STRATEGY

Picking a player

Garbage men and battering rams

The current fantasy scoring system clearly favours players that play certain roles for their teams. Players who sacrifice, do damage and die for their teammates to clean up on are of little interest to us. We want the fragging machines and these are generally clean up players who finish off their team's damage or players who successfully lead ubers and crush the opposition. These aren't necessarily limited by class so knowing how each team works is key to making the right pick.

Caps win rounds

To stop the poor bitch scouts who have to sit there capping while their team mates clean up the fleeing enemy players being marginalised, caps are awarded points (although it now seems a lot more players are stacking the point all of a sudden). Take into account players who will be expected to cap for their teams. They may not get the best fragging points but they will make up for it when their team does well.

It's a team game

A lot of the points are team related, points for wins, round difference, etc, so getting players on teams that are going to win games will naturally boost their chances of getting points. They don't have to be the star players, consider their price against the number of points their team can expect to get.

Never mind the quality, feel the width

When it comes to player purchase price, what you're looking for are inefficiencies in the pricing and players that will get the most points for your virtual $. As well as the the quality of the player, there's their availability to consider; will they be playing in every game?

Going against the herd

It may be tempting to just pick the same players as everyone else (following the meta) but you'll never win making the same selections. Making audacious yet successful selections of lesser known or unfavoured players is the best way to secure a significant competitive advantage, particularly if they're cheap.

 

Team building strategies

Stacking

This strat involves stacking as many star players on top teams as you can afford and then making up the rest with the cheapest players available. The main reward here is that you're getting assured points from your heavy hitters, but you're unlikely to get anything positive from the cheapest players as you're not even making a value judgement with them other than their low price.

Good team, cheap player

As so many points come from team performance, picking up the cheapest players on teams that you think will win may not get you many individual points, but it will net you plenty of game winning and capping points. This strategy requires more of your ability to judge a team's overall quality, but beware of roaming soldiers. Just because they're on a good team it doesn't mean they will come out with positive stats potentially wiping out their team's efforts.

Bargain hunting

This is what most people really end up doing, trying to acquire the best value for their $. Each player is assessed individually for likely points earned and balanced against how much of your precious financial resources they will consume. There is really no end to the amount of time you can spend looking into each player, using logs, watching games, picking up gossip and researching around the players from outside the fantasy game.

Tactical reserve

You don't have to spend all your budget, and if you're going to be active making transfers leaving yourself a bit of room can make sense. If you insist on maxing out your budget you will frequently have to use up an extra transfer just to make one change often forcing you to make another change that you didn't want to or that isn't in your best interests. Leaving a small amount of your budget free will mean you're less likely to be forced into this position and more of your transfers will be meaningful.

 


Schedules

Weaker teams don't always lose

So you're looking at players on a mid rank team, but there's nothing to choose between them. The question is will they win the games they're going to play while you've got them? Studying the schedule is key to determining which of the various less than stellar players you will need to buy to select. Even if they're going to have a hard run later you can always sell them before they hit that tough run of games and seek out the equivalent you discarded before who may now have an easier schedule.

Little and often fills the purse

As well as the strength of schedule, how many times a player will be active in the near future determines strongly how many points they will earn for you. The schedules teams play are rarely uniform and almost always fluctuate with opportunties to grab players that have games close together. Similarly if you think a default is likely you should stay away from those players.

But while you're considering schedule, also consider how reliably their team fulfills it's games according to schedule. You might buy them in good faith and end up with nothing when their game gets unexpectedly moved to next week.

 

Using transfers

Use it or lose it

Transfers don't accrue over time so if you don't use them you don't get the benefit. By all means if you're 100% happy with your team stay with it, but don't expect to get a loyalty bonus from holding onto them.

Use early, get more

Because transfers essentially "recharge" over 7 days from when they are made using them early will give you more transfers over a season than someone who leaves it a day or two before making up their mind every time. It's a careful balancing act to get the players you want at the right time and take advantage of this, and maximising your transfers is only worthwhile if they're worth making, but for ones you want to make be decisive and do it early.


The Economy

What to do with a rising player value?

A player becoming more valuable will have two effects, they'll be bought less often by people creating new teams and they're more likely to be sold to fund team building in other areas. Because their rising value is based on popularity that means the more valuable they become, the more likely they are to stop rising in value. When your players go up in value you have to ask yourself whether they're still giving you value in comparison to other players who could fill their slot, and whether the money they provide could be used to help strengthen another area of your team instead. Alternatively if you think their value will keep rising and you they're still well priced, keep hold of them.

For a player you don't already own, if you were considering buying a player whose value has risen, reconsider them in comparison to the other options available. If they still seem good value for the points you expect them to earn then go for it anyway, if other team owners agree they will also continue to buy him guaranteeing further price rises. If you think that they've reached their peak value then you're unlikely to get further price increases - you must be sure of the value of the points they will earn for you.

What to do with a falling player value?

A player becoming less valuable may panic you into selling as they are dragging down your buying power, but don't jump too quickly. It's possible at their new price they present better value than they did and that other players will start buying them, preventing a further fall. Look carefully at their schedule and consider the points they're likely to produce.

For a player you don't own, a dropping price represents an opportunity. Re-evaluate any re-priced players next to their peers and reconsider whether they're a fit for your team. If you think they are the chances are many other team owners will agree, and when you all pick that player the drops in value will stop.

Playing the market

Because these changes are based on the popularity of players you may feel you're getting a lot richer, but so are other team owners too. Playing the market as well as accruing maximum points takes skill, but you should target the latter. Be aware that to win means making some unexpected decisions that differentiate you from the crowd, and these may also involve picking perhaps less valued players. The economic fluctuations now mean that there is a stronger risk/reward mechanic at work, and timing your decisions well is key.