1 year ago

The FanTeam Rookie Blog: Episode 6

Welcome back to my Daily Fantasy Rookie Blog — I'm Rob, and I'm here to share the journey of navigating my way through daily fantasy with you as a rookie. Today is a happy day as we finally made some profit — though it was undoubtedly with some help. 

To briefly remind you of the premise, I will be starting with a bankroll of €100, attempting to raise that bankroll through strategically playing through the various daily fantasy games in FanTeam. It could go either way. Hopefully, I can build a healthy bankroll and share the success. There's also the chance I crash and burn — but if I do, I'll be sharing my learnings so that hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and profit.  

While some money coming back from the GW3 Premier League Monster, it was actually a result on the Championship Main Event that has turned things slightly. But onto that in a moment first, a reminder of those key rules. 


Reminder — The Key Rules

1. Read and understand the rules and nuances of the game. 

2. Stick to sports you have knowledge of. 

3. Research. 

4. Choose a Strategy. 

5. Stay within your financial means — don't chase your losses and play responsibly. 

I won't go through those rules in detail again — but please look at the previous episodes if there are any factors of the game or the methodology that I'm talking about that you don't understand. 

Read more: Fanteam Rookie Blog: Episode 4




BALANCE: €145.88

From a Premier league perspective, a disappointing result all in all, although it was only a 6.69 Euro loss due to 1 team cashing. I asked one of the experienced Draftgym FanTeam players for some feedback and advice which we will cover off further shortly.

After writing an article promoting the Championship Main Event, FanTeam sent me a ticket for the tournament. This doesn't happen every time maybe I wrote a particularly good one! But fortunately, one of those tickets came in with a 5th place finish and a good profit which has helped the bankroll. 

Before we look at that entry, lets look at how the Premier League entries went. 


Not a great result here was the team that produced the best result at 65.2 points. 

Being honest, I feel like I have the right to feel unlucky here. Wolves completely dominated their match against Manchester United, and even a 0-0 result there would have resulted in a higher cash. Of course, if I factor in the chances that Traore both had for himslf and created, that could have been more. Of course, the opposite view to that would be the last gasp goal scored by Ward-Prowse and assisted by Armstrong, but I'd argue that the xG numbers put up by Southampton suggest the volume of points they scored was actually much lower than it could have been. 

I followed the rules I implemented for myself and I feel like from the teams I selected, I was unlucky – but we'll see what the experts think shortly! 


The Championship entry that has got us into the green was this one. In reality, it wasn't a great score and just came down to the right captaincy choice. The team did flirt with winning the whole competition, but ultimately gambling on the wrong Nottingham Forest players against Derby was costly. Either way, it was a good result and gives us more budget to work with going forward. 


Rules I'm following (from episode 4):

  • Consistent Captaincy Picks (3 max, but ideally 2)
  • Limit GK Spend (under £8.5m due to the low upside of the high priced keepers)
  • Consider team build (attack/captaincy, clean sheet stacks, explosive differentials)
  • Try & project ownership


The View of the Expert

The Championship victory doesn't mask the continuing struggles in the Premier League Monsters. I sent all of my entries to one of the top members of the DraftGym community   khan, sitting in 5th on FanTeam all-time profit list with €120K+ won  and asked for some feedback on the way I was structuring my teams. Here's what he came back with. 

"Firstly, I don't think Rob has made any serious rookie mistakes – the teams drafted are decent teams. But there are a few tips for future weeks."

1. 3-2-2-2-2 Stacks  These are a relevant tactic but 3-3-3-2 is a lot more effective when fighting for top spots. I'd suggest creating teams using both stacking strategies in future.

2. Spend your budget!  All available budget hasn't been used in all teams, with some teams even having 3-4m left in the bank. This should be avoided – you should find a use for every £1m at your disposal. 

3. Differential captains If entering 5 teams, try to have at least 1-2 differential captains across your teams. 

It's good to know firstly that I'm starting to cut out the glaring mistakes, but I'm going to bear these 3 pieces of feedback in mind when structuring my teams for the upcoming Monster. Speaking of which....lets get into it! 

Read more: Squad Balance Tool to Build a GW4 Wildcard


The Premier League GW 4 Monster

Nine fixtures for this week's Monster, with just the Crystal Palace vs Tottenham game missing. There's a lot of very viable premium options this week: Man Utd at home to Newcastle, Chelsea at home to Aston Villa, and a potentially high scoring game between Liverpool and Leeds, so again – the result could come down to picking the right mid-priced/budget options and getting the captaincy right. 

  • £105m budget for a squad of 11 players.
  • Stacking penalty in play. 
  • Safety net enabled.
  • 3 players per club. 

The key rules that don't apply in the season-long game are the stacking penalty and the safety net. Check the previous blogs for explanations of those two features. 

Another tip — I would also filter the player availability dropdown to 'all' rather than 'available'. Sometimes players are incorrectly flagged — and this is where the importance of your own research can be helpful. 

