Games

Game Review – The Sun Dream Team

The Sun Dream Team has long been established as the leading game offered by a daily paper, thanks in the main to an impressive prize pool. Little has changed in that respect with £1 million of prizes again on offer, but this season the Sun have made the bold move to offer free entry and attempt to balance matters between the casual and the hardcore multi-entrant manager.

Fantasy managers can register one free team in an effort to win the £100,000 top prize. Although this entry is limited to one team per user, a “Premium” version of the game offers a package of 6 teams for £25. Entrants here qualify for the same competition as the free competitors but are also in the running for Premium only prizes with another £100,000 on offer for the top boss. There’s also some superb monthly cash prizes with £5,000 available for the top manager each month, £10,000 a month to Premium managers.

The Sun game was notorious for allowing multi-entrant managers to flex financial muscles and enter hundreds of teams in a bid to claim prize money. Some thought nothing of investing huge funds – great for those who have the time and cash to play at such a level, not so great for the casual single team manager who find themselves up against monopolies at the top of the rankings.

The new Premium packages do allow multiple teams but limit entry to 10 packages of 6 teams per month. In terms of the overall prize, multi-entrants are limited to 60 teams before the season deadline. Those who splash out obviously have an advantage over the free entrants, although only one team per entrant can qualify for a prize so, even if you invest in 60 or more teams, only one of these can claim a prize at the end of the season. That might, just might, result less investment from the multi-entrants giving casual managers more opportunity to get amongst the money list.

The Ruleset

While the entry rules are a little complex, Dream Team does at least make things simple when it comes to the basic ruleset.

Each team must include 11 players with a budget of £50 million to spend. The teams must be laid out in one of two formations – a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3.

Scoring gets a little more complicated, not least because Dream Team doesn’t rest when the Premier League puts its feet up. Players accumulate points from matches in the domestic cups and also in Europe with Champions League and even Europa League matches contributing. That gives us a lot more to think about – finding players immune to cup rotation is often crucial.

With Europe and cup progress included as factors, the points scoring can be heavily skewed towards the top clubs. This is compounded by the fact that goals and clean sheets are the major point contributors – players earn nothing for assists.

Dream Team has it’s own arbitrary “Bonus Point” scoring system in the shape of the “Star Man” award with earns 5 extra points, while all players who earn 7 or more in the Sun player ratings in a match fetch another 3 points.

The Sun have taken another bold step this season – and perhaps another move that will deter multi-entrant managers somewhat. Extra transfer windows have been introduced giving Fantasy managers the chance to change their lineups a total of five times over the season. Three transfers can be made at each of these windows which means more effort for those juggling multiple teams.

Setting up and joining a mini-league is a given, but this season the Sun have handed Fantasy managers the chance to join up to five leagues with just one team – a far more flexible approach. This is linked to the fact that there is no longer an overall prize for the top mini-league.

The Weekend Dream Team is another new option this season – in a clear nod to the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) format, this is an optional contest that takes place over a series of 30 gameweeks and involves picking three more players to boost your squad to 14. What’s more, you’re then asked to pick one player as your captain to score you double points over the weekend. Sound familiar?

The top scorer in a gameweek earns a grand with 99 prizes of £100 also up for grabs – a nice addition giving extra incentive to Dream Team managers on a weekly basis. The rules aren’t totally clear here however – it appears that the three additional and temporary squad players – a defender, midfielder and forward, are added to your core starting XI free of charge with no budget constraints. That’s far from obvious however; we can only wait for the first weekend to find out exactly how this will work.

The Player List

There are no glaring mis-classifications to be found at first glance. Both Gareth Bale and Seamus Coleman are labeled as midfielders, while Blackburn’s David “Junior” Hoilett at £2.5 million and Theo Walcott at £5 million, look decent options here as players who will likely threaten double figure goals.

Adel Taarabt gets a price of £3.5 million which could tempt investment if his future at QPR is secured, although arguably Swansea’s Scott Sinclair, with a £2.5 million price tag looks more secure. Luis Suarez at £5.5 million, is already proving to be a very popular striker option – although Liverpool’s starting fixtures remain off-putting. The likes of Demba Ba (£2.5 million), Asamoah Gyan (£3.5 million) and Bobby Zamora (£3.5 million) all appear to be strong options lower down the price bracket.

The Verdict

Dream Team makes a strong return this season. The move to limit multi-entrant managers is a welcome one, leveling the playing field somewhat for those who just want to enter a single team and be in the hunt for one of many cash prizes on offer.

The ability to join multiple mini-leagues and the new Weekend Dream Team options are clearly influenced by the popularity of the FPL game but are nonetheless smart moves from the Sun organisers.

Five transfer windows offer enough flexibility to give the more hardcore player the opportunity to bring their knowledge to bear but, at the same time, casual players won’t be intimidated by a wealth of options or a demand to constantly tweak their lineup.

