In case it wasn’t obvious from our name or the more than 100 articles in our pre-season Draft Kit, we put a huge amount of effort and emphasis on ensuring you can be as successful as possible with your drafts. But even if you manage the perfect draft ahead of the 22/23 Premier League season, you’re extremely unlikely to win your league if you’re not actively engaged with your team over the course of the season. On the flip side, it’s not the end of the world if you draft poorly. Let’s run through some things you can do after your draft to kick on in your quest for your league title.
Analyze the Results of Your Draft
The first thing you should do once you’ve finished your draft (aside from a bathroom break and refreshing your beverage of choice) is to take inventory of how you did and assess where you may have room for improvement. Did you take too many forwards at the top of the draft and are light on quality MIDs? Has one of your players picked up a pre-season injury, or was there a new transfer that puts their starting role in doubt? Did you forget to take early fixtures into account and your players are all facing a difficult week 1 schedule? Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your team before the season begins is a critical step to getting a jump on your league mates.
Scope Out the Competition for Trade Targets
It’s never too soon to begin your post-draft preparations. In fact, you may have begun during your draft, taking note of choices you’d have made differently, players you were targeting who were snatched up before you could add them to your roster, or some other managers who didn’t come prepared. Taking stock of this information mid-draft is a great start, but I find it particularly useful to get the complete picture at the conclusion of the draft to determine where to go next.
The draft board and Draft Results page within Fantrax offer you a helpful overview of the players selected by each team, but can also be a bit of a challenge to make sense of at a glance. I recommend going to the newly revamped Team Roster Chart page to see a team-by-team positional breakdown of the managers in your league. This view is easy to scan and figure out not only the players on each manager’s roster, but also which positions they’ve dedicated their draft capital to, which may help you identify some areas of need to approach them with a trade proposal. Here’s a particularly extreme example for illustrative purposes:
As you can see, this manager went for an unorthodox strategy in their draft, loading up on midfielders and forwards and nearly avoiding defenders altogether. If you identified that you need a forward for your team during your post-draft assessment and have a defender or two to spare, you could approach this manager to see if they’d be willing to part with one of their collection in exchange for your player(s). Not every team will be this easy to pick out positions to target, but the other benefit of this screen is that you can make note of your potential trade targets team-by-team as you scroll the page.
Set Up A Watch List for Future Targets
Another underutilized feature within Fantrax, particularly before the start of the season, is the Watch List. There are more than 650 players in the Player Pool eligible to be selected in Fantrax, but only 192 that will be rostered at any given time in a 12-team league. It’s very difficult and time-consuming to keep up with a pool of 450 players. By using the Watch List, you can essentially make a shortlist of targets you’d like to have a quick way to check in on.
Prior to the beginning of the season, this tool can be helpful to identify and keep tabs on players who were undrafted that you think may be worth picking up in the early stages of the season. They may be injured or may have some question marks around their role in the starting lineup that kept them from being taken during the draft.
Another way to use this tool is to add your transfer targets to the Watch List so you can monitor their performances and decide when the optimal time is to make your move (ideally after a particularly poor performance or run of inconsistent form). It’s also handy during the season when identifying your targets for the Waiver Wire and placing your bids. Don’t ignore this feature!
Get to Know Your League Mates
If you play in a home league, you’re hopefully already at least somewhat familiar with the other managers you’ll be competing against, but as more and more community-style leagues are introduced, you’re likely to be playing with a bunch of strangers from all parts of the world. This is an incredible opportunity to bond over the love of the game and meet some of the people who make up the wonderful DraftPL Community.
It makes your match-ups more fun when you feel comfortable enough to sling some banter your opponent’s way. Not only that, but you may find an added benefit when trying to strike up trade conversations if you actually know the person you’re speaking with. Definitely don’t take this as me advocating for starting a conversation under false pretenses as a way to sneak your way into a trade negotiation, though. Nobody likes that person.
Don’t Be Afraid to Chop & Change
In addition to any trades you may be able to push through with your league mates, you may want to consider switching some things up with your roster even before the season begins, for any number of reasons. It’s very easy to become attached to the players you’ve drafted; something compelled you to choose them over literally hundreds of other options, so there must have been something you liked about them. But there may be better options available, particularly for the players you drafted in the last quarter of the draft. I wouldn’t recommend dropping anyone you took in the first half of the draft, barring a serious injury or transfer out of the league, but there will undoubtedly be plenty of players who go undrafted who will put up good scores in the first week of the season. You can’t always predict who that will be, but playing to the fixtures is a great place to start.
Follow Expert Advice Throughout The Season
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Whatever you decide to do, remember that remaining active throughout the season is your best bet for challenging at the top of your league. Best of luck as you compete for that top spot!
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