Dale Johnson recently listed the top 15 point-producing players along with his usual excellent analysis for this season’s Premier Fantasy competition.
Obviously having as many of those players as possible would be a key to success as a fantasy manager.
However, under the game’s budget rules, you could never have the top 15 players in your budget, even if budgets could increase or decrease during the season depending on how players perform. The salaries for the top 15 point-producing players at their positions totaled 130.3 million pounds.
So, using the 100-million pound budget figure, here are two examples of how a fantasy manager could have had at least four of the top players at their positions and remain at the 100-million pound budget threshold.
The first example has a roster with the highest point-producing players at each of the four positions and then using the highest affordable salary, I selected the best point-producing players to fill out the 15-man roster with no more than three players from one team on it. The 15 player’s salaries at the end of the season were 100 million pounds.
Goalkeepers: Hart, Manchester City (top points for a GK), 185 points, 7.4 million
Bench: Reina, Liverpool, 143 points, 5.2 million
Defenders: Evra, Manchester United (top points for a Defender), 164 points, 8.5 million
Skrtel, Liverpool, 135 points, 5.8 million
Enrique, Liverpool, 129 points, 5.7 million
Bench: Kaboul, Tottenham, 123 points, 5.9 million
Warnock, Aston Villa, 122 points, 4.8 million
Midfielders: Dempsey, Fulham (top points for a Midfielder), 237 points, 10.1 million
Ward, Wolves, 137 points, 6.3 million
Etherington, 135 points, Stoke City, 5.8 million
Murphy, Fulham, 136 points, 5.7 million
Hoolahan, Norwich City, 124 points, 5 million
Forwards: Van Persie, Arsenal (top points for a Forward) 251 points, 11.5 million
Yakubu, Blackburn, 155 points, 7.6 million
Morison, Norwich City, 124 points, 4.7 million
Adding all the player points doesn’t prove much because only eleven players receive points each week. And there is the double-point factor for those players selected as captain for each week. Nonetheless, the total points for the 15 players above are 2300. The leading fantasy team in the world was The Mr Men with 2573 points; however, when comparing that number with the above 2300 points, The Mr Men had 38 weeks of captains getting double points. (Sir John’s Lads only had 2283.)
If a fantasy manager had chosen Van Persie as captain for every game played in the above roster, the Dutchie would have had 502 points, bringing the roster’s total to 2551; very close to the best in the world.
A second example uses strategy that while within the rules, is hardly keeping with the spirit of the game, which is to field the 15 most competitive players. Most of the top managers in the world this season resorted to a scheme of having at least one player who was either on loan, injured, suspended, or otherwise unavailable. The key was having one or two bench players with the lowest possible salary. By doing that, it freed up money for higher-priced players who would be in the starting XI. In reality, while a bit shady, it was a smart approach. There are indications the rules will be changed next season to circumvent that tactic.
Here is a roster that uses bargain basement salaries to bring in the top two scoring defenders, midfielders, and strikers. Listed are fantasy points for each player this season and his ending salary:
Goalkeepers: Hart, Manchester City, 185 points, 7.4 million
Bench: Devries, Wolves, 12 points, 4 million
Defenders: Evra, Manchester United, 164 points, 8.5 million
Terry, Chelsea, 154 points, 8.2 million
Shorey, WBA, 69 points, 4 million
Bench: Martin Olssson, Blackburn, 63 points, 4 million
Steinsson, Bolton, 58 points, 4 million
Midfielders: Dempsey, Fulham, 237 points, 10.1 million
Bale: Tottenham, 208 points, 9 million
Hoolahan, Norwich City, 124 points, 5 million
Scharmer, WBA, 82 points, 4.1 million
Delap, Stoke City, 72 points, 4.1 million
Forwards: Van Persie, Arsenal, 251 points, 11.5 million
Rooney, Manchester United, 211 points, 11.7 million
Klasnic, Bolton, 99 points, 4.4 million
The budget for the players above was 100 million. Total points: 1989, which shows you can only afford to do this with one or two lesser or garbage players on the roster. Doubling Van Persie’s points as captain increases the total to 2240 (43 points less than what Sir John’s Lads did playing it straight).
I think the analysis above once again confirms that success in ESPN’s Fantasy Soccer is a combination of research, timing, captain selection, injuries, Premier League manager’s choice, and the bounce of the ball.
Have a good summer. Sir John will be dealing with Premier League withdrawal blues by half-heartedly playing the Euro 2012 fantasy game and following the Olympics. Truth be told, he will not be back to normal until August 18.