This article is brought to you by @_smrf
I like to use ‘game theory’ when playing any fantasy sport as my aim is to win a tournament, not just make a profit.
Sometimes players forget they are playing against other users and for me, the key to being successful is differentiation and leverage.
Depending on how large the contest is, determines how different you need to be.
For the Weekly Monster, you need to think outside the box to have a chance at the top prize.
Ways to Differentiate from the Field
The most obvious way to get a leg up on the rest of the field is to identify the highest-owned defenders and goalkeeper and then pick an opposing goal scorer.
Not only should the scorer be lower-owned (so you gain points others don’t) but you are also taking away clean sheet points from a large percentage of the field if they score.
For example, in the midweek FA Cup monster, understandably Man City defenders were highly owned. However, as soon as Whittaker scored for Swansea, all those defenders lost their clean sheet points.
Whittaker was low-owned so any FanTeam player who picked him also gained points for his goal.
Equally the opposite is true. There’s an advantage from identifying defenders who are up against teams that are expected to win comfortably.
Playing those defenders on the occasion that the favoured opposition doesn’t perform is another way to gain an advantage over the field.
The main obstacle in the way here is confidently predicting the ownership of defenders and goalkeepers. I look at betting odds to give me some idea of what players will be popular and then building lineups based on targeting them.
On the plus side, the sorts of players I’m talking about are usually cheaper so free up money for other spots in your team.
These strategies won’t work every week as there’s a reason players are highly owned…they’re good plays!
But on the weeks that things don’t go as predicted, you have a good chance of finishing high up the leaderboard and maximising your return.
Remember, being successful over the long-term in tournaments isn’t about how many times you win, it’s about how much you win when you do.
The Crystal Palace-Burnley match and the Southampton-Wolves matches currently have the lowest game totals at the bookies. However, there are fantasy pieces I really like in these games.
I’ve paired up Eberechi Eze (8.8m) with Jordan Ayew ($9m) for Crystal Palace. With Eze’s playmaking ability and Ayew hopefully being low owned, they make a great combination.
I’ve gone for a game stack of the Southampton-Wolves matchup by picking four players from this game. I think the individual players may be popular but playing all of them together should be a unique lineup construction.
Obviously, I’m hoping people play defenders from this game, and then it’s a high-scoring affair. This is an example of a leverage play where, in effect, I gain points and other players lose points.
As my lineup is already fairly unique, I can be more chalky with my other pieces. Bukayo Saka (11.7m) for Arsenal is a no brainer for me. He’s involved in everything good that Arsenal does and before his injury, he was on fire.
Picking 2 defenders and goalkeepers from Chelsea and Man Utd is an obvious choice and I can afford to play them as I’ve saved money up top.
Chelsea are rejuvenated under Tuchel and Aaron Wan-Bissaka (10.3m) and Luke Shaw (10.1m) feel like they are assist candidates whenever they take the field.
Generally, I like to make the player who I think will have the lowest ownership my Captain and in this lineup I think it will be Jordan Ayew.
If you have any questions about this article or my team, be sure to reach out on twitter to continue the discussion – @_smrf