The Rules

As I am facing a few weeks out of the blogging game due to an impending addition to the family, and as I am completely distracted at work for the same reason, I thought I would take Neal's suggestion and blog my Fantasy EPL rules. Any value to these rules/tidbits/strategies come with the caveat of my current 3rd place in my private group following a a 4th place finish (I think) last year.

1. Punch above your weight
You generally want to pick anyone playing in a more advanced role than they are designated by the fantasy game - defenders playing in midfield and midfielders lining up as forwards. Perfect example of that is Steve Watson. Listed as a defender for Everton, but except for acute injury crisis, he has played on the right side of their midfield. The further up the pitch, the better chance of getting you points.

2. Wing it
Another player to look for is the wing back or attacking full back. While not lining up in midfield per se, they end up spending a lot of time there. You can find these guys best on teams playing a 3-5-2, like Steve Carr and Christian Ziege for Tottenham in years past. Or Wayne Bridge and Ashley Cole who start in a flat back 4 but often push up in support of the attack.

3. Live for the dead ball
Always try to pick the player who takes dead balls for his team - free kicks and corners. These lead directly to scoring chances - goals, assists and successful crosses. Plus they are free points! Your guy doesn't have to do anything to earn these chances. Let the rest of the team work for your fantasy betterment! Look at Laurent Robert over the last few years. He's been a fantasy stud averaging 15points a game because he took all of Newcastle's free kicks and corners. Thierry Henry is the perfect fantasy player because he takes kicks on top of his incredible goal scoring. Even a middling player on a poor team can be elevated to must have because they earn enough points taking kicks - Danny Murphy, Jason Koumas or Youri Djorkaeff (who also falls under Rule #1) come to mind.

4. Never pass up a sure thing
Always try to get the sure starter. Don't pick up Louis Saha because he could get a hat-trick in 20 minutes of play. Because if you play the odds and get someone on the pitch for 90 minutes you'll be better off. This gets hard because a lot of your best players are on the best/biggest squads. So Chelsea, ManU and NUFC forwards are a nightmare to pick. So save yourself the aggravation.

Well, kids... that's it for me for a while. See you on the other side of of fatherhood. Good luck, and god bless America.