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. After tinkering a lot, I am thinking of doing a 5-4-1 or 4-5-1 for the season.

    The current team is

    Begovic/Foster (Rotate for Home and Fixture Difficulty)
    Siggy / Zaha / Eriksen / Wijnal / Chalobah (Enabler – Bench)
    Lukaku (C), Defoe, Vokes

    Defoe and Vokes are occupying bench.

    For rare occasions, this will become a 5-3-2 or 4-4-2 (Say Defoe against a team which concedes penalties or Zaha against a Big 6 team, then play Defoe with Zaha as first off bench)

    Kaku stays as Captain till Kane hits form, then swap Kaku to Kane, Week 5, I imagine.

    Week 8, hopefully the City forwards, ideally Jesus, else Agueroooo.

    Well, that is the plan and hopefully, I stick to it and not panic and early wild card and take hits after wild card fails i.e. tear all this up after a disastrous early few weeks. (Like I do every year).

    This year will be different.

    • @Shrivathsa I agree with Dan. However have a think about playing a 5-3-2. I’ve created a b-team, building from the back, and you’re able to pick many elite players using that formation:

      KDB/Willian/J W-P/Carroll/JL-C

      Will probably drop KDB and may play Bellerin / Valencia instead of Kolasinac and Bertrand. We’ll see.

    • @Shrivathsa Brave to try the 5 man defence but an option with so many wingbacks now. I would never risk it with one goal conceded every thing is gone. I agree with others Defoe needs to be played, but good idea just needs some work!

    • @DantheManinaPan It’s a brilliant team. Getting those three in whilst retaining balance across the side is a very clever piece of work.

      I started to get slightly worried about Foster yesterday (thinking about last season) but will think that through a bit more.

      • @Kralin Thank you for supporting every draft I make :P

        Foster generally looks like a good option but there are always others available if I like the look of others better.

        • @DantheManinaPan I’m not as hot for Bournemouth defenders myself (fixtures). Why Ake over Daniels – or was it 50/50?

          I was going to ask earlier but forgot – is McBurnie a punt? Would be very handy if a definite 4.5 forward materialised.

          However my feelings for the team remain undimmed.

        • @Kralin McBurnie is the lowest owned 4.5 forward, so least likely to be prone to falling 0.1 early on if he doesn’t start. Realistically I’d much rather have a 5.0 though – Baldock, Ayew and Crouch are the prime candidates and I expect at least one to be a starter. To find the 0.5 I may end up with neither Ake nor Daniels and take a 4.5 DEF but haven’t decided just yet – this type of question will be hard to answer until close to the end of pre season.

        • @DantheManinaPan OK thanks, highly logical. Player price risk is probably a point worth repeating.

          I’ve added some risk warnings to my RMT comments about J L-C: his price could start tumbling if he doesn’t start in week 1 (especially if an alternative 4.5 mid star emerges).

          However for now let’s hope L-C plays.

          Maybe Ake is the one to sacrifice due to fixtures. Shame though. But plenty of time yet.

        • @DantheManinaPan I asked above about why Ake over Daniels. Then I had a look a ppg for last season. Then I think I had an answer.

          I had a look at goalkeepers’ ppg while I was at it. Foster’s last year was not inspiring. Not many clean sheets. However his fixtures (and price) are probably enough, just, to sway me for the start of this season.

          I’m thinking perhaps not to be under many illusions with this player.

        • @Kralin Daniels is the safe choice, showing great form across the season, but when Ake was playing, his form was exceptional (as you said, higher PPG) and has a goal-scoring threat both from pushing forward and from set pieces – I’m hoping he can continue that form (though as so said above I may end up with neither – think 5.0 is good value though – Daniels was 6th OVR for defenders last year!)

          Fabianski is my preferred keeper choice but I’m not sure the fixtures suit so well – I’ll certainly be spending 8.5 on keepers but again not 100% certain exactly who they’ll be yet

    • @DantheManinaPan with Kane in there… Why not change Alli to a Liverpool player??? Mane probably if he’s fit. And with that squad, you are going to rely heavily on your first 11…. So I suggest you have players who are always ready and nailed on for every game. Kompany at the moment isn’t. His injury could strike at any time or Pep could rest him to keep him fit a lot of times.

