BC’s Fantasy Football Nightmares


Kick Off


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.
I got 40 points in GW2, 19 points lower than the average of 59 and 125 lower than the highest score of 165; that sounds more like a cricket score; and, regrettably, West Indies v England.
BC FC dropped to 5,624, 231 overall.
So I opted to start this week, after I had surely improved in GW3, or at least got out of the cellar position in both my mini-leagues.
Last week, then, drawing on my vast fantasy football managerial reserves, because none of them had clearly been utilised, and making judgements that would be envied by my Trinidad & Tobago compatriot, Shaka Hislop, I managed the grand total of 29 points.
Look for me in the top seven million, now, find me at 6,170, 592.
It gets worse.
I played my wildcard last week.
My biggest mistake from the start was to pick, and stick with, the new stars of my favourite club since I was ten, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz. How could I not pick a player who shares a first name with my wife, Kai? No matter how badly he did, at least she would be pleased with me. Thank goodness for Reece James!
To scoop salt into the wounds I’d inflicted on myself, I’d thought about replacing Werner with Vardy for GW2. Yes, Vardy had scored a hat-trick in GW1, but, I told myself, it wasn’t a real hat-trick if two-thirds of it comprised penalty kicks! If that deserves a new hat, it’d have to be one of the unimpressive kind Brits call “porkpie” and Trinidadians call “stingy-brim”.
Sill, I just know that, because I’ve chosen not to transfer out Timo and bring him in for GW4, there is now a far greater likelihood that the old Jamie will score another hat-trick this weekend, made up of all penalties. Maybe two of ‘em.
You’d think that the gods of luck would at least repay the playing of a wildcard but you’d be wrong. My brand new GW3 wildcard 29-point winning team last week included Kevin De Bruyne (2), Phil Foden (2), Wilfried Zaha (1) and Roman Saiss & Raul Jimenez (0; combined). The Chelsea supporter in me stubbornly insisted on captaining the man I should have dropped for Vardy: Timo Werner doubled his points as captain to a staggering four.
At the start of GW4, then, there are 73 points between me and the top team in one of my two mini-leagues.
I didn’t do so well in the other one.
The gap between me and the top team there is 104 points. I need a Ben Stokes innings in that league if I’m not to fall off the table altogether.
The only satisfaction I can take this week is that Donald Trump has covid19.
But I feel good about GW4.
I have real high hopes for Alex McCarthy — whom I’m putting between the sticks ahead of Nick Pope, because that’s how fantasy football clever I am, and because most sites seem to be going with him.
And, surely, a back three of Lucas Digne, Reece James and Roman Saiss should deliver more than the seven points (six of them, Digne’s) they scraped up between them last week?
And, surely, Daniel Podence, if he plays, should get at least one more point than last week’s zero? And, surely, KDB and Phil Foden will have a point to prove this week, in FPL points, assuming they’re not still suffering Post Five-Two Stress Disorder?
AND SURELY Timo Werner HAS to score this week? Right?
With a bit of luck, and with referees giving away penalties like Boris Johnson gives away political advantages, and with Vardy scoring two-a-week, and with Wolves playing Fulham, shouldn’t Raul Jimenez be able to get and convert at least one penalty?
And, surely, my captain, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, will continue the run of good luck he’s had? Unless, of course, my taking the captaincy away from Timo Werner is not all that was needed for Werner to score a hat-trick and Calvert-Lewin to miss three.
So I feel good about this game-week.
I can hardly do worse than last game-week.
Watch this space.
There is every chance I might end up in cellar position overall, as well as my mini-leagues.
My next advice column/suicide-note-in-instalments will appear the day before the GW5 deadline.