Monday, December 6, 2010

Lessons from history

This isn't funny, I'm not laughing about anything. I'm not laughing about it, I take this sh*t seriously; real serious. I put my heart and sole into this sh*t every single week. I study my ass off. I don't just go out there and laugh. It's not funny. Nothing's funny to me. I don't want to go out there and get embarrassed: recommend selling Samir Nasri while buying Torres who didn't even play. I'm done, I'm sorry.

Alright I'm not done, and for anyone who doesn't follow the NFL the above is a much quoted blow-up by failed quarterback Derek Anderson whose season is going about as well mine. For those keeping track at home I have now:
  • Held Berbatov for 9 scoreless weeks then sold him the week he scores 5 goals.
  • After weeks of pumping up Van der Vaart but not taking the leap myself, I finally made the move for him, gave him the armband and 11 minutes later he's limping off the field.
  • Wrote an article explaining that Nasri is not good value on the day he scores a brace and earns 15 points (I still stand by this one though). 
  • Replaced Odenwingie who was supposed to be injured with Torres who faced a great matchup at home to Villa in which Liverpool actually delivered. Good call right? Wrong, Torres missed the game as his wife went into labour and due to the called off Blackpool/United game and a few injuries I didn't even have a sub to come in.
  • Brought in Kolarov to not just capitalise on this week's solid fixture (which City duly turned into a clean sheet) but also for his future worth based on City's good fixtures. So pleased I was with my transfer I even tweeted: "More advanced play from Kolarov. Looks like he is indeed the best City defender to own. Finally a good decision." Four minutes later he was sent off.
We all have bad luck/make bad decisions but all of the above has happened in the past two weeks! So no, I'm not laughing, but unlike Derek Anderson I plan to bounce back.

My mistake was panicking after a couple of off weeks and mi-using the wildcard to bring in players who I would always warn people off as being too risky (an unfit Fabregas, O'Shea who isn't guaranteed his place etc). I have also stuck to my old formula for calculating clean sheets for too long, suggesting a Chelsea bounce back is just around the corner even when our eyes would suggest otherwise. Luckily I am away on work this week with nothing to do but crunch numbers so I hope to have a new strategy in place for next week.

Until then I want these results to stay in my heart and keep hurting as that will motivate me personally to not let something like this happen again. I just want to say one thing to the blog readers: I'm sorry, extremely sorry. I was hoping for another 2,000 point season but I promise you one thing: a lot of good will come out of this. You will have never seen a blogger in the entire country work as hard as I will work for the rest of the season, and never seen a nerd crunch numbers in his spreadsheets harder than I will for the rest of the season. God Bless. (I love sports speeches).

PS. While on the subject of great speeches, the Jimmy V classic is coming up so I urge everyone to run over to the Jimmy V foundation and make a donation. For those who don't know, Jimmy was a popular championship winning College Hoops coach who died of cancer just 2 months after his moving speech here at the ESPYs. His foundation aims to combat the effects of cancer and is a worthy donor for all of us. If nothing else, Jimmy's speech must be worth whatever you can spare.

PPS. I can't talk about sports speeches without mentioning this: epic.I will be back with actual fantasy analysis soon. Apologies for the nonsense but I needed to have some fun after another miserable week.


Mister Sardine said...

Great article Chris. Don't worry you've been extremely unlucky but you will bounce back. All your choices have been rationale so far. Ultimately this is what makes the difference over 30 gameweeks!

Simon said...

As much as I strongly agree with you evidence-based, statistical reasoning as a way of choosing players and making transfers that would otherwise not be obvious, I think it's important not to overlook the more blatant facts that are presented to us. i.e.:

Nasri has been scoring points like a daemon, must-own imho.

Tevez has scored solidly throughout the season, which makes him a great every-week player.

Berb might have scored 5 last week, but averaged over the 9 scoreless weeks previous, this doesn't amount to much - avoid.

Great players are not always awarded for it if a. they play for poor performing teams, and b. they are overlooked by the FPL people. Everton's Baines for instance was immense at the weekend, hance only one BP.

To sum-up - I think there should be less focus on the fixtures a team has, and more on the team's, and particularly the player's points-scoring form.

Simon said...

Correction: 'hance' (?) should read 'but'

Andrew said...

Simon: Earlier in the season, Chris did some statistical analysis about weighing different correlations between points and other factors such as fixture strength, price for the position, etc. If you haven't looked at it, I would check it out. I was definitely surprised at the weak correlation between fixture strength and points... really made me re-think my strategy this season.

Soo Kyo said...

Don'y be sorry Chris. Nobody expects you to be a fortune teller. Wife going on labour on game day, other injuries happen. something unpredictable.
Always appreciating your stats and analysis. Cheers

zakir4477 said...

Hi Chris,

I don't write in, but always read your blog, and luckily, only sometimes follow your advice. :) Keep your chin up and thank you for all the insightful analysis. You will bounce back. I ended up with the exact same scenario as you with Van der Vaart, but was lucky enough to replace him last week with Nasri. As far as Berbatov, we all have one of those on our teams. Bale and Malouda have been my two non-producing midfielders. Malouda is already jettisoned, but for some reason I'm still holding on to Bale. Finally, my big decision of the week is whether to replace Tevez (suspended) with Rooney (home vs Arsenal on Monday night). I'm going to wait until Friday to decide if I want to pull the trigger on this.

Simon said...

Andrew: Thanks for that, I hadn't seen Chris's analysis on these correlations. That said, having read through it, it certainly looks as though this season has rewritten the rule-book. Last season I can see that there was a good correlation between points and price with forwards, with Drogba, Rooney et al scoring by far the highest. A slightly lesser correlation in midfield with the likes of Lampard, Malouda, Fabregas etc scoring high, but with the odd bargain in there too. While there was very little correlation in Defence with last years highlights (Dunne, Baines, Hangeland etc) being relatively cheap while some more expensive choices scoring very low indeed. This year, however, I can see very little correlation with Price and Points. A glance at the most expensive players in teh game right now highlights so many poor value options: Lampard, Fabregas, Gerrard, Torres, Rooney, Van Persie, Evra, Vermaelen etc. I know that many of these are due to injury, but even if we look at the top scorers to date, there are so many bargain players available, I think at one point, if not right now, it was possible to actually buy the top 15 players for around 102/103 million (which most people have at the moment. What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I tried to tell you when you were talking about that craziness, Wenger's French, do you thinkk he wouldn't shop Old ass Rosicky or Arshavin?

Chris Glover said...

Simon - I agree with Tevez and Berbatov but I still don't think Nasri is must own. I agree that he has been playing well and I agree that he will probably more significant minutes but I just don't see Wenger freezing out Arshavin, Walcott, Rosicky etc completely. If you are okay with a player whom might drop a 1 pointer/not play every 3 or 4 weeks then go ahead but for me I think better options can potentially be found.

As for the focus on fixtures v team performance, this is something I am going to look at this week to try and understand which is a better indicator.

Manamongst - Wenger sold Pires, Vieira, Henry, Petit etc etc Nasri would no doubt be in the team if they played a cup final next week but will he play every week?

I know people aren't sold on my take on Nasri but where do you think he'll play? The only way it works is if either (a) Fabregas moves into the 2 centre mid positions which is against what Wenger has done to date of (b) Arshavin, Walcott etc are dropped every week.

Chris Glover said...

Thanks for all the comments. Weekly preview to follow shortly (hopefully) followed by a piece on predicting team goals more effectively