Fantasy Football Tips - Take your EPL Team Top
Image Credit: Alexander Hassenstein / Bongarts / Getty Images
Show your mates who is boss by schooling them with these 10 Fantasy Premier League tips
Tinkering with your Fantasy Premier League team used to be a guilty pleasure. Now the secret’s out and fantasy football has taken the sports world by storm!
More than five million play globally and there are almost 140,000 teams competing in Australia. But there’s no doubt the best thing about playing, or being a manager let’s say, is beating your mates.
Whether you’re playing for cash or bragging rights, there’s nothing sweeter than getting one over somebody who thinks they know better. To keep you punching the air as the goals flow in, here’s our top 10 tips for fantasy football glory:
1. Shamelessly jump on bandwagons
When you notice a player has hit a rich vein of form – get on board that bandwagon fast!
If you react quickly to trends, you’ll feel the benefit. The prices of in-form players rise as more people buy them, so bringing them on board before the whole world does is best.
The longer you leave it, the more of a premium you will have to pay. To succeed in the Fantasy Premier League, you need to grow that $100m initial budget – not shrink it.
2. Plan 5 or 6 fixtures ahead
The dream scenario is transferring a player in before he strikes red hot form – then you reap the benefit of his low ownership and make some precious dollars from his price rise.
The best way of doing this is to scan the schedule, around a month or two ahead, and try to figure out which team has the softest set of fixtures – then target that team’s key assets.
It’s far more common for home teams to pick up wins, so a tasty set of matches on home soil against middle-to-lower half teams is what you’re looking for. Avoid picking players with too many matches against the main contenders in the upcoming weeks.
3. Forget reputations…
The EPL is a fast-moving world. The player who was an earth-shattering hero last season could easily be cast aside tomorrow.
In fantasy football, it pays to have a fairly short memory. Forget the old cliché: form is temporary, class is permanent. Those rules don’t apply here.
Don’t pick purely on name value. If you star isn’t delivering often enough, he’s not pulling his weight in your team. Don’t be scared to ditch a household name for the latest superstar.
4. Squad goals
Having a dream starting 11 and then a bunch of rejects and misfits to fill out the rest of your squad might sound like the smart way to invest that cash.
It’s not. It’s guaranteed there will be times where your players get injured, suspended or simply get dropped – and you can’t always account for this in advance.
When it gets to December and January, and the fixtures come thick and fast – midweek and weekends – you will need all 15, including those extra bodies to step up and earn you points.
This is not saying don’t resort to budget options to fill the gaps on your substitutes’ bench, but at least aim for players who are getting a regular game. Nobody wants to see zeros.
5. Look out for who is on set piece duty
To win the lotto, you’ve got to buy a ticket. And if you have extra tickets, you’ve got more chances of winning.
Players who take corners have more opportunities for assists and players on free-kick have the additional threat of scoring as well as creating. If you have penalty takers in your ranks – that’s even better.
Teams tend to switch around which players are on dead-ball duty every so often, so keep your eyes peeled when you’re tuning into EPL highlights.
6. Stay on top of injury news
A last-minute hamstring tweak in training or a player collecting a knock on international duty can spoil even the best laid plans.
Sometimes it’s best to save your free weekly transfer for the last possible moment (unless you are jumping on a white-hot bandwagon). Team managers tend to disclose their latest injury info in their press conferences, which are usually a day or two before the games.
If you play smart and leave it late, you can react to any unexpected news or even take a chance on a player who will receive an opportunity as a result of another’s misfortune. Don’t miss that deadline though. Always check when the gameweek window closes.
7. Don’t squander transfers
Did you hear about the unseen teenage prodigy who is being hyped to the max, or the budget fringe player who may unseat his positional rival and sneak into the team?
It’s tempting to gamble on the juicy news emerging from the ever-churning EPL rumour mills but, remember, you only get 38 free transfers (one per week). Making the wrong call might cost you two transfers – one to get them in, one to get them out.
It’s a less flashy approach, but a key tip for success in the Fantasy Premier League is to play it safe with transfers and go for proven commodities more often than gambles.
Burning points on extra transfers is a dangerous approach. It’s not advised to do it frequently, but it can occasionally work if you calculate the risk and make the right calls.
8. Save chips for fixture changes
The Fantasy Premier League awards each manager three ‘chips’ which the best managers will strategically use to boost their points haul.
The key is rolling them out when the fixtures are skewed. Every season, the schedule changes because teams advancing in cup competitions have their league fixtures rearranged.
This results in some gameweeks with fewer teams playing, which is the ideal time to use your ‘free hit’ chip, and some gameweeks with extra games for selected teams. That’s the time to use your ‘triple captain’ and ‘bench boost’ to capitalise on those who have two matches in one gameweek.
You also are given two ‘wildcards’ to play – one in each half of the season. This is for when the situation gets desperate and you need to tear up the plans and start over. Beware: you can only play one chip or wildcard per gameweek.
9. Keep an eye on your rivals
If your grand plan is to earn bragging rights over your buddies, keep an eagle eye on what moves they are making.
If you hold a lead over a rival, you might want to begin to mirror their team to give them less opportunity to make up ground. Dirty tactics maybe, but it’s the winning that counts.
Whoever is in front has a target on their back. If you are chasing first place, you will want to make sure you have a few key difference makers to allow you to play catch up.
10. Be resourceful
There are only 24 hours in day, and even less when you account for sleep deprivation kicking in after two or three days of agonising over your next transfer.
Once you’ve weighed up all of the intel, it’s time to make a judgement call. Whichever players are repping your team, be sure to tune in and cheer them on. Fantasy football is a fun way to enhance your viewing and it’s all the sweeter when your picks come good!
Optus is in no way affiliated with Rotoworld or Fantasy Football Scout.
Rotoworld.com is part of NBC Sports Digital, a division of the NBC Sports Group.
Children under 12 require parental permission to join the Fantasy Premier League.