The first week of Fantasy League Championship Series (LCS) is in the books. Maybe you handily beat a Gambit Gaming fan. Maybe you ran into someone starting the LMQ buzzsaw, losing to someone who gambled with the Chinese carries in the middle of your draft. Maybe you squeaked out a win by 2 CS.
However your first week went, the dust has settled, and the fantasy landscape has changed quite a bit. We’ve seen how the new rosters look, and how the new teams performed.
It’s likely players such as Adrian “Kerp” Wetekam (28.71 FPPG, first overall) and Marcin “SELFIE” Wolski (23.60 FPPG, eleventh overall) were picked up off waivers, are moved to the starting lineup off a bench. Maybe someone like Evgeny “Darien” Mazaev has hit the wire.
Value is the key to fantasy, and information is the key to maximizing the value of the players on your roster.
Context is important. To gain an edge, you not only need to roster good players, but also start them when they’re most effective.
Splits are a key concept in fantasy baseball. Knowing how well a player performs against left handed pitchers, for example, can help decide your best lineup each week. It’s the same in Fantasy League of Legends. Knowing the context around your player’s schedule this week will help inform you whether to start him or bench him for the guy on the bench with a more favorable point-producing matchup.
– Winning teams combined to average 21.44 Fantasy Points Per Game (FPPG) during the Super Week. Losing teams only tallied 10.07 FPPG. That’s by far the biggest split, and one you can use as a proxy for strength of schedule in lieu of more detailed stats.
– Not surprisingly, lengthy games tallied more fantasy points. Games over 50 minutes long features 227.84 FPPG, while games under 30 minutes only had 112.82 FPPG. The average game time last season in Europe was around 39 minutes, with a very small spread differentiating teams. Alliance had the longest game time at 40:13 and ROCCAT with the shortest, 38:16.
– The EU versus NA argument was big during draft time. Most of the top ranked players of last split were on teams like Team Solomid and Cloud 9, with even mid-tier NA teams like Curse outscoring Europe’s best like SK Gaming. In the Spring Split, NA players averaged 16.46 FPPG, while Europeans only put up 14.74 FPPG. No wonder NA players were higher on many draft boards. Super Week, though, has flipped the script: NA players average 15.35 FPPG, but EU players are at 16.15 FPPG. We’ll check in each week to see how this metric moves.
– Blue side has a higher win rate than Red inside the Summoner’s Rift, but in fantasy, it’s barely a blip so far. Blue teams averaged 15.83 FPPG per player, while Red teams posted 15.67 FPPG.
– The cushiest matchups, based off their points allowed last week? Complexity, Gambit Gaming and Copenhagen Wolves were in a tier of their own. They allowed 113.62 FPPG, or 22.72 FPPG per player. That means the average guy against these teams put up numbers worth thirteenth overall in the fantasy standings.
– The toughest teams to face? LMQ, Dignitas, and ROCCAT, with SK Gaming and Cloud 9 close behind. Those five teams allowed 57.3 FPPG, shutting down their opponents. If you are scoring 11.46 FPPG per player, you aren’t winning very many matches.
The most important thing to remember after this week is that you shouldn’t overreact. The serial position effect is the human tendency to remember the first and last elements of a series, and the first and last weeks of a fantasy season is a prime example. The sample size is small, only 4 games of a 28 game season. Valuing one week of results over everything we learned from last season is a dangerous mistake.
The number one example? Cloud 9.
Lots of people were ready to throw them under the bus after an underwhelming 2-2 start. They didn’t take advantage of a cush fantasy matchup against Complexity, the team who has allowed the most points. But people are people seriously considering benching Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi, despite his draft position as a top two marksman before the season?
Cloud 9 actually struggled a bit early last year, too, starting the season 3-1 with a loss to Dignitas. But it obviously didn’t hurt them fantasy wise, as by the end of the season Sneaky and company were tops. Players owning William “Meteos” Hartman, Sneaky, and company, fear not. The track record of the team with a lifetime 61-9 LCS record should have you confident in the skill and fantasy ability of your players.
– As with the NA champs Cloud 9, EU’s Spring Split winners, Fnatic, also underperformed. While they do face SK Gaming next week, their match against Gambit should get Enrique “xPeke” Cedeño Martínez and company back on track.
– Fnatic top laner “sOAZ”, in particular, had a poor week, posting only 9.17 FPPG after ranking third in the top lane last season with 17.04 FPPG. He should have a field day this week against Gambit Gaming, who allowed 20.87 FPPG to enemy top laners in Super Week, the most in the entire LCS.
– Millenium ended up getting most of the hype in Europe, but Supa Hot Crew may end up being the true cinderella by season’s end. And they certainly should be the fantasy story, this week. They face an easy schedule against Copenhagen Wolves and Gambit Gaming, the two teams most generous with fantasy points in Europe. Supa Hot Crew had a very tough week-one schedule, and should have come out of it 3-1 if not for a miracle play against SK Gaming. That play has probably depressed the value of Supa Hot Crew’s players in the public. Now will be your last chance to grab them if they are not rostered, and right now their entire team looks like they could be above average for fantasy.
– Add Supa Hot Crew’s Marcin “SELFIE” Wolski if the mid laner was not already snatched up in your league. SELFIE posted 23.6 FPPG in the mid lane against a tough schedule that gave up 15.78 FPPG to mid laners on average. Against Copenhagen Wolves and Gambit Gaming, who allowed 27.48 FPPG to mid… the sky’s the limit.
– The easy Supa Hot Crew schedule this week provides other opportunities. Top laner Mimer Ahlström in particular is a good value start. He only ranks sixth out of the top lane and twenty-ninth overall with 17.48 FPPG, but his 6.0 KDA leads all top laners and his schedule is a top laner’s dream. CW and Gambit allowed the two highest marks against top laners in all LCS, over 20 FPPG.
