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Fantasy Premier League Q3 Review

With 30 GWs completed thus far this season, I have to admit the game in fantasy realm is starting to get exciting!

GW21-30 was pretty important because I was slumping in 3rd place in my mini-league and I knew I had to play some risks and catch up somewhat or not have a chance at all.

Firstly, I was forced to use my Wildcard early on, even before the January transfer window closed. This was (again!) due to the numerous injuries that decimated my squad to a worse than skeleton crew. Simply not enough bench strength to rack up the points to chase the leaders.

Of course, as suspected, the didn’t magically transform my squad into instant champions, but what it did was to stabilise the existing squad strength and provided bench strength as a base to chase the leading pack. With no other strange anomalies like Suarez scoring 5 goals, etc., I was able to rotate sensibly and leverage on my deep bench to provide strong outputs of 73, 69, 55, and 73 points from GW22-25.

Suddenly I was within range again of my mini-league leaders! I might even have caught up sooner if that strong gust of wind didn’t blow away two matches which I had more than 3 players, both my captain and vice were playing. And to add salt to that GW, I made two transfers that week to players who were affected by the weather!! Talk about tough luck!

Fortunately, I was still able to average out about 50-60 points per GW from GW26-30. My key move happened in GW 29 when I dropped Suarez and opted for Rooney, captaining him too, which he repaid me with a goal and assist! That proved to be a crucial differential in a season where almost everyone is stacking their teams with Sturridge and Suarez. The 69 points collected in GW29 was good enough for me to overtake the summit in my mini-league…almost 20 GWs since I led at the top!

Although the current lead is a fragile less than 10 points from the chasing pack, the patient chase from GW10 and eventual topping the mini-league (to-date) is so much more exciting that the season my Man Utd is having these days. :-P Anyway, It is these kinds of exhilaration that makes fantasy football management so much fun!

In summary, as at GW 30, I have accumulated 1,731 points, sitting me in the Global Ranking of 129,819. This is a big improvement from about 266K ranking as at GW10. If there was one area I wish I could have improved more this season, it is in investing. I have failed miserably in this area in which the total value of my team is only 104.7M. Just have a bad feeling all these early bad and bothed investments may yet come back to haunt me before the season is over.

Why? Experience tells me that usually the final stretch of the season is usually controlled or owned by seasoned heavy hitters…which I just cannot afford to buy. Sigh.

With only 8 more GWs to go, I reckon it’s gonna be a very close race in my mini league because there are still a lot of games and twists of double GWs on the horizon. Final stretch. Feeling pumped up. Hopefully Man United are pumped up in the REAL WORLD too! :-D

5 Reasons Why Guardians of the Galaxy Will Rock!

Image Credits

OK, I confess. When Marvel announced the production of an upcoming superhero team-up movie called Guardians of the Galaxy (GOTG), I was quick to earmark it as a major potential to be come the first Marvel Comic Movie flop. After all, it has all the ingredients of a flop splashed all over it – Unknown actors/actresses, barely half the team are played by real humans, not popularly known comic characters, another team-up right on the heels of The Avengers?!, another Marvel movie almost immediately after Captain America 2?, space adventure = no danger to Earth, etc. And besides, Marvel just has to have a  flop sometime soon…..right?

Anyway, many moons have passed since my knee-jerk judgment. Since then, they have released a pretty cool trailer. Check it out below:

Video Credits

And I have to totally retract my earlier statement. Now I firmly believe that GOTG is gonna be one of the bigger, if not the BIGGEST movie this summer.

Here are FIVE reasons why:

1. Anti-Heroism. There is just something about being a badass, anti-hero type that appeals to the current generation of movie-goers. Not sure if this was heavily influenced by good ol’ Wolverine himself, but it is a fact that people tend to prefer the naughty heroes compared to the goody-two shoes type, like erm…Cyclops? And in GOTG, we not only get one anti-hero, but FIVE of them…all on the same screen! You’re Welcome.

