The World of Fantasy Football

I am back!

I must have left the greatest fracture since the start of the website along with my final article being outside of the 13th of June. If some one of you figured, I am not dead, but just transferred into a new house, which at German equates to 3 months without internet. Just a few months ago I had the wonderful honour of being paid a visit by the Telecom technician, therefore that I am back . No matter not having printed anything fresh from the previous months I used every bit of kilobytes I obtained my hands on further investigating the most recent trends in the gaming markets. In fact, I were blessed to discover that this no-Internet stage in the middle of summertime when lots of gamblers are on vacation anyway. But not me! Considering the bookmakers supplied nothing of focus to me in July and most of August I opted to look further. A few innovative gaming goods grabbed my focus I tried my fortune spread judi online and dived into the area of dream football. The following one I found quite intriguing so I opted to present my comeback article because of this. I will inform you that my experience with dream football and will supply you some tips for maximizing the performance of your group.

What is Fantasy Football?

The concept of dream football was not entirely new to me. The official fantasy game of the Premier League was operating since a lengthy time ago and attracted a massive number of players. The game was basically a marketing tool for the team and to the players it’s been for enjoyment.

In connection to the fantasy world took an interesting twist on the different side of this sea, by which two important players arose offering fantasy on a significant scale, but utilizing a little gaming taste. Draft Kings and FanDuel were climbing at an unprecedented speed and also have been striking enormous property bargains from NFL, MLB and elsewhere. Both have attempted a merger, so which was blocked from your national trade commission on anti-monopoly reasons. A political debate has been raging lately if what they supplied, particularly playing sports together with money, should be considered gambling or not. Every state has its own opinion on this, but the reality remains that the growth of those companies has put some European bookmaker to shame. Another event of European high-street bookies missing an important (and incredibly profitable ) trend. But hey, at least we have FOBTs!

Anyhow, when this new fantasy trend seemed I thought it could possibly be a wonderful business idea to begin something such as Europe, along with the decision to open accounts in local currency instead of simply USD alongside a focus on football. Regrettably I have the cash nor the chance to start anything similar to this, and I discovered that a man got for it.

FanTeam

FanTeam can be obtained only because 2013 and has increased its base of gamers considerably. The point is running regular tournaments in many of sports, but football brings the players definitely. In my understanding FanTeam are the most significant DFS (daily fantasy sport ) provider located in Europe and providing outcomes in EUR. Unfortunately, now they don’t supply accounts GBP, that I think is a pity. As the ones of you found in UK may still need to swap money to do DFS, you can also want to take into consideration the aforementioned Draft Kings together with FanDuel. Additionally they’ve football (soccer ) accessible and you’re in a position to begin an account in USD there. Both sites have another scoring process, which I have found a bit more complicated and harder for modelling. On the other hand they are more recognized and a wonderful deal bigger than FanTeam, which has its own benefits.

Yet back to FanTeam. The standard weekly Premier League championship attracts about 700-800 participants. How do this work? You assembled a set of 12 players employing a restricted budget of 100 points, where every participant has a specific cost arbitrarily determined by the stage. There are tournaments employing different team dimensions and financing nonetheless, this seems to be the most popular format. The manner by which the players’ price is determined is an interesting topic in itself but not the focus of this article (I assume it has something to do with the expected points for each player as calculated by the platform).

Once you build your team (you have time until the start of the first game of the round) your players start collecting points and your team gets ranked according to your total points. The points are awarded based on a scoring system used by FanTeam (which does not differ much by the classical point system of the Premier League’s fantasy game). You get in the game by paying a rake amounting to 10% of your buy-in. The rake is where the FanTeam’s revenue comes from, while the buy-in goes towards the prize pool.

The more savvy punters among you probably already see the potential here. If you get to develop a system that picks the perfect team and you manage to score above-average in the weekly rankings you have a good chance of winning your rake back or even turning a profit. If you know a thing or two about probabilities in sports you could make a fairly accurate prediction on a number of events determining the point-outcome of a game. Of course, one also needs to factor in the expected variance, which in my experience is nothing short of what you are used to from the betting markets. There is a way to get around that and I will come to it later.

