Team Selection Strategy. FanTeam
The second article of the series is dedicated to the key moments of team selection while playing fantasy football tournaments on FanTeam.
In the first article we’ve discussed the general moments to be considered while picking fantasy football teams, and now it’s time to move on to the specifics. Team selection on particular platforms mainly depends on the scoring system, pricing of the players and tournament types.
The Scoring System
FanTeam uses a standard scoring system, well known to managers who have played on the official Fantasy Premier League platform, so while picking your team you’ve got to pick the players based on three effective characteristics, delivering lion’s share of points – clean sheets, assists and goals. It doesn’t look too complicated, however, there is a couple of things to have in mind if you want to be successful on FanTeam platform.
First of all, the platform has a narrower definition of an assist. FanTeam only awards points for clean assists, which means the situations when a player makes a pass to his teammate and it is not blocked or interrupted in any way. Even the slightest touch of the ball by a player of the opposite team disallows an assist, intended by your player.
Secondly, a specific bonus scoring system is applied. FanTeam uses statistics provided by OddsModels when evaluating the player’s efficiency on the field, and this one differs a lot from the system applied on FPL platform. It’s virtually impossible to predict a player who will receive a bonus in the vast majority of cases. Obviously, there is no doubt a player will receive a bonus for scoring three or more goals. However, further distribution of bonus points can leave you bemused. Here are a couple of examples from my experience:
1.English Premier League, Gameweek 31. Swansea City 1-0 Aston Villa. The visiting forward Jordan Ayew received one bonus point.
2.English Premier League, Gameweek 30. Leicester City 1-0 Newcastle United. Leicester’s holding midfielder N'Golo Kanté received three bonus points although he didn’t contribute directly to the only goal.
The slightest reasonable conclusion I can make is that when there are few goals in the game, it is the most active players who are awarded with bonus points. Hence it makes sense to pick genuine leaders for your fantasy team, regardless of their position on the pitch.
A lot of managers consider the pricing system used on FanTeam platform to be its principal advantage as it opens immense opportunities for creativity upon picking a team.
In Real Madrid vs. Getafe match the manager’s options differ from 24+ million Cristiano Ronaldo to Getafe defenders, priced at ludicrous 0,7 - 0,8 million. Players with huge fantasy potential cost a fortune, while representatives of the underdogs are offered at very cheap prices, which makes team selection on FanTeam platform quite a unique experience.
Another important aspect is an irrelevant price difference between the starters and reserve players. At first it doesn’t seem to have any particular influence on the picking process as it’s not really important how much the unwanted players cost. However, if you dig deeper, it becomes clear that, when playing on most other platforms, you can pick some cheap reserve players after the starting lineups have been named and save the precious budget for top performers. There is no such possibility on FanTeam.
Types of tournaments
Apart from regular 11-player teams for multi-day tournaments, FanTeam offers unique tournaments with 5 or 6-player teams and peculiar squad picking process. We are going to have a closer look at such tournaments as they come with a slightly different team selection strategy.
Team selection strategy
Standard multi-day tournaments with 11-player teams
I’ve got to make a remark here: the numbers used in the text have been taken from my favorite league, English Premier League, but the approach itself can be used for any other league. We have a budget of 100 million and price tags for the top players exceeding 15m. Obviously, it’s impossible to pick a squad of superstars, and in most cases you can only pick a couple of expensive big guns.
The FanTeam manager’s primary goal is to make a perfect blend of inexpensive players. It’s not too difficult to pick a perfect fit or two from the top players, while it it’s more of an art to find jokers with low price tags who would deliver solid points. Do you remember the table, described in the previous article? It can be proven useful here as well. A perfect FanTeam squad is a combination of inexpensive jokers and several top players matching the expectations.
