Sunday, 15 May 2011

A Very Greedy Child's Wishlist

With the season drawing to a close I thought it would be an appropriate time to ask a question that I've been thinking about in recent weeks - how would you improve Yahoo's current Fantasy Football experience?

Before you start reading my points below, I'd like to state that I'm not trying to sound ungrateful (although I probably will). I know Yahoo are giving us something for free and I honestly believe it is the best fantasy football game around. However, just like a football club, if you're not moving forwards you could find yourself in the Europa League, so there are always areas for improvement.

My feelings...

- Main issue by far; ensuring new players are added to the game as soon as they officially sign for Premier League clubs. There are still players (e.g. Sessegnon at Sunderland) who were brought in January, have been playing well/keeping clean sheets/scoring goals & still aren't on available five months later.

- I understand the points come from an external supplier, but there are often errors around SOTs, assists etc, key stats we rely on. Praise should be given that they are corrected retrospectively a lot of the time, but sometimes they aren't and those 3-5 points really do make a difference. It may not be Yahoo's fault directly, but it forms part of the game.

- The little bugs the appear once in a while, like randomly losing your saved discounts when clicking "undo all changes", should be ironed out once and for all. I believe there are caching issues on Yahoo's side that have something to do with this issue

- A huge call, but in my opinion Yahoo should get rid of the "barndoor"; the term coined by Jeremy & Neal regarding the opportunity to buy players before values go up after a strong performance.

It's something many people love and probably suits the niche game we're playing, but when you think about it it's a major disadvantage for the majority of fantasy football fans who cannot be glued to their computers on a Saturday evening, don't have smart-phones or those who live in different time-zones when the points come in.

I feel it would be far fairer if you could only buy a player once his points had come in and his value updated. Of course you should still be able to hold players at discounts built up over weeks but perhaps the game could be locked down between deadline and each points update to prevent people loading up on players before prices shoot up?

Contentious and undoubtedly risky as I know it's popular to the 10,000 of us who live and breathe it every week - but do we want more people to find this game, or do we like the fact it's quite exclusive? I actually find barndooring quite annoying at times when I have other things on, but know I need to do it to stay competitive. Would we/Yahoo like to attract more players and make the whole thing more accessible? Opinions welcomed on this one specifically.

- A lead on point; a less aggressive algorithm could be used when it comes to calculating player values to supplement the removal of the barndoor. Currently, player price rises can seem random/excessive (including the 7/8/9 game rule) and the majority of decent players can become unaffordable quickly (unless you barndoored them, hence my point above about fairness). Balance is the key in my opinion, give some structure. It makes some sense to the experienced player who's been at this for three or four seasons, but to a newbie the price jumps must seem mental.

- A better searching facility is a necessity. Currently we are limited by what we can search/sort by. You can't sort players by vital stats such as assists/successful crosses etc. This used to be available until a few seasons ago when Yahoo redesigned the front end, which brought positives and negatives.

- Stronger lines of communication between the game administrators and the people playing the game via a more comprehensive news section. We get little information from Yahoo when things go wrong/points delays happen/players aren't added and the official blog often admit they don't know what's happening either. Prime examples were the "no more double weeks" and "postponed games points" issues this season, both incorrectly reported. I think Yahoo lose a lot of potential players because of this, especially when teething problems occur early in a season - there are alternatives, so people just go elsewhere.

***and breathe***

Look, I know implementing all of the above is completely unrealistic, some of them are my own selfish ideas and wouldn't suit the majority, so really it's just a stream of thoughts. Improvements cost £££ and in the current climate I doubt Yahoo have bags of money to throw at a free fantasy football game. However, I honestly think they could improve the user experience and gain far more interest from the customers of the Official Fantasy Premier League game - currently 2 million FPL users vs 200k Yahoo (approx) - if they invested in just a couple of the issues I've listed above. e.g. adding players on time and improving communication.

They have the edge in terms of a wider variety of points scoring opportunities and the chance to make unlimited transfers each week is a fantastic feature. FPL is a more casual experience while I feel Yahoo draws in the true football fanatic in a way Pro Evolution drew us in over FIFA; we know FPL is a more polished package but Yahoo is more immersive. I guess if you could combine the best elements of both you'd have it cracked, but I'm sure that's easier said than done.

Your thoughts?



Nicky said...

Nik this is such a fantastic post, well done fella!

Personally I'd like to see the end of the barndoor too but you'll get a lot of people opposing this.

We need to keep that element of yff that makes it for the fanatic and the barndoor is part of that I guess, but unlimited transfers + the current points system would still gives us the best game and make it more fair all-round.

Assistant Manager said...

Thanks Nicky.

An afterthought question to you all - would you pay a small fee (maybe £2-£5 per season) to see improvements?

Ian Sanderson said...

Some fine points, but I'm happy with the game as it is - warts and all.

Russell said...

Excellent post Nik!

I especially agree with you with regards to barn-dooring.

I am lucky to be living in the UK and can watch (in my case), the championship live, but as I am at the game, it puts at an dis-advantage, to get a barn-door team done, as i can't access the web, (or don't have time) after the games have finished.

If Yahoo could create their own "transfer window", it would be fairer for all, especially those in time zones, where it also makes things difficult to compete with the barn-door.

How about the points are guaranteed to be updated by Monday 9AM, when the transfer window opens, or if there are midweek games, Thursday 9AM (GMT). Then people can buy their new players before Sat 12PM.

It will enough time for people to analyse their teams before saturday, and everyone is on an even keel.


