BC’s Fantasy Football Nightmares


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Game-Week 22: Salah-Vation?


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

Two game-weeks ago, based on what the top 10K managers in the Fantasy Premier League would call “carefully analysed statistics and in-depth football knowledge” and what I admit is “a hunch”, I paid four points to transfer out Mo Salah and replace him with Raheem Sterling on my fantasy team, BC FC. It paid back immediately: Sterling returned 11 points, Salah, only two. (Hunches are clearly not as powerful as carefully analysed statistics and in-depth football knowledge, or I would have captained Sterling, for 22, not Bruno Fernandes, for four).

Last week, riding high at the top of my family & friends mini-league (and doing pretty well globally, by my standards, which are those of the bottom 100K FPL managers), I played brave, as we say in Trinidad.

Not only did I captain Sterling last week, I taunted Mo Salah, after my own fashion, by headlining last game-week’s Fantasy Nightmare, “Montezuma Salah’s Revenge. It worked. For Salah. Sterling was benched and Captain Salah returned 30 points.

The 36 points BC FC had piled on between itself and the number two team, my wife’s Most Handsome XI, was cut to just 17 points — a difference Salah can easily make up on his own, in one game. BC FC slipped from the top 40K in the Chelsea league (38,434) to 46,703, and from #320 to #379 in the Barbados national FPL. Globally, BC FC slid from #705,199 to 841,375. In GW20, BC FC’s was in the top 500K scoring teams in the world; last game-week, it slipped to 4,814,721, properly on the way back to its natural home in the bottom 1M.

Still, no matter how well or how badly I’ve done, on how undeserving or unsuited I might be, I have a burning desire to stay on top, like Donald Trump, though I probably wouldn’t loot my own Capitol to try to achieve it.

With Mo Salah looking to be back in the ripping form he always is, until I transfer him in at great expense, I need to bring him back.

But I’m now loath to boot Sterling out so swiftly, without what I had hoped to be the returns of the three favourable game-weeks for which I paid four points; especially since he didn’t play at all last week; one out of three ain’t anything but sad.

However, I’m damned if I’m selling Bruno Fernandes, the only midfielder who’d afford a straight swap to Salah on my team budget; I might as well write the headline, “Monte-Bruno’s Revenge” at once.

So I hit on another of what I’m now in danger of thinking of as one of my “four point plans”, which are worryingly close in nomenclature to the old Soviet Union’s Five Year Plans.

If I transfer out Roman Saiss and replace him with a cheaper defender — it worked out to be Tyrick Mitchell — I reckoned I could afford to bring Salah in by selling Jack Grealish.

So this is what I’ve done.

And, so far, I’ve resisted the headline, “Monty Grealish’s Revenge”.

It’s my natural instinct to be foolhardy (and pretend it’s being courageous) by making Sterling my captain and damn the Salah torpedoes.

But all four teams now beneath BC FC have never transferred out Salah and will certainly captain him.

To neutralise them, then, and accept that, in doing so, I have neutered myself, I’ve captained Salah.

So now it’s just to hope that Fernandes scores big and Jack Grealish is sent off after missing a penalty and scoring an own goal.

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