As announced last week, Fantasy Football Scout will be working with FanDuel, a brand new game specifically built for a UK audience, throughout the new season.
With a strong focus on rewarding a wide range of player attributes, such as tough tackling, slick passing and sharp shooting, this format looks ideal for our community, some of whom have already been involved in fine tuning the game during a Euro 16 beta test.
To get started register for a free account via this link. When you sign up, enter the promocode “SCOUT” and FanDuel will refund your first paid entry fee, up to £10, as free entry credit if you don’t win cash
Ahead of signing up, here are our key strategies and top tips for success.
Deadlines and Player Selection
Fantasy managers are asked to select 11 players, so with no bench, sure-starters or only the most super of subs should be selected.
Currently there is a single-deadline in place allowing you to tinker with your team right up until the first kick-off. This means you will benefit from knowing the line-ups for the initial set of matches, so if you don’t like unpleasant team sheet surprises, key players from these fixtures are good to focus on.
FanDuel tell us that there are plans to alter this single-deadline rule, which will mean that only those players involved in fixtures already underway will be locked, allowing you to continue to swap out players in your starting XI who are due to play later.
We will keep you updated when that deadline change takes place.
Paying close attention to FanDuel’s unique scoring model is key.
One of the most striking features is that only goalkeepers benefit from clean sheets, with 10 points up for grabs for those stoppers that manage a shut out. Goalkeepers also earn three points for every save made.
When selecting defenders, Fantasy managers should pay attention to Clearances, Blocks and Interceptions (CBI). Clearances garner one point each, an interception brings in 1.5 points, while a block earns two points.
There are a raft of other points for outfield players, including defenders, with three points for every chance created, 0.25 points for every five successful passes, two points for a successful tackle, five points for every shot on target. In addition, there is 0.5 points for every foul drawn.
Earning points is not all about underlying statistics, though. Scoring and creating goals still reign supreme: a whopping 15 points are on offer for every goal and an assist is worth seven points.
For a more comprehensive run down, check out How to Play on the FanDuel site.
Players to Target
Although this is FanDuel’s first official Premier League season, they have kindly assessed last year’s “hypothetical” points as a helpful guide for Fantasy Football Scout readers.
Essentially, this allows you to get an insight into what type of players fare best in their scoring matrix.
In terms of points per appearance, for example, it’s worth noting that midfielders occupy eight of the top ten spots.
Riyad Mahrez’ 17 goals, 11 assists, 67 chances created and 39 shots on target explain why he would have received 31.14 points on average last term – more than any player.
Mesut Ozil, Kevin De Bruyne, Christian Eriksen and Dimitri Payet also earned a position in the top six for average score. It’s no coincidence that the quartet were the top four for key passes in 2015/16, showing how well the scoring matrix favours playmakers with an eye for goal who take most of their respective sides’ set-pieces.
Multi-functional assets such as Yohan Cabaye and James Milner were also amongst the top ten for average score in the previous campaign, which also suggests that a high work-rate can compensate for relatively average attacking threat.
Intriguingly, that duo managed 29.60 and 28.64 points per appearance respectively – that’s higher than Sergio Aguero (28.33), for example, and shows that there is a lot more to FanDuel than simply selecting the big-hitters up top.
In saying that, Harry Kane proved just why shots on target are vital to a player’s prospects. The Golden Boot winner fired a table-topping 74 shots on target and, allied with 25 goals, would have earned him a FanDuel score of 30.29, the highest of any striker.
Leicester’s Christian Fuchs leads the way for defenders – a score of 28.28 is just below Aguero and indicative of his overall showings at both ends of the pitch.
Although the left-back managed just four assists in 2015/16, it’s worth noting that, from the point of his first start in Gameweek 8, he was top amongst all defenders for successful tackles and second for both interceptions and key passes.
Elsewhere, City centre-half Nicolas Otamendi bettered Jamie Vardy (27.46 to 27.38), clinching fourteenth spot just ahead of the Leicester frontman. Again, this shows that, although defenders do not collect clean sheet returns, targeting those with potential for defensive and attacking points can pay off.
Midfield ball-winners – so often rendered redundant by the scoring system in most other Fantasy games – are now in the mix.
Despite serving up just one goal and four assists, for example, N’Golo Kante, was just behind former Leicester team-mate Vardy for points per appearance (27.24 to 27.38). The Frenchman produced more successful tackles and interceptions than any player in last term’s top-flight.
Other tough tacklers that should do well include Arsenal’s new midfielder Granit Xhaka, who impressed in the centre of the park for Switzerland during Euro 16, and Everton’s Idrissa Gueye, who was second only to Kante for successful tackles and interceptions.
Gueye’s average of 24.44 points per outing for a relegated Aston Villa in 2015/16, which was better than David Silva’s 24.43, for example, further underlines the intricacies of FanDuel’s scoring system, bringing previously overlooked assets into consideration for our starting line-ups.
To us, that’s a breath of fresh air.
For Members, we’ve already constructed this table focusing on FanDuel’s key scoring criteria.
Player valuations will fluctuate weekly based on performance. Crucial to success will be pinpointing cheap, hidden gems with the potential to score big before their price rockets.
Each week our Weekly Shop and dedicated FanDuel articles will offer a range of potentially high scoring players to choose from, including under the radar budget options.
Look out for the first Weekly Shop of the season tomorrow.
The Fantasy Football Scout Game
Once again here is a reminder that you can register for a free account via this link.
After that, you can enter any of the opening weekend’s contests and then begin creating your first line-up.
In addition to a free-for-all contest, we’ve also set up a Fantasy Football Scout contest that offers a total of £200 in prizes.
This costs just £1 to enter and is available for 230 entrants – the top 57 places will collect at least £2, with the winner earning £25 and runner-up collecting £15.
This will be the first of several special contest options we’ll be offering over the season.