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Gameweek 21 Special: Inside the Mind - A special interview with a seasoned FPL Pro | Fantasy Premier League 2018-19

3.78K   //    31 Dec 2018, 18:45 IST

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This week sees the launch of a new feature for my article. We’ll be going ‘Inside the Mind’ of an FPL manager.

In the interview we’ll be getting to know managers within the FPL community, exploring their strategies and methods and getting some tips on how to improve our game!

This week’s interview is with @FPL_Heisenberg! He’s delivered some great finishes in the past, including a top 1,000 finish last season as well as a top 10,000 finish the season before.

@FPL_Heisenberg is in his 6th season in the game and finished inside the top 1,000 last year!
@FPL_Heisenberg is in his 6th season in the game and finished inside the top 1,000 last year!

More importantly, Alan Shearer once retweeted one of Heisenberg's tweets!

JIM: Hi Heisenberg, glad to have you as our debut feature this week! Tell us a bit more about yourself?

Heisenberg: So, where to start? I've loved football my whole life, playing and watching from an early age supporting my local team, Northampton Town (Cobblers). Outside of my love of football, I'm a proud father of two, three if you include the dog which I do haha!

J: First and foremost, how did you get on this week?


H: I had a good week. 63 net for the week (67 with a -4 taken) and I got a little lucky with Hart being rested for Button so 9 points for the new Brighton keeper! Salah captain did the business for me too!

J: Great stuff mate. How did you get into FPL originally?

H: I first got into Fantasy Football way back in the day, doing it in the newspapers and posting it off! At University, we played the Sun's version which I'm not a fan of. In 2013 a good mate (who I love beating) got me into FPL and I haven't looked back since.

J: How’s it going this season just past the halfway point?

H: Not great so far, languishing around 115k in the overall rankings at the end of GW 20, even after a healthy green arrow, up from around 149k overall. I'm still confident of a strong 2nd half of the season though and there's no reason why I can't be knocking on the door of the top 10k come the end of the season.

J: Glad to see you’re on the up. How do you generally achieve those amazing final ranks?

H: A few key principles I guess, I'll go into some detail below but in all honesty, I'd need a 2000-word essay to really go into it!

1.   Keeping it simple. No over-elaborate plans such as "I'll transfer Kane in for one GW for Cardiff at home, then transfer him to Aubameyang for two GWs then back to Kane." Plans like this waste valuable transfers, are hard to nail and the rest of your squad may suffer as a result of focusing on such a rigid plan.

2.   I never look at ownership in the hunt for a differential. I simply choose who I think will score well over the medium or long-term and get them in. 

3.   I usually (not always!) avoid the dud bandwagons, a prime example of this is Ross Barkley. After he scored 17 points in GW10 away to Burnley, a lot of FPL managers rushed to bring him in. You were one of them if I remember rightly Jim (laughs).

Although I was tempted by Barkley, after much deliberation I avoided him mainly because of the rotation risk being far too high with Kovacic, Loftus-Cheek and Barkley vying for one position. Since GW10 he's only managed 60+ mins once and he has no attacking contributions since that game.

4.   Use of chips. I could bang on all day about this, instead check out my thread on Twitter:

5. I tend to build a strong team value every season without an abundance of hits. I find this helps in the latter stages of the season as you should be able to afford a better squad than your mini-league rivals.

J: Any players you’ve got your eyes on for coming weeks?

H: Pogba is top of my watchlist (obviously after you tipped him Jim!) after mesmeric performances since Solksjaer took charge. He further enhanced his stock today with 2 goals, 1 assist and maximum bonus!

Rashford has also been brilliant, but I already have him and unfortunately, he may have an injury so we’ll need to keep our eyes peeled for updated.

I'm also considering getting Lovren as well as Alexander-Arnold after the City/Liverpool game.

Here's my squad which I'm largely happy with (apart from Joe Hart):

J: United really are on fire at the minute I agree, I opted for Lingard over Pogba sadly! How do you plan your moves generally?

H: I find players in form, then look at their fixtures to see if now is a good time to bring in (or maybe highlight when they have a strong run of fixtures in the future). I then prioritise who I need the most and in which area my current squad is weakest.

Hypothetical example, I may want to bring Rondon in, but if I get an injury to a midfielder or defender I will prioritise those problems and fix it, especially if I'm happy with all 3 strikers. I also try to pick players who will be nailed on, and, ones I'd be happy to keep for the foreseeable future. Too many short-term punts and very quickly your team becomes a mess - which inevitably leads to unnecessary points hits.

J: What golden tips you can give us to help us improve our game?

H: Never make transfers just for one gameweek, think long term. You should also watch football as much as possible, look at stats in context.

Have patience where it's needed - a player with strong stats and passes the eye test but limited FPL returns in recent gameweeks, keep hold (especially when the fixtures are favourable).

Be ruthless where it's needed – if you’ve got an underperforming player who’s not doing the business for you, get rid (especially when the fixtures are NOT favourable).

J: Any final bits of advice for our readers?

H: Enjoy the highs and get over the lows as quickly as possible. I had so many bad gameweeks last season (at least 3 it 4 GWs with a score lower than 30) and still finished in the top 1,000, so keep your cool and no rage transfers.

More importantly, the reason I say "get over the lows as quickly as possible" is for your mental health. It really is important to me that as many people enjoy this game without it getting to them too much. If you take FPL as seriously as I do, you'll know how a bad Gameweek can make you feel low. Take a step back and remind yourselves not to take it so seriously that it affects your moods for too long after the gameweek ends.

J: Heisenberg it’s been great chatting with you and you’ve given the readers (and me!) some great advice in time for the second half of the season. Take care and good luck with the rest of your season!

H: My pleasure mate. Thanks for having me!

Before you do anything else... head over to Twitter and follow @FPL_Heisenberg to make sure you take advantage of all his knowledge and experience!

I hope you enjoyed that new segment and learnt a thing or two. Let me know in the comments or you can find me on Twitter @FPL_Jim. You can send me any questions, send me a direct message if that's your thing and I'll always get back to you!