FanTeam Premier League – GW 31 €60K Main Event – Wednesday 24 June 2020

As part of FISO’s special series of weekly articles on FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider, we will actually be entering the team we write about each week into the game. This series will focus on FanTeam’s Premier League Main Event, a daily fantasy league based on the Premier League games. Our article will focus on an Early Entry for this weekly tournament to help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek, so you can win some of that large prize money.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€60k prize pool) Main Event, which has a maximum entry limit of 5,000 participants. Every week, we’ll report back on how our team performed in the previous week. A finish in the top 667 would see us win part of the prize pool of which the winner takes home a cool €10,000. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool (of which the winner should get about €1,500) 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. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster not to 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. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Finally, the Pursuit format is being applied to the upcoming FanTeam Weekly Monster for gameweek 31+. In this game mode, you get more bonus points the cheaper your players are (you gain 1 point for every 2.5 million euros underspent). Your captain will get double points, but he will also cost twice as much. Your vice-captain will get 150% more points, but he will also cost 150% more. You can read about Pursuit in more detail on the FanTeam website.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 31+ FanTeam’s Main Event is set at 18h00 (UK time) on Wednesday, June 25th, 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 four 18h00 games, so you can change your selections accordingly up until the 18h00 deadline, but not after.

Gameweek 31 Weekly Monster matches (times UK+1)

UK+1 times

How did our Weekly Monster team fare in gameweek 30+?

Formation: 1-3-3|  Budget used:  63.7m|  

NAME (club) (opponent)RETURNSPOINTS
Van Aanholt (Palace) vs Bournemouth awayClean sheet, 1 assist, impact +110 x 1.5
Barnes (Leicester) vs Watford awayClean sheet3
Moutinho (Wolves) vs West Ham awayClean sheet, impact +14
Jimenez (Wolves) vs West Ham away1 goal, impact +1 7 x 2

Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 31

Formation: 4-3|  Budget used: 96.6m

General approach

With the first gameweek of Premier League football after the coronabreak now behind us, we don’t even have 24 hours before the start of the next round and its looking like another promising one. FanTeam’s Weekly Main Event is focused on Wednesday’s 5 games (see earlier table) and is offering us an  attractive set of fixtures, including from a fantasy football point of view. We have decided to stick to mainly two teams, complemented with a bonus pick from a Manchester United and Aston Villa, respectively. The spine of our team for gameweek 31+ includes a midfielder and two forwards from Wolves (at home vs Bournemouth) and a midfielder and a forward from Everton (away vs Norwich).

WOLVES

Raul Jimenez, Adama Traoré, Diego Jota

Wolves’ opponent Bournemouth disappointed in gameweek 30+ with a 0-2 loss at home against Crystal Palace, who, up to that point, had scored just 26 goals overall this season. Only Norwich netted fewer times.  The Cherries dominated possession for parts of the game, but rarely managed to become really threatening, which will have delighted Wolves coach Nuno Espirito Santo. Only six teams in the division have a better defensive record than his team (34 goals conceded in 30 games) and they are just coming off a relatively comfortable 0-2 over West Ham in London. Besides the victory though, Wolves did not wait to show good form immediately after the coronabreak.

That is, as usual, partly thanks to the qualities of their main man up front, Raul Jimenez, who is also our first of three Wolves picks for this week. With a goal and one impact point from the game against West Ham, he got off to a good start on FanTeam with 7 points. This has brought his totals for the season to 14 goals and 6 assists, and even though the Mexican did not record any returns in the reverse fixture back in gameweek 13, we feel his chances of scoring or at least assisting are considerable in this game.

That’s also why we opted for an attacking Wolves double-up with Diogo Jota joining Jimenez in our attacking set-up for gameweek 31+. The Portuguese forward’s tallies for the season (6 goals, 3 assists) are not even close to those of his partner in attack, but he looked dangerous against West Ham in GW30+ and his pre-coronabreak form was one of the best in the entire league. The 23-year old did not return anything in the last gameweek before the break, but in the two gameweeks prior to that, he scored 3 goals and provided 2 assists for a sweet total of 24 points on FanTeam. On top of that, we feel that the majority of people will opt for Traoré over Jota, which could turn the Portuguese dribbler into a nice differential.

