Late Swap Discussion – Daily Fantasy Football

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Over the last few days there has been lots of discussion about the introduction of a Late Swap feature to help combat the problem of players unexpectedly not starting for your Daily Fantasy Football team. One thing everybody can agree on is that a solution needs to be created, however the functionality of this solution is widely debated.

Draft Kings (Leaders in U.S. Daily Fantasy Soccer) developed a feature called Late Swap which gives users the ability to remove players from their lineup whose game has not yet started, replacing them with other eligible players who also haven’t started playing. These changes have to function in accordance to player positions and the team salary cap.

We would like to use the comment section below to elaborate and develop the ideas that Daily Fantasy Football players have been discussing on Twitter in recent days.

The questions we are trying to answer:

  1. Should there be an alternative to Late Swap that caters to the casual player who doesn’t want to/cannot spend time monitoring their teams over the weekend?
  2. Should the Bench feature be a standard for all websites without Late Swap?
  3. Should U.K websites take lead from U.S websites, or should they be innovating their own features?
  4. Casuals vs. Pros. Which market should the U.K websites base their developments on?

In the coming days we will write a follow-up article summarising the conclusion of the debate and where we can go from there.

Thanks for taking your time to join the debate, the decision makers for all major Daily Fantasy Football websites within the U.K have been contacted and have agreed to monitor this discussion and input where necessary.

Please be respectful and appreciate each other’s opinions.


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By | 2017-04-06T01:11:07+00:00 August 10th, 2015|Discussion|29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. jamieFPL August 10, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    I did fairly substantial lineup research this weekend but still had a few teams ruined by the likes of Bellerin, Walcott, Bamford, etc. So based on this, I agree that something needs to be created in order to combat this problem that paying players (pros) have. I did have Redmond though, who I would have subbed out having seen the lineup, but luckily he went on to score.

    (1) I think this is essential. As it stands I enter the same amount of teams each weekend without fail. Introducing Late Swap means that players MUST monitor there teams throughout the weekend. If for example I’m busy at the weekend (usually 50/50) I wouldn’t enter teams. The addition of late swaps alone would mean my business the respective website is cut out by roughly 50%.

    (2) This wouldn’t really work unless the way the bench functions is tweaked. I suggested an idea on Twitter last night that upon picking your team lineup you’re given two decisions. 1: To activate late swap (where you can then monitor your team over the weekend) or 2: To active bench (where you are then given a separate budget to choose 3 players to be on your bench). This is obviously a basic concept, but one that would cater to the casuals and the pros.

    (3 + 4) I think websites could do a lot worse than follow the lead of U.S websites. However, I do think that the mastering the transition between FPL and DFF could be a profitable one, so the innovation of new features would be important in that respect. I guess that reiterates my point above of catering to both casuals and pros – casuals (FPL players) will be familiar with the bench, whilst pros can will be entertained by the ability to late swap.

  2. callum_read August 10, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    If they are introducing a late swap feature they need to make an app for those who can’t access the site come kick off. Those who are investing serious money into the game should be able to control it on the go. #DFF

  3. NaturalFootballFan August 10, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Quite a lenghty response but…

    I would definitely welcome the ‘Late Swap’ feature into the UK market for DFF. I agree with Jamie that something has to be implemented to allow some leeway. Something to fall back on when selecting a player with an injury concern or even a risky punt on a youngster. It will create a more diverse game where players, both casual and pro, will more frequently select the player they truly wanted and not the safe/guaranteed option.

    I am a player who does the research, I look at the stats and I form a list of possible players for each position. However, as I mentioned before, I often notice that my final draft differs slightly from my favoured draft. This is due to the fact that I edit my team to include guaranteed starters over riskier options. A late swap feature would put an end to this and allow for a quick change.

    From a personal point of view, another major reason why I support the ‘Late Swap’ feature is because I play football every weekend for a local team (mostly 3pm kick-off). This often leaves me unable to enter weekend competitions, as I cannot risk entering early in the morning and then setting off without even a peek at the team sheets. Every week I am forced to ignore ‘Late Start’ comps due to the kick off time clashing with my local sides. It feels extremely peculiar that my DFF squads can be negatively affected by me actually playing the game itself! The worrying thing is that I must be one of hundreds who feel this way and continue skipping these contests week in, week out. Late Swap would not completely eradicate this problem, but it does mean that you could make necessary adjustments to your squad for Sundays fixtures to make up for the players missing out on Saturday starting XI’s.

