This year has been poor overall. SerRobertStrong did pretty well and this is the best year I've ever had, but it's slim pickings for everyone else.
Tips for 2018
I'm not going to give any specific pick tips, mostly because I haven't put together a full list yet, but at this point I have put together a solid strategy for choosing my picks.
Layer your picks
You need to squeeze as many points as possible out of the points system if you want to have a good year. The best way to do this is to split your picks into 2 main groups.
Guaranteed Points - These picks should be people you think are definitely going to die within the year. Most of the time they are old and/or will have some sort of terminal illness. Even so, do not pick them if they are too old. A 98 year old might be guaranteed to die, but they are only worth 2 points so it's a wasted pick. Normally you want 5, 6 or 7 of these picks on your list.
The Home Runs - These picks are a lot riskier, but it is normally where you will pick up most of your points. They are a lot younger, probably in their 40s or 50s. Even so, these picks should still have health issues or have a clear risk of death. Do not pick someone who has virtually no chance of dying just because they would get you a lot of points. We all know Macaulay Culkin is not going to die next year, but people still pick him for no reason.
Do not give in to wishful thinking
This is the most common problem with pick lists. Just because you want them to die, it does not mean they are going to die. I myself am guilty of this, Prince Philip was on my list every year before I realised he is actually an invincible reptile.
Bonus points are bonus points, nothing more
Don't pick someone just because they have a higher chance than usual to be eligible for bonus points. The reason bonus point rewards are so huge is because they are incredibly unlikely to happen.
Do the maths
When you have chosen your 10 picks, add up the maximum amount of points you will get if they all die within the year. Arrange the list in order of how likely you think they are to die, then add up the top 5 or 6 on the list. The number should be over 100, otherwise you are not being bold enough with your list.
Do the research
This is the most important thing, and the reason I'm making this post now rather than later. Don't rush your list, find out who has a terminal illness and it could be the difference between winning next year or falling short. I like to make a megalist of 20-30 picks and slowly cancel it down until I have something I'm happy with.