Sponsored by FanTeam
Fantasy Football Scout are partnering with FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily Fantasy sports platform, in 2020/21.
We’re paying particular attention to their season-long Premier League Fantasy game, in which there is a €1m prize pool – €200,000 of which goes straight to the winner.
It’s an appealing prospect as we’re effectively talking about a game close in style to FPL (and therefore easy to pick up) that comes with the chance of a huge windfall:
- A starting XI built from a 15-man squad
- One free transfer a week
- Price changes
- Captains and vice-captains
- £100m budget
- Maximum of three players per club
- Two Wildcards a season
- Very similar scoring system (three points for an assist, four for a clean sheet etc)
Entries cost just €25 per team, a payment you’ll make up by finishing in the top 5,659 places (see below).
We had previously given you a rundown on how to play the game, so now we turn our attention to the player price list.
Having already provided analysis of the standout goalkeepers, we switch focus to the players in front of them: the defenders.
(All prices given are for FanTeam and not FPL)
HOW DEFENDERS SCORE POINTS
Before we delve into the player pool, here’s how defenders can accrue points in FanTeam and how the scoring system differs from FPL:
|Playing up to 60 mins||+1||+1|
|Playing over 60 mins||+2||+2|
|Conceding a penalty||-2||n/a|
|Conceding a converted free-kick||-2||n/a|
|Bonus||+1/-1 “impact points” if a team is winning/losing when the player is on the pitch||+1/2/3 based on Bonus Points System|
There are, of course, other ways to lose points such as own-goals, yellow cards and sendings off (we’ll refer you to our ‘How To…’ for more details) but the above table is a good indicator of the main sources.
The deduction of points for conceding a penalty or converted free-kick shouldn’t be too off-putting, as we’re talking once or twice a season at worst for most defenders – unless you’re David Luiz (£4.5m), of course, who set an unwanted record by giving away five spot-kicks in 2019/20.
Here is a selection of the highest-scoring defenders from FanTeam last season and their respective points in FPL:
|Player||2019/20 Team||2019/20 FanTeam Points||2019/20 FPL Points||2020/21 FanTeam Price|
With FPL’s Bonus Points System stripped away and winning/losing “impact points” in place, it’s no surprise that defenders from the more successful clubs shine in FanTeam.
Virgil van Dijk (£6.0m) may have gained 14 bonus points in FPL last season but he was awarded a net 29 impact points in FanTeam, thanks to Liverpool’s incredible sequence of victories throughout the campaign.
That was enough to place him second in the leading FanTeam defenders points table.
Other Liverpool defenders, Manchester City’s backline and a handful of United assets also benefited from this in 2019/20.
Contrast that with, say the FanTeam incarnation of Lewis Dunk (£5.0m), who not only didn’t benefit from his 17 FPL bonus points but also suffered a net loss of four impact points, putting him 21 points short of his FPL total.
PLAYERS TO CONSIDER
There are more than twice as many £4.0m defenders in FanTeam as there are in FPL this year, which could help free up money for the big hitters elsewhere.
What we have said earlier about “impact points” has to be considered when we look at budget defenders, of course, but at the bargain bin end of the market, any points whatsoever are gratefully received.
Ruben Vinagre (£4.0m) is one of the stand-out picks – at least at the time of writing.
Wolverhampton Wanderers will no doubt be in the market for a couple of wing-backs after losing Matt Doherty (£6.5m) and Jonny (£5.5m) to Spurs and injury respectively but, for now, Vinagre is a cut-price route into what was one of the form defences in the final third of 2020/21.
Keep an eye on the transfer market, of course, as one left-sided purchase suddenly throws Vinagre’s security of starts into question.
Fresh from a successful loan spell at Leeds United and signing a new deal with Brighton and Hove Albion, Ben White (£4.0m) is a name to monitor on the south coast – he was involved in a strong-looking back three in Albion’s first pre-season friendly last Saturday.
Tyrick Mitchell (£4.0m) has been heavily involved at left-back for Crystal Palace in pre-season, meanwhile, with Patrick van Aanholt (£5.0m) still sidelined for the time being.
The Eagles sit top of our Season Ticker when we filter teams’ next five home fixtures, although van Aanholt isn’t thought to be out for the full duration of that run.
Moving up a tier slightly, overlapping Sheffield United centre-backs Chris Basham and Jack O’Connell (both £4.5m) offer budget-friendly routes into what was one of the best defences of 2019/20, although the Blades are now without Dean Henderson (£5.0m).
Arsenal’s backline is also very reasonably priced up, with the Gunners showing a bit more solidity since Mikel Arteta took over in December.
Pre-season will be a good indicator as to whether Mikel Arteta still favours a 3-4-3 heading into the new campaign and will hopefully tell us whether the highly rated Willian Saliba (£4.5m) can be a reliable budget asset in 2020/21, and whether the penalty-conceding Luiz remains a semi-permanent fixture at the heart of the Arsenal backline.
Kieran Tierney (£5.0m) belatedly showed glimmers of his potential (one goal, two assists and seven starts in Arsenal’s final eight league games of 2019/20) after an injury-ravaged campaign, meanwhile.
While the opening two fixtures are enticing, interest might be short-lived: the Gunners meet four of last season’s top five and Sheffield United between Gameweeks 3-7.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m), Andrew Robertson (£7.0m), van Dijk and goalkeeper Alisson (£6.0m) all averaged over 5.0 FanTeam points per match last season, a feat that only one other defender, one other goalkeeper and not a single forward now available for less than £10.0m managed.
Bearing in mind the defensive woes that plagued the Reds at the beginning of last season, in which they kept just two clean sheets in their first 15 games, and that achievement is even more impressive.
Granted, Jurgen Klopp’s side may struggle to match their win/loss ratio from last season.
But another two or three shut-outs, something they managed in the previous two campaigns, ought to offset any possible dip in impact points.
Ones for the Watchlist
There are a number of names who leap out from the price list who, while not appealing in Gameweek 1, are names to add to the watchlist in the medium term.
Burnley are without a fixture on the opening weekend but Charlie Taylor (£4.5m), who we think will get the nod over Erik Pieters (£5.0m) at left-back, offers a cut-price route into a Burnley defence that proved adept at keeping clean sheets no matter how many bodies were on the treatment table.
Only Manchester City kept more shut-outs than Sean Dyche’s (15) side last season.
Admittedly, there isn’t a great deal of attacking threat posed by Taylor, but there is little risk of rotation when things are going well at Turf Moor and the budget Burnley man was among the top ten value-for-money defenders of 2019/20 (points per match divided by price).
Speaking of the Citizens, who also blank in Gameweek 1, eight of their 17 clean sheets in 2019/20 arrived in Aymeric Laporte‘s (£6.0m) 14 starts.
The Frenchman averaged a very creditable 4.73 FanTeam points per match last season, all the more impressive given that three of his 15 appearances – for varying fitness reasons – were of less than 60 minutes in duration.
But Laporte was as good as nailed in the previous season, starting 34 of the 35 matches he was fully fit for and recording six attacking returns in a title-winning campaign.
The price of Ricardo Pereira (£5.5m) is worth keeping an eye on, too: should he drop by the time he returns from injury, he could be available at a very attractive cost for some decent fixtures between Gameweeks 4-13.
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