2. Rocket Raccoon is CUTE! Where else can you find a gun-toting, tactical specialist, demolitions expert, sarcastic, fouled-mouthed hero all bundled into one cute furry Raccoon? If all else fails (eg. plot, action sequences, acting, special effects, etc.) GOTG can always depend on good old Rocky to pull in the crowd of kids who should in turn pull in their parents too! Can already foresee what this summer’s hottest plush toy will be…

Image Credits

3. Tie-In to Avengers 2 and 3. As it was teased in the end credits of The Avengers that Thanos would be appearing sometime, somewhere in a Marvel movie (possibly Avengers 3), there is a very strong link between GOTG and The Avengers by way of Thanos! For example, Gamora is apparently the adopted daughter of Thanos and Drax was actually specially constructed and designed to destroy Thanos! It’s no wonder Marvel smartly chose GOTG as a link to connect Thanos to the Avengers, eventually. So in short…if you’re excited about The Avengers, you gotta watch GOTG to complete all links. You’re Welcome.

4. Human Leader. OK, OK. Not entirely true. Although GOTG’s leader, Starlord is actually a human/Spartoi hybrid, he doesn’t have any enhanced superpowers. Armed with his blasters and wise-cracking mouth, he is ultimately a hero everyone of us can identify with. Becoming like Drax, Gamora or even Groot is fantasy, but everyone can dream of becoming another Peter Quill, right? :-P And that is very important in attracting the masses! You’re Welcome.

5. Flexibility. Although many may claim GOTG are not as well known compared to the likes of Iron Man, Thor, Cap, etc. I would like to believe that that fact may actually work to the advantage of GOTG. By having less ‘picky’ eyes on certain characters or even comic-book material to work from, this would actually give the director more freedom in creating a really fun, humourous, swashbuckling space adventure that people would enjoy. Even the trailer and promo teasers so far is quite unorthodox and refreshing from other Marvel projects, and this just gives me a good feeling about the movie. You’re Welcome.

Are you ready for GOTG  this August?

Fantasy Premier League Q2 Review

Nightmare. Insidious. Sinister. Desolation. Not Good.

Some words to sum up GW11 – GW20 of my FPL campaign. Sigh. After sitting aloft my friend’s league throughout Q1, I had continued to plummet so deep till even 4th place somewhere in GW18. I only managed to claw back to 3rd place as at GW20.

Main factors of my drop?

#1. Suarez – Failed to pick him up when he came back from suspension. Figured Sturridge would provide excellent differential to all other template managers who picked him up. Sigh…turns out Suarez was to be another (and perhaps the BEST) streak performer along with Ramsey, Coleman, Barkley, etc. which I had also missed out. Double sigh.

#2. Injuries. Injuries was what forced me to play my WC earlier on this season and it was injuries again that is hurting me in Q2. Good news about these injuries is that they are also causing massive template break-ups for other managers too.

As at GW 20, I have amassed 1,153 points, putting me at a global rank of 266,057 (big drop from sub 50K global in GW10). My investment skills have been pretty bad this year too as I only managed to increase my team value up to 104.5M. At this rate I can forget about finishing my season with heavy hitters…sigh.

So what do I do NOW?

Well, for everyone else in the same predicament as mua, ie. CHASING the leaders…here are some useful pointers:

1. Research and play the January WC well. This would be our only chance to even up the playing field once more with the leading pack. Of course it would also mean buying players at premium prices. If you are not in a rush to earn a couple of bucks buying ‘sure-rise’ players right now like Eriksen, Walcott, etc. my advise is to WAIT till AFTER the REALITY transfer deadline closes to see what new players have been brought into the BPL for the second part of the season.

2. Risk differential line-ups. With the leading pack obviously sporting some similar template line-up right now, it is crucial that we pick out a line-up that is different from that. How else would we be able to catch up if we also sport the same lineup, right?

