There are nearly 2 and a half million who play this game. And I was in the top 400 for a while. I am a serious FF player.

And after this season, I will write some basic beginner tips for getting into the top 10K everytime. If you listen to me, that is.


Fantasy Football watch Dec’08

This is for the Fantasy Premier League game.

Interesting Picks for January could be:

Luca Modric –


1. Tottenham will always be Tottenham, playing aggressive, scoring a lot of goals, and conceding a fair few too…

2. Modric is genuine quality.

3. ‘arry is playing Modric as the withdrawn striker. That is supposed to get him a lot of goals and assists.


1. Tottenham under ‘arry is playing more defensively, and is not quite like last year’s Tottenham.

2. The go-to striker for Spurs is poor (Bent) or under-achieving (Pavlyuchenko). If Spurs buy a reputed striker, say someone like Roque Santa Cruz, then Modric will be a great pick, at only 6.8

3. Modric is a creative midfielder, so you can say he is being played out of position.


Aren’t there other quality midfielders around his price range? Yes, if you count Ireland and Geovanni. And even Fellaini and Denilson… but Modric has way too much quality to suggest that if he hits top form, he will be on a roll…

Benedict BcCarthy


1. Benni is a genuine, proven goalscorer. Has scored lots in the premier league in the past.
2. Blackburn are on an upward trajectory.
3. RSC will definitely leave in January (at least that’s what most say)
4. Benni and Roberts are good premiership players, thus with the Roque money, Fat Sam will surely prioritize in getting in defenders / defensive midfielders / a replacement for Bentley… rather than strikers.
5. The quality that Allardyce will get ino the team in Jan will enable the team to score more, and thereby Benni as well.


1. Benni has not played a single full match yet this year in the premier league… do check, not a single full 90 minutes.
2. Against the big teams / or where FSA wants to park the bus, the chosen lone forward will most probably be Roberts.
3. Isn’t Benni coming off an injury? Will he last the rest of the season?
4. What if Blackburn return to the Allardyce101 style of dirty defensive play and become a full fledged defensive unit?
5. What if Allardyce gets in a Diego Tristan kind of a guy in the window (remember Hierro, Djorkaeff, JayJay, Campo etc etc)? That will reduce the play time of Benni even further (the point is, if you are getting an old warhorse, there cannot be too many better guys than Benni).


Aren’t there other good strikers at 7.2 or lower? Ahem, yes, maybe Elmander, Johnson and Cisse, but Benni can really go on a goalscoring run … and I doubt if any of the others mentioned can.

It’s not (only) about the football..

it’s also a lot about the statistics, and the joy of educated guessing, and the uncertainty of it all, and the victorious post-success feel of solving a puzzle…

… that attracts me to Fantasy Football (I play this click here).

Quizzing was that once, but really, I am not too heavily interested in the esoteric. I am more of a specialist within narrow confines. Puzzles are nice, but the sense of competition is not there, it is a lonely pursuit. I don’t like lonely pursuits. Ditto Crosswords and Sudoku. Online scrabble (click here) comes the closest, but in all honesty, I am not very good at it.

So there, Fantasy Football. After a great first week (70 points), I am stuck with a nightmare… now how will I know that Arsenal will lose, Liverpool will concede and Afonso Alves will be subbed at 59:30 mins?

Fantasy Football bandwagons

Ross Turnbull MI 4.0

If you get a 4.0 first-choice goalkeeper as your reserve, he has to be from the promoted teams, right? Wrong. Make your appearance, Ross Turnbull.

Luke Young AV 4.5

Again, a 4.5 first choice defender has to be from the bottom ten teams, right? Wrong. Luke Young’s just recently transferred in to Villa from Middlesbrough.

Ashley Young AV 8.5

8.5 for one of the top forwards from last year’s tourney, who has been reclassified as a midfielder (thus will be getting one point for every clean sheet too). Is that manna from heaven?

Daniel de Ridder WI 4.5

They say, you cannot get a better midfielder at 4.5

Dean Ashton WH 6.5

They say, you cannot get a better forward at less than 7.5

To win a fantasy football contest…

From one who has never done so….

1. Luck = 70%

2. Local knowledge (of players, of the game etc.) = 2.5%

3. Knowledge of the FF game (how to play, which types of players are most important)= 2.5%

4. Regular tracking of the game = 3%

5. One regular source of recent player information (Fiso and the like) = 2%

6. Patience = 10%

7. Courage (but not foolhardiness) = 10%

8. Logic = 0%



I have done the planning for next year’s starting XI for EPL FF (http://fantasy.premierleague.com). As you can understand, I have become an addict.


Am putting along the prospective prices for each of them alongwith, in brackets. It does add up to ~100 overall.


As follows:

GK Howard        EV 5

GK Al-Habsi       BW 4


DF Evra                MU 6.5

DF Carvalho       CH 6 (if he stays, else Alex)

DF Neville           EV 5

DF Hutton           TH 5

DF Bouma           AV 4.5


MF Ronaldo       MU 13

MF Fabregas     AR 10.5

MF C.Kickaball  XX 6  **

MF Cheapo        4

MF Cheapo        4


FW Defoe           PO 9

FW Santa Cruz  BW 9

FW Alves             MI 8


Don’t just pass the advice by. I am, really, quite okay at the game. 


** C.Kickaball : Carlos Kickaball, a term commonly used in FISO to refer to an unknown Johnny Foreigner to the EPL.