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Wasting Your Wildcard: The Method and Madness of Fantasy Football

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Every Saturday afternoon, 5.8 million people around the world settle down to see how their team will get on. But this isn’t the team they support. It’s THEIR team. They have spent hour after hour assessing injuries, swapping subs and tweaking formations. Because when the day is done and the scores are in, they want to be able to look in the mirror and say, ‘THAT TRIPLE CAPTA Every Saturday afternoon, 5.8 million people around the world settle down to see how their team will get on. But this isn’t the team they support. It’s THEIR team. They have spent hour after hour assessing injuries, swapping subs and tweaking formations. Because when the day is done and the scores are in, they want to be able to look in the mirror and say, ‘THAT TRIPLE CAPTAIN CALL WAS AN ACT OF GENIUS!’ Welcome to the obsessive world of Fantasy Football, where managers will do anything to succeed. David Wardale – writer for the UK's number one Fantasy Football site, Fantasy Football Scout – meets previous winners to discover how they beat millions to the crown. He reveals the leagues where failure involves outright humiliation and discovers just how low some managers will go to claim a psychological advantage. Along the way, he finds Saudi sheikhs, stats professors, most of Norway and a member of one of the biggest pop bands of all time, all of them united by their unflinching desire for Fantasy Football greatness.


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Every Saturday afternoon, 5.8 million people around the world settle down to see how their team will get on. But this isn’t the team they support. It’s THEIR team. They have spent hour after hour assessing injuries, swapping subs and tweaking formations. Because when the day is done and the scores are in, they want to be able to look in the mirror and say, ‘THAT TRIPLE CAPTA Every Saturday afternoon, 5.8 million people around the world settle down to see how their team will get on. But this isn’t the team they support. It’s THEIR team. They have spent hour after hour assessing injuries, swapping subs and tweaking formations. Because when the day is done and the scores are in, they want to be able to look in the mirror and say, ‘THAT TRIPLE CAPTAIN CALL WAS AN ACT OF GENIUS!’ Welcome to the obsessive world of Fantasy Football, where managers will do anything to succeed. David Wardale – writer for the UK's number one Fantasy Football site, Fantasy Football Scout – meets previous winners to discover how they beat millions to the crown. He reveals the leagues where failure involves outright humiliation and discovers just how low some managers will go to claim a psychological advantage. Along the way, he finds Saudi sheikhs, stats professors, most of Norway and a member of one of the biggest pop bands of all time, all of them united by their unflinching desire for Fantasy Football greatness.

30 review for Wasting Your Wildcard: The Method and Madness of Fantasy Football

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael Schmid

    I'm not aware of any other books that have been written about fantasy football (or FPL) and found this a very interesting read, suitable both for fantasy football experts as well as people who know nothing about fantasy football and want to learn about it. The author goes into the history of fantasy football and FPL in particular and shows the world-wide appeal of the game by relating some really fascinating stories of FPL players around the world from all different kinds of classes and backgrou I'm not aware of any other books that have been written about fantasy football (or FPL) and found this a very interesting read, suitable both for fantasy football experts as well as people who know nothing about fantasy football and want to learn about it. The author goes into the history of fantasy football and FPL in particular and shows the world-wide appeal of the game by relating some really fascinating stories of FPL players around the world from all different kinds of classes and backgrounds. It includes several humourous accounts of what an obsession with FPL and a desire to win can do to you, but also rightly warns against an "over-obsession" and the importance of not allowing the game to make you neglect the more important issues in life (relationships with family and friends, work and faith). The book also includes some helpful thoughts of experts regarding a successful FPL strategy. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book in the run-up to the 2018-19 season - hoping to improve on last season!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Filip Olšovský

    You really shouldn't judge a book by its cover. In this case the cover (and the title) are by far the best things about this book. There is undoubtedly a massive gap in the market for such book but the way the author responds to it is almost shameful. There is no clear structure, almost no surprises and most importantly – almost no editting. Each page is filled with useless detours and jokes which only hightlight the fact there is really not much to say by the author. You can see it in the part You really shouldn't judge a book by its cover. In this case the cover (and the title) are by far the best things about this book. There is undoubtedly a massive gap in the market for such book but the way the author responds to it is almost shameful. There is no clear structure, almost no surprises and most importantly – almost no editting. Each page is filled with useless detours and jokes which only hightlight the fact there is really not much to say by the author. You can see it in the part which the author has already used in his magazine – it knows what it wants to say, it has a tempo and flows fluently (a.k.a. it had a proper editor). Unlike the rest of the book which is really just a collection of stories and personal observations without any right to be called a story.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Will

