It is a big and stressful day for millions of us. Teams need picked for the opening day of a new season of Fantasy League.
Today millions will be working out who they can buy for their £100 million budget. How many big players can we afford. Is Haaland who we know will score just too much money. What are the cheap players that are going to come through? Should I skimp on my defence for big goal scorers? Some seasons defenders do better. After a bad season is Alexander-Arnold worth 8 million. Will new signings fit in quickly? What about players from promoted teams? Do you go for players with easy opening games or get ready for the long haul?
Of course it is a marathon not a sprint and for most Fantasy League managers their teams will bear little resemblance even in October to the team they choose tomorrow evening.
However, there still be some panic. A good start is better than a bad one though it is amazing how quickly the team at the top of your particular league on Sunday night might drop away within a few weeks.
With one free transfer per week and then every additional transfer per week costing 4 valuable points it is best to have a good steady team at the outset. You do not want to have to play your Wildcard too soon. Is Week 3 too soon!?!
Of course, there is some luck in this game. One of the biggest factors is choosing the right captain every week as their points double. It might be luck that my player scores a hat trick and yours doesn’t score at all. That might happen week after week!
BUT let me say that as I have followed this game for some 15 years and been involved in a Fitzroy league for 10 that the winner at the start of May will have little to do with luck.
As I look at our league I know that reigning champion John will be there as sure as Pep rarely has a trophy less season. Will Alastair compete like he did last season? In my friend's Head To Head league it'll be Stuart, Adela and Ross as sure as our beloved Strathspey Thistle won't win a game in the Highland League! The cream they say always comes to the top. I’ve watched it season after season.
I had an alright season last time BUT ended up winning 3 cups on the last day, two that I didn't know about until hey were won. Like the real game cups whether Carabao, FA or Champions League are tin pot. Luck is needed. Too much depends on freak 90 minute games, some freak injury time minutes. So, it is the league I want.
So as a religious practice, I am going to start with a solid spine. Big names who have proven themselves, at the core. No new whizz players. They might take time though Haaland only needed a pass from Kevin last season!
Then who will be the differentials as we call them. The surprise big scorer at 5 million. That usually takes time to know.
If you can spot those cheap big scorers by tomorrow night then you’ll give yourself a great start! Anthony Elanga or James McAtee anyone?!