Oxford professor explains how to win fantasy football game using math


Do you dream of winning a fantasy football match? Teacher says a little math is all it takes

Some even create algorithms in hopes of winning fantasy football

If you think of yourself as the manager of a soccer team and think you have the skills, you can do it virtually with fantasy football.

If you are not sure what fantasy football is, it is basically a competition where you can select imaginary teams from the players in a league and score points based on the actual performance of the players. .

But where the hell does math come in? Can you really be successful at math?

In a YouTube video uploaded by Oxford University mathematician Joshua Bull, the idea that math tells us how to win in fantasy football is explored, so be prepared to take some notes as it might come in handy.

Every year the Fantasy Premier League takes place and around seven and a half million people compete against each other, making it a big deal to say the least. Joshua Bull was lucky enough to win the competition last year and is often asked if it was because of his math skills that he won.

Michail Antonio was a fantasy football favorite last year


Marc Atkins / Getty Images)

In a nutshell, you start with a budget of £ 100million and pick a 15-player squad using it. You are only allowed no more than three players from each club and each week you choose from 11 players that you think are doing the best, and they score virtual points for real performance. Whoever you choose as captain, you will also score double points.

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In the video, Joshua states that “being a strategic thinker is definitely an advantage” and that “mathematical models are a great way to explore more complex systems” – which in this case is fantasy football.

His strategy came from these smart mathematical assumptions:

  • Pick a few dear players and stick with them
  • Give players a chance – don’t give up after a week
  • Make transfers by getting rid of the underperformers, not just bringing in players who did well last week

To recap the video, Joshua discusses team strategy, transfer strategy, form during games and captain’s strategy.

For team strategy choose 5-6 expensive players + cheap fillers over 1-2 expensive + midrange, for bench substitution, @Home players rather than @Away players. Training isn’t really a factor either (choose better based on your players)

When thinking about the transfer strategy, remember the form versus matches and transfer the underachiever to the best player transfer from last week.

In terms of captain’s strategy, form games, and if it’s a tie, at home rather than away.

See, it’s not too difficult, right?

Even though Joshua didn’t necessarily write complex equations, he still thought mathematically.

Speaking to the Oxford University blog, he said: “You can apply the exact same logic to fantasy football. So you have all this data and you want to know how your choice of team will impact your points.

Many fantasy football punters backed Fernandes last year


Michael Steele / Getty Images)

“It’s the kind of thing you can model very well mathematically. These are the things I was thinking about, even though I wasn’t writing equations.

“Some people actually write algorithms for fantasy football, some more successful than others.

“All teams play once and then you can make transfers. You can only make one or two changes per week. If you want to earn more than that, it starts costing you points – you have to pay a flat rate.

“So there’s a real optimization problem where there are players that you might want to bring in, but it’s not necessarily easy to say ‘I want them on my team, so I’m going to have them in my team. team.'”

It’s really about whether to pick very few dear people or have less of those dear players and more of a balanced squad, which is basically a math problem.

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