting other people, did you?

You know, you don’t have to really go google Boxing Day, it’s ok. Anyway, all but 4 teams play their second game 2 days later. That’s 180+ minutes of footballing action in <52.5 hours. Quite madness. Which brings us to another point…

Not Double Gameweeks

Yep, we said it here first. The next 3 games are not Double Gameweeks (DGWs)! What does this mean for me?

Firstly, it means that any chip that you play will not be effective in more than that gameweek you play it in. So even though Stoke visits Man Utd on Boxing Day and less than 48 hours later hosts Everton, your triple captain chip on Arnautovic will only be valid for the Man Utd game, and not anymore.

Secondly, well, it just means YOU, like any paid football player, have to play 3 times in 9 games!

You deserve it. We all do.

You deserve it. We all do.

Just remember, log in, make your transfer, pick your team, pick your captain and confirm before the following times:

26 Dec 7:45 pm
28 Dec 10:00 pm
2 Jan 7:45 pm

Rotation, Rotation, Rotation

We have covered this before here, but more than that, we are sure you guys experienced it recently first-hand in GW16, when both Kolarov and De Bruyne were rotated. These are the players whom we think may potentially take turns to line up for their teams:

Walcott – Chamberlain – Campbell (Arsenal)
Willian – Pedro – Oscar – Hazard (Chelsea)
Kone – Mirallas – Deulofeu (Everton)
Okazaki – Ulloa (Leicester)
Firminho – Lallana – Ibe (Liverpool)
Can – Lucas – Henderson (Liverpool)
Kolarov – Clichy (Man City)
Sagna – Zabaleta (Man City)
Fernando – Fernandinho – Delph (Man City)
Sterling – De Bruyne – Navas (Man City)
Tadic – Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
Pelle – Long (Southampton)
Alli – Mason (Spurs)
Chadli – Son (Spurs)

Just saying…you might want to think twice about bringing in these players.

That’s all folks! Happy holidays!

Game Week 13 (2015/16)

Hello noobs! Everyone must be glad to be back from the international break! Most players came back relatively unscathed, though the same can’t be said of their managers 😦

As usual, here’s our weekly recommendations:

GW13

May the fantasy odds be ever in your favour…

 

 

What is a Differential?

Hello noobs!! It has been a relatively low scoring week except for a small number of noobs who still have Harry ‘one-season-wonder’ Kane in their ranks. Also, there were quite a number of unexpected results, like Leicester and Sunderland getting their first clean sheets of the season and the Manchester derby ending up goalless (zzz all the Martials and De Bruynes). To put things into perspective how the latter was a surprise, consider that more than 1/3 of our 38-team league benched either a City or Utd defender. And that’s not even counting those who transferred out City or Utd defenders!

Disclaimer: this is NOT a bragging post. Even if it does really seem like it, especially considering the ever uncannily coincidental timing.

mock

Nope, definitely unintentional

What is a differential?

A differential is a captain that has the potential to make a key difference for your team relative to other teams. He is the player that teams around you are benching or dumping, because he is having a poor season, because he is getting 2-pointer weeks in a row, because he is injured and barely coming back, or because he is simply too expensive for most teams to want to gamble on.

Another way to think of it: A differential is the complete opposite of a bandwagon player.

Yes, you are getting the point – to get a differential, you need to be different, different from teams in your local leagues, and different from every other team in the FPL ecosystem (you can check the % of teams that own a particular player by clicking on the ‘i’ icon below the player). When your captain performs, the differential advantage lets you leapfrog your closest neighbours and make up ground on the top teams. Watch your global ranking rise as well!

 

How do I find a differential?

An Offensive Player

The first thing to note when you choose a differential is to always, always pick an offensive player or an attacker. As we have explained here and here, attackers are more likely to rack up points when / if they perform. I mean seriously, do you really expect your defenders to consistently prevent their opposition from scoring, week in week out? That is just too unrealistic.

If you are still unconvinced, here’s one statistic: In the past 10 GWs, there was only ONE time a defender finished as top point scorer for the week, and it was a lowly 15 points.

The Out-of-Form Class Player

Form is temporary. Class is permanent. And Patience is virtue few FPL managers have.

wise man

…says the bearded wise (old) man

Any idea why Aguero and Sanchez were priced initially at £13.0 and £11.0 respectively, while Kane began this season at £9.5 having started the last almost half price at £5.0? They (and their owners) were all beneficiaries of their abilities to bring in goals and points consistently and generously. More than being perpetual point-getters, they are at their most fundamental, terribly brilliant footballers. Look across the top brackets of the various positions (GK, DEF, MID & FWD) and you will notice that this trend is almost constant. Quality, classy players will eventually come good.

A Good Player with An Excellent Fixture

Sometimes, the best players in the game are already bandwagon players. Everyone has them or are bringing them in. 3/4 of the teams are going to captain them. What do you do? Finish reading this post, if by then you still decide that you really want a differential, here is one possible way.

