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BC’s Fantasy Football Nightmares

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Game-Week 19: Double or Quits

A FANTASY FOOTBALL NIGHTMARE — But You Never Wake Up

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

16 January 2021 — Double or Quits

Even for a man like me, who values irony the way a sadist cherishes the whip on his back (it’s what I live for), the irony would have been too great to have headlined game-week 18’s Fantasy Nightmare, “Blank Game Week Too Literally Named” — and then to have drawn a total blank! My Fantasy Premier League team, BC FC, managed 32 points (16 of them from my captain, Harry Kane) and held on to its number three spot in our ten-club family & friends mini league.

Only a couple of teams did better and both used their free hit chips.

So, for the moment, I’m feeling like a proper pound shop Pep Guardiola; or perhaps Sam Allardyce.

Which feeling of smug content ought to evaporate double-quick in this double game-week, the way it did for the real Sam Allardyce.

But at least I have a few more players with fixtures this week than last; all 11, in fact, with ten of ‘em playing twice. I’d feel optimistic about scoring high this week, if I didn’t know that almost everyone will be.

With one free transfer in hand and one Dominic Calvert-Lewin still in my team though he didn’t play the last game, he’s clearly the one I should move out; the replacements I can afford included Patrick Bamford, Callum Wilson, Che Adams, Ollie Watkins, Neal Maupay, Tammy Abraham, Chris Wood, Richarlison de Andrade and five more, in order of form, as displayed on the FPL website.

But I’m skipping past all of them — pausing on Tammy for a nanosecond, perhaps, because he’s a Chelsea player, but still flicking past him — and settling on Mikhail Antonio. I know he’s had hardly any football and unlikely to play 90 minutes of both West Ham’s games; but I also know he’s Mikhail Antonio. Plus, he’s got better fixtures going ahead than Maupay, the other one who looks to be in fine form.

So that was an easy decision.

But what I call my FPL “management style” requires a certain amount of agonising before pressing “confirm team” for the last time, and I put that anxious wrestling with myself into whether or not I should pay four points to transfer out Kane for Jamie Vardy. The “reasoning” goes like this: Jamie’s got two games, Harry’s got one; if I pay four points for Jamie and he blanks in both, he’s still paid the cost of his transfer; but, then again, Harry Kane might score more points in one game than most players would in two.

In the end, I kept the old Harry, but only because one of Leicester's games is v Chelsea, my real life team, and I don’t play fantasy players against my real club; especially when the real club is having a reality nightmare of its own.

So there you go then. We’ll see if it’s doubles or quits for BC FC.

My next advice column/eulogy/apology for BC FC will appear around the GW20 deadline