    I would like to mention that I am not a fan of the ‘Bench’ idea as it just complicates things further. A big attraction of DFF sites is the simplicity of picking your starting XI and not having to worry about saving spare cash for players who, will most likely, not even feature. Late swap does not cause this headache and keeps it straightforward and slick when making changes. You only get the opportunity to swap players when it’s actually needed and It also avoids the further complication of a separate budget etc.

    Overall I feel that if the UK sites follow DraftKings ‘Late Swap’ approach, it will be a great success. It will create a more aggressive & competitive playing field where more risks/hunches can be taken by managers without paying the consequences.

  4. Super Cool August 10, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    I think the debate is better framed by focusing on how do Daily Fantasy sites intend to deal functionality on select daily line-ups on their games. It is a given and been shown time & time again that it is impossible to predict line-ups due to squad rotation, late injuries and managerial whims.

    Totel Football, Woof bet ( now Fan Team), Fantasy Bet and Fantasy Football Exchange addressed this by introducing a subs bench where players will auto-sub from the sub if the starting player in the line-up did not play any part at all in the match. So this is one way to go forward and makes Daily Fantasy games fair for all.

    The other site which are much bigger with high stakes/volume players like MondoGoal and Playon have so far not addressed the issue of players non-starting for whatever reason which is costing many of us from cashing in and getting to winning prize positions.

    There seems to be no overall consensus on how to solve this issue. Subs bench with automatic subs looks fair & efficient. Late swap can solve the problem too, the only downside being checking fixture and line ups constantly. An app can help us to edit on the go instead of being stuck on the desktop all weekend long.

    Any other innovative solution will be more than welcome and can help the sites in feedback. Think this is a major issue and can decide how many casual players can be kept to be regular long-term players.

    Captain choices and bonus points are up to the sites to include and players can decide whether they like it or not. But having non-starting players week in and week out is a major turn-off be it a casual or regular player. After all we are the one’s paying the money to play in this daily leagues. Hope our concerns are noted, discussed and addressed.

  5. RememberMe August 11, 2015 at 5:32 am

    Subs bench for me. Not agree with Late Swap. Everyone has a life to live, not time for check every 2 hrs every lineup

  6. tm370 August 11, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    I think that not having players playing is part of the ‘random’ frustration of fantasy football. Sometimes it’s completely unpredictable, like Bellerin this weekend. At other points it’s less surprising – like Walcott this weekend. Part of the skill of Fantasy Football is predicting how a manager might act. If City are playing Norwich at home before a big Championship League game, who starts for City? Selecting who may or may not be rested may be the key to winning competitions that week. That ability to second guess managers, based on quotes or a history of decisions, is part of the skill of fantasy football.

    Late swaps seem to me to seek to control both the predictable and unpredictable. In theory the idea is sound, because every player would like 11 players participating in every given week. But in reality the late swap would appear to cater for the quasi-professional player with more time to invest in the game. Making the game more complicated may help these players, the kind of players which dominate the leaderboards at present. But Daily Fantasy Football will not grow if the game is made too complicated, and many potential or current users may be put off.

    In my opinion, a middle ground would be to implement a squad/bench option. For example – each team could select a squad or even one sub, who would be automatically transferred in the event of a member of the first 11 not participating. I know some games also use a fluid squad based system. For example, the official UCL game allows a user to use the entire squad by transferring players out from a Tuesday fixture who underperformed for those playing on a Wednesday. This allows teams to be set up for the entire week, and leaves a significant amount of time to make a squad change (From the close of games on Tuesday until the start of play on Wednesday). It also means that players participating on a Wednesday but not playing can be transferred out before the start of play, or not transferred in. I’m not necessarily for this because it complicates the game and moves away from the core first 11 principles, but I think a substitution or replacement system not limited to a short space of time would be beneficial. If I make my teams on Saturday in readiness for a 3 oclock kick off, do I really want to be waiting around at 5 oclock on Saturday for team news, so that I can potentially make a late swap? Do I then want to do the same on Sunday? And then a Monday too? Of course not, and neither will the vast majority of players because it turns weekend fantasy football into work rather than fun. It would also potentially result in my girlfriend killing me because I’m spending too long playing fantasy football.

