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It’s Delicious in Mauritius, an FPL interview

It’s Delicious in Mauritius, an FPL interview

It’s Delicious in Mauritius, an FPL interview

Welcome to It’s Delicious in Mauritius, an FPL interview. Every now and again the fun jobs turn up and I managed to bag the best one yet. All in the name of work you understand. Boris Martin is probably not a name you are familiar with – he plays FPL, is a Liverpool fan (zzzzz) and is a contributing member of FF247 on the boards, where he appears under the guise of Derek Sr. Boris or Derek, or Bo Derek as I have renamed him (Google it if you’re too young to understand) lives in Mauritius – if that’s not good enough then our new friend is having an exceptional season as he sits in 618th place. I therefore suggested to the powers to be that Bo Derek needed interviewing and that it had to be done in person!

They agreed, so before they changed their minds I booked my ticket, boarded the plane, speedos packed for a midweek jaunt to the Indian Ocean to meet Boris.

Boris has been playing FPL for six seasons – his best finish thus far is 30,710 in 2014/15 and he has notched two other finishes around the 50k mark. To give you some insight into the man himself, he was born in Mauritius on 24th December 1988 and his family has been in the country for three centuries. After school he went to France and UK to study before returning to Mauritius in 2011. As I have already said, his real name is Boris Martin but everyone who knows him calls him Derek as he left Mauritius in 2006 weighting 75kgs and came back from his studies weighing above 100kgs and there is a fat drug dealer that got arrested called Gro Derek (if you type his name on Google you’ll see that they are not doing him any favours!!). It’s worth noting that Boris hasn’t entered our FF247 leagues to hide his involvement with the site from his rivals! However, Boris would be top of the Regulars league by 35pts if he was in it.

Let’s cut to the chase to find out the secret of Boris’ great season.

Boris, you have had a fantastic season and are heading for a best ever ranking. Have you done anything different to previous seasons?

Yes. I believed in my team, my players’ selection and never panicked when I thought I had a bad team with difficult fixtures.. actually I scored pretty well in the said difficult gameweeks. The only game week I didn’t comply with my tactic was gameweek 28 as I made 3 transfers and it didn’t reward me the way I wished.. bl**dy Coutinho!

Did you set yourself any targets at the start of the season?

I have a classic league with about 30 friends and we all chipped some cash in, so my target was the same as every year, finish top of that league, 1st for pride and 2nd for money that we’ve just introduced this season.

Are you an early transfer player or do you prefer to wait until Friday after the press conferences?

Referring back to the first to question, I used to be an early transfer player but that changed this season as I made my transfers after your Around the Grounds articles on Fridays. It didn’t affect my cash flow as I had the good players and juggled well throughout the season to keep decent team value by following FFFix.

You are leading all your mini-leagues and are no.2 in Mauritius, just 28pts behind the leader who has played both his 2nd wildcard and Bench Boost. You must be confident of overturning his lead. Have you won the Mauritius league before?

The closest I came in Mauritius was 14th 2 years ago and it was during the course of the season, not at the end by which time I slipped a bit. I follow the leader’s team closely in order to catch up and hopefully overtake him while keeping an eye at the close chasers.. it’s a very competitive country.

I have to ask about one of your mini-leagues which is called “Meg’s Furry Cup”. Please elaborate and presumably it’s good to be first in this league?!

I studied in Loughborough and with 7 friends we went for a week in Tenerife and had Top Gun as theme with our tailor-made t-shirts (think The Inbetweeners but before that movie came out).. I was Merlin. We made a 9th t-shirt with Meg’s name at the back and every night, during the fine session before going out, we would vote for the mate who’d behaved the worst during the day to wear the Meg shirt for the night out (either if being too hungover, came back too early from the night before, shagged the ugliest girl) and the following season we created that league. I’d rather be first than last.. I want Oliver Brigde’s name to appear in this article, he is the real Meg.

Tell us about FPL in Mauritius. Is there much competition between you and your mates?

First of all, Mauritius in an ex-British colony. English football is a religion here as well. In my leagues, there are a few good competitors (the same over the years) and we have good banter about fantasy each week. Especially on Monday mornings over the phone when going to work. A lot of companies have their own Fantasy leagues so it fosters working relationships and gives a good break at times.

