2016/17 FPL Updates League Champion – Jon Pears reveals secrets of success

A fantastic Premier League season is over and this means another FPL season has flown by. Junior Stanislas helped Ben Crabtree claim the 2016/17 Fantasy Premier League title, however it was Jon Pears who came out victorious in the FPL Updates mini league. The FPL Updates league champion finished 5th overall and managed to grab the number 1 spot on the final gameweek.

Want to know what it takes? Read on, as the FPL Updates league champion reveals his secrets of success over the 2016/2017 season.

Going into the final gameweek, you were ranked 8th. Were you confident of winning?

At the time I was 6 points behind the league leader. I knew that I would have a chance and had a good feeling about my team going into the final day.

Where did you spend the final few hours of the Premier League season? What kind of emotions did you experience as the evening unfolded?

I started at my parents house. Within 10-15 minutes though, my captain (Kane) already had 2 goals and I’d taken the lead. A mate and I then arranged to go to the pub for the 2nd half. My heart rate was racing right up until the final whistle and even then I was franticly checking bonus points!

At what point during the season did you begin to believe that you could win the league?

I went on a bit of a run from December through to Feb of having Sanchez captain every single week. Once I got into the top 50, I thought I had a chance.

We noticed that your team, The Champs, has been playing since 2006/07, with your best season being in 2012/13. What was different this season? Did you envisage this is how your season would end?

In previous seasons I have been quite hasty in making transfers and taking ‘hits’. I’d also spend a lot of cash on big name players like Aguero. This year I decided I’d have a better all round team.

Over the course of the season, you had been in the top 1,000 since gameweek 16 and the top 50 since gameweek 24. How did you manage this consistency?

Picking players on form rather than anything else and of course a little bit of luck.

Throughout the campaign you only took 7 point hits for transfers. Was this a strict game plan? Is it a tactic that you always planned to use this season?

Absolutely – I like that you can save a transfer now; I used the technique of having 2 gameweek transfers a lot. I’d never take a hit unless I had to, I always see -4 as a goal or clean sheet lost!

It’s clear you used the popular tactic of wildcarding the week before the big double gameweek 37. Was this always the plan or were you ever tempted to use it earlier?

Not originally, I just planned to save my wildcard until I needed it. When I knew there was going to be a large number of teams playing twice, I saved the chip.

Being an Aston Villa fan, do you think this helped your fantasy football selections, with no team bias?

Yes, definitely. In previous years I’d always have a Villa player or two. This rarely worked unless I go back to Martin O’Neill days!

What was your best decision made over the course of season? And what was your worst?

Not joining the Aguero bandwagon early on when he kept being red carded and having Sanchez every week captain. Worst decision – changing my team to accommodate Aguero as triple captain in the first double gameweek!

Most FPL managers had waved goodbye to all of their chips, as they used them in other gameweeks. You saved all of yours until the second half of the season. Was this always the plan?

Yes, from previous experience I knew there would be double gameweek opportunities later in the season so I decided to save them. I will tend to use my first wildcard within the first 2-3 weeks of the season though to try and hit the ground running.

With that being said you did use your first wildcard early in gameweek 4, why was this? Did you consider saving it for later on in the season?

No I will always play it early to get in the form players and to benefit from early prices rises. I usually find having more value in your team helps come February/March time.

If you could change anything in FPL, what would it be?

Perhaps having an extra chip to enable you to swap a player from your bench into your first team, one per season. Too many times I was left with wasted points on the bench.

Can you describe how your season has affected your day to day life and your relationships with friends and family?

A lot of my friends play so they are as into it as I am. My family get fed up with me wanting to watch the football every Sunday when I go round for Sunday dinner!

Are you intending to play again next year? Are you going to play any differently?

Yes for sure, perhaps the only thing I would change is to save my triple cap chip until I find a player in form with a double gameweek.

Any tips that you stick by to give to everyone reading this?

  • Increase your team value early on – this will pay benefits later in the season.
  • Don’t do hasty -4’s
  • Don’t neglect your defenders
  • Don’t be afraid to take the odd risk

Anything else, any shout-outs?

Mervyn Glasgow (@M9RVG), my rival from the last few months for this league. My mate Phil Sanford for helping with my team every week!

Good luck everyone for next season!

Written by Jon Pears


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