Funny Old Game

Getting warmed up for the new season

After my best season yet (top 1%) I didn’t want the season to end, my team was flying, a combination of Harry Kane, Alexis Sanchez, having Josh King for months and a last day Coutinho captain, the points were rolling in, and I loved it.

So it surprised me that when the transfer window opened, fantasy football didn’t cross my mind. Then, I told myself, ‘I’m not playing this year’, days and weeks went by and I was still telling myself that I wasn’t going to play. See, last season I took note after note, read page after page, took hit after hit, listened to podcast after podcast, spent hours debating if an out-of-form Sanchez would be better at home to Middlesbrough than Theo Walcott. Sometimes, it felt more  like something I HAD to do and not something I WANTED to do.

I couldn’t do it all again….or could I?

Yes, yes I could. And yes I will.

The thing about fantasy football and why we all love it so much, is the same reasons why we sometimes hate it. The satisfaction when you’re last minute transfer scores, when you’re differential captain outscores a premium player, nailing the perfect triple captain. There’s nothing quite like it, and despite the stress and obsession it causes, I love it. This season my team Pique Blinders will be back again, I will be back.

My plan for this season?

  • Watch Match of the Day more, too many transfers last season relied upon match reports instead of watching for myself
  • Less hits – I lost SO many points last season thanks to rash hits, hopefully this season I can sit on the itches more and take no more than 10 hits over the season.
  • Don’t hold grudges – too many players missed out on a slot in my line up because they’ve let me down previously

… and …


Playing fantasy football shouldn’t be a chore, and it shouldn’t feel like one either, I’m going to enjoy it a lot more this year and get more involved in the wonderful community. I hope you do too.


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532 thoughts on “Getting warmed up for the new season

  1. Aguero, Defoe and Ramsey
    Or Lacazette, Jesus and Stanislas

    For me it’s the 1st and slightly more funds. I’m surprised I can have Kane, Lacazette and Jesus and not have a bad side though.

  2. Liverpool: Mignolet, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez, Moreno, Henderson, Lallana, Woodburn, Salah, Firmino, Sturridge.
    Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Lovren, Milner, Coutinho, Grujic, Klavan, Origi, Solanke, Flanagan, Kent.
    Crystal palace: Hennessey, Ward, Dann, Delaney, Townsend, Milivojevic, Puncheon, Schlupp, Zaha, Anderson, Benteke.
    Subs: Speroni, Van Aanholt, Sako, Loftus-Cheek, Kelly, Ladapo, Kirby.

  3. Experimenting:

    Heaton / Foster
    Lindelof / Trippier / Cedric (and 2 4m players – probably Rangel and Hunemeier) – any ideas?
    Fabregas / Sane / Alli / Redmond / Loftus-Cheek (why all the love for Willian?)
    Lukaku / Lacazette / Firmino (Any comments on the Southampton forwards? Will Gabbiadini be the main man this year or going for a 4-4-2 maybe?)


    • @Zwischenzug I think either Heaton or Foster, not both; Foster has the kinder fixtures in the first batch of games.

      No obvious 4m defenders yet. I’m warming to Dunk as a 4.5 possibility.

      The consensus seems to be Willian will be Hazard until the latter returns. However I have Fab in my draft team and will try and hold my nerve. The Charity Shield may yield some clues.

      L-C is a risk in the sense that with a lot of people owning him his price may fall quickly if he doesn’t start in GW1. But maybe that’s not too great a risk.

      Sane you know the risks.

      Nice front line. I’m going to monitor Lacazette as he’s new to the Prem. (I have gone for my perennial favourites Kun and Defoe alongside Kane.)

      I’m hoping Austin is Southampton’s main striker and will be watching closely. Gayle is another option as Newcastle have goodish fixtures.

      • @Kralin You are a pillar and an everlasting catalyst :)

        Heaton and Foster rotate with absolute perfection in the first 12 GWs! I was analysing on when to play my first wildcard and statistics seem to favourite the busy Christmas period. In this view, a solid goalkeeping rotation of 9.5m seems like a solid option.