When do you plan to use your wildcard?

I was torn between playing it last week and GW36 before the big double. I have a few things to fix in my team right now which is why I considered playing it last week – I wished I didn’t buy Coutinho for Alli last week and I need to get rid of de Roon and Kingsley. I wanted to secure Sanchez’s services again and get Alli or Son and Diego Costa and a playing defender for Kingsley. If I had played it I would of fixed these issues and would of gone into the last few gameweeks nicely with an eye on the doubles. Playing it in GW36 will be for a one week wonder and I am not yet decided which option to go with. Last year I scored 157 or 175 pts (can’t remember) during the big double game week (BB activated). Maybe FF247 may help in that respect by dispensing some advice.

I’m sure they’ll be a few articles along the way Boris!

May I assume you will use your Bench Boost in DGW37?

Yes, that’s the plan.

Will you likely choose 15 double game-week players or will you retain some single game-week players?

As I will now wildcard in 36 I will load up with double game-week players but retain around three must-have single game-week players.

Have you identified any DGW players that you want for DGW37?

Alexis Sanchez, Zlatan, Manolo Gabbiadini (if he’s fit), probably Eden Hazard and Diego Costa.

Like many others you Triple Captained Sergio Aguero in DGW27. Are you happy you did so or do you regret playing it when you did?

I am happy. 27 points is not 6 points. Last year, like many, I went with Andy Carroll. Kun vs Sunderland and Stoke was a decision no one can blame. A lot of FPL managers did the same and I’d rather keep with the lot in the position I am. I will draw conclusions at the end of the season to see if it was the right move, but without the benefit of hindsight it was a justified decision.

Your worst rank this season is 158,946 after GW4 and you entered the top 10k in GW13. Have you found it relatively easy to retain that ranking?

Yes. I wasn’t bothered with my overall ranking as I played the best way I could. Now that I follow it closely, I am a bit more tense!

How do you see your team evolving over the next few weeks?

As I will be widlcarding in GW36 I want to allow myself only 1 hit between now and then and play the fixtures along the way.

I see you have two players in your squad all season – Tom Heaton and Gareth McAuley (Init will be so proud of you). They have both done you proud but will you show them the loyalty of keeping them all season?

McAuley is a keeper (bar GW34 as I think WBA won’t play). I am losing faith in Heaton who will soon be replaced by a DGW keeper but haven’t been bothered earlier as I made the right choices week in week out between him and Lee Grant.

Looking at the rest of your squad, which players did you envisage keeping until GW38?

Eden Hazard (none of my mini leagues rivals have had him and he is working in the shadow for me! Not flashy but delivering the right amount of points). I will bring back Sanchez (assuming he recovers!) who I owned for a long period as well but sold him before he blanked in 26. I kept Zlatan for the Bournemouth game instead and it was a massive disappointment. Kane’s injury is very appreciated though (in a fantasy way of course).

Is there any player you would consider a “must-have” right now?

Alexis Sanchez (Wenger will have to play him!) – but again assuming he recovers from his latest injury soon.

What is your best transfer of the season?

Gabriel Jesus but it didn’t last.

Will you consider Harry Kane when fit?

He was supposed to be in my GW 29 team but his injury made me keep Aguero. I am happy with Aguero and saw good things against Liverpool. Kane will defo be an option when back although, like you, I don’t rate him but can’t argue with his returns..

Who do you consider the best budget midfielder for the run in?

Son until Kane is back then Josh King (to be confirmed upon Stanislas’ return)

Are Liverpool midfielders over-rated and should we ignore them considering they don’t have a DGW?

Unlike other teams you don’t know where the goals will come from (too many options). In my opinion there is better value elsewhere especially ahead of the doubles especially Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs.

Man United have two double game-weeks but struggle to keep a clean sheet and don’t score many goals. How do we cover their DGWs in terms of coverage?

They will improve at the back. So DDG is on my watchlist. When Zlatan will be back I will decide whether I need to shake things up front or not. For the moment it’s more a “wait and see” approach.

