I’d like to start by offering a heartfelt welcome back to everyone who was with us last year, and to any and all newcomers, please do stick around and you’ll be in for a very interesting and fun ride! Once we get the engine running and the date for the race set that is…
First and foremost, this is as you’re all painfully aware of, incredibly strange and hard times. While it might seem trivial to get excited about the launch of a fantasy game based on the Swedish league that we’re not sure about how, or when it will start off – this is also a time where the need for a distraction is paramount and the time for tinkering is well, almost infinite.
Given that the Swedish football league “Allsvenskan” was planned to kick off at the start of April but now has been pushed up until June (at the very earliest), the makers of the Fantasy game around it where probably more than a bit unsure of how to handle the situation. In the end, while Swedes are urged to stay inside and not travel or meet up with people, it seems that we’ve been gifted a stay at home-present in the form of a Fantasy Allsvenskan launch!
What on earth is Fantasy Allsvenskan?
Allsvenskan is the top division in Sweden and it currently houses 16 teams. There have been a few different fantasy games around it but since the 2018 season, Fantasy Allsvenskan has the same interface and platform as Fantasy Premier League and Fantasy Eliteserien so any newcomers will feel right at home from the start. Before we get into the teams allow me to introduce you to the things that set Fantasy Allsvenskan apart and for me at least, makes it a particularly interesting game:
Bonus point system
There is quite a difference between the Fantasy Premier League, Fantasy Eliteserien and Fantasy Allsvenskan bonus point systems. While FPL is based on the (in)famous stat-based BPS that hands out 1-3 points to the players with the most BPS at the end of the game, Eliteserien goes for a “man in the stands” kind of approach but sticks with 1-3 bonus points. Allsvenskan, on the other hand, goes for a different approach. There are no limits to the number of bonus points within a single game, instead there is a maximum-limit per player that’s set at 2 bonus points for offensive contributions and 2 for defensive actions, which are calculated as follows:
- 1 point for every 3 successful crosses (the ball reaches a teammate in the penalty box).
- 1 point for every 3 key passes (pass that leads to a shot on target).
- 1 point for every big chance created (like the rest, big chances are determined by Opta).
- 1 point for every 6 cumulative clearances, blocks or interceptions.
- 1 point for every 6 ball recoveries.
What this means in practice is that central defenders and defensive midfielders tend to rack up quite a bit of defensive bonus, while creative midfielders are rewarded for their offensive contributions even if the strikers fail to score the chance they’ve been so kindly served up on a plate. That’s not to say strikers are useless in Fantasy Allsvenskan, especially not the ones who take part in defensive work and have a creative streak in them. Overall the bonus point system feels quite refined and supplements the regular scoring system that focuses on goals, assists and clean sheets in a solid and balanced way.
The chips remain the same as last year with the tweak that “manager of the week” is now based on the points you would have had without the chip in play, a welcome change for those who lamented the fact it always seemed to be someone who played the powerful “Park the bus”-chip who came out on top.
Park the bus (Parkera bussen) – All defenders get double points. When playing this chip you are stripped of the ability to have a regular captain that gameweek. Absolutely massive in DGWs!
Attack! (Framåt!) – All forwards get double points. As above, no additional captain that GW.
Two captains (Två kaptener) – Both your captain and vice-captain gets double points.
Last year’s top three
Allsvenskan is very much a league where any team on their day can beat anyone (especially at home). There are however a couple of teams that tend to be at the top more often than not, and they look likely to challenge for the top three spots this year as well. These are the ones who finished top three last year:
The somewhat unexpected champions of last year, Djurgården built their title assault on an incredibly solid defence. That defence was a source of massive points all season, with the central defenders mopping up defensive bonus and both full-backs whipping in crosses and gathering offensive bonus points. Elliot Käck (6.0m) took a lot of set pieces and remains an attractive option this season, though ultra-attacking Aslak Fonn Witry (7.0m) might have been too highly-priced even though he did get 3 goals and 7 assists last season. There will be a huge question-mark around Djurgården’s ability to keep racking up the clean sheets though as the glue that arguably held it all together, Marcus Danielson, has left to play in the Chinese league. Keep an eye on Emir Kujovic (10.0m) who could be in for a huge season as the star striker now is fit again and without the competition from Muhamed Buya Turay.
