• James 'the Coach' Thorogood not averse to taking risks.
  • Exploits fixture list for extra points.
  • Rotates squad and captain throughout match day.

'No risk, no reward' is my mantra when it comes to playing the Official Fantasy Bundesliga and, while it has blown up in my face once this season, on the whole it's proving a prudent approach.

Matchday 3 provided a miserly return of just 56 points, but the lesson I learned from that weekend was that breaking down the fixture list and giving yourself the ability to rotate is key to success in the game. So with the Autumn League offer now live, here's a chance for newbies and old hats alike to learn from my mistakes.

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I wrote an article before the campaign kicked off about whether a star XI would trump a team of 15, but with just over a quarter of the season played, you don’t need to be a numbers whizz-kid like Matt 'The Expert' Howarth to know that 15 is greater than 11!

The size of your squad plays it part, but it’s not my golden rule of squad building. With three free transfers available before every match day and the ability to swap players and your captain during the weekend it’s the order of play that can give you a sizeable advantage.

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Decisions, decisions, decisions

Let's use Matchday 9 as an example. On Friday night, Nico Elvedi was in action so I naturally made him my captain on the off chance he played a blinder. He racked up eight points so the captaincy quickly moved onto Robert Lewandowski for the Saturday afternoon fixtures and that paid off big time!

My focus then switched to my midfield - the only other position I could rotate in with my 4-3-3 formation. Naby Keita and Benjamin Henrichs were my lowest-scoring midfielders at that point with eight points, so I threw Julian Weigl on for Henrichs before the Revierderby kicked off. Weigl only picked up six points, but fortunately I had Kerem Demirbay, who matched Henrichs return of eight points, waiting in the wings on Sunday.

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Julian Weigl only picked up six points against FC Schalke 04. © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA

Before Köln's late kick-off against Hamburger SV, I then had two decisions left to make: Do I switch my captain to Anthony Modeste and do I bring on Konstantin Rausch for Elvedi? Rausch wasn’t in the starting line-up, which made one decision much easier and with Lewandowski having amassed 40 points as my captain I wasn't convinced Modeste would do better.

Fixture list for the win

Anthony Modeste scored a hat-trick on Matchday 9, but not before dropping five points for a missed penalty. © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA

So throughout the weekend I had players featuring during each of the five different kick-off times and ultimately left three players on my bench that wouldn't have bolstered my 136 point tally. Of course there were risks involved. Demirbay may not have outscored Weigl and Lewandowski may have gone a fifth game without a goal, but in the end they paid off.

It won’t be like that every weekend, but it proves the point that pro-activity and rotation can take you a long way in the Official Fantasy Bundesliga game if you make use of the fixture list. Hopefully this helps you with your decision making ahead of Matchday 10, I'll be back with my favourable fixtures on Thursday!

Never tactics bored,