Fantasy Football Blog

Fantasy: Picking your formation

Fantasy Football Blog

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We continue our guide to the Fantasy Premier League game by guiding you on
how to choose your formation.

Unlike football management simulation games, you are restricted in your
choice of formation, so no bright sparks trying to cheat their way to victory by
choosing seven goal-scoring attacking midfielders in a 3-5-3 formation.

You can play 3-5-2, 4-4-2, 4-3-3 and 3-4-3 and you can change it at will.

Of course 3-4-3 gives you the most attacking options but, with the advanced
age of Fantasy sports, this does not guarantee maximum points on a weekly
basis.

Points are given and taken for saves, clean sheets, tackles, interceptions,
fouls, cards, assists, shots, crosses and wins and losses, with weightings
given by player position and the relative importance of each incident.

Value for money is key: cost is weighted according to
point-scoring potential and points are awarded on a weekly as opposed to
game-by-game basis, so the side or sides your players are facing each week
makes selection of player - and formation - crucial.

Of course you need a goalkeeper. Manchester United's Edwin van der Sar may not score the most points
if he is playing someone rubbish and spends the whole match
scratching his backside, whereas Fulham's Mark Schwarzer is more likely to keep a clean
sheet and make a dozen stops against a fellow upper-mid-table side like West
Ham.

They rarely get rotated though so will play most games -
get one cheap, see his team do well and you could be laughing until May.

Defenders score fewer points but are, by default, cheaper
than midfielders and strikers.

You need to be aware that you should rotate them every now
and again though, even if their club bosses do not: if two of your stoppers are
playing against top teams three times in seven days it would be advisable to
take them out of the firing line for at least one of the matches.

Midfielders are as much about prevention as creation but
you may want to maximise attacking potential if one of your men is facing
goal-shippers like Hull or, possibly, Burnley,
while focusing on your destroyers if he is up against United or Liverpool. 

They are the most susceptible to real-life squad rotation
though, so be mindful of what Rafa Benitez could be thinking before selecting Albert Riera ahead of the Reds' clash with
Wolves.

Strikers are the obvious points-scorers so most Fantasy
bosses go with three up front, even if in reality most Premier League managers
play a lone centre-forward.

Match-ups are important: if three of your boys are playing
against bottom-four sides it is worth playing even Bobby Zamora and dropping one of your defenders
as you go from 4-4-2 to 3-4-3.

But remember: they are often the most injury-prone and
susceptible to losses of confidence so follow their form with interest.

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