Ranked number 1 in the World in the Fantasy Football Scout Hall of Fame, James Egersdorff has taken the time to answer some questions from us ahead of the new FPL season:
What area of your team is most important to get right?
Arguably the balance of your squad. Especially at the start you don’t want to ‘put all your eggs in one basket’ so to speak and invest too heavily on strikers who may misfire or defenders whose teams may go from being defensively solid last season to defensively hopeless at the start of this. The right balance is key.
What common mistakes do you see people make?
I think the biggest mistake I see is managers allowing their heart to rule their head. A friend of mine for example is a Middlesbrough fan and upon their promotion to the Premier League promptly put 3 Boro players into his GW1 squad! We all know what happened to Middlesbrough that season… So team loyalties need to be forgotten and rational thought relied upon.
Are there any players from the promoted clubs you would consider?
Sure – there’s value in these players season after season. Let’s look at last year from example; many managers jumped on Newcastle’s Rob Elliot for GW1 as a base priced GK option. Gross, Duffy, Dunk and Murray were all excellent performers for Brighton and Lossl at Huddersfield provided high returns despite their low finish. Wolves and Cardiff had the most clean sheets in the Championship last year and Fulham’s attractive passing style could uncover some exciting attacking FPL options.
What has been your biggest success/regrets?
Consistently finishing inside the top 15k I guess is a strong ongoing success and one I am keen to maintain. As for others, toppling the legend Ville Ronka at the top of the Fantasy Football Scout was a special moment, as was being asked to go on BBC One to talk about the benefits of playing fantasy football. As for regrets, I don’t think they’re worth dwelling on – there’s always next season!
Do you already have a plan in mind for when to use your chips?
Not really other then I’d say try and set up your team so you’re in control of deciding when to use them rather than being forced into using them because you have a poor squad or rank.
What valuation from the prices has most caught your attention?
I think FPL HQ have been very clever in their pricing; pretty much all the values seem fair to me. They’ve even taken the extra step of holding back certain players (Daniel Sturridge for example) from the game as it’s likely they will move, so their price can be set accordingly. This will make the game harder as there will be fewer transfer deadline day ‘bargains’ like George Boyd and Reuben Loftus-Cheek as in previous seasons.
Zaha or Arnautovic or neither?
It’s such a shame they’ve been reclassified as I don’t think anyone really considers them as ‘Forwards’. So for now, for me it’s probably neither.
Salah or Kane? Can there be room for both?
Tricky one. There’s argument for both for sure BUT you need to be confident that they’re both in form and justifying their price tags. So maybe you’d want to see how they begin the season before investing in both.
Can we expect anything new from you this year with your content?
Sure – I’m really excited to have launched FPL Masterclass. It’s my Patreon page and the purpose is to help FPL managers become better at the strategy elements of the game. There’s no fun in just being given the answers; the fun from winning comes from winning for yourself. FPL Masterclass is going to help managers achieve this.
You can follow James on Twitter @JEgersdorff