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Draft Style English Premier League Fantasy Football

I started playing fantasy football back when I was in secondary school - about ten years now? Give or take... In all this time I, and many others, have noticed an inevitable pattern. By the time the season is halfway through, every team has a squad that is 75% identical. Between your mini-league of friends, between every person's fifteen man squad, all players will, without fail, be derived from a pool of about thirty players (maybe about forty if you stretch it).

Think about it. Take last season (2012-2013) as an example. Less than 15 games in, the vast majority of players had most of the following: Robin Van Persie, Juan Mata, Gareth Bale, Luis Suarez, Michu (what is his first name anyway?), Cazorla, Walcott, Benteke, Lukaku, Baines, Ivanovic, Begovic etc. About the only variation between teams came in the defensive department - an area where most players choose to field only three defenders anyway (something else that can be improved upon).

And it takes away from the enjoyment of fantasy football!* You have Van Persie in your team so you get excited when he scores. But wait, every one of your rivals has him as well except that one guy who hates him so much so you're not really gaining any sort of advantage over the field. And in fact, some have him captain so are earning double points from him... Hmmm... Maybe you should be rooting against him? Seems counterintuitive.

Everything Takes Time

On Lawrence He

Its been two years now since the start of my fantasy football league.  When I first started, I knew nothing about football.  My first draft was a mess - I used a cheat sheet I found in the July issue of ESPN magazine.  I drafted a defense with my 10th round pick (everybody knows you only draft defenses and kickers with the last two picks).  Worst of all, I was in a league full of sports junkies, guys who watch every game every Sunday. 

This season I’m 2nd place, with the best season record.  I’ve made around 7 trades.  I know the names of most teams starting players, and a few of their backups.  

I guess it takes something as trivial as fantasy football to show me that improvement is a long and slow process, but improvement happens.  Too often I look at things and get disappointed because of the results.  I’m so focused on improvement that frustration quickly swells up. Why am I not getting better?  I expect so much from myself that I can’t see small progress for what it is: a tiny bit improvement. 

But everything takes time. 

Even if it takes years, I know that I’ll reach my goals eventually.  And if i can get good at fantasy football, something I don’t care and didn’t even try to get good at, then of course I’ll be good at something I poured sweat and tears into.

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