Anonymous said...

nice post. good points. but i would not play this yff again if i need to pay for it. cant afford it.

rwlwhite said...

One thing I have always wanted added to YFF is a similar bonus points system to the FPL game. Even if it was a simple 5 points for a man of the match performance or something rather than the 3 tiered system (3 points, 2 points and 1 point) used in FPL.

My main reason for this is that YFF gives us the opportunity to gain points for things such as blocked shots, crosses, corners won etc, but players such as Jack Wilshere and Paul Scholes do far more on the pitch an are quite often players who, for example play the decisive ball through to a player who then sets up a goal, thus getting the assist, even though it was created by the player before. Instead, they tend to end up with small negative points figures due to a handful of fouls.

If a 5point MOM award was given, it may allow for those sorts of players to be picked regularly, rather than as a filler (i've picked wilshere for the last 3 weeks as a filler at a cost of 4.xx and ended up with a total of 0.5pts for those 3 weeks combined!)

I would also like to see 1 extra point earner for goalkeepers. Crosses taken/held or balls won in the air. Something along those lines. My reasoning being that quite often a cross from a corner or a free kick will be contested in the air by keeper/striker. If the striker gets a head on it it can be an SOT/goal/assist. If the keeper wins it in the air, he removes the goalscoring opportunity, in the same way a blocked shot would yet doesn't get rewarded for this even though it could stop a winning/equalising goal. Even if it was 0.5 points per cross taken in the air, 5 a game would give you 2.5 points. As it is, I think it is all too easy for goalkeepers to get huge negative points totals due to conceding 2/3 goals, and surely fantasy football is about gaining points and not losing them

I agree with most of your points too Nik. I think that the algorithm used to calculate players prices is wrong. I know players become more expensive if they do well because it means to get them into your team you need to balance them with cheaper players, supply/demand almost, but when you have a 5.xx value player who scores a random hat-trick as a one off during the season whose value suddenly shoots up to 20+, thats just wrong - would you pay that for ricardo fuller for example? no, you wouldn't, but the algorithm would price him that way, and then he wouldn't ever be picked! Also, there are currently 11 players over the value of 17 (too many) which Maxi for example has scored 7 goals in 3 games, ammassed 89 points in 3 weeks, yet is valued at less than 17. I just don't get it

Sorry its a long post, but I feel quite strongly about some of these issues, and thanks Nik for giving us the opportunity to air our concerns/wishes about the future of the game

Anonymous said...

Week 32-superliga. My gk D.Lopez kept a cs, i was surprised 2 weeks on his score had not been added. I had a good score and was hoping to score over a 100, something i've not been able to do often in that game. Just checked before posting his 22points are in now.

I live in Nigeria so i don't mind the bd because even when i'm out i can easily link up through my phone but if it was removed it wont disturb my interest as there is no bd in the other games i play.

Assistant Manager said...

Russ - Transfer Window is a great shout mate

RWL - some fantastic points, I totally agree on the Wilshere/Scholes issue, Modric falls in to the same category, he often assists the assister... you watch a game and they run the show but score 2 YFF points. A MOM award or more reward in another area to boost the deeper lying midfield creator would be great to see.

Fahmi - I probably wouldn't pay to play YFF either, it was just an afterthought when I was thinking of ways to fund improvements in a fantasy game. More advertising is the most obvious alternative.

Ebi - Good assessment of the BD, I reckon many will feel the same; don't mind it, but wouldn't miss it either.

AFM said...

nice post....but..i think barn'dooring just make the game more interesting...and i think i would not pay for YFF..

Anonymous said...

Nik, I agree with you on most of the points and I just want to highlight that certain points are already covered by Yahoo! in their own different versions of the game.
For example:
-I used to play Fantasy La Liga and Ligue 1 last year and there was no such thing as Barndoor. No fantasy manager was allowed to buy any players before their respective values are changed.
-The champions league version is a different story all together (wonderful to try by the way). specific number of changes/week makes it really hard to finalize your team with the right choices, player prices are fixed (but I guess that's because it's a cup) anyway...

I agree 100% on the game stats, I've taken it personal in some cases where I tried counting CWs/SOTs/SCs... and it was way off with Yahoo! count.

My Suggestions to add to the above:
-Adding a "Captain" each week could actually improve the game as well (Yahoo! already have that in their champions league version).
-Some stats should be added to make it really fair (Hitting the post/bar should in my opinion be considered as a SOT in this game; player mistakes should be counted as negatives (i.e. back passes that lead to a goal, goalies' mistakes, etc...)
This would take a lot of work but I guess this is the only way to make the game as fair as possible.

Let's see if the Admins listen to us this year and add any enhancements next year...

Assistant Manager said...

AFM - I appreciate your thoughts, barndooring has become a big part of the YFF experience so many people would never like to see it removed. I can actually see both sides of the argument as I've used the barndoor to my advantage for 7 years!

It adds an extra dimension of excitement, gambling on players/making decisions on who to grab/who not to grab pre-update and it is fun. But I also think it alienates all but the core 5,000 or so players who have the time to use it.

I guess an opinion on this issue is based on feelings towards the game - because I've become so invested in it via the blog I want the game to grow and become more popular, but if I'd never started the blog and was worried about playing the game only, I'd probably be happy to keep it (hence why I said I'm probably being selfish in my post!)

Rawad - Some interesting stuff mate, having double point for captains like FPL would certainly add an extra bit of spice!

Ken M. said...

