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Christmas Fantasy Football update part 2

We love a bit of Fantasy Premier League. So much so, we made our own CALM FPL League. With all the Christmas fixtures, injuries and suspensions fast approaching – we decided to ask some pals-in-the-know for their top FPL tips. 

This is Part 2 of the CALM Fantasy Football update, check out Part 1 here.

 

TOM VICTOR – WRITER, PUN-EXTRAORDINAIRE, WEST HAM FAN

1. How is your Fantasy Premier League season going so far?

I’m doing a couple of draft leagues as well as a regular league. I’m towards the top of the draft leagues but the regular one’s going a lot less well. I’ve managed to use my free hit and wildcard to get in top performing players just as they hit a wall, so that’s been predictably bad timing from me.

2. We’ve got some weird and wonderful team names in the CALM League. How did you arrive at yours?

I’ve regularly used Simpsons puns – Elmander Huggenkiss was one from a few years ago, and this year I’ve managed to include three player name puns and a Simpsons reference with Can Iborra a Phelan.

3. Who has been your player of the season so far?

I’ve only had a couple of players in my main team who I’ve kept for most or all of the season, and I’ve been gloating a bit at having backed Leroy Sane since day one. As for my draft team, I was low down the pecking order for my first pick but was lucky to still be able to snap up Mo Salah and David De Gea before anyone else.

4. As we approach the busy festive fixture period, which player are you hanging your hopes on to get points in the bag?

Paul Pogba should be well rested when he returns from suspension, so I’m expecting big things, especially if Man Utd rotate the players in front of him.

5. Christmas can be tough sometimes – aside from FPL what do you normally do to keep spirits high and get through the festive period?

I’m lucky enough to live in the same city as my immediate family, so it’s just an hour’s journey back home for Christmas. It’ll be the first time in three years I’m not working over the Christmas period, so that ought to make things a little easier.

 

SAM DISS – WRITER, MUNDIAL MAG MAN, WEST HAM FAN

1. How is your Fantasy Premier League season going so far?

I’m not going to lie to you: not well. It started off brilliantly – people were accosting me in the pub after work for tips – but now, as we reach the just-about-halfway-point, it’s all gone to pot. My team on paper is brilliant and the logistics pretty foolproof (3-4-3, midfield piled with wingers, cheap defenders, etc) but it’s just not happening. It’s… it’s just not happening.

2. How did you arrive at your team name?

Mine’s called Bešić Instinct because I thought the pun was very funny but it just so happens that almost as soon as I chose it, Muhamed Bešić re-injured his ACL and hasn’t played since. Which is a nice touch all round, isn’t it?

3. Who has been your player of the season so far?

Undoubtedly Mo Salah. Without Mo, I’d be a goner, no doubt. His consistent goalscoring and smiling face have been all that has seen me through.

4. As we approach the busy festive fixture period, which player are you hanging your hopes on to get points in the bag?

Salah, of course, but I’d like to see De Bruyne racking up the points again. I wouldn’t say he’s let me down recently, but he’s certainly not been up to his very high standard (in the stats-heavy world of FF, anyway…)

5. Christmas can be tough sometimes – aside from FPL what do you normally do to keep spirits high and get through the festive period?

Players and managers might moan about the heavy fixture list over Christmas but it’s always a way to take your mind off things at a time that can be really hard for a lot of people. Besides that, using the time off – when I’m lucky enough to have it – to catch up on shows and books that I’ve missed feels like such a blessing: like these are extra days in the year for you to do what you want. I’m looking forward to blitzing something brainless like The Good Place and re-reading The Rock Says… by The Rock.

 

GIANCARLO GAGLIONE – LAN THE BARON HONCHO, LIVERPOOL FAN

1. How is your Fantasy Premier League season going so far?

I’m having a good season so far, although saying that I’ve just had to play my wildcard in desperation!

2. How did you arrive at your team name?

It’s a nod to my Italian mafia roots; my dad was brought up in the edgy side of Naples and I’ve always loved the Al Pacino film Carlitos Way. A lot of people call me Carlo for short so I thought calling my team Carlitos Way describes how I want to run the team… My way 🙂

3. Who has been your player of the season so far?

Without a shadow of doubt, Mohammed Salah! Consistently providing goals and assists for Liverpool. 14 goals and 4 assists in 18 games says it all!

4. As we approach the busy festive fixture period, which player are you hanging your hopes on to get points in the bag?

Coutinho. After playing Arsenal, Liverpool have three games that you’d hope them to get maximum points and I think Coutinho will play a pivotal part in that.

5. Christmas can be tough sometimes – aside from FPL what do you normally do to keep spirits high and get through the festive period?

I keep busy seeing family and friends and being thankful. It’s easy to get carried away with all the presents, food, drink and celebrations but at its heart Christmas is a great time to be with those you love and remember those who have passed but will never be forgotten.

 

SACHIN NAKRANI – GUARDIAN FOOTBALL WRITER, LIVERPOOL FAN

1. You’re not playing FPL this season, but how do you think the Premier League season is going so far generally?

It’s been a strange season. On one hand we’ve seen some fantastic football – Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have all, at different stages, shone. But they’ve all been overshadowed by Manchester City, who’ve been as relentless as they have been outstanding, and in the process wiped out any interest in the title race. It’s done before the turn of the year, which is a little depressing. Lower down the table there is a fair amount of dross, but also some really interesting developments, none more so than the implosion at Everton: from top-six contenders to relegation candidates. It’s been quite a sight.

2. We’ve got some weird and wonderful puns and team names in the CALM League. If you had to pick a team now, what would it be called?

SuperTed & the Rhythm Sticks. No idea why – I’ve literally just made it up.

3. Who has been your Premier League player of the season so far?

Can I have two? Thanks. First up – Kevin de Bruyne. The best player in the best team. Second – Mohamed Salah. The signing of the season by a country mile and someone who has provided me and my fellow Liverpool supporters with numerous moments of joy since arriving from Roma in the summer.

4. As we approach the busy festive fixture period, which player would you advise people to select to get points in the bag?

De Bruyne and Salah will continue to rack up assists and goals. I’ve got a feeling Gylfi Sigurdsson will also start to flourish at Everton after a difficult start there. And surely Deli Alli will recover his best form sooner rather than later for Tottenham? If he doesn’t then Harry Kane will definitely score a fair few goals for Spurs between now and May – so people should definitely select him.

5. Christmas can be tough sometimes – aside from watching and reporting on football, what do you normally do to keep spirits high and get through the festive period?

Nothing out of the ordinary – spend time with the family, eat loads of food and have a drink or two. I have a six-year-old daughter so I’m living Christmas through her somewhat these days – she’s starting to love it in the way that all children do and which is a sight to behold.

CALM’s free, confidential, and anonymous helpline and webchat are open every day, 5pm – midnight. If you need support, or know someone that might, more information is available here.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article or in the comments below, are not those held by CALM or its Trustees unless stated, and liability cannot be accepted for such comments. We encourage friendly and constructive debate, but please don't share personal contact details when commenting and exercise caution when considering any advice offered by others. We don’t allow abusive, offensive or inappropriate comments or comments that could be interpreted as libellous, defamatory or commercial and we will remove these without warning as and when we find them.

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