• Ojas Sharma

Fantasy Football: How to get started? Guide 1

After hearing your friends talk about it all the time, are you curious about what Fantasy Football is? Do you want to enter this competitive game but are confused on how to go about it? Well, worry not, you have come to the correct place. Here I will try to explain the rules as clearly as possible.

A lot of people would have told you it’s not difficult to play this game. Well, they are wrong. Sure, the rules are pretty straightforward and it won't take long to understand them. Then why is it difficult you ask? The difficult part of this game is who to pick for your team. I have seen so many times that the newbies start playing the game, and make a random selection. Before you know it, they start slipping at the bottom of the ever-competitive mini-league with friends, and then quit in three months.

Where do I start?

You can go to the Fantasy Premier League site and make a squad there to enter the competition. You can also go to your phone’s app store and find the Fantasy Premier League app. I also use another app called Fantasy Football Manager on Google Play Store, which I find easier to use than the official app.

What are the rules?

Rule 1. 100 million pounds budget

  • You have 100 million pounds as budget and after selecting all 15 players you cannot exceed it. Although, there is no such compulsion that you must use up your entire budget. You can keep a couple of million pounds as a buffer. For you to start as a beginner it is always a good idea to use it up completely.

Rule 2. A squad of 15 players

  • You have to pick a team of 2 Goalkeepers, 5 Defenders, 5 Midfielders and 3 Strikers.

  • So, you are building a squad of 15 players but only 11 of those will play every week. You decide who plays, of course!

  • You have to play a minimum of 1 Goalkeeper and 3 defenders every game week. The Midfield and Strikers can be of any combination after that. What this means is that you can play various formations. 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 were the usual favorites. This season you might see more of 4-5-1 or 4-3-3.

Rule 3. Maximum three players per club

  • Right, this gets many confused as to why this restriction is necessary. Well, from one game on an average maximum of three players will get good points. So, you need to pick such potential players from other teams as well to get more points. Also, the newbies will end up picking so many players from the team they love that it will become clear why they are a newbie.

Rule 4. One free transfer every week

  • There are 38 games played in the Premier League by each team. These are called Game Weeks (GW). At the end of each GW, you get to sell one player and buy one for your team.

  • Pretty simple right! Wrong. This is where you need to be clear about what you are doing. If you have used the entire budget of 100 million pounds and want to sell one of your players, whose cost is say 7 million pounds, then you can only buy another player at the same price or less.

  • To make things more complicated, the price of the player goes up and down just like the price of a stock in the stock market.

  • Let's say there is one Midfielder who has played very well and everyone wants him in the squad, then the player price will keep increasing based on the number of buyers. Similarly, if a player gets injured and will be out of action for a couple of months then everyone will want to sell him, which will drive the price down.

  • To help you through this problem, you might decide not to transfer any player at the end of GW. This will then carry forward this one transfer to the next GW. So the next GW you can do two transfers. This helps you to better fit two players going out and two players coming in. However, two is the max limit. If you don't use the transfer even after the next GW then one transfer will lapse.

  • There is one more option of taking a cut of -4 points for each additional transfer above the free transfer. Let's say GW1 you get 50 points. At the end of the week, you get your one free transfer. Now if you want to transfer two players then you can go for -4, which will bring your point tally to 46 points at the start of GW2.

Rule 5. Cards & Chips

  • At this stage of your journey as a newbie, I would strongly suggest to not use any Card or Chip till at least the first international break. So you don't need to know anything about this right now. I will be covering Cards and Chips in future guides. Just don't press the activate button for these cards till then.

Now that you are clear on the rules we go next to the difficult part of how to pick a squad. Please check the upcoming Guide 2 for more details.