Some people are good at Fantasy Premier League: they listen to podcasts, read analysis, remember to trade people right away when they get suspended before they lose value, and understand how bonus points are awarded. Me, I set my team on Friday night—exhausted from work, often slightly drunk, after twenty minutes of wild research, and fueled by irrational notions. It is a largely futile exercise. The internet is full of different approaches to trying hard and being good at FPL. But what does it look like to try and still be bad at it?
Some Friday nights, by the time I get home, I’m too tired to set my team. Instead, I fall asleep on the couch after setting my alarm for 5:30am, swearing to wake up early and do it. I picked up this idiotic habit in college and can’t shake it, even though it has never served me well. Today’s deadline is 6:30am. I stop hitting the snooze at 6:06.
So, first things first: I need to watch ten minutes of cooking videos on Facebook.
Now I can look at my team. I am lying on my stomach in the dark, hiding the light from my phone with my pillow so that my husband doesn’t wake up. I absolutely must do transfers this week, mainly because of Harry Kane. Poor Harry Kane. But he has to go. Would like to think about trading Hazard, still, but I have more important things to worry about. Namely, Luke Shaw. He’s got one of those exclamation point injuries. What’s going on? Must research. Uh oh. Why can’t I find anything? Ah, because I am searching for Mike Shaw. Who appears to have been a professional wrestler. RIP.
I scan the first sentence of every paragraph of this post on Luke Shaw in The Guardian, which I am sure is very thoughtful. Its existence confirms that I should trade him. No good can come of your coach shit-talking you in public.
That’s it—two transfers. For who? Lukaku leaps to mind. Is he doing well? Apparently so! But Costa is showing up as an option, too. I’ve flirted with both in the past; Costa left me in tears. I hum The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” to myself. My husband twitches. What will this mean for my head-to-head? I check. My opponent seems to be playing some sort of multi-dimensional wizard chess centered around the midfield, so I will definitely lose. Must figure out the midfield at some point. Lukaku it is. The cat has noticed I am awake, which has made her hungry.
Now a defender. Kyle Walker is awfully tempting for a man who’s made such poor facial hair choices. We watched a match at White Hart Lane last month, which has made everyone on Spurs seem better to me, as soccer is much more impressive in real life. So it’s him over anyone from Everton. Everything taking twice as long, as I must do it left-handed so that I can pet the cat with my right hand and buy an extra couple minutes of silence.
Oh lord, it’s almost 6:30. Must set team immediately. Swap keepers; how bad can Foster be against Stoke? (I continue to have unshakable faith in West Brom for no reason.) The tricky bit is who to captain. Ibra is not living up to his potential—stern waggy finger—and now I have Lukaku. What is more likely: Ibra stepping it up against Leicester, or Lukaku killing it against Bournemouth? Do you perform best in a challenge or a cakewalk? I captain the cakewalk and vice-captain the challenge. My gut says the bonus points are in a cakewalk.
I’ve run out of time, so that’s it! Time to feed the cat.
Classic League: 19 (of 19)
Head-to-Head League: 16 (of 20)