Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Gameweek 31 - Daily Fantasy Premier League Tips

Starting 11 is a new Daily Fantasy Premier League football game and app, which has become extremely popular amongst the FPL community since August 2017, as managers get to pick a brand new fantasy team each week, without the headache of managing a season-long team.

As always, this week’s picks are suitable for all fantasy football game formats and will suit most scoring systems, so we hope you find good use for them, whether you’re playing Fantasy Premier League, or daily fantasy games over at Starting 11.

If you’d like to get involved this week by challenging us, simply create your lineups for Gameweek 31 today via the FREE Apple app.


Safe Pick -  Salah v Watford (H)

I can’t see last weekend’s blank vs Manchester United causing any doubt for fantasy bosses – having shared the limelight with Kane all season, Salah is this week’s stand out asset by a country mile.

Whether you have him as part of your midfield on Fantasy Premier League, or in your forward line-up for Starting 11 – a home tie vs Watford means the Egyptian is just about as safe as they come.
After a good run of results for the Hornets, they were convincingly beaten 3-0 by Arsenal on Sunday – I expect Liverpool to do something similar.

Differential - Benteke v Huddersfield (A)

The desperate things a Blank Gameweek will cause us to consider – after being burnt by Benteke in the past I might potentially line up my strangest ever transfer over on FPL, Harry Kane for Christian Benteke…..

Benkete is not without form, having provided returns in seven of his last nine games – admittedly the majority of which have been assists.

Up against a Huddersfield side who have conceded 50 goals this season, the third highest behind Stoke and West Ham – I fancy Benteke as a useful differential on Saturday.


Safe Pick –  Shaqiri vs Everton (H)

Shaqiri has scored three of Stoke’s last four goals - highlighting once again that if Stoke are to find the back of the net, the Austrian will be involved.

On Saturday Stoke host Everton, a side that has conceded nine goals during their last five games and continue to be unreliable at the back.

In a Gameweek which includes limited key players, Shaqiri is likely to be relied upon by a number of fantasy bosses this weekend.

Differential Pick – Stanislas v West Brom (H)

Who are West Brom playing this week?  Bournemouth?  Get a Cherry or two in your fantasy teams!

A player looking to take advantage will be Stanislas, who tops the charts for the number of shots during the last four Gameweeks (16) – equal with Kane and two more than Salah.

I am backing Stanislas this week – having nailed down a place in the starting line-up, his goal against Spurs last weekend made it three in six games for the midfielder.


Safe Pick – Robertson v Watford (H)

It’s a strange situation to be in where our best chance of a clean sheet comes from a Liverpool defender – still not convinced?  Well at least Robertson can offer you some attacking potential.

Robertson has looked dangerous in advanced positions lately and his displays have impressed me enough for him to be the preferred defensive option in my Starting 11 line-up over van Dijk – backed up by his assist against West Ham during Gameweek 28.

With Watford only managing to score three times in five games, I know I will be loading up on Liverpool at the back this week.

Differential Pick – Daniels v West Brom (H)

Bournemouth’s last clean sheet was six games ago vs Chelsea - but with only eight teams on offer, we work with what we have available!

West Brom look defeated, the Championship looms and the players know it – heads have dropped and their opposition can take full advantage.

I want to see some of those attacking returns we all know Daniels is capable of this weekend!


Safe Pick – Begovic v West Brom  (H)

In for a penny, in for a pound – stack that defence with a Bournemouth double?

The main talking point here of course is their opposition; a side I have already mentioned look defeated before they even walk out of the tunnel.

West Brom have only scored only twice in four games - in fact they have only mustered up eight shots on target from their last four outings - should Begovic be worried?

Differential Pick –  Karius v Watford (H) 

A goalkeeper such as Karius is anything but a Safe Pick, he does however make it into my article as a differential as I do believe Liverpool provide us with the best chance of a clean sheet this week.

Since taking over from Mignolet at Anfield, Karius has recorded five clean sheets this season – three of which have come during the last six league games.

