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Another week where the narrative is self-generating.

Sometimes your meticulous planning just doesn’t survive contact with the real world – isn’t that right, Poch (and Theresa)?  Luckily, in the realms of fantasy football, the powers that be understand this and supply managers with 2 get out of jail free cards every season – 1 for each half.  These are the Wild Card, where you can make as many transfers as you like without suffering any points deductions.
This allows you to finally give up on the useless bunch that seemed such inspired choices back in August, but have since been injured, dropped or loaned out or revealed themselves to the total waste of space everybody but you knew them to be.  When the transfer window used to close after the season got under way, I (and quite a few others) would wait until that point, assess what was left, and change almost everyone.  With the window not a real factor this year, it’s a bit more difficult to judge. It’s really important to use it well, because this is your one chance before February to rescue a disastrous squad selection – making major changes apart from that gets very expensive and a 20 point deduction saw Penge eliminated just last week.
So, it was with some surprise when I saw another team hit with a 20 point penalty this week, and I wondered why that manager had not used his Wild Card instead.  Then I looked a bit closer and realised why; it was because he’d already played it – last week.
Think about it – you had a completely free hand to restructure your squad just as you want it and the very next week transfer 6 of them out.
His gross points? 45, leaning a net score of just 25, which is never going to be enough to survive – expect, staggeringly, this week, saved by another manager taking a 4 point hit.  Darren Sears, you are one lucky son of a … gun.

Apart from that, a really low scoring week, with every metric seeing a new low.  For the first time in a very long time, the WML survivors were outscored by the competition as a whole.

On to the details, then.

Week 4

Average Score: 40.91 (53 participants) – overall competition average 44

Highest Score: 62 – overall competition high score 104

Total competitors: 5,492,430 (+83,074)

Eliminated This Week:

With 23 points: Harry’s Hornets (Chris Hyde)
Gameweek Rank:
5,165,487 – bottom 5.95% (based on gross score of 27.
Key Selections:
Captain – Agüerro (Man City) : 6=12 – 0 successful alternatives
9 others scored 12.
Transfer deduction of 4.
Kabasele (Watford) : 2 instead of Groβ (Brighton) : -1 would’ve done it.

With 24 points: Uncertainty XI (Jeff Bartrop)
Gameweek Rank:
5,262,774 – bottom 4.18%.
Key Selections:
Captain – Salah (Liverpool) : 2=4 – 1 successful alternative (Firminho – Liverpool : 7)
8 others scored 10.
Nothing would’ve helped

Surviving this week:

DY Army (Darren Sears) : 25 (gross 45)
Vicarage Roeders (James McNeil) : 27
Winners FC (Conor Carpenter) : 28
Unhippyman (Peter Fincham) : 29 (gross 33)

Top Scorer:

With 62 points : Foxes in da boxes (Jon Gowshall)
Gameweek Rank:
358,434 – In the top 6.53%
Key Selections:
Aubameyang (Arsenal) : (C) 8 = 16
Hart (Burnley)  : 10
Walker (Man City) : 10

My team? Yeah, still doing OK, thanks. Might not bother with that Wild Card, myself.

That’s Week 4 done and we’ve got the 1st matches in the European Nations League – I’m actually excited about this as everyone should be pitched against opponents at their own level.
We have 51 teams going into Week 5 – who gets the call, Deeney or Lukaku?

Here’s the sheet: WML_LMS_1819_WK04

See you next week