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Fantasy Football Inside The Mind Of An FPL Player Gameweek 22


Fantasy Football Inside The Mind Of An FPL Player Gameweek 22

Once more we delve into the personal lives FPL minds of our wonderful team of writers…

And probably more so than ever this week as the issue of mental health and FPL was raised in the press due to a recent study. You can read one of the press articles about it from The Guardian here or if you want the full study that is available here.

There’s no agenda here, it just came up on the writing team’s chat and it was suggested that perhaps we should touch on it somehow this week. As such we have asked that if anyone would like to do so in their answers below then they have free reign.


GW21 points: 75
Total Points: 1429
Overall Rank: 778
Rank Change: Red arrow 241
Free transfers: 1
Money In the bank: £0.3m
Chips: Both Wildcards, Bench Boost and Free Hit used

GW21 Review

This week I’m going to step outside of the format slightly. There will be no ‘good, bad and ugly’. I’m going to use this opportunity to give an insight into how my season is going, but also address a few issues that I feel are pertinent to a lot of FPL managers in the current climate. I don’t want this to come across as a ‘woe is me’, so if it does, I apologise in advance. Hopefully, it will help some people who like me, are struggling to take any real enjoyment from what is meant to be a fun game, but for many, due to circumstances out of our control, has become a very difficult (and different) game to what we signed up for.

Like many managers, I’m struggling with how the current Covid cancellations are affecting FPL. I had a great start to the season, better than I’ve had before, and current rank of 778 at this stage of the season is fantastic, more than I could have hoped for at the start of the season, however, this is tinged with the thought of ‘what might have been’. I was 61st on Christmas Day and just 15 points off 10th overall. Quite an achievement. But in the game weeks that have followed, I’ve wasted a Free Hit and my second Wildcard and slipped down the ranks. I say wasted, in the case of my Free Hit this is very true, in the case of my Wildcard you could argue that it’s too soon to pass judgement on that, time will tell.

So, why did I play the chips and what went wrong? Well, the Christmas period is always my least favourite part of the season for FPL, but the best time as a lover of football. Games come thick and fast and if you enjoy watching football (as I like many of you do) then there’s lots of it. But for FPL it’s always incredibly difficult for those of us who like to plan, this has been made almost impossible thanks to the current Covid situation. Games have been cancelled left right and centre, sometimes after the game week deadline and we’ve all lost players without warning.

One of the biggest parts of FPL that I enjoy is the planning. There is nothing better than looking ahead to a particular game week, or run of favourable fixtures, picking out a player you think will do well and then watching them grab a double-digit haul before the masses ‘follow the points’. Covid cancellations have made this almost impossible. I’ll use Jared Bowen as an example. Bowen had amazing fixtures from GW19 through to 22 (Southampton, Norwich and Leeds at Home with trips to Watford and Palace in-between). I had earmarked GW18 or 19 to bring him in, but unfortunately, a few cancelled games and missing players meant I had to prioritize my transfers elsewhere. To say it was frustrating when he scored 14pts against Watford in GW20 would be an understatement.

Let’s get back to those wasted chips. My Free hit was a waste. I didn’t needn’t need to use it, it was a mistake. I was so busy in the build-up to Christmas Day, that it seemed an easy solution to resolve a few issues that my team had, without having to overly think about it. It was the wrong play, and one I regret. I’ll get over it.

On to the Wildcard. I should caveat this by saying that I have never used my second Wildcard early. I’ve always kept it till late, sometimes really late (GW36 and 37 in previous seasons). This year I saw an opportunity. When a DGW pops up unexpectedly you have a choice to make. Attack it or remain conservative. My team prior to GW21 was a mess. I had 5 injured players, no DGW players and more than a few players who I simply didn’t want moving forward. I also had the luxury of a 27-point Bench Boost already in the bag, so in my mind, not having to save the Wildcard to use in conjunction with a Bench Boost was a luxury I had that others did not. So, in came triple West Ham (I finally got my man Bowen) along with double Everton (Calvert-Lewin and Gray). We all know how this panned out. Leicester who had managed to put out a side capable of beating Watford in the cup, suddenly do not have enough players to fulfil their game against Everton and the game is postponed. Thus, any advantage I may have gained from grabbing the Toffee’s duo was lost. What do we make of the cancellation? Well, on the surface it looks like their reasons are less to do with Covid, and more to do with injured players and those who are off on international duty. Who’s to blame, Leicester City? Maybe, but the Premier League have to be the ones who should be held accountable, they make the rules, they make teams submit a squad and if that squad can’t be boosted by youth players then surely the rules need to be looked at. It does seem strange, however, that other teams (Leeds are a good example) with squads depleted by injury and Covid have been forced to play while others haven’t. Some level of transparency would no doubt help. We’re never going to get it sadly.

