Week 17 is just around the corner, bye weeks are dotting the schedule, international duty is over, and many people are getting ready to use their wildcard. I was asked recently if I was going to write an article about using wildcards, so I said sure. For some of you, this may be basic information, but I know a lot of people have never played before or may just want some basic tips. That’s what I’m shooting for.
More after the break.
Using your wildcard can be one of the most stressful times in fantasy soccer. Who do you get? When should you get them? When do you sell? Some of this will depend on your starting team makeup and how much cash you have on hand. But I think if you keep 4 general concepts in mind, you’ll be OK.
Have a Goal
This is an easy one. Before you start trading guys around, decide who you want on your FINAL team. This will require you to do a little bit of homework first by checking who is on a bye, who’s injured, and who has a good looking schedule. But after you do, pick 11 players that you want to have at the END of your wildcard. This gives you a goal to work toward.
Also, don’t worry if you go a little over budget. You should be able to bring in a few temporary guys to gain value before getting your final team (more below).
Use The Price Change Resources
The best part about using your wildcard is you can bring in guys early who might increase your team value before getting the players you actually want (see above). This could give you a few extra $0.1ms to help afford some guys that could have been just out of reach. There are 2 points to keep in mind when doing this:
- If one of your final players is getting ready to become more expensive, get him before that happens.
- Try to find players who will increase by at least $0.2m in cost. The max a player’s cost can increase in one week is $0.3m and the value of players you own increases by $0.1m for every $0.2m their cost goes up. So there is no reason to keep a guy after his cost goes up $0.2m.
So how do you know when players are going to increase in cost? Well, there are 2 resources I can recommend. The first is Fantasymls.net. This is a website that tracks the trades that happen each day. On the far right of the page you will see a bar. When the bar reaches +100%, that means a player will most likely increase. Price changes happen around 5:00 EST and the bars are only approximations because MLS has changed the total number of trades needed in the past.
The other resource is at the official MLS Fantasy site. If you go to the transfer section you can use the “Sorted by” drop down to select “Price rise (round)”. This will show you how much a player’s cost has changed for the current round. Since the max the change can be is $0.3m. If a player is at $0.2 you’ll want to leave him alone because he will not earn you value during your wildcard.
So now you know who you want to end up with and where to get the info. So now what? GET ORGANIZED! Maybe some people can skip this step, but I find it essential. Get a piece of paper and write things down, have a backup plan for your final team, keep a hard copy of how much a guy has increased, or have a list of players you are keeping an eye on so you don’t forget. These are just a few suggestions. Anything you can do to help you keep on top of things is helpful.
I guess this is not really a general concept, but just a section with a few tips that did not fit in the others sections.
- Don’t try to earn money be selling guys you want on your final team. It’s much more likely you’ll loose money overall.
- Some players coming off international duty will have their prices frozen for a few days after their flags are changed from red to blue (maybe even a week). This means that you do not have to pick these guys up immediately. Keep an eye on the bars at Fantasymls.net, when they start to move, that’s a good indication that they are unfrozen.
- Watch the bye weeks. A few teams have a couple of bye weeks coming up. It’s likely that players will be traded out when this happens and that means their costs could go down. This means that you might be able to get a guy cheaper a few weeks down the road and don’t really need him right now.
- Keep an eye on the Wednesday games coming up. If a team does well, you could see transfers for them skyrocket.
- Ask questions. Twitter, blogs, and the various forums are great resources. Don’t be afraid to post questions or join in conversations about guys to keep an eye on. I’m going to plug the Subreddit forum I hang out in, /r/FantasyMLS, but there are others.
Well, those are just some basic tips and I hope people find them helpful. If you have more questions, again, please feel free to visit /r/FantasyMLS or end us a message on Twitter.