COS contributor Jim Patterson gives some helpful hints and tips to help you succeed in the world of Fantasy Football.
Premier League Fantasy Football is a hugely popular game worldwide, and whether it’s being played for pride, money or honour, everyone wants to win. I am from www.fantasyfootballassistance.com, a website where a group of experts give advice on fantasy football. This is the first of a series of articles that will be published on this site in the coming weeks to help you achieve the best possible results from your fantasy football team. Throughout the next few weeks I will be passing extracts from our expert’s advice to you, the readers of caughtoffside.com. There will also be some extra, exclusive tips for caughtoffside readers which can’t be found anywhere else; however, to view all the expertise we can provide, you will have to visit our aforementioned website. For today though, the basics:
1. Pick cheaper defenders from the lower teams.
Provided these players start each match, they can be some of the cheapest players on the game and yet still provide a regular point’s score. Defenders from Stoke, Birmingham and Fulham catch the eye because of their low price tags and their solid defensive form last season. Faye, Carr and Senderos are good options from each of these teams, and all are priced generously at 4.5m. In comparison, Fabio Da Silva is priced 5m despite playing just over 150 minutes last season, showing that by paying more you don’t guarantee a higher points score. By having a variety of cheaper defenders, you also provide yourself with the option of squad rotation, meaning you only have to play the players who have a relatively easy match in that particular week. By buying these cost cutting players for your team, you also give yourself the option of including more expensive, and high scoring midfielders and strikers, which based on previous years is where the big points are available.
2. Study the fixture list.
The upcoming fixtures are the most important thing, as if your team is filled with players with easy matches your points score should obviously be higher. For example, Manchester City players are currently being favoured by many, with Tevez likely to find himself in many fantasy managers’ teams. However, a look at the fixture list will show that City have one of the hardest starts of the top clubs, playing 3 of the top 7 from last year in their first 6 games. This is not to say that Manchester City players will not do well, but it is definitely something to consider when selecting your team for the start of the season. One team who have a relatively easy start is Bolton, and with new addition Martin Petrov valued at only 6 million, we believe he could score more highly than some of the more famous and more expensive players at Manchester City. On our website we will recommend players who have relatively easy upcoming matches, meaning you make the right selections. However, some people prefer to do it for themselves, and we also cater for this. On our website there is a fixture tracker, where the next 6 matches for each team are rated according to points scoring potential. By studying this tracker you can select players from the teams who have the easiest future matches, meaning you gain an instant advantage over your rivals.
3. Don’t pick defensive midfielders.
Defensive midfielders, even for the bigger teams can be very cheap; this often tempts managers into including them, but there is a reason for their cheap price tag. A case study is Nigel De Jong, who, at only 4.5 million may seem a good, cheap option from a highly ranked team. However, despite playing over 2500 league minutes last season De Jong managed no goals, no assists and scored a meagre 73 points. Currently around 10% of people have selected De Jong, which shows manager’s readiness to give up on goal scoring midfielders for a cheap big name player. The issue with these defensive players is that they spend their time making tackles, then giving the ball to the more creative players. While this is crucial to the team, it does not mean big points on fantasy football as the points come for assists and goals, as shown by De Jong’s disastrous points tally. For this reason the defensive midfielders should be avoided, and cheap attacking players, even from lower teams should be selected instead. Players we recommend from this group are Nolan for 5.5 million, and Adam for 5 million (but more on him later).
4. Pick set piece takers.
Some players often score good points across the season, simply due to assists from free kicks, and goals from penalties. Frank Lampard, for example, scored 10 penalties in the premier league last season, and while most players will not score as many as this, it is clear that high points are available simply for being the penalty kick taker. The problem with this is that many of the penalty kick takers are expensive, meaning that better value may be found elsewhere. However, Charlie Adam is only 5 million, and as penalty and free kick taker for newly promoted Blackpool we believe he could be a good option for your team. To find out more about Charlie Adam’s fantasy football prowess, visit our website where he is listed as the ‘gamble’ option for week 1.
These are a selection of the basic points for premier league fantasy football; however there are many more available at www.fantasyfootballassistance.com. Coming soon will be an article on defenders and goalkeepers, and as promised there will be some exclusive tips for you, the readers of caughoffside.com.
Now you’ve had some helpful advice why not join the CaughtOffside Fantasy Football League? Its free and you could win £20k for the overall league and we are offering a £500 prize for the winner of the CaughtOffside league itself as well as weekly and monthly prizes once the season gets going. CLICK HERE to sign up. The PIN number for the league is 1312.