The Tools of the Trade
In this article we will discuss what resources you will need to put yourself on the road to fantasy football stardom. Now unless you only intend to participate in freeroll contests you will need to fund an account at some point and have some form of bankroll management in place, however, our intention here is to focus on your virtual fantasy football ‘office’, pinpointing tools that will help you along the way.
If you prepare properly you will be ready to tackle any contest, so firstly, try to grasp a basic understanding of excel since most sites will present player statistics in some tabulated form. If you can learn to manipulate this data efficiently to identify patterns it will make the player selection process much more straightforward and you will also be able to draw conclusions about significant trends.
The next area to focus on is those notorious bookmakers. It’s one of the oldest occupations around and their success is down to accurately predicting the outcome of sporting events over a sustained period of time.
You should try to factor their odds projections into your calculations to gain better insight into the difficulty of any upcoming fixture. There are numerous odds comparison sites available that can be used for this purpose and our goals feature are also an invaluable asset, converting the odds lines into easy to understand team goal expectancies.
You also need to have good reference material to aid the player selection process. Nothing beats what you see with your own eyes so try to watch as many games as possible but also look to bookmark trustworthy sites that provide detailed analytics on player performance such as WhoScored and join forums and fantasy football communities to participate in or monitor discussions.
Social media might not be everyone’s cup of tea but if you can harness the power of twitter you might put yourself one step ahead of rival managers. Getting first hand teams news is absolutely vital so setting up a twitter account and following the likes of team news guru @BenDinnery is strongly recommended for all fantasy football managers.
Good time management is essential too so you should put provisions in place that will allow you to use your time in the most effective manner. For example, you may need to edit line-ups once official team news filters through so set yourself up to be able to access this information as soon as it breaks. Likewise, there may be occasions when you will be short of time for various reasons such as family commitments so our suggestion is to set up filtered twitter lists to cover both of these scenarios.
These are lists in which you only view the time line from specific accounts that are included. For example, you might just want to see tweets from the official accounts of each English Premier League, MLS or Champions League club and you can do this simply by subscribing to the relevant @FFPortal twitter list or you can set them up manually yourself. Influential figures are also worth following so you may decide to set up lists containing the accounts of people within the game that you believe are authoritative on football matters. These might provide ‘must-read’ match previews or key injury updates, for instance.
If you get these basics in place early you may well reap the benefits in the long run!