How to Play FPL – Vol 2
This is a brilliant series, guys. I would recommend not to miss a single Meet the Manager. As the most popular FPL advisory forum there is, there is an important purpose that FFS serves. And they do not take the mantle lightly, they do some interesting stuff with it. Like this feature.
So, Phil Ampleford (alias Philsays), the FPL manager in focus for the week, and I have records that are within the same ballpark. His is better and more consistent of course – he is one of the top 100 FPL managers around, and I am not quite there, but in the general vicinity I’d like to assume. I found this out once the ranks were read out.
It is especially interesting to follow a couple of FPL managers every season – especially ones who are making the move to break the glass ceiling and become truly elite. (And that’s not necessarily per FFS HOF ranks – I see the FFS HOF more as an FPL ELO ranking than a true HOF – focused as they are to the more recent performances).
Last season I tracked a few players, and perhaps the most interesting two among them were Anders Lium (#28 in HOF, rank 52 last season) and Simon Rutherford (#33 on HOF, rank 58 last season). Ideally, we can say that both of them were very successful, yes? And these are exactly the kind of players – who with last year’s performance have become truly elite.
Simon’s ( @Heroes_FPL ) was the most radically different in format last season (Vardy + Firmino as strikers. No Kane No Aguero) – it was the most exciting to follow. Not reckless, but unconventional in a very controlled way. Anders’ was the opposite. He caught onto template early, and never veered from template until alternate templates appeared. So much so that I saved him on my bookmarks as “Anders Template – risk-averse”.
I am tracking both of them this season as well – they are playing a similar strategy this season as last, and both are doing very well. Worth a follow. You can pick up the links from the FFS Hall of Fame.
So, back to this episode. Philsays plays a game which is dramatically different from mine. 3-4-3, cheap in defence, early hits and never hit-shy, very price-conscious. Almost the mirror opposite of my normally 4-in-defence, at least two high-priced defenders, very hit-averse, and not very price-conscious style. And perhaps the most illuminating was the discussion on last season, where he finished at the late 90Ks. The reason he gave was that he veered a lot from the style of play that he was comfortable with – and tried to play like a different player. And his rank suffered as a result. He is back to playing in his normal way again, and again doing very well.
So I do not believe that there is a single way (be that risky or safe) to be really, really successful at FPL. Simon, Anders and Phil are all excellent players, and their styles are each quite different from others.
But it is very important to identify the way of playing that one is comfortable with (and that comes with a bit of trial and error), and even more important to not dramatically differ from it ***, once identified. Maybe there will be minor ups and downs for different seasons (luck does play a factor) – but the general average result should be good.
*** Of course, this only matters if you consider a decent season-end rank as an important target. Sometimes, just trying out an alternate approach – season-end rank be damned – is a fine reason to play differently as well. That’s okay, you will be back next season. And sometimes even just letting go is fine. It’s okay – FPL has to be fun. Otherwise, what’s the point anyway?