The new fantasy season is just around the corner, and with the English Premier League game already live the time is quickly approaching when you will need to make your first team selection. This is a VERY indecisive time for us all as we make those vital decisions which could see our team rise to some early season, table topping bragging rights.
Here are a few tips which should help you with those initial selections.
There is a saying in American Football that defense wins championships, and that applies to your fantasy team as well. There are no shortcuts when it comes to selecting your keeper, they need to keep clean sheets. Even if you have a keeper who is going to make a number of saves and collect those bonus points, without the clean sheet the points just won’t add up. There are two strategies that you can play when selecting your goalkeepers, as you must have two in your squad.
Whichever method you choose you will find yourself spending between £9.5 and £10 million on your two goalkeepers.
When selecting your defenders it is important to remember that teams defend as a unit. It’s no good having a world-class defender in a shocking team because the team is going to concede loads of goals and your defender get no points. You need to select your defenders from teams with good defensive records!
Once you have the teams that ship goals eliminated, there are a few things to look for from your remaining pool of defenders.
It is worth remembering you are not going to be able to simply get in Chelsea’s back four. A good strategy is to get in one or two defenders from the big clubs to make sure you are getting regular clean sheet points and supplement them with cheaper options from those lesser teams with good defensive records.
(Remember, you don’t have to have a balanced defense. If you want to play all fullbacks you can!)
It is so easy to fall into the trap when selecting midfielders of picking good players, but not good fantasy players. For example, Claude Makelele was one of the best midfielders of his generation, but he was a terrible fantasy player because he didn’t score goals, he didn’t assist goals and got the occasional booking. He was listed as a midfield player but he played in a defensive role without getting the clean sheet points of the defenders whom he had done a superb job of protecting. When picking your midfield make sure they are going to contribute with goals and assists. As a general rule deep lying midfielders don’t make good fantasy players.
Another consideration to have when choosing your midfield is rotation. Is the player going to be a week-in, week-out player or is he likely to be rotated. This can be very difficult to determine before the season starts, but is much more likely to happen in teams competing in Europe.
It is also a good strategy to pick players who are likely to take free-kicks, corners and penalties as they will have more opportunity to score points than those players who don’t.
Much like midfielders, you want to look for those players who will take free-kicks, corners and penalties. It is also worth considering if a striker will be rotated or not, though typically strikers are less likely to suffer from this if they are scoring goals.
Your budget is likely to restrict you from having the big name strike force you ideally want, but this is ok. The best strikers in the game are usually ridiculously overpriced, so unless they have a season like Luis Suarez they’re not worth the money you invest in them. Look through the list of strikers in the game and if you see someone who appears to be underpriced get them in before the price goes up, otherwise I suggest using the strategy I call streaking.
Strikers are notoriously streaky, with very few scoring regularly through the entire season. Look for strikers who have been scoring in pre-season and get them in. The key to streaking is knowing when to get off one streak and onto another. My general rule is if they fail to score or assist for a second consecutive game then the streak is over and it’s time to move on. However, before you change your striker it’s worth looking at his teams upcoming fixtures. Your current striker might be about to play Newcastle or Aston Villa and worth an extra week in the team. Likewise, the next streak you are about to get on might be about the play Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal and find his streak going cold!
(Streaking can also be an effect strategy for midfield players)
A few general tips in conclusion:
- Goals from midfield are worth more than goals from strikers, so don’t be afraid to stack your midfield and have a more modestly priced strike force.
- A player’s position in the game doesn’t always correspond to where they play in reality. If a player is playing in a more advance role than listed in the game then they are worth a second look (eg: a defender playing in midfield), but if they are playing in a deeper role then they are likely one to avoid.
- Don’t be left out of a trend. If the whole world has a player in their team that is scoring crazy amounts of points, get on board. You will only lose out by not having them. The most obviously example of this was Luis Suarez in last season’s Premier League game.
- Don’t play your wildcard before the transfer window closes. No matter how bad August is going, it’s only a few rounds of the season. If you play your wildcard after a disastrous first few weeks and then find yourself in September with players no longer in the league you are only going to make things worse.
- Check the upcoming fixtures before you make transfers. There is nothing worse than taking out a player and seeing them score a boatload of points the next week against weak opposition.
