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    With IPL in the final stages, this is how you can maximise your fantasy league score

    With IPL in the final stages, this is how you can maximise your fantasy league score

    With IPL in the final stages, this is how you can maximise your fantasy league score
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    By Abhishek Jha   IST (Published)

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    For the cricket fanatics addicted to fantasy leagues, this is do-or-die time. IPL 2022 is in the final stage and here is how you can play your league depending on where you stand in it.

    The 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is in its final stages. There are just two matches left. Qualifier 2 or a virtual semifinal between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore, and then the final between the winner of this match versus Gujarat Titans.
    For the cricket fanatics addicted to fantasy leagues, this is do-or-die time and, depending on where you stand in the league you are playing, your next strategy will decide if you are crowned the champion come Sunday, irrespective of which of the three teams in contention lift the trophy.
    So, let's break this down into three stages — you are either leading and have to fend off the challengers; you are the challenger and this is your moment to strike; or you are some 500 points behind and it's "Hail Mary" time.
    Category 1: Nothing to lose
    For all the three categories of players, the rule stays the same — 10 substitutions once the play-offs start (i.e. four matches — Qualifier 1, Eliminator, Qualifier 2 and Final).
    Gujarat Titans (GT) won the first Qualifier versus Rajasthan Royals (RR) and are now in the final. The eliminator saw Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) knock out Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) by defeating them by 14 runs.
    Thus, from a fantasy league perspective, GT will only play one more match in the tournament but either RR or RCB will play two games.
    Now, if you are struggling in the mid-rung of your league and are 500-odd points behind, it will probably be wise to gamble on the winner of RR versus RCB and stack your team with that team's players. In other words, pick players from only one of these teams and pray that they get two chances to perform.
    TeamAvoid (toppers have him)Instead Can PickContrarian Bets
    RRJ ButtlerSanju SamsonY Jaiswal, D Padikkal, S Hetmyer
    RRY ChahalR Ashwin
    RRT BoultP Krishna
    RCB F du PlessisV KohliR Patidar
    RCBW HasarangaG MaxwellS Ahmed
    RCBH PatelM SirajJ Hazlewood
    Category 2: Can win but...
    This is where chess begins. You are in striking distance and know some of the leader's players. The risk factor weighs in. How much do you gamble?
    It would be prudent not to leave out the prominent performers of the league so far. Form is essential and the ones in the zone are more likely to perform in at least one of the two next games.
    However, having said that you, the challenger to the crown, have to take a risk and pick a unique player to gain on the leader in the hope of closing and hopefully overtaking the topper.
    Who can these be? Here are some of our suggestions:
    RoleCan't Drop/Most PopularThe BetThe Risky Bet
    Wicket KeeperJ ButtlerS SamsonW Saha, D Karthik
    BatsmanF du Plessis, S GillV Kohli, R Patidar, Y Jaiswal,  S HetmyerD Miller, D Padikkal
    All-rounderW Hasaranga, H PandyaG MaxwellS Ahmed, R Tewatia
    BowlerY Chahal, H Patel, R KhanR Ashwin, M Shami, T BoultJ Hazelwood, P Krishna, M Siraj, A Joseph
    Category3: Leaders' dilemma — to defend or to attack?
    You are almost there. You have led well and this is the moment, as F1 top driver Fernando Alonso will say, "to defend like a lion".
    As argued above, risking the top performers is too much of a risk at this stage, especially if there is a chance of them playing two games. Extreme risk should be avoided too. So, stick to your gut feeling and do what you have been doing through the season. You are at the top for a reason.  Cover your bases and react intelligently to the challengers — glory awaits.
    For our full coverage of IPL 2022, please click here
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