It’s not all positive. Things do feel a little rushed with the initial release – there’s no data on last season available in the players statistics unless you click on individual players, while the classification of Bolton’s Darren Pratley as a Sunderland player is just plain careless. Clearly the Sun were keen to get a weekend start on the other Fantasy games and, by stealing a march with their new options, they may have gathered some new traffic – job done perhaps.

Dream Team is not an FPL killer – but it’s staked a stronger claim than ever for a place in your Fantasy season by waving a range of glittering prizes in front of us; prizes that seem tantalisingly within reach of one and all, not just the flush multi-entrant.

The Scout League

With more flexibility available with mini-leagues and the option to enter a team free of charge, we’re more than happy to open up an official Fantasy Football Scout League for those registering for this game. The details are below and will be added to the homepage.

League Name: Fantasy Football Scout
Pin: 131684
Password: scout1112

Mark Mark created the beast. He's now looking to tame it.”

181 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Supersonic LFC YNWA
      5 years, 2 months ago

      Guys chill out. Friday is FPL opening day.

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      1. Hybrid.power
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        5 years, 2 months ago

        There's still over a month to go before the first game, people need to relax 😛

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        1. Boom!!!
            5 years, 2 months ago

            +1!

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          • Christina.
              5 years, 2 months ago

              You mean another month of HELL.

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            • Lucky_2010
                5 years, 2 months ago

                +1 cool man lol

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            • Dave Bauer
                5 years, 2 months ago

                Oh that's alright then, cheers. Don't bother looking on here or the FPL site until Friday guys.

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            • Kings of Lyon ★
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              5 years, 2 months ago

              Ha a look at BBC gossip and a few things jumped out from an FPL point of view.

              Liverpool are planning an audacious move for Everton left-back Leighton Baines.
              Full story: caughtoffside.com

              (I am tempted by baines because of evertons fixtures, although if the deal does go through, you've got to bet liverpool winning any shootout they enter, Baines, Adam, Gerrard, Kuyt, Carrol/Suarez)

              Villa are lining up Manchester City's Craig Bellamy should Downing decide to leave the club.
              Full story: footybunker.com

              (With Villas start Bellamy & Bent could be good investments)

              Hull City say that QPR are interested in midfielder Jimmy Bullard.
              Full story: Talksport

              (Bullard the BP magnet and set peice extrodiner will be in my team if Taarbt leaves)

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              1. H Dog
                  5 years, 2 months ago

                  Bullard and Bellamy would be very interesting, but if bellamy is a striker then i could be put off

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                  1. Kings of Lyon ★
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    5 years, 2 months ago

                    Yeah it is all dependant on price and position, but it has made me put my alerters on.

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                  2. Hybrid.power
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    5 years, 2 months ago

                    Good old Jimmy Bullard. I always get reminded of this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QC2Ady-WfMA

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                    1. Kings of Lyon ★
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      5 years, 2 months ago

                      It is legendary

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                      1. Hybrid.power
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        5 years, 2 months ago

                        The bit with the shorts pulled up to his chest gets me everytime 😛

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              2. Supersonic LFC YNWA
                  5 years, 2 months ago

                  Would welcome Baines but caughtoffside are well known for starting rumours, with no base!

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                  1. Demí
                      5 years, 2 months ago

                      Yep, just like you stating it will open on Friday 😀

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                      1. RedNev
                          5 years, 2 months ago

                          +1

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                        • H Dog
                            5 years, 2 months ago

                            Keep the faith!

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                      2. Christina.
                          5 years, 2 months ago

                          Im holding thumbs the next FFS article will shed some light on fpl kick off.

                          😉

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                          1. Demí
                              5 years, 2 months ago

                              I'm thinking it will be: Scout Report - Gervinho

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                              1. Mulder
                                  5 years, 2 months ago

                                  Scout Report - Messi

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                              2. ɪCᴏɴ
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                5 years, 2 months ago

                                Anything at all from FFS or FPL since Friday? Been away all weekend so haven't been about. Doesn't look like anythings happened though.

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                            • AgueorIbra
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              5 years, 2 months ago

                              Ah Jafalad....the first person I've noticed showing a little appreciation of Norwich....

                              They are way ahead of QPR and Swansea in their preparations for this season. QPR have made no signings thus far, and still have the threat of losing Taarabt hanging over them. Swansea's signings have so far only covered players who have jumped their ship.

                              Paul Lambert will be a very influential manager, and whilst I wouldn't endorse investing in Norwich City defenders (R.Martin if you must), it will not be wise to totally ignore their attacking players.

                              Two midfielders to keep an eye on are Bennett and Pilkington. Although completely new to the Premier League, these two have a huge potential to cause a few surprises. Pilkington is recovering from a broken ankle and may well not be fit for the beginning of the season, but the pair of them have scored goals and assisted for fun in the lower leagues.