      • @Bryte1 Thanks, but I don’t believe in coverage in that way. In my eyes, Alli is the best midfielder available irrespective of whether I have Kane or not. I think he will get more points than any Pool mid so he’s staying in my team.

        You’re right about Kompany’s injury problems, but with such an array of premium options available I’m sure there will be a bandwagon I can jump on if he is injured.
        The way he completely transformed City’s defence at the end of last season, whilst scoring goals, makes me believe he’s worth it despite the risk.

        Personally I feel the huge weakness in the team is the reliance on the first 11 – I will likely have only one starter on the bench initially. Hopefully this will be fixable once the season has started; I am willing to take a couple of early hits for price rises anyway

        Thanks for your thoughts

    • @jackthejackal There are few more tinkering you need to do.
      Sanchez first of all is agitating to leave so I don’t expect him to have an impart from the start… Wenger might not even start him initially. Iheanacho is a risk you can’t take even if he leaves for Leicester. Leicester plays with 2 strikers and Vardy is the first…. Then Slimani, Ulloa, Okazaki AND Iheanacho will be vying for the other position. So he’s definitely a rotation risk.
      Townsend is not consistent enough for a FPL manager. Zaha much better or for his price range, Ritchie, Philips are better.
      Rooney as well because of their fixtures and also his tendency of dropping too deep as a striker. Not a fun of him from a FPL point of view.

  2. When will be the draft league opened? And will it appear in the ‘leagues’ section? I didn’t follow up, sorry!!

  3. 1st attempt and went with:

    Trippier/Daniels/Lindorf (Rangel/Hunemeier)
    Ali/Courtino/Matic/Pedro (Loftus-Cheek)

    zero left in the bank.

    Not over the moon with Matic (wherever he ends up) but not much better for around the £5m mark. Foster and Pickford seem to complement each others fixtures. Not convinced Pedro is worth the £8m though.


    • @Crippler83 Personally I’d consider getting Willian for the start of the season instead of Pedro – £1.0 cheaper and both nailed with Hazard out.

      Then you can upgrade Matic to Stanislas or someone similar.

      Would also suggest swapping Lindelof and
      Rangel for a £5.0 and a £4.5, so you have a better bench – there are loads of great £5.0 options. I’d recommend Ake – Cedric has excellent fixtures too

      • @DantheManinaPan Thanks for the tips. Made the Willian change with Chadli as the other player with WBA good early fixtures. Think I’m going to stick with Lindelof as Utd have a good run of fixtures and i cant see anyone for £4.5m that would make much of a difference point wise. Mainly Burnley defenders who have a tough start to the season. Will gamble that i don’t need to use all my subs as Rangel wont get much game time. Also did a straight swap, Daniels for Cedric.

    • @Crippler83 Have you considered the Foster/Fabianski rotation or Myhill (not keen on Pickford) Everton don’t have good fixtures.

      Your bench defenders need an upgrade as mentioned

      • @Ripcurl82 Yeah going with the logic of Foster until game week 6 then swap over to Pickford who then has a good run of fixtures. Yeah problem with the defence is i need to find a spare £1M from somewhere to upgrade to a £5M defender. This would mean having a £5M Midfielder so back to Matic.

        • @Crippler83 although you guys are probably right that having another good defender in the rotation will potentially get more points that Chadli. So upgraded to:

          Trippier/Cedric/Lindorf (Daniels/Hunemeier)
          Ali/Courtino/Matic/Willian (Loftus-Cheek)

          Although the latest Courtino news could change everything lol

  4. So Ive played around to get this…
    What do you think?

    De Gea
    Cedric, Lindelof, Trippier, Mee
    Redmond, Coutinho, Walcott, Ali
    Lukaku, Jesus

    Coleman, Gayle, Loftus – Cheek, Lascelles

    Would love Lacazette but will have to have a weak mid…

    • @Gunned Coleman will be out till December, could trade for a 5.5 starting def. Instead of Loftus Cheek maybe Chaolbah, Abraham instead of Gayle, maybe

      • @DantheManinaPan
        Gayle scored 23 goals last season… if anyones going to be scoring it’ll be him in the team…
        He’s only on the bench for the first game then he’ll be in as Newcastles fixtures are good after that…
        Walcott – Yes he isn’t the best but Ramsey is just as inconsistent as him?
        Atleast Walcott get goals early in the season lol…

