🎤 An interview with last season's champ 🏆

Plus we talk about some little international tournament starting soon.

The Stuff You Should Know

👀 The Euros starts today, in case you haven’t heard.

⚽️ Join our free-to-enter Euro 2024 fantasy league here or use code JzinMs.

🤝 Eric Ten Hag set to remain Manchester United manager.

🎤 Today we chat with Jonas Sand Låbakk, who only went and won FPL last season.

Read on for our resident expert’s Euro 2024 draft (spoiler: it’s not the Prof’s team).

Alright?

Sorry for skipping last Sunday’s email, but it would’ve been a whole lot of nothing, which isn’t our style if we can help it.

It’s because we’ve been in that weird no-man’s-land between the season ending and the Euros starting - and with it, the opening of the transfer window too.

Footballing nirvana awaits, but we’ve had to serve our time in footballing purgatory to get there. In purgatory we’re fed occasional morsels: a Euros squad announcement here, a Steven Bartlett brace there. You know it’s bad when you’re considering the FPL implications of Harry Maguire’s England omission on Man United’s 24/25 defensive prospects.

But the real meat is yet to come.

Whether you’re playing the fantasy game or not, buckle-up for a month of wall-to-wall football. Could be worse, couldn’t it?

An interview with the champ.

We sat down with Jonas Sand Låbakk, the winner of FPL last season. We didn’t literally sit down with him because that would’ve involved one of us boarding a plane (or an incredibly tedious boat), but you know, we chatted to him.

To reiterate: he won the whole thing.

There he is look.

Fortunately for us, he’s also a very sound bloke. We asked him some questions about how he did so well:

LazyFPL: Alright mate?
Jonas: Alright?

Cheers for reading, we hope you found this chat as instructive as we did.

(only joking)

LazyFPL: Jonas, You entered the top 10k in gameweek 11, but when did you seriously entertain the idea that you might win the whole thing?

Jonas: For a long time I had the idea in my head that maybe I could win, but I didn’t really believe it until about Gameweek 32/33. In Gameweek 32 I climbed into the top 10 for the first time and in Gameweek 33 I moved to third.

I knew my chances were good seeing I was the only one in the top 10 left with my free hit in GW34, but I couldn’t have predicted that my Free Hit would do as well as it ended up doing. I went from third, 18 points behind #1 to 32 points ahead of second place. All in one week!

LazyFPL: Your rank history has been consistently decent, but in 10 seasons you’ve never had a top 10k finish. Did you change your approach?

Jonas: Yeah I did.

I randomly stumbled upon analytics through another Fantasy Football game, and thought “this is something I should try in FPL as well, seeing it has given me good results in other fantasy football games”.

Jonas’ rank history.

I try to use analytics as a source of information, rather than depending solely on them. I have also throughout the season been consistent with my plan, I stuck with it for almost the whole season.

The plan was quite simple: Come up with some idea around Sunday/Monday, then try to not to think too much about FPL until Thursday/Friday. That’s because I believe in something called decision fatigue, which, in short, means the more decisions you allow yourself to make, the worse the decision gets.

I also tried to avoid early transfers as I believe the info we can get throughout the week is more important than a £0.1 or £0.2 swing.

LazyFPL: Wildcards aside, you never made more than two transfers in a single gameweek. Was it a conscious decision to limit your number of transfers?

Jonas: For long periods of the season, my team was in a good shape so I didn’t really have to. I believe taking hits can be justified, but they’re just not always worth it. I actually think all three of my hits ended up on negative net points all in all this season.

LazyFPL: How much FPL research did you do each week?

Jonas: I don’t have an exact number, as I don’t really know. I watch football on the weekends, read a bit and make a decision, but it’s probably a lot of unconscious information getting into my head as well, as I’m often just scrolling on twitter when I’m bored etc.

LazyFPL: Whats your one piece of advice for FPL managers who want to win it next season?

Jonas: Go with safe options. Don’t try to ‘diff’ too much. The popular players are popular for a reason. This doesn’t mean you should go fully template, but try to go as safe as possible and differentiate on 2-3 “less important” players. For instance your fourth defender or a fifth midfielder

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You can follow Jonas on X by clicking here. Tell him LazyFPL sent you and he might just swing by again next season.

The key dates this summer.