The “Manchester City” of Allsvenskan if you will, Malmö have a far better economy than all the other clubs after having some successful stints (by Swedish standards) in EL and CL. This has led to them building a very deep squad which unfortunately has meant a lot of rotation, something fantasy managers should be aware of. Malmö came second last season (one point behind Djurgården) after starting quite poorly and drawing too many games. It remains to be seen if new coach Jon Dahl Tomasson will rotate as much as Uwe Rösler did and who his favourites are, but players to watch could be Adi Nalic (7.5m), Sören Rieks (9.0m) and Anders Christiansen (10.0m).
Hammarby came third last season, one point behind Djurgården as well but slightly worse goal-difference than Malmö (not for lack of trying though). Hammarby were more than a bit suspect defensively (letting in 38 goals in 30 games, worst of the top seven) but they made up for it by going all-out attack and scoring an incredible 75 goals, setting a new league record. Coach Stefan Billborn mostly stuck with the same eleven which made a double or even treble up in attack viable at times, which might be harder this season though given their new prices. Alexander Kačaniklić (10.0m) and Aron Jóhannsson (9.0m) could be interesting picks while I’m slightly cautious regarding how Muamer Tankovic (11.0m), Darijan Bojanic (9.5m) and new recruit and BK Häcken legend Paulinho (10.5m) will perform in comparison to their respective price-tags.
Most years there are (as in every league) teams that we expect to do well who do poorly and vice versa, but last season there was a pretty well defined top 8 and I largely expect them to keep performing well this season too. Especially AIK and IFK Norrköping look likely to give the others a hard time this season!
A surprisingly poor season last year by their standards, AIK finished fourth and the supporters were understandably frustrated not only by the results but also by the way they never quite seemed to click and roll over their opponents, even if they were largely dominant in the games. Before last season, they’ve finished 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd and 3rd. Their recipe for success most of the time has been an incredible defence, which was still pretty good last year with only Djurgården (19) and Malmö (16) conceding fewer goals than AIK (24) last time around. Sebastian Larsson (9.0m) and Henok Goitom (9.5m) should remain good options in attack whilst defensively you might want to look at wingbacks Erick Otieno (5.5m) and Robert Lundström (5.5m), assuming the latter can stay fit.
Norrköping had an amazing second half of the season which almost saw them ruin Djurgården’s title aspirations in the final game. They were superb at home and both defensively and in attack they really started to come together, ending up in fifth place. If they can build upon that, they could very much be in the conversation regarding a top-three finish. Goalkeeper Isak Pettersson (6.5m) got the third-highest points tally in the game and though he’s pricy, he still looks a solid bet. Defenders Lars Krogh Gersson (6.5m) and Rasmus Lauritsen (6.5m) were great last year, while midfielder Jonathan Levi (7.5m) could offer outstanding value!
BK Häcken, IFK Göteborg and IF Elfsborg
Placed 6th, 7th, and 8th respectively last year, these clubs could be in the mix for top spots as well. After struggling financially for a while, Göteborg in particular seem like they can push on even further this season. We’ll have more on all options in the build-up to the season but for now, I’d have a look at Peter Abrahamsson (6.5m), Hosam Aeish (8.5m), Giorgio Kharaishvili (10.0m) and Robin Söder (9.5m).
Pre-season coverage and FFS league
It’s a bit of a strange pre-season as I’m sure you can imagine but most teams did have some friendly games before it all got shut down, plus the group stage in the Swedish cup got played where some teams impressed more than others. We’ll have a selection of picks for every position but beyond that we’ll play it a bit by ear as no one is entirely certain of when this season will start (current estimate is sometime in June/July).
A general tip for success in Fantasy Allsvenskan is to try to always have a decent bench as suspensions (for every 3 yellow cards) and surprise injuries (there are no pre-game press conferences) means that it is quite common to need the bench to step up.
Link to the English signup-page is here and the code to the FFS League is v5ajyz.
Personally, I’m very happy that Fantasy Allsvenskan is back and I hope that the community can grow even more this season, when it eventually kicks off! If you want to chat about fantasy football either comment here below – or hit me up @FF_Meltens on Twitter!