    I think that a late swap option could kill the potential of daily fantasy football reaching profitable user number targets, especially if it’s wrongly implemented. I personally would not be adverse to an automatic substitution for a player who does not participate over 90 minutes. This would account for unexplained injury (Bellerin). But I also would not be adverse to leaving the game as it is. Sometimes we get tripped up by someone not playing, and sometimes we benefit. Theo not starting this weekend might have screwed a lot of us. Theo starting against Palace might then benefit those who stay faithful to him. And perhaps Theo will come off the bench against Palace, score, and turn out to be more valuable that week that Kane, Benteke or whoever else appears a more sound option. No one knows, and that’s part of the fun and frustration of fantasy football.

  7. Bigo1 August 11, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    There is nothing more frustrating than having a great line-up crashed by a baines/bellerin/mings big fat 0. What could have been a winning LU ends up barely in the top 5. What would have been a cashing LU ends up a losing LU. This is frustrating, and the main effect will be for the casuals to simply give up the game and for the advanced players to be frustrated and restrict their actions.

    So something has to be done. As of today, there are two options: the bench option and the late swap option. I would ignore the innovative option as it seems both optimistic and naive IMO.

    My problems with the bench options are three fold:
    – It will take so much more time to construct a LU. I already struggle picking up 11 players, it will be a nightmare picking up 14/15. I do probably 30 to 100 LUs per week end, and the extra time to pick up those 4 extra players per team could easily reach a couple of hours for me (far longer than checking the starting 11s of 4 extra games)
    – Managers are barely compensated for a late scratch on a star player. I remember last season when both Remy and Sturridge did not show up out of the blue. They had a huge expected points, and I am not sure if I would be happy to get a Wanyama/Walters combo for my Stur/Remy. I could get a couple of points extra, but this would be a dead LU anyway
    – Managers are not given the option to switch benched players for starting ones. For one Redmond scoring late on, there are tens Theo, Falcao and co.

    For me, the late swap is much more compelling. The only argument against it is for managers to look at the actual line ups three extra times over a week end. Trust me, I have a life too. But if I spend the hours building my LUs, I could spend an extra 5 minutes (*3) to check the starting 11s. Worst case, I might sometimes miss out on a swap because I am busy. But this is not any worse than the current situation.
    The main problem of late swaps is that it is marketed today as a negative thing. It should be the contrary, a very positive feature. Something that both the casuals and the advanced players will like and use.

    A final note on late swap though as I am not sure people fully understand late swaps on DK. On DK, one has the possibility to change a player regardless of if he is playing or not (as long as his game has not started).
    This obviously gives a massive advantage to the more advanced players. As such, I would not mind restricting the late swaps to benched/rested players only (even if I would prefer a full late swap option a la DK….)

  8. Dark Lord August 11, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    I have a solution. Please tell me your opinions about how it is.

    Now drawback of Late Swap: Got to check the lineups constantly which would be a menace to players with less time on their hands and would even give greater advantage to those who dedicate their whole weekends to it(me included) in compared to the former ones. But it is still better than Bench.

    Drawback of Bench: There are only drawbacks of this in my opinion. So not going further to keep it short.

    My idea: Lets take this weekend in view.
    Everybody was sure Walcott would start but still there was some doubts. I captained Walcott took Walcott in almost all my teams and then he was benched.
    So the crux of the matter here is there are always players who are doubts( sometimes slight other times more) but one always knows about it beforehand except in cases like Bellerin this weekend( I have no solution for that).

    What if there were an option where you could choose 1(or 2 depending on the #DFF sites preference) player which you think might not play(in our case Walcott) and only choose a substitute for him- within his price off course- and that player would come in if our Doubt doesn’t start. This way you could take a punt on a player who even might be 75% unsure of playing but potential of exploding. And DFF sites could even provide two subs like this meaning you choose two players who you think are uncertain to start and pick subs for them.

    Easy isn’t it?

    Though there are some points which I dont know if they are possible or not from a programming point of view.

    Like our Doubt ( who fails to start but is on the bench) will probably come on from the bench in most cases so how the programmer would create a script that lets the system ignore the points scored by our Doubt after coming on from the bench and only adding the points scored by our sub which in some cases might even be lesser than our Doubt who doesn’t start.

    But if it is feasible, I think its a better solution than Late Swap or Bench System.

    So that’s it. Please share your opinions- positives and flaws- both are welcome.

