And what’s even more impressive is that this year The Courier Sport have organised their own league. For editors, writers and readers alike, Newcastle University’s football fans are locking-horns over Teemu Pukki problems, Pep Guardiola’s unpredictable rotation and scrambling to shoehorn in Chelsea’s new wonderkids.
For those who aren’t familiar with the fantasy footballing phenomenon, here’s a quick rundown on all you need to know.
The Aim of the Game:
Selecting your team -
With a budget of 100.0, it’s up to you to curate the highest scoring team possible. It’s not all that simple, however. The league’s most prolific players such as Raheem Sterling, Mohamed Salah and Sergio Aguero can cost up to 13.0, whilst hidden gems such as Teemu Pukki, John Lundstram and Mason Mount will be less than half of that price. It’s up to you to find the right balance for your budget. You’ll need to pick two goalkeepers, five defenders, five midfielders and three forwards, but no more than three players from any one Premier League team.
Joining Leagues -
There are two main formats of leagues in the Fantasy Premier League. A Classic League, like the one The Courier Sport runs, sees teams fight for the top sport in the classic table format which updates weekly. For a different challenge, a Head To Head league pits two sides against each other each week, the winner emerging with three points, the loser with none.
As players get injured or aren’t performing as well as expected, fantasy managers will look for a change. The game affords you one free transfer each week to bring in new blood. Any more than that and you’ll lose four points per additional change.
— Fantasy Premier League (@OfficialFPL) October 17, 2019
The ‘chips’ -
Making the most of your game chips can make or break a fantasy football season. The Wildcard can be played at two points throughout the year and gift managers unlimited transfers in one week. The Triple Captain sees your captain’s points tripled in one Gameweek and the Bench Boost brings your benched players’ points into the game for one week too. Perhaps the most complicated to understand in the Free Hit chip. Playing this in one week means managers can select a team from scratch for the upcoming round of fixtures, before reverting to their old side the week after.
Ones to Watch:
The season may only be eight weeks in, but already some players are emerging as top choices.
Fantasy Premier League’s ‘Dream Team’ showcases the highest scoring players in the game. Here’s who features...
Rui Patricio - Three clean sheets, a penalty save and 20 in-game saves has helped propel the Wolves shot-stopper to 38 points.
Ricardo Pereria - Leicester City’s player of the season from last term has wasted no time getting started this time out with two goals and two clean sheets.
Trent Alexander-Arnold - Liverpool’s emphatic start to the season wouldn’t have been the same without Trent Alexander-Arnold’s marauding runs down the flank.
John Lundstram - Sheffield United’s low budget defender has wasted no time turning fantasy managers’ heads with his attacking returns and bonus points.
Kevin De Bruyne - The game’s highest scoring player, two goals and nine assists from the Belgian wizard have helped him to 63 points overall.
Sadio Mané - Liverpool’s top scoring midfielder, the Senegal international has five goals and two assists to his name so far this season.
Mohamed Salah - Playing alongside Mané, Mohamed Salah is sitting pretty with 55 points.
Raheem Sterling - The England international has had a fiery start to the season. With five of his six goals coming in the three opening games, however, some managers are losing patience.
Sergio Aguero - An ever-present threat, the Manchester City talisman has already netted eight times so far this year.
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang - Making the most of a central berth thanks to an Alexander Lacazette injury, Aubameyang has only failed to score in two gameweeks this year.
Teemu Pukki - The man on every football fan’s lips, Norwich City’s Teemu Pukki has been a revelation this season with 54 points to his name already.
With 31 entries into The Courier Sport Section league, competition is tough.
Corin Wright’s One United FC lead the way in first place with 473 points, Amirul Haqim is second and Thomas Hardwick is third. Mohamed Khalid’s Dark Souls sit in last with a whopping -6 points.
Out of the sports editors, Toby Bryant leads the way with 439 points in sixth place. Tom Moorcroft is in 10th, Rory Ewart in 17th, Stan Gilyead in 23rd and Rebecca Johnson languishes behind in 27th place, making her frustration at the game no secret.
Head to fantasy.premierleague.com and use the code 8cxyy6 to join the league!