With Chelsea likely to have the title sewn up well before the end of the season, does that make Chelsea assets a risk in terms of rotation?

Yes and no. They will want to finish the season on a high. Conte won’t allow an early holiday attitude. Maybe keep a defender and an affordable midfielder provided they remain on the pitch week in week out. Also, at the end of the season, teams with relegation battle become important.

Which players involved in the relegation fight should we be considering?

I answered above question without seeing that one. I’d say Jermain Defoe, Siggy and Llorente. Palace have horrendous fixtures and the way Leicester revived I think the relegation battle won’t concern them.

What are your priorities for the remainder of the season? Global rank? Mini league? National title?

National title. By doing so, it will also tick the mini-league box. There are approx 10,000 players in Mauritius and claiming that title will be a glorious feeling. A lot of people know that I am doing well by checking the national rankings and are seeking advice for their own mini leagues.. It makes me feel like a mini Cookie!

Haha – hopefully you’re better than that! What are your plans to achieve your targets?

Keep an eye on the double game-week announcements / good planning to avoid hits / check my rivals’ teams evolution / trust my team / make the right captain’s choices / a solid bench for the BB chip in big double game-week.

Boris, thank you for your time. We wish you the very best for the rest of the season and we’re all backing you to win the Mauritius title.

Thanks for reading It’s Delicious in Mauritius, an FPL interview. This article was written by Cookie



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The Tracker in full…

FPL Fixtures Analysis Gameweek 27

FT Diff

DGW34 IS ON THERE AS CONFIRMED BUT DGW37 IS VERY MUCH PROVISIONAL!
That’s our best guess as to how it will pan out and there is still Southampton vs Arsenal to be rearranged. That looks likely to be in GW35 or 36. The FPL site itself has said that they expect the remaining games to be confirmed on or around the 7th April.

And courtesy of Rosco, the DGW’s yet to be announced…

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163 Comments

  1. 25
    Silvers says:

    Best 5.6 or below MF player ???

  2. 26
    inittowinit says:

    New Tracker has been added to the article above. If anyone gets a chance could they check it please?! And also the accompanying text and Rosco’s pic below it. Wouldn’t normally ask but it’s an international break and this is all kind of prep for going ‘live’ again with FPL stuff next week. Screenshot of it is below but the thing itself is there at the end of the article. I think it’s correct but if not let me know please.

    Click on image to enlarge:

    • 26.1
      Andy says:

      West Brom blank in 34
      Man City only play Man United in 34
      Sunderland only play Boro in 34
      Arsenal only play Leicester in 34
      Spurs only play Leicester in 34
      Leicester only play Arsenal in 34

      At a glance from the tracker, Rosco’s looks alright from the badges, can’t be arsed to find me gegs.

    • 26.2
      inittowinit says:

      Great stuff, thanks Andy. I’ll adjust those tomorrow night accordingly. Much appreciated.

      You know when I check the lottery results my only wish is that I could win enough to allow me to quit my job and just do this full time! I actually love my job, which is rare, but I just wish I wake up tomorrow knowing my only concern was to alter the tracker to be correct…

      • Andy says:

        I honestly think you do more than enough as is mate, I’d not have the patience to keep it together with work, I’d thrown the toys out of the pram well before now in your shoes. I’m I might have been a little blunt with the above, it was late :)

  3. 27

    Derek,

    It’s remarkable how simple you have made this fantasy game sound!

    Thanks for taking the time to kindly share and thank you to Cookie for being behind the mic.

    Best of luck Derek, I hope you finish off a remarkable season in hot form. Go for it!

  4. 28
    man u man says:

    Guys I’m really tempted to get Alli before his price goes up. Worth the risk?

  5. 30
    Silvers says:

    Afternoon all I see now that after I toss a coin on Erik & Alli last night & it came down on Erik that Poch has said Alli will play upfront until Kane’s return typical of my season so far :whacky:

  6. 31
    Milburn says:

    Init just read your “to hit, or not to hit” piece in the FPL magazine. Really interesting to see how well the majority have worked out for you. Would definitely be curious to see if that’s the case for most or if yours have just been well calculated.