    • WorldCupDanB August 11, 2015 at 10:06 pm

      I like this idea a lot and think it could work. I also haven’t seen anyone else mention the development issues faced by the sites but I think this is the obvious reason why there isn’t any innovation. The DFF sites struggle to even get a basic functioning site up and running let alone create new functionality. It amazes me that I’ve played various DFF sites for over four years and yet there still isn’t even one that is close to being fit for purpose. This is the biggest hurdle to fixing the problem.

    • jamieFPL August 18, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      “Choose 1(or 2 depending on the #DFF sites preference) player which you think might not play(in our case Walcott) and only choose a substitute for him- within his price off course- and that player would come in if our Doubt doesn’t start.”

      It’s definitely a good idea in it’s own respects but I’m not sure it’s a direct solution to the problem. I have a few possible issues with this I’d like to hear your opinions on:

      1) Does this really fix the issue? Yeah, it’d give you room to gamble on a player you’re not sure will starts – but that gamble should arguably come with a cost anyway. The problem here is that (assuming the GW kicks off Fri/Sat) a player could pick up a random injury between then and their match on Sunday/Monday (Baines). Also a player could be randomly dropped (Bellerin, Redmond, etc) and you wouldn’t have any cover. In my opinion the reason players want LS is because of players unexpectedly not playing, not to give them more freedom to make gambles.

      2) Also, if you were allowed for example 2 backup players. Isn’t this just an un-glorified version of a bench? If you have to choose 2 backup players you might as well just have a 2 person bench…

  9. Super Cool August 11, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    1. On Subs, most sites allow you the order you want the players to come on. So a certain skill involved in choosing the right subs over duds. For example if one was not sure of Walcott starting this weekend, the first sub in order will be say Pelle, Vardy or Cisse over a dud like Benteke, Auto-sub does all the rest efficiently.

    2. The biggest draw back of subs bench is it takes infinitely more constructing line-ups than the usual starting 11. Squads are much more suited to the FPL and other seasonal game formats.

    3. Late Swap obviously does give advantage to players who have free time at the weekend to check announced team line-ups regularly. But the availability of these feature trumps any downside as it is a good functionality tool in editing & constructing line-ups.

    4. On the innovation side, I am not a programmer and so in the dark on the challenges involved. Any innovation has to include the elements of fairness and efficiency for all players. Sites developing application will be a welcome addition and doable too.

  10. Mizungu August 11, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    I am pro late swap but we shouldn’t be lobbying for a one size fits all approach, who am I to dictate the terms of another players involvement? The key thing for me is choice and at the moment there isn’t one. The market only caters for one type of manager, the one who (for whatever reason) prefers no late swap.

    Personally I think for the market to grow we need it. Big fish won’t play without it and the industry won’t get by on just casual players. Mondogoal are gearing to introduce it and other models will evolve as the industry matures. Providers will find their niche and I expect a variety of features to develop over the next few years as providers get a better handle on their own customer base and what attracts punters to their sites.

    So we shouldn’t be thinking we either have it or we don’t, there needs to be a mixed offer to attract a variety of people to join our unhealthy obsession!

    • jamieFPL August 11, 2015 at 8:01 pm

      Thanks for stopping by @Mizungu. I couldn’t agree more with your first paragraph, I believe that the market does need a variety of choice for players to truly understand what they want. As for the market ‘preferring no late swap’ I think that’s just due to websites trying to appeal to FPL players initially, rather than them having a preference against it.

      The next part I’m not so sure about. I don’t disagree with your statement whatsoever but I’m not sure on a few parts. “Big fish won’t play without late swap and the industry won’t get by on casual players” – When you say big fish won’t play without it, do you mean you think there’s a lot of players who are holding back from playing due to the lack of this feature? From my understanding it’s the big fish who are already playing (e.g. us gathered here now) and the little fish that aren’t.

      If the little fish don’t join then surely all the sites will die?

  11. Mizungu August 11, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Thanks Jamie. Firstly, I’m not saying the market prefers late swap, I’m saying that’s the only show in town. Who knows what the market will eventually prefer

    In terms of fish (big or small) I don’t think people are holding back, I think they’re unaware. We may have some big players but they’re a drop in the ocean (more water metaphors) compared to what the industry will look like once this is in the mainstream – look what happened to poker. You need a combination of players, hence my overall point about choice so everyone feels they can participate, not just different size fish!

  12. WorldCupDanB August 11, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    I’ve just read through all of this and there are some great comments.