3. Risk picking CAPTAINS that are not popular choices. For example, Suarez is the most likely choice of everyone for the captain’s armband. Why not pick SOMEONE ELSE so that we’d stand a chance to gain some ground in the event that Suarez doesn’t deliver. :-)

Of course, the exciting thing about being behind in FPL is the fun of catching up with the leaders. Looking ahead for the next half of the season! :-D

 

 

Fantasy Premier League Q1 Review

I have to admit. Being a Fantasy Football Manager this season hasn’t been easy at all. Apart from venturing into a whole new ball game with new sets and scoring rules in the Fantasy Premier League (FPL), the unpredictability of the player’s performance thus far certainly adds to the challenge of managing a fantasy team this season!

Like what I did for my previous seasons of fantasy management, I always like to reflect on my personal performance on a quarterly basis, thus after the completion of GW10 two weeks ago, here are my thoughts on Q1 to-date:

For me, GW1 started off with a bang – bagging 90 points and scaled the overall global ranking of 107,452…is a pretty good way to kick off the season! Key player was Benteke who performed admirably in his double GW, together with my Chelsea trio who had a double GW too. I was placed third in my very competitive friend’s league.

From GW2 to GW4, I was really struggling to adapt to the FPL system of having only 1 Free transfer each. week. In addition, the new Bonus Point System (BPS)  is giving me analyzing nightmare, lots! Surprisingly, I still managed to hang around 2nd to 3rd place in my friend’s league regularly till then. It wasn’t until the results of GW5 rolled out that really forced me to reconsider my tactics. GW5 ended with yet another ‘below average’ score coupled with a -8 hit and a team plague with serious injuries and suspensions. My global ranking had dipped to 375,596! I realised I was not able to rotate my squad as much as I would liked to because I was virtually running on a skeleton crew!

After many sleepless nights following the horrific GW5, I decided to play my WildCard…totally reshuffling my entire team, framed around a healthy rotatable team and to be able to run the next few GWs (at least) without using any FTs. I breathed a huge relief after GW6 brought me a respectable score that pushed my global rankings up to 201,822, but more importantly, pushed me to the top of my friend’s league for the first time this season! Yay me!

For the next four gameweeks, I managed to get by without having to take any hits to transfer in players. I still managed to stay in front of my friend’s league up till GW10 with a total of 630 points where my global ranking stood at an FPL career best of 49,454 (sub 50K…yay!) and a team value of 102.4M, which  is rather pathetic compared to other more savvy investors of the FPL…sigh.

But even as I write this, I know that Q2 would be a rougher ride. The signs were there already. By GW 10, I was forced to re-organise my squad with a -4 hit, unlike the previous GW6 to GW9. GW 11 will see me producing my WORST FPL score yet, resulting in me being knocked off the top of my friend’s league into 2nd spot, and I foresee a very tough Q2 battle ahead, what with many other fantasy managers in form catching up really FAST!

Of course, I believe that it is always more FUN to do the chasing than maintaining the lead in front. Heh. :-D

 

Rookie Lessons from Fantasy Premier League

Whilst I managed to perform considerably well in Facebook Citizen Sports Fantasy Football League for the past three seasons, I had to go back to the drawing board and sorta start afresh this season following Citizen Sport’s decision to merge with Yahoo! Football Fantasy, which I felt was a bit buggy.

So, following some other football kaki’s advise, I joined the more renowned Fantasy Premier League (FPL), supposedly the biggest fantasy football league in the WORLD..:-p

Anyway, with quite a number of differences in terms of point scoring and exciting elements like wildcard, I felt like a total rookie coming into FPL. I had already sensed it was gonna be quite a difficult fantasy season ahead and I was proven right because from the season kickoff, I had already started to make several uncharacteristic ‘rookie’ mistakes in the FPL.

As the season progresses, I hope to learn and adapt more to the FPL system so that I can improve on my standings. So, as for today’s blog, I thought it would be good for me to share some ‘rookie lessons’ learnt (so far!) from my first year playing in FPL. guess it would provide some good references to others in the same boat too…

1. There’s NO SHAME in taking a HIT (ie. minus 4 points for each additional trade in per GW). Unlike the previous fantasy league I was familiar with, FPL only gives ONE free transfer per week. Additional transfers will involve points deductions. After GW1 completed, it felt so awkward and sinful to make more than one transfer. It only came to my senses to make around 2 transfers after GW3. After all, most managers would also be forced to make similar number of transfers, so on the overall, the point deductions won’t matter so much.

