The 2019/20 Bundesliga season resumes this weekend after a two-month absence.
There are a full complement of fixtures taking place, with all 18 clubs in the top tier of German football in action over the next three days.
As with any self-respecting league, there is an accompanying Fantasy game to go with it.
Had the coronavirus outbreak not brought English football and Fantasy Premier League to a standstill, then the chances are that many of us wouldn’t have given Fantasy Bundesliga much of a look-in.
However, as we’ve seen over the last couple of months, there are a sizeable number of managers who are desperate for a Fantasy fix of some variety or at least a bit of temporary escapism from the grim reality of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Everything from Faroese football to a 20-year-old computer title has been given the Fantasy treatment during the lockdown and we ourselves have been covering some of those games in detail, including Ragabolly’s Virtual FPL.
HOW TO SIGN UP
To get involved with Fantasy Bundesliga, click here to visit the site homepage and pick your team/register.
Much like the Premier League, the top-flight of German football is about to enter its final quarter of 2019/20.
And like FPL, Fantasy Bundesliga has been running since mid-August, so new entrants at this stage won’t be threatening the overall leaderboard.
However, the free-to-play game allows for mini-leagues to be set up, so those latecomers can still compete with friends and family.
New converts will also be eligible to win the weekly prizes on offer.
PICKING A TEAM
As with FPL, Fantasy Bundesliga managers have to pick a squad of 15 players (two goalkeepers, five defenders, five midfielders and three strikers) and then select a starting XI from that.
The budget is set at 150.0m, with players varying in price from 1.0m to 25.0m and there being regular falls/rises depending on form rather than the weekly number of transactions made.
There are no limits on how many players a Fantasy manager can pick from one particular club, so long as it’s financially viable.
Unlimited transfers are allowed until this Saturday’s deadline and then three permitted between matchdays (the equivalent of Gameweeks) after that point.
Much like in UCL Fantasy, managers can manually substitute out players (if they have blanked, for example) and replace them with those that haven’t yet played.
Rather than captains, Fantasy Bundesliga bosses nominate three ‘star players’ (one each for defence, midfield and attack) that earn them 1.5 times the points they would usually get.
These too are changeable once the matchday has commenced, making this a more hands-on, Sky-type game than FPL.
There is an explanatory thread to be found on Twitter detailing the differences between the Bundesliga and Premier League’s official Fantasy games, which can be read here.
Fantasy Bundesliga’s scoring system is almost a mish-mash of FPL, FanTeam and Sky Sports.
Points are awarded for appearances, goals, assists, saves and the rest, although they differ in a number of ways: defenders are awarded more points for assists (five) than midfielders (four) and forwards (three), for instance.
There are stricter punishments for straight red cards, own-goals and missed penalties, while those players converting spot-kicks aren’t handed as many points as if they had scored from open play.
Eschewing the type of Bonus Points System that we see in FPL, additional points are instead awarded for contributions such as duels, shots, key passes, multiple goals and winning strikes.
Players who are on a winning team gain an extra point, with those on the losing side similarly losing a mark.
As well as goalkeepers and defenders being punished for every goal they concede, Fantasy assets whose side lose by three or more goals are deducted an extra two points.
Assists are treated more stringently, meanwhile, and are not awarded to players who are fouled for converted free-kicks or penalties, force an own-goal or see their blocked shot rebound to a teammate.
A full breakdown of the rules can be viewed here.
We won’t insult your intelligence by claiming to be hugely well-informed about Fantasy Bundesliga or indeed the league itself, with this author’s knowledge of the German top-flight peaking around the time Paul Lambert was patrolling the midfield at Borussia Dortmund.
Instead, if you’re needing a bit of help, check out the assortment of tweets below from those who are more clued-up:
Some tips for Bundesliga fantasy
• Achraf Hakimi is the TAA of Bundesliga fantasy
• Werner, Lewa & Haaland is the template trio to have
• Get cheap pair of keepers, Under 5m
• Sancho, Gnabry, Nkunku are the midfield trio you should look for
• Get cheap defenders
— FPL GOAT🐐🇦🇪 (@FPLGOAT7) May 9, 2020
#GW26 anytime scorers
— FPL Salah (@fplsalah1) May 15, 2020
Fantasy @Bundesliga_DE tip #2
Make the most of ‘star players’ by having at least one player from each game at different kick off times.
Dortmund and RBLeipzig play in early kick offs. Then 4 teams play in two different kick off times before Bayern play on Sunday.(1/3)
— ShivaFPL (@ShivaFPL) May 13, 2020
Essential websites for player news, potential starting line-ups, injuries, suspensions, etc:https://t.co/RZQxFQtR3thttps://t.co/vgaG06fbhBhttps://t.co/GtC2s2vRglhttps://t.co/o8g0ncHHRKhttps://t.co/CRivis5zhT
— brinyhoof (@brinyhoof) May 13, 2020
#BLFantasy Set Piece Takers 👟
Sources: https://t.co/MVqm63bjch, Transfermarkt, and WhoScored
Disclaimer: This is based on before pandemic hit ⚠️ pic.twitter.com/tzWBVBL7GB
— Official TDL (@TDLFantasy) May 14, 2020