TO HIT or NOT TO HIT – THE SEQUEL!
Welcome to TO HIT or NOT TO HIT – THE SEQUEL!. The last time we examined the ‘hit phenomenon’ was in the inaugural edition of everybody’s favourite Fantasy Football Magazine. Which was way back in GW30 of last season. And it’s fair to say that it garnered a great reaction, on many platforms. It sparked some very highbrow debates in fact, even on twitter! We shall come onto those later. Let’s begin with the basics though and tell you what we are going to examine in ‘THE SEQUEL’.
Let’s go very basic: he keeps saying ‘hits’, what the heck is he talking about? Well, a ‘hit’ is simply taking a -4 point deduction in order to bring in an additional player in any given gameweek, above your allocated free transfer(s). The theory is that it allows you to bring in additional players who you feel are worth it for that week, or future weeks. The reality is that they then have to outscore the outgoing player by 4 points just for you to break even on the deal. Which is the tricky bit in reality after the fantasy idea of it has worn off!
With that out the way let’s step it up a notch. Last time we did this I examined my own hits and whether they had worked out, on a base level at least. But last time it was GW30 and there was a bigger pool to look at. I’ve only taken 5 so far this time in the 14 weeks that have passed. We shall look at those 5, but only briefly. We shall then take a look at a renowned ‘hitter’. He’s become infamous on our website chat for his hit taking over the years and he’s also up to 11 of them already this season. The thing is, he also usually posts a great end of season rank.
We shall then go on to look at the hit habits of the top 20 teams in the rankings so far and then we shall talk a bit about Christmas (hits wise, not just tinsel!).
THE CHAOS THEORY
Let’s just get this out of the way at the offset as this is where it got a bit highbrow, but also ultimately unfathomable. When I looked at my hits and their point gains I did so in isolation of that particular gameweek. I presented a net score for all of those. And as it was it showed a net gain of 103 points over 14 hits in 30 weeks and a net gain of 13k in overall rankings, over the piece. What I didn’t take into consideration, mainly for the purposes of the readers boredom levels but also my own sanity, was the after effects of the hits. That is to say what did the players transferred both in and out then go on to score in subsequent weeks. True, that would give a better reflection overall of the hit and its effectiveness. The difficulty in extrapolating this is then the knock on effect of said hits on future transfers. Any transfer will affect your ability to make future ones and so if you did or didn’t make a move it becomes too hard to say how that would have impacted on future moves. Even as far as one week ahead. For example – if I didn’t take that hit last week then I would have a completely different bank balance and hence would choose to bring in Otamendi rather than say Sakho. Hence the chaos theory. It just can’t be analysed to that extent.
A TALE OF RESTRAINT
1. I see an opportunity. A player hits form (best case scenario is two), I don’t own him / them and I have others who are clearly not on form. And their fixtures have to warrant it too, usually. You have to pass a lot of tests to join my hit club!
2. A top player suddenly returns from injury and I cannot fit him in. He still has to hit the above criteria. As do any others others joining in on the hit fun.
3. An injury or suspension crisis. I don’t make early transfers usually, 99% are done on Friday night ahead of Saturday, so I don’t often get caught out in this respect. And with a squad of 15 it’s very rare that this scenario comes into play.
As I say, I have taken 5 hits in 14 weeks, and I would suggest that is probably about average. And on a base level they haven’t actually worked out that well this time. Until you apply some chaos theory… Here are my ‘hit’ results so far –
– Total points IN from the players I have taken a hit for (that GW) are 48
– Total points OUT from the players leaving are 30
– Minus the 20 from the hits themselves and the net loss is -2!
The majority of these hits took place between GW’s 8 and 11 and so I have taken a look at my rankings between those date points, and then also beyond, to satisfy the chaos theory. And low and behold it is quite telling. Between those GW’s I have taken 4 hits and basically transformed my team a bit, some would call it a mini wildcard. In GW8 I was sat in 258K. By the end of GW11 I had gone up to 51k. As we speak now I am up to 21k. So yes, the changes may not have paid off immediately in the weeks they were made but they probably did over the coming weeks. Salah springs to mind!