Where does this leave us as FPL managers moving forward? We can’t plan ahead (or not in the same way we have previously), we are never going to have all the information, and circumstances will change before and sadly after the game week deadline. The debate of ‘luck vs skill’ feels very one-sided in the current climate. If you manage to get your chosen side out, without losing a player or fixture then that’s lucky, there is no skill involved. Unless you happen to have a crystal ball. If you do, pass it in my direction, please!

So, we then come to the often-thorny issue of mental health and FPL. ‘It’s just a game, get on with it’. A comment I’ve seen levelled at others and sometimes in my direction many times over the years. Right now, given all that I’ve discussed above, I’m seeing it a lot more. People are struggling, and that’s ok. For some people it is just a game, that’s cool, I wish I could be more like them, but I’m not. A recent study ‘Exploring the mental health of individuals who play Fantasy Football’ was published, using data collected from hundreds of managers from around the world that play FPL. It’s a very interesting read, and as someone who’ll hold their hand up unashamed and admit to suffering mental health (both good and bad) due to FPL, it’s nice to know I’m not alone. I do think that how much time you give to FPL is a factor in how you deal with the highs and lows. I spend a perhaps unhealthy amount of time dedicated to FPL, hours a day, every day, of every week. It’s caused arguments at home, it has ruined many weekends. When a free game starts to affect real life it’s time to take stock, make changes.

So, what changes can you make? Well, for some it’s often best to take a step back. That could be permanently or just a temporary break. You have to do what is right for you. What I do find a big help is sharing (it is caring). We have a great community here, I’d argue it’s the best. If you’re having a tough time, don’t bottle that shit up. Share it on the boards, chances are there are more than a handful of other managers going through similar. Two close members of the community recently reached out and asked me (on different occasions) to look after their teams for very different reasons. I was more than happy to help. So, if you have a friend or fellow FF247 member you trust, reach out, I’m sure like me they would be more than happy to help.

For me, a bad game week and any ill effects that come with it are usually forgotten the moment a game week ends. I like to think I’m a fairly positive person (my glass is always half full and I’ve always got another can on hand to top it back up quick-smart!), and tend not to dwell, what’s done is done. Try not to look back and instead look forward, you can’t change what’s happened, but you can look forward (and try) to do things moving forward that push you closer to whatever your goals are. Also, try to put things in context. If you’re not having the best season will it really matter 1, 2 or 5 years down the line? You might look back and say ‘that was a bad season’ but will it be any more than that? If you had a particularly bad game week or run of red arrows, yes, you may look back and remember how it was not a very enjoyable period or season. Chances are you’ll be too focused on the current set of games (or season) to spend more than a fleeting moment lamenting the week you give Salah the armband, he missed a penalty and scored you a big fat zero. Ouch, that hurt.

I’ll wrap this up as I’ve blathered on more than I intended. No matter how your season is going, try to take enjoyment from it, it’s not always easy I know, but if you can laugh about it (at some point) it will help. I know. If someone says ‘it’s’ just a game’ don’t take offence, after all, factually that is correct. My best bit of advice though? Remember why we started playing the game in the first place. We love football. So, when the dust settles on a bad game week, make sure you watch the highlights of all those games you avoided because ‘player X’ scored and you don’t own them’. You never know, you might see something someone else hasn’t and gain an advantage next game week or the one after – providing of course that the game doesn’t get called off. I’ll leave it there. As always, may your arrows be green and if they’re not, that’s ok, next week just might be.

GW22 Preview

Transfer plans
With the announcement of another DGW and my captain of choice Son now injured I find myself in something of a predicament. I don’t think the fixtures are that great so I’d be happy to roll with just the 4 DGW players, especially given the favourable fixtures for most of my SGW players. However, I feel I’m lacking an obvious captain choice. I imagine most will look to Ronaldo and Kane, its hard to ignore a player with 2 games after all. Getting either of those will require a hit, but then I’ll be moving out one of Antonio or DCL, both of which have excellent fixtures. I guess I have a lot to ponder (overthink), and as yet I have no clear path to follow!

