I mentioned a couple of weeks back that i'd signed for an English Premiership fantasy football league. Week 2 starts tomorrow. How am i doing?
I ended up in two separate leagues. One is run by the Guardian, the English news site whose sports writing is among the world's snarkiest
. I thought i might invite some pub friends into a private league through that site, but it turned out they already had one through the EPL itself. So i joined that league as well.
There are basic similarities between the two leagues. You get a kitty of play money at the start of the season (100M pounds) and use it to buy a team. All players have a monetary value assigned to them, based on last year's performance, or other factors if they didn't play in the league last year. (Soccer players move around a lot more than baseball or football players, since soccer is played professionally in so many more countries.) The values are such that you simply can't buy the 15 best players for your allotted money, so you have to decide which are the best bargains.
Both leagues require 2 goalkeepers, 5 defenders, 5 midfielders, and 3 strikers on the team. The Guardian goes a bit further and specifies that 2 of the midfielders must be 'defensive' midfielders. From those players, you activate 11 for each game week. You can only have one goalkeeper active. For your outfield team, you can choose from a variety of formations, from the classic 4-4-2, to an attacking 3-5-2, or, in the Guardian league, such monstrosities as 4-1-2-2. Players earn you points based on both their individual and team performances. Scoring goals is good, as is preventing them for both defenders and goalkeepers.
Differences in scoring between the leagues consists in the Guardian keeping track of a whole host of stats that the EPL league doesn't - accurate crosses, last man tackles, passes intercepted, etc.
In the EPL league, here's my standing:
Points / Rankings Points (Rank)
Overall: 74 (5,497Up)
August: 74 (5,497Up)
Total players: 1,343,794
So, worldwide, i ended up in 5,497th place out of 1.34 million players the first week. Not bad. In the local league, called oddly enough Bull City, my 74 points put me 11 points ahead of the second place team.
Over at the Guardian, my team, which was nearly the same, didn't fare quite so well. Although my goalkkeeper, Manuel Almunia of Arsenal, kept a clean sheet in the first match, he only had one save and thus didn't earn me as many points as, say, Shay Given, who gave up 1 goal but had 6 saves, or Brad Friedel, who also made 6 saves despite giving up 2 goals.
So my 126 points in the Guardian league was only good enough for 4,684th place, out of about 100,000 players.
Both leagues let you move players around within your team with no penalties. The Guardian lets you make 5 trades per calendar month for free, the EPL lets you do one per week. So i've shuffled my Guardian team a bit more this week to try to take advantage of the different scoring system.
Here's the lineups i'm going into this week with:
And in the EPL league:
1: Almunia 6 6 6
2: Davies 4 4 4
3: Sagna 6 6 6
4: Cole A 6 6 6
5: Upson 5 5 5
6: Barry (C) 8 8 8
7: Essien - - -
8: Modric 2 2 2
9: Nolan 8 8 8
10: Ashton 10 10 10
11: Santa Cruz 7 7 7
If Essien doesn't play again this week, then the EPL will substitute one of my bench players for him, so i don't mind leaving him in the lineup. In the Guardian league, though, if one of your players sits out, you're SOL, so' i've left him on the bench.
Wish me luck.
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