  7. 32
    coys9 says:

    Hi guys, not sure if you guys will have an article coming up on this but with about 5FT left between now and wk34 DGW which players do you think is “must have” or “good to have”. Ibra I guess would be the main one but apart from that, DDG, Valencia, Mata, Zaha, Gibson? Or anyone else to consider?

    • 32.1
      coys9 says:

      Btw excellent article and thanks to Derek for sharing. I find it very insightful especially after taking the game more seriously for the first time. All the best Derek!

    • 32.2
      Kop Warrior says:

      Coys, we’re unlikely to have a specific article but we will have all of our usual articles over the coming GW’s.

      Personally the only player who I’d consider a ‘must have’ is Ibra as he will be the obvious capo in 34. Aside from that Valencia will be quite popular. I’m not interested in a United mid as there’s too much rotation and they’ve got a manic April.
      A Boro defender and maybe Zaha are also worth considering.
      If you’ve still got your WC you can probably take a chance or two in 34 and then sort your team out with your WC ahead of 37.

  8. 33
    Eagle says:

    Crystal Palace has a DG34 but theirs is LIV and TOT and their run leading to that DGW is a very difficult one with Chelsea and Arsenal in between. Is it worth buying Palace players? They have had 3 clean sheets in a row so maybe a defender like Sakho or PVA when fit? Or maybe Zaha?

    • 33.1
      Kop Warrior says:

      Palace’s double is terrible but they’ve got home games against Leicester & Burnley either side of the double so I’ll probably take a punt on Zaha. Sakho wont play against Liverpool so he should be avoided.

    • 33.2
      Andy says:

      Honestly with your team I’m not sure I’d target any Palace players, at the minute you’ve got zero coverage from Man Utd and Arsenal so I’d just concentrate on bringing some of them in, theirs also going to be another DGW straight after 34 with Arsenal and Southampton and I’d rather have Saints players in my side over both Palace and Boro for the run in. (Although you do still have the WC in hand. I guess it depends on when you want to play that.)

      • Eagle says:

        Hi Andy. I’m planning on bringing Sanchez back to my team after the IB so just waiting a bit. Aguero will turn into Ibra in the coming weeks in preparation for the DGW. I was sort of interested in a Palace defender or Zaha but just pointed out that their fixtures were horrible so i’m glad you have convinced me to focus on other teams. I think Boro have a rather kind double so maybe a Boro defender to replace my useless player Ward would be in my plans. Like many, I’m holding on to my WC and use it before i BB in GW37.

        • Andy says:

          Makes sense to target both Ibra and Sanchez, no doubt other fires will probably turn up before the DGW’s kick off so just make sure that you get the main guys in first (As long as Sanchez isn’t injured of course.)

  9. 34
    Rosco77 says:

    I’ve just read Inits piece in the FPL magazine, a great read on the pro’s and cons of taking hits as was the whole magazine. This got me thinking about my own hits so I went and had a look..it took a while…

    Anywho the results:

    17 hits to date over 11 GW’s
    8 resulted in a positive score
    3 resulted in a negative
    Overall I was 65 points better off (81 points – 16)

    35 of these points came in GW 24 from bringing in Lukaku and sticking the C on him
    22 came from bringing in Ibra IN GW 18 and Captaining him
    8 came in the DGW27 and TC Kun
    The most I gained in any other given week was +4 the most I lost was -10

    What do I take from this?

    On the whole taking hits has paid off for me. Some weeks the pay off was minimal ( 2-4 points)
    But on the 2 occasions I brought in a player and Captained him (Ibra and kaku) I was rewarded with 57 more points.

    I think one thing which this doesn’t show, is how much you would have scored in subsequent weeks had you kept the original players as sometimes a hit isn’t just for one week in particular.
    With this comes a caveat: I don’t think you can judge a hit as a success or a failure unless you factor in ongoing points acquired from the players you let go and the ones who replaced them.

    One thing however is very apparent, if you bring in a player who is a good captain choice who then delivers you’ll likely reap the benefits from that hit.

    I was under the impression that I had been fairly conservative in the amount of hits I’d taken this season however 17 sounds like a lot and whilst this does include 3 in preparation for DGW 27 I’m still not convinced that all of them were needed!

