Fantasy Football is a great game, but following a few simple rules can make a big difference to your performance over the season. To give you the best possible start, we have produced three tips and advice articles.
- This first article by Secret Zorro will focus on the basics, the strategies that new players and old veterans of the game all follow.
- The second article by Highbury Harmony will focus on advice and tips for rookie players. These tips will expand and reinforce Zorro’s basics to help the newcomer beat the office big-head.
- The final article by Chipper will look at some of the more advanced strategies used by some experienced managers. These strategies are risker by nature but the rewards can be greater.
Zorro’s top 10 tips for winning at Fantasy Football.
Forget your personal bias
It doesn’t matter which team you support, forget your personal loyalties when it comes to selecting your players.
A good example for this season is potentially to be found in North London. If the transfers go ahead, then Gunners fans should be ready to pick Soldado, Spurs fans should go for Suarez and likewise Liverpool fans (gulp) should be ready to buy Suarez too. It’s a game that you want to win, so don’t handicap yourself from the outset.
With 3 newly promoted teams, and players arriving from abroad almost daily then due diligence is essential. Checking a player’s stats over the last couple of seasons, including their disciplinary record, could pay dividends. Also pay attention to the upcoming fixture schedule, our Game Difficulty Checker will help you.
Try to plan your transfers in advance and execute them at the right time to take advantage of any price rises/falls. I use FISO’s ‘Crack the Code’ but Highbury Harmony will introduce an alternative site and expand on this idea.
Check the latest football news in the media and try to follow the manager’s press conferences too.
After 3 or 4 weeks, go through your squad and check that you are getting a reasonable points per million from your players, then plan your transfers to improve the weakest players.
A full playing squad
It is essential to have a bench that is actually expected play every game.
Last year’s winners played with 3 defenders, 3-4-3 being the most used formation but with a full squad they were able to change to 3-5-2 when required.
So try to choose goalkeepers that rotate home and away, same with your cheaper defenders. An extra 0.5/1m spent at the outset will guarantee you 11 points earners come kickoff time. Its points that are needed after all.
Transfers and wildcards
To win you’ve got to have four or five of the season’s big hitters in your squad early, case in point being Michu last season. So if in the early weeks you need to take 4 or 8 penalty points then just do it – get the team right. Thereafter, avoid the penalties as much as you can.
By the same token when a top performer loses form get him out quickly. Keep in mind, there is a difference between 2 bad weeks and a loss of form.
With big injuries just get the player out. If you know a player has broken their leg and won’t feature for six weeks, then his price will start dropping as other managers sell him. So unless you cannot afford to buy him back, get the player sold. Again, there is a difference between a 8 week layoff and a 2 week layoff.
Also, don’t leave your transfer literally ‘to the last minute’. The site can be busy at 11.25 and you may get shut out, especially on August 17th.
When it comes to the wild card, well if you have a really bad team then use your wild card early to fix it. Two of fpl’s top 10 players used their wildcarded early last season.
However, if you can keep it then try to because when the Champions League knockout stages start up to four teams could play twice in one game week, meaning a clever use of a wild card will give you 8 or 9 players playing twice in one game week, and an extra 50 or so points.
And remember there is an additional wild card in January. Try to play this either as late as possible to have the full spectrum of transferred players available, or as early as possible to make the most of prices before they change.
Avoid the troublemakers
Unless they’re major points earners like Suarez, avoid the idiots completely. Players who get 10-12 yellow cards and a couple of reds every season could easily miss 6 or 8 games. It’s just daft to consider them in the first place.
Join a fantasy football site
A great tool/service is a site/blog that is committed to fantasy football. Get involved on the message boards and bounce your ideas off others. You’ll be surprised how helpful this can be. Being as you’re reading this, we’ve got that one covered ;-)
Save a transfer
Any player can get a serious injury, some a lengthy ban, so save a transfer. If one of your big hitters is going to be out for a long time, then you’ll need to replace him as soon as possible, and having that second transfer should allow you to move the money around without taking a points hit.
Be aware of suspensions
It’s imperative to pay attention to the yellow cards that are being collected by your squad. If 3 of your defenders are on 4 yellows then you could be in trouble later. The fpl site only shows yellow cards from Prem games, not those issued in League/FA Cup games. Bans occur on 5, 10 and 15 yellow cards.
Many fantasy players are mostly interested in winning against their workmates and friends, especially when there’s money involved. If you’re winning, then you can make your transfers to ‘block’ those behind from catching you. If you’re trailing, then you’ll need to be creative and choose players that they haven’t got, or a different captain.
And join our mini-league too.
When all’s said and done, the stats have been collated and the advice digested it all comes down to this: it’s your team so follow your instincts!