Whether it’s football, basketball, baseball, soccer or another sport, fantasy leagues are a staple of the sporting season for many, allowing family, friends and colleagues to compete against one another.
US interest in fantasy sports has grown threefold over the last dozen years, as reported by 888casino, with fantasy sports betting fueling a $26 billion industry.
But how do players prepare their teams for crucial games and big events? Here are four top tips from the people who know best.
Get a handle on the rules
Fantasy sports league formats differ drastically depending on the host and the sport. Prior to selecting a team, it’s vital to understand the scoring rules. How much money do you have to spend on your roster? What kind of league is it? How many points does your striker get when they score a goal?
Athlon Contributor and Fantasy Sports Writer Association (FSWA) Member Chris Meyer offers the following advice for those looking to gain an early advantage over their competitors: “The bottom line is, know your league rules, understand them and if possible make note of them on your draft day cheat sheet, spreadsheet, fantasy guide, or whatever you will be using in the heat of draft battle.
“Sound overwhelming? Well, it kind of is, but if you put the work in, you will likely have an upper hand on other owners who may not do the same.”
Be proactive, not reactive
A common mistake made by fantasy players is to look at what others in their league are doing and make decisions based on that.
So, if an opponent drafts Ryan Mathews, don’t be tempted to draft Wendell Smallwood just to irk them or in the hope that they’ll want to trade halfway through the season. The NFL, and other leagues, have plenty of good players to go around.
Look for popular players
Saying that, in some sports it’s important not to miss out on a dominant player. As Fantasy Premier League Champion Simon March says: “Players who are highly-owned among managers can have a defining impact on individual game weeks and the season as a whole.
“Historically, star players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suárez have pushed towards 50 percent ownership in a season, and it can be devastating to your league position if you are lacking such players when they deliver.”
Use transfers wisely
Although a major part of fantasy football is the original draft, the balance can often be tipped mid-season, when transfers or swaps come into the equation. This is especially true in soccer, where many fantasy leagues allow players to make one or two ‘free transfers’ each week, with points deducted from players’ totals if they go over the limit.
“Where possible, try to carry over free transfers. Using two transfers in one go can make a far more dramatic difference to your team than using just one transfer each week,” March advises.
“Try to leave your transfers as late as possible in the game week, allowing yourself the opportunity to absorb as much team information as possible from news conferences and other sources. This will help you avoid squandering transfers on players who become injured or unavailable.”
A little preparation can go a long way when it comes to fantasy; follow these tips to maximize your chances of success.
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