Fantasy football offers a fun and entertaining way of keeping up with all the latest football action as it unfolds. With millions of people around the world creating fantasy football teams, either for fun or even to join leagues and make some money out of it, we've put together a list of our best fantasy football betting sites, apps and a comprehensive list of fantasy football tips to help you beat your competition!
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Fantasy Frank: 3 In 3 Out
Ahead of FPL GW9, we take a deep look at the ins and outs you should be eyeing for your beloved Fantasy Premier League team.
IN: Bruno Fernandes (10.6m)
Club: Manchester United
Fixtures: WBA (H), SOU (A), WHU (A), MCI (H), SHU (A)
Bruno Fernandes has averaged 1.14 direct goal involvements (goals or assists) per game since joining Man United last January, and his form just doesn't seem to be dying down. He was head and shoulders above everyone else on the pitch last gameweek against Everton, notching 17 FPL points in the process. With Salah set to miss the game against Leicester, Bruno is the ideal replacement for those looking to make a transfer – he's a standout captaincy pick against a struggling West Brom team and has decent fixtures to follow. If you need a cheaper alternative, Marcus Rashford (9.6m) is a great shout.
OUT: Son Heung-min (9.6m)
Fixtures: MCI (H), CHE (A), ARS (H), CRY (A), LIV (A)
Given Son's immense form this season, it might be surprising to see he's at the top of our list for players to move on. Truth be told, holding onto him for a few weeks longer isn't a bad idea, but with that daunting fixture list, we're inclined to sell sooner rather than later. While Son will probably still deliver a steady stream of points, it's wishful thinking to believe he could haul on a regular basis against teams of such magnitude, and with the likes of De Bruyne, Sterling, Bruno, Rashford, Ziyech all boasting more favourable fixtures, selling could be a wise move.
IN: Jack Grealish (7.5m)
Club: Aston Villa
Fixtures: BHA (H), WHU (A), NEW (H), WOL (A), BUR (H)
We've suggested Grealish before, but we feel obliged to do it again because this guy is as close to essential as you can get this season. Grealish only ranks behind Salah for penalty touches (70) and goal attempts (22), and has created the highest number of big chances (6), tallying 4 goals and 6 assists this season. Throw in Villa's glorious fixture schedule as well as Grealish's outstanding displays on international duty, and Grealish looks to be a must-have at only 7.5m.
OUT: Mohamed Salah (12.3m)
Fixtures: LEI (H), BHA (A), WOL (H), FUL (A), TOT (H)
Let's be clear here – we don't think this move is for everyone. If you're plagued with red and yellow flags around your team and lacking on free transfers, then it's completely understandable that you'd want to hold Salah for another week. But this is targetted as those who don't have any fires to deal with, who have transfers in reserve, and who want to seize the moment. Salah is ruled out for this gameweek after testing positive for COVID-19, and there is a risk that he won't be fit enough against Brighton. You also have to consider that, while he might be available for that game, his fitness may not be up to scratch. It's possible that Salah doesn't deliver for 2 weeks, and at that price range, you really do have to question whether it's worth looking at other options. With Bruno and KDB waiting in the wings, it just might be.
IN: Hakim Ziyech (8.2m)
Fixtures: NEW (A), TOT (H), LEE (H), EVE (A), WOL (A)
We put Ziyech's name forward last week, and apart from his price, nothing has changed. Hakim Ziyech is an absolute bargain at his price, he's created the most big chances (4) over the last two gameweeks and has been a joy to watch. Chelsea really seem to be gathering momentum, and with Ziyech at the heart of it all, we're happy to encourage you to shift him into your teams before a trip to Newcastle.
OUT: Andrew Robertson (7.1m)
Fixtures: LEI (H), BHA (A), WOL (H), FUL (A), TOT (H)
Whether the Gods are doing it to bring Liverpool fans back down to earth, we don't know, but their players are dropping like flies right now. It's looking like Liverpool will head into the Leicester fixture without Salah, Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Henderson, Gomez and more, and while Robbo himself is fit (though he too suffered an injury scare on international duty) it's hard to justify that price in such a weakened Liverpool team. At the minimum, a 7.1m defender needs to be keeping clean sheets, but there's no longer any guarantee of that with so many key players missing.
