SBN Fantasy Leagues

SBN - Fantasy League - How To Play?


With a mere two weeks standing between football enthusiasts and the opening of some of the world’s biggest leagues, the time is nigh to begin discussing fantasy league ambitions for the upcoming season. If you are new to the trials and tribulations of managing a football team online, our goal is to provide some insight into how best to approach the arduous yet hugely rewarding task of fantasy football management. However, there is no point in creating and grooming a side of world-beaters in a vacuum. The bragging rights that come with fantasy league domination are best shared on the forum and for that, you need to be a member of a league. SBN have created fantasy leagues for English Premier League and ABSA Premiership junkies alike, so be sure to join in and stand a chance to win monthly and overall prizes. It’s free!

Fantasy Premier League

Overview

Once you have registered on the website you will be taken to a screen allowing you to select your squad. Fantasy Premier League managers must select a squad of 15 players with a budget of £100m and players are priced according to their threat of scoring points, among other factors. Managers must fill their squad with two goalkeepers, five defenders, five midfielders and three forwards. Managers are limited to select a maximum of three players from any given Barclays Premier League team. 

From the 15 members of your squad, you must pick 11 of them to form your side for the upcoming week of matches. You will only receive points from the players selected in your Starting XI, however, should one of your starters not play, they will be substituted for the nearest replacement on your bench. Remember; if a player does not start for his team but is brought on as a substitute, if he is a starter in your side, he will receive points for the minutes he plays. It is only if he doesn’t take to the pitch that a substitution in your team will occur. Your team can play in any formation provided that one goalkeeper, at least three defenders and at least one forward are selected at all times. From your Starting XI, you can nominate a captain and a vice-captain. Your captain receives double points for the week but should he play zero minutes, your vice-captain will be selected for double points. Should both play zero minutes, no player will receive double points.

Before we get into how to score points, it is important to understand the transfer market. After selecting your squad, you can make unlimited changes to it until the beginning of the first gameweek. Thereafter, you will receive one free transfer for each new gameweek. Each additional transfer you make during that gameweek will result in four points deducted from your total. If you do not use your free transfer allocated, it will carry over to the next gameweek, giving you two free transfers. However, you cannot store more than this and you will only be allowed a maximum of two free transfers per week. As mentioned, players are priced according to threat. However, this is slightly misleading. Player prices also change during the season depending on the popularity of the player in the transfer market. Therefore, a player’s price will rise if they are scoring regular points and are in demand by other Fantasy Premier League managers. The rise and fall of a player’s price affects the value of your team. The higher your team value, the more money you will have for future transfers. It is therefore crucial to sell players who are either injured or not performing well, while at the same time attempting to buy players whose value is on the rise. Also take note that you only gain 50% of a player’s value gain. For instance, should you buy a player costing £8m and his value rises to £9m, you will only be able to sell him for £8.5m. All changes to your team (Starting XI, transfers, captain changes, substitution priorities) must be made by the gameweek deadline in order to take effect for that set of matches. Deadlines are usually one hour before the kick-off time of the first match of the Gameweek.
During the season, your players will be allocated points based on their performance in the Barclays Premier League. You will need to visit - http://fantasy.premierleague.com/rules/ - for a full breakdown of how points are allocated but I will provide a few examples. Most simply, a player can score two points for playing 60 minutes or more. A goal scored by one of your forwards will win you four points, while a midfielder is allocated five points for a goal and a defender six points. Goalkeepers and defenders receive four points for keeping a clean sheet while a midfielder receives one point for a shutout. Points are lost for missing a penalty, for every two goals conceded, for yellow and red cards and own goals. There are also bonus points awarded for players that shine in the match. As illustrated, a player’s points are decided by their actual performance on the pitch and some players have better opportunities for points than others. For example, defensive midfielders are usually cheap to buy but have very few opportunities to score points by virtue of their role in the side. When picking players, be sure to take into consideration their position on the pitch as well as the role they are used in by their real-life managers.