        I could swap out Walcott to Ozil and put Murphy in for Gayle…
        Not good for rotation though…

        • @Gunned Fair enough. Your views are valid. With Walcott though, if Wenger sticks with a wing back formation I don’t see him starting – it’ll likely be Lacazette up top with Sanchez and Ozil behind – Ramsey will likely occupy a central midfield spot with Xhaka – I could be wrong though

        • @Gunned Have to agree with Dantheman on Walcott mate. Other options for 0.5m less like Fabregas/Willian, Zaha, Ramsey, Lanzini, or even free up 1.5m with Phillips, Ritchie or Snodgrass. Latter option could get you an 8m forward like Benteke/Defoe for Gayle.

          Also I’m not 100% on Jesus playing every game, so why not go and get what you really want instead… Lacazette! Lukaku-Lacazette-Benteke/Defoe is a pretty hard front line to argue with.

        • @KezzyK
          If Xhaka plays then it would be a good recommendation…
          As for Ramsey… I am a Arsenal Supporter, but he is useless…
          Too inconsistent when it comes to game time and injuries…
          Im staying away from Chelsea for a reason…Fixtures aren’t great and theres no guaranteed spot for anyone with all the new signings coming in…

          Ok so Gave it a quick attempt this morning and side is now
          De Gea
          Cedric, Lindelof, trippier
          Redmond, Coutinho, Xhaka, Ali
          Firmino, Lukaku, Lacazette

          Coleman, Chalobah, mee, Lascelles

          Don’t know if it could get better but have no city cover…
          When they start scoring you’ll regret not having them lol…

        • @Gunned Looks better mate, but Xhaka not a good FPL choice. Think your Arsenal heart is ruling your head there! lol I’d have any of Ward-Prowse/Herrera/Allen/Mooy/Walters… if Jonny Walters plays up top for Burnley, could be a steal at 5.5m.

    • @Terminators I wouldn’t go for either. Shelvey would be a better bet if you’re looking at Newcastle.

      But Ward-Prowse is arguably the best bet at 5.5 for the first set of games. Walters and Allen are worth thinking about as well.

        • @Terminators aha. Ndidi, Milivojevic, Wanyama may be marginally better bets. Or grab another 4.5 then get Trips in your defence.

        • @Kralin What about Tiemoué Bakayoko?

          He’s £5m and CHE spent £40m on him, supposed to be playing further forward from what I have read with Kanté behind him.

          I cannot run with a 3-4-3 with two £4.5 and one playing every GW?

          Is my DEF not ok?

        • @Terminators Chill, dude. Your defence is fine. I thought you may fancy an elite defender.

          I’m currently running two 4.5 mids in my 3-4-3.

          I think I’d prefer Kante to Bakayoko if it came to that. You’re looking at fairly thin gruel at that price. Hopefully someone we’ve not noticed so far will emerge once the season starts.

          Another thought is that you could experiment with a 4-4-2 and see how you get on with that.

        • @Kralin I was looking at dropping McAuley and Yedlin and going for Rangel (or another £4m DEF) and getting a £5.5 DEF.

          Or just McAuley out for Jagielka

        • @Terminators Dropping McAuley isn’t a bad idea. Foster spent a lot of time picking the ball out of the back of the net last year. If that unhappy trend continues then you don’t want to be doubling.

          Option one above sounds better than Jagielka.

  5. Quick one: Which of these is the best?…

    1) Benteke & Ramsey
    2) Gayle & Coutinho
    3) Vardy & Zaha

  6. Thinking of some combos:

    1. Lukaku, Firmino, De Bryne, Redmond, Phillips
    2. Aguero, Gayle, Couthino, Pogba, Willian

    Which one is preferred?

    Or simpler combos:

    1. Lukaku, De Bryne, Zaha
    2. Aguero, Couthino, Pogba

    Thanks for your feedback!

      • @DantheManinaPan unless aguero is sold….
        First cou over firmino
        Then wiliams is better than redmond
        Aguero over kdb (many mid now for city n you know peps…)
        Actually lukaku is better cover mu then pogba but no one consider miki??
        Philips …i think chadli is better.
        Gayle…hmm how about ayoze perez?? But if gayle is main striker then after gw2 he is a better bet.

        Nice to be back at EPL fantasy…

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