The thing I would like to see most are point adjustments WHILE the game is being played. In American (fantasy) football when monitoring your team on "game day" the stats of your players are updated as it happenes in each catagory that applies to him.You can see that XX player has so many points for catches, yards rushed, touchdowns etc. moments after it happens.

I would like to see the points displayed from each catagory that applies to that player at the time it is happening. I believe this would also expand (new players) knowledge of the game itself as they would pay more attention to (ALL THE STATS) as opposed to just, RVP got 23 points, I better pick him up. Showing how the total points are being assesed it happens would, in my opinion, expand not only fantasy players but even expand viewing of the games which in turn could expand a TRUE fan base.

A players price can be adjusted at the final whistle. At least then, you would not have to be tied to a computer those few moments between game ending and prices going up. A quick momitoring of any game during game day would allow decisions to be made on players.

Hopefully, I said this correctly. I love the game as it is and my overall knowledge is limited but as normal...I always want more!

Patrick said...

My biggest issue with the game is how difficult the player search is... any follow up edit to a search or one's team loses the initial search... example... I don't have a FW slot open, but I want to see how much Suarez will run me. I have to type in his name exactly right (and sometimes that won't even do it) or edit the laborious drop down boxes. I find him, find that his price is affordable, so I drop a forward from my team..... my initial search is lost and I have to search for Suarez all over again.
FPL offers an outstanding search engine which gives an easily accessible platform to compare weekly or season-long stats.

Patrick said...

and yes, I would pay a small fee to make it interesting. I run a league with my buddies on the FPL site that is $10 for the season, plus $1 a match up each week. In the end, almost everyone about breaks even except for the really good or really bad players, but it makes it a lot of fun.

Patrick said...

All of the comments appear to say roughly the same thing... if the FPL site would add a wider variety of point-earning opportunities, the game would be almost perfect.

I like that the site adds a little bit each year (blocked shots, transfer wild card, transfer carry-over, etc.). It seems each year it gets closer to what we feel is the perfect game.

I'll stop posting - lol!

Eldwin said...

Very very good post Nik! I've had those thoughts for quite some time, but I guess Yahoo needs to listen to them. One reason I'd say is because YFF is not as popular as say other American sports, which is why it is kind of being neglected.

Anyway the BD part, I'v always wished that it's abolished. At my time zone (+8GMT), the matches are played late at night just before midnight till past midnight. I do BD when I'm watching the matches, but at times it's partying time which means no access to the games to see who is worth BDing.

I also really like rwlwhite's idea about MoM. I've always wanted something to be done for DMFs. This will encourage managers to pick DMFs. At the moment, DMFs don't really score a lot although they play a big part in the games.

One thing I'd like to add. 4-5-1 anyone? :) For some weeks, I really wished I could have 5 MFs either due to matchups or funds limitations.

Assistant Manager said...

Patrick thanks for all your comments!

Totally agree regarding the player search, it doesn't work correctly a lot of the time.

I agree FPL superbly run and does a lot of things very well, but I'm sure you'll agree it will always be suited towards people who want a more straightforward experience, let's call them the "office football fan", someone who has a passing interest in football and likes to take part in office leagues but doesn't want anything too complicated (just goals, assists, clean sheets, one transfer per week etc). Yahoo have a game that appeals to us football fanatics, those who want more control, unlimited transfers, more stats and care more about the minute details.

So yes - combine add Yahoo's player values/scoring system/unlimited transfers with FPLs admin/presentation/search engine and you may well have the perfect game!

Assistant Manager said...

Cheers Eldwin, 4-5-1 would be v.nice :)

Eldwin said...

By the way, forgot to add. I don't mind paying a small fee for the game if it means a lot of improvements.

However, I don't know if we would still get the same player base if that is implemented. But I guess that can be fixed by adding a small prize incentive, either in the form of cash or a weekly small prize (say a football jersey)

Maya Rani said...

Adding a captain will ruin YFF.
It is still a skill game. With captain will become a luck game.


J. Dunn said...

I could go either way on the barn door. It's integral to how I play the game, but as I've gotten older and busier, I find myself less and less able to keep up with it. I probably only make the barn door like half of the time at this point, so I'd probably enjoy the game more without it once I got used to it.

But they do need to cut out some of the drastic price fluctuations if they're gonna do that, and just hold the progression of prices over time down overall. If you divide 100 by 11, you get about 9.00, which should buy you an average player at a given position. Yet by the end of the season the pickings at 9.00 and under are usually very slim, especially on defense. Defensive prices in generally seem really inflated the past 2-3 years, for no more production than you get out of any but the 3-5 most elite options.

Otherwise, I'd like to see some amount of randomness thrown into the game. It seems like the hard core top ~5000 players or so who read the blogs and FFScout and whatever else are all picking from the same very limited pool of players in a given week, and it's very hard to differentiate yourself or to play catchup if you have a bad week or two or you aren't an obsessive player. They're doing it because it works, but it works because the game is a bit too predictable and people have figured out the formula.

I wouldn't mind seeing a double points captain feature, or some kind of bonus points structure like the official game has, just to mix things up a bit.

Or maybe like one or two optional injured reserve or bench slots, to make long term roster management more interesting and bring back a bit more meaningfulness to decisions about holding players at discount. That way you could give up budget flexibility to hold a guy at discount (you'd still have to find a cheap replacement and you'd be buying 12 players with your 100 units instead of 11), without completely giving up a shot at points at that position. Right now it's pretty obvious that the top players hardly hold at discount at all over time, and I'd like to see the incentives change around that, so that you aren't just solely picking on the matchups every week.

