Read the Rules. It is obvious but do read the rules of the fantasy competition! In particular, what transfers are
allowed (and when you can do them), how many players from each Premiership squad,
the points scoring system and entry date (leave it late, if possible). For
an example, if Defenders receive -2 points for every goal conceded then
you should work out that it often won't be sensible to use the defenders
if they are playing away!
Want to do some Transfers? Before choosing your
new player, look at the fixtures for the next month or so. Things to
look at are a run of home matches, or matches against out of form or
lower half teams,
or Sunday and Monday matches which may help your squad based team. Also
consider doing the transfer after your outgoing player has played his
Saturday match and before the incoming player plays his Sunday/Monday
match. If you have a squad based game there is no point
transferring a player in if because of the fixtures etc you will not
pick him for the next round of matches - leave your transfer until you
are actually going to use the new player.
Form. Players that are on form are much more likely to score points for you
time after time, particularly the better quality players, so always watch for a run of
form by the top players - a run of form rarely lasts for more than half the season so
watch for when to 'get in' and when to 'get out'. Don't worry about being late in buying
an 'in form' player if he has already scored a hat full of goals recently - he is still
probably going to score more goals than your other striker who hasn't scored in 5 games!
If you're going to win the competition you need to 'catch a wave' when
top quality strikers are on form and scoring freely. The same goes for teams who often have a run of games where they really 'click' together.
Misclassification. Clearly strikers who are classified as midfielders and midfielders who
are classified as defenders can score you more points than a normal midfielder or defender
BUT don't get carried away - if they are not a top quality player or are not 'in form'
then they are unlikely to score as many points as a quality in form midfielder or
defender. If they are on form then you may not be able to afford to ignore them.
The Defense. Choose defenders and goalkeepers who play week in week out for the teams
that should finish in the top half of the league. Penalty takers are a bonus but really
defenders are less individualistic than midfielders or strikers so try and follow the
better teams for defenders - there is nothing worse than your strikers scoring loads of
goal but finding your goalkeeper let in 6 goals. Obviously you need to choose the right
balance in your fantasy team without overspending and having to end up going for the cheapest
goalkeeper just to have the costliest striker in your team.
For squad games think carefully before playing a defender whose team is playing
away to a high scoring club.
Squad Game. If you're using a squad based system and have to pick
your team each weekend then firstly sit down with the fixture list for
the weekend and decide what the results are likely to be. For example,
look for clean sheets (e.g. playing at home against a team that do not
score many goals or who are without key attacking players) or teams that are likely to score (e.g. their main
striker is on form or their opponents are missing the main centre back).
Once you have your predictions for the weekend, then decide which of
your squad deserve to be picked.
End of Season Run In. Be careful when coming to the end of the season where teams have little
to play for or are saving players for Cup finals or European matches etc - second string
players often come in to try and prove themselves to the manager which is frustrating if
he's dropped your top player to make room! Might be an idea to move to those teams that
still have something to play for in the league?
Assists & Appearances. If the fantasy football game gives points for assists then corner and free kick takers
can boost your score. Players that play week in week out for a team are also an advantage.
Latest Player and Team News. With most fantasy football games, it pays to keep up to date with injury, suspensions and
international call ups news and form guides - this information is provided here for Premiership players.
Focus On Your Team(s). Do keep your eye on your fantasy teams and don't overstretch by entering too
many teams in too many different competitions - choose a reasonable number and choose the
competitions that appeal to you most (see our reviews of
the internet games on offer) - otherwise you will lose out to other competitors who are
more focussed on their team.
Get In Front. Sounds obvious
doesn't it but it is so damn difficult to catch teams once they have a
lead on the rest of the league. Most near the top tend to make the
obvious moves for players that are in form so it is quite easy to build
up similar teams near the top making it harder and harder to catch the
guy in top spot. A number of leagues are won by the person leading at
Daily Substitutions. If daily substitutions are allowed where you
enter a squad and not just 11 players then think about players from teams involved in
Europe whose Premiership game may get postponed to the Sunday (allowing you to play 11
players on Saturday and then further players on Sunday) i.e. use your
squad efficiently. Also if you're looking to get a clean sheet for your
defenders, a home match often helps, unless it is against Man Utd who
rarely do not score. Also most points will be scored at home matches
rather than away matches.
Picking Your Team. The crucial time to pick your fantasy soccer team is at the start of the season so
watch for those players in form during the pre-season friendlies. Also why not pick your
top 20 on form, quality players at the end of one season, so you can refer to that come
the start of the next? Top quality strikers with one or two Man Utd
midfielders and defense based on top teams should always give you a good
Who to Spend Your Money On. Strikers are usually the most important component to your
fantasy team (goals win fantasy competitions), then
defenders (full backs ahead of centre backs) and goalkeepers and finally the midfield (excluding one or two
stars). Naturally this is not always the case
but most fantasy games allocate high points to goals scored and clean sheets. So pick your
Christmas. The Christmas break means that,
weather permitting, teams play 4 games in a week i.e. one month's
football takes place in one week! It is very important to make sure your
teams are set up properly before these games kick off as so many points
are at stake. Also bear in mind that the 1st round of the FA Cup takes
place the first week in January so don't go making lots of transfers
when you are very nearly through the Premiership Xmas programme.
- Some specific things for you to think about when looking at the
your squad selection and trying to choose your fantasy team. When a manager makes wholesale changes to his squad it generally
takes a while for the team to play well. Watch out for teams where the penalty taker has left. Also a new star striker
may insist on taking penalties rather than the previous incumbent. Same
applies for the free kicks/corners. Generally wait a while for a new
signing from overseas to settle at the club before bringing him in i.e.
wait until after he's either scored. The top teams generally provide a lot of the fantasy football points
(more goals and more clean sheets). You'll probably need some of the
players from the top echelon of teams if you are to be
competitive. Beware that Managers involved in European matches now seem to believe
that resting star players or rotating the squad is the best tactic. Consider the
Managers' records as well. If there are weekly prizes on offer then bear
in mind that for one or two weeks each season there might only be one
match due to fixture anomalies or rearrangements.