Hey all! I’ve started sharing my Fanteam weekly for a little fun and it’s a game I’m enjoying.
This week it’s a little different.
We’re playing for a ticket to enter a ~£439,750 prize pool tournament coming up. The ticket is worth £990 and we can win that if we place in the top 50 this week if staking the usual £18. Or in the top 10 if we stake just £1.80.
Change is scary. But this is a special event. If we look at the number of entrants at time of writing it’s about 600 teams so assuming that grows between now and kick off to 1,000 to 1,500 or so… placing in the top 50 of that feels like decent odds given what you can win versus what you are staking. Top 10 might be a stretch but then your stake is very low at £1.80 in that case.
It’s also a strange-ish game week with just 6 games to go, and a few of those could be very one sided.
If you want to play, the deadline for this weeks tournament is 3pm today. And if you join, I’d appreciate if you do so using this link which gets me a small commission and supports the creation of content like this.
And also check out my article here for the Euro 2020 mini-game I am organising with Fanteam where you can get an extra prize exclusively for readers!
As we get to the end of a season things get very choppy because frankly, not everyone is trying. Or if they are it might be more with building for next season in mind.
We are picking from just 12 teams here. 4 have something to play for. And 8 have varying degrees of not having to care that much.
West Brom, Sheffield and Fulham all feature and all are relegated already. They have targets painted on them, but may also provide some differentials – following the “playing with freedom” cliché as teams can improve with pressure removed.
Southampton, Brighton, Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, Wolves are mid-table with little to play for. This makes me wary but at the same time there could be some attacking differentials here. I’m less inclined to trust teams with nothing to play for defensively, though.
But some teams will need to go for it.
Liverpool, Everton, West Ham and Tottenham will be at full throttle so can be trusted much more. Ideally we’d get defenders here but these teams are going to be expensive. It’s one of the things I like about Fanteam’s player pricing – it forces real strategy choices.
I haven’t got as far as looking at players yet but instinctively I’m going to want some big hitters from the favourites as my spine. I normally like to go a little against the grain in one shot games but in late season when only a few teams can really be trusted? It just seems foolish to bet against these teams.
We will have to find some differentials amongst the relegated/mid-table teams and if we want points not many people have this is where they will come from.
You could alternatively go for a strategy which ignores 2 or more of those 4 big favourites, purely in the hope they underperform and your team of higher quality alternatives could carry you to victory. It’s very viable. Those choosing lots of favourites are going to have to fill their team with some dross to accomodate them.
And some people enter two teams to cover this possibility, although I have grumbled about multi-teaming myself I don’t think it’s very sportsmanlike.
Let’s see what we can put together.
Starting at the back this time, we’ll go with whipping boy Johnstone whose main virtue is he is cheap. Really cheap, so much cheaper than even the other cheap keepers. He’s likely to get battered but he can be good for save points. I generally do not pick a keeper facing my own attackers but when you are only expecting save points, this is ok.
This frees up money for defenders with more attacking threat which in my opinion is good points per £ play.
In goes Alexander-Arnold, another premium who brings obvious clean sheet and goal involvement potential. And Coleman has looked dangerous recently too following the switch to 3-5-2. He compares favourably to Digne in his underlying stats and he is .7m cheaper which is important as we are really penny pinching here.
Vestergaard goes in as a pair with Ward-Prowse. Nobody looks more vulnerable to set pieces than Fulham in recent games, so Ward-Prowse plus a CB with goal threat from headers could combine really well. And Fulham are struggling to score giving Vestergaard clean sheet potential too. Value.
Villa vs Crystal Palace I see instinctively as a free scoring game, nobody has anything to play for and both are middle of the pack for attacking and defensive strength. And if you check the betting odds for over 2.5 goals the bookies are expecting goals too.
So we go for Benteke at Palace, who is in great form and I think kindly priced. He’s yet to fully shake off a tarnished reputation. But if these goal threat numbers were Kane or Lukaku or Lewandowski we’d all be falling overselves to be impressed. The Fanteam algorithm doesn’t like him much either yet and that makes him value in my eyes.
And we pick up Traoré from Villa who again is kindly priced. He only has 1 goal and 0 assists in the last 6. But that feels unfortunate, he’s getting regular chances.
We then go for Brighton which is a risk because it goes against my instinct of backing West Ham who are the team with something to play for. But we have to go for value somewhere and West Ham players were too expensive to fit in. So I’m targetting West Ham who actually have a leaky defence giving away plenty of chances.
Welbeck and Trossard could be differentials – both of whom are getting better chances than recent form might suggest.
Then for my two biggest hitters I’m running with the Golden Boot race story here between Kane and Salah. Both are form players against poor sides and might just get that little edge from team mates trying that little bit harder to find them. Boring. Obvious. But they provide good captaincy options and I’ll be going for Salah(C).
There is a notable absence of Everton attackers which could punish me. But Calvert-Lewin was just too expensive, more so than Kane. DCL is arguably in better form but my thinking with Kane is that historically he has been more explosive. When Kane pops off, he can really pop off and add assists too. Where as DCL rarely scores more than 1.
I just didn’t see much value in the way the game is pricing Everton this week, except for Coleman who might cover any Everton goal with an assist. Hopefully.
Good luck with your teams today if you are playing!
There is a link to join Fanteam below if you want to give this a go. And also check out my article here for the Euro 2020 mini-game I am organising with Fanteam where you can get an extra prize exclusively for readers.