Transfer summary:

Captain for GW22: Unknown


GW21 points: 78
Total Points: 1273
Overall Rank: 254,756
Rank Change: Green arrow 37k
Free transfers: 1
Money In the bank: £0.5m
Chips: First Wildcard and First Free Hit used

GW21 Review
Much like my colleagues elsewhere on here I have found this Christmas period to be a frustrating one. And that isn’t because I failed to plan or missed deadlines, I often thrive in this period as I’m fairly meticulous with prep, after all which other idiot would sit there on Christmas Eve night (their Birthday!), Boxing Day night and NYE night writing and publishing the FF247 Site Team article?!

It was frustrating simply because of the reasons others have mentioned: you plan and it doesn’t matter as you are either lucky or not as to whether your players actually get to play.

Rank wise I was building some momentum going into this period and it hasn’t really gone backward, rather just stagnated.

As for the issue of mental health and FPL I’ll simply copy below what I originally sent to the team on the issue when it arose, I’d prefer to do this as it was my gut instinct when asked and so it is from the horses mouth;

“I think it’s more priorities than anything. The more time you invest in something then invariably you are going to be more affected by its outcome, good or bad.

When I started all this I had less of other things to do and so I spent more time on it. The result of it was then more important to me as a consequence of that time spent. A bad result used to actually affect my mood. Although I must admit I realised that quite quickly and stopped it in its tracks.

Since that time I’ve had two kids and developed a much more time consuming (real) career. You then prioritise progressively.

My season ranks show that slow recline into other interests, almost perfectly.

I’ll give you a real life example from tonight itself. Since tea (dinner, whatever) I’ve just spent two hours ordering kids football kits and telling the parents how to measure sizes. That’s just priorities and life.

As for FPL I prioritise the site itself over my own team by a mile. I have to or else it doesn’t exist for us or for all those other people on it for whom FPL for them is clearly a priority in their lives.

That was a decision I made a long time ago and so the site sits up there as a priority for me along with the family, work, gym and the kids football team. Unfortunately, time wise, that means my own FPL team / time gets shunted.

But the proof is in the pudding on that one: what do I care about on a Saturday now? I care that the site is in working order and is busy as a result, I care how the kids football team got on. In fact I care so much that my main priority when returning is that I send them a match report and answer any questions about it before I even look at any football results or what is on.

I still do my FPL team and don’t get me wrong I care about it and I do still want to win my own ML. I just don’t prioritise it enough to care to the point that it affects my mood.”

GW22 Preview

Transfer plans
As you can see from the pic above I am yet to make any moves. I appreciate that part of the intention of this article is to give the readers a clue as to what we are planning, and perhaps some ideas to consider themselves, but in all honesty I haven’t got a clue myself yet.

I currently have about 6 red/yellow flags but I expect that 2 or 3 of those will be resolved. That said it still leaves me very shy of DGW’ers, with just the 1 at present. I have two options here. One is to attack the DGW with a Free Hit but in honesty I am somewhat reluctant to do that given that games are still being called off at the drop of a hat. I think I’d rather hold that for future use when hopefully things are a bit clearer, although we have all been saying that about a good number of things in life for about the past 2 years now.

Most likely then is that I will simply take a couple of hits on Friday with an eye on the likes of Dennis and Maddison and probably a punt elsewhere, although most picks feel like a punt these days as getting any of them on a pitch in the first place feels like a bonus.

Transfer summary: unknown
Sorry that I cannot be of more help but it is what it is and I shall be leaving any decisions right up until; the last minute on Friday in the hope that we know some more about the current flags and probably more importantly which if any games will go ahead.

Captain for GW22: unknown


GW21 points: 92
Total Points: 1342
Overall Rank: 48,064
Rank Change: Green arrow 127k
Free transfers: 1
Money In the bank: £2.6m
Chips: First Wildcard, Bench Boost and Free Hit used

GW21 Review

I am within the top 100K which is where I want to finish at the end of the season and I am on the same points as Smash and Horse so I am very proud of that and within 100 points of the mighty Rosco. The season has been a lot of ups and downs, I had a run of green and then a run of red then a run of green – you get the idea. The Christmas and New Year period has completely broken my team, I am never going to get used to these postponements and all the backwards and forwards. Anyway rant over – hang on a minute rant isn’t over I am still a Manchester flipping United fan and I am pretty fuming about that as well.

The good:
Nothing and I mean a big fat nothing, it’s all going wrong and I would quit right now apart from the fact that I don’t want to lose my work ML.