Another benefit of playing fantasy football as opposed to betting with a bookie is the business model. The platform makes its profit from the rake-in and the prize pool is formed by the entry fees of all the players. This means that the platform doesn’t really care about who is winning and how much, they only need to make sure everything is up and running. Stark contrast to the high-street”winners welcome” bookmakers who will kick you out at the moment they catch you making a cent of profit.

Furthermore, since the profit of the platform is independent from the outcome of the game there is much less risk involved for the company itself, so your money is arguably safer here than with a bookmaker. Again and again we hear stories about high-street bookmakers confiscating a player’s balance for whatever outrageous reason just to compensate for the losses they have made due to their terrible odds. I don’t see why that would happen here.

Getting started

Getting started is fairly easy. You just need to make a deposit and verify your account. This could be done at a later stage but I always recommend doing it before depositing any money if the option is available. There are a few deposit options to choose from, including Skrill, Neteller and credit card deposit, which are all free of charge.

You get a 200% bonus, which you only get to release in the form of a 25% discount from your rake-ins. In other words, if you pay EUR 10 towards the prize pool, you would normally need to pay a rake of EUR 1 to FanTeam to participate in the tournament. If you have a bonus you will only need to pay EUR 0.75 and the EUR 0.25 discount will be released from your bonus balance. As you see it would take you quite some time to make a full use of your bonus. On the other hand there is no possibility for bonus abuse, which certainly improves the reliability of the provider. So all in all I find the bonus satisfactory.

So far I have chosen to participate in the weekly tournaments. I find them more exciting since you get the outcome only in a few days. There are full-season leagues available too, but I wouldn’t like to have my money locked in there for almost a year. On the other hand, a full-season tournament has the advantage that in the long term it evens out much of the variance, whereas in the single-round tournaments you are strongly dependent on the outcome of this and that game even if you make the perfect team.

As an example, a few weeks ago I have picked quite a few Man City and Tottenham players in my team. I have calculated a high expected score for all of them largely due to the fact that the betting markets gave those two teams the highest probability for winning their games and expected them to score a lot of goals. However, City only managed to win 1-2 with a late goal and less than stellar performance, while Tottenham disappointed with a home draw against Burnley. Meanwhile Liverpool smashed Arsenal 4-0, which came as quite a surprise to everyone.

You should expect things like that to happen all the time. The variance is big and especially in the weekly tournaments it might take some time for skill to pay off. One way players deal with this is to play with several teams in one week’s tournament. It is certainly an option, but first, it is sub-optimal since you don’t only run the team with the highest expected score and second, it requires even bigger time investment in analysis on your side, so for now I choose not to go this way and try to live with the variance.

Making your team

With this in mind, you could start building your first team. The approach I chose was to pick the players who would bring me the highest expected points. Calculating expected points for players is tricky and requires a lot of work. I must say upfront, if you are hoping to make easy money with fantasy football you should give up, since I have found the analysis is quite time-consuming. However, what I liked about it was that most of the information you need is out there so if you are willing to invest the time you can come up with a fairly accurate forecast.

The team format used in the weekly tournament includes 12 players, 11 of whom play and the last one sits on the bench and comes in in case any of the 11 doesn’t start. As you already see, it is pretty important that all of your chosen players start and guessing the starting line-up for each team is an important winning factor in fantasy football.

Restrictions

You have two restrictions in building your team. One is the budget, the other is the formation.

You have a certain budget available to buy players. For the weekly tournament it is 100 points. The price of players changes every week mostly in accordance to whom the team is playing against. The algorithm for calculating the weekly price of players is not disclosed by FanTeam (at least not to my knowledge). What is left for you is to determine a “fair price”, compare it to the ones offered by the platform and buy the players you consider a bargain.

