BC’s Fantasy Football Nightmares


Kick Off

GW31 REAL Wild Card

BC FC, my Fantasy Premier League team, did well enough in game-week 30 to keep both the top spot in our family & friends mini-league and third place in the far more informed neighbourhood one. Captaining Harry Kane, like nearly everyone else in FPL Land, accounted for 26 of BC FC’s 64 points.

But I actually tried not to.

My first thought when I woke up on Saturday morning was, “Everybody is captaining Kane. I will captain Dominic Calvert-Lewin! MASSIVE green arrow!” Luckily, when I attempted to change the armband, and only because Barbados is now five hours behind England, the game was already resetting itself and I couldn’t.

So BC FC got 24 points more than my footballing nous (spelled, in my case, “noose”, as in, “around my neck”) would have allowed.

And BC FC managed this despite having two Villa defenders, a non-starting City player and Christian Bale, the player who reminds you almost every week that there are many better ways of tying up 9.3M FPL quid.

Acutely aware I had to do very careful planning to avoid being forced into playing my wildcard this week, I promised myself to treat myself and visit a nearby tower — no, that will come in GW38 — I promised myself ample time to think about my four- or possibly eight-point hit that would keep BC FC competitive, if not on top.

Then I would wildcard in GW33, pack my squad with sufficient GW33 stars to blow all my competition away that week and set up a solid template for the run-in.

I knew, you see, that I don’t know enough about football to pick a wildcard team in a hurry.

I picked my wildcard team on Friday afternoon with 13 minutes to go to GW31 deadline.

Losing a day’s work on Easter Monday had me working until dark on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to make my real world deadlines. By the time I cleared my desk and helped my wife with her Most Handsome XI (number four in the family mini-league), the FPL website told me the deadline was in 13 minutes.

And I still had Matt Targett, Ezri Konsa, Ilkay Gundogan, Jordan Pickford, Raphinha & Christian Bale, Mr One Point Himself, in my squad. Switching Bale for Heung-Min Son and getting Diego Jota and Jesse Lingard and Lucas Moura (for Spurs’ double GW32) needed more than an eight-point hit.

So in 13 minutes, not the 13 days I would ideally have spent thinking it out, I played my wildcard.

If I’d had more time or more arithmetic, I’d probably have been able to squeeze both KDB and Mo Salah in but, under the pressure of the ticking clock, I couldn’t figure out how to get all the players I wanted. So I left Salah out.

I’ll find out soon enough whether it was an unlucky 13.

It was only after I picked my team — captaining Kane again — I noticed that I actually could afford to switch KDB out for Mo, play Salah this week, and switch him for KDB in the following week (taking a four-point hit to get in Lucas Moura, my third Spurs player for the double game-week).

But time had run out.

So I’m stuck with my wildcard team for better or worse.

And I also plan to replace Nick Pope with Edouard Mendy and Son with Bruno Fernandes in GW33.

Clearly, what I really need is a wildcard.

And I’ve only just noticed I played Nathaniel Phillips, not Ben Mee, this week.

And that the teams immediately above and below me in both leagues haven’t played their wildcards.

My next advice column/eulogy/apology for BC FC will appear around the GW32 deadline