Still, Adama Traoré is in our selection as well, as the Spanish powerhouse helped turn the previous game versus West Ham around. Up until his introduction from the bench in place of Dendoncker, Wolves were drawing with the Hammers. Together with Pedro Neto, Traoré entered in the 64th minute and it took him less than 10 minutes to provide the assist for Raul Jimenez’ opener. That was his 8th assist of the season already and he has 4 goals to his name as well. Based on his substitute appearance in GW30+ and the way in which he influenced the game subsequently, we would be surprised if Traoré did not start for Wolves’ home game against the Cherries on Wednesday.

EVERTON

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison

Everton are the reason Liverpool will not be crowning themselves champions against Crystal Palace in GW31+ yet. The Toffees were not particularly buoyant and a 0-0 was possibly a just reflection of the game. Still, playing Liverpool immediately after a break of three months was about the most difficult task imaginable for Carlo Ancelotti’s men, but they ended up putting in a decent shift. Up next is Norwich at Carrow Road, and we feel there could be goals and a nice result on the cards here for Everton.

In that light, we have chosen to include Everton’s starting attacking duo for our FanTeam Weekly Monster team. First off is Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who was in excellent form before the break and showed flashes of brilliance against the Reds as well. The young striker sits on 13 goals and an assist already, and five of those goals (as well as the single assist) were recorded in the last seven gameweeks before the season’s forced interruption. Apart from Aston Villa, no team in the Premier League has conceded as many goals as Everton’s opponent Norwich have (55 goals in 30 games) and the Canaries also look like the most likely candidate to be the first to confirm their relegation in the coming weeks, though there are still eight rounds of PL football to go.

Still, we figured the context of the clash between Norwich and Everton justified doubling up on Everton’s attack, which is why Richarlison is joining DCL in our selection for the gameweek 31+ Weekly Monster. The Brazilian is a nailed-on part of Carlo Ancelotti’s starting lineup and it’s not too hard to see why: in a relatively disappointing season for the Toffees, he still managed to get 10 goals and 5 assists from 2,442 minutes of Premier League football. That’s a direct involvement in just over 40% of all of Everton’s goals this season. Richarlison hasn’t missed a second of game time since gameweek 20 (he was injured in rounds 23 and 24) and we expect more of the same against Norwich on Wednesday evening, as well as a few attacking returns hopefully.

MANCHESTER UNITED

Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United have shown this season that consistency of form and results is not yet the name of the game at Old Trafford, but there have been definite signs of evolution and improvement. One of the most tangible of those improvements is the winter signing of midfielder Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon. The Portuguese creator hit the ground running at United and as a result, he has missed just three minutes of Premier League football since his arrival. He has six league games to his name already, and he delivered big in those games: 3 goals, 3 assists and 4 clean sheets. In gameweek 31+, United are facing a Sheffield United side who will need to find a way to cope with the suspension of John Egan, the possible injury of Jack O’Connell and the ineligibility of Dean Henderson to play against his parent club, the three of them being defensive mainstays in Chris Wilder’s starting eleven. We’re not saying the Blades are suddenly easy prey, far from it, but we can imagine them turning up a bit a bit more cautious than usual. Let’s see if Fernandes will find a way to take advantage of their troubles and mediocre post-corona form.

ASTON VILLA

Jack Grealish

Our final pick for gameweek 31+ is a bit of a returning feature in our team selections, but there is a good reason for that. You see, when Aston Villa have a (relatively) favourable fixture, their captain Jack Grealish should always enter your considerations as a fantasy manager. His price is usually quite acceptable (9m this week, for example) and he is the main focal point for everything that has to do with a Villa attacking move. The reason for that is his extraordinary quality on the ball, which is also illustrated by the fact that he is, by some margin, the most fouled player in the league. Still, this hasn’t kept the young Englishman from scoring 7 goals and providing 7 assists this season, which amounts to a direct involvement in exactly 40% of Aston Villa’s goals. The opponent on Wednesday is Newcastle at Saint Mary’s, which is not an easy fixture by any stretch, but one where we could see Grealish shine. Besides that, by beating Sheffield United in GW30+, the Magpies are now virtually safe from relegation, while the Villains are still in very real risk of losing their Premier League status. These different mindsets may have an effect on the game’s evolution as well.

As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Premier League 60k Main Event and we hope to report back next week that we’ve shared part of the 100,000 euros prize pool. You can also follow discussions about FanTeam games on FISO’s FanTeam Forum where we have a FreeRoll for those that want to learn a bit more about the game.

FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 31+ Preview

“Are Liverpool going to get a step closer to their long-awaited title at Anfield this gameweek?” (CC by 4.0). Image by Yurificacion.

A double gameweek, dramatic goals, surprising results, referee/VAR/goal line technology mistakes, red cards, FPL managers in tears, for good and for bad. Project Restart’s Premier League gameweek 30+ had it all. From Liverpool coming within one victory from Premier League glory and Man City comfortably winning the first of their DGW fixtures, to a trademark stable Wolves side and two utterly disappointing Arsenal displays in quick succession, the first round of English football since the coronabreak provided plenty of talking points, as well even more promise for the upcoming gameweek 31+.

Naturally, spotlights will be on Anfield as the local FC tries to clinch the title against Palace there on Wednesday night, but that’s not at all. What about Spurs v West Ham or Wolves v Bournemouth, for example, especially from a fantasy point of view? Or how about the top-four encounter between Chelsea and City at Stamford Bridge. In other words, plenty to look forward to in GW31+, so here we go!

Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 31+ is set at 17h00 (UK time) on Tuesday, June, 23rd, 2020.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per June 22nd, 2020)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKHenderson (Sheffield Utd), Leno (Arsenal), Ederson (Man City)Pope (Burnley), Patricio (Wolves), Martinez (Arsenal)Henderson is not eligible to play against Man United, Leno is injured and will be replaced by budget pick Martinez at Arsenal.
DEFLundstram (Sheffield Utd), Egan (Sheffield Utd), Pereira (Leicester)Doherty (Wolves), Aurier (Spurs), Lascelles (Newcastle)All incoming names have favourable fixtures coming up, while Lundstram was benched against Newcastle, Egan got a red card in that game and Pereira is injured.
MIDGrealish (Aston Villa), Cantwell (Norwich), Mahrez (Man City)Fernandes (Man United), Son (Spurs), Traoré (Wolves)The trends here look largely fixture-based. Grealish was in a lot of teams due to Villa’s DGW.
FORAubameyang (Arsenal), Aguero (Man City), Abraham (Chelsea)Rashford (Man United), Jimenez (Wolves), Ings (Southampton)Auba has disappointed in the DGW and Aguero is an expensive rotation risk, while the incoming names all have a favourable fixture for GW31+.

Premium fantasy picks

Our first premium fantasy pick for gameweek 31+ is Liverpool winger Sadio Mané (£12.5m) The Senegalese forward, like the rest of his team mates, struggled to break down an Everton wall on Sunday, which meant potentially postponing the championship celebrations. After the 0-0 draw against the Toffees, the next home game against Palace can be the title decider IF Man City lose versus Burnley at the Etihad. That’s naturally a big if, but we still feel Mané is a good pick for the match at Anfield. He’s got 14 goals and 9 assists to his name already, and for what it’s worth, he scored a goal and 9 FPL points in the reverse fixture back in gameweek 13. The Eagles boast an excellent defensive record (32 conceded goals in 30 games), but they are also the league’s second-least prolific side in front of goal with just 28 goals scored.

This is also a main reason behind our decision to pick Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.3m) as our second premium pick of the week. The Liverpool right-back is the official game’s most expensive defender, but with an incredible 179 FPL points also its highest-scoring defender. As a matter of fact, only four players currently sit on more points than the young Englishman. Thanks to a clean sheet, the Merseyside Derby in GW30+ resulted in 7 FPL points for him and TAA was on most attacking set-pieces, as usual. We can see Liverpool recording a second consecutive clean sheet after the coronabreak against Palace this Wednesday, with the booming right-back getting involved in a handful of attacking moves as well. He’s expensive, but he looks like certain value for GW31+.

Non-premium fantasy picks

Our first non-premium pick for GW31+ represents one of the best PPM (points per million) ratios in the game, courtesy of no less than 16 goals and 2 assists. At a price of just £7.1m and a sweet total of 151 FPL points at the time of writing, Southampton striker Danny Ings is without a doubt one of the bargains of the season. He didn’t take long to return to form as he scored and assisted in gameweek 30+ to record 11 FPL points against Norwich at Carrow Road. Ings’ season record makes him a very valuable budget enabler and he is facing Arsenal at Saint Mary’s coming Thursday. The Gunners were possibly the single-most disappointing team in gameweek 30+ and on top of that, they have to miss defensive assets Leno due to injury, Pablo Marí and Sokratis due to injury, and David Luiz due to suspension. Back in gameweek 13, the Saints drew 2-2 versus Arsenal in London with Ings scoring once, and we can definitely see him repeating that feat this week.

