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Fantasy Bundesliga Week 4 Primer

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Dropping duds and buying studs

Hertha BSC v FC Schalke 04 - Bundesliga Photo by Boris Streubel/Bongarts/Getty Images

After sitting in 69th place in the BFW+FTW league after matchday 2, I decided I needed to make some moves to maximize my points for the next matchday. Those moves paid off big as "Die Toten Lederhosen" leaped up the table to rank 13 last week. Now I'm hoping to continue the trend in week 4.

Forwards: staying the course

My forwards have been stable, with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Ousmane Dembélé flanking Captain Robert Lewandowski. While Dembélé failed to log any points on matchday 2, I thought it would be premature to trade him. True to form, he earned 7 yet again on day 3, as did Choupo, who has been very consistent - and I just love Choupo-Moting. I’m optimistic that both of them will do well respectively against Cologne and Wolfsburg.

Midfield: shake it up!

My midfield on matchday 2 was somewhat disappointing: while Javi brought home 10 points with that lovely assist, and Kevin Kampl dueled his way to 8 points, Felix Passlack did diddlysquat, while my two relatively inexpensive Eintracht Frankfurt bench players Gacinovic and Mascarell each got 3-4. I dropped Passlack (he has since earned 4 and 0 points), slotted in Mijat Gacinovic, and traded for Szabolcs Huszti to play alongside Javi and Kampl. With Frankfurt beating Leverkusen, that arrangement was not bad, but not great either. So this week I freed up room and cash to buy Ribery. He has been in incredible form, and I wish I had had the foresight to start with him.

Defense is the best offense... or something

My defenders were almost totally useless on matchday 2: David Alaba got 6 points and that was it! Something had to be done. I dropped Benedikt Höwedes, who had ridden my bench and still earned only 2 points, and Marvin Matip. I had signed Matip because of his much more talented brother, but, unfortunately, Ingolstadt has been terrible, and Matip has struggled to shine. Farewell, friend.

I believe David Alaba will come around, so I am keeping him for now. With some cash to reallocate, I made two very good moves ahead of matchday 3: I knew Mitch Weiser was tearing it up for Berlin, so I added him. He subsequently won 25 points for me last week! I also signed Frederik Sörensen from Cologne. Another good move: he brought me another 15 points from Red Bull's dominant performance against Hamburg. Both these guys look like keepers (figuratively, not literally).

Formations

The formation you play is a major factor in the points you earn. I like to keep all my forwards busy, so at first I first played a traditional 4-3-3. But after my defenders were useless and my midfielders relatively good, I went instead with a 3-4-3. That maximized the points from my good players and shielded me from my weaker players, who stay on the bench. Now with Ribery as one of my "midfielders" (lol), I doubt I’ll change my formation anytime soon.

Expensive on the pitch, cheap on the bench

With three matchdays under my belt, I felt that I needed to chase the points on the pitch and scrimp on the bench. I figure any one of my starters might have an off day, but as long as the odds that they don't play at all are small, it is very unlikely that my bench players will give me points. So I don't mind if they're scrubs. For now, I still have Frankfurt's Gacinovic on the bench in midfield, but he's a luxury I might downgrade at the next window to free up money to buy an even better starting midfielder.

Likewise, my defenders are not expensive, but not without value. I had signed Daniel Opare from Augsburg as a cheap bench player, but his value was rapidly dropping for lack of playing minutes. I couldn't allow that 4mil to just evaporate. Guillermo Varela’s value was stable, but he seemed like an overpay for someone I wasn't starting. I traded him, too. In their place, I picked up the cheapest defenders who had earned points - Leon Balogun (4m) from Mainz and Benno Schmitz (1.9m) from Leipzig - and used the savings to buy Franck Ribery. It's crazy, but Balogun has more total points than David Alaba... Even if I don't start them, as long as they continue to increase in value, I can eventually trade them at a profit. (It’s the Oakland A’s way.)

So here's to hoping my "3-4-3 and Ribery" win big.

How are you re-configuring your Bundesliga fantasy team? What went right for you on Matchday 3?

It’s not too late to join our league and play along at Bundesliga.com (search for Bavarian Footballs Works + Fear The Wall), although you unfortunately won’t earn points for previous matchdays.