As a recently ousted former double champion (12/13 & 13/14) of an overly competitive annual mini league, I’ve learned (the hard way) that keeping on top of the latest injury updates, suspensions and team selection news is key to success over the course of the season.
If you’re still not sure who to pick this season, let me give you a couple of tips – don’t stack your back 4 with Watford players, or pair David Nugent and Fabio Borini up top. Instead, do your homework by checking out some of these guides on building a successful fantasy football team.
Once you’ve picked your team, you can’t just sit back and expect Aguero or Hazard to bring the title home – you’ll need to keep an eye on the fitness, form and fixtures of your entire team to stand any chance of success. Luckily, there’s a way of automating all of these updates so they land straight in your Gmail inbox, transforming it into a Football Manager-esque news screen so that you can keep track of each of your players on a daily-basis.
Above, I’ve displayed an example of an email I received via Google Alerts. Google Alerts allow you to set up email notifications any time Google finds new results on a topic of your choosing – in the case of fantasy football, topics of choice could include:
- Your players (for injuries, suspensions etc.)
- Your players’ clubs (for fixture info, team selection news etc.)
To set up Google Alerts for the upcoming season, you’ll firstly need a Google account. You’ll then need to visit this page while logged in to that Google account, upon which you’ll be prompted to set up Alerts for topics of your choice:
When setting up an alert for one of your players, you’ll be presented with a range of options:
I’d strongly suggest opting for the ‘as it happens’ option if you’re keen on getting breaking injury updates. For example, if you had an alert set up for Ryan Shawcross, you’d have received an alert that he’s set to be out for the next 2 months as soon as the news broke – at which point you’d need to move quickly to make sure you replace him with someone who isn’t made of glass before Saturday’s deadline.
Google Alerts aren’t just handy for injury updates, they pull through any news related to your chosen topics. In the example below, you’d have received the unsurprising news that Memphis Depay is set to start for Manchester United in their season opener against Tottenham (if you’d set up an alert for the player). On the flip side, if the player looked set to be left out, you might want to think about replacing him with someone more likely to feature.
And there you have it, a brief summary of Google Alerts, a handy feature that allows you to keep track of your fantasy football selections over the course of the season.
I’ll no doubt put in a distinctly average performance after writing this, but at least I’ll know where Matteo Darmian’s been eating his tea.