Firstly, it is a pleasure to have been invited by Fanteam to have this article posted on their site. They have been very hospitable during our pre-seasons conversations and I am thoroughly looking forward to their season-long Premier League game. Now let’s get down to business and talk through five tips for building your squad for the 2019/20 season.
1. Don’t try to plan too far ahead
Price changes, sudden injuries, drops in form and manager lineup changes will inevitably derail even the best laid long-term plans. Adopting a dynamic approach by looking ahead to the next three to four gameweeks at any point during the season allows you to be aware of what is on the horizon and react to bandwagons early. At the same time, flexibility can be maintained because you are not tied to a set series of transfers over an extended period. But if it all does go wrong, the wildcard chips (one in either half of the season) provide a handy get out of jail free card.
2. Be flexible
Following on from the previous point, maintaining flexibility within your initial squad is important and this can be achieved in a number of ways. Firstly, having cheap bench options who play such as Wolves’ Leander Dendoncker allow you to navigate poor fixtures within your starting XI, whilst also subbing in if one of those players misses a game. A variety of price points, saving a free transfer for the following week and spreading funds across all positions can also achieve this.
3. Place emphasis on captaincy
On average, your captain should be scoring around 25% of your points per week – 17% because they are effectively two of the 12 players you field (captain doubled plus ten others), with an increase on that based on them being premium assets who generally score more points. Therefore, it makes sense to identify the two best options over the next few gameweeks to try and meet an ideal return of 12-16 points (6-8 non-captained) per week.
In a game with hundreds of players to choose from, picking just 15 invariably means you will miss out on a number of top performing players during the season. This can be achieved in a number of ways, be it through picking players with favourable fixtures, a proven track record in the Premier League or from sides expected to perform well this season. The captaincy section emphasises this idea of prioritisation further, by opting for just two from an array of excellent contenders.
5. Keep it simple
With so many articles, podcasts and videos on fantasy football, it can be difficult to keep a clear head when faced by so much noise from other sources. This is why we have put together a list of just five principles to consider, to give you space to develop your own ideas on top of instead of these. Fanteam is intended to be a fun game for players of varying experience to enjoy, so treat it as that and avoid fretting over the odd bad call – we all make them!
Possible Gameweek 1 Lineup
Having mentioned these five tips, we have put together a potential squad of players for Gameweek 1.
Tip 1 was to not plan too far ahead and therefore Liverpool, Manchester City and Bournemouth assets form the bulk of the starting XI due to their favourable early fixtures.
Tip 2 suggested flexibility, achieved through a variety of price points across the team and having four cheap bench options that are all expected to play.
Tip 3 placed emphasis on captaincy. We have selected Mohamed Salah with games against Norwich and Southampton in Gameweek 1 and 2 in mind and Raheem Sterling, who faces Bournemouth and Brighton in Gameweek 3 and 4. The likes of Harry Kane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could do a similar job depending on which of the early season fixtures you prefer.
Tip 4 encouraged prioritisation. There are no Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal or Manchester United players in this team but it is impossible to have everyone. Instead, we opted players from last season’s top two as a core, mostly accompanied by sides with favourable fixtures to start 2019/20.
Tip 5 encompasses all of the above. Having a few key principles and making judgements off those is the key to fantasy football success. Developing your own ideas is important but these should hopefully provide a good starting point. Good luck for the season ahead and we hope you thoroughly enjoy joining us on Fanteam in 2019/20.
Now I am very much looking forward to compete with all of you!