Premiership Fantasy: How to Win
Being the overall global champion of a fantasy rugby competition is a huge achievement, especially in a game as hotly contested as ours. Gain some insight into what it takes to hit the top of the pile from this interview with last season's winner.
Being the overall global champion of a fantasy rugby competition is a huge achievement, especially in a game as hotly contested as The Rugby Magazine’s Premiership game.
Fantasy Rugby Geek had the pleasure of getting in touch with the 2019/20 global champion on the Rugby Magazine, Alasdair Haines, who gave us some insight into what it takes to beat thousands of other avid fantasy rugby players and take top spot as the tournament came to it’s close…
This article was originally published on Fantasy Rugby Geek and has been shared with permission. If you love the fantasy, they've long been supporters of our game, so help them out like they've helped us and have a gander around their site, you won't be disappointed.
FRG: Are you a regular fantasy rugby player?
AH: I used to play Six Nations fantasy on ESPN a few years ago but their game and scoring was pretty basic. I first played Premiership fantasy on the Rugby Magazine in the 2018/19 season and have also played their Six Nations and World Cup fantasy games since then.
FRG: Did you have a strategy in your team selection or was it more a case of going with your gut feeling?
AH: You definitely have to have a strategy. I think it is important to have a broad squad, ideally at least 32 players I would say. This was particularly the case following the season restart in September – I think I had a squad of 36 players. Keeping money in the bank is also important, for the weeks when player availability is poor and you really need it. And finally, I would say never take a -20 point transfer hit unless you truly think it is a long term play – it is very unlikely to improve your score for a single gameweek.
FRG: What was your best moment of the season in context of the fantasy game?
AH: I think would be when I first gained top spot in March, which turned out to be the final week before the league was suspended!
FRG: Who was your best performing player of the season?
AH: It would be easy to say Sam Simmonds here as he was incredible all season, but he didn’t provide much of a differential as his selection % was always so high. So I would probably say Jack Willis as I had him for the whole season and his ownership was fairly low prior to the league suspension.
FRG: How did it feel going into the final round knowing that you had a chance to win the whole thing?
AH: It was exciting, but I once I had a finished the regular season with a large lead I was confident I could not get caught.
FRG: At what point during the tournament did you begin to believe that you could win the league?
AH: Probably around halfway through the season when I got into the top 5. Once I reached the top in March I felt I would probably win because I had a really strong squad but coronavirus levelled things out with the amount of transfers that were allowed. The gameweeks following the restart were really exciting trying to hold off my rivals!
FRG: If there’s one single tip that you’d give to a new manager playing The Rugby Magazine, what would it be?
AH: Pay the money for the upgrade! It makes the game a much better experience and helps support the Rugby Magazine who rely on the subscriptions.
FRG: What players will be first on your team sheet next season?
AH: It will be interesting with most international players set to miss a huge chunk of the season. If Eddie Jones continues to ignore him then Sam Simmonds! Francois Hougaard won’t be far behind.
FRG: Did you use any specific websites or resources to help your team planning?
AH: I use some local news websites such as Coventry Live for injury updates. The Points/80 stat on the Rugby Magazine is a useful tool as well.