Eldwin said...

How is it luck though? Our pick every week has an element of luck in them too. I think selecting a Captain is pretty much selecting the right person that could score the most for that particular week.

greginho said...

nik great post
thank you for the support for removing the barndoor. i have been wanting its removal for 2 or 3 years and have had no one to agree to its removal. i dont live in a time zone that is adverse for gamedays and barndoors. i was in the eastern US, until 2 years ago, then i went to brasil which is only 2 or 3 hours behind england. the problem i have is i teach english on saturdays, my son plays soccer, we have lives on saturdays and if something gets in the way, i hate thinking that i will get punished for missing a barndoor.
as far as changing the points, i agree wholeheartedly with hitting the post and goalie getting crosses. i have been asking for points for that for a while too, but i think my biggest problem is that a player gets no credit for causing a penalty. getting an assist would be great reward.

MB said...

Lots of things that could be changed - here's what I posted on J&N's blog when they posted this question:

well judging by numerous fantasy games i play - cricket, NFL, Baseball, EPL, YFF - here are some things to include:

draft style leagues (all american sports)
keep and replace leagues (epl)
pick every week with changing price (yff)

then you've got the actual scoring system
cumulative scores (yff)
head to head cumulative score (espn nfl)
head to head on categories (yf baseball)

for league set up:
which categories score points?
how many points do you get for a category?
do you have playoffs?


League managers should be able to choose how they want their own league to be run - sure this removes the international competition but you can have an international league too. Why not?

The one thing that gets me is that Fantasy Sports is such a big deal in the US, why isn't anyone trying to make money off it in the UK? I suspect I know why and its the premiership's stupid copywrite rules.

kwyjibo said...

@Patrick - I agree, that is one of the biggest annoyances. They really need to separate the player list and the team list so updating one doesn't affect the other. That's pretty much 'User Experience 101' in Web development. Better search in general would be great.

@Eldwin - I think the scoring system of Yahoo would make selecting a Captain a bit unfair. What if your Captain gets negative points? Will they then get double negative points making you lose even more?

Alos, the range between top and bottom is too large. Lowest to highest scoring player can be 50-60 points difference at times making for potentially 100-120+ point swings. It works in fantasy EPL because the points totals are much smaller, and they have no negative points.

The BD is a tougher one to implement, since there are sometimes mid-week score/price corrections. Would we be forced to wait until Thursday/Friday to make choices?

Overall, I like the game as is. But the UI could use a refresh.

KRB said...

Dancing girls. YFF needs dancing girls.

On a serious note, I think having private leagues able to set their own draft windows would be a handy feature. I'm in a private league with members in the UK, US and Australia. The UK folks have a bit of an advantage with late injuries/benchings giving them a chance to swap out their Sat morning, which is at obscene o'clock my time.

Other than that, I don't mind the barn-door etc. There's a handful of fanatics in our league, so they more or less compete for #1, but the rest of us pretty much compete amongst ourselves for 3rd or 4th :)

Emon said...

sick of being able to pick up same players in group or league with friends. just make it a draft so there can only be one drogba or one rvp.

Data Head said...

Part I (because the whole comment exceeds 4,096 characters.)

Nik -

I pored over this topic a few months ago when I took an interest in game design.

- The barndoor: YFF Superliga has a much tidier version that follows the transfer window idea. The market is closed until Wednesday, Spanish time, and player prices will not fluctuate until then. (I should mention that this has not stopped in-the-know managers from finding a backdoor way to do some barndoor work, which is a huge advantage, given the volatile nature of the pricing scheme for that game. One of the administrators of Blog Superliga Yahoo posted a video of that process here.)

- Player prices: Use an algorithm based entirely on demand, as in the official Premier League version. By implementing a transfer window, the player prices would remain locked, and it would be anyone's guess as to what the prices would look like after the deadline. This system would also get rid of ridiculous price spikes with one-hit wonders, as happened with Yossi Benayoun last year after his treble against Burnley (which produced half his goals for the season).

- Enlarge the player pool: I know some people might hate the following idea, but I think it would add a dimension to the game that would surpass anything of its kind -- combine the versions of YFF and allow cross-league managerial decisions. This would greatly reduce the tendency for competitive managers to hold the same core of players week after week, and on the business end, it would lead to increased interest (and revenue) in other European leagues. If a manager from England wanted all English players, then fine, that could lead to a winning combination. If a fan of the Netherlands wanted RvP, Sneijder, and Robben on the same team, then so be it. I am not talking about creating YFF games to cover every league in Europe, but if, for example, Yahoo! already had Ligue 1, Serie A, Superliga, and EPL versions, then why not give an ├╝ber-league a go?

- Reserves: If the budget at the beginning of the season were 100.00, but with an extra 15.00 or so for three reserve players -- perhaps one defender, midfielder, and forward -- then wouldn't that be interesting? The reserves would have to be relatively inexpensive at first, just as those who don't make the starting eleven in real life tend to be (relative to their more successful teammates), but what if as you held players whose price had increased, you could use that extra money for upgrades? The pricing system would need a little adjustment for this idea to work (to prevent sudden upgrades from, say, Leon Best to Wayne Rooney), but it would not be too difficult to implement.

MB said...

Any other devs out there looking at all these ideas and thinking of writing something?

Arizona6 said...

1. Quit the huge disparity in goalie scores- ridiculous swings positive to negative for similar performances. ( I do like the negative scores for bad performances.)

