Sponsored by Fanteam
Hello all once again.
In my latest piece, I am going to go over Fanteam’s brand new, free-to-play Second-Half game, which has a whopping £20,000 for the lucky winner! It kicks off in Gameweek 22 and in this I’m going to take a look at the rules, some key factors to consider and players to think about at this early stage.
For a full recap of how to play, click the below link:
By the time this tournament kicks off, the African Cup of Nations will be in full flow, and thus a few of our key players will be missing. Some of these players include Sadio Mane, Riyad Mahrez, Edouard Mendy and of course, Mohamed Salah. They will be missing at least Gameweeks 22 and 23, and so in the majority of cases, these players won’t be in my thoughts when selecting my initial squad.
However, this could be a crucial use case for the ‘safety net’.
The safety net feature has been deployed with great success in the Champions League group games, and is a factor again here. What the safety net means is that if your player doesn’t start a fixture, he is auto-subbed out for a cheaper player from the same team. Most relevant here, if Salah and Mane don’t play for example, and you pick them, they will autosub out for Diogo Jota. Similarly with Mahrez, If you picked him whilst he’s on AFCON duty, you would get one of Phil Foden, Ilkay Gundogan or Jack Grealish on, depending on who Pep Guardiola decided to select that week! However, it is important to note this autosub rule does not also transfer the armband to your autosub – this would still go to your vice-captain. So do not captain Salah whilst he is at AFCON, thinking you will get Jota…
Another key factor in this tournament, which I believe is a first of its kind, is that you can roll unlimited transfers. You also get a Wildcard, which is far less unexpected, but these two things together could lead to a possibly interesting strategy. With the help of the safety net, provided you pick players who have good safety nets, it feels like it would be easy to roll several weeks in succession. The result of this could be that you effectively get to play two or three Wildcards across the 17 Gameweeks, if you identify some key weeks with big fixture shifts. It will require you to make very solid selections in your Gameweek 22 teams, but if done well, I think this has the potential to be a winning formula.
A team to avoid from the off will undoubtedly be Chelsea. This is absolutely nothing to do with their ability, as they are generally great assets, but more their fixture run that starts when this game does. They have Manchester City and Spurs in Gameweeks 22 and 23, followed by two blanks caused by the Club World Cup in Gameweeks 24 and 25 (assuming this tournament goes ahead!). For this four-week block, I will almost certainly have no Chelsea assets, but I will be sure to get some in Gameweek 26 when they have some wonderful fixtures.
I touched on it earlier, but the very best chance of rolling transfers is to pick players who have solid safety nets. This means that even if one of your starting XI gets injured, you have someone to fall back on. Building on this, it means you don’t necessarily have to use a transfer on that slot in your team, especially if it is a short-term injury or suspension. The only thing I must re-iterate is do not put your captain or vice-captain on someone who is going to be auto-subbed out, as the captaincy will not move to the subbed in player.
Now for a section on players I would pick. Liverpool have a great run of fixtures from Gameweek 22, and so I would have at least two or three of their assets. Jota and Trent Alexander-Arnold both look very appealing to me for this run, even though they will be without Salah and Mane.
Manchester United are a similar story although have middling form. I was initially tempted to take a punt on Marcus Rashford, as he has a safety net of Jaden Sancho and Mason Greenwood in the event that he doesn’t play, but the Red Devils aren’t exactly putting in a convincing audition.
Manchester City have a tricky game in Gameweek 22 with the visit of Chelsea but after that their fixtures are great, and they are somewhat fixture-proof in any case. Joao Cancelo is a great play, and has extra insurance in this game when he occasionally gets a rest. The safety net also enables us to take a punt on one of their midfielders, knowing we will get one of their attacking assets guaranteed.
As for the cheaper teams, I like the fixtures of Aston Villa, Everton, Leeds and Newcastle United. Everton are a ‘wait and see’ for me in terms of picking a favourite asset at the time of writing, but from the other teams, Ollie Watkins (if fit) and Raphinha all appeal to me, and would be in consideration if I was submitting my squad today. They are very much talismans for their respective clubs and have the ability to score decent points.
ENTER SOONER RATHER THAN LATER
On a final note, I would advise to submit your teams sooner rather than later. Whilst Fanteam have done an excellent job of ensuring people can’t make £20m extra budget by buying and selling players each week before Gameweek 22, there is still an advantage to be had by entering the tournament early.
If any player you wish to include in your Gameweek 22 squad goes up between now and the beginning of the tournament, then you will keep this as sell-on value from Gameweek 23 onwards. Whilst this is only a small advantage, it essentially means your budget will likely stretch further now than it would if you log in immediately before Gameweek 22.
Good luck everybody and I hope someone reading this is the lucky one who can get their hands on £20,000, which is simply amazing for a free-to-play fantasy football tournament!
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