- Check to point scoring system! Different leagues score points in different ways. I had the scoring system within the English Premier League game in mind when doing these tips, but some leagues may reward shot stopping goalkeepers better for example, making a clean sheet less important.
I hope these tips prove helpful as you begin the new fantasy season. Over the next few weeks we will have our team-by-team preview for the English Premier League game posted, with our Subbed In The 59th Minute podcast starting shortly after. To keep up-to-date with everything join our Facebook Group and we hope to see you again soon.
Over the coming weeks you will notice some changes to the website as we prepare for the new season. This season we will be focusing on Fantasy Football, and not just in the English Premier League! There will still be regular podcasts for you, as well as regular posts informing you of all the vital stats and information you will need to ensure your fantasy team is top of it’s league. Enjoy your summer and be sure to check back soon and join Matt, Kev and Jon for the 2014/15 season!
Join Kev & Matt as they preview the 2014 World Cup. The guys look at each of the 32 nations taking part, give their predictions of who will get out of the groups and who are the players to watch.
To join our tipping contest click here
Be sure to check back for information on our fantasy league once the game goes live on the FIFA website June 8. For full information follow us on Twitter @The_SubsBench
After a series of freakishly ridiculous circumstances Kevin and Jon wrap up the fantasy season. There were changes aplenty and they run down some of their favourite things, and look to next year. Kevin also runs down the day one teams for all The Subs Bench guys to see who would have done best if they stuck to their initial lineup.
The lads are running a fantasy league for the World Cup so be sure to check Twitter and the World Cup podcast for details. See you in August for the new Premier League fantasy season!
Kev and Matt sit down to wrap up the domestic season in Europe as Real Madrid claim a tenth European crown. As well as reviewing the final, the guys also look at the Football League playoff finals and what is next for Tottenham and Southampton as Maurico Pochettino jumps ship. There is also transfer talk, Jackass of the Week and much more.
This week’s C’est le Mot is Enner Remberto Valencia Lastra
To join our World Cup Superbru competition click here
Pool name: The Sub’s Bench
Pool code: stowsoap
Join Matt and Kev as they look back at a super weekend of football which saw Arsenal break it’s trophy drought, Atletico Madrid topple Barcelona and Dortmund robbed of the German Cup. The guys also extend their congratulations to St. Johnstone and Cambridge United as well s look ahead to the Champions League final plus much more.
This weeks C’est le Mot is José Pinto de Carvalho Santos Águas
Join Matt and Kev as they review a rather anti-climatic final day which saw Manchester City crowned as deserved champions of England. The guys also look at a busy few days in the Premier League which has seen managers sacked and clubs put up for sale.
The guys celebrate Sassuolo’s survival and preview a huge weekend of football with cup finals in England and Germany and a massive final day in La Liga. There are World Cup squads to discuss, a new Jackass of the Week and much, much more!
This weeks C’est le Mot is: Reza Ghoochannejhad and Alireza Jahanbakhsh
Twists and turns abound in the week that was. Kevin and Jon rue the lack of Mata, scratch their heads over what to possibly do in the final week (take Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool players) and generally reflect on the past unpredictable season of the premier league. Jon even tries a new strategy of promoting the exact opposite of what his plans are in the hopes for a consistent performance from his advice all going wrong on the gameday.
Join Matt & Kev as they look back at what should prove to be a decisive weekend in the Premier League at both ends of the table. The guys react to continuing rumours of Louis Van Gaal to be the next Manchester United manager after it appeared that Ryan Giggs brought down the curtain on his playing career at Old Trafford on a night a new star was born. There is a look at a stunning weekend in Spain, a superb win to report in this edition of Sassuolo Watch, a look back of the 2014 A-League Grand Final and much more.
This weeks C’est le Mot: Juan Guillermo Cuadrado Bello
The time has come for drastic moves to make up the ground in your fantasy premier league. Jon and Kevin bemoan their lack of Mata, Rooney or Yaya Toure in their lineups and seek to remedy that situation to achieve their season goals. Connor Wickham was mentioned last week and his name appears again as the lads contemplate Sunderland’s recent run of form that might see them safe yet. They also talk about the only two options you might want to consider from Hull. Remember, it’s a double gameweek for both Manchester teams so you want to look to them for your points that will surprise those managers around you.