GW 9 gave us an insight of exactly how this works. With Bournemouth and Norwich rolling into town visiting Man City and Newcastle respectively, it represented an opportunity to bank on an exceptional offensive occasion. The rest, as they said, is history. Raheem Sterling and Georginio Wijnaldum ran riot, chalking up 19- and 25-point week. 

Bear in mind that the heights of GW 9 are an exception rather than the norm. While there were some outstanding performances, there was only ONE time in the entire previous season the 25-point mark was achieved. Comparatively, with merely 10 GWs played, the record have already been reached twice.

hazardvsstoke

Will this fallen hero be the next one to rise?

Should I captain a differential?

If there is just one thing you are going to take away from reading this lengthy, long-winded and nonsensical-sounding post, it is this:

When you captain a differential, you are going Y-O-L-O

What do we mean? When we go for a differential, we are essentially trying our utmost to be different. We want to be different! We want to gamble! We want to take risk! We want to have a shot at that elusive lottery… And most of the time, we miss, we fail, we fall flat on our faces.

We can’t tell you exactly when you should be different, but here are some suggestions:

  1. You are stuck in mid- or bottom-table anguish and need something to arrest your slide.
  2. You are a few places away from top place and you could do with an extra boost.
  3. Such a player is already in your team, or in your plans.
  4. The GW does not have an obvious choice of captaincy, e.g. Aguero against Norwich

Here are some suggestions when you probably do not want a differential:

  1. You are sitting on top of your league – play safe.
  2. You need to take a hit to bring in the differential – taking a hit + taking a gamble = 2 much risk.
  3. The GW has an obvious choice of captaincy – this is disputable, either (a) you can pray that the obvious choice flops and your differential shines, or (b) the obvious choice performs and you are left with a mountain to climb.

Anyhow, just know that when you captain a differential, you are taking a risk. You may have your reasons: you have done your homework and you “know” this is his week; or your secret source on Reddit is recommend(a)ing him; or you dreamt of him scoring freely. Eventually there is a huge degree of luck (or mere dumb perseverance) involved to pull off a differential captain successfully. Yes, it is rewarding, it is thrilling. But don’t go expecting to pull it off every other GW.

torres bury head in hands

Not every out-of-form class player will return to his glory days

That’s all folks!

Game Week 10 Preview (2015/2016)

Hello noobs! With the flurry of goals the past GW and the complications of a MGW, we would say, it has been a relatively kind week so far. Perpetual points-getters like Kevin De Bruyne, Mesut Özil continued their terrific form, while 19 year old handball magician Anthony Martial relieved his 29.6% owners’ worries, by scoring for their respective clubs. Crucially, the trend of players playing unimportant matches and getting freak injuries discontinued as most of the popular players escaped unscathed, although there were worrying signs that Alexis Sanchez may be rested.

With big games looming, this is expected to be a tensed and unpredictable GW. Keeping the shorter long-term (upcoming ~3 GWs) in mind, here is our list of weekly recommendations:

GW10

Captain choices: Vardy, Ozil, Coutinho, Berahino, Wijnaldum, Eriksen, Payet

That’s all folks! Happy noobing!!

Why are my Players not playing?

Hello noobs! This coming week is a very interesting and special week. Make a guess?

smiling-children-multi-racial-600

Nope. Certainly NOT international break. That was last week. Dood.

This week is the first ever Midweek-Games Week (MGW –not mind games week, because actually, that is every week) this season. An MGW looks like an international weekend, except there is no weekend break. It feels like the Double GameWeek (DGW), except your players don’t get you double points. It even seems like the actual FPL gameweek (hell, your “legend-captain-team carrier-star striker” Rooney could be scoring a hat-trick), except that it is every other possible, nonsensical, unimportant tournament.

Wait… What does this actuallee actually mean for me?

Hold your horses

Yes, I know it’s totally tempting to get “I-was-supposed-to-be-a-shit-fantasy-player-but-still-scored a hat-trick” Naismith now, or I-score-35-yarders-every-other-week” Matic. But really, hold f***ing your f***ing horses. Soccer players are generally paid to play once every seven days and spend the other 6 days posing for half-naked photos on Instagram. Anymore is dangerous, for your FPL team, and especially when he plays for a certain team that rhymes with a** and ana* combined…

shit happens

There is a good chance your players might get injured during MGWs. Don’t take that risk. Save your transfers, play them as late as possible. Remember what we said about using your transfers wisely?

Rotation. Rotation. Rotation.