2. Pay cash prizes for places 1-50. I am 1400th, but Yahoo should pay something. It's an American company, and should return 2% of the advertising the site generates to the players.

3. Have a single substitute to cut the luck factor- it doesn't even out and snow days show how luck can play a huge role.

4. Have a responsive management- to issues and questions. Horribly run as it now, I feel they could care less about players regarding DGW and adding new, significant players. I never got an response to my email questions about DGW and it hurt my team.

5. Stop the Barn door process. Level down the high values and the absurd jump in prices from week to week.

6. Enable searches of all ranked players to get a feel for how far from 1000th, 2000th place, etc you are.

7. Hire Nik for official blogger or representative between players and management.

Anonymous said...

Being an American stats freak I'd like to see Yahoo make all their FF stats downloadable as an XLS file. It can be done and it's fairly easy if you know how (though time-consuming), but I think everyone should have easy access to all the numbers to crunch as they choose.

Anonymous said...

128 points to move up to 518, hope Richards can bring in some good points too. Bd Hitz and Ba, with nothing to play for wonder if it'll be worth it.

Chaos said...

133.5 points to move me up to 15th overall.

I'm now 1st in the 2nd half of the season, so obviously delighted with that.

With regard on ways to improve the game, the searching for stats would be my top priority to bring in.

Arizona6 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arizona6 said...

Nice going Chaos,

I moved up 200 places with a 110 score to 1200th. Quite surprised because I messed up on a filler defender (A. Miete, who didn't start) and my goalie, Kuzszczak MU got a zero-

Carson finally paid off for all of you- good going.

(I reposted because it seems the rankings jump as scores are posted and recalculated- I don't think 110 points improves my ranking by 505 places which it now says on my homepage, but more like 200 or so from last week.)

I also wish there was a record of your weekly rankings over the season, .... suppose I should just write it down.

kendo said...

I have a question Nik, if you Barn door players on a match day when adjustments are made to players values, I seem to get some money to spare, I take it the adjustments are made on the team with the new players and not the previous weeks team?


kendo said...

Chaos it just seems better for you every week any chance of you giving me your team each week next season before deadline? ;)

David said...


You are correct. Any time the price of a player you own is adjusted down, the system will automatically sell the player at your initial cost, buy him back at the lower price, and deposit the difference in your bank.

smith said...

An end to the Barn Door situation is essential in my opinion as I live on the west coast of the United States.
I have two small children who want to get up and do things on Saturday and Sunday mornings so sometimes I cant even watch any matches until the evening, so I've got no chance to buy any players for next week on the barn door. Puts me at a huge disadvantage.
Also is it true that in England you sometimes get the team sheets for the early kick off games before the deadline has passed, therefore being able to pick confirmed starters?

Please Yahoo more barn door!!

Cheers, The Orphans.

Eldwin said...

@smith, it's not just England. (The lineups are posted on the football's official twitter, or other reliable sources on the internet)

Probably in the US it's hard for you, since it might just be in the early hours of morning. For early kick offs, we do get a 15mins window to get a confirmed lineup before deadline, but things do get very chaotic in that 15mins.

El Canon said...

First off, I want to thank you Nik for the time and effort you put into your blog. This is my first year following it. I been playing YFF for four years and your blog has made it even more enjoyable.

That said, I have to disagree with eliminating the barn door. I play La Liga where they don't have BD and it is much better with it.

@smith I also live on the West Coast, L.A. to be exact, but I believe the barn door helps level the playing field because I don't wake up early for last minute lineup changes. Barn door gives me at least a chance I think for the long haul.

The one change I love to see Yahoo do is to permit you to have different squads for all the leagues one is in.

Ban said...

Almost to the end of the season 2010/2011, All about Fantasy Football! Thanks again to Nik - AM to make up this blog for us, I am sure it is 100% useful. A big helper from here. No doubt, Thanks too for all chatroll members. We all did well.

Honestly, without chatroll and this blog, I think I might get worse and worse in fantasy football.

Although we are not face to face, but we build our own community, our new friendship.

Again, Thank You very much, my dear AM - Nik.
Have a great day.

-Smile, It is Simple-

alexis said...

Hi guys! I'm pretty delighted with the recent form of my team, as 2 months ago I was near the top 500th, at the moment I'm 30th overall, team is called Alex Team(AM.Blog)!So all tributes to the creator of this blog))hope to maintain the tempo in case I want at least to stay as high as I am!
At least it seems I will not change practically anything in my starting line-up, only maybe allowing Hennessey to take GK spot!..and I have 14mil for a defender...fuuhh, why not a little bit earlier? What are you thinking of final week selection?

alexis said...

By the way AM, concerning the fact of cancelling barndoor activities, I would highly doubt this idea, as I have been trying to play Spanish FF this season, but believe me it was a total mess to have Ronaldo, Casillas, Ozil and Di Maria for 70 mil, and then 30 mil for another stuff, and I have never seen seen here in England that the prices are at least 1mil, just several players))

Anonymous said...

Wk 38 bd team

Richards Elokobi King
vdv RTaylor Hitz Nzogbia Adam
Ba Suarez

9.56 left to upgrade vdv whom i hold at 6.14. Wonder if Westham still have anything to play for? Should i hold on to Ba and Hitzlsperger?

STEL said...

