My secrets to becoming number 1 in the world

Jonas Sand Labakk’s success in becoming Fantasy Premier League champion proves that anyone can dream of being world number one, regardless of their performance in previous seasons.

Labakk had never finished in the top 120,000 in the world before this campaign, when he won by 51 points.

Of course, as the 20-year-old points out, “for many of those ranks, I have been a child.” But even so, he’s made key changes to his approach this season that have had a big impact and may inspire and help fantasy managers who would love to see similar improvements in their own ranks.

Use analytics to plan for the future

“Over the last few years, mostly through other Fantasy Football games, I have a whole new perspective when it comes to Fantasy Football,” Labakk said. “I’m a big fan of analytics and optimization.

“It’s nothing new that you need some positive variation or luck to win FPL, but it also requires a lot on your part. You have to dedicate hours to it. You have to investigate.

“I recently adapted analytics to my playing style and I am 100 percent sure I would never have become number one if it hadn’t been for that.

“What I mainly use are models, where a lot of expected statistics are taken. I don’t know how many statistics they use and how exactly they use them, but the end product is what they call “expected value.”

See: How to use expected target data in Fantasy

“From that, over a span of four to six game weeks, for example, you can see how they expect the player to perform.”

Avoid point hits and early transfers

Labakk’s meticulous approach meant he only received a trio of negative points out of four throughout his successful campaign.

On each of those three occasions, his decisions were influenced by blank or double weeks of play. On matchday 17, he took out the injured. Erling Haaland ahead of Manchester City’s Blank Gameweek 18, while he made two transfers in both Double Gameweek 28 and Blank Gameweek 29 to help him navigate the late-season schedule.

“Now I try to avoid punches as much as possible,” Labakk said. “And I have a structured plan where I plan, say, four to six weeks in advance. But obviously injuries can occur.”

Some FPL managers like to buy in-demand players early in the week, before the price rises, thus gradually developing a squad worth more than the initial £100m that managers are given to spend. But Labakk balked at that approach this season.

“I tried to avoid early transfers as much as possible,” he said. “I value the information (about injuries, etc.) at the end of the week above the value of the team.

“That was something I wanted to focus on this season as I have a history where they could have come back to bite me. I have learned that a change of £0.1 or £0.2 million may not mean much in the big picture.

“We saw it especially last year (in 2022/23) where most people had something like £7m or £8m in the bank because they all had players like (Kaoru) Mitoma and (Alexis) MacAllister. So I don’t think the team values ​​this season and last season has been a decisive factor.”

Play safe

“I’ve become pretty risk-averse lately when it comes to Fantasy Football,” Labakk said. “Boring selections, they are boring for a reason.

“Hopefully, I think the narrative that you have to make crazy, stupid decisions or something to win (the world title) one day ends, because I don’t think that’s the way.

“I think you need to find your own way of playing and stick to that style of play. Unless the style of play is terrible, you should see results.”

Capture players before they become BIG

Getting ahead of transfer targets was another vital ingredient to Labakk’s success.

He was clever enough to bring Cole Palmer while the midfielder was still priced at his initial cost of £5.0m and had only made four starts for Chelsea.

The Norwegian also places his late-season attacks on Man City and Chelsea assets for their Double Weeks among the most prescient moves of his victorious season.

“I went early with Palmer,” Labakk says. “I think it was Game Week 11, and he finished with the most points (throughout the season) despite starting to play regularly in Game Week 7.

“Then I had (Josko) Gvardiol since week 32. He didn’t score many points that week, but from week 33 onwards he’s been crazy.

“The same goes for (Nicholas) Jackson in week 33. At that point I had already used my wild card and I knew that since Chelsea had a double in 35 and a good game in 36, and a double in 37, I knew that a lot of people were going to go for Jackson. .

“But Jackson had to avoid a yellow card for two games. It was a risk, but it ended up paying off very well.”