A TALE OF RECKLESS ABANDON
Mitro! Who or what is one of them you may ask. Well, he is an FF247 website legend. He takes hits like we take hot meals. He also complains every week that things aren’t looking rosy and then two days later lays out to sunbathe, fully naked, to bask in the glory of yet another successful hitting spree! He’s embraced the hit culture fully over the years and has actually used it to his advantage to the point that his history shows three top 10k finishes in six seasons and he’s never finished outside of the top 80k. And we are talking ‘hits central here’. 11 in 14 weeks so far is actually very restrained compared to usual.
Here are how his hits have worked out this season –
– Total points IN from the players Mitro has taken a hit for (in that GW) are 127
– Total points OUT from the players leaving are 78
– Minus the 44 from the hits themselves and the net gain is +5
That seems a lot of work for a small net gain but we should also point out that it included some weekly gains of 17, 16, 16 and 21. They were ruined by the negative one which totalled only -22, and without the failures it would look great.
How have the hits impacted his season overall though? In GW3, when he was hitless, he was ranked 1.3m. And then the hits began. As I pointed out on my own analysis above the hits cannot just be measured on a one week result and as such he has risen gradually throughout them to now sit at 270k.
A TALE OF SUCCESS – The Top 20 Teams
It’s always worth looking at the top teams for analysis, for obvious reasons. What are they doing right this season that the majority aren’t? It’s also often frustrating to do so as the answer is usually – not much! Their teams are very similar to most, they don’t have access to magical or mythical players who everybody else doesn’t. But in the interests of the article have they done anything different in terms of taking hits? Maybe…
The top 20 as we stand have taken a total of 19 hits between them this season, less than 1 each. All season. Break that down to the top 7 and they have taken 1 hit between them. All season.
What that actually means is open to interpretation. Are hits intrinsically bad then? Looking at the examples above one shows a small net gain, and one shows a small net loss but with a ranking rise in both cases to justify them.
What it probably says is that they simply picked a better team to begin with, saw it was working and stuck with it!
A TALE OF LUCK?
This has nothing to do with hits really, other than the person involved hasn’t taken any. Or indeed done any transfers. Or indeed changed their Captain since GW1. But the guy in position #9 at the time of writing has done none of the above and has had Salah as a perma Captain all season. He may not even know he is in 9th! It’s apropos nothing really but just thought I’d throw that into the mix!
When is a hit acceptable? When it pays off, is the easy answer. But that is with hindsight. I have highlighted above my own criteria for considering a hit – and it is fairly stringent. But that is on a normal GW.
There are however also instances when it may be acceptable to take a guilt free hit without really thinking about it. That is when you are faced with a scenario of not fielding 11 starters. That may be because of injuries and suspensions and due to formation criteria you may be looking at a team with no keeper or less than 3 defenders, for example. Or it may be on a ‘blank’ GW when very few teams play.
That is when we get into the realms of ‘guilt free hits’, as they then become -2’s rather than -4’s. The simple math is that if you are facing a big fat zero on a player’s spot then transferring in someone for a hit should at least garner you 2 points as opposed to none. Hence the -2, and not the usual -4. What happens after that is in the lap of the Gods but at least you have tried!
A FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK?
Everyone fears the dreaded Christmas rotation. But in terms of hits you just have to ride it out really and hope that your lot still play. The reason being is that you probably won’t know who plays and who doesn’t until the line-up’s are announced each time. Pay close attention to the press conferences for sure, but even then you never know what will happen. Your best bet is to ensure that you have a fully playing 15 man squad going into it.
Thanks for reading TO HIT or NOT TO HIT – THE SEQUEL!
This article was originally written by Inittowinit for FFMag.
The League Codes for FF247 for the 2017/18 season are as follows:
Gameweek Tracker GW23 – 28