The challenges of a modern day fantasy manager

by Jonathan Day

The days of leaving the captain’s armband with Lampard, Gerrard, Henry or Ronaldo and being assured of points every gameweek seem a long way away.

There seem to be few players today who can regularly guarantee picking up fantasy points week in and week out over the course of a season. Rooney and Aguero have both started off brilliantly this term, but it seems unlikely this will be maintained over 38 gameweeks considering injuries, suspensions and the demands of European competition on the pair.

Fantasy managers have instead opted for a choice of three or more potential captains in their side and whilst this gives more options for the captain’s armband each gameweek, it’s also left many fantasy managers making the wrong captain choice and cursing their luck.

Squad rotation seems to be even more of an issue this season. The arrival of Andre Villas-Boas at Chelsea, the late bombardment of somewhat desperate transfers at Arsenal, injuries at Old Trafford and an embarrassing wealth of talent at Manchester City has seen a level of inconsistency in team selection not previously seen this early in a fantasy season.

The gem of finding the ‘next Charlie Adam’ also seems lost, after the Scottish midfielder’s strong points haul for Blackpool last season, had fantasy managers itching to find the next big thing out of the newly promoted trio. Adel Taarabt was a strong fancy prior to the start of the season, but the Moroccan playmaker has yet to shine and a proposed big money move may have unsettled the former Spurs man. Swansea’s Scott Sinclair seems a safer bet currently, especially with the forward on penalty duties for the Swans.

For many fantasy managers the focus has now shifted to player ‘differentials’. Players of value and regular starters who provide an alternative to other fantasy sides. The likes of Ramsey, Mata, Van der Vaart, Luiz, Bent and Carroll are all currently selected by less than 5% of all fantasy managers and could provide an opposing route to fantasy success.

With the international break over and another fantasy wildcard due in January, now seems a perfect time to reassess your squad, kick-start your season and start climbing up those fantasy league tables.

Jonathan Day

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