For the Fantasy Football enamored amongst us the New Year brings a late Christmas present…
THE JANUARY WILDCARD!!
To help you decide how to best approach the January Wildcard, FantasyYIRMA.com will be running a series of articles looking at different perspectives. You can follow us on twitter for #FPL chat at @FantasyYIRMA
Play it your way Part 1: LINK
Play it your way Part 2: LINK
Play it your way Part 3: LINK
Next up we are delighted to feature a guest post from the 2012/13 FPL #6 in the World @JulianZip
Julian led the way in FPL last year including a 5 week consecutive run at #1 towards the end of the season!…Being from Australia and not getting to see as much of the Premier League as he’d like makes this even more impressive!!
Such is the feat of his achievement Julian actually featured in the National Press Down Under
Julian epitomizes the stat based approach to the game, a great guy to interact with on twitter – make sure and drop a follow to @JulianZip .
My January Wildcard approach…
While it depends on how you’re going, I’ve always thought that using wildcards early is a good idea. It gives you the chance to get a jump-start on your rivals who have to bring in the best performers bit-by-bit (or take hits) while juggling injuries. My logic is that it’s harder to chase a mini-league lead than it is to keep one. The January wildcard is a little different though, and I’d argue that patience is the way to go with it, if your current team is in reasonable enough shape to get you through a few more weeks…for many of us, niggles to players such as Rooney and yellow flags are making that a nerve-wracking proposition of course.
You can bet lots of people have been counting down until January 1st,desperate to get rid of players who have been causing them angst (Marc Wilson, get out of my life) or to bring in the ones who have been consistently hurting them (damn you Per Mertesacker!). At this time of year though, our squads start to look even more uniform. That means unless you’re in front, or you are really winning the team value part of the game, it’s tough to make real gains.
I’m hoping that by holding off until after gameweek 22 I’ll be able to utilise the break, and the few weeks, prior to work on my team value, and by then there could be a ready-to-go Aguero, and hopefully a few new signings that shake things up. You never know, Man United might bring in a creative midfielder, and Arsenal or Chelsea might find themselves a world class striker…well maybe not, but you get what I’m saying…
For defensive choices, I look at fixtures to make sure I have two relatively cheap keepers who rotate well with home games. McGregor and Speroni have worked well in that regard over the last few months, and looking ahead Marshall with Mannone/Speroni seem like options to do a similar job (Szczesny & Guzan look a decent pairing too). I’ll look at two premium defenders, and then three who rotate well for around the following 6-8 gameweeks. Hull and Palace look solid choices given their numbers as far as goals conceded at home go, and West Ham give a nice three way rotation alongside those two.
In the front half I’ll probably be able to afford a few of the fixture-proof heavy hitters…i.e. Suarez, Aguero, Walcott, Hazard… with a few mid-price guys like Lallana and Cabaye, and then budget options to make it all possible – the likes of Sterling, Whittingham, Januzaj, Redmond/Fer, Barkley. My usual formation preference is a 3-4-3, but if things keep going the way they have been striker-wise lately, I’m considering interchanging that with a 3-5-2 and 4-4-2 (so finding a cheap striker, mid and defender who rotate well together fixture-wise).
I like to make sure I have coverage from each of the big teams…but I’m careful not to load up too much on any one, as mid-week commitments mean rotation and fatigue is set to become even more of an issue going forward. In particular what I’ll spend time combing the stats looking for, are one or two options under 10% ownership who are creating chances or getting looks at goal (but who haven’t had huge scoring weeks yet)…they are the ones I’m hoping might provide a point of difference, and who others might be too busy looking in the direction of the current hot picks to notice.
Thanks to @FantasyYIRMA for the chance to contribute – as always, have been enjoying keeping up to speed with everything #FPL via your posts!
Julian has Guest Posted on the site previously – you can see his previous article here LINK
He also contributes to FourFourTwo in Australia and you can view his work here LINK