Step 2 — Researching the fixtures & the prices

The first thought is that its going to be very difficult to resist the returning saviour of Manchester United in Cristiano Ronaldo. His price is understandably expensive at £13.3m but if he plays, he looks a very obvious choice. The good thing is that United are at the first kick off time of the gameweek meaning we will have time to see the team and ensure that he's playing and make some adjustments. If that wasn't the case, he'd be a much riskier pick given the slim chance of Cavani or Martial starting and therefore the risk of no safety net. If you don't fancy United, Chelsea also look great, though the risk is the same with the murmurings of slight injuries to Romelu Lukaku. 

Injuries feel like the story of the gameweek at the moment with Dominic Calvert-Lewin doubtful and of course, the concern over whether players are going to be available after the international quarantine issues, particularly with Brazil looking to invoke suspensions that would rule players out of Gameweek 4. 

Getting the bargain picks right is going to be crucial. Michail Antonio (10.6m) feels like an absolute steal with the form he's in, but I think making the correct decision in two of the fixtures could be the key. Brentford vs Brighton and Watford vs Wolves are those fixtures. If you get the right winning team, the players will absolutely be great value. 

This week more than ever, make sure you are active on Twitter and keeping an eye on the press conferences from the managers that might give you any clues as to player availability. Press conferences will start to come through over the course of Thursday and Friday. They are key, particularly with the tug of war going on between the Premier League and the govening bodies over suspensions. 


Step 3 — Choose a strategy

As I've already said, I'm maintaining the strategy of entering five teams into the cheaper format of the game and will try to stick to the rules that I implemented for myself. However, I'll also be bearing in mind the feedback given by Khan. 

A reminder to look for stacks — the bonus part points you'll gain for your teams winning could be the difference between a profit and a loss. 3-3-3-2 and 3-2-2-2-2 are viable stacking strategies, so try mixing them up. 

Try to avoid picking players that play against each other and try to nail down some 90-minute men to ensure you are able to gain the extra point for your midfielders and attackers completing the game. 90-minute men could make a massive difference in terms of payout. 

Read more: FPL and FanTeam GW4 Wildcard Must-haves

An example team

I will share one of my five teams here. There will be some variations amongst the other four teams, but this is my initial first draft. This is an attempt at one of the 3-3-3-2 drafts that Khan suggested and referenced, meaning targeting 4 teams rather than 5 and going for 3 triple ups along with a double up. 

West Ham

Antonio, Fornals, Zouma

West Ham continue to be difficult to ignore and great value. Antonio has 4 goals and 4 assists in 3 games, so being able to get an asset like that against a porous Southampton for the price he is seems like a no-brainer. The difficulty comes in picking who you pair up with him. I've gone for Fornals as the slightly cheaper alternative to Benrahma, but this could change. Defensively I've taken the gamble that Kurt Zouma will come straight into the side at 7m knowing there's a safety net of centre backs behind him if he doesn't play. But Coufal and Cresswell are obviously great options if they are affordable to you. 


Man Utd

CR7 (C), Greenwood, Maguire

"Its Ronaldo". Thats all that really needs to be said, isn't it? He's back and after returning to training on Tuesday, I'm optimistic that he'll start. If he doesn't, we'll see the teams and be able to re-adjust. I've gone with Mason Greenwood over Bruno Fernandes with the narrative that Fernandes will likely to lose some of his set piece appeal, but if Ronaldo doesn't start, it might be a simple move to bring in Fernandes and adjust to a 3-5-2 set up. Maguire is the defender I can most afford though an absence of Ronaldo from the XI might see me downgrade him to Varane or Wan-Bissaka to be able to afford the Fernandes price upgrade.



Jimenez, Traore, Semedo

Surely Wolves get it right sometime soon? All the data suggests they've been hugely unlucky to suffer 3 1-0 defeats so far in tricky fixtures but it feels crucial that they turn the tide at Vicarage Road. I'm going to take the punt that they get it right here and get a much needed win. Traore's data and underlyings are ridiculous and surely he strings it together at some stage and the hope is that Jimenez could profit from that. Semedo is the most nailed defensive option and also probably the most likely to get an attacking return. 



Sanchez, Gross

Brighton were hugely disappointing against Everton, but I'm backing them to bounce back in a tricky game at Brentford. Sanchez could pick up some crucial save points against Toney, Mbeumo and co, while Gross creativity could hopefully continue to produce chances for the Seagulls with the outside hope of a penalty to boost his score. Brighton could be the first to inflict defeat on Thomas Frank's side, and if thats true, I'll benefit from it. 

I'd recommend limiting yourself to 5 clubs to target as a maximum, and not to have players that are playing against each other. A simple rule to learn but one easily missed by season-long players. 

Good luck!

I wish you all good luck, both with your teams here and in the season-long game, FPL, and any other competition you may be entering. Let me know how you get on, and I'll be back next week to either celebrate success or break down difficulties. I think it'll be fun to learn together so please feel free to reach out to me at @rpick86 on Twitter or in our DraftGym Discord channel. 


If you are unsure whether to embark on a DFS journey yourself, please feel free to reach out to myself or another member of the DraftGym team. Also, remember to play responsibly — stay within your means and don't chase losses. Stick to a plan and a strategy — and if it's not working, ask for help.  
Rob Pick

Rob Pick

The latest addition to the DraftGym crew, FPL veteran and the Debate grandmaster.