Fantasy: The tactic that could help you outwit your competition

Bastian Schweinsteiger - Chicago Fire - Fantasy

A couple of weeks ago, while manning the @MLSFantasy Twitter account, I received a few questions about the switcheroo. It’s not the first time this has happened and they always go something like this:

“Hey, I’m not really sure how to do this switcheroo thing” or “I tried the switcheroo but it did not work. What did I do wrong?”

So, I thought it was time to revisit the switcheroo to help out everyone who may be struggling and anyone who’s just hearing about it for the first time. To make things easy, I’ll be using Round 23 in my examples.

What is the Switcheroo?

The switcheroo is an advanced MLS Fantasy transfer technique that utilizes both the Automatic and Manager substitution mechanics. Its goal is to help you get the most points possible from two boom or bust players. Using this method will allow you to see the score of one player before deciding if you want him to be in your lineup.

Player Selection

You start by picking a low cost player who WILL NOT play and whose team plays one of the last games of the round or is on a bye. For our example, I’m going to pick Kevin Venegas from Minnesota because he’s on a bye (Nathan Smith from LA Galaxy would also work). You pick a player from a late team to prolong your ability to make a manager substitution.

Next, you pick two players who have the potential to have a great week, but could also put up a measly two points. You also want to make sure that the first player you pick will play a game before the second player. For our example, I’m going to pick Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey and Real Salt Lake midfielder Albert Rusnak. Dempsey plays the first game of the week at 4 pm ET, but it’s against Sporting Kansas City and we know how good their defense is. Rusnak plays on the road later at 7 pm ET against a struggling D.C. United team. 

Now just pick the rest of your team as normal.

Setting Your Lineup

When setting your lineup, you’ll have to have Venegas in your starting XI and BOTH Dempsey and Rusnak on your bench. Dempsey will be in your No. 2 bench spot (goalkeepers don’t’ work with a Switcheroo), and Rusnak will be in spot No. 3. 

Fantasy: The tactic that could help you outwit your competition -

For this example I’m running a 4-4-2. I’m doing this because this formation will allow me to replace my fourth defender, Venegas, with either a midfielder or a forward and still have a legal formation. This is very important because the switceroo will not let you bypass the formation rules.

Execution the Switcheroo

So you’ve set your team and games are about to start. Now what? Well…just wait.

After Dempsey plays his game, check his score. If he goes off and scores a goal or two, congratulations, let the Auto-Sub kick in and Dempsey will replace Venegas at the end of the round and you’ll get his points. However, say he has a two-point game. It’s time for a switch.

Start by turning on your manual sub. Then replace Venegas with Rusnak. Click save and you’re all set, Rusnak is now in your starting lineup and you WILL NOT get the points Dempsey earned. Just be sure you make this switch before the second players start time (7 pm ET in our example) because manual player subs lock with each team’s listed kickoff time.

Fantasy: The tactic that could help you outwit your competition -

Hey, is this cheating?

This is actually the third question I often get asked and in my opinion, the answer is no. The switcheroo just takes advantage of a mechanic that is already in the game, and it does involve risk. Both players could have a bad game, your switch player could actually play and ruin your auto sub, or you could forget to make your manual change and get stuck with a low score.

But if you don’t like it, then don’t worry about it. There are many players who earn fantastic scores by just sticking with their main 11 players. For me, the switcheroo adds another fun layer to the game and I’m happy to share it with anyone who wants to give it a shot.

Still have a question? Post it in the comments below and I’ll try to help you understand. Also, share any of your other Round 23 switcheroo targets.

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