It may surprise some of you to read that Liverpool on average this season have only allowed 7.6 shots on goal per game – a record only bettered by Manchester City.


Those weekly captain polls will undoubtedly look a little one sided this week, no Kane, no Aguero – Mohamed Salah is one of the easiest captain decisions you will ever have.

With an incredible 24 goals and 10 assists this season he leads the way as this seasons star player.
Then consider the other options available during Gameweek 31, the next highest number of goals is from Roberto Firmino with 13.

He was stifled by Manchester United, he will want to bounce back and it’s Watford who will be on the receiving end.

Whatever you decide, I hope you’ll join us this Gameweek by downloading the FREE Starting 11 app in the App Store or the Google Play Store.

FPL Bonus Points System - Solution

By Tom Campbell

I’d venture that the vast, vast majority of FPL players are, at heart; football fans.
As such, it’s not too much of a stretch to understand that when, as a football fan, we see what we recognise as great play on the pitch – be it a defence-splitting slide-rule pass, a curling shot into the top corner (top-bins avec pace), an acrobatic save, a last-ditch tackle, etc – should be rewarded through FPL points being awarded.
Happily, FPL has a route designed to accommodate precisely that – the Bonus Points System (BPS).
This is the process by which player actions, as recorded by Opta, are assigned a consequential BPS point score.  A player’s actions will accrue him a BPS point score over the course of his time on the pitch and, at the game’s conclusion, the best three performing players in terms of their BPS point totals are respectively awarded 3, 2 and 1 additional point(s).
Fundamentally, positive actions such as the scoring of a goal or making an assist are rewarded by an award of a pre-determined BPS point score and, perhaps more controversially, negative actions such as being sent-off are punished by way of subtracting BPS points.
Broadly I’m in favour of this type of system – I don’t like fantasy games which promote subjectivity as a means by which for players to score points – as it’s too easy to claim irrational bias and become embittered...

Click here to read more

Gameweek 30 - As It Happened

Friday, 9 March 2018

The week in Fantasy Premier League: Changing your approach to BGW31 and pushing past FPL burnout

Barely two minutes had passed before Fantasy Premier League managers were greeted with their first bizarre sight of Gameweek 29.
Life is confusing enough when you own one of Everton's carousel of attacking players without the club's graphics department making things even worse.
Own-goal king Lewis Dunk (BRI, 4.5) finally did the business for his long-suffering owners, despite being second or even third sub for many of them.
Then came the frankly bizarre sight of Chelsea’s approach to coming back from 1-0 down against Man City.
When the dust settled, star turns from players like Riyad Mahrez (LEI, 8.7) and David Silva (MCI, 8.0) soon saw a sea change in the mood among managers when it came to perhaps the dominant theme of recent FPL discourse.
To read the full article, click here...

Chief's Picks - Gameweek 30

Must-have pick?

Comeback pick?

Differential pick?

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Chief's Picks - Gameweek 29

Must-have pick?

Comeback pick?

Differential pick?

Insights from above - Three managers from the Top 150

We all know that FPL is a marathon and not a sprint.  You have to navigate appropriately and be lucky to attain a superb overall rank.  I caught up with three high flying managers from this season to see what has been behind their success.

Gangsters Allardyce / David Isaacs

FPL ID - 452

Current Rank - 141st

Nation - Christmas Island

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"I started playing in 2004/2005. I have four top 10k finishes including finishing 573rd in 2014/2015.  I am currently in the top 150 for this season and clearly obsessed with FPL!"

"No matter how good you are, you need a lot of luck to get in the top 100. I have bought in players at the perfect time before they became highly owned and before all their big points. Having Fabianski save a penalty against Everton and DCL scoring the rebound is the kind of luck that’s helped me this season!"

"It feels amazing and like I’ve just mentioned, there is a lot of luck but also I do put in time by doing research/looking at stats etc. So it feels good knowing that my work has paid off."

"Bringing in Hazard and Sterling in my Gameweek 8 Wildcard team and getting some big points off them really helped me climb the rankings. Getting Alonso in Gameweek 16 where he got me 67 points in 9 games (7.4 points per game) was also a massive factor."

