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How much to differentiate?

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How much to differentiate?

Post by raoul » 24 Jan 2019, 08:20

I am ignoring my own team here and wondering what thoughts people have in general about following the crowd v differentials.

In terms of starting XI, how many of these do you think need to be non-popular picks in order to make a sizeable difference? Naturally, if you select say Lukaku or Higuaín and they both have a couple of good weeks then the ownership will rise quickly, so if looking to shoot up a minileague or the OR it seems unlikely that 1 player is going to do it for you … but if you had a strategy that was partly based on a desire to be different, how many do you need?

And does it need to be individual players, or a team thing (e.g. an obvious example, given 7 of their players are in the top 30 owned, would be to ignore all Liverpool players and hope for the panic to set in as Man C creep ever closer, perhaps magnifying the differential by selecting low ownership MC assets such as KdB and Sterling at the same time)?

And yes, I appreciate "it depends" will always be a valid response to this, so let's assume you are 50-100 pts behind where you want to be right now.

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Re: How much to differentiate?

Post by Smurphy's Paw » 24 Jan 2019, 17:38

Being 100 points behind where I want to be is easy to visualise.
The key is to trust your judgement if you see a player with high scoring potential who is coming in to a seam of form. If there has been a major change that might also hint at big changes.
Examples recently were:
Son suddenly went on a consistent run of point scoring. It was a risk that I took early, Spurs’ fixtures looked good so it was a calculated risk. It went well
Man U change in Manager: I happened to watch their first game under Ole and the players looked as if a cloud had been lifted. They played with a freedom. It was a risk because the new manager bounce is often short-lived. It paid off.
Those are examples of the types of things I look for.
It then backfired with Kane and TAA recently, so don’t presume success; and the pack has now caught up with the Pogba/Rashford bandwagons, injuries to others making them the obvtransfers in. I am now on the look out for the next differential.

I think these types of things are more important than picking an arbitrary number of two, or three or xxx differentials.

What I would also say is that there are some on here who are much better at this than me. Joccki springs to mind as someone who spots potential early. He’s not alone.

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Re: How much to differentiate?

Post by Caf » 24 Jan 2019, 21:36

A couple of podcasts actually touched on this subject this week - might be worth giving Always Cheating and Who Got The Assist a listen if you haven't already. I'm sure i would ruin their meaning if I tried to paraphrase them too much, but in general, they cautioned against going too heavy on differentials.

They've helped me distil my own views on 'template vs differential' as follows:

- Don't take massive risks! Even if you are trying to gain ground. It is tempting to think 'get some differentials' necessarily means 'ditch Salah', but it does not. There are many steps in between that and 'total template team', and among those steps a multitude of ways to differentiate yourself.
- Accordingly, don't abandon the template entirely - after all, many of the template players are highly owned because they're good & going to score lots of points. Much like the warnings adverts give about share prices, in a high-volatility strategy your rank can go down as well as up. :)
- Some seemingly obvious players, with proven fantasy pedigree, are actually differentials. Look for those. The Son example mentioned above is a good one; elsewhere, right now Sterling is only 11% owned.
- You can also look for low-priced differentials. I'm mega-risk-averse but even I wouldn't have a problem punting 5m on a low-owned defender with some upside and good fixtures (a Shaw/Lovren/Kola type). Try to win big and lose small.
- Differentiating can mean keeping players, not just buying them. Templates change quicker than we think (remember when Alonso was in everyone's team?), unfancied players can become fancied, managers can get sacked, things change. If you've got an expensive player who hasn't been performing, consider if they have really stopped being good whether their upturn in form might be just around the corner. If it is, then by keeping when everyone else is dumping, you've achieved the 'getting on early' you desire.

In conclusion, don't aim for a quota of differentials and don't throw away the baby with the bathwater. Maintain a core of strong (even if highly owned) players and look to make incremental gains elsewhere. That may sound a bit boring, but even now with 15 weeks to go, making small, incremental gains week on week will turn into a massive gain at the end. Remember, the doubles and 'prime chip season' are coming up too. :)

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Re: How much to differentiate?

Post by Spreadsheet » 24 Jan 2019, 21:57

Great post from Caf (and a good thread Raoul).

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Re: How much to differentiate?

Post by MoSe » 25 Jan 2019, 07:11

IIRC there was some post by spiderm4tt on the subject (or he got reposted here) one or two seasons ago

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Re: How much to differentiate?

Post by Aldershot Rejects » 25 Jan 2019, 11:20

I think caf and SP's advice is spot on.

Personally, I wouldn't worry too much ownership, just decide when you need to be proactive and when you need to be patient and choose the players who you think will get the most points - the rest will care of itself.

In fact, sometimes having all the highly owned players is itself a differential. So, if you have 3 players all of whom have 66% ownership, the proportion of teams that will have all three is probably quite low. Have a look at 'The Hedge Index' here ... dge-index/ for how that works in practice.

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Re: How much to differentiate?

Post by raoul » 25 Jan 2019, 18:27

interesting and useful comments. Thanks all.

Wonder if the final few days of January will provide some differentials to consider - is Puel out at Leicester / Son's early return / Higuain / DGW perhaps earlier than expected etc?

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