What a year it's been. The decade has gotten off to a worse start than England's batting line-up at pretty much every Test match since Sir Alastair hung up his bat and gloves. But that doesn't mean things have to stay that way. The 2020's may well end up a decade to remember for all the right reasons - with 2020 and 2021 merely the Carsten Jancker goal before the Michael Owen hat-trick, Steven Gerrard bullet, and Emile Heskey icing on the cake that will be 2022-2029.
So with that hope now instilled firmly in our hearts, let's look forward to the New Year and everything that it has to offer. Here are 10 New Year's Resolutions that should bring joy and happiness (and maybe a league or playoff trophy) to you in 2022...provided you stick to them!
10 New Year's Resolutions for the Draft Fantasy Football Manager...
1. Lose Weight
We say it every year, but this time we really do mean it. We’re going to trim the fat from our roster. We’ve spent the winter building a squad of 16 good players (and we’ve enjoyed doing so), but actually, this isn’t what is good for us. 8 very good players, and 8 streaming positions is actually preferable. Flexibility is king in draft fantasy, and that’s why January is the time for cutting. It starts with a whole bunch of 2 for 1 and 3 for 1 trades being sent out. Remember: baby steps. If you can get it down to 12 good, 2 very good, and 2 streaming options by February you’re doing well.
2. Try Something New
New year, new you. They always say it’s the things you haven’t done that you end up regretting, so 2022 is the time to tick some things off the first time list. Whether it’s gameweek strategies like defensive countering and goalkeeper streaming, or roster approaches like stacking and handcuffs, the best way to test their effectiveness is to try them for yourself. And if you enjoy this newfound adventurous approach, why not see if your league fancies it too. FAAB waivers, autosubs, keeper leagues, auction drafts…there’s plenty on offer to keep your fantasy competition fresh at Fantrax.
3. Save More Money
Yes, that new signing did warrant 120 FAAB. And when Dave dropped that midfielder, obviously the 80 FAAB to pick him up was worth it. But now you’re left with nothing. Zero. Nada. Zilch. Every gameweek prep from here on in is going to be a toughie as you try to navigate the waiver wire with less cash than Derby County. You need to be better with your money, and the New Year is a great time to start. Admittedly, for the really wasteful managers out there, January may be too late for this – it might have to be a ‘next season’ resolution – but still, it's worth acknowledging.
4. Learn A New Language
No, we’re not talking about French, or Spanish, or Italian. None of that will help your fantasy team (even if you do have Hugo Lloris, Rodri, and Jorginho on your roster). The language to learn is the language of data. The revolution has long since begun, and if you’re not fluent in your npxG + xA’s and your PPS-FP/G’s soon, you’re going to be left behind. They say embedding yourself in the language is the best way to learn a new language, so start following the likes of Overthinking Football, FBref, and The Athletic UK on Twitter now. Do this, and by the end of the season you’ll be more fluent than Steve McClaren during his time at Twente.
5. Work Out More
It’s perhaps the most cliché of all resolutions, but January really is the time for us all to work out more. Work out which players are primed to hit form, work out which teams have an easy upcoming schedule, work out when the double and half gameweeks are, work out the roster needs of your opponents. So much working out can be tiring, but you will feel a million times better once you’ve done it. Just make sure you don’t overdo it though – too much working out and you can end up with DOMS (draft obsessive melancholy syndrome).
6. Read more
Dickens? Hemingway? Shakespeare? Na, none of that rubbish. The only way Dickens can help your fantasy team is if the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come decides to include some Premier League predictions in its prophecies. What you actually need to be reading more of is Totti’s Streamers Specials, the FF Chaps’ Hot or Cold selection, Genie’s Trade Advice, DraftLad’s midweek roundup, and Ryan’s Ghost Point Hunters. These are sure-fire ways to give you an advantage of your competition – and let’s be honest, that’s really the whole point of this.
7. Be stronger at resisting temptations
How many times in 2021 did you wake up on Sunday morning with guilt and remorse, vowing to never give in to temptations ever again? Well, in 2022, you’re actually going to stick to those words. No more bringing in Divock Origi as a free agent just because he’s in the starting XI. No more waivering in Anthony Martial because he had a stormer off the bench the previous weekend. No more trading in Ryan Fraser because someone on Twitter said he looked fit and ready to go in training. Resist. These. Temptations. They only ever lead to regret.
8. Give to those less fortunate
This one isn’t for everyone, but if you can afford to, why not try and give to those less fortunate? Heading into the business end of the season, identify who your league rivals are, and try to help their upcoming opponents. It could be some waiver advice here, or a free agent suggestion there. It could even be a trade proposal that significantly benefits their ability to beat your rival, even if it hurts your roster a little (note, your team should always be the number one priority, so this particular piece of advice is only applicable if you are the Jeff Bezos of Draft Fantasy). Altruism can be so rewarding.
9. Buy a plant
A New Year's resolution growing in popularity is that of buying and caring for a plant. Apparently, plants have a lot of beneficial effects, with research showing that they can lower stress levels, increase satisfaction, and improve concentration (all important factors for the fantasy football manager, I’m sure you’ll agree). I’m on board with that, and so I’ve come up with a list of players for you to try and acquire: Mason Greenwood, Danny Rose, Heung-Min Sunflower, Jesse Lingarden, Treemu Pukki, Michail Plantonio, Pierre Leaves-Melou, Emile Smith Growe, Lilie Gilmour, Lucas Flora, Axel Tulipzebe, Daisy Ings, Cesar Azalea, Jack Corkhid, Nick Poppy, (Okay, I’ve officially reached the dregs of the barrel now).
10. Join a club
We’ll end things with a cheeky bit of self-publicity: the New Year’s resolution of joining a club. Of course, as someone reading this, you are already part of an incredible club – the draft Premier League community – a club that allows you to make new, and develop existing, friendships through the beautiful (albeit nerdy) fantasy football game. But why not make it even better? At The Draft Society we have The Inner Circle – a club with exclusive perks and privileges, all of which are guaranteed to benefit your fantasy team’s performance. For more information and to sign up for either the monthly or annual plan, check out the following link.
Which ones will you be taking on in 2022? Or do you have some ideas of your own? Let us know in the comments below! Happy New Year!
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