"My worst decision has been ignoring Salah as captain for so long (Captained him for the first time in Gameweek 21). I’ve missed out on so many points. I have overcome that by captaining him most of the time now and he hasn’t blanked in the 5 times I have!"

"You need to plan ahead with all the blanks and doubles coming and try to pick a few cheeky differentials for these gameweeks."

Team Name / Jamal Rice

FPL ID - 320240

Current Rank - 14th

Nation - Barbados

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"Fantasy football was a past time for me.  I played it with my brother initially but as I got older I stopped.  I started back after a workmate challenged me; his hope was to beat me at it!"

"Research, patience and knowledge of how all the teams play has assisted my current overall rank."

"In terms of my high rank, at the beginning I was awestruck like the first time on a roller coaster but after a couple rides you get use to it.  With that said, red arrows can be depressing."

"I'm indebted to Kane, Davies, Gross, Salah, Alonso".

"Not getting Salah at the beginning has been one of my worst decisions.  I was his biggest critic until I realized he is unstoppable!  I bit my tongue and put him in my team."

"Choose the in-form players don't abuse minus points and always choose the obvious captain - Salah or Kane."

Powerpuff Girls / Lejuan Basson

FPL ID - 2817369

Current Rank - 16th

Nation - South Africa

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"So my journey with FPL started 2 years ago. My husband is addicted to the game and all he does is talk about FPL so he convinced me to join and make a team just for fun. I basically picked a team full of good looking guys - Aguero, Sanchez, Giroud, etc and they ended up doing okay.  I finished 35k in my first season which I didnt really realise was good till i finished just inside the top 1 million last season 😁".

"A major factor in my current overall rank is definitely getting my captain picks right most of the time and obviously the fact that I've had Salah from the first gameweek has helped. I also haven't taken many hits, if any. But to be fair my team has always looked solid so I've never had the need to take hits. But I don't think hits are a bad thing in medium to long term planning".

"It feels great being ranked so highly.  Obviously it comes with a lot of pressure now and with all my friends rooting for me to win it.  However just to have the opportunity to be so highly ranked is quite satisfying".

"Just remember, the game is still mostly about luck though so can't get to caught up in it."

"In terms of which players have helped me - Salah since gameweek 1!!! Davies Trippier and Aguero at the start of the season. Aguero captain first few weeks. I jumped on de Bruyne at the right time as well as Kane. And Coutinho in December did quite nicely for me."

"With all of the good, I still haven't forgotten that I left Trippier on the bench in gameweek 4 when he scored 10 points (and Hegazi got 0) that hurt a bit. And then deciding not to transfer Kane out for Aguero for his good run a few weeks ago definitely put me back a little bit.  Other than that I can't complain too much."

"Just remember to navigate the double and blank gameweeks well, don't take crazy risks (like Salah or Kane out) because even though you won't gain much through owning them you stand to lose so much more ground if they do well without having them. Its all just a game of mostly luck though and sometimes a great save or a player missing inexplicably can determine whether a transfer was a success or not so still only so much in our control."

So there you have it.  I wish them all the best.  Be sure to follow David, Jamal and Lejuan on Twitter. We may be looking at a future champion (or thereabouts) from these fantastic FPL managers.

Friday, 2 March 2018

The week in Fantasy Premier League: Butland's bonus, Kane V Salah and differentials for the desperate

Fantasy Premier League managers everywhere love a good moan about the allocation of bonus points - usually when one of their players gets short-changed. This week was very different, though.
The bonus points system itself is a laudable endeavour, ostensibly designed to spread the points around a bit, rewarding some of the lesser lights for their more subtle contributions to a match.
 In FPL, it's reassuringly stats-based, unlike some past formats which saw English reporters invariably award maximum points to Wayne Rooney and John Terry, with little, if any, regard to the quality of their performances.
 However, one single action in Gameweek 28, Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland (STO, 5.0) managed to make a mockery of the whole thing.
Embed from Getty Images To read the full article, click here...