    One thing that everybody seems to agree on is that having non playing players is a massive problem.

    I consider myself to be a low to medium stake/volume player, I want to be a high volume player but the way the industry is at the moment (terrible UI, awful lineup management tools, constant website errors and ridiculously time consuming issues with game format/rules) in conjunction with my personal circumstances it’s just not possible. However if late swap was introduced in it’s present format it would actually mean I will have to play a lot less and I’m sure this is the case for others as well.

    The reason for this is pretty much what has already been said. Take this weekend, if you were to have all ten premier leagues games in one competition there are two major issues:-

    1) There will be six different kick off times and if somebody cannot be available for one of them they will immediately be at a disadvantage. People do not want to spend there money on DFF if it isn’t a fair playing field.

    2) people don’t want to have to be checking line ups on six different occasions over a weekend and then having to make changes when players are out, it is a lot of lost time and there is no flexibility.

    At present I don’t have a preferred solution as I think there are a number of ways this can be improved on, it doesn’t have to be a fixed bench or late swap but something more innovative and I have seen some good ideas so far. It could be a system like UCL (as mentioned by TM370) where a player can be swapped out after the game has played if they didn’t play, meaning you have more flexibility as to when you do the change. Or maybe a system where once you have chosen your players in a certain position you can then put the rest of the players (that are the same value as your cheapest player) in order of preference. Then if a player in a certain position doesn’t play your number 1 ranked replacement for that position comes in instead. I also like the idea mentioned by Jamie at the start where you could even have more than one system and people can choose beforehand which way they want to do it.

    I think instead of people focusing on the issues of some of the solutions that are available now we should be looking to get as many new ideas as possible and seeing if we can develop some of them it into something that really works. Ideally whatever the solution is to the problem of non playing players it shouldn’t stop people playing or force them to play less.

  13. HayStacked August 11, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    The pros/cons of the various options seem clear enough so I just wanted to touch on the argument that no Late Swap encourages new players/casuals to give up, based on my experience at the weekend.

    I introduced a few new players to DFF for the opening weekend and every one of them, without fail, said something akin to “I did ok, but got screwed by players not starting”. BUT not one of them blamed this on the game/rules, and most of them are already planning their teams for next weekend.

    Now these new players may all just be really stubborn…or maybe they just understand that: a) sometimes you’re on the losing end of a bad beat (in the case of luck e.g. Baines); and/or b) they’re at the beginning of a learning curve we all go through when playing a game for the first time (in the case of genuinely bad decisions in picking risky players e.g. Aguero).
    For a) they realise that everyone is in the same boat and that last-minute injuries are uncontrollable.
    For b) a big part of the enjoyment of a new game is the learning curve. Players eventually adapt to the rules they are presented with, through experience. They realise that, for example, picking players who are more guaranteed to start/less injury prone is the first step to a basic DFF strategy.

    Clearly this is a small and fairly trivial sample (and I’m yet to see if they give up after GW2) but I don’t necessarily think the argument that new players giving up is necessarily a sound one based on hard evidence.

    The opening weekend to a season, with new managers, new players and new tactics was always going to resurface this topic. For what it’s worth, contrary to the majority of this post, I would err on the side of Late Swap if there was a be-all and end-all choice…but there isn’t, and in sum I’m fairly indifferent (am I the only one?) But I have always been a proponent of variety and whether that means variety across sites or across contests on one site, it makes no difference to me. I will adjust to the rules and continue to enjoy playing, Late Swap or no Late Swap.

    • callum_read August 12, 2015 at 6:40 pm

      GW1 was my first week of DFF and in my team I had 3 non starters, in the shape of Mings, Walcott and Baines. I felt that all 3 of them would start and score me points. I thought Mings and Walcott were guaranteed to start purely because Mings cost so much and Theo started the Community Sheild up front. Baines was a complete error because he was injured but it makes me want to pick better this time by doing more research into every single player. I agree with what you said, I don’t blame the game; I blame my poor selection.

  14. backersdevo1099 August 12, 2015 at 6:09 am

    This is all fantastic. Some really bright players and passionate managers. Along with Mizungu, we comprise Fantasy Football Backers and have weighed in on the side of Late Swap (LS) a few times on the site and on Twitter. For me, it’s the unpredictable nature of lineups and lack of injury information (except for Ben Dinnery!) that leaves me to side with LS. If “experts” like us are reading everything and still missing players then what chance do managers setting lineups on Friday afternoon have? There IS skill to predicting lineups and manager tendencies, I just think it is outweighed by the frequent randomness. You can do everything right and still have players miss out and that is discouraging for experienced and new players alike.

