How did they do it?

Posted by John Culea

Alex Livesey/Getty ImagesThe world fantasy leaders are doing well with four defenders in their starting XI, such as Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic.

Fantasy managers look at the top of the table and wonder how the world leaders pick players who have done so well in the early going.

Here is a closer look at the top four fantasy teams:

#1 KaKrone -- 251 points

Week 1 -- 112 points
KaKrone opened strong in the double game week for Chelsea and Aston Villa and had eight double game players.

A key was putting the armband on van Persie who gave him 22 points. He also had Ivanovic's 17, Yaya Toure's 10, Benteke's 13, Oscar's 13, Cech's 10 and Kompany's seven. "Garbage" points (four and below) came from Paulinho and Sagna.

Even the big time fantasy managers made peculiar decisions. KaKrone started Craig Noone of Cardiff who did not play. However, he was able to get 13 points from Whittaker on his bench. He also started Micah Richards who did not play and got one point from his bench.

Week 2 -- 72 points
In the second week of games, the fantasy leaders began starting four defenders. It paid off for KaKrone as he got clean sheets from Walker, Baines, Vertonghen, and Jagielka, plus a clean sheet from Tim Howard.

He had Cazorla's six, Dzeko's seven, and had Sturridge for his captain and tallied 14.

Garbage points came from Coutinho, Yaya Toure, and Walcott.

Week 3 -- 67 points

Third week play saw Kakrone continue with four defenders, four midfielders, and two forwards. Baines and Jagielka got the clean sheets as did Tim Howard in goal. Yaya Toure tallied 10, Sturridge against was his captain and returned 14 points. Garbage points came from Walker, Vertonghen, Coutinho, Cazorla and a puny one point from Dzeko who was pulled at the half.

#2 BillLFCfan -- 244 points

Week 1 -- 110 points
BillLFCfan had a monster first week with 26 points from Benteke. He had three players with double game week: Benteke, Ivanovic (17 points), and Oscar (13 points).
Coleman's 13, Mignolet's 13, Zabaleta's 10, and Sturridge's seven were the big number players while garbage points came from Michu, Walcott, Coutinho, and one point from Negredo.

Week 2 -- 59 points
The second week was fairly tame with Sturridge's seven, Ivanovic's seven, Coleman's seven, and Mignolet's eight. Soldado who returned 12 points wore the armband. Garbage came from Zabaleta, Michu, Walcott, and Benteke.

Week 3 -- 75 points
The third week for BillLFCfan saw him start four defenders and all of them did well, including Coleman as the designated captain who returned 14 points. Zabaleta had 10, Whittaker seven, and Wilson seven. Michu had six, Walcott seven, and Sturridge posted seven. Garbage came from Shelvey, Coutinho, and Soldado.

Note: BillLFCfan left Ivanovic, Oscar, and Benteke on his bench and can return them all in Week 4 without using any transfers.

#3 (tie) Chipman1230 -- 243 points
Wienerschnitzel FC -- 243 points

Chipman had the highest opening week with 121 points, largely on the strength of captain Ivanovic who returned a massive 34 points. Cech had ten points, Hazard seven, and Benteke 13.
Although Yoshida was named a starter, he did not play, which meant Chipman picked up Whittaker's 13.

Major points came from Johnson seven, Nolan 10, Silva 10, and van Persie 11. Chipman played four defenders, four midfielders and only two forwards.

Weeks two and three were rather ordinary (62 and 67) with Silva picking up 12 as captain in week two and only eight in week three.

Wienerschnitzel opened fantasy play with 114 points and also had Ivanovic as captain and 34 points. Vertonghen seven, Coleman 13, Hazard seven, Oscar 13, Giroud seven, Bony five, and Sturridge seven were the big point-producers. Lesser lights were Coutinho and Navas.

Weeks 2 and 3 were nothing to write home about (66 and 63) with Giroud as captain in week 2 (14 points) and Williams in week 3 with 14. Four defenders, four midfielders, and two forwards played in week 2, while week three saw four defenders, three midfielders, and three forwards in the starting XI.

Lessons from this:
1. Pick the right player to be your captain
2. At least for these leaders, they all prefer four defenders. Sir John thinks only three defenders should start, but so far, my fantasy team (168 points) is awful, so they may be right.
3. Even the best in the world pick bad fantasy players
4. It is better to be lucky than good

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