Every football manager needs a strategy and a plan. Without structure behind your team things will fall apart quickly.
When you embark on your Fantasy Football journey, it’s important you approach it with the best preparation possible.
In Fantasy Football, the small margins matter. Attention to detail is key. You need to be able to envisage and predict potential high scorers in order to get the best results. You must also plan ahead and make changes quickly when things spiral out of your control.
Here are some things to keep an eye on and take into consideration before selecting a team
1. Team Selection and what you need to know
It may be self-explanatory but your team selection hinges on everything in the game. So, it’s important to do plenty of research before you make a decision on who to pick.
Things to look out for when selecting players include, taking a look at their previous Fantasy Football points from the last two seasons, which you can do here. This will give you a good idea whether they have performed consistently and whether they are worth putting in your team.
Make sure you take a look at statistical websites like Fbref, WhoScored, Instat or the Premier League’s official website. Things to keep an eye on when it comes to data are xG scores for both individuals and teams as well as creative metrics like chances created or when it comes to defensive characteristics goals conceded and save percentages for goalkeepers.
For example, if a team/player overperformed on their xG, last season, they may have gotten a lot of points in Fantasy Football, but overperforming xG is hard to maintain on a regular basis and their form may dip. Try to avoid players who overperformed their xGs.
When it comes to formation, aim for three high-scoring defenders, four midfielders and three attackers.
Goalkeepers are not a priority selection. You don’t necessarily have to aim for premium here. A medium range goalkeeper could be enough to do the trick. Last season, Illan Meslier valued at £5m and Emiliano Martinez valued at £5.5m were the two highest scorers alongside City’s Ederson who comes at premium price of £6m.
In defence, it’s important to go for high-scoring defenders. High-scoring defenders tend to include attacking full-backs or centre-backs who keep a lot of clean-sheets and are able to score from set-pieces. Last season four of the five highest scoring defenders were full-backs. The likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold who is a focal point of Liverpool’s attacking play will score you plenty of points and you should include at least one premium priced defender, but don’t go overboard in this department.
If you’re looking for a budget option have a look at statistics, important metrics like xA, key passes or a high crossing volume could help you find a bargain. Someone, like Max Aarons who is valued at £4.5m could be a budget option considering his 61 key passes last season were the second highest for Norwich behind Emiliano Buendia.
With the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Mohamed Salah classed as midfielders in the game, you will want to put some of the best players in that area and save up your money for them. The same goes
for the strikers. While in the defence and the goalkeeping area you can afford to make some budget calls, in midfield and attack you will want to pick some of the premium players.
For midfielders and attackers, it’s best to stick with attacking minded teams. You may want to go for two or three premium midfielders who are valued between £12.5m-£8.5m, then one mid-level for around £6.5m to £8m and a back-up option between £4.5m to £5.5m. Try to avoid holding midfielders and more defensively minded players. Look for players who take set-pieces and a high volume of shots.
Always keep an eye-out for over-priced stars too and don’t just overload the team with players of high values. Kevin De Bruyne was one of the most expensive players in the game last season, but he didn’t even rank in the top ten best performing midfielders due to his injury proneness.
Someone like, Tomas Soucek or Jack Harrison at £6 million could be good value for money considering they both ranked high for FPL points last season. A back-up option in Todd Cantwell could be worth the punt at £5.5 million.
For forwards, it’s best to stick with one premium striker, and two mid-level ones. Aim for players who take penalties or set-pieces.
Last season Patrick Bamford priced at £8m scored the second highest points behind Harry Kane priced at £12.5m. Meanwhile Ollie Watkins and Dominic Calvert-Levin both valued below £8 million rounded up the top five.
Considering his form towards the end of last-season, Kelechi Iheanacho could be a valuable addition at £7.5 million. But Bamford, Calvert Levin and Watkins are solid bets too.
This goes for all players, try to go for Premier League proven picks, new signings will carry with them plenty of allure and excitement, but they are a high-risk.
The likes of Ivan Toney, Michael Olise or even Patson Daka may be tempting signings but it’s always best to wait for how they get on before investing in them.
Playing your chips right
You will have the opportunity to use five chips throughout the season. But when should you play them?
With the first Wildcard, the best time to play it is midway through the first half of the season when you have been able to gauge some of the most inform players and breakthrough stars who could add value to your team. But you can also use it 3-5 games into the season if you think you have made the wrong selections and want to start fresh.
For the second Wildcard, it’s best to save this for double-fixture rounds during the second half of the season which could give you a massive advantage over your rivals. Around this time, priorities change for certain teams with European knockout rounds too so it’s better to save the Wildcard for then rather than playing it right after the January transfer window.
4. Free Hit
The Free hit which is an alternative, but less valuable, option to the Wildcard allows you to change your team for one Gameweek only. This should be saved for a moment when your team has piled up
injuries and suspensions. However, just remember that after the Gameweek your team will revert back to what it was before you used the chip, so this is not a long-term fix.
5. Bench Booster and Triple Captain
The Bench Booster and Triple Captain options you’ll want to keep until double-fixture matchdays. With bench booster, you’ll want to chose it during a busy schedule where managers are more likely to rotate players and so your bench has a better chance of scoring points.
Meanwhile, for the triple captain, you will want to chose a double fixture where one of your high-scoring players, the likes of Kane, Salah or Fernandes are playing at home against a poor team who are out of form. Try to aim for a Gameweek where a high-scoring player has two easy or out of form opponents.