FPLBhaiya’s 2019/20 Season Review

Please find the review of my season as I note down what worked and more importantly what didn’t work for me. It was an eventful season and I’m hoping that my review can in turn help other managers at the start of their planning this season!

Team: Kaam Bhaari 

Manager: Advait Garg 

Overall Final Rank – 1,377

Overall Points for the season – 2416

What worked well!

1. Mane and Salah: – My best move this season was to rotate between the Liverpool stars. I was confident that the two clinical midfielders would justify their price tags. I started the season with Salah for 4 GWs and then switched to Mane on my wildcard in GW5. I kept Mane till GW12, and then I had both for GW13-GW18. After GW18, I kept only Mane until DGW24 when I brought in Salah and Triple Captained him. 

Let’s look at the numbers (without captaincy):

Only Salah (full season) – 233

Only Mane (full season) – 221

Ideal switch between Salah and Mane – 332

My points from Salah and Mane this season (only the highest returner when I owned both) – 280

The ideal switch between the two would be the most beneficial, but a lot of transfers are wasted in that case. Therefore, I was extremely happy with my strategy.

2. Jamie Vardy: – One of my standout picks. I remember jumping onto the “Vardy Party” bandwagon just before the 9-0 hammering and I woke up to a 20-point haul against The Saints. After that game, he was surely not leaving my team for a while. I also noticed a positive trend in my OR as soon as I brought Jamie into my team. Vardy’s stellar run of form between GW10 and GW18 (88 points in 9 GWs) helped push my rank into the top 10k. My rank jumped from OR4,57,564 in GW9 to OR7297 in GW18 as my team averaged 69.55 points per GW in that period. Ridiculous jump and I would like to credit Jamie for it. 

3. 2020: – This has been one crazy year. For the first time we saw players scoring goals in the Premier League in July, making Willian the only player to score in the league in every month of the year. We also saw the players and the FPL managers adapting to this format of the league. I believe that using the unlimited free transfers along with Bench Boost and Wildcarding right after GW30 was extremely beneficial for my season. It was an ideal situation for the Bench Boost being a DGW with the added advantage of unlimited transfers. It was a very popular strategy in the FPL community but unfortunately for those who had used their chips earlier could not afford to do the same. This also helped reiterate that there is value in holding the chips for the end of the season as there is a clearer picture of how the table is likely to look closer to the season’s end. 

My learnings!

1. Goalkeeper switch: – I started the season with Nick Pope as my GK from GW1-GW14. I then switched to Henderson and held him for the restart in my Bench Boost team due to his DGW. My third keeper was Patricio due to the perceived easy fixtures post restart for the Wolves and the amazing underlying stats they displayed as a defensive unit. I wouldn’t say that my keepers didn’t contribute enough to my season but I realised that there is less value in switching goalkeepers as it eats up transfers and does not help maximize returns for that position. As we can see below, it would have been beneficial for me to set and forget a goalkeeper the season instead of attempting to maximize returns by switching between keepers!

Goalkeeper points this season;

Pope – 170

Henderson – 160 

Patricio – 153

My keepers’ combination – 135

Fun Fact – 8 goalkeepers got more points than my combination of goalkeepers this season. 

2. Underestimating Trent Alexander-Arnold: – I started the season with very high expectations from the Liverpool defense and decided to go double at the back with TAA and Robbo. To my surprise, they failed to deliver and couldn’t justify their price tags in the first 4 GWs. I made a blunder when I decided to save funds and get rid of the Liverpool defenders on my Wildcard. From GW5 to GW21, I watched every Liverpool game hoping for TAA to blank. I did not feel the impact of NO Trent until his 24-point haul against Leicester in GW20. After that GW, he was in my team until my free hit in GW38. In hindsight, I would also hold TAA for the whole season. His attacking returns from set-pieces and Liverpool’s style of play (in which the full-backs play an essential role) makes him a very important player even at a potential 8million price point. Holding him through GWs 5-21 could’ve essentially been the difference between OR1379 and breaking into the top 1k.

3. Raul Jimenez: – I jumped on this train in GW11. I held him only for 9 GWs till GW 19. I regret removing Jimenez even though he got me around 60 points in 9 games (6.67 points/game). I tried to play his variance and get rid of him before he decided to start blanking, but he proved me wrong. He continued to perform consistently as I switched between attackers who were “hit or miss”. I did something similar and got rid of him post lockdown for the last 3 GWs of the season and he continued to return. If I could go back and play Jimenez for the rest of the season instead of transferring him out, I would do it in a heartbeat. This taught me the importance of the ‘eye test’. I understood that we must have patience with a player who’s a talisman for a team and is consistently passing the ‘eye test’. 

Captaincy

My most popular captain was Mo Salah (12 times) with Sterling as a close 2nd (11 times). Salah averaged 19.3 points as captain and Sterling averaged 12.4 points. I only captained KDB 3 times this whole season and he averaged 18.7 points. To my surprise, I realized that I did not captain Mane as much as I would’ve liked to (3 times) even when I was without Salah in my team. I preferred to go for a City asset when Salah was missing from my team. Captaining the front 3 is extremely exciting for me as I believe they have a higher ceiling than players who tend to play deeper. I noticed that I stuck to captaining only premium forwards and midfielders through the course of the season. The only non-premium captain I went for this whole season was Phil Foden post-restart. 

I regret not captaining Jamie Vardy more times than I did. I captained Vardy only 2 times and he averaged 17 points for me. Another reason for this was my mini-league. Vardy was not a differential in my mini-league and captaining him did not give my team the differential captain I needed to gain. In hindsight, Jamie was a great captaincy option week in and week out when he hit form and continued to deliver every GW.

Chip Strategy

I was extremely satisfied with the way I used my chips this season. An early Wildcard in GW5 gave me a few weeks to analyse the teams and set up a team for the long run. My next chip was Triple Captain on Mo Salah in DGW 24. I was extremely sure that I would use this chip on a Liverpool player as there would be less rotation risk and higher ceiling considering their form this season. Salah delivered with 16 points that DGW, taking my return from him to 48 points. In hindsight, KDB triple captain in GW38 would’ve been a great option but I had decided to use my Free Hit chip that GW because of the easy fixtures for Man City, Arsenal, and Liverpool. My free hit was successful in GW38 and outperformed the team I had before the chip. Bench Boost was a huge success this season, as FPL blessed the managers with unlimited transfers post restart. The first GW after the restart was a DGW too. With unlimited transfers, and a 2nd Wildcard remaining, it was ideal to load up on high value and DGW players for that GW with Bench Boost and use the 2nd Wildcard right after to set up the end of the season. I crossed 100 points for the first time last season with my Bench Boost chip. All in all, I was extremely happy with how I used my chips and the timing of the chips. 

Differentials

My favourite differential this season was Robert Snodgrass. He got me 28 points in 4 GWs including an 18-point haul. Jimenez and Vardy were also good differentials as discussed earlier. We have to talk about the Lord when we talk about differentials. Lundstram had been great for me since GW1 at 4.0. He was an OOP midfielder listed as a defender with a solid defence behind him to get consistent clean sheets. He added team value to my team, which helped me maximize my free hit, bench boost, and wildcard chips. I jumped on the Pulisic train two times this season, and he delivered each time. CHO and Traore were the worst differentials I picked this season. CHO was a trap after the consistent assists in a few GWs, and Traore was inconsistent with his form and returns on FPL. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed writing about it. We would love to hear your feedback and what worked and did not work for you!

All the best this season!

-FPLBhaiya

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