BC’s Fantasy Football Nightmares


Kick Off

Woke Up, It Was a Chelsea Nightmare Morning? GW9


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

It would be misleading to suggest I was doing better in the Fantasy Premier League but, last game-week, I certainly did less badly. My haul — I use the term hesitantly but, for me, it is — of 68 points was almost ten more than the average of 55 and more than half the highest score of 133; these are rarefied atmospheres, for me.

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Go Big or Go Back to the Bottom of Your Mini-League GW8


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

By BC PiresWith 41 points in game-week seven, 12 points fewer than the average, BC FC, my Fantasy Premier League team, managed to hold its number four spot in my family & friends league, though it did drop one notch to six (out of eight) in the smaller, more informed neighbourhood league.

Still, I’m doing better than my hip hop-loving son, whose Steez FC seems to have inherited the number ten or cellar position from me in the family league. I can also lord it over my wife (clearly only in a manner of speaking), whose Most Handsome XI — yes, precisely that is the basis of selection — is at number seven.

In any 50-50 fantasy football situation, I can be relied upon to plump for the wrong one, nine times out of ten.

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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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