We at Fantasy Football Backers are players first, and occasionally our advice pays off. In this case team member Kieran, as his handle Mizungu, walks us through his Game Week 16 team after winning several large field leagues. There are many ways to attack your selection process and it’s important to find what works for you and perfect it.
Behind the Scenes of a GPP Winning Squad Construction
OK, I’m going to talk you through the thought process of picking a team in an upside league of anything in excess of 10 players. Unlike head to head games where it is important you consider selecting players who have the potential for a fantasy points explosion during any given match, with bigger contests you also need to consider how you will distinguish your team from the, potentially, hundreds of others.
I’m going to use my selection for GW 16 on WooFBet. I entered 4 competitions:
137 player Freeroll
124 player Freeroll
33 player cash contest
23 player cash contest
I used the same team for all 4 contests and was lucky enough to win all of them. I say lucky, and there will always be an element of luck in selecting a winning team, but there is certainly more to it than that. The important part is getting yourself in a position to win. If you get your strategy wrong, all the luck in the world probably won’t dig you out of the hole you’ve created.
Over this game week I also entered a 5 man contest on Mondogoal and won. There were only 4 players who made both of my teams. The reduced field in my Mondogoal contest demanded I took less risk with my team.
My strategy begins with looking for value in defenders. There is normally a team whose defenders won’t have many admirers. Look closely enough though and maybe for this particular day, it’s not such a bad match up! In this instance a struggling WBA were at home to low scoring Aston Villa. Even though WBA are up against it, they’ve not really had a thumping yet. It may only be a matter of time as confidence erodes but for this fixture there were signs during their previous match at Hull that their defence is ok. The biggest plus and decisive factor was that they were at home.
Conversely, Villa had only scored more than 1 goal in a game once since August. They were joint lowest scorers in the prem going into the match and the bookies had WBA as favourites for the game. Yeah there was risk but the stats backed my decision to load my team with WBA defenders. The sending off was the bit of luck but the strategy was sound. As I say there is always risk in setting up your team in an upside league, the key is to weigh up those risks.
The other advantage of picking those unlikely defenders is that they’re available at minimum cost and it frees up your budget to go get the players you really want in your team, that cost a bit more. I only needed 1 more defender to finish my line-up at the back and of all the defences, Chelsea’s at home to Hull was the standout option for a clean sheet, again backed up by the bookies. Ivanovic completed my defence.
The next bit was a bit of a balancing act. I needed to select another 7 players, 3 or 4 of which needed to be my key players over the weekend, the rest of my team would then be chosen within whatever budget I had left. My key players were Costa, Hazard, Mata and Cazorla. In short, they were all at home and in good form with the possible exception of Costa who was due a goal – again look at the bookies odds in each match for anytime goalscorer to guide you.
The final 3 selections were based primarily on budget, looking for value, combined with some statistical insight and a bit of gut feel. I picked a game where I figured the home team would get plenty of possession and a few chances. Mirallas and Lukaku fitted the bill. My gut feel was for Dzeko at Leicester where he has scored in the past. Dzeko got injured in the warm up and I wasn’t around to transfer him out!
So despite the fact 2 of my selections didn’t play, I was able to get success. (On WooFBet I had Pozo on the bench and he was automatically subbed in for Dzeko which is a great feature that contains a good bit of strategy in itself. Dawson did not play for West Brom). Fortunately my other players were able to pick up the slack this time, but generally having a player not play can be very damaging, particularly on sites that reward points for pitch time.
This is my strategy. It isn’t foolproof though it has certainly shown signs of success. There are other strategies; the important bit is to have one. If after a few weeks it isn’t working for you, develop another. Good luck!