Top Fantasy Football Sites
Paddy Power Fantasy
In 2018, popular US DFS site FanDuel was acquired by Irish bookmaker Paddy Power as part of their ambitious plans to conquer America’s burgeoning betting market. Part of that deal means that Paddy now has the platform to offer fantasy games alongside its first-rate sportsbook. While Paddy Power Fantasy isn't the only DFS site on the market, it is definitely one of the best, and comes complete with a £20 cash back bonus if you don’t win a prize.
Also a part of the Paddy Power family, Betfair’s betting exchange platform does provide a fantasy offering, as well as highly useful betting tips, news and updates to keep your game razor-sharp and on track. New customers can also find up to £100 in free bets at Betfair, making it a great choice for those looking for somewhere to play.
Footstock is an online football trading platform that combines fantasy football with gambling and collectable card games. In truth, Footstock has a bit of everything. You can enjoy the buzz of opening new packs while hoping for a rare Mo Salah or Kevin De Bruyne card. You can also enter in fantasy football tournaments, where your players earn points for their actions on the pitch and the highest scoring line-up wins real money. And you can profit by trading your players on the Footstock market. Needless to say, there's a lot to keep you entertained.
Footstock offer a 50% deposit bonus with up to £50 in additional contest credits, which can be used to take part in fantasy contests.
Vbet offer a quality Fantasy Football game in which participants draft an imaginary team of real football players and score points based on their actual statistics. Play-wise, players can make three free transfers between each different round of Premier League football, and to find out who isn't pulling his weight and needs putting on the transfer list, simply check the live update of players' points, which in turn are based on their performance in real match events. This way, you can map your route to success.
Top Fantasy Football Apps
Fantasy Premier League
The best and most popular Fantasy Football app by far, which we've reviewed in further detail below.
Sky Sports Fantasy Football
From the nation’s number one sports broadcaster and main provider of live televised Premier League matches comes their own official Fantasy game on its own dedicated app. The game, which is free to play, comes with a top prize of £50,000, and in order to win, you simply need to draft the best team possible from your substantial budget of £100 million.
Fantasy Hub gives players a £75 million budget in order to create their winning team. As per norm, players will acquire points based on their performance in real-life matches, and anyone letting the side down can be sold as part of your weekly transfer allowance. Likewise, you can also bring in that star player you neglected to select at the start of the season. The app also includes a live and interactive news feed, achievements, a match centre powered by OPTA, social Mini Leagues and a unique Head-to-Head feature.
Telegraph Fantasy Football
The first thing you need to know about the Fantasy Football game provided by The Telegraph is that it is not free to play. Team registration costs £6. This is a serious game though, much more for the studied thinker. It’s actually the oldest in the UK, and such success didn’t come by accident. The game requires users to select a team of 11 players from the player pool with a budget of £50 million, employing their choice of either a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 formation. Players can then make 30 transfers over the season – with a limit of four per week – in order to put themselves in the running for weekly and monthly prizes.
Fantasy Premier League – The Most Popular Fantasy Football Game
By far the most popular Fantasy Football app is the official Premier League app, which is an essential phone accessory for the serious Fantasy Football fan. As with all apps, easy access is crucial for tinkering (see below) with your team and making any critical last-minute changes on the move. Players are given a budget of £100 million to pick 15 players in with a chance of winning you any reward from a selection of top prizes across the weeks, months and season. As you might expect from the official Premier League app, it also comes equipped with official stats and video highlights from the league.
Again, the game is free to play and easy to use. It’s also very popular and easy to set up mini leagues between friends, accessible by means of a private PIN. Teams can also be entered into numerous leagues as well as the main game, a feature which is unique because of the inclusion of a wildcard designed to allow managers to start over from scratch, should they want or need to. On the flip side, the game does not offer cash prizes.
Point scoring is broken down thus:
|For playing up to 60 minutes||1|
|For playing 60 minutes or more (excluding stoppage time)||2|
|For each goal scored by a goalkeeper or defender||6|
|For each goal scored by a midfielder||5|
|For each goal scored by a forward||4|
|For each goal assist||3|
|For a clean sheet by a goalkeeper or defender||4|
|For a clean sheet by a midfielder||1|
|For every 3 shot saves by a goalkeeper||1|
|Three best performing players in each match||3 bonus points|
|For each penalty save||5|
|For each penalty miss||-2|
|Bonus points for the best players in a match||1-3|
|For every 2 goals conceded by a goalkeeper or defender||-1|
|For each yellow card||-1|
|For each red card||-3|
If you’re a serious FFL player, you’re in luck – attention to detail definitely pays off here. However, if you happen to be more of a casual player who forgets about their team a few weeks, fret not; the Fantasy Premier League has a fantastic auto pilot engine which automatically subs players in your first 11 who fail selection in a game week.
