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

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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!

 

 

Football Fantasy: 2013 Recap

FF Final Score 2013 v2

Woo Hoo! the 2013 BPL Season has come to an end and so has the Football Fantasy season…

..and guess what?…I’m lucky enough to be the champion manager amongst my friends again…successfully defending it for the third year in the row liao…hehe…Anyway, what was more important is my improvement in the overall score and also global ranking as illustrated below:

2013: 2,329 points; rank 218 (0%) *

Comparison: 2011:  1,764 points; rank 1,341 (0.2%); 2012: 1,773 points; rank 789 (0.1%)

* of course it is worth noting that scoring parameters of  FF under Citizen Sports (Yahoo/Facebook) has changed considerably this year, thus making everyone’s scores bulge significantly. :-p The total number of games counted into this year’s totals were only 37 Gameweeks, due to a big boo-boo that they developers screwed up before GW1. So based on 37 GWs, I ended up with a weekly average score was 62.9 pts/GW. Other than that, my high and low points, as well as scoring spread is summarised here:

Highest GW: 107.0 pts (GW 28); Lowest: 31.5 pts (GW 10)

Scoring Spread: >100 pts (EXCELLENT) (2X); 80-100 pts (9X); 60-79 pts (9X); 40-59 pts (16X); <40 pts (BADDD) (3X)

In terms of team value, new rules regarding the introduction of a 28-day vesting period and also the ability to carry forward unused transfers certainly curbed the ability of most players to increase their team value by many, many folds as per previous seasons. For example, in 2013, I only managed to increase my team value by $12.5M from the start of the campaign to a total of $162.5M at the end of the season. In comparison, I finished with $172.8M in the 2012 season…

At the end of it all, I guess I have to be quite satisfied, although I am quite disappointed I couldn’t break into the top 100 despite flirting with it a few times throughout the campaign. I have to remind myself that based on last season’s scores, my modest target was actually only to break into the top 500 this year. And…with that box checked, I am boldly giving myself a target to break into the top 200 next year…:-D

Some lessons I can take forward to a better season next year:

1. Need to capitalise more on those Double/Triple Gameweeks. Strangely, unlike previous seasons, I was not able to score big here in the 2013 season. Sigh. Probably need to do more research and better prep for available trades.

2. Stick with RVP. Should have stuck with No. 20 throughout the season. The thing was, before he came in, SAF would frequently rotate his frontline, with Rooney the only constant, making it quite difficult to predict or even consider buying a ManUtd striker for your FF team. Should have seen No. 20 as SAF’s preferred and constant striker throughout the season. Sigh.

3. Improve GK pairing. For most parts of the season, I fared quite well with Jussi and Begovic alternating with each other with great effect. However dips in form and injuries forced me to mash it up towards the final quarter of the season, finally ending up calamitously with Fabianzki (injured) and Guzan (porous D). I was not able to improve this because of my limited trades week after week, which I preferred to improve in other positions. Sigh. Before, I didn’t really see the need to invest much in the GK position. This season is teaching me to NOT forget this area too..

Did YOU have a good football fantasy season? :-)

 

Fantasy Start!

Woo Hoo! Talk about a blistering start to the new Football Fantasy campaign!

Personally, I was slightly  a little majorly pissed when due to some technicalities, scores for GW1 was wiped clean and everyone had to start from GW2. I was particularly angry because all my proper pre-season analysis and planning had gone to waste. And worse, my score of 91.6 pts for GW1 was not counted! Although it is still a few points shy of my career best of 97.8 pts scored in GW36 last season, the score would have been my best ever start to FF. SIGH.

Anyway, that’s not the end of it. Having a RESET of GW2 for everyone meant that everyone who had played to the advantage of FF management had no advantage now. For example:

– After the GW1 debacle, now practically everyone on the planet owned Michu for GW2. Big points, investment and advantage lost. Sigh.

– For some strange reason, many people didn’t notice that GW1 was a double gameweek itself. So, FF managers who packed their GW1 squad with Reading and Chelsea players reaped in the points. No More. Sigh.

Of course, anyone who read my early predictions for the new BPL season may have cashed in on the likes of Michu, Ptric and Jussi too..haha…:-p looks like I wrongly predicted on Hazard though. 😛

Although Citizen Sports tried to redeem themselves by resetting the scores and allowed all FF managers unlimited transfers again to start off GW2, the boo boo had already been committed and it was a pretty catastrophic one. Sigh….

Anyway, life does go on and Fantasy Football management is after all JUST a game…:-p

So, on we go to GW2 as the first Gameweek, where almost everyone on the planet has picked Michu and probably half of those installed him as captain too. ;-P

With the new scoring format where MANY additional parameters are included (fouls won, fouls committed, shots on target, etc.) it is making the points to bulge every GW. Yay! With Tevez, Hazard, Torres and (yes) Michu scoring, I was able to notch up an exceptional 80 points for GW 1. Switching for Ben Arfa and Yaya Toure for GW 2, most of my players performed again as I scored an identical 80 points again for GW 2. With 160 points in the bag, I am now in 88th position OVERALL. Woo Hoo! Never dreamt I would reach these heights before, but it is still a long season ahead so it remains to be seen if I could hang tough in this bracket till the end of the season. 😀

I have already made some amateurish mistakes with my latest player investments. Of course I’m not going to reveal it here. Sheesh…:-p Didn’t expect the market to be so volatile! Sigh. Anyway With a 2 week break coming up, I shall watch in concern with hopes that none of my players get injured…:-P

How well are you doing so far in your FF Management so far? 😀