Why Fantasy Footballers Should Pay Attention to Teams Playing at Wembley

There’s no hard and fast rule to mastering fantasy football. Some will say your fortune is determined by luck, but that has little substance at all. Getting proficient at fantasy football means undertaking research, following trends, listening to expert analysis and then predicting upturns in form and performance.

Along the way there are always some trends that are a little befuddling and hard to understand why in fact they are occurring. The experts who use complex algorithms to help read between the lines often bring these to light. It could be that a certain line backer only performs on a Sunday or an All-Star quarterback tends to have a significant slump in performance during the month of November.

Either way stats can generally be dug into to find what answers we are looking for. But, one nugget of information that recently rose to the media’s attention was a trend that’s been labeled the “Post-Wembley Wave.” It concerns the increase in fortunes for teams that have played at Wembley Stadium in London.

It’s worth noting that there have been 3 games at Wembley Stadium this year, and they were:

  • New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins – October 4
  • Buffalo Bills @ Jacksonville Jaguars – October 25
  • Detroit Lions @ Kansas City Chiefs – November 1

Now if the infographic that was published on Bwin News, which you can view below, is correct, 68% of the above teams should see an upturn in their form – that equates to approximately 4 out of the 6 franchises. Why? Because since 2007, 15 out of the 22 teams that have played at the 90,000-seater in the heart of London have gone on to perform better in their 5 post-Wembley games than they did in the 5 prior to that fixture.

Teams Playing at Wembley 1

Infograph Credit: Bwin News

So, have the previous years “Post-Wembley Wave” stats carried over into this season? Let’s examine the Miami Dolphins to see if fantasy footballers really need to be paying attention to this phenomenon.

Miami Dolphins:

  • Games before Wembley: W, L, L
  • Games after Wembley: W, W, L

As you can see from the Dolphins’ games this season there has been a slight upturn in their results since they made the journey to London. The strange thing is though as you dig deep into the reasons why this shift may have occurred there’s no real variables that could pin point why this happens.

If you look at the hurdles franchises have to contend with when they play thousands of miles from home it would suggest it’s more of a disruption than a catalyst for heightening performance. And while this only seems to be the case for 32%, maybe a trip to a wonderful stadium like Wembley helps players, coaches and teams refocus their efforts and see the goals ahead for them in the future.

Football is a funny old game. While statistics, and thorough analysis can provide us with many of the answers, there’s no measuring emotions and general human error for the most part. So, aiming to cover all bases through extensive research seems the best way to forecast the NFL’s top performers.

James Thomas

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Part-time writer, full-time sports fan, and lifetime fantasy sports fanatic.