BC’s Fantasy Football Nightmares


Kick Off

Game-Week 21: Montezuma Salah's Revenge?


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

For the last four years, BC FC, my Fantasy Premier League team, has followed the same strategy every season: in game-week one, establish yourself firmly in the cellar position in every league and mini-league and maintain that slot resolutely until GW38.

The other managers in my family & friends and neighbourhood mini-leagues have appreciated BC FC the way this year’s Premiership teams are valuing Sheffield United: as long as I was in the competition — no, as long as I was around — they didn’t ever have to worry about coming last.

This 2020/21 season began as usual. Until game-week five, BC FC was rock solid at the bottom of both its mini-leagues, and settled in the bottom half of the bottom million in the world; in the bottom hundred thousand, probably. (I haven’t checked and know it wouldn’t be worth my while to check, one way or the other.)

This week could be the seventh or eighth or even ninth or tenth week BC FC is sitting at the top of our family & friends mini-league. (I haven’t checked; see parentheses above.) BC FC is in the top 40K in the Chelsea league (38,434), at #320 in the Barbados national FPL and at #705,199 in the world, up almost 200K places from last week’s 900,106.

After declaring last week that I knew better than to pay four points to transfer out Mo Salah and bring in Raheem Sterling, in the last minutes before the game-week deadline expired, I did, in fact, and entirely on impulse, pay the four points and swap Sterling for Salah.

If I’d had the cojones to captain Sterling, it would have turned out even better but there are now 34 points between BC FC and the number two team. In the far more knowledgeable neighbourhood mini-league, BC FC has narrowed the gap between itself and the number one team to under 100 points for the first time since about game-week two. (I haven’t checked; see two sets of parentheses above.)

You can see from my pedigree as confessed here that I’m in genuinely unwatered charts.

And I’m feeling the unsettling pressure of all those who don’t deserve to be at the top on merit but nevertheless desperately want to remain there; making this the first time I’ve felt any sympathy for Boris Johnson.

The first temptation, then, is to have a drink, take the edge off, and make a relaxed, inspired team choice; but I know from bitter experience, so to speak — four pints of Abbot — that this approach is a shortcut back to cellar position.

The second, stronger temptation is to go with my hunch again this week, since it wasn’t disastrous last week, and was even positively good; but you can only push your luck so far; and, with BC FC at the top, my luck is already near its limit of elasticity.

So my one free transfer this week goes to replacing the injured Harry Kane. After much agonising between them, I opted for Dominic Calvert-Lewin ahead of Ollie Watkins.

And, somehow resisted the temptation to pay four points, transfer out Rhian Brewster, and get them both.

And, hopefully, I will continue resisting that temptation past this week’s deadline.

Even though giving in to it last week was profitable.

And Oscar Wilde said, “I can resist anything but temptation.”

And Ollie Watkins is probably more likely to score v Southhampton than Mikhail Antonio v Liverpool.

There’s a mental link in here somewhere to the top FPL managers & me on the one hand and GameStop & AMC shares on the US stock market on the other.

I just know I’ll short myself if I can’t keep myself distracted until two hours before the first kick-off on Saturday.

Already, in the back of my mind, I can hear the theme from Robin Hood.

My next advice column/eulogy/apology for BC FC will appear around the GW22 deadline