Here’s FFGeek Contributor Sergio Torija with his FanTeam midseason review
Sergio Torija’s FanTeam midseason review
Sergio’s last 4 seasons in FPL were 2k, 596k, 17k and 21k. He was last seasons FFGeek Contributor league winner
I (Geek) am an affiliate of Fanteam. Sign up here if you’re interested.
Fanteam is a fantasy site similar to FPL in many ways with various ways of playing including a season long game for the Premier League, daily fantasy sports and a matchup game. Each format has a different cost to participate and there are various price levels. Remember to gamble responsibly
Here’s an introductory article I did on the FanTeam season long game
At the start of the season I had an initial look at Fanteam’s Fantasy Premier League game which has a very appealing £200,000 prize for the winner, and good pay-out prizes for the top 5,000 teams in the game. With just over 25,000 teams entered into the game, that is prize money for about 20% of the entries.
We are now exactly halfway through the season after last week’s double set of games, so it feels the ideal time to have a look at how things are going in Fanteam for me. As introduced in the original article, this is the first season that I play their game, so I always intended to take it as a learning experience, although of course with the hope to land some money at the end of the season.
All in all, I ended up entering 8 teams into the game through satellite tournaments, a few more than I was originally planning to, and I think this has probably been too many for me. I’ve been playing the game very casually until now. I really think that to manage such an amount of teams a more structured (planned) approach is required. Despite all this, I am fairly happy with how things are going so far. I’ve got 4 teams in the prize places, with one of them not too far from the top. Got 2 more teams not too far behind prize places either, but the final 2 teams are probably a lost cause by now since they are doing poorly.
Let’s look at a few of my learnings as a novice in the game this year
Does it matter when to enter the teams at the start of the season?
Fanteam gives the option to enter teams late into the game, but still get points for the weeks past (70% of the average), which in turn could be used as an early wildcard to bring in the favourite players that started the season late (United, City) and also to build team value early in the season.
Of my 8 teams, I entered 3 prior to gameweek 1, another 3 before gameweek 2 and the last two prior to weeks 4 and 5.
Did the entering time matter for my current scores? Not really for the teams entered in the first couple of weeks, but the 2 very late entries I made are my worst 2 teams. Is it a coincidence or not, I am not sure, but I think starting so much behind puts you an additional pressure to recover ground that probably doesn’t help with making decisions.
What was the best time to play the wildcard?
Unlike in FPL, Fanteam’s game only chip is the wildcard. There is no free hit, bench boost or triple captain. This makes the wildcard chip even so more valuable.
Me being new into the game, I really didn’t have a clue at the start of the season of what would be the best wildcard timing, so decided to play the wildcard at different times for different teams. In hindsight, I can see I played a few of them in really bad moments, particularly wasted a couple thinking that I needed to play the wildcard before GW17 (as in FPL), but no, actually in Fanteam it was possible to play it right until GW19… Which in my view, was definitely the best time for it.
Given the COVID cancellations and fixtures rearrangements, a wildcard played in GW18 let you load up in Arsenal, City, United, Villa, West Ham, and that helped to have 11 players for blank gameweek
18, while 11 doublers or close for double gameweek 19. The couple of teams where I had kept the wildcard really benefitted from this strategy.
When to play the second wildcard then? Definitely wait to see how the fixtures land for the blanks and doubles, and then play it in the way that maximises the amount of players with fixtures.
What about team value?
Another difference to FPL, when selling players in Fanteam you keep their actual value. It is not like FPL were you only bank half the difference between sell price and buy price. This makes it easier to grow team value, while the players prices are in general not more expensive than FPL. Indeed, if something, I would say there are many more cheapie options in Fanteam than in FPL. Notable examples: Meslier and Darlow started the season at 4.0, Man City’s defenders at 5.0, and even attackers that play at 4.0 such as Bisouma. Price changes during the week are pretty random at times, but that is another story…
Does it matter then to build team value at the beginning of the season? I might be a little biased on this, since not even in FPL I am big about team value. My 8 teams currently have team values between 101 and 105, with really no correlation with their overall position. My best team value is 104, as it is the value of my worst team. My two lowest valued teams at 101 are both inside the top 5,000.
So for me, no, team value not something to bother too much about. Just bring the best players for points, not for pounds.
What to look for until the end of the season?
As widely discussed by the Geek and the various contributors on the website and our podcasts, this season is really weird. Games can get cancelled with no notice, star players might miss without prior warning and you really need to be flexible and play what is right in front of you.
Long-term planning is really tricky, and I would focus in the coming 3 or 4 gameweeks, which is shorter time frame than I would normally do. As discussed above, the value of the second wildcard is immense. I would try to hold onto it by all possible means, so that it can be played around blanks and doubles. Otherwise you can easily end up going into a blank gameweek with 3 players or not optimise your team for the doubles, while the value of playing it not around blanks and doubles is in my opinion way lower.
As for my experience this year playing this game, I’ve been enjoying so far, and I am sure will keep doing so for the rest of the season. I am thinking to soon start using my 2 badly performing teams to trial alternative strategies. But I don’t envisage doing drastically different strategies with the rest of my teams, at least not until the very end.
Then, come the last 3 or 4 weeks of the season, definitely for anyone in the luxury position to have a few teams near the top, I would recommend attempting different strategies to try get into the top at least with one team. In Fanteam, the better manager is not the regular one that gets all its teams around position 1,000 (a very good finish in my opinion), but the manager that makes it into the top 10 with one team, even if with its other teams does badly.
But all of that is still far away, for now, I think the best is to keep playing your game without radical changes, in order to be well set for that last push at the end.
I will be back to review my Fanteam season after GW38, until then, very good luck to all the Geekers that play Fanteam’s Fantasy Premier League game.
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