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The busy festive period is a tricky time for Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers.
Get it right, and big hauls await. Get it wrong, and blanks abound, with this year’s Covid-based postponements meaning failures are more common than ever.
But is this the case for Football Index players as well?
Football Index is a kind of stock market where people use real money to bet on football.
You buy Shares in individual players whose value can rise or fall depending on their performance both on and off the field.
I’m actively using FI this season with more than a nod to FPL, seeing which aspects of each game marry up, and which don’t.
The Match Day Dividends (MDD) – the FI payouts based on individual Gameweek performances – frequently line up with the bigger FPL hauls some players bring in.
Over the Christmas period (Gameweeks 14 to 17), that has been the case, to a degree.
Where the similarities between the two games is even more marked is when we also factor in Media Dividends – those payouts based on the amount of coverage a player earns based on both their current performances and other factors such as transfer gossip.
So big Christmas performers such as Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes, who raked in 35 FPL points over those three matches, also did well on FI.
He earned nothing extra in MMD, but two first places in FI’s daily Media Dividends tables brought in 10p per Share for his owners.
That lack of MMD returns seems a touch strange, particularly considering he brought in a season’s best 17 points from the 6-2 win over Leeds in Gameweek 14.
But he was eclipsed on that day by Aston Villa’s Anwar El Ghazi, who scored 16 points in FPL as his side beat West Brom 3-0 – enough for him to take home the star player award in FI, which involved a massive 14p per share.
If either player had been bought by an FI Trader, however, they would have earned them extra money again from In-Play Dividends.
These are handed out to Traders for every goal, assist and clean sheet etc that their players produce during the first 30 days of ownership.
That’s a great way of earning rewards during a really busy time such as Christmas in the Premier League.
In fact, festive investment in the English domestic game is a particularly good idea as many of the other major European leagues that FI also features for Dividend payouts are currently on their Christmas breaks.
A quick look at the last ten days of MMD awards backs this up.
Five star awards and six best forward wins have gone to Premier League players. Even more recently, the last four defender and goalkeeper payouts have involved England-based assets.
Timing, however, is everything.
One of the best performers over the festive period has been Arsenal midfielder Bukayo Saka, who has accrued an impressive 19 FPL points from the two post-Christmas matches alone.
That has helped his FI Share Price push up from a mid-December low of around 90p to a New Year peak around the £1.50 level.
He’s also produced solid In-Play Dividends from a goal and two assists in those two matches.
Positive coverage in the press also saw him fall just short of winning Media Dividends on Wednesday.
There should be plenty more starring roles for the up-and-coming winger on the pitch in the future – and some back-page headlines to go with it.
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