Draft Essentials: Head-To-Head League

The first installment of our ‘Draft Essentials’ features, advising on how to set up your Draft Fantasy Football League, concentrates on the format of your league.

We’ve seen many Draft Leagues set up with a ‘Classic’ format, which essentially means the manager with the overall points score come the end of the season will win the league.  In the interest of your entertainment throughout the season… DO NOT USE THE CLASSIC FORMAT!!!  We would strongly recommend using the ‘Head-To-Head’ format, and here are the many reasons why…

First and foremost, Head-To-Head leagues are a hell of a lot more interesting than the Classic format.  In a Head-To-Head league you play just one manager each week, with the highest scoring manager from the two of you taking home the three points.  The losing manager gets zero points.  And in the unlikely event of a draw, you each take home one point.  Simple.  The following paragraphs outline why the Head-To-Head league format is incredibly entertaining.



This league format will ramp up the Banter within your league, as each week you will be focused on defeating just one of your mates.  Your sole focus will be ripping them to shreds on the WhatsApp feed, rubbing it in their faces when your players score goals, and ridiculing them when they lose their clean sheets, get players sent off, or their players don’t make the starting eleven.  In a Head-To-Head league, if your opponents first round draft pick is rested for your match-up, you will celebrate like this is the greatest thing to ever happen!  Their best player is likely to return minimal points, which will increase your chances of outscoring them.  If this was a Classic format league, you would obviously think it’s great that one of your friends’ best players isn’t playing, but the ramifications are quite meaningless in the long run.  We’ve been a part of several leagues with a Classic format, and the banter between managers is very poor, and frequently non-existent.  A Head-To-Head league provides so many opportunities to have a laugh with your mates!



The Head-To-Head format, and increased Banter within the group, will therefore create a very competitive environment.  There will be a certain manager in your league which you are just desperate to beat every time you play them.  There will be a certain manager that you build up an epic rivalry with, as you both score high every time you play them.  There will be a certain manager that you always seem to lose to, and you’ll do anything to improve your head-to-head record against them.  These are just examples of how the competitiveness between managers can be intensified by playing in a match-play, Head-To-Head league format.

This competitiveness will also be amplified because of this scoring format.  It’s entirely feasible that you could score the 7th highest points score (out of 8) of say 30 points for the gameweek, but win your game because you happened to be playing the manager who gained the 8th highest points score.  Similarly, during the same gameweek, it’s possible that the manager who scored the 2nd highest points score, of say 50 points, could lose their game.  Therefore the manager who scored big and lost will be furious with the manager who scored low and won!!  But that’s the game… you can only beat what’s been put in front of you.  Situations like this will up the competitiveness between managers to an insane level.  We’ve also seen situations where the highest scoring manager for the gameweek has actually failed to win… because he happened to be playing the manager who also gained the highest gameweek score so the match was drawn!!  Crazy things like this will happen in a Head-To-Head format league, and that’s why they are so good!


Transfer Strategy

Your Transfer Strategy will also need to change if you are using a Head-To-Head format.  Covering one of your opponents clean sheets is a very good strategy, despite it being incredibly fucking boring…!  If your opponent has a Burnley defender, Ben Mee for example, and they are playing Huddersfield at home, signing James Tarkowski from the free agent list in order to cover Mee’s probable clean sheet would be a good move to make.  This transfer would effectively cancel out Ben Mee’s points scoring ability ahead of a profitable fixture.  A Head-To-Head league format is all about beating what’s put in front of you.  You’re looking to outscore your one opponent for the gameweek, and making the relevant transfer(s) to try and make that happen.  If you and your opponent have evenly matched squads, selling a good player with a hard fixture, and replacing him with a decent player with a good fixture could be very worthwhile.  You could always try and re-sign the player you have dropped ahead of your next game, but if selling that player provides you with a better chance of picking up a valuable three points, it’s worth the risk!



Perhaps the most important reason why a Head-To-Head format is the way forward, is due to its Longevity.  If each manager that wins their match is only gaining three points for a win, the league should remain very close.  If one manager scores 70 points and wins, and another manager scores 40 points and wins, they both receive three points for winning their game.  If one manager goes on an awful run of form, and only scores 20 points for three consecutive games, they will probably lose all of their games, but the fact that they scored low doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.  A different manager could have scored 45 points for three consecutive games and lost all three of the too!  If all managers are active, and manage to keep together a competitive side, the league will remain close.  Anyone can beat anyone, and due to managers only gaining three points for a win, there shouldn’t be any large gaps opening up in the league standings.



Hopefully these reasons have convinced you why you need to use the Head-To-Head format for your Draft League.  This format increases the banter within the group by a substantial amount, but also, perhaps most importantly, will keep the league standings close throughout the season, and every manager will know that if they put together a few consecutive wins they could shoot up the table and be in title contention!


📢 More Draft Essentials 📢

Want to read more on how to manage a Draft Fantasy Football League, check out our other ‘Draft Essentials’ features:

Draft Essentials Part Two: Offline Draft

Draft Essentials Part Three: Punishing The Loser

Draft Essentials Part Four: End of Season Awards

Draft Essentials Part Five: Taking Your League Offline

Draft Essentials Part Six: How To Draft


📝 Draft Platform 📝

Here at The Fantasy Football Chaps, we’re proud to be pioneer’s for having a Draft Fantasy Football League that runs COMPLETELY OFFLINE!  Check out our article looking into how to make this a reality, and have full control over customising your Draft League!

If this sounds like too much effort, we would highly recommend using an online platform from either the guys at Draft Fantasy or Fantrax.   Draft Fantasy uses a scoring system similar to the standard Official FPL game, where as Fantrax mainly uses the more intelligent scoring system made famous by Togga.  Both offer potential for end of season playoffs, as well as many other options for customisation!


🔥 Hot or Cold Player Rankings ❄️

Our Hot or Cold Player Rankings are here to outline the current prospects of key Draft Fantasy Football Players.  Our ‘Hot‘ or ‘Cold‘ status will help take away your emotional attachment to certain Premier League players, and bring in the players that you need to help you dominate your Draft League.  Use these hints and tips to increase your chances of success!


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