Goops’ Blog, GW38 – Final Flourish

Tom’s good mate FPLGoops is writing an FPL blog for us this year from the perspective of an “FPL Everyman”.

See his Intro Post here. Follow him on twitter @FPLGoops.

What a strange season that was.  Nearly a whole calendar year from start to finish.  An enforced hiatus mid winter.  And then a  scrambled finish which has knackered us all out.

This has certainly not been my best season – but it ended with a flourish and riding on the coat tails of my brilliant Bench Boost in GW37+ I was in the fight for some Mini League prizes going into the last gameweek.

It’s not often my FPL performance mirrors my actual fandom but there are some clear parallels between my own FPL recovery this season and the United late season rally to claw themselves back into Champions League contention.

Having been outside the podium spots all season, both United and Goops were making a late rally to clinch 3rd place in their respective leagues and with it some handsome rewards!

We know United made it.  How about me?

Here’s what I had planned.

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GW 38+ Planning

I felt at a disadvantage going into the final gameweek as so many managers seemed to have a chip left to play.  That meant two things. The chip would propel their score but also it meant they would not be taking any hits.

It was so close in my mini-leagues – any one of us could have won the cash league, for example, with only a matter of 10-15 points between the top 4.

Unsuprisingly the transparency around moves across my Slack and Whatsapp channels was less pronounced with prizes on the line.  I followed the general sentiment of the ‘ideal FH team’ and apart from the usual Pep Roulette, the consensus appeared to be on backing an in form Kane against hapless Palace who had lost 7 on the trot and were firmly on the beach.

My own strategy was carefully conceived to do 2 things.  One was to stay in the game primarily by covering the Burnley defence where the triple up was being mooted.  The other was all out attack on an explosive striking option as GW38 has a history of strong attacking returns.

I had a number of scenarios in play.  The one I was most set on was to bring in Aubameyang for Rashford.  Despite Watford fighting for their lives and Arsenal with one eye on the cup final, I just felt Auba was close enough to the Golden Boot to take advantage of a plum fixture.

The teamsheet bombshell when it landed was hugely unexpected.  Salah to be benched. No no no.  You cant’ carry that budget on a 1 pointer. I had 2 mins to make up my mind.  Salah had to go.  I wasn’t on Kane so Son was the ideal foil and with the City game expected to deliver the goods, I took Foden to Dilva.

It wasn’t one of my original battle strategies but at the 11th hour it had potential and I liked the idea of David Silva in his last game.  I’d have to hope Brighton turned up to ruin Pope’s bid for the golden glove.

Let’s see how it unfolded.

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GW 38+ Review

I truly honestly expected Burnley to keep a clean sheet and with only 1 Burnley defender in place I thought that might be my undoing in the final reckoning.

So Bissouma’s rocket after 20 mins was a real boon – and it gave me a chance if my attacking assets played ball.

Jesus’ early goal for City (with no assist awarded) was a bad start but then KdB came to life and Sterling (my captain) found his feet and suddenly I was piling on some points.

In the meantime Aubameyang’s first half haul was crushing.  I’d called this right in my head but the Salah news had diverted me to Plan B and I was left to rue what might have been.

I was still convinced at half time that both Dilva and Son would justify the faith – I was hugely suprised that they both blanked.

KdB, surprisingly quiet FPL wise, proved why he is the best player in the league bar none with a virtuoso display.  My captaincy was on Sterling – which was totally sensible after his brilliant haul for me in GW37+ and whilst both of them started to pile the points on they were not differentials and I really needed Rashford and Chris Wood to join the party.

Woody justified the call I’d made as part of my -8 last week with a lovely finish but the United game as as tight as I’d expected and no late Rashford fireworks.

The truism that defences don’t deliver in GW38 held up as I amassed a whopping 2 points from my goalie and 3 defenders.  Wow. 2 bagels and 2 1 pointers.  Awful.

Bruno’s pen and KdB’s megahaul landed me on 64 (-4) to end the season. A red arrow (fittingly!) but would it be enough for a podium finish?

After an anxious wait whilst all the leagues updated, I realised I’d been very  fortunate indeed.

In the ML, one of the guys had taken a -8 which meant even with my hit I overhauled him at the last to pinch 3rd spot.  I worked out that owning Auba would not have been enough to grab 2nd so the only thing affected was my final OR.

And what was my final OR?  126k.  I had somehow halved my rank from the restart which is some achievement and it is a respectable finish even if ultimately top 100k was the goal.

What’s more in the ML, as well as the podium finish I held on to win the final ‘game month’ payout by 3 points and the prize for the best H2 and also a share in the highest gameweek of the month with that 109 on BB.

From being on the fringes these last few weeks to a £50 prize allocation from the fund to end the season.  And pinching some of this at the last. A really strong finish.

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Doodle Corner – KdB is the FPL King

Jeremy (aka fpldoodles1) has continued to entertain the FPL Community with his sharp-witted Doodles pulling apart the weekend action.

Jordan Henderson may have landed the POTY award from football writers as the driving force for Liverpool’s title success but the best player in the league is Kevin de Bruyne.  Simply irresisitible and beyond that proved at the last what an amazing FPL asset he is.  First name on my teamsheet next season.

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Wrapping up the 2019/20 season

So that’s a wrap folks.

Before I go just a few observations from the season and some learnings to take forward into next year:

Best Punt: my Bench Boost in GW37 taking a -8 and bagging 109 points.  I love it when a plan comes together.

Worst nightmare: handing Son the armband in GW18 only to see him sent off. Devastating.

Biggest Regret: continuously overlooking Danny Ings because of fears over his fitness and Tony Martial because he’s always let me down in previous seasons

Main FOMO:  Raheem Sterling.  I rectified this for the BB but I called him out as the key danger man at the start of the season and post lockdown when in clear form, took ages to get on board

Chip Strategy:  For once I largely got this right.  Salah TC landed 48, the aforementoined BB haul (109) and a decent Free Hit (87) the week after Project Restart.  One of my wildcards paid immediate dividends too

Biggest Frustration:  landing the right captain.  As it happens analysis shows i got 550 captain points which is higher than I’ve seen elsewhere but early season I had 8 single digit captain returns in 11 gameweeks.  That killed my season before it got off the ground so whilst a lot is down to luck, I’ll be spending time next season setting a different course on captaincy choice.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed engaging with the FPL Community this year via my Everyman Blog

A few thank yous.

  • First and foremost to Tom for his patient editing and for the guys at WGTA for promoting my content and giving me a platform.
  • To Jeremy (aka fpldoodles1) for partnering with me on the blog to inject a visual angle to complement the storytelling.
  • And finally to all of you who’ve taken the time to read about my FPL experiences.  I hope I’ve achieved the goal of speaking earnestly about the highs and lows of an everyman FPL player, trying not to sound like a know it all. Trying not to come across as any form of expert.  I’m not.  I play with my gut (and a bit of data) and yes I play to win but what this has hopefully proved is FPL is about interactivity, it’s about enjoyment and so enjoy your rest folks and we go again next season

Enjoy the off season!

Goops