I’m gonna take a break from the “who to pick” stuff and talk some about the strategy of picking players.
Does that mean no TLAs in this one?
Yes it does
(Much celebratory dancing and carrying on)
Now that you have that out of your systems, We’ll start with PODs. Meaning, what is a POD anyways? Seems like there is more than one definition, and it is hard to talk about stuff when people think something means different things.
Some people use POD to mean players with low ownership and just that. I think that is the most useful definition. Low ownership without regard to quality. Other people mean a player they are taking because of low ownership, and not because of him being the best available player. I think that kind of POD is a bad idea. You are taking a worse player with low ownership because a lot of other managers own better players. That’s crazy.
What if I pick a player because he is just low to the ground? Like Caleb Daniel. He’s low to the ground, and I am low to the ground, so he is my favorite player.
Um, I think that just makes him your favorite player.
The Iron Law of Pods: “The earlier and better a POD, the less time they remain a POD.”
Pretty obviously, if a player with low ownership starts doing really well, people are going to bring him in. The longer he does well the more people will bring him in, until he is no longer low owned. Rowan Marshall from last year is a good example. By the end of the year, lots and lots of people owned him, because he was one of the highest scoring forwards. So the people who jumped on him early didn’t get the advantage of owning him while other people didn’t for very long. They did for a while, but not all season by far. The real advantage of getting him early was getting him much cheaper. While more and more owners started getting his points as the season went on, they all had to pay more for those points, and that was an advantage that stayed.
What about someone who was low owned but correctly priced?
Then you are at a disadvantage to all the people who spent the same money on bargains, and even with people who spent the same money on other correctly priced players, no matter what their ownership. Also, if you start with a bargain and other people have to use a trade to get him in, you are up a trade, and maybe money too.
It’s always bargains with you, isn’t it?
Well, yeah, making better use of resources is what the game is all about. Bargains are better than full pricers who are better than over-pricers.
Oh oh! Overpricers is my cue to segue into the next part, right ?!
Yes, thank you. Very smooth segue.
The Inverse Law of Pods: “The worse a POD performs, the longer he stays a POD.”
This is easy. Say you started last season with Angus Brayshaw. You paid for a 97 average and he produced an 83 average. He was one of those dreaded overpricers. Therefore, people did not bring him in and he remained a POD all season. In fact as the season went on, he became more and more of a POD as many of his owners traded him out. This gets back to my point that you want good players, not different players.
Which leads to Swords and Shields?
Did you see how that time I did the segue without mentioning I was doing the segue ?
…Yes, I did. Well done little dude, have a pumpkin seed.
So, swords and shields. During the Fantasy Premier League season this year, all the pundits started talking about Swords and Shields. I have no idea who actually came up with the idea, so I can’t give credit, but it wasn’t me. Anyways:
Swords are players who help you pull ahead of your competition. Usually that is because you own them but it can be because you don’t own them. Offensive players.
Shields are players who you have because they are highly owned and have the potential to put you behind the competition if they do well. Defensive players.
In FPL, with only 11 players on the field at once, and with only a few of them being high priced, high scorers, the concept works more clearly than in Supercoach where we have 22 players on the field and there are usually smaller differences between the top scorers and the near to top scorers.
So are swords and PODs are not the same?
Right. If a player has low ownership but is not good, then he is not a sword. And a player who is scoring well but not low ownership is still a sword. Unless he is so highly owned that he is really a shield.
At what point does a sword become a shield?
Um, that’s not really well defined. Partly because it depends on who you are competing with. If you are in the top ten you can look and see who the other players have and know from that. I mean, if a player is 51% or more owned, and scoring well, then he is a shield if you own him. Cripps for example, is 52% owned, at least right now. If you fear his having another early season pile O points, and you own him to avoid falling behind, shield. I took him to be sword, but as it turns out, shield. The idea is to get good players, whatever you call them.
Basically if you own a player because you are afraid not to own him, shield.
And this is helpful why?
For one thing, it helps us know why players are in our teams. Every player should be in our teams for a clear reason. That’s why I find the sword idea useful. They are the guys who are going to score you points. Keepers hopefully. Not guys you plan to make money from and sell. Cows are not swords.
Oh my, thank you for enlightening me. Here I was, in danger of confusing cows and swords, and you have set me straight. The fleshy, dull ones are cows and the metal, pointy ones are swords?
I think any player who gives you a competitive advantage in points is a sword, even if they are also a cow. Like Liberatore last season.
Huh, I have been well and properly challenged by the hamster. Ok, I think you are sort of right, in that an advantage of cows who score points is the points as well as the cash. I think of them as really good cows, as opposed to cows who make money but not points. Because they are not on the field, or at least should not be on the field outside of emergencies. Bad cows, of course, don’t make money. So, for me, cows are not swords. Swords are players you plan to keep. Bargains can be swords, those are the best kind.
In return for a pumpkin seed, I will accept your reasoning.
Which gets us to the last bit.
The Rusty Curse of Pods: “After you trade out an under-performing POD, he will most likely start doing well.”
Ok, so not a real rule, but you just know it will happen. Leading us to make bad fear-based decisions. The best antidote to that is data, so before deciding to bring a POD in or out, be sure to look at their, say, past history, current situation and maybe if they have been lucky or not.
In and out?
Oh yes. Getting over excited about early hot or cold starts leads to things like trading out Dunkley or Oliver for Boak after rounds 4-5 last season.
Well, I have babbled at length. I think the difference between Swords and PODs is important. We can talk about wanting to find swords, which is clearly good, instead of trying to find PODs, which, as Mr Brayshaw shows us, may or may not be good.
Thanks for reading!
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