    I think as a whole I’ve became a little more reluctant in my hits as the season has progressed.
    I think sometimes I’ve been a little over zealous in bringing in the players I see performing in a particular GW, and ditch a player who’s been quiet for a few GW’s only to see their respective fortunes reversed. A good example of this; I had Gareth McCauley in my GW 1 team only to ditch him in GW 8 for VVD…we all know how that story panned out!

    Well I’ve been rambling on for a while now and probably bored most of your to sleep, Inits article is a lot more succinct than my drivel and certainly food for thought so i highly recommend you get the magazine and give it a read!

    • 34.1
      Andy says:

      All good stuff Rosco, the way I’m starting to look at it now is that the war for the fantasy title is more often then not won with the FT rather than the (c) pick, as an extreme example the guy who currently sits at the top of the mountain currently (It’ll all no doubt change) has taken 511 (c) points on the season (Only 30 more than you) however his transfer record has been out of this world with him taking something ridiculous like 339 points with only 8 points worth of hits which separates him from the crowd. (I’ll also add that’s been as lucky as s**t with all his formation changes.)

      The main point being though, that no matter who you bring in for a minus 4 there’ll always be someone who either already has him or has brought him in with a FT making it impossible for you to gain ground on them and taking -4’s on a regular basis will always end up hindering you long term.

      It’s probably unfair using the top ranked team as an outlier as no doubt there are thousands of teams out there who don’t take hits and have a record far poorer but I guess that’s where we all want to be right. I think I’m right in saying that past winners have also taken very few hits as well.

      • saloba11 says:

        ” no matter who you bring in for a minus 4 there’ll always be someone who either already has him or has brought him in with a FT making it impossible for you to gain ground on them”

        Could also be argued that when someone is taking a hit they are usually doing so in bringing a premium player who is the ideal candidate for captaincy. So also you may not be gaining ground you are ensuring you arent failing behind. This week i took a minus 12 hit buy bringing in valencia ddg deeney and costa. They 4 players only managed to get 11 points. had i not done those transfer i would have got 5 points so i was 6 points worse off. clearly that hit never worked out but thr reason behind such excessive hits was that i had kane injured. llorente and walker were 50 50 and also had pva injured and holgate a non players. there was a possibility i could have only fielded 10 players. additionally, my nearest rival had a number of injuries and dont think he realised hazard was also injured. i used that opportunity to bring in players thatbi had planned to bring in. Man u players given DGW and costa as a replacement for kane. Barring any more injurys i am now in a position where hits are not needed for 3/4 weeks.

        • Andy says:

          You’ve made 11 transfers in the last 3 weeks that’s nigh on a WC team, to be frank you’re just getting lucky rather than having any set plan in mind, it took a hat trick from a midfielder to pull you out of the fire from that blank GW recently (Your other three transfers from that week all bombed) and it’s highly doubtful that you ain’t going to take hits again over the next 3 to 4 weeks as if Sanchez comes back from the international break healthy you’ll be needing him in ahead of Arsenal’s DGW with Southampton but hey what’s a minus 8 or 12 between friends right.

          In all seriousness just settle down a little, consecutive big hits which your piling up isn’t a viable long term strategy.

        • saloba11 says:

          yes im very lucky unlike you who gains points by being in the know how haha. top 0.7% and only second year playing this ill settle for the luck.?

        • Andy says:

          Well you’ve already made your FT for this GW already, we’ll see if your luck holds through the international break and that you don’t need to replace an injured player before the next deadline.

        • saloba11 says:

          or the hundreds of yhousands who transfered gabby in to get injured within half an hour. Alli will go up by atleast 0.2 so may aswell. if im unlikey and one of my players is injured id just have to play king or coleman ?

          Click on image to enlarge:

    • 34.2
      Rosco77 says:

      Yes I think you both make valid points and certainly in instances where it’s no player or a -4 I’d take the every time.

      From a personal perspective I think my biggest ‘hit fails’ were bringing in a player in form for a player who had form but had been quiet for a few weeks.

