Pick loads of left-backs, says Greg Wright, who won the Daily Telegraph’s £40k prize a year ago. Oh, and don’t make changes after being at the pub...
“You need to do your research, starting in the summer,” says Greg. “A few weeks before the season starts I’ll look at injury news, transfers and so on, trying to find those unknown players that other people miss. Then in the last week of pre-season, when it’s still unlimited transfers, I’ll just start throwing players in, tossing teams around – you’re looking for that good combination to start with. Once you’re happy with your team, unless someone’s injured, then it kind of manages itself.”
“It’s no good having the same team as everyone else. In defence, a lot of people go for five players from different teams, playing it safe. I’ll go for three from one, two from another. I’m only relying on two teams to keep a clean sheet then. You have to gamble a bit, especially at the end of the season. In 2013/14, Eden Hazard was one the best players but when he went cold I took him out, knowing that most people around me had him in their teams. That worked. I did keep Martin Skrtel, though. That, er, didn’t.”
“Don’t ignore players just because you don’t like them. John Terry gets points. Lots.“
Think like a real manager. A player might have a goal spurt, but is he actually any good? Would you normally want to buy him? Don’t waste transfers: if I’ve got 30 overall, I’d want to still have 20 left by New Year. You want the maximum games out of potential signings, so look at their upcoming fixtures, possible suspensions – no matter how desperately I want someone, I won’t buy them if they’re on four bookings. And, most importantly, don’t make drunken decisions at 1am. I’ve done that before.”
“The best players don’t always make the best team. I used to fall for the flashy, skilful players, but they weren’t earning enough points, and in most games defensive midfielders never win any. Attacking full-backs are always good, because you might get points at both ends – I played three left-backs in some games last year. And this is something I got over a long time ago: don’t ignore players just because you don’t like them. John Terry gets points. Lots.”
“People’s teams usually go wrong when they forget about them, so I have a regular routine. Thursday and Friday, I’ll watch the managers’ press conferences on Sky Sports News and check the predicted line-ups. There are also some good Fantasy Football websites now. But as soon as the weekend games are finished, unless there are midweek fixtures, I switch off until Thursday again – you get too into it otherwise. And I stop altogether in June. It’s a long season. You need a life as well.”