With the English Premier League season set to kick-off in under 24 hours, one person to consider consulting with is Jay Egersdorff who is one of the most successful Fantasy Football managers and the No. 1 player in the FFScout Hall of Fame. Jay has great insight and offers plenty of experience based on his competitiveness and having participated in FPL for over a decade.
Jay finished inside the top 105 in the world in two different FPL seasons, and, to his credit, has never placed lower than 15,000th in over 10 years playing the game.Keep in mind around 5.9m people took part last season. If Fantasy Premier League betting existed, he would be among the favorite players almost every single year.
Without further ado, here are some of the key habits and rules which will help you become much more competitive and a challenger to the best players:
1) You should Watch the Games
Some Fantasy Managers are experts when it comes to stats and the number, but to win in FPL you must go beyond crunching numbers. You miss out on valuable insight if you only look at the numbers.
What if your striker did not get you points last week but instead of dropping him you decided to keep faith and give him another opportunity the next week after you watched him play on TV. In some cases the striker is not getting enough passes or is simply doing everything right but the opponent’s goalkeeper is having a great game!
To better figure out a player’s form, you must watch the games and not just base everything on numbers!
2) Pick Bargain Players
You should keep an eye for bargain players. You should not just an expensive player, such as Tottenham’s Harry Kane, but then end up with little left in terms of the budget forcing you to add a mediocre midfielder. Instead, why not sign a very good striker who is less expensive than Kane but is still capable of scoring goals. In doing so, you are left with more of the budget to add a decent midfielder as well! Basically, you are spreading your budget over more quality players as opposed to just one or two big stars.
Keep in mind that players’ values go up and down. If you have many players whose values are going up, it will be of great help to you down the line. On the other hand, if you have multiple players, let us assume 3 or 4, who are losing value, then you could be at a big disadvantage.
3) Keep a Close Eye on the Fixtures
This is not a short race but rather a competition spread over a long period- it is almost like a marathon. Keep in mind, the players you pick are not for the whole season but rather for the immediate future.
Make sure you understand whether the big clubs have an easy or a tough schedule. It is not just about picking players from Manchester City, Liverpool or Chelsea. You need to make sure you are picking the right players by checking their opponents for the next few Rounds as well as whether the schedule is loaded with away games as opposed to the comfort of home matches in front of a cheering crowd.
4) Keep a Sense of Balance
If you are a Fantasy Manager who likes to play it safe then stick with your strategy for a while and do not give up on your approach if things did not go well for a week or two.
Again, keep in mind that consistency can be of great help but also remain open to making necessary changes. Hence, remain consistent and not resort to sudden change but also try to adapt to the circumstances.
For one, you need to take advantage of the players who are part of the home team. When playing at home, the comfort of knowing the pitch, acknowledging the support of the local fans and creating a fortress mentality all can contribute to the success of the players who are part of the host team. It has been noted that as a home team there is around 33% more chance of winning the game.
There are also a few other tips which can be very useful such as assigning Captains, playing the Wildcard, and having a list of Players to watch and others to avoid..
Captains: It makes little to no sense to go with defenders or goalkeepers. Both positions are more prone to losing points and hence prove costly for a Fantasy Manager. Instead, having a striker or midfielder as a captain can bear fruit- more points and probably a bigger chance of winning because of contributing via goals etc…
Wildcard: This is a tricky one because there is no rule to say you should use the Wildcard now or later on. There is no ideal time to play the Wildcard.
Ideally, you want to save that Wildcard for later in the game or for unforeseen emergencies. What if you have a suspended player? What if the ban got confirmed or extended for one of the players on your team? You must also factor in the possibility of players suffering from injuries.
Players to watch: Just keep an eye not only on bargain players but on players who will be expected to get regular playing time, who are on good teams but perhaps overlooked because they are not part of the top 5 or 6 teams in EPL, and so forth.
Everton is probably one of the clubs capable of coming up with surprise results. They made some signings late in the Transfer Window. Keep an eye on some of Everton’s players
Players to avoid: Avoid players from teams you expect to be fighting to survive in the Premier League. There are clubs which will fall in the category of a “hopeless case” if they have a tough early schedule, and the players will certainly be in a tough situation thus leading to bad performances and little to no points.
Knowing the Premier League’s players and clubs from last season helps as well. This will enable Fantasy Managers to keep an eye on the right players but also avoid potential duds.