Fantasy Football

Fantasy Premier League: tips to climb the rankings from Hong Kong elite manager Kenneth Tang

  • It’s time to play the wildcard if you have not done so already
  • Combinations are the key to success, says Hongkonger
PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 December, 2018, 8:03am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 December, 2018, 8:03am

“Just enjoy the game,” said Kenneth Tang of the Official Fantasy Premier League, “Don’t put too much pressure on the rank.”

But what advice does he have for someone who wants to follow him into the ranks of the elite FPL players?

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Use your wildcard for Christmas

Tang has done just this in game week 16. “It’s better to have all 15 players at Christmas – a good time for a wildcard to get healthy players.”

He changed the plan three times but took the plunge to swap more than 10 players including all of his Liverpool players, as he felt their fixtures were getting harder over the festive period.

Use your head, not your heart

A Liverpool fan, Tang has got Richarlison and now got rid of his Liverpool players. “This year Liverpool players are overvalued. Before last year I seldom had Liverpool players. The game overvalued them. Like Manchester United players this year. I like them but they are overvalued.

“Forget your favourite team and your rival team.”

Have options for captain

“It’s better to have two, or three or four, possible captains,” Tang suggested. “It’s worth spending a little bit more on possible captains.”

Think about combinations rather than stars

“You need to think about which combination is better,” Tang suggested, “The difference is between these combinations rather than say Marcos Alonso and Ryan Fraser.

“A 4.5 million defender can generate a good score but normally a 4.5 million midfielder is quite dead.

“Defenders could be a lot more valuable than midfielders, and midfielders are more valuable than forwards.

“There is no essential player for me. Just judge the values so the whole combination will generate the best scores.”

Change formation

“Keep changing,” he said. “Formation’s not important actually.” Instead, look for the best combination that game week.

Plan ahead

“A few seasons ago I would plan 10-20 games, Tang said of the pre-wildcard days. “Now I plan for six but for the goalkeeper combo I actually planned for 20 game weeks,” in case he did not play the wild card in the first six weeks.

Don’t be tricked by premium keepers

“I picked Matt Ryan and Joe Hart. A very rare choice. Spending transfer on goalkeepers is lowest – difference between good and bad keepers is not that big.

“I prefer two playable, rotatable goalkeepers rather than a premium one and one that was bench fodder.

Goalkeepers used to be 6 million and now start at 5.5 because they are not worth it. It backs up my calculations.”

Don’t rush

“Don’t rush your trade. When someone has just played well, it’s not the best time to buy them. It depends on their fixtures. People don’t look beyond one fixture.”

“Don’t be tempted by those hat-tricks.”

Use the squad

“I like to have all 15 players playable. I think it’s better.” If that’s not the case then you can do it with a wild card. If you spend your budget on 11 players and four non-playing ones then you can’t rotate and are at risk of injury and suspension.

“I like six, seven or eight players that will definitely play. Then five players sharing the other two spots. Sometimes five is too many so four into two and then one player that is not good.”

Rotate players from a pair of teams

There are tools on the Internet where you can find out which teams rotate the best together, Tang advised managers looking to make the jump to start from here.

“It’s not that time consuming. The teams that are good to rotate are there. The fixtures are there.

Newcastle and Brighton.

“You don’t need to care about the big teams. Liverpool are best with Cardiff? It doesn’t matter.”

Ignore the market

“You don’t need to accumulate money to spend. If you have 102 million and I have 100 million, but you are using 97 and I am using 100 that’s not good. If I have 102 million then I will use 102.

Trust yourself

There’s a lot of good information in the media and on the internet but back yourself. “I put more emphasis on the ease of the fixture than many people,” he said.

“I think the current Burnley is worse than people think so I’ll tune down their strength. I’ll use my own judgement to adjust. Some people will judge the opponent’s strength by average”

It’s just a game

Tang has friends that never captain a defender, because it means watching an English Premier League game hoping to see no goals, or never captaining a player who plays in the early kick-off on Saturday, to keep up excitement. “Go and enjoy it.”