It’s here, a little later than promised, Fantasy Rugby League is back for 2016. This year in an effort to keep you up to date you’ll find me writing a bit more on here about the competition as well as what goes on behind the scenes. I’ll also keep you up to date with any changes and updates we do over the course of the season.
But first, how about the updates we’ve added over the close season. The most boring bit is that we’ve completly rebuilt the code that powers the competition. For years we’ve twisted and bent the original code base and outgrown it as we’ve added more and more users, so we decided to refresh and write in some new rules from the get go. This means that we’ll also better be able to manage the Championship and Super League competitions to allow us to have more time to keep things up to date.
Whilst we’ve changed a lot we wanted to keep the heart of the competition there, which is a simple, easy to understand competition. So you’ll see plenty that harks back to the layout and feel of the old competition so you can dive in straight away.
But we asked you what you wanted and here are the new rules and changes –
Dual positions – we know as well as everyone players don’t always occupy one position on the field, some regularly switch. So to reflect that there is now a little more variety in your team selection. You’ll find plenty of players in the competition who have a secondary position, they can be selected in either position and score points just the same. You can select a player in either of their dual positions and you can change them any time you want by selecting the option below their listing in your team.
Transfer Wildcard – every so often you find yourself stuck and giving up hope with your team, if only you could move a couple of injured players out or bring in some of those hot in form players. Well now you get a transfer wildcard to play. You can use it once during the season to allow yourself unlimited changes in a game week.
More points for tryscorers – the fantasy competition has often swayed close to kickers being all conquering and even that was still felt last season despite the two kickers rule we’ve had for a few years. To recognise the contributions of other players a bit more we’ve upped the points for multiple tries. Each try scored in a match is worth an extra point, so four points for the first try, five for the second, six for the third meaning your hat trick scorerers
Rolling transfer window – the window is no longer a Thursday night rush but you can make changes right up until the last game, each player is locked an hour before their team is due to play. Often squads for Sunday aren’t announced by the close of the deadline so hopefully this’ll help. You of course won’t be able to change for players who have already played but you can at least do something about that late withdrawal in your sqaud.
More updates – often during the season little has changed from the initial launch. This year however the updates should be more frequent. We’ve geared up our admin so that as soon as a player is named in a match day squad if they aren’t already listed in the competition they’ll be available by the next game week. We’ll also be making sure players are listed at new clubs once they’ve moved. (You can read the rules and effects of moving clubs in more detail on the rules page)
Submitting team – for a number of years we have automatically submitted any unsaved changes when you get to the transfer deadline (assuming they were valid), essentially guessing that people actually meant to save them. We won’t be doing that this year, instead you’ll have to explicitily submit any changes or they won’t count. You’ll either default back to a last saved line up or your previous game week where it’s available. This comes with one exception in that your first gameweek will be saved if your team is valid.
The interface – in all honesty the interface hasn’t changed hugely. We’ve tried to keep most things in the same location for desktop users so you aren’t battling too much change. We have tried to make things clearer in places though, so you have the sticky footer at with some team information underneath. You’ll also hit a kicker and bench preference selection page immediately after saving your team. The player listing has changed a little, now you can choose two positions you need to click on the position rather than the player to add them to your team.
The player boxes have also had a little change, you get to see there lovely faces (well most of them, we’re currently getting Hull KR players added).
Obviously we have to fit a bit more in, the top bit is all the current player info, so their name, position in your team, the current club you have them selected at and the price. The bottom is your options. You have a boxed K to show the kicker selection, a boxed P next to it would indicate a pending transfer. The buttons on the right hand side, from left to right, are the switch player position (in this case to SOF), the up and down arrow to move to the bench and the self explanatory “x” to remove the player.
The second image here shows Luke Gale but transfer locked, there’s a greyed out overlay and padlock icon shows on the left hand side next to any other information.
Responsive layout – the fantasy competition is responsive so it’ll look slightly different on your mobile. There is a bit more to come which is why the header doesn’t quite shrink down properly yet but we thought we’d implement the changes to mobile whilst we launch rather than make you wait.
Those are the headline changes and a little idea of why they’ve been made. I may cover somethings in more detail if people want me to, you can ask on twitter @fifthandlast, and indeed if you have any other questions let me know and I’ll answer them here. But please keep checking back for more updates about the competition.