When selecting players for fantasy football, a good tip is to look out for ?out of position? players. By this I mean players who are listed in one position, but actually take to the field in another (ie. listed in the fantasy league as defender and plays on a Saturday in midfield). There can occasionally be some bargains to be had, and if you choose the right ones, point advantages to be gained from selecting these players.
A perfect example of one of these ?out of position? players is Ryan Taylor, now at Newcastle United. Taylor is listed as a defender in the majority of the fantasy leagues, but has been mainly playing this season in midfield, especially when he was with Wigan Athletic in the first part of this season.
So there?s one bonus, with him being further upfield he is more likely to play an assist or score a goal. But add to this that Taylor is a regular free kick taker and hits a mean dead ball, from which he has scored several times, and if asked has scored many a penalty in his early career, and you have a player who could be a very valuable asset.
With him being at Wigan Athletic when the listings came out for the fantasy leagues, and them not having a great defence last season, his listing price is relatively low, and in general defenders cost less than midfielders. So there are many advantages to consider.
Of course, alongside the plus points there are disadvantages of this tactic too. Keeping with the Ryan Taylor example, he is listed as a defender. And his club is Newcastle United. As much as he might get you points for assists, and score a few goals over the course of the season, Newcastle are always likely to concede goals. So there are minus points to be had along the way. It?s something to consider when deciding whether to pursue this tactic.
Of course it works the other way around too, but as a general rule I would avoid such players. A player listed, say, as a midfielder who is playing in defence, is only likely to get you points for the rare goal or rare long ball which leads to a goal.
Paul Scharner of Wigan Athletic (the Wigan link here is purely coincidental!) played much of last season in midfield, but this season has played the majority of games alongside Titus Bramble at the back. His attacking possibilities are now restricted to corners and free kicks, but I would suggest there are many more valuable midfielders available in the fantasy games. As much as Wigan might keep clean sheets with him in defence, if he?s listed in midfield, in many fantasy leagues, it won?t score you a bean.
I?ll finish with some of my recommendations of some ?out of position? players. At the end of the day though, football is a funny old game and that goes for fantasy football too. Some might work and pay off for you, others won?t. It?s up to you to decide.
Paul recommends: Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Ryan Taylor (Newcastle United), Brett Emerton (Blackburn Rovers).