2. Need to master the new Bonus Point System (BPS). Apparently FPL rewards best players of the match via BPS, where the top players gets an additional 3 points, second best scores 2 points and third best gets 1 point.  So far, I have to admit I have not done enough research to determine which kind of players would benefit best from the BPS, although on paper it would seem like the DEFENDERS would stand a better chance, with the assumption that there would be more 0-0 or 1-0, 2-0 scorelines in the defender’s favour.

3. Using the Wildcard (WC) wisely. When I first saw this exciting element in FPL, some thoughts came to my mind on the best times to use the WC – (i) during key double or triple GWs; (ii) when the team is badly struck with injuries; (iii) when the total points deducted from additional trades is like 16-20 points.. Anyway, I had already set my mind to use it during one of those double GWs where a top team would be playing twice, but I had to use this as early as GW 6 because of items (ii) and (iii) above. My decision was based on the fact that I didn’t have a complete team that I was ‘comfortable’ with, and although I was still consistently scoring above average every GW, I foresaw that I would be running into trouble shortly. Hope that using my WC this early into the season won’t come back to haunt me later.

I’m also learning that many managers also tend to use the WC quite early into the season to fine tune the template formation based on the early games into the season. This is quite common because the first three GWs is usually a trial and error phase where we would be studying the performers of the league.

4. Using the WC does NOT guarantee an immediate points harvest! How you should utilise the WC is to plan for the dividends to show up in the longer run. For example, when you use the WC, you would already know which players can or cannot play, so this will help you to save up on those precious free transfers in weeks to come.

5. Cannot see my friend’s team selections for the coming week. Something minor but of which I had to adapt to because the previous fantasy league that I played allowed me to peek at my friend’s selection, so I could re-strategize some pieces based on that. :-p

6.  There is NO specific opening or closing of window to perform player trades. Apparently, I could already start making transfers and pick my team as early as when the current GW is under way. This minor thing cost me some chances to make easy money in the early GWs. Sigh. Shall be more alert now that I know…:-D

Plenty to learn, yet plenty more GWs to play for! :-D

Twenty Thoughts about Taiwan

Last August, work brought me to Taiwan, so I decided to bring along my entire family of five there as well. My children have already blogged about our trip there, but considering it was my first time there, I thought it would be good for me to list down my thoughts of Taiwan as well..

1. Taiwanese are overall very warm, friendly and helpful. And if Taiwanese aren’t available, their road signs and signages are pretty helpful too. :-P

2. Taiwan is one of those ‘left-hand drive’ countries. I had an unforgettable experience first hand at the Taiwan airport when we arrived when I almost boarded our taxi at the driver side..:-p of course, ‘left-hand drive’ countries would also mean having to adjust to walking on the right when not overtaking and left when over taking. It took me while to realise that when our taxi seemed to be speeding on the left lane..:-p

3. As a country that is undoubtedly in the forefront of innovation and technology, Taiwan sure has some of the more advanced looking bidets I have ever seen. Unlike the manual ones I’m used to seeing back home, most of these Taiwan bidets are computerised with plenty of touch buttons – basic ones being spray backside, spray frontside and dryer.

So I was rather surprised when I found one of these bidets with an additional button with a lightbulb logo. At first I thought it was some reading lamp but (out of curiosity) when I pressed it nothing happened. Until I stood up and saw this…

4. The Taiwan metro rail  system is REALLY efficient. I usually measure this by walking blindly into one of the stations and see how easily and intelligent the signages and maps are able to get me to where I need to go. And in Taiwan, it was really easy. In comparison, the signages in Malaysia RapidKL rail system is so much more confusing. Seriously. :-p

