Focusing on the Telegraph Fantasy Football competition this year. I like the Telegraph competition for the following reasons:
Its free to enter
Scoring rules are straightforward
Players are valued quite fairly
Its really easy to set up private leagues with your mates.
The usual basic tips apply when selecting your team. See my previous post for the details but below are the key points:
Study the scoring system
Decide where most of your points will come from (goals, assists, clean sheets?)
Choose a formation
Study last seasons stats (goals per minute, injury history etc)
Research pre-season information (signings, probable starting line ups, form etc)
So with all that in mind I have gone ahead and picked my provisional XI for the 2013/14 season. Obviously a lot can change between now and the first game of the season, signings, sales and injuries in particular, so I will tweak just before the big kick-off.
Okay so the 2012/13 season is almost upon us and its that time when friends or people at work are sorting out fantasy football leagues. I have chosen to concentrate on the Sky Sports fantasy football this season as I found it enjoyable last season. You don’t have to make substitutions constantly and I like the points system.
As usual it is difficult to pick a team before the season starts as many squads are still taking shape. Its hard to know who will still be signed and which players will begin the season as first choice.
I have gone for a relatively risky selection. In the past I have been fairly conservative, opting for proven point scorers over unkown quantities, the problem with this is that the proven players (Lampard, Rooney etc) are very expensive and mean you have to accept weaknesses in other areas of the team. Initially my Spurs bias led me to pick Lennon, Sigurdsson and Walker, however I ended up with too many very cheap players as a result. Instead I took out Walker and Lennon and replaced them with Puncheon and Lambert, this allowed me to strengthen the rest of my team. I would now say my team looks strong in all areas.
Joe Hart – Played every game for champions Man City keeping clean sheets in half of his games in the process. A no brainer!
Nemanja Vidic – Injured for most of last season but a proven quality player in a team which will get a few clean sheets. He also pops up with the odd goal.
Vincent Kompany – One of the players of the season in 2011/12, a superb defender in a Man City team which keeps plenty of clean sheets.
Ian Harte – Reading defender who can score free kicks. Not expecting many clean sheets but this is one of my gamble selections.
Jason Puncheon – Quick and powerfull wide attacker who may have to settle for appearances from the bench initially. I have a feeling he will get a few goals early on and get a run in the team as a result. Again, bit of a gamble.
Gylfi Sigurdsson – Had a great season with Swansea in 2011/12 with 7 goals in 17 starts. Will play a key part in the Spurs attack this season so should get goals and assists.
Eden Hazard – Havent seen too much of him but if you believe the hype (from him) he is going to bang the goals in. I can see Chelsea challenging for the title this season so wanted either Hazard or Ramires in my team.
Shinji Kagawa – Again dont know too much about him but I understand he is the real deal, Man Utd are desperate for a quality attacking midfielder and he could well be the answer. If he plays most games he will inevitably get plenty of points in the Man Utd attack.
Santi Cazorla – Not a prolific goal scorer but can take a free kick and should get plenty of assists in an Arsenal side which usually scores plenty of goals. Was hard as a Spurs fan to put and Arsenal player in my team but I think he will be a very good signing for them.
Fernando Torres – Never picked him in a fantasy team before, always thought there were better players around for the money, however after a lean spell his price has dropped slightly in comparison to other top strikers. He was lucky to score in the Champions league final and lucky to play in the Spain side which won the European cup but these successes will have done his confidence the world of good. Chelsea will score lots of goals this season and with Torres the main striker he is my tip for top goal scorer in 2012/13.
Rickie Lambert – Scored 27 goals in 39 games last season, takes pens and will worry even the best premier league defenders. A bargain at £6.8m.
Feel freee to comment on my selection.
Also, I have created a Sky Sports league for readers of this site, just click here and then enter the league name “fantasyfootballtipscouk” and the pin is 8024936
Here are some general tips on selecting a winning fantasy football team in the Barclay Premier League this season.
Study the rules and scoring structure in your chosen league (see a selection of the best fantasy leagues on the right of this page). For example, if you have chosen to enter the Telegraph’s fantasy league; you only pick 11 players with no subs and the scoring system is quite generous to defenders. 4 points can be earned for every clean sheet, only a point less than any player scoring a goal. Bear these things in mind when choosing your team. Strikers tend to be much more expensive than defenders so perhaps you will get better value for money with top defenders. When choosing a league consider whether you have the time and dedication to be making regular substitutions.
Decide which area of your team will earn most of your points. I guess this is expanding on the previous point. Once you have assessed the scoring structure you should decide on whether you will invest in top players in defense, midfield or attack. Once you have made up your mind you can move onto choosing your formation.
Choosing a formation. If you are going to focus on getting assist and goals you will want to pick a lot of midfielders who play for high scoring teams. A 3-5-2 formation would be suitable, perhaps with a few proven high scorers like Lampard, Bale and Nani for example and a couple of slightly cheaper players, maybe new signings like Marin or Sigurdsson. You will also want at least one dependable high scoring striker in the Rooney or Van Persie bracket. Obviously if you are concentrating on a good defense and clean sheets go for 4 or 5 at the back and sign your defenders first.
Check last seasons stats. Research which teams are good at keeping clean sheets, which players get lots of assists, take set pieces and rarely get booked or injured. Also have a look at the promoted teams, the Barclays Premier League is unpredictable and promoted teams have been relatively successful in recent seasons. There are often bargains to be found here!
Read up on pre season performances. Which players have signed for new clubs and how are they likely to perform this season? You will need a few players that everyone else isn’t going for, if one or two of these pay off it can shoot you up the league tables.