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BC’s Fantasy Football Nightmares

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Game-Week 14L Too Much Football, Maths

A FANTASY FOOTBALL NIGHTARE — But You Never Wake Up

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

For football lovers, Christmas is a dream: three weeks of games crammed into two, with goals galore. For the fantasy football manager, though, it’s more like having Ramadan and Lent in the same month; for fantasy managers who generally stumble around the outskirts of mediocrity, like me, the period between now and New Years Day won’t be so much wine & roses as sackcloth & ashes. You’ve got barely enough time to recover from one week’s dreadful decisions before you’re forced to make some more.

It doesn’t help that BC FC, my fantasy team, slipped from number three to number four in our family & friends mini-league (but it is some comfort that I was passed by my brother-in-law, who captained the man who gave his team the name Toss the Salah, and not his eight-year-old son, who hasn’t picked a team since game-week four, but who has floated between positions five and one for the nine weeks since).

With a global average of 42, and the highest individual score, 100, BC FC managed to score just 26; I’ve bought diamonds with more points than that in a ten-dollar store.

After agonising for several moments last week, I decided to captain Bruno Fernandes and not Harry Kane. Both ended the game with a score of two; so much for investing worry in the hope of harvesting hat tricks.

This week, I’m captaining Dominic Calvert-Lewin, on the theory that, after the shock of pulling off a draw in their last game, Arsenal will relax in defence once more.

Only three of my players got more than two points (Alex McCarthy, 3, Jack Grealish, 3, DCL, 5) and my Man City star (Ruben Dias) managed 0; he could learn a forward defensive thing or two from Courtney Walsh. My highest scorer, Daniel Podence, sat on the bench with nine points that would have kept me in third place, because I refuse to play a fantasy player against my real team; it’s bad enough to be a supporter in a losing week without also being a quisling.

So, though I’m still reeling from the one-two of Chelsea, my real team, losing the first game of the week, and my fantasy team reverting to nightmarish form, I have to pull myself together, maintain the stiff upper lip, and pull another dead rabbit out of the hat; Mikel Arteta thinks he’s got problems.

To make matters worse, the first blank and double game-weeks have been announced. I can barely pick a single player who scores more than two in any given week, but now I’ve got to start planning my transfers so as to be in the best position to do well in blank game-week 18 AND double game-week 19; and it took me four attempts to pass O’Level maths.

Still, one does what one can, even if it doesn’t add up to much.

And, for me, this week, it’s adding up to another nought.

With both Wilfried Zaha and Timo Werner looking like they’d rather be in tier three in the UK than in their club’s first XI, my plan is to swap Zaha for Heung-Ming Son or Marcus Rashford and Timo for Patrick Bamford, Oliver Giroud or Ollie Watkins.

But I’ve only got one transfer.

AND I’m meant to be planning my transfers so far in advance as to end up with a full squad playing both games in double game-week 19.

I feel like a deer in headlights; and the car hasn’t even come around the corner yet.

So, rather than make the wrong choice again, I’m going to roll the transfer over to the next week, when, with luck, I’ll be a bit less muddled and the picture might be a titch clearer.

Once more, I feel like Boris Johnson going into the weekend.

My next advice column/eulogy for BC FC will appear around the GW15 deadline