One thing i would like is to be able to cross reference searches. Like being able to choose the highest points earners for the week and then choose who had the highest average of that lot. Also choose both (e.g)midfield and forwards at the same time in search mode so as to work out weather to change the formation. That would be cool. Also pick multiple teams so that i could see the strikers from (e.g) Man U, Arsenal and Chelsea all at once. Also a nice blonde woman to sit by my side whilst i pick my team if that's not too much.

Ken M. said...

I finish this week with 121.50 points and was very happy with that. My goal & 3-defenders who I would have been happy with a total of 12-15 points for the four players brought me in a very nice 33 points. A great bonus.

On the "barn" I have also brought in Ba,Campbell & N'Zogbia. Already had Hitz.

It appears that holding both Ba & Hitz will be the question of the week. Since this is the last HOME game in the Premier league for them I am hoping that they would want to go out with a good showing.

Since I am new to the sport, what has been the "norm" in past years with teams being relegated and final game performances???

Personally, I would think that if your final game were a home one, that an all out effort is how you would want things to stand as opposed to leaving with your tail between your legs.

If nothing to play for, is the driving force in picking players then maybe we all better pick up as many Blackpool players as possible as Man U. surely will field a "less then exciting" squad?

Would love to hear how other teams have handled this situation....

Anonymous said...

- Love/Hate relationship with the BD.
- Ok with small fee
- Better search function so players can be compared before you decide on who to pick.

Dropped Carson an hour before deadline to pick up Kuzs :( Climbed into the Top 250 after Saturday but fell back to about 379 after Sunday. Would need a miracle to finish in the TOp 250 overall, Top 10 of AM Blog League 1 and Top 50 of Liverpool Supporters.

Thanks Nik and everyone else for the advice all season.


HarambeeStars said...

Can't believe there's only one week left! What will I do everyday at work now?

Great post Nik. Very interesting to see everyone's thoughts on the game. I personally really like the way YFF functions right now. Although BD does affect the parity of the game, if the algorithm for calculating player values doesn't improve, I feel it will be extremely difficult to trade near the end of the season. To me the two go hand in hand so if they can fix both at the same time that would be GREAT!

I really enjoy making transfers every week and implementing a draft style transfer system would not improve anything for me. I understand the appeal of that style of fantasy, but when I have one team in several groups every season, it will only force me to have five different Yahoo accounts and I don't want that.

My season changed drastically since finding this blog (Rank 25,248 First Half to Rank 332 Second Half!) so thank you to everyone!!

enourouz said...

Cancel the barndoor for next year. Here's what I sent to yahoo's UK fantasy football department last week. Just saying add this to what they've currently got going:

I'm curious to know why Yahoo does not offer a draft based EPL fantasy football format. I've played Yahoo EPL fantasy football for 4 years now and I can't get passed the fact that there isn't a draft based league available anywhere online.

Many say this cannot be done because sports drafts do not exist in the EPL. However, this is fantasy sports we’re talking about. Can’t we play anyway we want to in the fantasy world? This changes everything for EPL fantasy football. Think about it. This resembles a more real life managerial approach.

The demand is there as many groups across the world hold their own private EPL fantasy draft leagues. The major flaw with player price/salary fantasy football formats is the copycat syndrome. In NFL, NBA, and MLB fantasy draft formats there is only one of each player. There is no such thing as 6 Drogbas in a league. Does that even happen in the real EPL? No. That doesn’t even make sense.

Fantasy sports were created so that you could emulate a real life managerial campaign while competing amongst a group of friends. Imagine if Sir Alex Ferguson could drop his players each week and pick up new players just based on what matchups he thought were best. There are no player prices or salaries in a draft based league. You draft your team and are stuck with them for the long haul of the season. Unlimited trades among league mates and free agent pick-ups are available to make the long season of injuries, bad form, and exiting transfers manageable.

All I'm saying is take Yahoo's NFL fantasy format and extract the player database. Insert the EPL player base. Limit 12 teams per group (private or public). Draft 20 players for each team. Unlimited trades/transfers/free agent pick-ups throughout the season. Required to start 11 each week with 4 bench players. The scoring system would use the same as Yahoo EPL Fantasy Football.

I can't see any flaws with this system and still do not understand how this format is not available online.....ok one and only one flaw: it would be difficult to determine who gets first priority for incoming transfers in January. Say for example Luis Suarez going to Liverpool in January. Everyone would be all over him. Well the most fair solution would be to add all the incoming winter transfer players to the data base at one time. The team that is lowest in the table in the group gets first priority to pick up new players. It would almost be like a mini draft for the winter transfer period.

In addition, I'm surprised that Yahoo EPL fantasy does not have player bio and injury reports at the touch of a button like Yahoo NFL Fantasy. Is there a patent that doesn't allow Yahoo EPL fantasy to emulate what Yahoo NFL fantasy does? The Yahoo NFL fantasy program is very comprehensive and many aspects should be incorporated into an EPL Fantasy Football.

I would be happy to work with anyone to further develop this project. I've put together a rulebook and a business plan for this project. I think Yahoo has just needs to be taken to the next level. This could change EPL fantasy football forever. I have a passion for football and more importantly the EPL. It is the most widely viewed sports league in the world and it's sad that the fantasy side is so under developed.

Chaos said...

"Limit 12 teams per group (private or public)"

Can I ask why? There are 23 members in my private group, I know them all personally, they are friends who I talk to, text & e-mail often, what makes this game so fun is all the banter that goes with it.

Your description of the 20 player draft and having a bench sounds very similar to the official premier league fantasy game. The very best thing about Yahoo is the 11 players in or out scenario we have each week. It means you can be 1st or 10,000th and still be on a pretty even (obviously barn dooring slightly bends this) playing field each week.

