FISO are starting a new series of weekly articles on Fanteam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider (and entering the team that we write about!). This series will focus on Fanteam’s Weekly Monster, a weekly fantasy league based on the Premier League games that kick-off on or after Saturday 3pm UK time with €50,000 worth of guaranteed prize money. That’s every gameweek, in case you were wondering. Our article will focus on a Early Entry for this weekly tournament which will help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek so you can win some of that large prize money. Every gameweek, we will choose a team of eleven players from the selected Premier League matches within a virtual budget of €100 million. In that sense, the Weekly Monster is quite similar to the official Fantasy Premier League game we all know and love.
Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€50k prize pool) Weekly Monster, which has a maximum entry limit of 3,000. Every week, we’ll report back on how our team performed in the previous week. A finish in the top 20% of a given week would see us win part of the prize pool of which the winner normally takes home about €4,000. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool (of which the winner normally gets about €500) for those who prefer to play with lower stakes.
Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of Fanteam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and that represent some of the major differences when comparing the game to the FPL.
Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the Weekly Monster, because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. By ‘next’ lowest we mean if our player (who doesn’t start) is priced at 7m and two players priced less than him at 6.8m and 6.5m start then our replacement will be the 6.8m player. The automatic replacement is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule means people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster need not worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead.
Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the Weekly Monster, which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams.
Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 27’s Fanteam MidWeek Monster is set at 3PM (UK time) on Saturday, February 22nd, 2020. You can enter a team earlier and make changes right up to the deadline. This means you have an hour to check the starting line-ups for the 3PM games, so you can change your selections accordingly up until the 3PM deadline, but not after.
Gameweek 27 Weekly Monster matches
Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 27
Formation: 4-4-2 | Budget used: €100m
It seems like fitting a decent 11-man selection within Fanteam’s Weekly Monster budget is becoming harder every week. For gameweek 27, Liverpool, Wolves and Southampton assets are particularly pricey as they are all playing at home against West Ham, Norwich and Aston Villa, respectively. Besides that, other teams with relatively favourable (home) fixtures don’t provide much budget-enabling fun either, with plenty of Burnley (at home to Bournemouth), Palace (at home to Newcastle) and Man United (at home to Watford) assets priced way above average as well.
As a result of the above, we have chosen to go big on the two teams we feel are the clearest favourites for a victory this weekend (Liverpool and Wolves), spending more than 65% of our budget on 6 players from these two outfits. A good result also seems to be on the cards for Southampton this weekend, but a double or triple-up on Saints assets was stretching the budget too much. Instead, we’ve gone for quality over quantity by selecting their star man for another 11.8% of our total budget. That left us with around 20m for our remaining 4 picks. Selection of these 4 players was based on their certainty of being in the starting eleven this weekend in combination with a decent potential to put down a good individual performance, seeing as these players inevitably had to come from teams who are not favourites to win this gameweek, in theory.
One of these 4 players is our goalkeeper this week, Kasper Schmeichel. Due to Leicester’s home game against Manchester Cheaty, the Danish shot stopper is one of the cheapest options in goal this weekend, but when looking at total points in Fanteam’s Weekly Monster this season, he is actually the highest-scoring goalie. He has recorded 9 clean sheets this season, conceding a total of 26 goals in 26 games so far. On Fanteam, this has put him on an average of 5.6 points per game. Against City, we’re not expecting a clean sheet, but we do count on a few save points from this budget-enabler.
As a result of our approach this weekend and the general budget restrictions, we have opted for a 4-men defence, consisting of 2 premium picks and 2 budget picks. The big man in our backline is Liverpool’s big man and captain, Virgil van Dijk. The Reds booked a disappointing result mid-week against Atletico in Madrid, but confidence is still high and they will be looking to get back to winning ways against West Ham at Anfield coming Monday. The Hammers have scored just 10 goals in 13 games away from home (only Norwich have scored less on the road), while Liverpool have conceded just 9 goals in front of their own fans (the least of all teams in the league), so if there was ever a moment to bet on a clean sheet, this is it. As far as Van Dijk goes, over the past five games, he recorded an impressive 37 points on Fanteam, which comes down to 7.4 points per game on average.
Our second premium defender is Wolves man Romain Saiss, who is welcoming Norwich to Molineux on Sunday. The Moroccan international has become a nailed-on feature of manager Nuno Espirito Santo’s starting lineup and not just because of his defensive solidity. Besides being part of 4 clean sheets, he also has 2 goals to his name this season and no other defender has had more attempts on target than him (5) over the past 2 gameweeks. This weekend’s opponent Norwich has scored just 6 goals on the road so far this season, while conceding 22 goals in those 13 away games. In other words, chances for returns at both ends of the pitch for Saiss.
Due to a home game against Bournemouth this weekend, Burnley players carry relatively heavy price tags in gameweek 27, but we identified Clarets defender Charlie Taylor as one of the most promising Weekly Monster picks priced at 6m or lower. The English left-back started and completed the 90 minutes for Sean Dyche’s team in the last 9 Premier League games, a run in which they recorded 3 clean sheets, and we see no reason for him not starting against Bournemouth on Saturday. The Cherries are one of the most goal-shy sides when away from the comforts of their own stadium, with only Norwich and West Ham scoring less in away games than their 11 goals in 13 encounters. We didn’t pick Taylor for his attacking potential (he has no goals or assists this season), but we do feel he represents a decent chance of a clean sheet.
