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.
This thread is here purely for users to post about:
In both cases, please provide as many details as you can (screenshots even better). You can either post in the comments section below, or personal message myself or Nirav (to send personal messages, simply hover on my name and click 'message').
Any contributions are greatly appreciated.
Here is a quick rundown of the rules of uniquefc.com - For the most part it is quite similar to the official game at fantasy.premierleague.com so fantasy football veterans will pick it up straight away:
League and team structure:
A minimum of 3 defenders must play each week
Just as the article says:
A rough, unpolished version of the site is on the brink of going live. There is (was?? Fingers crossed!), one bug that kept cropping up: There was an error coming up when trying to edit the priority queue once the draft had started. As you can imagine, this is a bit of a deal-breaker.
Anyway, we think we have fixed it now. We'll do another round of testing tomorrow (or today rather, it's past midnight here Down-under) and if the Footballing Gods are in a happy mood, have a beta site up and running tomorrow. Hoping to disappoint plenty of wives and girlfriends this weekend...
So, after a countless number of delays (our apologies for that), we are ready to go!
We are already 8 gameweeks into the season, which is not ideal, but the game should still be immensely fun - and for myself personally, it is a ready made excuse for my appalling performance in the official game: "I'm focusing on draft style fantasy football this year..."
Stay tuned for a series of explanatory posts regarding how some of the features in the site work, although for the most part they are intuitive and easy to use.
My top tip for those reading this (for what my fantasy knowledge is worth): Prioritize Yaya Toure and Aaron Ramsey very highly. As part of midfield double pivots, both have been classified as DM's, they get more points than AMs and FWDs for goals, get more points for clean sheets and score points for tackles they put in as well.
Continuing on from the previous article, and following some discussions with the league members, we've decided to go ahead and adopt the player trading system starting from next month. Overall, this is extremely exciting! I think it will really spice up the league and we're looking forward to it.
On a personal note, there is an element of devastation in this. Why? Because it means that my Sanchez propelled monster of a team is likely to lose... well... Alexis Sanchez! :(
As things are shaping up, I would have to self sabotage myself in order to finish in the lower half of the January table, thereby allowing me to choose the player position being traded, in order to avoid losing my star midfield men (yes, plural, because sitting next to Sanchez I have somehow managed to lineup Hazard, Tadic, Ozil, Boyd).
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):
The short of it? It didn't go well!
You can visit www.uniquefc.com to see the general design and the like, but don't waste time trying to sign up. We had problems configuring the site to the live servers and there are far too many errors (site near unusable). We don't want you to get frustrated trying to make it work...
What this means for the big picture? It is looking highly unlikely we'll be at the level we want to be at before kick-off. That said, we'll keep chipping away and will eventually get it right.
Apologies to all those who have been waiting in anticipation. We knew this was going to be difficult, and true to form, it is proving to be a bigger challenge than we expected.
Right after we completed our draft, I wanted to make a trade. A few reasons for this:
So what was the deal on offer?
I was offering Tadic (in the very unlikely chance that you haven't heard of him, he is Southampton's creative replacement for Adam Lallana) and Bony (Swansea's main man up front). In return, I was willing to take any striker that the trading party didn't want as long as I got a high-end midfielder in return.
As anyone who plays draft style premiership fantasy knows, strikers are a prized commodity. They get snapped up quickly, and with so many teams adopting a one-striker policy, there aren't that many options around. By the time that everyone is picking their third striker, pickings are few and often, you are happy to simply get a striker that gets regular minutes with some sort of chance of scoring.
Okay, so as asked by a couple of people, how were we playing this using spreadsheets before? Well, I'll outline the process here, while trying to find a balance between keeping it short and sweet and still providing enough detail.
1. Use Google Docs!
It's free, and it allows everyone to connect at the same time. Also, as it's in the cloud, it is always up to date. You can look back at past revisions if necessary and is the ideal tool (short of a fully dedicated site) to play fantasy football in this way. Sample: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AiNH-JHpkhe8dFVVX2RiaDNyNUdZTFdieHliaUtUemc&usp=sharing
2. Decide between doing the entire game manually vs using an existing salary cap based fantasy game
Personally, none of our group could be bothered going through the hassle of creating a point scoring system, updating each player's scores manually, keeping track of transfers/team sheets and scoring the entire game manually which is why we went with the second option.