Welcome to a new series from serial top 100 challenger @DreamteamRating discussing Sun Dreamteam strategy and tips exclusively for Fantasy Football Hub members. He has had plenty of Dreamteam success in cash mini leagues over the years culminating in a very impressive 10th placed finish in the recent 2019/20 season. In this second article he talks us the slight rule tweaks and his early team selection planning.

New rules

First off let’s get used to the rule tweaks. We now have five transfers to use each month if we wish; to some people this may seem a lot but, trust me, we will find them very useful!

Next we need to look at the fact that player prices can increase or decrease up to a maximum of 0.3m per Gameweek and are based on the previous two weeks average. In my mind, the priority in the early part of the season is to try and boost your team value. With this in mind, and with price rises being aggressive some players could be up to £10m by Christmas so we need to increase our budgets. The strategy I use for this is by looking at which players have performed over the previous two weeks (or just the first week in the case of the start of the season) then if I have an underperforming player I can swap him out on the Thursday night for a player that you know has performed well and will rise on the Friday morning 7am deadline. This way, you make the most of the price changes as when the prices change your transfers will go through at the original prices for when you made the transfer transaction. For example, if you are dropping a £3m player on the Thursday night who is likely to drop to you £2.7m when the prices change at 7am on Friday morning, you could buy a £3m player who will rise to £3.3m and gain yourself £0.6m in the bank.

Whoscored ratings

As a general rule Whoscored.com who provide the ratings are suckers for a set piece taker or dribbler. Players that take corners and free kicks seem to rise quickly up the ratings and also players who achieve lots of take-ons such as Adama Traore seem to get very high ratings. Keep this in mind when you are looking for an advantage over mini-league opponents

Team Selection Approach

Now, how are we going to start selecting our teams? Personally I play each month virtually as a separate game and based my selections solely on what fixtures are being played.

With Manchester City and Manchester United looking like they won’t have a game in Gameweek 1, I will not be selecting any of their players in my original starting lineups. Liverpool have an inviting opening fixture at home to Leeds whilst Arsenal, Leicester, Chelsea and Tottenham also have nice first games on paper. Because of these fixtures, players from these teams will make up a large part of my ten starting XI’s. Making up ten teams gives you much more scope of getting in the high point scorers over the first few games. Although it’s early doors, you don’t really want to fall way behind in the first month.

When selecting your teams, if you are selecting them without Manchester United or Manchester City players you must have a plan as to how you will be getting those key players in your side that you want. What I tend to do is to make up my teams including those players and then find a straight swap replacement for them so that when they become available it’s very simple to get them in. For example I may want to get Bruno Fernandes in my team so I will put him in an initial 11, then replace him with say Willian knowing that when Fernandes is back playing in Gameweek 2 I can do a straight swap back out. The last thing you want is to have to make more than one transfer to bring in a specific player.

Defensive strategies and picks

Straight away the one that stands out is the Liverpool defence. In my opinion Trent Alexander-Arnold is a must have player at £5m this season. His performances last season were stat-tastic and theres no reason why he will not produce the same for this year. Then at £4.5m we have Andy Robertson who again will be going in my side as a season long pick unless he picks up an injury. The one overpriced Liverpool defender is Virgil Van-Dijk at £6m. I cannot justify having him in my side long-term at that price. This may change once my budget increases over the months and I can afford to have big scoring strikers along with such an expensive defender. I like to make at least semi-blocks at the back so to round off my Liverpool grouping I will be putting in Allison as at 3.5m he is pretty decent value.

My defence will then be made up of either one or two from another team and with Tottenham having good fixtures to start there seems be a decent option with Ben Davies being priced at just £2m who could be very good value this time around. If Serge Aurier stays and can nail down the regular right-back slot then his 2.5m price-tag isn’t to be overlooked either.

This logic is how I will be setting up all my ten defences as either a back three or four with the teams varying but always the same method. We need to be careful when selecting Manchester City defenders as we all know Pep loves to rotate and because of this I generally tend to avoid them. Nathan Ake may well turn out to be a bargain but remember he could also miss as many games as he’ll play this season.

The Manchester United defence is a tough one as although they finished the season very strongly I personally thought they had a great run of games to finish with, but when push came to shove against decent attacking sides their defence was made to look very average. Harry Maguire who scored very well in the game for me is overpriced at £5m so for now I won’t be going anywhere near him. Luke Shaw on the other hand at just £2.5m could be good value if he can hold down that full-back spot. On the other side Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a fantastic tackler and is quick with it so he may well see his way into a few sides as the season moves on. I wouldn’t recommend any other defenders at Manchester United just yet.

Bargain defenders

There are a few potential bargains that stand out to me. Rubens Vinagre at Wolves at £1.5m looks great value with Jonny Otto out for four months. Kieran Tierney at Arsenal at £3m loves getting forward and now he is fully fit I believe he will have a very good season. Of the teams coming up I think Leeds' Dallas and Ayling at £1.5m look good players but personally I don’t like touching defenders from a promoted side so I will be avoiding them. Ake at £2.5m could really be a gem this year if Pep decides to play him and Laporte together mainly but as stated above this is an early season risky pick as we know he does like a bit of rotation. Keep a close eye on Ben Chilwell at Leicester as a move to Chelsea could make him a very decent player to have in your side.

Midfield strategies and picks

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