Our fourth and final defender, and absolute budget-enabler, is the only player in our backline to have an away game this weekend, namely Newcastle’s Federico Fernandez. The Magpies are visiting Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon in a game that has all the makings of a very low-scoring affair. Palace is the overall lowest-scoring team in the league (23 goals), while Newcastle have scored just one more goal than the Eagles. When looking at home games only, Palace is the least prolific team as well (10 goals in 13 home games), while in away games, just 4 teams have scored less than Newcastle’s 12 goals. Goalless draws don’t occur a lot in the Premier League, but we wouldn’t be surprised if this encounter turns out to be one.
Our midfield is rather Liverpool-heavy, with both Mo Salah and Gini Wijnaldum featuring. With their home encounter versus West Ham in mind, the Egyptian dribbler was one of the first names on our team sheet, while the Dutch all-rounder represented a considerably less expensive option than Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain or Mané. Fabinho cost a bit less, but we figured we choose Wijnaldum and count on Fabinho in case the Safety Net needs to be applied when the Dutchman doesn’t start. In the past six Premier League games, Wijnaldum started every one and completed the 90 minutes on four occasions (he got 81 and 60 minutes in the other two games). Considering he has netted just twice so far in the Premier League this season (no assists), we are not counting on attacking returns here, but we do hope for a clean sheet, the full 3 points for playing 90 minutes and hopefully an impact point for an acceptable 5 points.
That’s not what we’re hoping for from Mo Salah, though! Both on Fanteam and in FPL, we expect the Reds star to be one of this gameweek’s most popular captaincy picks and with good reason. When looking at his stats on Fanteam, he has only recorded a score of less than 4 points once in the past 10 gameweeks. What’s more, over that run, he scored 10+ points on no less than 4 occasions and 9 points in 2 games. His points average from the past 10 games: 9.8 points per game. With the previously discussed leaky Hammers defence up next for the Egyptian, that’s the kind of return we’re hoping for from him. Salah is also our captain for gameweek 27.
Besides these two Liverpool aces, we have further stacked our midfield with Wolves playmaker Joao Moutinho. At 11m, he is extremely expensive this weekend, but there were not many other ways into the Wolves midfield for their home game against Norwich. Traoré was an option, but also 0.6m more expensive, and Ruben Neves was considered as well, but we gave preference to Moutinho’s regular set-piece duties. The Portuguese midfielder has scored just a single goal this season, but he does have 7 assists to his name as well. On paper, Sunday’s game looks perfect for him, as Wolves will surely dominate against a team that has scored just 6 goals and conceded 22 goals in 13 away games.
Our fourth midfielder is a single pick based on form and importance to his team. Jack Grealish is not only Aston Villa’s captain, but their most influential and important attacking asset. The 24-year old already sits on 7 goals and 7 assists this season, which represents a direct involvement in more than 41% of Villa’s goals. The Villans are not favourites in their away game at Saint Mary’s this Saturday, but that doesn’t mean that Grealish can’t perform for us on Fanteam. They have been pretty awful on their travels so far (only Norwich has won less than their 8 points), but that’s mainly due to their defensive fragility. In an attacking sense, actually only 7 teams in the entire league have scored more away goals than Villa’s 16 successful attempts. Southampton are probably winning this one, but we can see Grealish doing something for Villa nonetheless.
For our forward line, we have gone with a double-up of premiums from Wolves and Southampton. First up is Wolves number nine Raul Jimenez, who is facing a wobbly Norwich defence at Molineux on Sunday. Where our other striker, Danny Ings, has been surrounded by a certain level of (very well-deserved) hype this season, it has been relatively quiet in regard to Jimenez. Maybe that’s because he is not one for huge hauls or simply because we’re so used already to him performing like a world-class striker on a weekly basis, but the reality is that he has actually been directly involved in more goals than Ings. The Southampton star has scored 15 goals and provided 1 assist, while the Wolves ace has 11 goals and 6 assists to his name. Together with Mo Salah, he was the first name on our team sheet for gameweek 27 and he is also our vice-captain this weekend.
As we wrote at the start of this article, we went big on Liverpool and Wolves, which meant that we could not incorporate another three players from Southampton as they prepare for their home encounter with Aston Villa. Instead, we went for quality over quantity and brought in striker Danny Ings. After scoring 10 goals in 11 games between gameweeks 12 and 22, the Englishman went through a bit of a goalscoring dip between gameweeks 23 and 25 before getting himself back on the score sheet last weekend against Burnley. Up next is the league second-leakiest defence in away games, as Saturday’s rival Aston Villa have already taken 26 goals in 13 encounters. The last thing the Villans will want now is to face a Danny Ings working up to another purple scoring patch.
As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Weekly Monster and we hope to report back next week that we’ve shared part of the 50,000 euros prize pool. You can also follow discussions about FanTeam games on FISO’s FanTeam Forum. FISO members could win free ‘Weekly Monster’ entries (worth 20 euros) via the FISO FanTeam forum. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks. Read all about a fiso member who won 30,000 euros on FanTeam from just a 2 euro entry fee. FanTeam have also just launched a 500,000 euro Fantasy Premier League game.