Once you have decided on your squad and have familiarised yourself with the rules and scoring, you are ready to join to the SBN Fantasy League. Everyone who joins the league is added to the table which is calculated in order of points scored. If your team has more points than anyone else, you will find yourself at the top of the table and eligible for prizes. To join the league, sign into your Fantasy Premier League account, click the tab labelled Leagues, click Join a League, click Private League and click next. Input the league code - 339969-89912 - and click Join Private League. Get involved in the banter by posting your season ambitions on the comment forum!

Strategy

I will not delve too deeply into the tactics behind a successful fantasy team as they vary widely and are subjective. One man’s team value gain is another man’s lost points. There is no surefire way to be successful when playing this game but there are pointers to consider.

     Stay Up-to-Date: This will probably not prove too difficult for football addicts but life can be pretty busy. One lacklustre gameweek when a manager is not paying attention can often ruin a season. Keep your finger on the pulse of transfers, injuries and which players are in form. If you know which players are playing, and playing well, you can instantly gain an advantage over other players who are slower to react.

     Start your season with caution: While it is very easy to get carried away with all of the summer transfers and fill your squad with new, exciting prospects, it is often more prudent to begin your season with tried-and-tested performers. Team stalwarts are more likely to play 90 minutes of early season football as new signings are introduced sporadically by real-life managers looking to gauge their talents. By all means, include a marquee signing but be aware that not all stars adjust to the rigours of the Premier League. Managers who selected Radamel Falcao immediately last season can attest to this fact.

     Plan in advance: Make sure to scrutinise the fixture list and identify teams who have favourable fixtures (a high percentage of home games, weaker sides) in the upcoming weeks. Target proven performers in those sides who have a good chance of returns. Additionally, plan wildcards (unlimited transfers you are allowed to use twice during the season) around instances when sides play more than once in a given gameweek. Those players will receive double points and should be brought into your side at the correct time.

     Balance: Always aim to maintain a balanced line-up. While it may seem attractive to spend a large chunk of your budget on an unstoppable attacking line, bear in mind that your defence will suffer and end up jeopardising the good work of your strikers. To add to this, don’t completely neglect your bench. Your bench should be made up of cost effective players but try to ensure that your bench is made up of players that still feature for 90 minutes. Should one of your Starting XI miss the gameweek, there is nothing worse than having a replacement on your bench who hasn’t got on the pitch.

Kickoff Fantasy (PSL)




The Kickoff Fantasy League for players more interested in the ABSA Premiership works in much the same way. Register on the website, select your team name and pick your team. However, be sure to note that there is no budget when it comes to picking your squad and that your squad consists of 18 players, with a maximum of three from any PSL club. Your squad consists of two goalkeepers, six defenders, six midfielders and four strikers. The points scoring is also slightly different but based on the same principles as the Fantasy Premier League, in that your selected players are allocated points by their real-life performances. Captains score double points while vice-captains come into the equation if your selected captain does not play in the gameweek. In terms of transfers, they are unlimited. You can make as many changes to your squad as you like between gameweeks so long as you do not select more than three players from any one club. All of the usual Fantasy League rules such as deadlines and automatic substitutions apply.

The key to being successful in the Kickoff Fantasy is to take care in being fastidious about the fixtures and gameweeks. The ABSA Premiership does not have the same fixture structure as the English Premier League and so managers can capitalise on the free transfers granted each week. Take note of which sides are actually playing in each gameweek and adapt accordingly. Fill your side with players who are playing at home and are in good form. Again, it is advisable to look at proven performers during the first part of the season as new signings take time to bed in and take effect. 

In conclusion, this is just about the most fun a football lover can have on the internet. Playing in a Fantasy League not only provides plenty of opportunities for gloating among friends and colleagues, it forces you to keep up-to-date with your chosen league and broadens your knowledge on the subject. It gives you yet another reason to obsess about the beautiful game and experience highs and lows akin to proper football management. Join one of the SBN leagues today and reign supreme!


Written by Rick John Henry for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!