    I live in the States and the majority of my Premier League action has been on Draftkings due to the volume of play there and the lack of lineup management tools on MG (though some of that has been alleviated recently). I really do see both sides of the debate and I don’t think it’s a matter of LS being a perfect solution by any means – I just think LS is a more level playing field overall, for both big volume players and newer ones. Football is already a series of random events, we should at least be able to play a team we intend to play (which is why I am not big on using a bench). To use a poker analogy I’d rather push my chips in after the flop than before, and I think the additional information that LS provides is akin to that situation.

    As for the drag of having to check lineups several times over the weekend that WorldCupDanB mentioned – that’s absolutely a valid criticism, and a major one. LS is far from perfect. But once MG (and the other sites) are able to create good smartphone apps that problem is more or less gone, along with “Global Player Swap” where you can take a player out of all of your lineups at once. You’ll do what I do and set alarms to ‘check lineups’ and then excuse yourself to the bathroom for 3 minutes. I think my wife probably tells friends that I have a prostate problem to seem less rude…

    In the end, as Haystacked alluded to, we’re all playing by the same rules, we just have to find the right platform for the majority of managers. That may be LS, it may be a bench, it may be some unicorn feature we’ve never considered. Whatever it is, this game is too much fun to not keep growing regardless of what is decided.

    • WorldCupDanB August 12, 2015 at 7:49 am

      I do agree with this and would probably even be a promoter of late swap if the functionality was there which meant I could amend 100 line ups in just a few minutes on my phone. Realistically though I think we are years away from any site being able to deliver that, bringing in late swap when it isn’t fully supported will just stagnate growth further.

      • Bigo1 August 12, 2015 at 9:20 am

        That is true that global swaps are a must for any site introducing late swaps. I remember last year when the mighty Nugent injured himself at 2.50pm (what a legend). I hade 50+ line ups with him, and managed to save a quarter of them. That was not enough.

        On the innovation part, I just thought about what Victiv (a small DFS site in the US) is doing and this could be an alternative to the bench option. Basically, they implement a ‘flex’ (12th man) with low budget (let’s say 5 on Mondo). The way it works is that your flex player comes in if his score is higher than any of the other 11 players in your team. As such, if one player is getting a fat 0, the flex would v likely come in (except if he is Courtois or Cech last week end).

        • WorldCupDanB August 12, 2015 at 9:48 am

          I really like that idea, it is similar to a sort of bench but with a big tweak to how it is used (whenever I say bench I don’t actually mean a fixed bench like FPL but something more fluid). I think my real frustration with all of this is the fact there doesn’t seem to much dialogue between us and the sites, also the sites are not trying different ideas but they are just dropping in a feature that still has major problems when they are not yet ready to implement the supporting tools.

          I have never used global swap before but I assume it works in the way I would want it to, if I have a 100 line ups and 30 have Aguero in it and he doesn’t start, I assume I go in and in and with just maybe a couple of button presses I change all the Agueros to Bony. If this is correct then I think this is a good example of the lack of innovation, why can’t there be a function where I set this up days before, so if Aguero doesn’t start I have already preset Bony to replace him then it just happens automatically without me having to do anything?

        • jamieFPL August 12, 2015 at 11:22 am

          The flex sounds like an interested concept. One of my main problems with the bench on DFF websites is that bench players are included in the same budget as your starting 11. This more often than not means users disregard it’s set purpose and load it with cheap players to give them a greater overall budget for their starting 11.

          Just to confirm (because I’ve never used it before) the Flex player has a separate budget to the starting 11?

          • WorldCupDanB August 12, 2015 at 11:55 am

            I assume it can’t as you could game it by putting in a guaranteed non playing player and then having a high value flex. But why couldn’t you tweak it further and have one flex per position and allow each flex position to be up to the value of your lowest value player in that position. That way it couldn’t be gamed and it wouldn’t break the budget yet you could still have a high value replacement

            • jamieFPL August 12, 2015 at 12:16 pm

              That’s a very good point. I’d like to hear from @Bigo1 about how Victiv avoid the Flex being gamed. If Mondo were to have a 5.0m Flex budget, you could choose Yohan Benalouane (3.5m DEF from LEI) as a starter and pick a 5.0m DEF as your Flex.

