How to win fantasy football
How to win at fantasy football:
There are over 3 million people playing fantasy premier league each year – and fantasy premier league 2014/15 is no different. With such a vast array of people playing the world’s top fantasy football platform it is vital that you give yourself an edge – even if it is just to get those football bragging rights when you turn up to work on Monday morning.
So why should you listen to me about winning at fantasy football? Well, I have never won the global game of fantasy premier league but I have finished in the top 5% for the last 5 years in fantasy premier league so I think that gives me some credibility in the world of fantasy football.
So here are our top 5 tips for how to win at fantasy football:
5: Pick your squad based on history and not your gut instinct
Football is one of the most unpredictable sports on the planet, but you can pretty much guarantee that past statistics over time will stack up – an example of this is Cesc Fabregas; before returning to the Premier League this season he had the best assist record in the Premier League from his time at Arsenal. He is still in his prime and joining a top 4 club – it was pretty much a no brainer that he was going to be grabbing the assists this term – and guess what, he is one of the top players in the league for assists… now you might have looked at Andre Schurrle after a good world cup – but he doesn’t have the proven record over time in the Premier League – so go with your head, do the research and ignore your gut instinct!
4: Balance your squad – top heavy and you’re bound to fall on your arse
You have £100 million to spend on your team and you have 15 places to fill. So if we do the simple maths that is £6.66m per player – now £6.66m in fantasy premier league does not buy you a great deal but there are some absolute steals to be had. The first thing I do is look for the bargain buys who are likely to give me good returns – an example is Callum Chambers at Arsenal, who at the start of the premier league season would have cost you a paltry £4.5m – which then means you have an extra £2.16m to spend on another player – you get the picture.
You need to balance your finances throughout the team – if you spend £35m on your strike force you will have no depth for those game weeks where no goals are scored – and you will get them! As much as it might be nice to have Aguero, Costa and Falcao in your attack, you will be missing out on the likes of Leighton Baines, Di Maria and Alexis Sanchez in other positions as you won’t be able to afford any of them.
3: Attack minded players are crucial
Having said that you need a balanced team in fantasy premier league, you also need players who are attack minded as they are the ones that will earn you the extra points. If you choose to have a Southampton defender for example, you may as well go for a full back who will gain assists. This may seem obvious but so many people do not adhere to this policy and lose points. The same goes for midfielders; some people will be lured in by the prospect of a player like Matic at Chelsea for around £5.5m, but you would be better off spending that money on a more attack minded player at a smaller club like a Sneiderlin at Southampton or a Routledge at Swansea – they WILL score more goals in the course of a season.
2: Make sensible transfers for your fantasy premier league team
Although fantasy premier league does not have the same restrictions placed on transfers as real premier league managers, you will be penalised for making excessive transfers. It is important that you don’t make impulsive and snap decisions on a whim each week. Your players will not perform to their full potential each week, but you initially put them in for a reason (hopefully) so trust them – the worst thing you can do is take a minus points hit each week. If you make two transfers that is already -4 points for the week meaning your new player needs to gain at least 6 points to cover this (unless you have more than one injured player and no viable replacement).
When making transfers you also need to look ahead at the fixture list. You should not just base this decision based on that game week. E.g. bringing in Pelle at Southampton for a game against Aston Villa in Gameweek 12 when they are about to face Manchester United, Man City and Arsenal in gameweek 13, 14 and 15.
1: Pick the players who will definitely play
There is nothing more frustrating as a fantasy football manager and seeing your £9m player sitting on the bench whilst his team wins 4-0 and then he comes on for the last 30 seconds gaining you a point. This is a really difficult decision to make, as you cannot read the minds of premier league managers, but here is an example of what I am talking about:
Edin Dzeko is not always a certainty to play – particularly when it is a Champions League gameweek. However, Aguero will pretty much always play if he is fit. Yes he costs more, but there are other examples like this that are cheaper such as Diego Costa, Wayne Rooney, Di Maria etc.
To wrap it up:
Ultimately, it is going to take a lot of time, dedication and hard work if you want to win your own mini league of fantasy premier league, let alone get close to global top 5% - but it can be done. On top of these tips, you will need to jump on the form players early, have a little luck and look for good differential opportunities – e.g. Charlie Austin in Game week 11 and 12 was owned by less than 1% of players – giving you more of a chance to make ground on rivals.
Enjoy the fantasy premier league 2014/15 season and good luck.
If you have any tips further to this then please add them in the comments below: