The mass selling of Costa over the last Seven days highlights a number of problems with FPL and in a wider sense the media in general.
Just before the Gw 21 kickoff we hear rumours that Costa is off to China, has fallen out with his manager and will possibly never play for Chelsea again. All unsubstantiated of course. What followed was a mass exodus.
The traditional media, as Donald Trump keeps telling us, cannot be trusted. They are losing circulation, and with twitter etc we now know as much as they do. They have responded by becoming ever more sensationalist in their reporting. No longer concerned with facts, only with generating the maximum amount of sales/ clicks as possible.
Reports of China, falling outs, etc were just sensationalism, and Fpl managers fell for it hook line and sinker. Even those running Fpl sites seem to welcome the chaos as it attracts more custom and provides a talking point. It all helps turn a molehill into a mountain.
It can all be summed up by the ridiculous report that Costa was training alone. Of course he was as all the other players were recovering from the match at the weekend.
The price system is now broken. The rate of change is ridiculously high, caused by Two factors.
1) a vast increase in the number of active players this season
2) Those active players all receiving their information from one source, Fantasy scout. Every week one or Two players are hyped up (or down) and unlike previous seasons, that information is now pumped straight through to the game itself creating huge waves of buying and selling pressure.
I am sure many wanted to hang onto Costa to wait until more information was in, especially with Hull being the opponents this week. However the prospect of losing half a Million in a few days ment many felt their was no choice.
Clearly it is not a good situation when financial decisions have to come before points.
We knew on Tuesday that Costa was back training with the team. However his flag has only just been removed, meaning those of us who held onto him had to endure an extra price drop. Having hyped up Costa as being a big sell, those responsible for flagging seemed none to keen to admit he was actually back from his minor back injury and that the whole episode was just a storm in a teacup.
Having myself been a victim of knee jerking earlier in the season, and overly worried about price I changed my strategy a few weeks ago. That strategy was to avoid places where there was incredible hype and just play my own game, and worry less about price.
The result was I kept Costa last week, waited for concrete news and just let the price falls happen. Fpl being a cruel game, that sensible play will likely backfire and he will be sent off against Hull or some other such calamity.
However, this whole Costa episode pinpoints certain problems within the game and the media, both Fpl media and the wider press. In future more importance should be given to actual facts and rumours should no longer lead to players being flagged up.
Price thresholds need to be really looked at and the Fantasy press need to acknowledge there are many more choices available each week than just the one or Two players that are hyped up, or down.
It is as if they sit down together and say “who shall we hype this week lads”? when it pays off like Alonso we hear about it for weeks, however when it is Barkley or Gundaguy then it is quickly forgotten.
With the massive audience it is just creating ridiculous price swings and creating pressure to act too early in a gameweek. So with all this in mind I took the unilateral decision to distance myself from the hype, as it is all too easy to be swept up in it.