When my one friend tells me he has to actually lose points on the official game in order to buy a player it sends a shudder down my spine.

Yahoo MUST stay 11 in or 11 out. In my opinion its the fundamental beauty of this game.

Chris said...

this has probably been stated somewhere in the above comments but the main problem i have is that players prices dont drop anywhere near as much as they rise. If a player's value goes up 10 units when he is in good form i expect it to drop the same amount when he has an equally bad bad run. It feels that the only way a player's value ever drops by a big margin is if they get sent off or conceed a pentalty or something.

enourouz said...

@Chaos - It's fantasy so we can do whatever we want. We could do 23 members in each group.

The reason I said 12 is because the larger the group the weaker each team will be. The math explains it: If you have 23 teams and the draft goes 20 rounds there would be 460 EPL players drafted. That means you'd be drafting a lot of players that are subs. The EPL player pool of starting players is more in the realm of around 240 to 260. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I agree with you completely about the 11 in 11 out. The reason I came up with the 3 or 4 bench players is that in your case where you have 23 teams in your private group. Your teams are going to have players that don't always start. In my opinion I cringe when I play Yahoo EPL and I get a zero for a player who gets rested. I wish I could have the option to have 3 bench players so that I could at least record a score from someone who plays.

Also you are missing the point....the official epl fantasy game is not the same. It has money associated with players. The only aspect I would take from that shitty game is the bench aspect. The rest of that game is garbage.

I'm proposing a league without any player prices or salaries. Some people can't get past that concept because they are so used to the garbage that is out there right now ie Yahoo and Official EPL league.

No disrespect to Yahoo's league or Nik but this these formats have no strategy. All you noobs out there just log and copy Nik's pics and you can be in the top 500. That's garbage. You should have to earn your keep like a real manager and make moves over the season to improve your draft squad.

The American fantasy sports are so ahead of the game when it comes to fantasy. Why is EPL fantasy lacking so much?

Anonymous said...

I'm at 518 but imo i'm the best player in the game. Why would you copy someone's team when i'm trying to beat them.

The game is fine as it is.

I enjoy fantasyeurocup, where you can have subs for every position. Also enjoyed the official world cup fantasy, which had its own peculiarities. I enjoy all of them and i don't think anyone is better, every game has its own rules, we just play by the rules.

Plus we don't really have to enjoy fantasy sports the way americans enjoy it as we're all not americans

Assistant Manager said...

Enourouz - I personally wouldn't want a draft system, it's not the way English fantasy football games work, I've taken part in draft system games and they are OK but I prefer the current format for EPL.

I also completely disagree with your rather bizarre claim that there is "no strategy" to the "garbage" Yahoo game. But then I did ask for opinions and you certainly gave some!

Ken M. said...

WOW...Nice post enourouz.

The main problem I see is that you seem to be a PROFESSIONAL fantasy player covering every angle from every prospective. I do think there should be a (pay) league for all those players like yourself who have taken the TIME to master every aspect of a fun/talk a little/share ideas/casual/no fee/noob infested/league.

I don't want to "earn my keep like a real manager"

I don't want to be a professional game player.

I want to play a game with others who are more passionate about the sport it represents then the game itself.

If I am a fan of Liverpool I will be upset if they lose to Man City regardless if my DRAFTED Suarez scores 30 points or not. Somehow I think you have arrived at a place where the the only thing that matters is the 30 points and how you were able to get them and I wasn't.

Great for you and other like you but let us noobs have some fun will ya!!!

Chaos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken M. said...

One more thing...I wish I could put in 10 Drogba's and a goalie and I wish everyone could do the same. Fantasy-Right? We can do anything we want(your words)right?

Imagine...300 Drogba's in a league. Now we have a game!!!!

Oops, What about that (other guy) in my league who now has 10 RVP'S..Now what do I do??

Better just wait and see if Nik is going with 10 Drogba's or 10 RVP'S but that still leaves the goalie!!!

Wow..this is getting hard!

Ian Sanderson said...

The draft based fantasy games I have played have always led to many teams having the same players, however you seem to be suggesting limiting the number of teams in each group - that is just plain stupid.
There are so many holes in your proposal it is sinking fast, hopefully without trace.
Your claim that any of us doing well are just copying Nic's team is dispespectful and WRONG.

bengoh91 said...

My YFF wishlist:

1. Removal of the barndoor. Everyone seems to have split opinions on whether the BD should be removed. Personally, I don;t think that it is fair to have a barndoor as people who live in different timezones may encounter difficulty in grabbing players at their pre-update prices. However, for this to work, prices of players should be adjusted to a reasonable level so that we won't be priced out of the market. With the current system the price jumps are too drastic, making it difficult to form a good team without BDing.

2. Player searches and statistics should be more user friendly and readily available. I agree with what most said on here that the current layout makes it difficult to pick and drop players. Statistics are also not easily sortable. Personally I never thought of it as a hindrance as I enjoy the game and never really took notice of it until you guys brought it up. Nevertheless this could be rectified to help attract more players to YFF.

3.Captains: I don't think having a captain feature is suitable for YFF. Yes they have it in the offical game but it just doesn't seem right to implement it into YFF. Having bonus points for good individual performances would be great though, as poor phantom point scorers like Modric and Scholes will benefit.