5. In addition, the Taiwan metro rail is very family friendly too. Lifts were well and adequately placed in all stations. It was a very common sight to see families travelling TOGETHER on these trains, complete with their baby strollers! And you wonder why families in Malaysia don’t travel often in our LRTs….:-p

6. Apart from families, it is apparent that the metro rail is also very friendly to cyclists, pets, disabled people, etc. too. It was really surprising (and refreshing) to see many passengers travelling with their pet dogs in the train. Cool. :-D

7. One strange observation is the poor marketing of their tourist attractions. For example, when I went into the Taipei Zoo souvenier shop, I couldn’t find any T-shirt with the design printed words of “Taipei Zoo”!!! Nor was there any “Taipei Zoo” imprinted on the fridge magnets or any other ‘basic’ souvenir too! Strange, huh? How about when we took the Maokong Gondola. There was practically no souvenir items promoting ‘Maokong Gondola’ at all! It was as their priority is to promote Taiwan (country) first before the tourist attraction. Hmmmmm.

8. It is undeniable that Taiwan is essentially a “Scooter” nation. It is the preferred choice of vehicle on the road….so much so to the extent that you get to see ‘Scooter waiting spots’ at traffic lights. And yes, all motorists are very well -behaved and do not invade these spaces..(in case you were asking..:-p)

9. Technology is also very well used in the area of public toilets. I noticed in some of the toilets found in the train stations where they have a large electronic board on the outside which monitors which urinal is or not in use. Seriously! :-p

10. I also observed that overall, the streets in Taiwan are pretty CLEAN. The surprising thing here is that you can NOT easily find the dustbins! So where does the rubbish go or get cleaned up? Amazing, huh? :-D

11. As a pedestrian in Taiwan, you’d feel safe to cross the roads, especially at intersections where cars are ‘allowed’ to turn into a street where pedestrians could be walking, they have an unwritten ‘trust’ system that seems to work. :-D

12. Wireless Internet is easily accessible in Taiwan. Of course, as a visitor you;d need to register yourself first. Just make sure you arm yourself with your passport ad you’re good to go! At the Taoyuan Airport, go look for the iTaiwan logo and register yourself. iTaiwan covers most of the buildings and enclosed areas in Taiwan. The other free Wi-Fi service in Taiwan comes via TPE-Free Wifi Access, which personally I felt had better coverage of most tourist spots and outdoor locations. You can register yourself in any of their kiosks or information counters, typically found in popular Metro Rail Stations. Having said that, I have to say that the connection, whilst fast when connected is not very stable and tends to break frequently. Also I wonder why there are TWO different services offering free public Wi-Fi. Hmmmm.

13. The city never sleeps! We even saw some restaurants advertising that they are opened till 4am?!!! Best part is that even though you can walk around during these unearthly hours, it kinda feels SAFE.

14. As long as you love BREAD and MEAT (especially pork), you’d enjoy eating tin Taiwan. :-D

15. Bread is so popular here that almost every other corner we turn into is a BAKERY. :-D

16. There are certain ‘default’ items you would find as breakfast here, namely warm soya milk, braised/minced pork on rice (lu rou fan; 滷肉飯 ) and sweet potato porridge

17. For an iconic tourist landmark like the Taipei 101, I was really surprised to see that it is NOT near at all to the nearest Metro rail station (ie City Hall). When I got down in City Hall, I was shocked that I had to walk like another 1.5-2 km to reach Taipei 101! Would definitely suggest for them to build a station closer to this landmark. :-)

18. We already know that most makan places in Taiwan closes quite late, so we were in for a rude shock when we discovered that the Taipei Zoo closed at JUST 5pm?!!! Missed the pandas because of this. Sigh.

19. It is NOT easy to find souvenir fridge magnets in Taiwan. I mean, I would have expected them to be found and sold on every corner of popular tourist spots like Ximenting, but apparently not. I only discovered you’d be able to find them in ‘fashion houses’, those selling shirts and cloths. Ahhh.. :-D

20. If you intend to travel to Taiwan with kids, especially those aged 2 and below…please think again. Think twice over. Then think again for the third time. It is really, very challenging. especially around tourist spots with old streets, plenty of stairs and crowded hawker places. So if you are travelling with kids, be prepared to sacrifice on places you can visit and length of time you can spend on places.