The second restriction is the formation. Players have one of four positions, which are relevant for the scoring as well as for the formation (GK, MID, DEF, FWD). There are only certain formations that are allowed (5-4-1, 5-3-2, 4-5-1, 4-4-2, 4-3-3, 3-5-2, 3-4-3). If your 12th player needs to come in, the resulting formation also needs to be an eligible formation. Otherwise your sub stays on the bench even if someone from your starting eleven didn’t participate in the game.

The Bargains

Finding players who are a bargain and optimizing your team based on the restrictions above is the exercise you need to do in order to make the perfect fantasy team. To find out which players are sold at a discount you must first determine what amount of points you could expect to get from every one of them. To do so you must carefully study the scoring rules. As I wrote earlier, the scoring rules would be familiar to anyone who has played the Premier League fantasy game as they are not much different. What needs to be done at this point is to go through all the factors that may give points to (or take points from) a player, calculate how much points you expect that player to earn from each factor and finally sum it all up.

I do this by having a look at the betting markets for this game and making use of as many of them as possible. As an example, a defender who has played 90 minutes in every game of his team since the beginning of the season, would have a fairly high chance of starting and playing a full game this week. The market for a clean sheet for his team is at odds (say 1.9 for a clean sheet and 1.9 for no clean sheet). That means the team has a 50% chance for a clean sheet, which would add 4 points to the score of the player, or 50%*4 = 2 expected clean sheet points for this player. You repeat the exercise for all factors and all players, sum it all up and arrive at an expected score for each player for this round.

Picking the players

Once you have calculated the expected points of all players the question comes: Who do you need to buy? The best”value to your money” team would be one composed of the 12 players with the highest expected points/price ratio. The two restrictions , the set budget and the allowed formation, add additional difficulty to the calculation. You need to maximize your team’s expected points based on those two limitations. What complicates the function further is the “Captain” option. The Captain is one player from your team picked by you, who scores double. With this option high-scoring players who would normally be less of a bargain compared to mid-scoring ones could end up being more valuable to your team.

At this point I haven’t figured out how to mathematically optimize this function. I have a feeling you have to use some sort of linear algebra but I must dig into that further. The approach I am using at the moment is to arrange my team based on intuition. It is not perfect but it is still a working solution.

So at the end of the day you follow the above rules and arrive at the perfect team, in expectation at least.

That makes sense, so what results did you get?

Frankly, the results by now have been mediocre. I have played five rounds so far. In the first one I underestimated the required time for analysis, spent too much time calculating the players’ expected points and left handed too little for building the team. I wound up picking up a great deal of players at the very final minutes ahead of the deadline, which led to receive a superb set but also one with a whole worth of only about 80 points of 100 available. I was quite pissed inside my poor time management until I found at the finish of the around that I was only a few points short of the prize pool (15% of participating gamers get some decoration, of course the greater you place the more you get ).

Being excited about the promising score of this type of underdogs I had been convinced another around I will let it be huge. I didn’t know at the time I was to receive a huge disappointment! Possessing lots of gamers from two teams which were heavy favorites into the week I were hit by the variance with the two teams playing well below expectation. As you have likely guessedthe two groups were the above Man City and Tottenham. I had a below average rating placing me 500th from 775 teams. Not many cool-off.

What happened? Apparently, from the very initial round that the chance was with me and in the subsequent one. I discovered in practice precisely what I must have expected in theory — variance is a substantial factor here and also in the event you’ve got the perfect model it would take quite some chance to detect some persistence in returns.

I joint a round global games where luck was in my palms and I managed to dent 3rd, winning EUR 56 in a entry fee of 10, evening out my FanTeam balance. So equipped with my knewly found wisdom and actually a lot of patience I shall continue to compete in the weekly Premier League challenges. I am still fairly enthused about DFS so I will continue working with it and will make it possible for you to be aware of how it’s going.

Conclusion

Meanwhile, I’d be delighted to see about your experience with football eyesight. Can you devote an endeavor to some paid dream soccer leagues and how did it proceed? Or maybe you developed a cool procedure to a Premier League fantasy game? Let me understand in the comments.