The Premier League football season starts on 12 September and that means so does the Fantasy Premier League. So how are you going to play it this time? Need some tips? Joshua Bull from Oxford Mathematics won last season’s competition from nearly 8 million entrants. He kicks off the new Oxford Mathematics Public Lecture Season by telling you how.
Fantasy Football is played by millions of people worldwide, and there are countless strategies that you can choose to try to beat your friends and win the game. But what’s the best way to play? Should you be patient and try to grind out a win, or are you better off taking some risks and going for glory? Should you pick players in brilliant form, or players with a great run of fixtures coming up? And what is this Fantasy Football thing anyway?
As with many of life’s deep questions, maths can help us shed some light on the answers. We’ll explore some classic mathematical problems which help us understand the world of Fantasy Football. We’ll apply some of the modelling techniques that mathematicians use in their research to the problem of finding better Fantasy Football management strategies. And - if we’re lucky - we’ll answer the big question: Can maths tell us how to win at Fantasy Football?
Joshua Bull is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Mathematical Institute in Oxford and the winner of the 2019-2020 Premier League Fantasy Football competition.
The Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures are generously supported by XTX Markets.