Last season I played under the team name “The Outsider”, winning the Islington Rangers 99s Fantasy Premier League (FPL) league with a total of 2,133 points.
I still feel very much like an outsider in the world of soccer but was inspired to change the name of my team to “Pep City” in order to provoke a friend of mine in the “Multiple Scorgasms” league I am part of this year. The mere use of the name Pep is a provocation to my Jose Mourinho loving friend.
While there will never be a guarantee of me having even one Manchester City player on my fantasy team – because I will pick whichever players I think give me the best chance of accumulating the most points week-to-week – the inspiration for this team this year will be the new manager of Manchester City.
Long live Pep. Long live “Pep City”.
The strategy going into the week
My strategy going into week one was not yet one of differentiation – which many people agree is Rule #1 in fantasy soccer. I went against that convention.
What I went for was the best strikers I could afford and then a multiplier effect. As a result I picked Kun Aguero, Diego Costa and Jamie Vardy up front and tried as best I could to surround them with their own teammates in midfield: David Silva, Willian, Riyad Mahrez and Danny Drinkwater.
On defence I put my faith in “Pulis-ball” and went with two West Brom defenders in Jonny Evans and Gareth McAuley and their keeper Ben Foster. I also picked two players – George Friend and Emilio Nsue Lopez – from the promoted Middlesborough team which reputedly had the best defensive record in the championship last season.
I rounded out my selections with two Watford players, Ben Watson and Juan Carlos Paredes and a throw-away goalkeeper, Burnley’s Paul Robinson.
So that’s my team for the first game week and some of the thinking that went into it.
I’ll be back after Monday’s Chelsea-West Ham game to reflect on how I did and see where I stand in the various leagues I am entered in.