Fell to sleep with tears to farewell Agrueo and woke up to find out I've achieved the Fantasy Premier League （FPL) goal to be Top 10,000 among 8 million players this season!
Born into a football enthusiastic family, I watched football games live when I was six years old. Since then, football plays a huge part in my life, and I either play the actual game on-site or play football theme games on the side.
Like many other sports, football is not just an athletic game. It involved politics, economy, culture and most of all, a sense of belonging. During the lockdown in England, football boosted my energy and gave me hope every weekend.
As an FPL player, I have learned multiple skills while playing this game and form a strong relationship with my fellow players from afar. Looking back to this season, here are the lessons I learnt from this fun game:
(Note: GW = game week; DDL = deadline; Top players refer to the Top 10,000 players)
Thanks to the technology, I don't have to manually search or remember all relevant data about players performance and match statistics.
Here are the four sites to help me select a squad every GW:
Stock Market Reference
Playing FPL is like picking up stocks. As mentioned above, Kane, Salah and B. Fernandes all have over 40% ownership. They are like Apple, Amazon and Tesla in that you won't get much profit from owning them since most people have them and the price is high. Their performance has little impact on the rankings, and the risk of holding them is relatively small.
In contrast, those with less than 8% ownership will make a big difference if they play exceptionally well, like when I had İlkay Gündoğan way ahead before getting popular. He helped me jump into the top players' squad straightaway. However, you also risk that they might not deliver a good performance, especially if you consider captaining those differentiated players. My strategy is balancing the risk by holding at least three big names and buying one or two differentiated footballers each GW to help me grow my ranking.
As you might notice, the team value from top players is increasing in the first half of the season. What does that mean? It means they will have extra money to upgrade their squad at the second half of the season to increase their ranking. Like the stock market, most FPL players are short-sighted, so they will purchase those who scored or performed well for the next GW, resulting in the player's price increase. You have to be rational at this time and not follow the crowd to pursue the trend.
If you are using a Wild Card, don't hesitate to buy the players whose price will rise as soon as possible or sell the players whose price will fall. The 0.1m makes all the difference.
What separates me from other FPL players in my mini-league is that I'm a girl. I love to follow footballers' personal life on Instagram, especially those I adored, such as KDB and Jack Grealish. Sometimes, I could use my detective instinct to decide whether footballer A will have a suitable fixture playing at the GW, judging from their social media content.
For example, one footballer (not naming him) posted too many sponsorship deals and entertaining IG stories. I decided to dump him from my squad because I thought he wasn't in the excellent mentality to play well. It proved me correct.
I know it's not rocket science, but it's also an alternative way to help me optimize my squad.
The biggest lesson I learnt this season is not to be emotional. First of all, don't let the love of your team blind your eyes. I'm a Man City supporter, and I avoid buying many players (not name them) from the previous season to show my loyalty to my team. Stupid.
Therefore, this season I ditch the loyalty strategy but focus on footballers performance no matter which team he comes from. However, I still couldn't resist buying Aguero at the last GW when he showed yellow colour! And lucky enough, he scored two goals!!! Thanks, my King and farewell!!!
Another huge mistake I made as a newbie was: if footballer A were not performing well during the GW, I would immediately replace him with player B, even with point deduction, because I was angry. The reality is there are so many uncertainties between two GW, such as Champion League, FA Cup, and Covid. Sometimes, player B got injured, or player A would come back in the next GW. I should have trained my patience and wait to make a rational decision.
I have two mini-leagues and group chats, one in China and the other in New Zealand. I can't express how much joy and support I got from my fellow FPL players. Those inside jokes and our highlights and mistaken moments always bring me laughter and energy during the lockdown while alone in England.
Just like watching football games live in the stadium is much better than watching by yourself at home. Playing FPL with others is also good for my mental health. Trust the process and be rational is the key message to help me reach my goal this season!
I hope more people, especially girls, will join the game, and let's challenge each other in the next season!
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