BC’s Fantasy Football Nightmares


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Game-Week 23: Too Clever by Halfwit


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

That killer instinct to go for the win at any cost can surface in the Fantasy Premier League faster than in Las Vegas; at least if my FPL team, BC FC, is anything to go by. Accustomed – no, groomed – to more or less permanently occupy the bottom spot in every league it entered for the last four years, BC FC has, somehow, been at the top of our ten-team family & friends mini-league for the last five weeks. (It was at number ten for the first five weeks of the season.)

The domination of our fairly ignorant family & friends mini-league is not really anything to write home or fantasy advice columns about, not even advice columns designed for the bottom seven million FPL managers. The team that spent the greatest number of weeks in the top four is managed by my wife’s eight-year-old nephew, who more or less forgot about his team after game-week one; which is perfectly understandable, if you consider his team to have been promoted to the FPL from the PPL — the Peppa Pig League.

My wife’s team, the Most Handsome XI has remained in the top five almost from the start, and has been at number one twice, despite the team being selected entirely on the basis its name suggests. Her success has continued despite her early and unflinching refusal to even consider brining in Bruno Fernandes (hanging jaw), Son Heung-Ming (goofy smile), Sadio Mane (ridiculous haircuts) or Jamie Vardy (who apparently deserved selection but was hobbled by a non-football but highly persuasive factor, viz, annoying wife).

Two weeks ago, BC FC had put 36 points between itself and the number two team (the Most Handsome XI) and had actually broached the top 750,000, globally ( #705,199). But then our manager got cocky and sold Mo Salah, just in time to miss out on the one week in eight that he didn’t blank.

It felt so much like landing on that last, giant snake on box 98 on the old snakes & ladders children’s board game, I panicked. And, last week, sold Jack Grealish and Max Kilman AND paid four points to transfer Salah back in.

And, of course, he blanked. Again. Because he’s playing for me, now. And Grealish returned six points. Even captaining Salah, it cost me ten points to get four.

And now there are just 11 points between BC FC and the second team.

And, if I’d captained Bruno Fernandes, it would be 34.

With one free transfer and two double game-weeks coming up in succession, and with Liverpool v City likely to be either a dull draw or a thrilling goalfest, the time has come for drastic action and I wish I knew how to take it.

Perhaps the situation calls for the kind of unexpected tactic Steve Martin, the American comedian, used to boast about taking whenever they let him be quarterback in high school: I think I want to punt on first down. The temptation is great to get out of the Mo Salah business as quickly as I got out of it, to sell him and buy anyone — but the cost is likely to be high again. And likely to be paid by me again.

If I’d just let Salah alone last week, I’d be better off this week; so I’m adopting that strategy.

With an eye to the looming double game-week, I used my free transfer to replace Karl Darlow with Nick Pope in goal.

I may well chicken out before deadline, go safe rather than brave, and captain Fernandes but, at the time of writing, I’ve rolled the dice and captained Mikhail Antonio v Fulham.

You’ve got to make up with gumption what you lack in skill, I reckon.

It’s always worked for Boris Johnson.

My next advice column/eulogy/apology for BC FC will appear around the GW24 deadline