When Fantasy Premier League launches, managers board a rollercoaster of emotion that takes them on the journey of pre-season.
Whether you had a great, awful or indifferent season, often by the end of gameweek 38 managers will breathe a sigh of relief. The summer is finally here. No more dark evenings. No more painstaking decisions of whether to back Mo Salah who’s scoring for fun, or try for the 7th week in a row to nail that differential captain. FREEDOM!
That feeling doesn’t last long.
Even with a summer of World Cup action there’s still that small thought at the back of your mind wondering whether the new football season will ever start. Or instead will you have to spend all of your time stuck applying aloe vera to yet another sunburn.
Once the tweet arrives announcing the game launch you enter the first section… joy.
You finally have something to fill your time again. No longer do you have to worry about when the next BBQ in the rain will be, instead you can focus on whether Bednarek or Wan-Bissaka will provide the most returns at just £4m.
You get the fun of picking your squad, working out which goalkeepers rotate best and who provides the best value out of the budget forward options.
As the initial fun factor wears off and the season start draws closer you start to feel hope.
Hope that you’ll begin with a fantastic score (for once, if you’re anything like me). Hope that you’ll finally get one over on that work colleague. Hope that this might finally be your year and you’ll become a FPL Champion!
Even though we have stats, pre-season form and general knowledge of how the top players will perform, realistically we can’t ever be 100% sure what’s going to happen once the season kicks off. That’s essentially why the hope builds. You can start to hope you’ve nailed it because at this point anything is possible before the game starts.
That brings us to the current moment in time, mere hours away from the first deadline. Hope turns to panic.
Suddenly you question everything. Are fixtures better than form, or is it the other way round? Surely Salah can’t do it again? Will Jota really be the new Mahrez, Kane or Alli?
For me, panicking at this stage of pre-season is almost like cramming just before you sit an exam, almost entirely pointless. You know the fixtures, you know who’s more likely to start well, you’ve read numerous articles, watched loads of videos, and listened to every podcast going.
There’s nothing more you can do. You can’t own everyone. You need to back yourself with the knowledge you have. You aren’t going to win or lose FPL in the first week. To use a cliché it’s a marathon not a sprint.
The rollercoaster ride is almost over, try and enjoy it. It’s only going to get more bumpy from here, save your panic for later in the season (or in Gameweek 1 when your captain fails).
This article was written by Andy (@LetsTalk_FPL), but because Andy isn’t an official contributor on our site, it says I (Simon) wrote it when I have only edited it. Follow him on Twitter for more excellent content and discussion.