Do You Have FOTO: The Fear of Transferring Out?

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We all know the feeling. It’s Saturday, it’s 11.31am and the transfer deadline for another gameweek has just passed. If it were an ice cream flavor, this feeling would definitely be neopolitan; but instead of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, you find yourself swallowing an unhealthy portion of anticipation, apprehension and self-doubt.

And for the brave souls who have taken a -4 hit (or heaven forbid more) to fund their weekly transfer habit, you can throw a bonus flavour into the mix too…FEAR. Will the loyal bench-warmer I took out come back to haunt me? Is Blankaku going to rear his ugly head again? Should I have listened to that random guy on Twitter who sent me a “DO IT” gif after I said I might get rid of Sanchez? This feeling, fellow FPL managers, is F.O.T.O – the Fear Of Transferring Out.

F.O.T.O – The Fear Of Transferring Out

An emotional state of mind, commonly experienced by Fantasy Football managers in the lead up to and during the weekend between the months of August and May.

Now unless you’re planning to quit FPL altogether (come on, it’s not gonna happen is it?) , then you’re not going to escape F.O.T.O. any time soon. However,  there are ways of making sure you don’t go completely insane…

Go with your head

As managers, we have access to an incredible wealth of FPL data to help us make smart, informed decisions. The very fact I’m even writing this article is living proof that there are folks and sites out there who simply want to help a brother out.

Each week our dedicated team of writers produce an array of fantasy football tips that span from statistics, opinion to discussion. When it comes to analysing stats you have the option of the numerous sites that offer paid Opta packages (FFScout, FFFix, AllThingsFPL) and of course our very own free stats tools.

These dedicated sites provide us with hard facts and data points to allow for clinical, data-informed decisions to be made. Simple, right?  

No. FPL managers don’t make rational decisions, they make emotional ones. But if you’re a robotic, emotionless FPL player then good luck to you and congratulations. You’ll probably win the damn thing. For the rest of us, try and balance out the devil on your left shoulder with a smart website or two on your right.

Go with your gut

The most satisfying decisions we make as FPL managers are the ones we make ourselves. If your instinct is telling you that a player in your squad is a spent force and an in-form, rising differential is his ideal replacement, listen to it. What’s more, listen to it and act quickly. The longer you think about it, the more likely you are to second guess yourself and shy away from your initial thinking. Make the transfer and move on.

Seb Candido provided a shining example of what happens when you go with your gut last week after he brought in Shaqiri and captained him, bagging 26 sweet, sweet differential points and a lead on his mini league rivals.

Go with what other people tell you to do (aka Twitter)

The FPL Twitter community is a funny old place isn’t it? From animal pseudonyms (ahem), to love life revelations (we’re looking at you @FPLChef) and far too many ‘I told you so’s’ – it’s a community that has grown significantly this season. But amidst all the noise, GIFs and bonus points rants are some genuinely fantastic accounts that offer up well thought out advice and even 1-on-1 counselling for your teams.

Seek them out, read carefully and use the information they provide to help guide your decisions. The key trick here though is basic human decency. Ultimately, FPL Twitter accounts are run by regular folks, not fortune tellers. So when you’re asking for advice, be polite and if it doesn’t work out, be gracious. It is, after all, always your decision to pull the trigger on a transfer or captaincy choice, no one else’s.

Five Accounts Worth a Follow:

@fplbet (How modest of us)

Go to the bar

FPL’ing while drunk – it’s not illegal and it’s definitely the most fun way to play FPL (well, unless you wake up at midday, miss the deadline and realize you gave Victor Anichebe the armband). But if you limit yourself to a few beers and steer clear of the sambuca, you should find just enough of the good ol’ dutch courage to help make those “should I, shouldn’t I” decisions more concrete.

Hell, maybe you’ll even have some fun doing it. One final word of advice from me personally on this: if in doubt, get another beer out. I found out the hard way earlier this season when you leave the bar too soon…

Four hours after I wrote that, Everton had won 6-3 and Lukaku had scored four. The lesson? Always have one more beer, and never doubt Lukaku at home.

So, fellow FPL managers – Which have you ruled with most often this season – your head, heart, Twitter or beer? And more importantly, which has brought you the most success? Go ahead and let us know in the comments below, I’m off to the bar…

Must Read Ahead of GW34: Lessons Learned From Previous Double Gameweeks

By | 2017-04-18T14:54:43+00:00 April 18th, 2017|Discussion|2 Comments


  1. jamieFPL April 18, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Great article Penguin, lot’s of food for thought! I think that it’s important to apply your gut feeling to all of the other points. I’ve found social media to be somewhat damaging to my performances this year, as I’ve often fallen into the trap of recency bias. Since realising that my season is pretty much over, I’ve started playing a lot more aggressively and seen a huge boost in the rankings. From the last 6 weeks, I’ve seen green arrows in every GW that I’ve taken a point hit (4), and red arrows in every GW that I’ve not taken a hit (2). FPL is about constantly revising your strategy and acknowledging mistakes. After a 14k finish last year, I was too stubborn to adjust and this year paid the price. I’m already looking forward to next year.

  2. FPL_Penguin April 18, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Thanks for reading, Jamie and great comments. The “Wisdom of the crowds” on FPL Twitter is a dangerous one for sure. I too have let myself by swayed by others on Twitter and lost potential points as a result. The way I see it, to limit the chance of regret – gut instinct is the way to go. I find that it’s fair less painful to ignore the advice of others and fail then ignore your own gut and fail.

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