Guest post written for FantasyYIRMA.com
Welcome to Togga! Togga is a draft-based Fantasy Premier League game which awards points to players in 20 different statistical categories. Powered by Opta stats, Togga managers set their starting XI each week from an active roster of 17 EPL players they have constructed and field against opponent in their league. Just like traditional FPL leagues, Togga managers earn points for their starters real-life performance each and every gameweek.
Unlike traditional salary-cap formats, Togga Leagues are currently comprised of 6- to 10- teams in which each team has a unique rosters which was drafted and is maintained by the manager. No more overlapping squad selections, no need to play for differentials and no more sharing the joy of an unlikely hat-trick hero.
Togga managers start the season in a live, on-line draft room where every member of the EPL is available to be drafted. Each manager drafts in order until all 17 spots are filled. The remaining players are left in the “Player Pool” and can be added to rosters throughout the season to replace injured or under-performing squad members. It is not merely the on-line draft, unique squads and head-to-head style of play that makes Togga the best fantasy premier league platform.
Each EPL player is scored in 20 statistical categories – receiving points for traditional stats like goals, assists and clean sheets but also tackles won, interceptions and successful crosses. Players lose points for cautions, goals allowed and sending-off but also for errors that lead to goals and beating dispossesed by an opponent.
There is no doubt that Chelsea’s Cesc Fàbregas, he has been a force on the pitch for the Blues and in all formats of FPL. However, in Togga, Cesc’s influence over the match is more fully appreciated, as he scored Togga points for his shots on target, chances created and four assists. In fact, a great way to learn about the differences in the game is to contrast the Fantasy Premier League analysis that would be done for three players. In this article we’re going to look at Cesc, Morgan Schneiderlin and Marcos Rojo.
#FPL – How Cesc started the year priced only £9.0 is anyone’s guess at this stage. Already up to £9.3, and 39.9% owned, he is likely to continue to see his ownership steadily rise. The Spain international is a force of nature. In his last stint in the EPL he was the most prolific creator in the league over a five-year period.
As I wrote here, Cesc “led the league in assists in 2007/08 (20), was joint second in 2006/07 (13) and second in 2009/10 (13). From 2006/07 through 2010/11 he was never worse than joint third.” As you likely already know, he posted 182, 205, 108 (in only 1900′), 214 and 128 Fantasy Premier League points in those years. Playing in Jose Mourinho’s offense, his quick reflexes and uncanny eye for an incisive pass stand him in good stead. Fàbregas doesn’t need much time on the ball to provide ample return on what is a modest investment, even with the rise in price.
#Togga – Few players in the game have had more impact on their Togga side’s than the Chelsea midfielder. Fàbregas is custom-built for this Chelsea side. He is a a competent ball-winner, recording better than an interception a game and winning a tackle and a half, and an exceptional passer. In a format that rewards chances created (+3), Cesc is at the head of the class. He has already created 14 chances in the Premier League this season and has four assists (+7) to show for it. In a side that features the lethal finishing of Diego Costa – and the newly acquired Loic Remy – Cesc should best his numbers from a season ago in Barcelona when he recorded 13 assists (with 8 goals) in 36 appearances (29 starts). If you didn’t draft him, the cost to acquire the 27-year-old will be dear, but may be the move that gives your side the edge in the run-in.
#FPL – The 24-year-old French international has remained at St. Mary’s despite being heavily linked with a move to White Hart Lane. Priced £5.6m he is owned in a paltry 5.9% of FPL leagues heading into gameweek 4. But for a brace against West Ham, Scheniederlin would be sitting on a single-digit return at a price that doesn’t inspire much confidence. A year ago he played 2765′ and managed to find the net twice, with only a single assist. Adding to the ledger on the wrong side of the tally, he was cautioned eight times and earned a scant three (3!) bonus points – a total he has already equaled this term.
