For as long as I can remember fantasy football has been more or less the same. Before smartphones and laptops we used to play through the newspaper, picking your players and ringing up a premium rate line to type in their codes on your house phone and to register your team name with it’s hilarious Julian Dicks related pun. (Younger readers ask your Dad)
Whichever paper you read the format was almost identical. Players were given values in millions of £ and you had to pick your team within a set budget. Simple. So simple you’re probably still playing one of these “Salary Cap” type leagues now, the most popular being on the official Premier League website or through the Sun Dream Team.
Now I’m not knocking these leagues at all, they can be great fun and it’s normally pretty easy to get a mini league going with plenty of your mates in for a bit of banter and the chance of winning a few quid. But they do have a couple of downsides that almost always appear as the season goes on.
First of all everyone at the top of the league has 4-5 identical players in their teams. When your captain Harry Kane scores you ain’t jumping off your sofa celebrating cos he’s everyone else’s captain too. Because those points are given to every manager with him in their side it doesn’t really make a difference if he scores a hat trick or doesn’t score at all, your relative positions in the league don’t change.
A side effect of this is that it becomes very difficult for managers lower down the league to catch up. Even if they make transfers and put in the players who are on form and getting all the points how can you catch somebody who also has those players as well? Many years ago I was 3rd in our works league with a couple of games to go and had 8 players in my team that were also in the team in second place. All he had to do was match my transfers to make catching up impossible.
This glass ceiling causes many managers to give up half way through the season and can mean the prize winning positions at the top of the table can see little change over the final few gameweeks.
Draft Fantasy Football is different. In each mini league every team is totally unique and no 2 teams can own the same player. So only one manager gets Harry Kane, only one team has Romelu Lukaku and nobody has to share Eden Hazard. If you’re lucky enough to have Kane upfront and he scores a hat trick then he’s only scoring points for you and nobody else. That’ll get you jumping off the sofa!
The added bonus to every team being totally different is that they will have totally different scores each week so you have a real chance of catching up the league leader. And if you haven’t got Kane don’t worry because the best players get spread out between all the teams in your mini league when you take it in turns to pick them in the Draft.
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