        I think Mee is the best 4.5m option, alas the rotation seems to favourite Spurs, United, Southampton and then picks between Liverpool (I think Milner is the only sensible choice), and then Swansea/ Bournemouth/ Brighton/ Burnley depending on which 2 you prefer.

        L-C is a risk but then again he is 4.5m with the potential to do a Capoue.

        Chorley specifically avoided Ibra last year in the beginning (as you can tell I only have the experience of a year), however, he did quite well. I’m sure you know the statistics of goals per minute, conversation rate etc. With the latest rumours of Morata it seems like Kane can be avoided with a front 3 of Lacazette, Lukaku/Aguero and Morata! What a front 3! Maybe I would avoid having 2 of my forwards being untested in the PL.

        Are you still fond of Defoe in Bournemouth? Aren’t you afraid of playing time or do you expect them to go for a 4-4-2, 4-4-1-1?

        Last question, everybody seems fixated on Kane but I remember one of the experienced managers last year called Harry, “the late Kane” referring to the fact that most of his goals come after Christmas.

        He scored 10 up until Christmas, scoring his 3rd in November and 27 after the New Year in all competitions! So imagine the downfall in price if he has a late start. I think I just convinced myself not to start with Kane.

        Any thoughts are always appreciated.

        • @Zwischenzug I don’t tend to focus that heavily on rotation. For me it tends to fly out of the window once the season starts (e.g. 4m defenders start appearing). But of course goalies tend to stay put, so fair enough. And the rotation you speak of is amazingly good.It’s a shame it doesn’t come in slightly cheaper. No 4.5 WBA defenders, either.

          Having said that, I think Brighton rotate pretty well with Huddersfield so I’m watching their respective defences like a hawk. Two 4m defenders rotating well I would look at.

          Also check out Burnley’s rotation with Crystal Palace, if rotation’s your bag.

          I’ll be interested to see what price Morata comes in at. But yes, having two untested forwards is risky.

          Kane will be more rested this year than previous seasons, so I’m very relaxed about having him in my side. And if you don’t have him you either have to leave some money in your budget, or start breaking up the side you’ve spent weeks assembling, to get him in if he starts netting. He starts for me and if he fails then I can swoop on the hottest alternative.

          At first I thought my Defoe pick was a sentimental reflex (e.g. a sign I’m losing it) but it makes sense to me. I sincerely hope he is on pens, he’s playing for a good side and he does slot chances away. However of my three strikers he is the most vulnerable if Austin or Gayle get chugging along. I’ll do a bit more research into Bournemouth’s formation(s) as we close in on GW1.

          Another thing that decided my front three is that all are ace penalty takers. And their respective sides won a lot of penalties last year.

        • @Kralin Tomkins/ Lowton is the newly defensive duo I have discovered during the past couple of hours! Thank you for the insight on 4m defenders, didn’t think of that. Maybe I will avoid that or go with 2-3 premium (6.5-5.5), Cedric and a 4m.

          I like the idea of Kane and swapping but I’ll go with leave 1-1.5m itb and act accordingly. I think I’ll leave Kane to get comfy in Wembley up until GW5.

          I checked about Bournemouth and they played 4-4-2 so that’s excellent news. I worry a bit about game time and fatigue but we established last year that he is gifted with eternal youth!

          Thanks again. This will be a very interesting month.

  4. Hello ! My second draft..please help and feel free to make suggestions. Any feedback appreciated. Thanks!
    Van aanholt David Luiz Cedric
    Klaasen Salah knockoert Coutinho
    Lukaku Rondon Jesus

    Elliot Mee Mcauley Cabaye

    Also who is the best 4.5 mil goalkeeper to buy?

