Constructing Footstock Virtual Lineups

April 12, 2020
Tom Mitcham


Constructing Footstock Virtual Lineups

Firstly, let’s start with a double celebration: Happy Birthday to Footstock. It turns 1 today!

Having joined the platform through the initial Indiegogo campaign, I’ve ridden with them through every up and down. What they’ve achieved in their first year is in my opinion truly outstanding. Here‘s a little list of what’s been done since day one to enhance my enjoyment as a football fan:

– Footstock tournaments – a brilliant scoring system, fantastic prizepools and almost flawless in-game updates.

– Footstock market – trading in and out of players to generate profit is immensely satisfying, as is stocking up on a promising youngster and watching their price soar. I’m looking at you Michael Obafemi.

– Footstock rewards – going after these challenges to unlock rewards is great fun.

– Games – roulette is just so much fun and with an element of strategy to it can be seriously profitable. The raffles are a great way to use unwanted cards and turn them into big prizes.

– Tech – the site has constantly improved throughout the year, they really listen to us and make changes that benefit everyone.

– Community – The Slack Footstock family is a great bunch and growing daily. As a group we’re very helpful to both each other and new users, especially during these difficult times of isolation the Slack is a welcome distraction.

– Future plans – The Euro 2020 plans and addition of new players to collect and trade sounded amazing. It’s a shame they’ve been delayed by the current climate, but I can’t wait for them to get going again.

– Customer service – above all it’s the openness and responsiveness that makes Footstock stand out. I never have any doubt that should a question or problem arise I’ll get an answer and a fix if needed in rapid time. A huge well done from me to Oliver, Till and the team at Footstock.

Enough back slapping, onto the new business at hand.

Virtual Football

What a start! I admit I have been very skeptical when users have suggested virtual games in the past, but the way it’s been done is just sensational. To create something so complex, realistic and user friendly in a few short weeks is simply breathtaking. Having worked in IT myself, I marvel at how well the tech side of things progress on Footstock.

As a Championship/Football Manager nut in my youth, I love seeing the text based match engine, and the results yesterday showed the grounding in reality to be very well executed. Even if my beloved Clarets lost to Sheffield United!

The big tournament this weekend is the £500 ‘Happy Birthday Footstock’ freeroll. I spent time yesterday crafting my entry, using many of the tactics I use in real tournaments. None of my players have played in the big freeroll yet, but having taken second place in the first virtual tournament yesterday hopefully I’ve picked players who have a good shot at decent scores.

Here’s a look at my team in ‘Happy Birthday Footstock’ and a bit of logic as to how I picked it. Will it prove to be the right way to go? Who knows, but hopefully there’s the odd nugget that can help people here! The games that are included in the tournament are as follows:

– Burnley V Sheffield United
– Chelsea V Tottenham
– Southampton V Brighton
– Everton V Arsenal
– Man City V Liverpool

And here’s my team with a few pointers on how I picked it:

Method in the Madness

Target Teams

Looking at the fixture list the most obvious favourite looked to be Southampton. I’ve assumed Footstock have taken into account the relative strength and form of the teams involved this season. Southampton have had a decent campaign overall whilst Brighton have flattered to deceive. Only one place and five points separate them in the real Premier League table, but form and a home tie favour Southampton comfortably.

Liverpool have dominated the season and have real standout players. The Arsenal picks are a bit more left-field, but I feel like PEA and Pepe tend to score well regardless of Arsenal’s overall efforts.

Avoid opposing teams

I will very rarely pick players from opposing teams. The win points tend to be crucial in large Footstock tournaments: by taking one or more player from each side of a match you’re limiting the amount of win points you can pick up.

PPG is key

I’ve looked at PPG (points per game) once I’ve identified which teams I fancy. There’s no point in picking a Liverpool defender at random; it’s always worth looking at which one performs better on average. There’s no guarantee Trent will outscore his defensive colleagues, but he does on average, so taking him gives me an edge over users who choose Robertson or Gomez for example.

Team talismen

I try to target players who get a decent percentage of their team’s attacking returns. Of all the players available in this tournament, Danny Ings was my number one target. He’s scored 15 of Southampton’s 35 goals this season, almost half of them! I’d much prefer gambling on a player like this rather than one from e.g. Man City where the attacking returns tend to be shared out.

High baselines

I’ve tried to target set piece takers who also have a good chance at an attacking return. See JWP and Pepe for details!

Now, I don’t know how Footstock have created the virtual scoring system, and so some of the above may not actually be useful! However I’m confident that they’ll have used a sensical scoring system for virtuals, using their existing data (PPG) along with real life form. Therefore I’ve pretty much picked my team using the same logic I historically use when entering Footstock tournaments.

I’m currently 188th out of 197 entries: we’ll see how high I can climb up the leaderboard today and tomorrow. One thing’s for sure, I’ll enjoy watching the virtual action to find out!

Well done and happy birthday Footstock

Tom Mitcham

Tom has been a Footstock user since virtually Day 1. One of our most successful tournament players of all time, you'll find him dishing out invaluable wisdom to new managers whenever he gets a chance.