 

38 Tips to be a Successful Football Fantasy Manager! (Part 3 /3)

My final installment of my trilogy of 38 tips to be a successful Fantasy Football Manager….

25. Every year, your Fantasy League will try to be more innovative and introduce new parameters for scoring, eg. Shots on Target, or Bonus Saves. The tip here is to be well aware of these new parameters and choose the best players who can benefit from this.

26. In the event that you are CHASING a leader in your league, try to use DIFFERENT players from the ones your leader has. I know it sounds like a risk but if you are trailing in points, you can never catch up if the majority of players you have are the same.

27. In every season, there is bound to be a ‘template line-up’ formed after around 10-15 GWs. Template line-ups refer to the typical formation and players that have performed well to-date so much so that the majority of fantasy managers would have also picked in their team. The trick here is to quickly improve your salary cap and achieve the template line-up as soon as you can. For those still confused, try to recall last season when after GW10 or so, the popular line-up became one that was littered with players playing in the ‘hole’ like the midfield template of Cazorla, Michu, Bale, Feillani and Mata.

28. In your selections, try to pick some star players from mid level teams. In the long run, this could turn out better than the oft rotated stars of big teams. For example, many managers stayed clear of Man City’s star-studded midfield last season because Mancini tended to frequently rotate his midfield.

29. Plan for 2-3 GWs ahead, whilst keeping in sight upcoming games for the coming 5-6 weeks. If planned properly, you’d notice you’d have strong players to rotate to suit every upcoming GW. :-)

30.If you are trailing in your league, especially whilst chasing the leading pack….DON”T GIVE UP! The entire season lasts 38GWs….that is a very, very LONG time. Accurate selections of captains or a hattrick here or there could see you collect many points in a flash!

31. Always remember to MOVE your bench pieces too…they do make a difference! Although you are well aware of the automatic substitution based on player position, moving bench players to your preferred priorities would help in teh event that some of your subs are injured and you’d want your best sub to come on instead.

32. Especially in pre-season, keep an eye out for unknown (and golden) prospects! Keep abreast of other leagues and read, read, read on player bios, form, etc. to identify these gems. For example, by following the Primera Liga in the seasons leading to last year, Michu and Cazorla had already caught my eyes, so it was a no-brainer for me to snap them up the moment they crossed over to the BPL.

33. As mentioned above, it’s always good to do additional research on player bios, character, temperament (yellow card prone?), past statistics, etc. before buying a player. This is especially true at the beginning of the season when everyone wants to start off well! :-)

34. Anticipate a players game time. For example, if Man Utd has a mid-week match and Kagawa was rested in the mid-week match (eg. League Cup, Europe matches, etc.), there is a bigger possibility of Kagawa starting in the BPL match over the weekend!eg. run out in mid week game usually means starting 11 in weekend BPL

35. Always scan the upcoming GW and ROTATE your squad to face weaker teams. There is a higher risk of allowing your star-studded squad of primarily Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal players to remain as they are then the next GW fixtures sees Man Utd vs Arsenal and Chelsea vs Man City! Reduce this risk and use your other fringe players so that some of your stars are benched in exchange for example, your mid-level Kevin Nolan (WHU) playing at home against QPR…

36. No idea who else to buy or improve your squad? Don’t be shy…go ahead and pry on other teams to see who they are buying and their positioning strategies! There’s even a filter in the Stats area to show you which player in which position is the most popular purchase to date!

37. If you are playing in a league (friendly or unfriendly..:-p), it is always good to check out your competitors team and formation too. This will help you to plan your upcoming trades too. For example, if you are leading the pack, you;d want your team to have more or less the same players as yours! And if you are trailing, you’d want to know which players you need to improve your team so that you have a chance of catching up!