The vast majority of fantasy managers start picking their squads from top players who are expected to shine during the upcoming matchday and fill the rest of the spots residually, depending on the remaining budget. I am convinced that it’s not the right way to pick a team on FanTeam. First you’d better find a couple of players (four or five according to my estimates) who can earn you good points despite low price tags. To do that, browse through all squad lists and analyze the prices. The pricing is far from being perfect and you can totally find a bunch of odd mismatches. The ‘Jokers’ column from the abovementioned table will be useful here: when you bump into a joker valued at 8 million or below don’t hesitate to pick him. 8 is an abstract figure out of my practice, although I prefer players valued around 6 million.
Here is a couple of clues for
finding cheap yet successful players:
- away clean sheet of a consistent mid-table team;
- an in-form forward/attacking midfielder playing for an underdog team;
- a set-piece taker playing for an underdog team.
Once we’ve chosen the jokers, we can use another lifehack to save the budget: choose the cheapest defender available and bench him. He will normally cost you around 0.8 to 1.5 million and will help you save more funds for the starting eleven. Should you have some money left after the team is complete, you can later replace him with a more promising player who could substitute someone from your lineup in case of emergency.
If everything is done correctly, you will have around 70 million or even more to spend on the remaining six players. It is more than enough to forget about price tags, because once you check the list of the best performers, you’ll be surprised to see that some of them have reasonable prices.
This strategy entitles you to pick players you really need during the entire picking process, while the number of difficult decisions will be reduced to the minimum.
Price analysis is something that managers have to do in the first place before the beginning of a FanTeam tournament. Compare the players and find true bargains. Here is a recent example that has not been forgotten by active FanTeam managers yet. Swansea City hosted Aston Villa in 31-st gameweek of English Premier League and most of the managers gambled on the Swans’ clean sheet. The regular four at the back were Williams, Rangel, Taylor and Fernández, the first three were valued at 9.0-9.1, while the Argentine had the 8.4 price tag. Obviously, I shifted my attention to the latter and thanked FanTeam for the 0.7 million of saved budget. We gambled on the clean sheet and appreciated any saved budget, so important on FanTeam, at the same time – that is why Fernández was a no-brainer. Remarkably, the Argentine scored the winning goal, amassing 15 points and proving his worth. Five successful decisions like that – and you can save as much as 3.5 million on the remaining six players, which is a lot.
Daily tournaments for 5 or 6-player teams
You know the starting lineups at the time of team selection, so make sure to take two things into account:
1.Vice-captain position is not important at all as you know for sure that your captain is set to start.
2.There will be no bench boost whatsoever because you know your lineup beforehand, so simply choose the cheapest player for that position.
Now let’s move to the main strategies of team selection. Basically, there are two of them: defensive and attacking. Look at the perfect examples of both strategies from my recent games.
The attacking strategy assumes huge attacking potential of one of the teams, hence two inexpensive defenders from the opposite team are selected. One of them goes straight to the bench, while the other one should have at least the slightest chances of scoring points. We don’t really care about the points they can deliver as their primary purpose is to save budget for the rival’s attackers. Then we select two midfielders and a striker or two strikers and one attacking midfielder from the favorite team, depending on the lineup and price tags.
The defensive strategy assumes gambling on two defenders and a goalkeeper from the favorite team, expected to record a clean sheet. All that remaining player from the opposite team has to do is stay on the field for at least 60 minutes and avoid yellow and red cards, so try to pick a cool-headed forward. In the given example Kevin Gameiro failed to convert a penalty and scored a blank, which is the manager’s mistake, yet not a critical one in this particular case. A tiny remark: if it wasn’t a Real Madrid game at Santiago Bernabeu, you’d better give the captain’s armband to a defender or a goalkeeper, with the latter being the most secure option as goalkeepers are normally not substituted, might record additional points for saves and are statistically less prone to receiving yellow cards.
Also, don’t be surprised to see many teams similar to yours: the first place is often granted based on bonuses and the right choice of the captain.
That’s probably it regarding key things to remember while picking a team on FanTeam platform. If you have any questions or comments, welcome to the comments box.