– One brake on the Supa Hot Crew hype: their average game time last week was nearly 47 minutes long. That’s about 6 minutes longer than the average this season, so that’s probably inflated their point totals.
– Dignitas and Counter Logic Gaming sit on the other end of the spectrum, game length wise. CLG’s matches average 33:52, while Dignitas only played 34:46. Expect their fantasy numbers to improve a little bit as they play longer matches.
– LMQ faced the easiest schedule of the week—the teams they faced gave up 95.48 FPPG on average, or 19.1 FPPG per player. Still, LMQ took care of business in an elite way. It’s safe to say their players will be near the top of the fantasy standings for the rest of the season. Just be careful relying on them too heavily in week two. Cloud 9 and Dignitas allowed only 57.03 FPPG last week, the stingiest teams in the NA LCS. This week should reveal if LMQ are fantasy gods or just above average.
– LMQ Mid laner Yu “XiaoWeiXiao” Xian has an especially tough matchup. Cloud 9 and Dignitas allowed just 13.97 FPPG to mid laners last week. Dignitas’ Danny “Shiphtur” Le looked dominant in lane, and both teams jungler’s provide plenty of mid lane presence.
– Millenium mid laner Adrian “Kerp” Wetekam and his astronomic 28.71 FPPG, the league’s number one fantasy player so far, will likely fall from that spot after week two. Fnatic and Alliance allowed only 15.81 FPPG to mid laners last week.
– Be careful with Millenium. They have talented players, but they also took advantage of an easy schedule, 93.83 FPPG, and face a very tough one this week. The entire team is certainly worth owning, and Marcus “Kev1n” Rubiszewski is a must start every week in the top lane. The rest of the team are at least worthy fantasy starters, but probably won’t finish among the league’s elite. Even Kerp.
– It’s tough to say it, but if you own anyone from Gambit Gaming, drop them. The legendary team is on their last legs, a culmination of problems at the end of last season. Gambit gave up 111.85 FPPG in Super Week, more than any team save Complexity. Don’t let your fantasy team hemorrhage points, too. Even the legendary jungler Danil “Diamondprox” Reshetnikov shouldn’t be owned at this point.
– With Diamondprox looking to be on his way out as a fantasy jungler, you may be looking for someone to fill the slot. Millenium’s Markus “KottenX” Tingvall was a popular sleeper before the season so he’s probably owned right now. If you need to look deeper, try out Matthew “Impaler” Taylor from SHC or Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen of SK Gaming. Impaler has benefitted from his team’s surge, posting 19.45 FPPG as the fifth highest jungler, and has an easy schedule at least for this week. He’s not likely to be owned considering he finished last split last among all junglers, but he’s a safe start for at least this week. SK Gaming’s Svenskeren always seemed to do more than his fantasy numbers indicated last split, and his 17.9 FPPG so far is good for sixth overall.
– Supports on teams that won three or more games posted 17.446 FPPG. And the three supports in the middle of those five all scored between 17.48 and 17.27! As long as you have a support from a team you expect to win games you’ll be about as good as everyone else at the position.
– If you are in dire need of a marksman, Evil Geniuses’ young Johnny “Altec” Ru may be a solid sleeper, or at least fill-in for this week. Altec only put up 14.77 FPPG in his debut, but EG lost those games close and he did better than you’d expect for a player on a losing team. This week EG gets Complexity and Curse, who allowed 20.39 FPPG to marksman. If EG wins the game against coL, Altec could have big numbers. He’s a bit selfish as a player and EG needs him to be to carry, and that has fantasy potential.
– Ditto EG top laner Tyson “Innox” Kapler. Altec and Innox are the players EG rely on to carry, and Innox’s 15.64 FPPG despite EG’s 0-4 record is very solid.
– Dignitas had a weird start to the split, fantasy wise. Despite performing well with a 3-1 record, and stomping Complexity, their entire team save mid laner Danny “Shiphtur” Le posted fantasy averages worse than their numbers last year. Shiphtur posted big numbers, but half of his points came from one big game boosted by heavy bonus points from a triple kill and pentakill, something he won’t be able to replicate often. Dignitas’ games so far have been very low scoring. Part of that you can chalk up to their short game times, 34:46, but that’s not the whole story and so far it’s hurting their fantasy owners, despite their team’s success.
– Counter Logic Gaming’s Korean import Shin “Seraph” Woo Yeong was a popular mid round sleeper pick thanks to his mechanics in the top lane. But Seraph had a horrendous start to his LCS career, posting 9.46 FPPG, nearly at the bottom in the top lane. This week, he’ll have a shot at redemption against Complexity and Team SoloMid. That’s a double-edged sword: he faces Marcus “Dyrus” Hill, the top ranked fantasy top laner at the moment, but also the bottom ranked Jonathan “Westrice” Nguyen. Now that he’s gotten a taste of the American environment, this could be Seraph’s coming out party. Despite the Dyrus matchup, Seraph could still be a starter this week if you are desperate at top.
This week should answer many of the questions proposed by Super Week’s results. The teams with easy schedules are now hitting the buzzsaw, while those who suffered a weak one will have a chance to pad their stats. Teams will have six games under their belt after week two, having faced every squad in their league save one.
LMQ and Dignitas meet face to face, and then battle Cloud 9 and Team Solomid respectively. Just how good are this season’s NA risers? We’ll find out shortly, and get a much better idea
Millenium looked great against an easy schedule, and SHC looked decent against a tough one. This week, the tables are turned. Millenium faces Alliance and Fnatic, while SHC takes on fantasy point pinatas Copenhagen Wolves and Gambit Gaming.