Podcast…A look back

Here’s to another FPL season in the history books. Always Cheating hosts Josh and Brandon take a look back at personal highs and lows, our best transfers, the most frustrating players, and what valuable lessons were learned. Thanks to all of our listeners for sticking with us through an incredible year. We’ll be back later in the summer to preview next season and do this all over again.

Simon Humber trophy

The final post of the season wrapping up the Transfer Hub leagues.

The Simon Humber trophy was a very tough competition this season, some weeks there were green arrows in all leagues, except this one, very competitive. Here are the final standings.

Congratulations to Desmond Foo, who in the end won by a decent margin. It was a good season for Desmond who also finished 1st in his country league, Singapore, and was 170th overall.

In second was Phil Ampleford who is now up to Tenth in the hall of fame.

In third spot was David Slade who you may remember as the manager who won our strategy challenge last season with his Five at the back side. Yet another top effort from him.

Beat the Robot league

Around 150 managers signed up to take on the Robot and around 65% managed to beat it. The overall winner and 114th overall and second in the Malaysia league was Karl Chin  a regular on this blog. 106 on the final week ensured a terrific finish to the season.

Kevin Ou was in second spot 217 overall and Third in the Canadian league. While in third spot was Jie Ming Tan 619th overall and Fifth in the Singapore league.

Pretty fierce competition for the Robot, who has vowed to up its game next season. 

Date confirmed for next season launch

The blog will be back on launch day, in the meantime I will be able to focus on my many Fantasy baseball teams, and with daily games and lockouts there will be no time to miss Fpl.  See you 10th July although they will probably tease it out until the end of that week, just to be annoying, and collect more clicks.

 

Gw38 review

Eighty one points this week, yet surprisingly it was still not enough for a green arrow. The final position for the season around the 56k mark.   This illustrates just how tough it has been trying to make ground this season.

There are so many good fantasy assets, that not being able to own them all means it becomes all about owning the right ones at the right time, which often boils down to luck, as they all look good

All the front Seven were in the points and the differential captain came good but still it was not enough, due to not having Kane this week, or last for that matter.  Hull like Leicester before them sadly bereft of any desire to put up any sort of a fight.

It was enough for me to scrape home in my mini league, by Two points, the first time at the top all season, so that made for a tense finish. The goal by Davies being the clincher.

Captain challenge

The captain challenge is over for this season, and our poll, the Transfer Hub poll has come out top so  well done all those who have voted throughout the course of the season

The big difference that swung it for the Hub was the poll not opening until all the weeks matches were over.  The Fantasy Scout poll paid the price for starting too early, before all games were finished. If it had waited last week, I am sure Kane would have led rather than Sanchez.

The Bookies missed a chance to snatch second, as they had Costa very slightly shorter than Aguero. Still it was a good effort and showed that following the bookies top selection is not a bad option.

The Robot trailed back in Fourth spot, but has done enough to earn a spot in next seasons challenge, especially given its great performance last season.  The Two other options will be replaced with a couple of new ideas for picking captains.

I thought playing the worst might have done a bit better, but it seems just choosing a player up against the worst team does not perform that well, this season at least.

One of the ideas for next season is to pick the most transferred in player for that week as the captain choice, that will be one of the Two new categories, the other is yet to be decided.

Team Robot

Eighty Eight for the Robot which was enough for a small green arrow. Not bad considering it did not own any Tottenham players.  Jesus was the triple captain and the chip returned Eleven points.

The season was a tale of Two halves for the Robot. The first half was terrible. Around the Million mark at the half way stage. However only Four red arrows in the second half of the season saw it climb to 140k.  I had been hoping to crack the top 1%, the same goal I had set for my own team, but it did not manage it due to that poor first half.

Like the form tables, the data needs time to settle down. Its algorithm  works well when there is plenty of season data to work with, I need to find a way to improve its selections during the early part of the season.

The Questions have started

Some people seem to be more concerned about my own team than I am myself. Why didn’t you take more hits?  The game has changed why havent you?  Why dont you admit you are no good?

These are just some of the more polite reactions to my 50 k finish. Amusingly some of the less polite ones have actual come from people who have finished with a much worse rank.

Why didn’t you take more hits?