Holy shit. The dreaded R word. Top teams, or most teams that have midweek games, usually have at least 2 players in each position. These rotations already happen from time to time, but are triple more likely in weeks with MGWs. Some examples include:

Kolarov – Clichy (Man City)
Sagna – Zabaleta (Man City)
Fernando – Fernandinho (Man City) yes they are different people
Schneiderlin – Carrick – Schweinsteiger (Man Utd)
Costa – Falcao (Chelsea)
Terry – Cahill – Zouma (Chelsea)
Giroud – Walcott (Arsenal)
Gabriel – Mertesacker (Arsenal)
Montreal – Gibbs (Arsenal)

As much as we want to feel that we can lord over you noobs, we are just as likely/unlikely to pick a player that is rotated as you are. There really is no way around this. Sure, spending time to read up, do research and ask around about the players you are choosing might mitigate this, but that is no guarantee. Fingers-crossed, those whom you chose do not get the honour of the weekly recommenda…

If only FPL players were this undroppable… Credit: Photo by Kelvin Ngui

That’s all folks. 

How Do Chips Work?

Hello noobs! We are guessing the past three days have been extremely dull and ridiculously painful to get past. As much as you have tried packing your weekend with totally exciting activities like watching cartoon characters with incredibly well-defined emotions or stuffing yourself with gigantic pizzas and beer, nothing can quite compensate for wishing to make up ground on that seemingly shyte-looking auto-complete team at the top of your league. We completely understand. In fantasy world, this is better known as the continental international (weekend) hangover effect.

pizza3

Now… Who wouldn’t have thought a pizza of this size would have cured your hangover? (hand for scale)

So before you thoroughly unlearn all that you picked up before the lull, let’s take this opportunity to delve deeper into more FPL mechanics. This season, our masters introduced a whole-new and annoyingly complicated concept of Chips. As if deciding how or when to use our Wildcards wasn’t exasperating enough…

What are Chips?

Think of chips as super powers! If FPL is like Street Fighter (or Mortal Kombat X, for the boys), chips are like special abilities that you can use and inflict significant damage to your opponents. Because special abilities also use more mana, you will most likely be able to use them only sparingly throughout the game. Timely and strategic use of your super powers is crucial, otherwise they might end up not having any effect on the outcome of the game.

Wildcard

Simultaneously the most useful and most useless special ability, wildcards enable you to make unlimited number of transfers within the gameweek, which starts from the closing of the previous gameweek (usually Saturday 6.30pm SG time) and ends before the opening of the next gameweek (likewise 6.30pm). Wildcards are tremendously useful when you need to overhaul your team and make notable changes. For more information on how to use your wildcards, read here. Wildcards are agonisingly useless though, because transfers in their bare essence, absolutely do nothing to contribute to your scores. All you can hope is those players you bring in give you good points, but hope’s about all you can do.

All Out Attack

All Out Attack allows you to play a 2-5-3: 2 Defenders + 5 Midfielders + 3 Forwards formation in the upcoming gameweek. Essentially, it lets you swap a defender for an attacker, thus increasing the possibility of scoring offensive-related points such as goals and assists. Given the topsy-turvy nature of this season so far, we are still unsure whether this is a good thing or not.

Do note that if you play All Out Attack but one or more of your attackers (midfielders / forwards) didn’t get minutes, the usual substitution rules will apply. Too bad.

Triple Captain

Triplets

Nope, we definitely weren’t thinking about THREE captains

Triple Captain, quite simply means, your captain points are x3 instead of x2 that week.

If your captain doesn’t play, your vice-captain gets triple points. If both your captain and vice-captain didn’t play, oh well… G G.

Bench Boost

Bench Boost is probably the special ability that gives you possibly the highest points. Playing Bench Boost means that all 15 of your players get you points for that gameweek instead of just the 11 on the pitch. Unlike Triple Captain where you pin all your hopes on one dude, Bench Boost gives you that extra boost by fielding all your guys.

smash-egg

You know what they say about putting all your eggs in one basket

 

When / How to use Chips? 

We went through how to use your wildcards here. For the rest, there are no hard and fast rules to them. We would highly recommend that you keep Triple Captain and Bench Boost till the later part of the season for what is known as the Double Gameweek (DGW) Holy Grail, where selected teams get to play two times within the same gameweek. We don’t know when or whether this will occur, but if they do, they generally take place in the last quarter of the season, so grab on to your horses real tight!

Important Ending Notes for Chips

  1. Chips (other than Wildcards) can be used only once throughout the entire season.
  2. Wildcards can be used only once every half a season.
  3. You may choose to use only use one Chip per gameweek. For example, if you played your Wildcard this week (and therefore can make unlimited transfers), you cannot use Bench Boost this same week.
  4. You get the option to use Wildcards when making your transfers i.e. on the Transfers page.
  5. Once you play your Wildcard, you cannot cancel it.
  6. You get the options to use All Out Attack, Triple Captain or Bench Boost when picking your team i.e. on the Pick Team page.
  7. You can cancel your All Out Attack, Triple Captain or Bench Boost chips anytime before the week’s transfer deadline.

That’s all folks. Be happy, FPL resumes this week!