The transfer window shut after a busy (mad!) day of transfers... Falcao to United? Seriously??
Anyway, the window shutting was the cue for my friends' and cousins' draft style fantasy league to get rolling. Considering we're not running the official UniqueFC game this season, we had to find an alternative platform to run this.
After much deliberation and research (going through a tonne of draft style fantasy football sites that have sprung up since we launched), I have decided to set my league for the upcoming season on... wait for it... a spreadsheet! Honestly, nothing out there right now quite hits the spot in terms of setting up a good draft style fantasy league. Not that the spreadsheet method is perfect (in conjunction with the official site), but it has the least number of drawbacks.
So, I'll update the blog with a copy of the spreadsheet we are using. It has some added functionality when compared to our prehistoric spreadsheets of yesteryear and anyone else who wishes to use the template spreadsheet - feel free to do so!
A couple of new spreadsheet features (which should make this vastly better than our previous spreadsheet attempt):
Hey Hemal, thanks for the invite to this. I'm probably going to have to pass just because I'm already doing 2 draftsoccer.com leagues (and considering joining another with another few friends that are starting their own private league with an offline draft).
I was able to make a few changes before the transfer window closed, though my Falcao pick-up would have been better if he'd have gone to Arsenal or Liverpool so that he'd get the benefit of additional European games. But I guess we'll see!
Fantrax has everything you may want and more.
Just use that.
Yeah I've tried Flantrax actually. Wasn't a fan of how their draft works though, so scrapped plans to use it.. I quite enjoy the spreadsheet so all good!
Hey Hemal - we've been doing something similar for a few years now, absolutely love the draft system! Just putting our plans together for next season (yep, I'm that keen). Any chance you could send me the spreadsheet you're using, and I'll send you the one we use? Might be some decent ideas we could pinch from each other.
I'll be sure to check out the other sites mentioned, too
Awesome! Here is what we used last season:
Haven't made one for next season yet but will send that to you when I do. Going to evolve it a bit to use Slack as a notification system (to automate updates) - and learning some basic programming which I'll see if I can put to any kind of use.
Nice one! Haven't used Slack before, will check it out. Here is our version:
We do our own league system, and charge people per transfer (it's all about the prize pot :)), but use the official game for points.
Looking to amend this slightly for next season though, as the admin time for transfers especially can be a nightmare
Whoa mate, your spreadsheet is way more advanced than ours - looks fantastic! Though hard to manage, like you say.
Yeah we haven't involved any money which seems to be a huge driver of transfers! Been exploring other ways to stimulate transfers - we've got the 'forced' ones - that make things tighter. Next season I want to involve points as a tradeoff as well. i.e. - I'll give you Ozil plus 50 points for Hazard for example.
But that puts in an element (big one) of admin work so I'm exploring how it can be automated.
You seem to have a full league but give me a shout if you want another player! Would be happy to give a hand with on the admin side of things as well
Thanks mate, it has grown into a bit of a monster! It's the transfers that take up the most time - I'm trying to find a way to make that run a bit smoother. At the moment we use the official forum to keep track of changes, then manually type into the spreadsheet every gameweek and e-mail round. Can take an age!
I couldn't recommend the real-money version more; don't be put off by the large amounts some people managed to lose, there were some shocking decisions being made earlier in the season! Plus we had a guy throw money around like he was Roman Abramovich.
I like the point idea - we play head-to-head games so it would be a bit easier for us to keep track of I think.
Will definitely let you know if we have any drop outs!
Hahaha. Nah the money seems the perfect amount - enough to make it competitive but not enough to make someone homeless! But a lot of my league mates are friends/family and we don't really keep monoey tabs so not an option for us.
100% try out slack - it will solve all your email issues. And it will let you do trades without needing to use the official forum (always seemed very clunky to me).
Yeah.. 11 players in a draft league is too many but I'd love to take part, good luck!
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.
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.