The new Premiership fantasy season is set up and ready to roll, but there are a few things you need to look out for as you wade in and get your squad set up.
It's worth noting that there are no major changes in terms of points or the overall way in which the game runs, so there isn't anything out of the ordinary, but the below should help answer a few of the questions that appear once you've had a poke around.
Just as the salary cap has decreased for the Premiership this season, so too has the amount of budget you have available in the game. While the last few seasons have seen a cap of £7m, this season this has dropped to £6m.
I can hear your cries from here.
Fear not. The values of players have also been altered so you don't feel the squeeze too much, but there is something of a squeeze, and this ties into a further point about positions below. Over the last season or so, teams by the end of the campaign have become remarkably similar because users' ability to choose the best players has been too free. We wanted to put enough of a squeeze on to ensure that the game remains competitive, without it being overly burdensome when choosing your squad.
While players' values have shifted as a whole, there have also been seasonal changes to individual players, especially those that have performed well year on year. That said, there have been salary decreaases too, so there are still plenty of gems to find in and amongst.
Players' positions have become somewhat bloated over the last few years. It goes without saying, that if a player is starting a fixture in a given position, he ought to be available for your team in that position. The flip side is, he might only have played in that position once, perhaps twice in the last few years. Does that constitute that position being added to the player indefinitely? That's a question we've pondered on every player in the game who has more than one position, and for the most part, we've stripped away any uneccesary listings.
Alex Dombrandt and Sam Simmonds for example, are now simply number eights, rather than carying extra positions in which they have not played for a considerable amount of time. The knock on effect of this (that ties into salary changes too), is that you are effectively now forced to choose between Dombrandt and Simmonds, as opposed to being able to carry both through the season. The motivation with this as I said previously, is to force greater differentiaition between users' teams as the season progresses. Granted, many of you will still choose Sam Simmonds I'm sure, but Dombrandt can no longer sit happily alongside him at flanker or lock in your team.
With thirteen teams in the Premiership for the coming season, we now have to contend with bye weeks. This means there is one team each week who don't have a fixture, and this means that those players who play for the respective club will not earn any points for that gameweek.
These are different to cancellations in that any cancelled fixture (as a result of covid or otherwise) can disrupt your team at any time, and to minimise the effect of this, we've written in the average points mechanic. Bye weeks on the other hand, are part of the overall campaign and already planned before the season kicks off, so you need to be sure you know who isn't playing in any upcoming gameweek to ensure you are able to field a full team. The best course of action in this respect is to diversify your player list, making sure you aren't overexposed to any given club.
This season, we've set up a Discord server where users can chat about the game (and rugby as a whole) and if you're interested in joining that, please follow the link below:
Otherwise, everything should be the same as normal, but as ever, if you have any questions please do get in touch.