How do you pick a successful Sky Sports Fantasy Football team within budget? Former winner Dan Cox explains all...
The 'Stats' section of the Sky Sports Fantasy Football website or App should be your first port of call. I usually start by bringing up last season's points tallies by position and going through it player by player in descending order of points.
Make yourself a cup of tea, grab a pen, a piece of paper and make yourself comfortable. Let's do this the old fashioned way!
Start with the goalkeepers - who were the top five point scorers last season? Are they worth having again this season? Is there a stopper further down the list whose team have been bolstered by a new centre-back who will help earn more clean sheets? Start making a shortlist of possible players you might include.
Is anyone under-priced? Do not forget that with save points, some goalkeepers who are particularly busy will be earning lots of bonus points (two points for three saves). What about the promoted goalkeepers?
Obviously you do not want a number one who is conceding a handful of goals each week. Although, it is getting that fine balance of picking someone who can make saves and will be busy, but will not register minus points each week and fail to keep a clean sheet.
I would then do the same for defenders, midfielders and strikers. Who were the top performers last season? Which players were taking home all the Sky Sports Man of the Match awards? Is there a new signing that you are certain will hit the ground running?
Did any of your players get injured or have a poor season last year that means they will be off the radar for most - or that they'll be significantly cheaper this season? Kevin De Bruyne, for instance, scored 281 points in the 2017/18 season but during an injury-hit 2018/19, he only managed to record 64 points from 11 starts. He should bounce back.
There will obviously be your favourite picks that you have to include, with Mohamed Salah, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, and Virgil van Dijk being among those. The question off the back of this is; how can you afford a team of stars?
If you want a front three of Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, and Mohamed Salah, you are going to have to make sacrifices elsewhere in your team. That is why you need to manage your budget, and it is important to do so in order to post a successful campaign.
Who are the cheaper options, or 'enablers' as they are known, that will allow you to squeeze in the top-priced players? You will need at least three budget picks and this is probably the trickiest part of picking a team.
Sky Sports Fantasy Football 2019/20
Another year, another £50,000 jackpot on the line. Sky Sports Fantasy Football makes its eagerly-awaited return for the 2019/20 season.
'Fantasy just got real' has never been so true with the updated Fantasy Football product for the upcoming campaign. New scoring systems, new rules, a new website, along with a new feature which will be coming into fruition for the first game week of the year.
All of this alone gives you the incentive to set up your team early and get ahead of the game, combined with just the small added bonus of the £50,000 jackpot prize for the inaugural Sky Sports Fantasy Football 2019/20 champion.