13.06.2018 - With fantasy football booming in popularity since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, 2018 marks one of the first years where virtual football managers will be taking part in the tournament. But before you lock in your squad for the 2018 World Cup fantasy campaign, be sure to read these tips that could save your fantasy squad from disaster before the matches kick off.
"Xherdan Shaqiri" by Global Panorama (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Don't Overspend On Big Name Players
Every new fantasy player has the same thought process. Their plan is to grab one superstar player and surround them with players just good enough for their star to carry them to a strong performance. What they do not think of when using that plan is just how many things can go wrong for them and why they should avoid snapping up the superstars of football in the first place.
Most football fans know that the race for the best player in the world is one between Lionel Messi and everyone else. But because of this, Messi is extremely overpriced on World Cup fantasy price sheets. Instead of opting for an expensive player like Messi and having to balance that choice out with a lower tier player, you can get two strong players at average prices.
Feel Free To Take Underdog Players
The good thing about underdog teams at the World Cup is that they want to score goals too. As such, you can scoop up the big time options from smaller teams for much less than you can grab players at the top of the tournament's favourites. Players like Xherdan Shaqiri - quoted at 150/1 to go all the way by Oddschecker - who have very little chance to lift the World Cup, but every chance to be the focal point of their teams are what you want when selecting a fantasy squad.
Conversely, comparable players on teams that are favoured to win the World Cup will be more expensive. Brazil are one of the favourites to reclaim the trophy, and players who are at a similar skill level to Shaqiri will see prices much higher than the Swiss dynamo due to the perceived longevity of Brazil in the tournament. That longevity is not guaranteed, which means that you could be paying extra for no added benefits whatsoever.
"Guillermo Ochoa, México" by Victor Araiza (CC BY 2.0)
World Cup Form Matters
How players perform with their clubs is irrelevant to what they do at the World Cup. Therefore, sticking with players who tend to do well for their countries is one of the best moves you can make when managing your World Cup fantasy team. This includes taking cheaper players who are known to make an impact for their national sides. Guillermo Ochoa had a historic 2014 World Cup, for example, when his series of saves kept Mexico in contention long past their talent level. Considering him for your team might be a great move. James Rodriguez also comes to mind when finding players who have done great work for their countries, after his 2014 World Cup run made him the talk of the tournament.