The bad:
All of it, seriously though I’ll be honest I am pretty much making it up as I go along at the moment, every move I have made over the holiday period has either been too early and games have been postponed in the last hour, or too late and the site crashes, so for 21 I did my moves a couple of hours before the deadline, I had James and Wilson who are both of sick so I took a hit and brought in Dennis now he is no longer going to AFCON and Coufal trying to get a bit of luck from the double, all makes perfect sense until you realise I didn’t even play Dennis and Coufal isn’t doing me much good so far, there was simply no point in taking the hit apart from to not lose money on James or Wilson. Told you I was making it all up didn’t I?

The ugly:
All of it, it isn’t pretty to look at so I am not going to until the day before the deadline when I have to. Oh and have I mentioned I am a Manchester United fan?

GW11 Preview
Its hard to decide on this right now because we don’t know if there are going to be doubles and I just don’t know really, the new magic free hit is available and I may use my wildcard.

Transfer plans
Ah, plans do you remember those and when they used to work? I do, such happy times. As I have said I’m not sure what I am going to do yet, I might even just keep Salah, I might get Son or Kane but one thing I can guarantee you is I will not be getting any United players, how on earth have I ended up with de Gea? Too much wine maybe Mmmmm I like wine, especially pink wine.
So I have just read this back to myself and if it appears that I am doing a lot of moaning well I am, but sometimes a girl has just got to get stuff off her chest, so thanks for reading and I will hopefully be back for the next In The Mind of Article with a smile and a green arrow.

Transfer summary:
Shrugs shoulders

Captain for GW22: Another shrug of shoulders

Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Inside The Mind Of An FPL Player Gameweek 22. This article was written by Rosco, Carolyn and Init






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  1. 1
    inittowinit says:

    ***NEW ARTICLE – Inside the Mind of… GW22***

    Rosco, Carloyn and Init update us on their progress, whilst being somewhat less helpful about their plans for the DGW ahead.

    • 1.1

      Excellent article, cheers !!

      I can defo relate to pretty much everything mentioned above, especially with the priorities “part”.
      Or better said the family->work->real life->FPL life balance in this very interesting times we find ourselves in.

      The past year and a half my FPL ranking suffered bcs of this.
      I even restricted myself from spending time on the site and on the internet altogether, if it was not related to work.

      It’s all about priorities, that’s true.
      Sometimes life imposes the relevance and order of the above-mentioned on us and FPL goes a bit down on this list.
      Not to mention the times we live in and the effect it has both on our daily lives AND the FPL world as well.

      The continuous postponements, reschedulings, last minute cancelations, etc have a huge effect on the game itself and our involvement in the same.
      If you are not following the news and updates 24/7 (see what I did there 😉 ), your rank will suffer, which means this year the FPL world is more demanding than ever -> in terms of consuming our time.

      Having said all the above, a very logical conclusion comes to mind.

      We all understand (now even more than ever) the effort, time and dedication it takes to run a site like this, to entertain, educate and engage a community of like-minded FPL addicts for all of these years.

      So, personally from me and I believe from everyone else as well -> an enormous THANKS to everyone involved !!


      • KI says:

        +1. Very well put, HL.

      • Special Agent Dale Cooper says:


      • inittowinit says:

        Thanks HL. The disruptions have had a weird affect on me in relation to the running of the site. You see, I like routine. I’m a bit OCD like that. Very, in fact. As such, as much more hard work as it was before to post 6 different articles a week I preferred that routine as I knew what I was doing every day in advance. I find it harder right now not even knowing what we can possibly post next week depending on what the news / fixtures / goodness knows what else will bring us.

        It’s strange because essentially having less to do demotivates me.

        I could ask the team to crack on as normal but it’s pointless people writing about stuff on Monday that is defunct by Thursday because the whole landscape has changed in the meantime.

        But yet we still crack on and try our best. I just hate that then sometimes it doesn’t look like we are. But trust me it’s a conscious decision not to. If that makes sense.

  2. 2
    Kralin says:

    Excellent article.

    Good points from Rosco and Init re mental health. I find once the deadline has passed then I just watch / follow the games for the sake of football and see what my fantasy total is at the end. There is nothing I can do to change what unfolds. Following it live from a fantasy perspective and seeing say you’re on 70 points but then that becomes 55 points because you’ve just seen a couple of last-minute goals, etc etc, can be like live and serious manic-depression. I tuned out of Scout years ago but I remember the comments section during matches was like reading people’s minds unravelling, in real-time.

    Personally I like finding out about bonus points and so on the day after and taking that laid-back approach keeps the game in perspective.

    To each their own of course.

    Hope everyone’s well. I haven’t the faintest idea what to do with my side this week.

