BC’s Fantasy Football Nightmares


Kick Off

The Trump Transfer Mentality

After a game-week five haul of 115 points, my luck and my performance started seeking their own levels/reverting to type last week. Sill, my 61 points from GW6 for

BC FC, my Fantasy Premier League team, were my second-highest for the season, and almost twice my GW3 nadir of 29 — made much worse to bear because I’d played my wildcard!

Still, as I reminded myself, with a chunk of luck and the smallest particle of fantasy management skill, I should hold on to the number four spot in my family & friends mini-league and the number five position in the neighbourhood league. And, at least, at last, I was off the bottom rung of both ladders.

All I had to do this week was to pick my goalie to remind myself that I don’t have the smallest particle of fantasy management skills.

Two weeks ago, I sold Nick Pope and bought Emiliano Martinez. My luck held last week, in the sense that Pope returned only two points compared with Martinez’ big three — but even that luck slipped its hold, because Alex McCarthy sat on my bench with six points!

But it took picking this week’s team to show me that, by bringing in Martinez the week before, I now have two goalies who are playing one another this week! The stats and Martinez’ form tells me to play him — but how well can a man interpret stats and form when he can’t see two fixtures down the line to see he should have transferred in someone other than Martinez? Even holding on to Pope would have worked out better, because this Chelsea fan stubbornly refuses to pick fantasy players who are playing my team in reality.

Anyway, I’ve gone with the old Emiliano and consoled myself with the thought that, at least I don’t have Danny Ings, Che Adams or James Ward-Prowse in my squad.

It won’t be much consolation, though, if Kyle Walker-Peters, on my bench, keeps a clean sheet and Villa lose to a Walker-Peters hat trick.

With Lucas Digne collecting a most unlucky red card, and relying on my fantasy manager aptitude — which is like Peter Dinklage, Tyrion Lannister of Game of Thrones, saying, “Relying on my basketball aptitude” — I looked down the fixtures list, and after agonising over Leeds, decided I should choose an Aston Villa defender. After agonising over Tyrone Mings (30 points, 5.2m) and Matthew Cash (19 points, 5m), I settled on Ezri Konsa (29 points, 4.7m).

Of course, I’d have done better by agonising over the immediate upcoming fixtures, to which I paid, this week, the same amount of attention as I did when I brought in Martinez to play against my other keeper.

Truth is, or seems to be, that I have a Donald Trump or Boris Johnson mentality when it comes to fantasy football transfers: I can’t see past the next few minutes, far less two weeks down the fixture list.

So now my bench, with the Villa keeper and their star defender on it, has double the incentive to outpoint the players I’ve picked this week.

Still, as I say, the stats and the form of the players are on my side, on paper.

But, of course, football is played on grass.

Anyway, we’ll see, as Trump likes to say when asked if he can rule out shooting Joe Biden in Times Square.

With both Son & Kane firing on all cylinders, and Werner & Havertz looking good in Europe earlier this week, maybe things might be all right.

And it’s probably a better use of such luck as I have to cross my fingers, just for this week, for Joe Biden & Kamala Harris.

My next advice column/eulogy to BC FC will appear before the GW8 deadline.

The Stress of Success


An advice column for the bottom seven million Fantasy Premier League managers

By BC Pires

Game-Week Six — The Stress of Success

The last time something like this happened was when Sir Don Bradman, still the most prolific scorer in cricket, was out for duck in his last innings, prompting the line, “Well, what do you say in those circumstances?”

BC FC, my Fantasy Premier League team, after returning scores of 45, 40, 29 and 52 in game-weeks one-to-four, turned in 115 points in GW5.

115! The highest score in all of FPL-dom was 136! The very best fantasy manager in the world managed 21 points more than me!

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Ten Out of Ten

There are now only 70 points between me and my wife’s nephew, whose 236 points have him at the top of our family & friends league; which is like saying there are only four years between now and the next chance of replacing Boris Johnson as prime minister

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An advice column for the bottom seven million Fantasy Premier League managers
By BC Pires

The original idea was for this column to start in game-week two of the 2020/21 season. In my imagination, I would have proudly displayed my team, BC FC, which would have amassed so many points in GW1, you’d need an algorithm to count ‘em, explain to the less successful punters how I would use my free transfer and captaincy for GW2, and bask in glory.
But with BC FC scoring 45 points total in GW1 — the average was 50, the highest 142 — I really didn’t have much to write home or FPL advice columns about.
So I thought I would substantially improve on my overall rank of 3,211,855 and my measly 45 GW1 points and begin with a relative splash last week.
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A Fantasy Premier League Advice Column for the Bottom 999,999,999K

Fantasy Premier League of the English Premiership, in which any football fan with an email address and more ego than football knowledge, can pick an imaginary 15-member squad comprising two goalkeepers, five defenders, five midfielders and three forwards, all drawn from the real-life Premiership, no more than three players from any one club, one free transfer each game-week.

The fantasy — or, more honestly, “pretend” — mangers have a £100m budget and fantasy players’ costs reflect their real-life value: Spurs’ striker, Harry Kane, is £10.5m, but Southampton’s Shane Long is £5.5m. Arsenal midfielder Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will run you £12m, but you can get Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante for £5m. Wolves’ defender Ruben Vinagre is £4.5m, but you have to fork out £7.5m if you want Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold. And would you pay £6m for Manchester City’s Ederson when you could get Brighton’s Mat Ryan for £4.5m?
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