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How Will Hero Pools Affect Fantasy Lineups in Week 5?

Starting this weekend, hero pools will be introduced into OWL for the first time ever. These changes will drastically shape the landscape of the league, but they will also drastically affect how certain positions are valued in fantasy OWL. As hero pools are rotated weekly, Overwatch teams will need to adjust strategies to find the best use of the available heroes. As OWL teams need adjust their rosters, so will fantasy owners.

This week’s Hero Bans: Reinhardt, McCree, Widowmaker, Moira

Hit-scan Take a Hit
Photo: Ben Pursell For Blizzard Entertainment

With the removal of McCree, pure hit-scan players lose one of their most productive characters in terms of fantasy points. The good news for most main DPS is that teams now have the option to play Tracer without the threat of McCree protecting the back line. However, if teams opt for something different such as Reaper or Sombra, the overall value of hit-scan players will surely drop.

Widowmaker typically scores pretty low in fantasy match ups, making her ban have less of an impact on fantasy value. Widow’s lack of sustained damage throughout team fights makes her a lackluster character in terms of fantasy. While Ashe and Hanzo do make much more interesting fantasy options, it is unclear how much teams value the sniper role.

Flex-DPS Get an Increase in Value – Unless They Stay Mei

The exciting aspect of the recent hero pool announcement is the boost to flex-DPS players. With two of the strongest counters out of the pool, Pharah may see a meteoric rise to prominence this weekend. If that is the case, flex-DPS players will most likely jump hit-scan players in fantasy production. Pharah’s large amount of damage and play-making ability are a perfect combo for high fantasy scores. There is one catch – D.Va remains the off-tank of choice, and will hunt down the Pharah each team fight. Despite this, try and grab a proficient Pharah player for the upcoming week to secure some high-value DPS starts.

kariv and agilities
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

That is, of course, if teams actually want to run a flex-DPS over Mei. Mei has been a necessary evil through the first four weeks of the season, as both teams need a Mei to combat the opposing Mei. With the amount of scrim time and practice put into the character, many teams may choose to keep her in the lineup. By playing more Mei, the flex-DPS value remains the same, and fantasy owners will have to wait until she is banned to see an increase in fantasy production from those players.

Main-Tank’s Value Remains Around the Same

The main-tank position becomes a bit of a unclear mess when it comes to character choice. With Reinhardt gone, Orisa and Winston become the premier candidates for play. Both tanks have vastly different styles of play, and with each pick teams will have to shape a certain composition around them. At a glance, Winston’s ability to secure kills and create plays would provide a bit more fantasy value for main-tanks than playing Orisa. On the other hand there is Wrecking Ball, who could fill the same role as Winston as the main-tank in Dive Compositions. It’s tough to tell just yet who will be the more fantasy relevant main-tank post hero pools, but certainly keep an eye out for Winston specialists as they could see an increase in production.

Flex-Tanks Are Still Playing D.Va
Photo: Robert Paul For Activision Blizzard

The small change to D.Va’s boosters won’t be enough to move players off of the popular off-tank. She provides incredible amounts of utility and damage, and it would take a serious meta shift for players to swap over to Zarya or Roadhog. If there is a change over to something like the “Halt/Hook” meta viewers saw in OWL late in Stage 4, off-tanks may continue to see fantasy success thanks to Roadhog’s damage and self-heal. For the moment, hold onto all starting D.Va players.

Supports Remain Unchanged

The Moira ban does not change much for supports, as her playtime sat just above the 10% mark needed to be eligible for a ban. Expect more Ana and Lucio going forward as they appear to be the go-to combo for most teams. With Reinhardt gone however, some teams may forgo the Ana in place of a Mercy or a Baptiste, depending on the composition. Flex-supports will continue to be the top fantasy position, so it’s ill-advised to drop any stud player just because Moira is unavailable.


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