Fantasy Football Tips
As ever with sports, football betting and gaming, there are a few steps we can take to improve our chances of success. Below are a few of our top fantasy football tips.
Do Your Research
In order to be a successful Fantasy Football League manager, it really is worth doing some research before making your picks by the time May comes around. While most sites keep registration open all year round, you obviously stand to give yourself a leg up if you register your team over the summer, before the season gets underway in mid-August.
In this case, have a look at pre-season form, along with who has been playing regularly and how well they have done over that time. Go back over recent seasons and look at the fitness records of the players you are considering giving a starring role. Pay close attention to youngsters who might have broken into the first team squad, as they will likely represent the best value.
Pay attention to players with poor disciplinary records. How well are they thought to get on with the manager? Have there been any publicised issues? Basically, any potential influencing factor that you can think of is worth investigating in detail, as it could end up costing you points further down the line.
Read the Stats
The statistics are a critical weapon in any bettor’s arsenal. They can tell us everything we need to know about what we can expect which allows us to craft fully informed bets. Stats are crucial to be successful at fantasy football because only when we understand what went before, can we attempt to predict what might happen in the future.
Be the Tinkerman
Over the course of the football season, it would be wise to rotate your goalkeepers and defenders. For this reason, don’t be tempted to select one world-class goalkeeper and pair him with a cheap backup. Instead, pick two top-class goalkeepers which you can rotate, depending on who the real-life player’s team is playing against that week. This way, if he’s playing against Manchester City, for example, you can drop him for a week and bring your equally good number two, who, with any luck, is playing against lesser opposition. By doing this, you can give yourself more chances of picking up clean sheet bonuses across the season. The same advice also applies to defenders.
Spend Big at the Back
When it comes to defenders, it is worth spending heavily. Many players skimp on this section of their team, packing their defences with several cheap options in order to afford more expensive midfielders and forwards. In actual fact, this is a mistake, as defenders have the chance to earn much more points with a clean sheet bonus. Moreover, the right defender can also weigh in with goals, which in most leagues count as double points.
Take the high-assisting Liverpool fullback pair, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson, two very good examples of this. These two players have the highest assist rate in the Premier League most seasons and so are well worth considering, although as you might expect, neither player will come cheap. Again, the stats tell us what we need to know.
Our next fantasy football tip is to look for bargains. In some cases, players have been listed in the wrong category. When Mo Salah and Sadio Mane first signed for Liverpool, they were considered to be midfielders. While this has likely been updated by now, it goes without saying that midfielders – for whom goals usually count double – that score a lot are incredibly valuable in a Fantasy Football League competition, so two top scorers like these are definitely worth their weight in gold.
And of course, it is important to pick the best strikers you can find upfront. As you might expect, going heavy at the back might not leave enough spare change to throw in Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero or Tottenham’s Harry Kane, so pick the best you can.
Avoid the Normal Traps
One key trap that players fall into is picking players purely on reputation or the points tally they accrued last season. We're not suggesting that picking players who performed strongly the previous year is a bad idea; you just need to take into account much more than simply previous displays.
Pick From Your Rivals
Leave club bias behind. It’s easy for players to cool on footballers that ply their trade with a hated rival, but that would be a mistake when picking your fantasy football team. Fans of Liverpool are unlikely to wish Manchester United defenders well on a Saturday afternoon, so either leave them out of your team altogether or simply suck it up and hope that the old enemy doesn’t concede.
This also works in reverse. It is an extremely common mistake to pick as many players as possible from the big six clubs, on the entirely reasonable assumption that they win more games, score more goals and let in less. But these teams also have the biggest squads and play the most fixtures, running deep in the knockout competitions. For this reason, squad rotation applies much more with the top six teams than it does with the league’s other teams, and your expensive new signing might miss out.
If you can, select your backline from as few clubs as possible. While we understand that it is tempting to pick from seven different clubs in the hope that one of them might keep a clean sheet, in reality, you are actually reducing your chances of getting a high score, as the odds on all seven teams keeping a clean sheet is slim to non-existent.
