We just got back from the world cup in Brazil, which has been an absolutely fantastic experience! Football culture is alive and well and one of the best in the world and we're glad to be a part of it.
A frequently asked question while I was there (both on this blog and outside) was what our plans are going into next season. So rather than continually giving the same reply over and over I thought I would just post it here.
As long time followers will know, last season was when we started development and launched. It took until a few months Into the season until we were ready to go but I'm happy to say that everything is in order now, and if we do go ahead, we can all jump in from the very beginning! As of right now, however, we are not 100% sure we will be going into next season. Here's a quick rundown of the main factors that we are looking at:
So after much deliberation and personal financial examination, we've decided not to go ahead with UniqueFC next season :(
The data costs are just too high and it is out of our range at the moment. That said, we will re-examine again next season and hopefully run a kickstarter/crowdfunding campaign to see if we can do a few things from it:
1 - Improve UniqueFC even further (perhaps with the addition of mobile apps
2 - Get more uniqueFC users on board
3 - If we can find a suitable medium, turn UniqueFC into a 'people-owned' site so that everyone who contributes owns a part of it!
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):
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.
As with previous draft style fantasy seasons we have had a season filled with very little movement of players between teams.
In order to remedy this, my cousin Nish came up with a suggestion: What if we implemented compulsory player trades? Each team must be required to make X number of player trades per month.
While I think Nish's suggestion may have something to do with Da Costa losing form and Welbeck not living up to expectations, I think it's an interesting suggestion. While my immediate reaction was to think 'no way, you can't force trades, this will never work', it is an interesting suggestion. First, a couple of barriers to this approach:
But, all that said, I think it is a fantastic idea in essence. Whether it is successful in making draft leagues more exciting would come down to the player execution. My suggested formula:
Gameweek 22 came to a close after a bore 0-0 draw between West Brom and Everton. Not that I'm going to complain with autosub Wisdom coming in to bolster my points tally by 6 points. How did the league shape up?
Not really much to say here. Actually, I would say that Nish and the rest should just give this one up as a lost cause, but this is not true. If you read my last article, we're considering enforced trades which has the capacity to turn the league upside down. More info on that in the coming days.
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).