              Your suggestion sounds like an interesting take on the ‘Bench’ feature, and one that could (after a bit of work) be used by the likes of FB, Woof, etc who have a Bench and want to avoid it being manipulated. That’s a whole different subject though…

              • Bigo1 August 12, 2015 at 7:43 pm

                Well the budget for the flex is independent of your total budget. So in Mondo, you’d probably keep your 100 for 11 players, and add an extra 5 for the flex (if you choose Jerome at 3.5, it doesn’t add up 1.5 to your overall budget).

                There are different strategies involved indeed, like picking one or two very cheap players in your 11 and be reassured that your flex will probably sub in a bad player in any case.

                But I can assure you it is not that simple as one star will always underperformed (like Courtois/Cech and even Rooney this week), and you always have the risk of having a player rested.

                I know that Victiv had a mix response in the US as some argues that a manager can get out of jail easily if one player totally outperformed (think Courtois). But most of the players like the idea and Victiv has grown quite a lot, mostly because of this fixture.

                All in all, I think it has more advantages than the bench option (no US site is using this option, and probably rightly so) and should keep both the casuals and sharps happy.

              • Bigo1 August 12, 2015 at 7:44 pm

                Having said that, I still prefer late swaps….

          • NaturalFootballFan August 12, 2015 at 1:02 pm

            I also like this idea of the ‘Flex’ (low budget). It retains the unpredictable aspect of DFF, while reducing the blow when you end up with a non-starter.
            Another positive is its simplicity. If I’m correct, the Flex doesn’t have an effect on your starting XI’s budget; just choose your additional player and with one click your sorted. Also, it seems the biggest criticism of Late Swap is the fact you have to check line-ups frequently, however with ‘Flex’, the player automatically fills in for your non-starter/lowest scorer, so you can get on with your day-to-day life.
            Seems to to fit the needs for both Pro & Casual managers. Perhaps it suits casuals slightly more, but they are the largest target market at the end of the day.

  15. Fantasy Footbal Portal August 12, 2015 at 10:21 am

    The introduction of the Friday evening Premier League match effectively means players have 17 less hours to submit their line-ups if they decide to include that game in their selected contest. If you plan on watching this fixture then including some of the players involved is likely to increase your enjoyment of the game. However, if you do it now makes you more susceptible to any developing team news that happens on Saturday morning which you would have been able to react to previously.

    If you’re playing with providers who have a bench option for automated substitutes or in-play substitutions then you have a degree of insurance built-in. However, as previously mentioned not everyone has the time to select a 15 man squad especially if they are submitting multiple teams.

    For definitive 11-a-sides games creating an additional filter in the game lobby seems the way to go so users have the option of choosing any of a number of contest types such as no late-swap, late-swap (limited to 1 player), unlimited late-swap (only if selected players are not in match day squad) and unlimited late-swap (no restrictions on changes). In time it will be easy to tell which game-types customers prefer.

    We agree that part of the beauty of the game is second-guessing what managers will do and in our provisional line-up strategy article on Fantasy Football Portal last week we were fairly confident that Giroud would start over Walcott. We wouldn’t like to see this aspect of the game nullified altogether which is why we favour the introduction of filters.

    The big issue is that people have busy lives – work commitments, family time and other leisure activities that may restrict the number of last minute changes that they can make. One solution would be for a company who are big on team news such as PremierInjuries or WhoScored or even the game provider themselves to provide a ‘Confirmed team news’ messaging service. You could simply submit a list of players and then you might receive a simple SMS saying ‘Walcott- Bench’ or ‘Bellerin – Not in match-day squad’ 45-50 minutes or so before kick-off. I’m sure most players would subscribe to this for a small fee. A good example would be if you’re on the golf course….if you are constantly checking twitter feeds on your phone for team news your playing partners are unlikely to be impressed. However, if you just receive 1 SMS that informs you that Bellerin isn’t in then they may be a bit more sympathetic to you spending a couple of minutes replacing him.

    Bigger prize pools and better customer choice would seem to be the keys to converting players from the seasonal to the daily format and will determine how successful the DFF industry becomes.

  16. Dark Lord August 13, 2015 at 4:21 am

    Guys Please take a look at my idea and its not because its my idea but because its much better and less complicated than Late Swap and all.

    That’s my opinion but I wish to know all of yours as well but I think you’ll all like it.

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