    • 2.1
      AJW says:

      Yes I agree Kralin – I too would like to thank Rosco and Init for opening up on the subject, and I think it’s really important to speak about this aspect of the game, as we are all affected differently, and, logically, we all have extremely different backgrounds and personal histories, and approaches to life in general. I’m really glad you have put things into perspective – as I find myself increasingly obsessive abou the whole thing, within reason, as I tend to crave the community side of it all, and can’t wait to see what people are saying and how they’re reacting. As far as results are concerned, I tend not to place too much importance on them (as the article says, it’s a game that is nigh impossible for most players to win!), but am occasionally (often???) I’m disappointed by my own decisions, as I see it as a mirror of everyday life (I think the people who react the most reasonable/astutely, will probably be like this in their own personal and professional lives, so I worry about my problem-solving abilities and reactions). But having said that, I think FPL without a support network such as FF247, would be quite an empty affair, and I’m glad to be a part of this good-natured, but informative community.
      The game is probably just a pretext to air ones love of football and communication with fellow like-minded human beings. (And it gives me an excellent platform on which to ramble!). I think that’s all, apart from the fact that I think I’m 60% sure of free-hitting this GW!
      Cheerio one and all – remember that you’re not alone when you’ve got someone to talk to! smile All the best!

  3. 3
    Aarron13 says:

    Who’s the better option for this double game week
    Moura or Maddison?

    • 3.1
      tiijayz says:

      Spurs did not look encouraging yesterday, but I guess they’d do better when not playing Chelsea. Too much uncertainly around Leicester games will make me pick Moura over Maddison

    • 3.2
      Colriles says:

      I’m going for both I think with a -4! Rationalizing it to myself by saving my FH and going after the DGW with just a single hit smile Couldn’t really decide between the two so here we are.

    • 3.3
      Smash says:

      It’s difficult as both are fine for this week. However you won’t want either going forward for different reasons

      • bees393 says:

        Agree with you Smash. Last season my thinking was too short term and it bit me at the end. Who are you thinking of bringing in?
        I would love your opinion on the best GK going forward? Almost think Sa better choice the DDG, but not sure.

        • Smash says:

          Yeah I’d prob prefer Sa after this week. Prob Ransdale still but he’s got some blanks. I think I’ll sell Toney but I’m not sure. It’s either Dennis and Davies in for Toney and Livramento. Keeping Salah as no viable replacement. Or Maddison and Ronaldo in for Salah and Toney which prob pushes me closer to a WC

        • bees393 says:

          I think Dennis and Davies in for Livra and Toney a solid move.
          I don’t trust Ronnie so may not be worth that move. I may move Ronnie on for Watkins with good matches after next week. Trying to keep my head and not got too caught up in the noise.
          Maybe I should hold Ramsdale for now and bring in Madds for 2 weeks.

        • Smash says:

          I might even just do the Dennis move

      • Aarron13 says:

        It’s only until Salah is back

  4. 4
    ODT says:

    Excellent read y’all! Thank you!

  5. 5
    Ripcurl82 says:

    Any ideas on this please?

    2FT 1.0m


    Click on image to enlarge:

    • 5.1
      Colriles says:

      Hey Rc, Son > Maddison or Lucas will be popular moves. Then it’s how badly you want to attack other doublers. I’d be hesitant to move Watkins or Antonio but if you did King or Dennis would be on the list. Or Antonio > Kane and see which mid you can afford for Sonny? Not a ton of help as I’m still mulling my second move smile

    • 5.2
      tiijayz says:

      James out for Ben Davies/Dier and Son out for Maddison/Moura

  6. 6
    Bigpopz says:

    Excellent article guys thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    I must admit to having mood swings depending on how good or bad a fpl week I’m having.
    However it quickly fades with each new gwk coming thick and fast.

    Things that I’ve done that helps me are…
    Sharing my highs & lows with others, especially my ML rivals who I see and speak to daily, ..have a laugh, take the piss out of each other’s picks, chat about the players that you’re buying or binning….! …then do the opposite lol.
    Watching football (not just my fpl players)…I mean keeping a look out for those little gems who might just be coming into form that nobody has noticed,
    it’s great way to lift your mood bringing in a player that blows up before anyone else has had a sniff.
    Don’t sweat the price changes, those early transfers and hits are addictive…so wait till last minute, especially with all the unpredictability atm.
    Live by the mantra “Form over fixtures”…

    Hope this helps anybody out there who’s struggling.
    Real world or fpl..we live in tough times atm.
    So it’s good to talk & share your thoughts,
    That’s why we love this site so much,
    Because if all else is shit atm at least someone on here cares.

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