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?
It’s sure been a long four weeks for those of us who traded Sergio Agüero in Week 10, huh? Oh, just me? Well. It’s been a long four weeks. I predicted he’d hat trick the week after I traded him, but he merely scored two goals, an assist, and took the three bonus points.
Each week, I’ve thought about taking him back, but each week, I’ve grown more stubborn. No to you, Agüero, and no to your umlaut! I know you will let everyone down eventually. Maybe in Week 28.
This has, of course, been terrible for my standings, which were made even worse last week when I captained Coutinho. (Get well soon, buddy. #ynwa)
Obviously, even Liverpool fans are obligated to trade him this week—no time to wait to save up two free transfers, though Lukaku probably needs trading. I can afford either Sigurdsson or Walcott as replacement. They’re about even on points, overall, but this is an easy decision. Our honeymoon stop in Reykjavík left me in love with Icelanders, so Sigurdsson it is.
As ever, knowing who to captain keeps me from going to bed, as does knowing who to put in goal. Do you play best against a team that plays at your level, or against amateurs? Well, perhaps the second person isn’t useful here. Even those of us who’ve aged out of our professional sports fantasies play best against the experienced. But what about ultra-competetive men in their twenties who have been able to delay emotional maturity by virtue of their spectacular athletic skill?
I split the difference and put Cortois in goal even though Chelsea is playing Man City, and captain Sanchez, who is playing West Ham. Cortois will probably not get a clean sheet, but will maybe get some good saves? And Sanchez will probably roll over West Ham at some point in the game. Probably.
To be honest, though, the justifications come after the choices. I make the choices sitting on our couch, save, and then figure out why after I brush my teeth. I have already turned off all of the lights in the apartment aside from the one I’m closest to. The trouble with being terrible at FPL is that your weekly three minutes of pure anxiety are followed by hours of apathy, and this problem has worsened over the past month, since, I don’t know, November 9th or so. FPL used to feel like playing chess while needing to refer to the rulebook after each turn, but now it feels like sitting in a seedy Vegas sportsbook, watching the odds fluctuate for reasons beyond my imagining.
Classic League: 18 (of 19)
Head-to-Head League: 14 (of 20)