I took Nine hits over the course of the season, The overall winner of the competition took Eight. My season was not won or lost by the amount of hits I took

The game has changed, Why havent you ?

Has it really changed? What is so different about it. Every season is different we know that, with Five top One Thousand finishes, I believe I have already shown adaptability.

Yes but that was years ago, you are rubbish now

Two seasons outside the top 20k does not a poor player make. This years winner had a finish of around Three Hundred and Fifty in 2012  Five years later he won it.

 There is big variance in this game, and the range of potential finishes is fairly large, it is extremely over optimistic to expect to finish every season in the top 1k.  With Four Million players, any time at the top is likely to be fleeting.

Is there more competition now

Very much so, the scout providing advice through the Fpl site has basically meant anyone can just follow the advice and put themselves in contention for a reasonable finish. It is all pretty much spoon fed.   Overall numbers are going up, almost double the amount of players than a few seasons ago, and they no longer have  to hunt for information on how to play.

What mistakes did you make this season

The big mistake was not following my own advice in my book. I have always gone with 2x 4.5 keepers. I was all set to begin with Foster and Heaton, but decided to try something different in an attempt to save money and went with Pickford and Jaskelinen.

That decision alone I estimate has cost around Forty or Fifty points, maybe more. Heaton in particular proved very costly. I then compounded the error by being stubborn by refusing to pay extra for him once his price had risen.

much of the rest was down to poor timing/ luck. Eriksen being a prime example began  the season with him, and knew he was a great pick, but he just did not perform, I was more patient with him than most but he still underperformed, then the moment I sold him he started scoring for fun.  It is easy to over analyse these things, fact is 50k is not outside the range of possible finishes.

However it is all relative, and while I see 50k as below average, I know many people who would consider that a good rank. With the increased competition, the variance will only increase further, and the range of potential finishes will grow ever wider.

Locked and loaded Gw 38

All set for the final week in what has been an exciting season of Fantasy.  My One goal this week is to win the little mini league I compete in season after season. Five points behind  I have made my transfer with that in mind.

As soon as I pushed the button on Hazard to Coutinho I regretted it, have that nagging feeling I should have  done Alli to Coutinho instead.

The armband is also going on Coutinho, a bit of a gamble but with them needing to win it seemed the safest option, although Jesus may have been another good option. Even Costa, but cannot be sure he plays much part.

Captain challenge

 

The challenge is going down to the wire.  The top Three competitors are within Five points of each other and  all have selected different options.  The Fantasy scout poll, started too early as usual has Sanchez out in front, while our Transfer Hub poll has Kane well in the lead.

The bookies have lumped on Costa, who is just ahead of the ignored man of fantasy, Aguero.  They have only Five points to make up on the polls.

Team Robot

The  Robot is using its triple captain chip, and it is going on Jesus, I have a feeling it is going to need some divine intervention to profit much from this chip.  It has gone for a defensive transfer and bought Lovren in for the injured Cedric.

    All tonights matches kick off at 2am New zealand time so I am hopefully going to sleep through the whole thing. By the time I wake up it will be all over for another season.

There will be one last Gameweek review and a roundup of the captain challenge results, and a look at the top of the Simon Humber league which has been extremely competitive this season.

Bonkers captain picks Gw 38

All the usual suspects involved at the top of the table. Kane is the winner, his recent form figures are through the roof. He is far from the only option however, as many of the other contenders also score highly on the form and fixture front.

Those trying to chase down mini league victories have plenty of options for differentials. Jesus, Sanchez, Coutinho and De Bruyne look particularly appealing. The Chelsea players less so as there  is a big possibility of rest and rotation before the FA cup final.

Chelsea are a real dilemma, they have a terrific fixture, and any starters could do really well, but all the same I am tempted to sell Hazard this week, maybe even Costa too, although he did at least have rest in the last match. But with his replacement scoring he could well be given another one.

Have Five points to chase down in my main mini league, so will be choosing transfers and captaincy with that in mind.

Form tables Gw 38

It is doubtful that the tables will be very accurate this week as many sides have little to play for, here they are anyway.  Chelsea and Leicester come out on top.

