Barclays Fantasy Football Game – Stay Ahead
Published by Aaron Condron on August 20, 2010
Fantasy Football means many things to many people, and whether you are playing for pride, bragging rights, or hard cash, it’s always good to stay ahead of the game.
With teams already chosen and settling in nicely, and Gameweek 1 done and dusted, I thought it would be useful to share some tips that have helped me gain a competitive edge over the previous few seasons.
Hold Fire on Transfers
It is often easy to react to a bad week by immediately transferring out poor performers, and drafting in players who have favourable fixtures.
Making such a move before Friday evening is a big no-no. Something can be said for trying to retain money in the bank for your team before players drop in value; however it is a highly risky strategy.
This week alone, over 10,000 people had transferred in Samir Nasri or Jermain Defoe at the start of the week, only to find out they have suffered lengthy lay-offs during the week. This will be a recurring pattern throughout the course of the season.
Friday afternoon is sacred as press-conferences are a key information resource in relation to injuries and team news. Pay attention to these and transfer accordingly. The later the better. Always.
Out Of Position Folk
Throughout the history of the game, players have been given ‘false’ positions.
Good examples include last year’s classification of Gareth Bale and Paul Scharner as Defenders. In reality, they were deployed as attacking midfielders. Therefore, they were effective in gathering attacking points, whilst always offering the possibility of a clean sheet bonus– both were big points scorers.
This year, week 1 has already thrown up a few potential cheap targets in this area:
Ahmed Al-Muhammadi (Sunderland) – Al Muhammadi featured on the right wing for Sunderland in their opener despite being classed as a defender. From this position he attempted 7 crosses and appeared comfortable on debut for a 10 man Sunderland. At 4.5m, he could be a shrewd buy, providing he is given starting opportunities.
Phil Jones (Blackburn) – Jones was stationed in front of the back four against Everton. Although he did not get forward, he impressed in the defensive midfield anchor role and picked up 3 bonus points. Again, at 4.5m, potentially a solid investment when Blackburn’s fixtures pick up.
Jelle Van Damme (Wolves) – Van Damme is a marauding left back brought in from Anderlect. Against Stoke, he provided 5 crosses and made 3 key passes. He is one to watch at 4.5m, particularly at Molineux where McCarthy will look to get at teams.
Planning in Fantasy Football is vital. The forward-thinking scrutinise the future 5/6 fixtures of the top teams, and make transfers accordingly.
The value of this is to avoid point deductions for continually making transfers when players have favourable transfers.
On occasions, these hits can prove worthwhile, however there is no substitute for effective planning.
Last season, the weather caused fixture chaos, and games were postponed all over the country. This (alongside European rescheduling) led to teams playing twice in a gameweek, offering two opportunities for big scoring. Those with good memories may remember when Carling Cup commitments led to Man Utd playing versus Hull and Burnley at home in the same gameweek, with Rooney amassing five goals over the two games.
These opportunities are not to be missed, and hopefully I will be able to give readers a heads up on these.
I wish all readers a prosperous fantasy season, and hope to keep you updated throughout the season on players to watch, stats, and tips. Please feel free to comment.