While the Saints midfield can exemplify the best of modern football, winning challenges ahead of the defense and patiently working possession back into the opponents third, the reality is that Schneiderlin will likely not return enough on your investment to justify a differential purchase. For a similarly priced player (£5.5) we would recommend Stewart Downing, owned in just 2% of FPL leagues. Downing has posted more than 160 FPL points twice in his career, with the most recent four seasons ago. But the 30-year-old occupies a prominent role in the offense and could top 120 points this season on the strength of a handful of goals and high single-digit assists.
#Togga – Schneiderlin finally broke through with the performance Togga managers have been waiting for. His brace at Upton Park sparked a 30 point outpouring for the Saints midfielder. Schneiderlin had his value depressed in the first two gameweeks by a poor disciplinary record (one caution) and his inability to secure the football as well as he can (dispossesed once in each of the three matches to date). His willingness to get stuck in has been evident throughout, however, and his 11 tackles won puts him on a season-high pace. The key to his value for Togga managers – and he has value even as an MF4 (fourth midfielder) in leagues as small as 6-teams – will be tied to his tackles won and interceptions, with the occasional goal providing a spike in production.
#FPL – A season ago Manchester United posted 13 cleansheets (12 with David de Gea in his 37 appearances) as they tumbled down the table. The shake-up in management has done little to solve the Red Devils defensive frailties, and Louis van Gaal will be hoping that Rojo is the straw that stirs the drink. The 24-year-old Argentine is a lock to start for Manchester United, if not in GW4 than no later than United’s trip to Leicester in GW5, and could provide excellent early returns.
Part of this is a function of United’s schedule out of the break: QPR (H), Leicester (a), West Ham (H) and Everton (H). Part of this is a reloading of attacking options as Radamel Falcao and Angel di Maria figure to keep the pressure and the ball in the opponents third. Rojo has seen little investment – perhaps predicated on his inability to secure a work permit until the International Break. Now cleared to play in England, the £6.0-rated defender is a good differential play for fantasy premier league managers will an extra transfer to use before EPL play resumes on 13 September.
#Togga – Marcos Rojo was one of dozens of players made available in Togga following the close of the transfer window. The Red Devils defender had been waiting for his work clearance, but with papers in hand he becomes an immediate add in all size Togga leagues. Despite United’s current injury issues at the back, they face a solid run of fixtures after the break which will likely establish Rojo’s value going forward.
Even if United are unable to secure clean sheets (+4 for defenders), Rojo figures to score significant points in tackles won and interceptions, while losing relatively few for goals conceded (-2 per goal) or errors leading to goals (-3). He is a must start defender in 10-team Togga leagues as soon as GW4, and the spate of injuries to United’s back line (Jones, Shaw and Smalling all facing fitness issues) all but ensure he’ll be in van Gaal’s starting XI against QPR. If Rojo remains available in the player pool in your league, you should immediately drop the worst defender on your roster to add the Argentine international.
Much like fantasy manager games, Togga is a more immersive fantasy management experience where managers can set tactics, transfer players, make player-exchanges with other teams and formulate long-range goals. Togga rosters allow for players to be kept on the bench without sacrificing the strength of your starting XI – giving managers the opportunity to retain an injured player for the second half or stash an electric youngster for the run-in to the title.
Currently in Beta, Togga has more features coming online all the time and offers their own insight and analysis on players with player updates, injuries and suspensions all available for managers to review before finalizing squad selection. With 35 weeks remaining in the EPL season you and your mates can still start a league, enjoy the excitement and have a bit of banter. Togga is free to play and players can sign up here or with Facebook.
John Wallin aka Cooper has been playing fantasy sports for more than a decade. An avid supporter of Liverpool since the days of the Spice Boys, he has earnestly worn a white suit on multiple occasions. Prior to joining Togga, he wrote for EPLIndex, MLB.com/fantasy, BackPageFootball and his own site,FantasyGaffer. Follow John @FantasyGaffer.