At this stage in the Fantasy pre-season, it is easy to be swayed by recent news. With so many players moving between clubs, dealing with injuries, or being assigned new roles, it’s easy to get lured into making impulsive decisions.
So, instead of worrying about who’s going where, we will be focusing on which formation will best set you up for the season to come.
Looking back at last year the the top 50 Fantasy performers consisted of 17 forwards, 19 midfielders, 8 defenders and 6 goalkeepers. This, unsurprisingly, is reflects the traditional spending model in Fantasy Football with around 70 per cent (52.5) going to forwards and midfielders.
This line of thinking would seemingly point you towards either a 3-4-3 or a 3-5-2, the former of which was certainly backed up by last year’s Goal Team of the Year:
Obviously, it would be impossible to fit this kind of team into your budget, so the question remains how we can take this information and make it more applicable to building your team.
At the back, the massive outlier is Marcos Alonso who was the cheapest player to finish in the top 10 overall last season. Once you factor in cost, the Spaniard’s 26.8 points to pound ratio made him the fourth most valuable player in the Goal game last season.
So, while you shouldn’t spend all your money in defence, it is important to remember that their lower cost can actually make them more valuable than their more popular attacking counterparts.
While there are certainly no strangers in the midfield ranks, there are some surprising omissions. In fact, three of the five best assisters failed to make the Team of the Year (De Bruyne, Fabregas, and Sterling).
While the latter two did struggle with rotation at times, this serves as an obvious, but not unneeded reminder that midfielder goals (6 points) are literally twice as valuable as assists (3 points). While elite level distributors obviously still hold tremendous value, it is always wise to go with the one you expect to score more goals if you are trying to decide between two players.
Up front, in Fantasy Football as in real life, it’s all about goals. The top four goal scorers last season (Kane, Lukaku, Alexis, Costa) finished the year as the four highest scoring forwards in the Goal game. There is a neat side story here as well, though, as three of those four (Kane, Alexis, Costa) also led the position in assists.
To recap, when building your team for the 2017-18 season, it statistically is best to start with a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2. Within that formation, you should be sure to get an elite player at each position including an assisting forward, a goal scoring midfielder, and a wingback in a top three defence.
If you use that as a framework you should be in good stead throughout the season. As for the rest of your team, instead of getting bogged down by the stats, have fun with it. If you want three elite forwards and lots of midfield gambles, go for it. Want three players from your favourite team? Throw them in there.
Research and reading are vital in Fantasy but you are the only person in charge of your team and, as long as you are having fun and staying engaged, you will find yourself better off than most.