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Learnings from last season
In terms of top scoring players Isaac Brizuela Mexico Jersey , last season threw up few surprises in the world of Telegraph Fantasy Football. Ronaldo, Gerrard, Lampard and Vidic all scored well. The big surprise last season though was the emergence of Dirk Kuyt. The Liverpool striker was always admired for his work rate but all too often posed no real goal threat. However, last season he found a new lease of life, reinvented by Rafa Benitez on the right side of Liverpool’s three pronged attack that saw Steven Gerrard operating as a 2nd striker. In this role Hugo Ayala Mexico Jersey , Kuyt became a consistent provider of assists as well as scoring some important goals, accumulating 177 points along the way. This is a fantastic return for a striker who only cost £5.9m. The other surprise star of last season came in the form of Man City’s free scoring midfielder Steven Ireland. There is a certain irony that the richest club in the world’s player of the season was a player who came up through the youth system and had mostly been playing second fiddle to Michael Johnson the year before. Steven Ireland contributed 131 points for a mere £3.4m. It would seem that the big learning from last season is to look to the midfield for the most points for your pound. Strikers converted to wingers playing in a 4-3-3 formation are a also a good bet.
Goalkeepers and defenders
The performance of goalkeepers and defenders more than any other position in Fantasy Football is dictated by the team they play for rather than their own ability. Players such as Matthew Upson and Jonathan Woodgate are good defenders in their own right but if the team they play for leaks goals, they will not get you many points. Where possible, go for attack minded full backs who can get you assists.
You shouldn’t over spend in these areas as goalkeepers and defenders’ main source of points is from clean sheets and therefore can only get you so many points.
Fantasy Football Info recommends: Johnson (Liverpool. £4.0m)
The ‘must haves’
Until this summer, there was only one name in this section. But with Ronaldo’s departure to La Liga Hirving Lozano Mexico Jersey , the title of ‘must have’ player is up for grabs. For me, it boils down to one of two players – the consistent goal threat of Chelsea’s Frank Lampard or the pure inspiration of Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard. Both players play every game when they are fit, both score bags of goals, take free kicks , corners and are the teams’ preferred penalty taker.
Last season Hector Herrera Mexico Jersey , Lampard shaved it with 243 points to Gerrard’s 202 although Gerrard was injured for parts of the season.
Fantasy Football Info recommends: Gerrard (Liverpool. £6.5m)
The true key to a winning Fantasy Football team is picking up the bargain players. The ability to predict who from the newly promoted clubs will do well and which squad players from the rest of the Premier League will hold down a first team place. Choose your bargains wisely. Had you predicted the injury plagued season of Ricardo Carvalho would have had and selected Alex, this foresight would have gained you 127 points for a player worth just £3.8m.
Fantasy Football Info recommends: Valencia (Man Utd. £3.5m)
As with picking out the bargain players for the season, it is also worth looking at taking a calculated risk on some of the lesser teams and the newly promoted teams. In most Premier League seasons there is always on surprise team who over achieve – Fulham last Season, Reading in their first season for example. If you can predict which of these teams will be the surprise, you can pick yourself up some real bargain players.
Fantasy Football Info recommends: Ebanks-Blake (Wolves. £4.9m)
The 30 transfer the Daily Telegraph give to each manager can decide how you fair. Use too many Giovani dos Santos Mexico Jersey , too soon and you risk being left with half a team when the injuries and suspensions start to mount up at the end of the season. Soldier stubbornly on with your original team despite some unexpected poor performers and you’ll be a hundred points off the pace before you know it. The best advice I can give for making transfers is don’t panic! Give the season some time to unfold, don’t jump in and change your strikers just because they haven’t score in the first week. Give it three or four games and see how the land lies.
Make sure you also keep an eye on upcoming fixtures. If one of your defenders next four games is Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal then it may be worth taking in him out until after that particular run of games is over.
Injuries also play a key role in the transfer strategy of most Fantasy Football Managers. The important thing with injuries is to monitor the anticipated return date of your injured player. If one of your star players is out for more than 2 weeks, make the change. If it’s one of your cheaper bargain players out for a couple of weeks it’s not worth wasting a transfer. In general Gerardo Flores Mexico Jersey , any player out of action for 3 weeks or more needs to be replaced.
Making transfers at the right time is an art form. Good luck – see you at the top of the league!
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