Fantasy Football Blog

Fantasy Football: The basics

Fantasy Football Blog

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Fantasy Football 2009/10 is here,
and with it comes a new-look blog to dispense insight, advice and pure
guesswork throughout the season.

In the build-up to the big kick-off, The Fantasist will give
you all the help you need to build a winning team; starting with some Fantasy
Football basics.

What is
Fantasy Football?
Really, you
don't know? Well, OK, if you insist. It's a game that allows you to pick a fictional
team made up of real players, who then score you points based on what they do
on the pitch in actual Premier League games. The aim, it should be painfully
clear, is to score as many points as possible.

How do my
players score points?
The Yahoo!
Eurosport game has a relatively sophisticated scoring system that we will
explore in more detail in a later post. Basically, you get credit for positive
things like scoring a goal or keeping a clean sheet. You lose points for things
like yellow and red cards or if your team concedes a hatful of goals. The rules
are here.
 

So, players
who are good in real life are good in Fantasy Football?
That's the
idea. If you didn't have at least one of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and
Cristiano Ronaldo last season you were nowhere. But obviously it is better to
have a defender who likes to go forward as he will get credit for attacking
points. Someone like Leighton Baines is great because he takes set pieces as
well as collecting defensive points.

What's to
stop me picking the whole Manchester United team?

In theory,
nothing. In practice, you won't be able to afford it. The crux of the game is
this: you have a budget limited to £100 million. Wayne Rooney's value hovers
around the £20m mark, so you have to give up a large chunk of your budget to
get him. It is up to you whether you decide to buy three superstars and a load
of chumps, or spread your money more evenly.

How many
players do I pick?
Eleven.
There are no subs in this game. If the players you select do not play, tough.
So it is important to keep an eye on injuries and suspensions because if your
players are affected you will definitely lose points.

Are there
any other restrictions?

No. You can
have as many players as you want from a single team - the entire Burnley XI is
yours if you want it (no cost worries there). And if you are in a league, there
is no rule against more than one team having each player.

Can I
change my team?
Absolutely.
There are unlimited transfers - just make sure you have them registered by noon
each Saturday. But it's not always in your interest to chop and change too
much.

Why not?
Because
players' values fluctuate according to their performance and popularity. If you
sign a player for £5m who then scores a hatful of goals, his value could rise
to £10m. If you sell him you will only get the £5m you paid, but if you want to
buy him back again you'll have to shell out the £10m market price. So you're
better off hanging on to him at his cheaper value.

Can I play
against my friends?
Of course,
that's the point. It's all about boasting really. It is easy to set up a league
and invite your mates, then watch in horror as the bloke who knows nothing
about football cleans up.

Are there
any changes from last year's rules?

Just one.
Goalkeepers and defenders are now eligible for a clean sheet if they play 75 or
more minutes, instead of the full 90.

Right then,
sign me up!
With
pleasure. Just click here. Do it.

Jeremy Spitzberg and Neal Thurman have moved on to pastures new. On
behalf of Eurosport-Yahoo!, the Fantasist would like to thank them for their many
years of wit and wisdom.

Fantasy Premier League: Sign up now!

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