We are now three weeks into the fantasy season in the League Championship Series, and a number of trends have emerged.
The most important? The schedule. With that little piece of information, you can predict a large percentage of the weeks fantasy performance. At least, that’s what the past couple of weeks have shown.
For example, Copenhagen Wolves was a big surprise this week, with ADC Pawel “Woolite” Pruski the top at his position for the week, Viktor “cowTard” Stymne the number two mid, and the rest of the team solidly placed for their positions. But that was predictable along with SK Gaming, who also had big weeks, Wolves had the easiest schedule in Europe, Gambit Gaming and Millenium!
LMQ is another one. After a huge first week, they bombed for owners who started them in week two. In week three, they returned to their lofty spot and now dominate the fantasy rankings. The team now has the top fantasy player at three positions, and are in the top three at ADC and support, too. If you looked at the schedule, you could have avoided the poor week two and benefited from the amazing week three.
So far this season, if you can manage the waiver wire and your roster with regards to the fantasy matchups, you’ve got a big advantage over the league.
Infographic by LoLStats
– One of the reasons why schedule is so important: winning and losing is one of the biggest factors in deciding fantasy scoring. Teams who win average 20.66 Points Per Game (PPG) per player, while losers only score 9.57 PPG per position.
– Other possible fantasy predictors don’t play nearly the same roles as wins and losses, like what color of the map a player is on. While Red side has held a slight advantage so far this season, Blue evened things up in week 3. Players on Red and Blue have scored 15.12 PPG so far this season—only a 0.41 point difference, with 4837 points scored for each side!
– Europeans are still scoring more points than the North American region, a contrast to last season. But NA, for the first time this season, outscored EU this past week. The season numbers—Europeans average 15.55 PPG, while NA players are putting up 14.68 PPG. That’s probably because the top American teams are much more closely packed, leading to lower scoring and closer games, while Europe has a few teams lording over the standings, like how Cloud9 and TSM obliterated the competition last Split.
– The top performers of the week were LMQ, SK Gaming, and Copenhagen Wolves. Considering their schedules, with the two European teams facing Gambit Gaming (20.47 points per game allowed) per player, and Millenium (15.42 PPGA per player), and LMQ decimating Complexity (21.95 PPGA), that wasn’t a surprise.
What is surprising, however, is that Wolves are also one of the biggest fantasy punching bags. They actually went 0-2 for the week, and as seen above, that’s a recipe for fantasy disaster. But they still managed to put up huge point numbers. This helps demonstrate that, while it’s very hard to predict who wins and loses, the teams who give up lots of points are giving them up even in games they win.
– That also means the top teams at suppressing points are tough matchups, even when they lose. Cloud9, Counter Logic Gaming, and Dignitas all put up below average fantasy scores for the week, despite posting 1-1 records, in large part because their matches were so hotly contested.
The real question is, how do you apply this to your team? Here’s a couple of tips to get through week four:
– This week will be interesting in terms of the schedule. The teams with the top fantasy schedules simply have not performed well in fantasy, like ROCCAT, whose matches against Supa Hot Crew and Gambit Gaming would provide big points. If you could expect ROCCAT to provide any points at all right now.
– The hottest starts this week should be Millenium, Alliance, SK Gaming, and LMQ.
-Millenium faces Supa Hot Crew (16 PPGA) and Gambit Gaming (20.47 PPGA). While Supa Hot Crew has a solid 5-3 record and looks like a better team than Millenium thus far this season, they have a tendency to drag games out into lengthy affairs, perfect for racking up fantasy points.
While Millenium’s had an up and down season, Adrian “Kerp” Wetekam is still the no. 2 overall mid laner. Jakub “Creaton” Grzegorzewski may only be tenth in the ADC rankings, but this schedule should make him one of the top five starters this week. Jungle player Markus “Kottenx” Tingvall is a play over anyone but Alliance and LMQ’s junglers.
– Alliance and SK Gaming have emerged as the elite teams in Europe, and as such they’re fantasy stalwarts. Alliance’s mid lane, jungle, and ADC are particularly strong, while SK Gaming’s support, “nRated”, is tops in the league as this position. This week Alliance gets Gambit Gaming (20.47 PPGA) and Fnatic (13.39 PPGA). While Fnatic is a tough matchup, the Gambit game should boost the strong Alliance performers near the top of this fantasy week. SK Gaming has a similar schedule, also facing Fnatic before a cush matchup against Copenhagen Wolves (22.13 PPGA). Start SK players with confidence this week.
– Team SoloMid and Counter Logic Gaming have very good fantasy schedules, but predicting their fantasy performance is a bit more of a challenge. Counter Logic Gaming is one of the few teams in the league whose playstyle seems to suppress fantasy scoring, as they prefer to rotate to objectives rather than engage the enemy team.
Matches against Complexity (21.95 PPGA) and EG (14.17 PPGA) should produce big days for Counter Logic Gaming, but the only players you can really confidently start are the bottom lane duo. Team SoloMid is in a similar position, facing Cloud9 (14.88 PPGA) and Complexity (21.95 PPGA). Last split Team SoloMid would simply outskill Complexity on their way to huge fantasy numbers, but so far this Split they’ve struggled to do just that. Still, their carry lane players—Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and Jason “WildTurtle” Tran—should be solid bets to put up numbers this week.
– Teams to avoid? The two defending champions. Cloud9 and Fnatic have both had up and down seasons, and this week is a doozy for both of them. Cloud9 battles Dignitas (8.06 PPGA), the toughest matchup in all of fantasy so far this season, and Team SoloMid (14.55 PPGA).
Fnatic is in a battle for their season’s life against SK Gaming (9.69 PPGA) and Alliance (10.85 PPGA). No players from either team should be in your lineup this week, at least if you want to win your fantasy matchup. Keep in mind that Cloud9’s schedule is letting up after this tough week. Don’t let their slow start shake your faith in them, but be wary of tough schedules like this one.
– Copenhagen Wolves had a huge week, but it was partially a fluke, putting up huge points totals while losing two games. They also had an easy schedule, and this week it’s a lot tougher. Don’t buy into the hype around the top ADC so far this season, Pawel “Woolite” Pruski.
– Another ADC to be wary of: Evil Geniuses’ young star, Johnny “Altec” Ru. He had a ridiculous game against Cloud9 last week, showing he has potential, but EG still hasn’t established themselves as a consistent team. This week they’re up against LMQ (13.57 PPGA) and Counter Logic Gaming (13.86 PPGA). While LMQ has a tendency to give up kills while racking up even more, this isn’t a good week for EG or their budding star Altec.
– While this week is a tough one for Evil Geniuses, make sure you keep tabs on them. And if you are desperate, pick up their tryout Korean jungler Shin “Helios” Dong-Jin. He’s not a start this week, but it’s quite possible that EG is starting to turn things around. They didn’t allow teams to rack up many points against them last week, only allowing 9.87 PPG per player against them in matches against Cloud9 and Dignitas. They’re showing signs that they are better than a 2-6 team, and that means their fantasy fortunes could be on the rise.
This season proves that being active in your league will carry you to success. You need to stay on top of the changing competitive environment, as teams like Team SoloMid fall from grace from fantasy dominators very quickly, as well as the changing landscape and schedule each week.
Good luck this week!