Common FPL Mistakes
FPL mistakes are unfortunately inevitable. Nobody has the perfect team. Here are some of the common FPL mistakes managers have made.
Hindsight is a Powerful Tool
FPL pre-season represents the time of the year when everything seems possible. A clean slate in every FPL manager’s attempt to be the best. However, Fantasy Premier League isn’t a forgiving game and therefore that feeling doesn’t last for a very long time. When we are selecting our initial team, it seems that every player holds greater value than he actually does. Players from newly promoted teams appear as dark horses who could potentially be that all important differential. We always try to look for the hidden FPL gems, but usually in the end we revert back to the old favorites.
The Ones That Got Away
The only reason that I didn’t select Jose Holebas was because I had selected Ben Foster as one of the keepers. Given Watford conceded the third most Premier Leagye goals last season, I naturally didn’t want to double up on their defenders. Ben Foster made the cut simply because of opening fixtures and his reasonable price tag. In hindsight, Holebas had more key passes, passes leading to shot, and expected assists per 90 minutes in the previous season. These were stats that I regrettably ignored.
A similar situation occurred when picking between Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. I didn’t want to have two players from the same team in the midfield, so I decided to stick with Firmino. This was despite Mane surpassing Firmino in almost every statistical category from 2017/2018 season. Of course since then Mane has increased by £0.5m in value and is the current top scoring FPL midfielder.
Before the start of the season only Chelsea and Arsenal from the “big 6” brought in new managers. Despite being an Arsenal fan, I wasn’t looking to bring in any of their assets due to uncertainties in terms of the team selection. In addition to this they also had tough fixtures in the first two game weeks. What I failed to do, was do some research on Napoli and Chelsea’s newly-appointed coach. I rarely watch Serie A, so I wasn’t familiar with their style of play. Napoli were only bettered by Juventus in 2017/18 for goals and goal difference. Moreover, they also had more shots per game than anyone in the league. Being unaware of the attacking-minded Napoli and because of the fact that Chelsea switched back to playing with four guys in the back, I decided not select Marcos Alonso. To be honest, I am too afraid to calculate how many points I lost due to this bad pre-selection. Luckily due to his relatively low pick percentage it appeared other FPL managers had a similar thought process at the beginning of the season.
Mistakes in the Transfer Market
The first two gameweeks provided good returns for me, but in the next two it all went downhill. I decided to transfer out Jota, which was sensible, and Lucas Moura due to Tottenham’s fixture with Man Utd. I made the mistake of being misled by the fixture difficulty red square. This was a classic case of making the mistake of favouring fixtures over form. I completely neglected the fact that Man Utd played poorly in the first two games, and seemed to be shaky at the back. Furthermore, I decided to bring in Richarlison, who got the red card. This was more unlucky than poor judgement. Also, I bought Ryan Fraser. I don’t regret that move despite him blanking in the two subsequent gameweeks because Bournemouth has a great run of fixtures. To top my poor run of transfer off, I replaced Richarlison with Henrikh Mkhitaryan in gameweek 4. Naturally he failed to start the following game!
FPL mistakes have been made, some avoidable and some not. Despite these I am sitting in at a relatively decent global ranking of 667k (top 12%). This means improvement is required but we’re nowhere near panic stations. I am not a big fan of using the wildcard early in the season but my current team might force me to do so. The luxury of having the additional wildcard Christmas is difficult to sacrifice. The lessons I’ve learned are to trust statistics and give less emphasis to fixture difficulty in comparison to form. That is not to say I won’t repeat them several times this season and even again in the next pre-season!