BC’s Fantasy Football Nightmares
The Trinidadian singer turned Cabinet Minister, Gypsy, early in his career, had a huge hit with his song, “For Cane”, a calypso of the double-entendre variety. The luckless star of the tune was a man whose wife had the habit of disappearing on sugarcane-hunting expeditions with men he didn’t know. “Monday,” the chorus went, “she went for-cane/ Tuesday she went back again/ She must be gone for-cane with some man again”.
Last week, when he didn’t have a game, I rolled the die on transferring out Harry Kane and bringing in Jamie Vardy. It made sense, I told myself (and didn’t know better than to listen to myself, even after all these years and game-weeks) because the old Harry was injured and might even miss the EFL Cup game on the weekend. If he was fit for the final, I reckoned, I’d bring him back in a straight transfer.
The plan was good, the thinking behind it was good, but it was backed up by arithmetic, which is like having a water-tank backed up with a hole in its bottom. When it came to bringing Kane back in this week, I found I had to take a four-point hit to be able to afford him.
Last week, I went for Kane.Read more
The race between my natural Fantasy Premier League manager incompetence and my natural bad luck accelerated to breakneck pace this week, with what is normally the disastrous usual result for my FPL team, BC FC. My run-in is beginning to look a lot more like a stumble-in.
Thinking I was being clever — i.e., the incompetence; really, I should know better after nearly 63 years — and even thinking I might, um, “get ahead of the game”, I used my one free transfer early to replace the game-less KDB with “got game in the American sense” Mo Salah (the bad luck). Had I waited until Friday morning, I’d have discovered that one of my three defenders with a match in game-week 33, Nathaniel Phillips, is now out until May.
In the emergency thus created — it’s fitting that the language of pleadings in old running down actions in the High Court from my barrister days should resurface just now — but, in the emergency thus created by having only two defenders, I had to either take a four point-hit and bring in a defender worth less than 4.3M or take an eight point-hit and get a defender who might actually return more than the four points he cost AND another player from somewhere.
I brought in Timothy Castagne.
The period between last Friday morning and this one was disastrous for the Eastern Caribbean, with St Vincent’s La Soufriere volcano spouting ash plumes high into the air and unusual westerly winds brining a lot of that ash to Barbados. For the last seven days, I’ve spent all morning sweeping ash up, wearing two N95 masks and eye protection against the sulphurous air. I’ve got blisters from sweeping.Read more
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.Read more
An advice column for the bottom seven million Fantasy Premier League managers
After my covid-19 jab shortly before the game-week 29 deadline (Astra Zeneca, thank you, India) I got as sick as a dog; and not one of those Hollywood star ruling sector pocket dogs, either, but one of those starving, near-death stray dogs you see in the background in dancehall videos filmed in Kingston.
On the upside, I could be sure I got the real vaccine and not a placebo.
Also, though my real vaccine ruined my weekend, it saved my Fantasy Premier League GW29 day because I was too sick to plough on with my notion of saving my free hit chip and fielding a four-a-side team of Matt Targett, Ezri Konsa, Christian Bale & Ollie Watkins, who brought in, respectively, point hauls of 0,1,0 & 2.
Unable to do the mental arithmetic to work out how many four-point hits I’d have to take to get up to nine players who might pay back the investment, I played my free hit chip.
And my one-week-only side brought in 73 points, in a week when the average was 25 and the highest only 104. Of my Free Hit XI, only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Stuart Dallas and Ollie Watkins scored only two points and my bench had a grand total of two points between them.Read more