                              Holt, Jackson, Vaughan and Morisson may well be provided with more ammunition than most f/f managers will be anticipating.

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                              1. Marknlard
                                  5 years, 2 months ago

                                  I've been pretty uninspired by Norwich's signings. None of the promoted teams are that tempting to me.

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                                  1. tosey
                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                    5 years, 2 months ago

                                    +1

                                    however i have to admit i thought the same about newcastle n blackpool last season and adam nolan barton carroll etc all did well

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                                    1. ManofKent - Boing Boing
                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                      5 years, 2 months ago

                                      Obviously you were excited about West Brom though 😉

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                                      1. tosey
                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                        5 years, 2 months ago

                                        ahh thats who else went up! couldnt think who the other team was so just named those two!

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                                  2. Goose
                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                    5 years, 2 months ago

                                    Suppose the only problem is it's hard to get a squad together without dipping into the promoted teams for budget options.

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                                    1. tosey
                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                      5 years, 2 months ago

                                      there will be some budget options available, some that we may not even have heard of yet, last season i started with barry ferguson and albrighton as they were 4.5m each and had home rotation spot on

                                      hopefully one of the mid-table clubs have a good youngster that will shine in pre-season

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                                      1. Goose
                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                        5 years, 2 months ago

                                        That could definetly happen but I'm not against taking a gamble on the promoted sides, at least one will start well and I actually quite like Norwichs first 6 fixtures bar the Chelsea game.

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                                • Christina.
                                    5 years, 2 months ago

                                    Hoolahan?

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                                  • hillbillypete
                                      5 years, 2 months ago

                                      Norwich...not for me. I don't think they have the quality in their squad. I have contemplated Holt just for his pens and potential cheapness. However, i think there will be better purchases to be made.

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                                      1. Kings of Lyon ★
                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                        5 years, 2 months ago

                                        +1 from me.

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                                      2. Bubbles
                                          5 years, 2 months ago

                                          I'd agree with this. I won't be going anywhere near a Norwich defender, and personally I think there'll be much better cheap options in midfield and the forwards.

                                          I was looking at some season bets that I'll do in a few weeks and Norwich to finish bottom at 11/4 is one I'll be sticking in a Heinz or Yankee type bet I think.

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                                      3. Champ
                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                        5 years, 2 months ago

                                        Totally agree. Norwich attackers are the go and I'll definitely start with holt. They've signed hungry, talented unproven players and could unearth a gem or two. If taarabt leaves work have no attackers that interest me and I think swansea's wide men will find they need more than pace to be effective in the prem. Won't touch norwich defence though.

                                        Jafa: just had a look and i think It's Martin I'm thinking of, scored 5 from rb last season. May be deceptive though ad he only scored once in the 3 previous seasons. Seriously though qpr's gorkks could be the best budget defender.

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                                        1. Kings of Lyon ★
                                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                          5 years, 2 months ago

                                          What ios the appeal with Gorkks or is it just because he has a really cool name.

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                                            1. Kings of Lyon ★
                                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                              5 years, 2 months ago

                                              thanks MMW

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                                              1. Doosra - ☭A Noble Captain…
                                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                5 years, 2 months ago

                                                No probs! 🙂 Try the 2010/11 season, tho'! 😉

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                                          1. Champ
                                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                            5 years, 2 months ago

                                            Qpr should get most home cs of the promoted teams and gorkks has scored goals consistently throughout his career. Probably in for bp's when they keep cs too. Won't cost more than 4.5.

                                            And his name's awesome 😉

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                                        2. hillbillypete
                                            5 years, 2 months ago

                                            i bet Martin doesnt score next season

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                                      4. Dave Bauer
                                          5 years, 2 months ago

                                          Mark's comment earlier suggested to me that FFS has some role to play in FPL this season.

                                          This would be a disaster - the first rule of FFS is that you do not talk about FFS.

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                                          1. Kings of Lyon ★
                                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                            5 years, 2 months ago

                                            +1000000000000000000000000000000000

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                                          2. Daniel - DEXIT
                                              5 years, 2 months ago

                                              Link to that comment?

                                              P.S. I agree that we don't talk about FFS

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                                              1. Dave Bauer
                                                  5 years, 2 months ago

                                                  On page one, near the bottom.

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                                            • Daniel - DEXIT
                                                5 years, 2 months ago

                                                new post

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                                              • The Assassin-Faced BabyDave
                                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                5 years, 2 months ago

                                                Amazed FFS will have anything to do with this competition considering the current revelations.

                                                Boycott it.

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                                              • Frazek
                                                  5 years, 2 months ago

                                                  QPR linked with DJ Campbell swoop, plus Boothroyd. I'm liking the DJ at QPR, who've got precious other attacking options once Taarabt is gone.

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