Conte is talking about surprises whatever that means, I am tempted to change Hazard to Coutinho as it could well be his turn for a rest, on the other hand the surprise could be that he puts out his strongest side, and it is a very appealing fixture.

Leicester were woeful against Tottenham, the sort of display that can happen this time of the season, it is a bit of a lottery as it is hard to predict just which sides will fail to show up. Should they decide to make an effort the tables indicate goals for them, Bournemouth concede a fair few on the road.  As the other table shows this could be a high scoring match.

Liverpool are the team we probably want to be loading up on, they have very high motivation to win this match, although it is posssible that results in a nervous display, but chances are they will win comfortably.

At the other end of the table their do not appear to be many good clean sheet opportunities for the away sides

Home goals conceded Vs away goals scored

Bournemouth, Man C and Tottenham look to be the Three away sides most likely to score some goals, although totals are fairly low. Again motivation could play a part.  Man C are the only team that need to avoid a loss, so their assets look a decent bet, while Tottenham do not appear to be on holiday just yet.

There could be plenty of clean sheets for the home sides. Liverpool, Arsenal, Man U, Southampton, Swansea and Chelsea all with a good chance of a shutout.

Podcast

With fifteen fixtures played and a billion goals between Alexis, Kane, and Jesus, GW37 was truly one for the ages. Josh and Brandon recap the high scores and memorable moments before moving on to strategies for this season’s final round. We look at differential budget picks and captain options, determining which approach will help you overtake your mini league leader in GW38 or, conversely, hold off the chasing competition. Good luck!

Gameweek review 37

A HarryKane  blew through on the last day of the double causing a big change to the Gameweek. My own team had been relying n Eriksen and Alli to cover the points, Eriksen had been doing a great job of it in recent weeks, but his non appearance today, while  Kane scored Four put a twist in the tale of the week.

I52 for an acceptable total, which but for Kane would have been a good one.  Eighteen from the bench boost, about Par for the course and Captain Sanchez did a good job.

Captain challenge

Sanchez put the Transfer Hub poll within Two points of the lead with One week left. Jesus did just enough the for scout poll to maintain a slender lead, over the hub and the bookies.

Team Robot

127 points which was still good enough for a green arrow, but really a few less than would have been hoped for, but considering Kane and Sanchez were not in the team I guess it could have been worse.

The Robot will be using its triple captain chip this week. Who it will be on is yet to be decided.

The chips– Are they doing their job?

Presumably the chips were introduced to the game to add an extra layer of excitement and provide new strategies to make the game more varied and interesting. Have they succeeded?

It quickly became clear last season that the best strategy with the chips was to wildcard the week before a big double, fill the entire team with double week players and use the benchboost to rack up a massive score.

The problem with this is that nearly all active managers have adopted this strategy, as it is rather silly not too. The problem is it forces us all to use the wildcard in the same week, the bench boost in the same week and it has led to less variety and strategic choice than before they were introduced.

Not only that it skews the rankings for nearly the entire season as the casuals use up all their chips in the early weeks and take an early lead, in many ways the chips may have been designed for them to help keep them interested.

However all that has happened is that like kids in a sweet shop they use them up quick in a sub optimal manner and while for a few weeks they look good they ultimately are doomed to failure as they are swamped by the dgw brigade later in the season.

So if the chips are no good for the casuals, and force the active managers down a narrow path lacking in creativity and choice then really what is the point of them?

Last years bench boost

 Uncannily like this seasons, highlighting how powerful the combo of a full team and DGW players combined with a bench boost can be. Shows why it is an almost forced scenario as the risks of not using them at this time are massive

Here is this seasons for comparison, 140 with Four players left, probably not quite as high as last season, but still difficult not to buy into the strategy.

All very similar, and while it is nice getting these big scores, it is not as if others are not doing the same thing, so it is all a bit of a non event, just a bash the casual frenzy for One week.

Personally I find the chips and the fretting over One dgw all a bit annoying and constricting.  However it looks like they are here to stay, and fortunes will once again depend on which manager decides to rest which players, in a high stakes dgw lottery.

Hands up if you prefer last seasons layout?

Not a fan of the 3d effect receding pitch that they used this season. Bring back the rectangle.

Triggerlips – The independent voice of Fantasy Football – Telling it like it is