4. Updating of points: If the barndoor were to be kept, I feel that YFF could give a transfer window so that we can get players pre update. Prices could be updated at a certain time every week or a specific number of hours after the game has ended. Currently, I observed that prices and points are updated one hour after a game has ended. Sometimes updates are even delayed to one or two days later. This puts people living outside the UK at a disadvantage. My suggestion would be to update points first before having a longer transfer period where people can buy players before their prices go up.

Ian Sanderson said...

bonus points for players will create many problems and disputes.
who decides on the bonuses, then there's the arguements about who should have gotten them - a no go in my opinion.

Irons said...

I'm sitting on the fence over the BD issue too. Overall though i think it should be kept.

It would be great if you were doubly rewarded for a great pick. Say you picked Zamora on his 1st game back from a broken leg (which i did) and he scores have obviously taken a gamble there, and maybe you should get extra reward. If you freeze transfers 'til prices are adjusted this would be the case.

On the other hand i find it's half the fun overhauling my team for next week @ 12.01pm, well most of the time. There are plenty of times i just cannot be bothered with it all, but needs must. The fact is we all love this game, otherwise we wouldn't be on this damn blog! :D (well, maybe not you enourouz). There will always be a deadline of some sorts which will be at an inconvenient time for someone. You can't really complain about a 12pm GMT deadline when we are playing EPL fantasy football.

@enourouz. You seem hell-bent on this draft thing. Good luck with your project. In the words of Duncan Bannatyne "that's ludicrous, i'm out!"

Agree with the search functionality being terrible. No captains for me. No bench for me. Leave that for FPL game.

Irons said...


4. Updating of points: If the barndoor were to be kept, I feel that YFF could give a transfer window so that we can get players pre update. Prices could be updated at a certain time every week or a specific number of hours after the game has ended. Currently, I observed that prices and points are updated one hour after a game has ended. Sometimes updates are even delayed to one or two days later. This puts people living outside the UK at a disadvantage. My suggestion would be to update points first before having a longer transfer period where people can buy players before their prices go up.

That's a great idea. If Yahoo were to change the way prices are adjusted this should be the way..

enourouz said...

I apologize if I offended anyone. The current Yahoo game could use some improvements.

All I'm saying is add a draft based system in addition to the already popular salary cap game.

I was hoping to get feedback from all of you on why this wouldn't work but all I got is whining about the fact that it isn't how english football fantasy is supposed to be.

Can anyone give me a real reason why this wouldn't work? I was really looking for flaws in the system.

@Ken - You sound like an idiot. Your second post makes absolutely no sense. If you read my first post you would understand that the EPL fantasy world is lacking a major element present in most fantasy sports. Why would you want to play a league where there are multiple drogbas? Did I offend you because you are one of the guys who comes on here each week to steal Nik's roster?

enourouz said...

@Ian - You are completely missing the point. Actually all of you are focusing on the minute details of the game. Ian you can make the number of teams in each group as big as you want. The EPL is not as player dense as the NFL and that is why I suggested 12 teams. You can do more but that will just mean that each team will not have as many stars.

Is this so hard to follow? What I really wanted to know is from a big picture perspective why a draft based system wouldn't work.

Irons said...

How would you decide who gets who? How would a league of 20+ work? Personally i only have 1 team, entered in quite a few leagues. I don't want to manage multiple teams. I play FPL game too, which i love, not as much as Yahoo's though.

I quite like the idea though, as a different game of course. I can imagine it being fraught with problems though..

Irons said...

Thinking about it a bit more..the overall leaderboard would be a complete farce. No doubt the players on top would be in a terrible personal league (possibly set up by themselves!) and hoard all the best players. There could never be a true worldwide leaderboard.

enourouz said...

@Irons - Finally someone who gets it. Yes we are trying to create a new way to look at fantasy football. It's hard for some on here because all they know is a salary based league. Even those who have said they participated in a draft league must be lying because no such thing exists. Maybe it was an auction draft or a random draft but that's not what we're talking about here.

This is a completely new approach. You mention it would be fraught with problems. This is what I want to know. Noboby has provided feedback on specific problems other than you.

The overall leaderboard would not exist in a draft based league. What other problems or complications do you see happening with this version?

This style of fantasy football is designed for those groups of friends who want to play a group format that doesn't allow for teams to have the same player.

Honestly to me the idea of a salary league is a foreign concept but that is because I started playing American fantasy sports first. There is really no American fantasy sport that follows a salary league. All are draft based. Makes it really fun because there is much strategy involved with drafting the right team. Draft order would be determined randomly by drawing numbers out of a hat.

What do you think Irons?

enourouz said...

I guess this whole discussion actually transcends the fantasy world....what do you guys think about the way things are in the EPL?

I understand that a draft could never work because the colleges and unis don't have sports programs.

But I often wonder how much more competitve the league could be? Drafts allow for more bottom clubs to have a chance to win the league. I've only been following the EPL since 2001 but I can't remember the last time Man U, Chelsea, or Arsenal didn't finish in the top 3.

Don't get me wrong....I love the EPL. I stopped watching American sports because of the EPL. I'm a die hard now....getting up on the west coast at 4:45am for matches.

But I just wonder what it would be like for the league if everyone had more of a fair chance. Clubs like stoke and fulham just don't have the money that Chels or Man U has.....and as a result they have never finished in the top 5 as far as I can remember.

Ian Sanderson said...

enourouz, there is a reason there is no draft based leagues exist...

Tanjina hasib said...

I think yahoo have great free fantasy football support. But they have still so many scope to improve. I rely greatly on them for these updates.

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