Don’t Rush to Get the Latest Superstar
Finally, go easy on the summer’s intake of players brought in from abroad. It is always exciting to sign players from overseas, but don't forget that the Premier League is the toughest around, and there is often a settling-in period for new foreign signings while they adapt to the English game. Sure, there are exceptions, and these might well turn out to be very good signings in the long run, but a rush to sign them could cost you valuable early season points.
Selecting Your Captain
When choosing your captain, pick players that actually play and change them regularly. Choosing a Fantasy Football League captain is very important as they usually receive double points. Look out for the following factors when choosing your team captain for any given week:
- How consistent a player is this week’s captain proving to be?
- Who is he playing against this week?
- How many points did he pick up last season?
- Does he score or assist regularly enough?
- Will poor discipline result in unwanted referee reprimands and cards?
Things to Consider
Our final fantasy football tip is to make constant changes to your first eleven. True, this is fairly hard to stick to, as many people pick their team and then ignore it (a sure-fire way to lose). However, only attentive players tend to succeed at this game, so be sure to invest a little time before each game week to make certain that you are rotating your players effectively. Remember to consider player opponents, injuries, suspensions and other key factors.
Also, analyse your set-piece takers and how effective they are from dead ball situations. While the game hosts are likely wise to the player’s set-piece brilliance, often, these players can be employed with smaller clubs, so it’s worth checking who’s been taking set-pieces and penalties during the recent pre-season. Finding which players have been taking corners for the various teams will also serve you well. Also, look into which team gets the most penalties, and which of their players is normally on spot-kick duty.
Understanding Fantasy Football Betting
With fantasy football betting, a team of 11-25 players is created by selecting real-life footballers from a league – in this case, the Premier League. The selected 11 then earn points for the team by way of their performances on the pitch in actual football games. When played between friends, points are awarded or deducted according to goals scored, assists, clean sheets and referee cards issued, for example. Over the season, you will normally be allowed a set amount of transfers to compensate for injuries and such like.
For the wagering game, however, players can pick a side for a particular round of fixtures or place real money bets on their team’s performance against that of their rivals and friends. Selecting your fantasy 11 in fantasy football betting requires having a great deal of sports knowledge, since you have to pick the players that you think will perform best and earn you the most points.
Additionally, in fantasy football betting, players can be selected by way of a draft in which players are selected for a team during one session, and in which no player can own the same footballer as another player. This is in contrast to the Fantasy Football game, where all players have a price tag and each manager has a budget. Here, all players are available to everyone.
Playing Fantasy Football Leagues For Fun
The non-gambling Fantasy Football game casts you in the role of a team manager in a league where there is normally a prize for a high-place finish. Typically, these have been run by websites, newspapers and broadcasters.
At the beginning of the game, managers are assigned a budget with which to select a squad of between 11 and 15 real-life players, with one player being nominated by you to be your team’s captain. Points are awarded on how well these players perform on each matchday and, in the longer term, over the whole of the football season. Captains score double points and can be changed after each matchday. The more points you score each week, the higher up the table your team will climb.
Fantasy Football FAQs
💡 Is DFS the same as Fantasy Football?
No, these are not the same games, although they require similar skills and will appeal to the same players. Basically, if you like one, then you are likely to enjoy the other.
🇨🇭 Can you win money playing DFS games?
Yes. Because of the contribution-based prize pools, there is a great deal of money to be won playing DFS. Fantasy Football League, on the other hand, includes more recreation-based games that do have an end-of-season top prize.
🙋 Does it cost to play Fantasy Football games?
It depends on who you are playing with. In most cases, no. Typically, these games are free to play. You do need to pay a pre-designated buy-in to take part in a DFS game; however, like most bets, things are settled quickly and you can potentially win large amounts.
📱 Can you bet on other sports with a DFS site?
Yes, it isn’t just football. Because this type of wager is rooted in the US, American sports are popular for DFS games; that being said, you can also find markets on other sports.
🔢 What happens if my player leaves the Premier League?
You have a few options in this case. The player can remain in your squad, but he will continue to earn 0 points. If you want to remove him permanently, then you will need to swap him with either a free agent or put in for a waiver request.
ThePuntersPage Final Say
Whichever type of Fantasy game you decide to play, you are sure to be in for a treat. If reading this article has stoked your curiosity, we suggest trying out a free-play version of a DFS game. Remember that while free-to-play Fantasy Football games and buy-in based games are largely different, there are many transferable skills that will stand you in good stead should you decide to give Daily Fantasy Sports a try.