FPL Draft for DUMMIES

Fantasy Premier League Draft is here, bringing a new and exciting way of playing the world’s most popular Fantasy game.

 

Basics:

A 15 man squad has to be picked by each participant. (2 GK, 5 DEF, 5 MID, 3 FW)

Each participant chooses a player based on a random generated order. And the order changes as soon as every participant picks a player.

Eg. Player 1 pick: A->B->C->D->E Player 2 pick: E->D->C->B->A

The player picking last is not at a disadvantage. Eg. A starts, picks Kane. The next order is BCDEEDCB before A can pick a player again. So A gets the 1st player, probably star player and 10th player, an average one while E gets the 5th and 6th, both star players.

 

Earning points:

Scoring is same as points for the classic FPL game.

The squad WILL NOT have captains and vice captains.

Transfers:

There will not be any direct transfers between participants. All transfers have to go through the pool.

There are two kinds of transfers, “free agent transfers” and “Waiver transfers”. Free agents, in the beginning of the game, are the players not picked by even a single team in the mini-league. Players on Waiver are the players newly added (new EPL transfers or loan signings) or players released by managers in the league.

 

 

Free agent transfers:

Free agent transfer deadline is 24 hours before the Gameweek deadline. You can select any player from the pool and swap him with a player in your team in the same position (Defender->Defender, Mid->Mid etc). The player you release, in this case, is now put in the Waiver pool.

 

Waiver system:

A waiver pool is where the players released from the managers’ teams or new signings sit. Signing a player on a waiver involves the following:

  1. Two days before game week 1, you (Manager D) see that the player (Juan Mata) is on a waiver. You decide you want him so you place a ‘waiver request’
  2. Like you, two other managers (B and E) place waiver requests for Mata.
  3. Before the first match, the waiver grant order is the reverse of draft pick order (Here, the waiver grant order is E->D->C->B->A). Since manager E has Mata on his request, he gets Mata. You (D) and manager B don’t get anything.
  4. The other 4 teams will now get the chance to sign the second player on the ‘waiver pool’ if he exists. After the first gameweek, waiver grant order is ascending order of total score in the mini-league(lowest scorer gets highest priority for a waiver)
  5. You can make multiple waiver requests in a ‘waiver priority list’. Requests are granted based on your priority.

Example: Manager B wants to sign Alli who is now on the waiver pool. The other players in the waiver pool are Benteke, Love and Keane. B doesn’t want a defender and makes a priority list: Alli, Benteke. According to league positions, waiver grant order is ‘ACBED’. The managers’ ‘waiver priority list’ looks as follows:

A : Benteke, Alli B: Alli, Benteke C : Alli, Keane D : Benteke, Keane

On deadline (24 hours prior to Gameweek deadline), the waiver algorithm runs and A gets Benteke. Now A is pushed to the bottom of the ‘waiver grant order’. The new waiver grant order is CBEDA. C gets Alli and is pushed down, the order being BEDAC. B doesn’t get any player because they’re all taken and E doesn’t get anything as his list is empty. Benteke has already been allotted to A, so D gets his second priority, Keane. Love is unpicked from the ‘waiver pool’ and is now passed on to the ‘free agent pool’. After waivers are processed, ‘Free Agent Mode’ will be active.

 

When will the draft take place? :

This is solely under discretion of the mini-league admin. The people playing the league can get into a discussion and fix a time before 18.45 ET, August 11, 2017 when everyone would be available and can pick their teams.

In case of public leagues, it is around 24 hours after the first team has joined the public mini league.

 

What if a manager is offline when the draft is going on? :

In case a manager is not online for a draft, he can still participate in the draft in two ways:

  • By creating a watchlist of players for each position sorted on priority.

Exmaple: Manager B can’t make it to the live draft. He makes a watchlist and his watchlist for defenders reads Alonso, Coleman, Jagielka, Luiz, Bailly, Smith. The draft order is A->B->C->D->E. A has picked Alonso in his turn. Coleman is available so the system automatically allots Coleman to manager B.

ALERT: Alderweireld is available for Manager B to pick but is not on B’s watchlist. If B is offline during the draft, the system strictly follows the watchlist and B will end up missing Alderweireld. So prepare a watchlist carefully.

  • In case the manager doesn’t have a watchlist, the FPL site assigns him something called a ‘draft rank’. This is some weird number based on a player’s fantasy points in last year’s game and/or his predicted points in this year’s classic fantasy game. An automated priority list will be created based on this rank and would be used to pick players for the manager. (God bless machine learning and AI, right?)

What does it mean for managers who play both the classic and draft versions? :

Managers would have to keep a stock of headache pills handy.

Tracking three deadlines – one GW deadline for the classic league, two transfer deadlines for draft transfers (both 24 hours prior to GW deadline)

In addition to classic game transfers, the manager has to plan and schedule transfers in the draft league. It is essential to keep track of the waiver pool and free agent pool to grab players.

If a manager in a draft league follows a ‘set and forget’ FPL strategy, his team is frozen and takes the fizz out of the league.

 

What is the ideal size for a mini-league? :

Anything between 5-8. 9+ would be heavily biased against the player who sits last in the ‘draft pick order’. Why? Consider this : 6 footballers last year had an overall FPL score of 200+ and 10 had 180+. These 10 include all the elite players who get you lots of points. If a mini-league has, say, 11 managers, the 11th person to pick is at a heavy disadvantage because all the stars are gone. He has to be content with two top ‘Tier 2’ picks, the best of the ‘second best’ group of players.

 

Pradyoth Kalavagunta

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