    • @Egg on toast best 4.5 keeper imo would be out of Foster and Fabianski! I’ve gone with Fab as like you I’ve already got McAuley in defence. Begovic a good shout too although think the other two have better fixtures and less rotation risk atm! Good team and some nice differentials, I’d be too cautious myself to play 3 newbies in midfield – could really pay off though! McAuley prob too good/expensive to sit on bench and Rondon may be a bit of rotation risk now with Rodriguez and Robson-Kanu!? Think everyone in that price bracket carries bit of a risk though! If played McAuley and did PVA for a 4.5 u could upgrade Rondon to Benteke/Defoe or upgrade one of your mids?!

      • @SecretZorro
        Well, he played both of them last season and with the speculation around Kun it’s difficult to predict. I still have 1.5 ITB if needed.
        What worries me with Kane is that he is not a quick starter. His first goal in 2014/15 was GW 6, 2015/16 it was GW 7 and last season in round 4.

        • @IvanTheTerrible glad I came on and saw these stats mate!

          I had a feeling I knew something like this but forgot to check. Definitely something to think about.

        • @reemslaw
          No doubt he will be a great asset for the season but will he fire on all cylinders from the start? On the other hand if he does his price will go almost 13.0 in few weeks :headscratch:

        • @IvanTheTerrible this season might be the first where we are not just relying on 1 or 2 people to captain week out, so it might be that the big guns prices don’t change as much as they once did.

          Remember when it was literally just RVP or Suarez? How many this season? Kun, Jesus, Kane, Luka, Lacazette, Sanchez(?), Coutinho, whoever the smeg Chelsea sign etc etc

        • @reemslaw
          This is so true. Still, for the first few weeks it will be kind of template. I can see from now GW 1 and 2 will be a rush for Luka then Kane comes in 3 followed by Lacazette and basically those three will rotate all the way up to at least round 10.

        • @IvanTheTerrible I think it’s likely lacazette will outscore Jesus this season. He’s gone to Assnul to be their main man, Jesus has to compete with aguero. Yes Jesus had a good spell last season when kun was out, but can he do it all year? They both have to prove that, but Jesus is a kid whereas lacazette is in his prime. I expect him to do well.

        • @reemslaw
          The thing with them is that they usually have a great start of the season and then go down or vice versa. OK, they managed somehow to win on penalties today against Byern but overall can never be trusted.

        • @reemslaw @IvanTheTerrible Morata to Chelsea looks likely to add to this. Strikes me as a striker to create for others despite a good record. 10.5 likely for him, great to have so many options. I’m tempted by Lazcazette and Jesus but really want Defoe and can’t strike off Aguero as a differential. If not I will get Jesus instead.

        • @IvanTheTerrible Makes Man Ciy defenders prone to rotation as well now, although I’m staying clear for a while anyway.

        • @reemslaw Defoe nailed for me at the mo, above a premium 3. Wanted him many times before and at Bournemouth he should have so many chances I’m pleased I thought he would be 8.5. Think he starts for sure and is very fit so likely to keep playing during the season.

        • @Jamo97 That’s what I’m hoping. He’s often been very reliable to keep the points ticking along. And he’s been doing it for ever.

    • @IvanTheTerrible I love the choice of a “cheap” midfield with rotation. I totally agree about Kane and you can get a few mils if you swap. I only prefer Lacazette instead of Jesus (but thats preference) and Heaton instead of Forster (they rotate way better).

        • @IvanTheTerrible I know. It’s just so addicting. It’s an imperfect information puzzle and there’s something about puzzles that I absolutely love.

        • @Zwischenzug
          It is amazing how many drafts have been done when we don’t know who is going to be injured by then what who will be sold to another team or even abroad. I suppose that is part of the fun :)

        • @IvanTheTerrible @Kralin
          During the time of my last post and coming back here, I finished 4 more drafts with rotation, captain picks and team selection for the first 12 GWs. Oh dear. Of course, this may be affected by the fact that I’m stranded at the airport waiting for my flight.

          I’m starting to entertain the idea to play with at least 4 defenders and I’ve set my mind for Cedric, Trippier, Foster and not Kane.

        • @Zwischenzug Or it’s a bit like a quest. The fun is in the journey, the long and near obsessive search for a perfect side. But of course people always come up against themselves.