38. RAP. My final tip is to remember that in fantasy football manager, all you need to do is RAP. You need to start off by doing some Research – on players, teams, form, injuries, suspensions, etc…. Analyse the current scenario, upcoming fixtures…and Plan your next course of action…which players to buy…when to buy….when are DGWs coming up, etc.

But above all, HAVE FUN!

All the best in the upcoming BPL season!

38 Tips to be a Successful Football Fantasy Manager! (Part 2 /3)

Continuing my trilogy of tips to help you become a better fantasy football manager…

13. Be aware that the Africa Cup of Nations is one tournament that will totally affect your fantasy team, particularly if you have loaded it with a big African contingent. Typically taking place around early Jan till mid Feb, my advise is to slowly offload your African-based players by the end of December. Also you are encouraged to keep abreast of the news of players involved in the tournament. If you are lucky, some of your African-based players may be omitted from their national squad!

14. In the BPL, one of the more kan-cheong periods is during the Christmas-New Year madness. With all teams required to play like 5-6 matches within a 2 week stretch, it is something pretty stressful in reality football, and very much so too in fantasy football! During these periods, take note that the trading windows open and close at a very fast and furiious rate. Sometimes even as tight as 24 hours…miss these quick trades and you could easily lose pace in the fantasy league standings…

15. I would encourage you to ALWAYS make trades during every GW. There is a rare chance that your lineup is good enough for consecutive GWs. There will always exist a a chance for a trade to strengthen some position or to make a quick buck at the trades. The only exception here is when you are planning some 4-5 weeks ahead for a Double/Triple GW and you factor in additional trades you may need then… :-)

16. Don’t pack your fantasy team with too many players of the same team. Too risky, I reckon….unless it is for a double GW, of course…

17. It may be actually quite fun to have a Target dream team line-up at the start of the season and slowly work your way through the GWs to achieve it.

18. One of the more oft forgotten stat is the VAL of the player. This simple stat gives very valuable info to monitor all the players so that you’d know when the best trade can be made. for example, after a particular GW, you have no clue as to which player actually ‘performed’ well. All you need to do is just to filter the VAL list and look at which players are fast approaching the 1.0 mark. Player that have a fast rising VAL would surely increase their price too!

19. Always be on the lookout for players who are nearing an automatic suspension (accumulating 5 yellow cards). An overlook here may see you fielding a crock player in your line-up…

20. I know it may sound morbid, but try to make it a habit to check up on player injuries every other day, especially after each GW. Info like this goes a long way in determining which player to be used in the starting line-up or sold immediately!

21. There are plenty of resources out there to help you experience the complete action of fantasy football. Some of my favourite sites for Fantasy Football news and updates are Skysports and Fantasy Football Scout. My suggestion would be to follow them on Twitter to get the current updates, or to visit their website regularly…

22. All football matches are NOT played over weekends only. Be alert with those niggling mid week matches like the  Capital One Club, UCL matches, FA Cup matches, etc.

23. Be familiar with team formations. One of the ‘revolutions’ of last season was the ‘ man in the hole’ position. In other words, the position of an attacking midfielder who would play behind two strikers in a typical 4-3-1-2 formation. Last season, several ‘man-in-the hole’ players excelled to great effect, like Feillani, Kagawa, Mata and Cazorla.

24. Look out for “misplaced gems’. With so many players involved in the BPL, it is fairly common for some players to be wrongly identified in their positions. For example, some players who are naturally strikers could be seen as tagged as a mid-fielder. Buying these gems would be great because they can offer you more points at a (possibly) cheaper rate..

Stay tuned for Part 3/3 coming soon!

