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How to pick the perfect Fantasy Football team
Fantasy football leagues have been a popular way for sports fans to be more involved with the sport since the 1950s. The idea began in Oakland, USA first with golf and then baseball, followed in 1962 by American Football. Now there are few sports that don’t have an associated fantasy sports league with football gaining the most participation in the UK.
The interest generated has certainly been reflected by the growing number of UK football fans that bet on the real teams they support. Fans obtain tips and follow their team’s news on well-informed internet sites; Stakers being a popular one with plenty of useful information available that includes odds for the Premier League and European competitions.

The fantasy sports industry is a big one and generates an estimated $7.22 billion in the US, $2 billion in Australia with the UK adding yet more to the mix. With huge cash prizes on offer it’s hard not to see the appeal of this engaging way of following a sport. And, there’s never been more ways to get involved; from daily newspapers to internet giants and sports betting sites you can find a league to suit you.

But, is there a formula for doing well in a fantasy football league?

Everyone who has ever played fantasy football has an opinion on what makes the best team and certain strategies can work well for some individuals. However, there are some basics when it comes to picking the perfect team.

1. Stick to tried and tested

As a founding rule, you cannot go far wrong if you start with a squad of players who have already achieved good form. New signings and ‘hot’ new players might be tempting to differentiate your team but always make sure you don’t reinvent the wheel.

Study the form guides and try to get some solid performers with a touch of class. Of course, this will eat into your budget but if they are not injured or banned, they will be a good return on investment.

You would also do well to look closely at players from teams that have had a change in managerial position. Managers can take a while to bed-in at a club and often do so at the expense of some poor form returned by big players.

2. Hit the Big 6

The top six clubs in the Premier League are usually from a small stable of teams and they remain in the top-flight for a reason. Give yourself the best chances of success by getting coverage in your squad from all six clubs.

3. Defence as a form of attack

Unlike real football, you don’t need to balance your team with a traditional but solid back four. Opt for players in those positions who have form across the field, particularly with goal assists and a more up-front style.

Now if you had backed the clear 2nd favourite you return 91.2% and the 3rd favourite returned 76.8%. These are massive profits for the bookmaker who are actually giving away money on the favourites.

Its worth noting that if you had backed the same favourites at exchange prices and take into consideration a 4% exchange commission, you would have returned 106.1%! Betting 100 units per bet that is a profit of 4979 units.

4. Get a safe (but cheap) pair of hands

The price tags for goalkeepers can be staggering when you compare them to some players and is often not justified when you consider the return of points for a clean sheet. Picking a pair of mid-range keepers to rotate makes a lot more sense than paying through the nose for a big name.

5. Always keep an eye on the fixtures

Once you have a squad, it’s imperative you rotate your players to make the most of how fixtures fall. This is often more pertinent with your goalkeepers and rotating players in your starting line-up whose teams have a better chance of keeping a clean sheet. They could mean you banking more points.

6. Give bench players a miss

When you are balancing your spending, it can be tempting gap fill your squad with budget players from successful teams. However, if they are more likely to spend more time on the bench or be swapped out of the line-up then you won’t be able to bank any points from them. It is far better to put your money on a guaranteed starter than a regular sub.

7. Goals are the goal

The story behind every successful dream team is the goal scorers and banking the big guns. Don’t ignore your up-front players.

There is some skill involved when selecting a winning fantasy football team but also an element of luck, however, with the basics covered you should give yourself a better chance of performing well.

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