    • @IvanTheTerrible The side’s fine however I think there are better 5m midfielder options than Dier: Milivojevic, Wanyama, Ndidi for example. Or just go 4.5 if he’s destined for the bench.

  5. Hey everyone! Super excited that the new season is approaching and always fun to follow the discussions on this site! This year I’m (once again) hoping to beat my 7227 OR from 14/15, but we’ll see where that goes…

    Curious question: which websites do you go to during the preseason to read up on how players are performing? Any ones you prefer?

    Usually I Google the games and read the match reports, but I feel that those aren’t always doing much in depth analysing.

    Some FPL sites offer memberships, pre season guides etc, would you recommend any specific ones among all those?

    Thanks in advance!

    • @KevinTheBrain The first thought I had is that all the comments on this page have been made by people who have chosen a grav. That tells you quite a lot about this site. So grab yourself a grav. It really helps.

      It’s a good question (re FPL sites) but very difficult to answer. There are loads of sites out there. Tons of them. Some are very functional – all stats, no banter. On others the comments are pretty brutal. I’d just have a bit of a surf and you’ll end up at one or two you find personally appealing.

      In terms of the preseason games, I tend to do a bit of desultory research but don’t take the games too seriously. Things tend to sharpen up a week before the season starts.

      • @Kralin thanks for your answer.
        Personally FPL first is my preferred choice. Good articles and also great reading in the comments section. Other than that I probably go on one or two other FPL sites as well… Will stick around here and take notes up til the season starts :thumbup:

        • @KevinTheBrain It’s good to cast the net out now and then. One regular here last season was nonplussed by the general site indifference to Sanchez, when another site was raving about him. And they were right.

  6. Hello! :) It’s good to be back for my second season of FPL! Really enjoyed it last year and managed to come within the top 340k (I know that’s not impressive to most of you, but I was hoping as a first-timer to make the top 500k so I was chuffed!)
    Here’s my first draft for this season… what do you think?

    Heaton Foster
    Walker Alonso Daniels Bellerin Trippier
    Sane Alli Lallana Capoue Loftus-Cheek
    Vokes Lukaku King

    It feels weird not having Sanchez…

    • @bl0nde0nbl0nde30 some will probably say that you have to much budget tied up in your defence. However that is for you to decide. I prefer a 3 men defensive line where two of them are a bit pricey (5.5-6m) and the other three should be cheap ones (preferably one 4m starter) who rotate.

      I wouldn’t pick Alonso cause of his price…
      Sane could be good, but would like to see him perform in the preseason. Perhaps I’d pick Willian instead given Hazard is out from the beginning…
      Lallana I don’t know whether he will start given the competition he has. I might be wrong though…

      Personally Id say try balancing your budget to be able to get room for better mids and attackers.

    • @bl0nde0nbl0nde30 Thanks so much for your feedback, @Kralin and @KevinTheBrain!

      Here’s the second draft:
      de Gea
      Daniels Azpilicueta Trippier
      Redmond Loftus-Cheek Coutinho Alli Willian
      Lacazette Lukaku

      Bench: Elliot (GK) Schindler Vokes Mee

      I was thinking of starting with a really good attacking defence this year, because I was making a lot of points when playing a five-man defence towards the end of last season. That was the reasoning behind the first draft. But I wasn’t happy with the balance throughout the rest of the team – didn’t feel I could really rely on the few strikers I had – so based on your feedback I have tried to strengthen the midfield and up front. (Anticipating that I’ll do several transfers in the first few weeks anyway, to build some value).

  7. any ideas on 4m keepers? i lucked out with the hull guy from day1 last season – wonder if any of the new teams look set for a cheaper choice?

    • @NYFRANCO A lot of people are saying Elliot of Newcastle but I doubt though so we wait and see I guess

      • @Bryte1 I can’t see Elliot starting at all as last season he only started 3 games as to Darlow has 36 Starts…
        Hes 4m for a reason…

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