      This week for example I’d like to get Alli but with Funes Mori not starting i need to use my FT to resolve that. Earlier in the season I’d have just took a -4 to get Alli in, but to do so requires me to drop siggy or Mane, both of whom could score just as well this week.

      It’s also worth noting I’m very new to the game so I’m still very much learning but doing quite well so far and hope next season I build on what I’ve learned this season!

    • 34.3
      Milburn says:

      Rosco I appreciate that because you’ve voiced a lot of the thoughts I had in that the success of a -4 can’t be dictated on 1 week. The benefits can come over several. It also ignores the option of captaining that player and also giving u a FT the following week (which u would have previously had to use to bring in such player).
      This season I’ve been wild with hits due to injuries/suspensions/pep or klopp and hated the vast majority because I’ve always thought they’re the result of bad planning.
      The recent study however has given me an optimism about them, so long as they’re planned and have solid thought behind them then they shouldn’t be considered a taboo.
      Summary – its very difficult to measure this because as we know FF has a tenancy to change drastically from week to week… just fucking enjoy it!

      • Rosco77 says:

        Thanks milburn, I most definitely don’t think they should be tabboo and can reap great rewards especially if that player then keeps up theur form.
        I think it would be foolhardy to judge the success of a hit in that one game, much in the way that a WC team should not be judged in its infancy.
        As an aside hits are sometimes great fun and a nice way to ’till the dice’ and as I’ve said on previous posts it is a game after all so we should have fun!

    • 34.4

      Very interesting discussion boys.

      Enjoyed reading that.

    • 34.5
      Mitro says:

      Lads,

      Just take hits……. :)

    • 34.6
      inittowinit says:

      Cheers Rosco. Cathartic isn’t it!

      You make a good point about the knock on effects and future points lost / gained by said transfers. It was something I considered looking into as part of the article but when I began to it all started to get a bit Occam’s razor so I thought I’d best leave it be!

      I thought about selecting a few random examples and examining them but then that wouldn’t have given an overall picture and I know what I’m like when I get going, I’d have ended up looking at all the points for every player involved in every hit from the point at which they came in / out and it felt like an enormous task for the sake of a few paragraph so I didn’t.

      Plus there is also the variable that they may not have stayed for the duration anyway. Not to mention that some were part of a longer plan and may have left that week as a makeweight for a future deal that wasn’t planned until the week after and so if they hadn’t then xyz wouldn’t have happened etc etc

      Anyway, that’s just the explanation for not doing so, you can imagine how long it’d have been if I’d actually done it :)

      • Rosco77 says:

        It certainly is!

        When I read your article I thought ‘ooh that sounds interesting i’ll go an check my stats’ not realising just how time consuming it was! Factoring in points scored in subsequent would have been an arduous process and not one I had the time or energy for today at least!
        I certainly wasn’t suggesting your article was lacking in any way! Far from it infact! I think it was excellent and a thought provoking piece and It really did help alter my thinking or at least make me look at it from a slightly more informed perspective so thank you!

        • inittowinit says:

          Oh don’t worry I didn’t take it like that at all! Just got me thinking whether I should have but that didn’t last long when I remembered why I didn’t!

        • Rosco77 says:

          I think thats one for the summer…if really really bored… I might actually do mine on my ‘vacation’ if the FPL leaves the season data up?

        • inittowinit says:

          Usually stays up for about 2 months and then it’s gone. Always found it odd that they don’t archive it all for people to go back to. I understand it’s a heavy load for the server but it’d be dead easy to create a new site for all the previous seasons data and just bang it on there each time.

        • Mitro says:

          It’s defo an exercise I will do for next season!

          Click on image to enlarge:

        • saloba11 says:

          nice gain from hits mitro. Ive just checked my hits since playing wc in gw29 and ive made a gain of 50 points. had i not id be ranked 100k instead of 29k. Considering we have had a blank gameweek and small double game week i think its been justified. Overall i have gained 171 points by taking hits. Sometimes it doesnt work but without a doubt ive gained as have you and many others :)

  10. 35
    saloba11 says:

    recently someone posted a great website which shows all your stats. Would someone kindly post it again please.

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