If you missed it, yesterday we announced that we’ll be covering the free-to-play Sky Sports Fantasy Football as our second game this upcoming season. We’ll bring you one article per week when the campaign gets underway but over the next few days, we plan to roll out a few articles analysing the rule set and player picks ahead of the big kick-off on Saturday August 18…
Sky have made a few changes from last season’s offering, with the good news being that the main prize is £25,000 for the overall winner. Over £100,000 in prizes is on offer – second place will land you £5,000, whilst third will be enough to boost your bank balance by a cool £2,500; there is also a selection of monthly and weekly prizes for Fantasy managers to fight for. A new and improved version of Live scoring will also be a welcome addition on Matchdays, allowing you to automatically assess your position within mini-leagues as the points roll in. First up, then, we look at how to play the game:
Managers can select up to two teams; each side consists of XI players and is handed a budget of £75m. Budget-permitting, there is no limit as to how many players from each Premier League side we can select – you can fill your side with as many City and United players as you wish, for example, as long as the formation is one of the five valid team shapes available; 4-4-2, 4-3-3, 5-3-2, 3-5-2 or 4-5-1. Normal captaincy rules also apply, with Fantasy managers scoring double for whoever is handed the armband. One captaincy change per Gameweek is allowed, with Gameweeks running from Saturday to Friday.
In terms of transfers, you can tinker with your team from now right up until the deadline – after that, though, you have just 30 transfers over the course of the season, so use them wisely. In addition, a maximum of five transfers is permitted per calendar month.
In order for a player to score points for your team, he must be transferred in before the earliest kick-off that day – any trades made after this will pick up points from the earliest kick-off the following day, as the rules explain:
For example: If you transfer in Rooney before the earliest kick off on Saturday he will be eligible to score points immediately. If you transfer him in after the earliest kick off on Saturday, he will be eligible to score points from Sunday’s matches
With just a starting XI to manage, there are no subs to play with: a factor which obviously means that selecting regular starters is vital, while reacting to injuries and suspensions becomes equally important.
Essentially, then, the Sky game affords us an easy-to-play option which is relatively less demanding than the likes of Fantasy Premier League (FPL). With prize money on the table, it offers the more hardcore manager a chance to financially benefit from all those hours of research, while at the same time, the minimal amount of team maintenance should appeal to the more casual manager.
The rules are relatively straightforward when it comes to picking up points. A player receives 2 points if he features in the starting XI and just a single point if he comes off the bench. Scoring a goal is worth 5 points, while an assist will pick up 3 points – one significant factor to bear in mind is that the Sky game uses Opta stats to determine their scoring whereas FPL is run by Press Association statistics.
If your player picks up a caution, he loses a single point – a red card reduces their score by 3 points, as does a missed penalty. At the end of every game, the official Sky Sports Man of the Match is awarded an extra 5 points; we plan to look at those most likely beneficiaries in a future article, by assessing last season’s recipients.
At the back, keepers and defenders pick up 5 points for a clean sheet, though they lose a point for every goal conceded – with no bench as a safety net in this game, rotation of cheap defenders is not an option, making the need for reliable defenders more vital. Keepers also pick up 3 points if a penalty is saved or missed.
This season also sees the introduction of bonus points to the Sky game. Players who produce 60+ passes per game are awarded an extra 2 points, as do those who make 4+ tackles – again, the knowledge of Opta data will be vital. We plan to follow this up with another article on those players most likely to appeal here, with our Members area more than a little handy for such information. We’re planning to create a specific Sky Sports table to accommodate Members playing this game as an statistical aid on last season’s data and, of course, the 2012/13 season as it unfolds.
The Scout League
We’ve set up our own official league for next season’s Sky game, with the prize of a Samsung Blu Ray home cinema system worth up to £600 handed to the overall Scout League winner – it’s not just bragging rights on offer here. In addition we are also hoping to have some monthly prizes available; more on that later but for now, feel free to join up if you haven’t already. The league name is “FFScout” and the pin code “8004519″. Click here to get involved.
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For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
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