We’re going to include this until it’s no longer relevant.

Today - Euro 2024 gets underway/transfer window opens.

June 18th - 24/25 Premier League fixtures released.

July 3rd - July 10th - Estimated launch for the 24/25 FPL game.

July 14th - Euro 2024 final.

July 26th - Paris Olympics Opening Ceremony.

August 17th - 24/25 Premier League season gets underway.

Euro 2024 Fantasy - how it works.

It’s worth outlining some of the key differences between FPL and Euro Fantasy for those of you still piecing together a team. This section is perfect for the “Euro-curious” manager, but for those who just want to troubleshoot a particular query, we’d recommend looking at the official rules here.

Now then, here’s Margot Robbie in a bubble bath to explain.

(Afraid not: it’s a bloke in his pants typing on a laptop instead.)

The similarities

Let’s start with the stuff that’s the same.

Your budget is £100m. You have to buy 15 players, and until you get to the arse-end of the tournament you can only pick three players from each team. Goals, assists, clean sheets and most other scoring variables (like cards and goals conceded) gain/lose the same points, and there’s a “player of the match” who scores three bonus points.

Captains score double, extra transfers are a -4 penalty.

So far, so normal. But then it gets weird.

The big differences

Scoring

The Euro Fantasy scoring has a few oddballs hidden amongst the FPL normality. Three “ball recoveries”, whatever they are, will earn you a point, and a player winning a penalty (regardless of whether it’s conceded) gains you two points.

Mid-gameweek subs

This is the big one. In Euro Fantasy, you can sub in all four players on your bench if you want, providing they’re yet to play. Your aim is to end up with the 11 highest scoring players in your 15-man squad.

You can also swap your captains mid-gameweek for a player yet to play.

Chips

There are two chips in Euro Fantasy: the Wildcard (it works the same as FPL) and the Limitless, which works like a Free Hit but you also get unlimited (or “limitless”) budget. You get one of each.

Transfers

You’ll get two free transfers per Matchday (‘Matchday’ is a Gameweek in the common tongue) during the group stages and unlimited transfers prior to the knockouts. Your number of free transfers increases incrementally after that as the tournament progresses.

You cannot roll transfers.

And that’s about that. Easy, right?

Euro 2024 Fantasy - some basic strategy.

The difference in rules requires different strategy. Luckily, one of our co-founders happens to be an international fantasy football veteran. He’s actually won some competitions and finished in the top 1k of the last Euro 2020 fantasy tournament.

Over to you, Jamie:

Alright?

The slightly-more-complex rules of Euro Fantasy are a pain in the arse, but that’s a good thing for you if you’re willing to commit. Learning the new rules and leveraging the strategies they prompt gives you an immediate and significant advantage over the majority of the field.

Here are three considerations:

1) Use your mid-Matchday subs and captaincy swaps wisely. Bench the good players that play later in the Matchday, make sure your first captain is playing early.

2) Find the decent teams with easy group fixtures.

3) Remember, you can pick an entirely new squad four times during this tournament: once at the start of the group stages, once at the start of the knockouts and twice when you play your chips. There are only seven Matchdays in total.

Euro 2024 Fantasy - expert’s team reveal.

Here she is: Jamie’s team.

I would share the Prof’s team but it’s sort of like when Usain Bolt plays football: sometimes you’ve just got to stick to your specialism, and the Prof’s specialism ain’t Euro Fantasy.

I asked Jamie for some notes. Here’s what he said:

  • the squad has a core of England, Belgium, Germany, and Portugal because they all have very nice group fixtures.

  • it’s risk-averse and flexible because my chip strategy isn’t decided yet.

  • I was very tempted by Ronaldo, but he plays on the 18th. There's some rotation risk with him, and you could potentially face a very difficult stick/twist with him ahead of the final day, especially in regards to captaincy.

  • I love the double of up Tah and Mittelstädt for just £8.5m. They’ll either give me a perfect start, or be an easy switch.

Right, we can stop talking about Euro 2024 for the time being now.

Other Stuff We Found Interesting

Crickets here, I’m afraid. You got anything?

Right, I’m at a wedding this weekend (imagine organising your wedding during the Euros), but we’ll be back next Sunday with everything you need to know.

Until then, enjoy the footy and stay lazy.

The LazyFPL Team.