 

38 Tips to be a Successful Football Fantasy Manager! (Part 1/3)

 Image Credits

Before barreling straight into my blog for today, I think it would only be fair if I started off with a disclaimer that despite the catchy title of the blog, I am NOT a fantasy football expert! Honest! :-)

I started my addiction with Fantasy Football only three years ago with 100% football fanatic enthusiasm and absolutely 0% knowledge of how to play the game. Many people do say that football fantasy management is really a whole lot of luck and accurate predictions. However, over the course of three years of managing football fantasy teams, I would clearly beg to differ. Whilst luck does play a role in managing your fantasy team over the course of the entire season, the management point of the team also plays a big factor. I should know because I have never been really good at predicting matches, but yet I seem to be doing pretty OK in this fantasy football management business. Another proof is that many people that do well in these Football Fantasy games are the SAME people who would do well every other year! Thus, I don’t think it’s very likely that these same people happened to be just as lucky and good at predicting matches every other season, right? :-p

So, in three years of managing Football Fantasy teams of the BPL under the Citizen Sports Fantasy League on Facebook, I have continually and steadily improved myself from 1,764 points; global rank 1,341 (2011) to 1,773 points; global rank 789 (2012) and finally 2,329 points; global rank 218 (2013). Three years of playing this game has taught me many tips and tricks of the trade which I felt I should share with everyone leading up to the upcoming new BPL season next month!

Since  there are 38 gameweeks in every BPL season, I thought it would be best if I shared 38 tips – one for every GameWeek! – in a three part series! Have fun and enjoy!

1. There is no need for a proper formation in your Fantasy Team. For example, you could easily enlist THREE leftbacks in as your Defenders without worry that your centreback position is exposed. :-)

2. Always seek to buy players who can get you points at the Fantasy level; and not players who can perform in real life football. For example, players like Scott Parker and Dembele are excellent players with fantastic influence for their teams. Unfortunately, they offer very little in terms on points return.

3. Don’t fall into the trap of buying great players for all 15 slots of your team. Commit to a preferred formation and work around it. For example, if your preferred default is a 3-5-2, focus on strengthening your starting 11 with emphasis on your midfield.

4. The key every GameWeek (GW) is to earn points and increase budget at the same time. Thus, weekly target is to achieve at least one of these.

5. Set a personal GW target of total points to hit every week. If you are playing the FB version, the average target should be around 50 pts/week.

6. Buy low, Sell high. Very simple principal to remember but not so easy to carry out.  Always try to BUY early (ie when the trading is open) if you know the player’s value will increase. For example, if Benteke, valued at $10M scored a hattrick in GW 3, chances are high that his value may soar towards $11 way before GW4 as soon as the trading window opens. Similarly, try to SELL quickly if the player on your roster has a high chance for going down in value, ie. red-carded, long-term injury, sold off to other leagues, etc.

7. Start to love numbers and make full use of system statistics offering invaluable data on players who scores the most goals, provides most assists, etc. Familiarise yourself with sorting these data to obtain best info required on who to buy next!

8. Always have this mentality that you are creating a fantasy team for EACH GW, and NOT for the ENTIRE SEASON! Many people fall into this trap of wanting to form the best team possible for the entire season. Definitely not possible. Form a fantasy team that is flexible enough for you to customise and tweak to deliver high points for you for each GW.

9. Make sure you draft in 15 players…that can play. Many people tend to have a solid starting 11 but deadwood bench. Always fill your ENTIRE roster with players who can PLAY, preferably players who play regular first team football in real-life too!

10. I noticed that for many seasons, picking the right captain for each GW is critically the key to a successful fantasy football season. Whilst there are no secret formulas in selecting your captain, my best tip is to choose your captain based on Form>Home Ground>vs Weaker Opponent

11. Don’t be too emotional over the team you support. For example, if you support Chelsea, don’t stack your fantasy roster with Chelsea players. Similarly, if you have much hatred for Liverpool, you don’t need to line up or stack up players on your roster that would be facing Liverpool for that one GW. It’s suicide. For example, although I devotedly support Manchester United, there are quite a number of GWs that I have a roster without any Man U players!

12. Be alert and plan for double GWs. Double GWs are bonus weeks where certain teams play TWICE or sometimes even THRICE! Always plan ahead and keep these GWs on the horizon so that you can deploy as many players as you can from teams playing in these double GWs. Failure to take advantage of these GWs would result in a great big gap of points from those who played their cards right here.

 

Stay tuned for Part TWO!

 

 

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