    I've loved reading David's book. I've laughed and chuckled my way through it; his dry wit and humour, as well as his admiration and understanding of the people he writes about, make this book accessible to anyone - even if you don't play Fantasy Football. For the smile it put on my face, this book reminded me of Bill Bryson's 'Notes from a Small Island'. To indulge in a comparison - David shines a light upon this small island of Fantasy Football lovers, its population now approaching 6 million, I've loved reading David's book. I've laughed and chuckled my way through it; his dry wit and humour, as well as his admiration and understanding of the people he writes about, make this book accessible to anyone - even if you don't play Fantasy Football. For the smile it put on my face, this book reminded me of Bill Bryson's 'Notes from a Small Island'. To indulge in a comparison - David shines a light upon this small island of Fantasy Football lovers, its population now approaching 6 million, recounting tales of its inhabitants. As a dweller in this rapidly expanding new world you will get to know your neighbours a little more intimately, as a stranger you will be regaled with accounts of subterfuge, heroics, glorious defeats, and passion. And perhaps you will gain a new understanding of your FPL obsessed boyfriend/girlfriend/father/mother/brother/sister/lover/husband/wife/child/family pet. Whatever your knowledge of Fantasy Football, I hope you will enjoy this book as much as I did.

  4. 4 out of 5

    George

    This is a very entertaining and tongue-in-cheek look at the world of fantasy football and those of us who play it to the point of addiction. It isn’t so much a manual for new players or a hint book for those looking to increase their overall rank - though there are some nuggets of advice included - but instead it examines the game’s most loyal players, including FPL “Scout” Mark Southerns and previous fantasy football champions. And why do we all play it? As the author says, “Fantasy Football giv This is a very entertaining and tongue-in-cheek look at the world of fantasy football and those of us who play it to the point of addiction. It isn’t so much a manual for new players or a hint book for those looking to increase their overall rank - though there are some nuggets of advice included - but instead it examines the game’s most loyal players, including FPL “Scout” Mark Southerns and previous fantasy football champions. And why do we all play it? As the author says, “Fantasy Football gives us the opportunity to reconnect with our inner child; the one that felt the elation of a goal or the despair of a defeat to its very maximum.” All-in-all, a good page-turner for any fantasy football player, which you’ll finish in the time it takes for an average VAR check. If you’re like me, and fret about your mini-league position and spend ages tinkering with your team, this is definitely a book for you.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michael Shevlin

    Was hoping for some interesting insight and / or tips and tricks on how to play Fantasy Football (I play, and I am terrible). But what we get is a history of FPL, some interviews with some players who have won (or got close), a truly dull interview with some Saudi prince and then the briefest of brief chapters actually giving some advice...that all seemed contradictory anyway. It started off so well and made me laugh a few times, but then it just ends up as a series of anecdotes and not particula Was hoping for some interesting insight and / or tips and tricks on how to play Fantasy Football (I play, and I am terrible). But what we get is a history of FPL, some interviews with some players who have won (or got close), a truly dull interview with some Saudi prince and then the briefest of brief chapters actually giving some advice...that all seemed contradictory anyway. It started off so well and made me laugh a few times, but then it just ends up as a series of anecdotes and not particularly interesting ones at that. I think there must be better books on FPL out there.

  6. 4 out of 5

    James MacCuish

    This book is the only book i could find on my beloved Fantasy Football. Ive laughed and cringed through it, great for anyone no matter if you’ve played or not. The book gives an insight into what players do or famous blunders or shocking results. Quite simply, it is one of the best books i can think of that are interesting, gripping and hilarious all at the same time.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Henry Fosdike

    A broad overview of fantasy football and the way that the Premier League's version of the game has gotten larger over time. A diverting read that includes interviews with those who have topped the game at season's end and a pottered history of the fun that can be had combining real life sport and armchair data fanatics. Not too in-depth but entertaining all the same. A broad overview of fantasy football and the way that the Premier League's version of the game has gotten larger over time. A diverting read that includes interviews with those who have topped the game at season's end and a pottered history of the fun that can be had combining real life sport and armchair data fanatics. Not too in-depth but entertaining all the same.

  8. 4 out of 5

    peter smith

    It not what I was expected Was expecting more talk about the hints and tips from other players and how their season turned out and why they chose to play the way they did that season.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michael Travis

    This was a good intro to much needed EPL knowledge I was seeking, but overall, the added color lacked energy.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    Gets a touch repetitive at times but generally a great read on fantasy football!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rangga Satya

    More entertaining than what I expected, filled with interesting facts about the global game that we all love (and hate).

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ivan Jakimovski

    Amazing stories, not much about Fantasy Football, but about everything that is around it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Angus Kottler

    Some valuable information once you sift through the attempts at humour and tedious writing style. If you’re looking for a book to offer advice on becoming an FPL manager, I wouldn’t bother with this. You could spend the time taken to read this book in a much more fruitful manner with more useful and concise material.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Frith

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jordy Willshear

  16. 5 out of 5

    Matt Colliss

  17. 4 out of 5

    Helen

  18. 4 out of 5

    Haavard Ravnaas

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andy Bell

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dries De Schepper

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tamsil

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mathias Leander

  23. 5 out of 5

    Faraaz Ansari

  24. 5 out of 5

    Matt Broomhead

  25. 4 out of 5

    Paul N

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ruairi

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alex Doyle

  28. 5 out of 5

    Liam Bednarski

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stuart

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ben Ziman

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