1. Avoid the low scoring stars- Every year fantasy managers fall into the trap of wasting precious budget space on players who just don’t score points. With a maximum of 100 million pounds available to spend, it is vital that when choosing the two or three “marquee players” to include, mistakes are not made. Players like Luka Modric must be avoided; though the Croatian is as talented as any midfielder in the league, his fantasy value is far below that of others who are unquestionably inferior. Performance points are only a minor part of the scoring system, so players who score and assist are much more valuable than those who though skillful, don’t rack up impressive statistics.
2. Find the big team’s cheap defender- Any experienced fantasy player knows that defenders never score as many points as midfielders and strikers. Therefore, it is important for the majority of your budget to be concentrated towards the midfield and forward line rather than the defense. However, this does not mean totally sacrificing defensive scoring, there are plenty of players who, though cheap, score as many points as more illustrious counterparts. Teams like Manchester United have consistently featured defenders who lack the glamor of men such as John Terry and Rio Ferdinand, but who nevertheless start consistently for a club that doesn’t concede many goals.
3. Go easy on the new signings- Caught up in the whirl of excitement generated by a major new signing, many fantasy managers end up wasting their money on high profile flops. However successful a player has been in another league, it is wise to wait a couple weeks before splashing out on him. Sure, there are plenty of footballers who make an instant impact upon arrival, but the vast majority of foreign signings take time to adjust.
4. Fill the side with penalty takers- When looking for a moderately priced midfielder or attacker, it is important to consider penalty duties. With only 6-7 million left in the bank, goalscorers like Frank Lampard and Cesc Fabregas are just too expensive, but fear not, there are always ample numbers of alternative goalscorers. Player like Chris Brunt and, last season at least, Charlie Adam represent a genre of fantasy footballer who can guarantee upwards of eight goals a season – without the price tag. Penalty takers for clubs lower down in the table are always worth a punt, especially as cheap options used only to make space for more pricey stars.
5. Avoid sulking stars- Sometimes, no matter how much they whine, strike and threaten, unhappy stars can’t push through a move. This summer, it is seems increasingly probable that want away players like Samir Nasri and Carlos Tevez will stay put – two of the league’s most productive point scorers last season, they should be avoided at all costs. There is no telling how an unhappy player will approach a new campaign, some just get on with it and continue to fight, but others sulk until the last. With a plethora of talent available, it is not worth it to risk everything on a player that clearly wants out.