Our second non-premium fantasy pick of the week is a striker as well, namely Raul Jimenez (£8.1m). At his current price, he is very much a bargain, though a tad pricier than Danny Ings. The Mexican forward scored last gameweek for a decent 8 FPL points, very much in line with his season’s performances up until now: he has provided attacking returns in no less than 17 (!) different games this season, but he only recorded three double-digit hauls. He has nicely spread his 14 goals and 6 assists this season, and with Bournemouth visiting Molineux on Wednesday, we believe returns are on the cards for Jimenez. The Cherries lost without scoring at home to Palace in GW30+ and they have already conceded an ominous 49 goals this season, so Jimenez could be a smart pick.

A differential fantasy pick or two

Steven Bergwijn (£7.4m) is our first differential fantasy pick for the upcoming gameweek. The Dutch forward, who was brought in from PSV Eindhoven by coach José Mourinho’s during the last transfer window, has had a more than decent start to life in London, with 3 goals from his first 6 Premier League encounters. This helped him to record 33 FPL points already. What’s remarkable about his numbers is that all of his goals were scored in home games: his goals are spread evenly over the three home games Spurs have played since his arrival. This includes a strong opener against Man United in gameweek 30+, which resulted in an 11-point haul. His ownership sits at 1.4% at the time of writing, so Bergwijn could represent big differential value when West Ham, who have the league’s third-leakiest defence, roll up to the New Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

Our second differential pick for GW31+ boasts an even lower level of ownership (0.4%) than Bergwijn does. Leicester City’s starting right-back Ricardo Pereira will not play football any more this season due to injury and its young English defender James Justin (£4.7m) who has been chosen by coach Brendan Rodgers to replace him for the remainder of this campaign. The Foxes, with Justin starting, were unlucky not to come away with a clean sheet against Watford last weekend, but they can have another try at their eleventh clean sheet this round when Brighton roll up to the King Power. Just six sides in the PL have scored less than Brighton’s 34 goals and despite the Seagulls coming off a dramatic last-second victory over Arsenal in gameweek 30+, we’re predicting a Leicester win here, with a good chance of a clean sheet as well.

The captaincy

This week offers us several good captaincy options, including Sadio Mané at home against Palace for the potential championship decider and Harry Kane or Steven Bergwijn at home against a leaky West Ham, but we’ve gone with Raul Jimenez against Bournemouth at Molineux. As we wrote earlier, he has already delivered attacking returns in 17 different Premier League games and with the Hammers having conceded a worrying 52 goals this season, gameweek 31+ could well end up being the 18th game in which the Mexican delights his owners.

If you don’t have him in your side, don’t have enough budget to bring him in, or if you’re simply not convinced by his combination of good form and a favourable fixture, then GW31+ offers other decent candidates as well. We already mentioned Mané, Kane and Bergwijn, but what about Jamie Vardy at home against Brighton, for example? If you have to make up ground in your mini-league, then a differential pick like Calvert-Lewin against leaky Norwich at Carrow Road, Matt Ritchie at home against Aston Villa, or Villa’s Jack Grealish could result in high rewards, both in terms of points and green arrows.

Finally if you like FPL but want to have a go at a weekly Fantasy Premier League type competition for large prizes then have a look at FanTeam’s Premier League Monster. FISO members could also win a free ‘Weekly Monster’ entry (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 Premier League Monster – GW 30 €100K Main Event

After an absence of more than three agonising months, the Premier League is back and so are the FanTeam Premier League Monster tournaments! We will be entering our FISO team below into Saturday’s €20 entry (€100k prize pool) Premier League Monster, which has a maximum of 7,000 entries and the first 1,060 performers will be sharing in the 100,000 euros prize pool.

We’ll report back on how our team performed next week when we reveal our team for the next FanTeam Monster. The winner takes home a whopping €20,000 this weekend. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Monster with a lower prize pool of which the winner gets €1,000 this weekend.

Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that apply to their Monster competition so you can see the major differences when comparing the game to FPL.

First, FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the 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. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the Monster not to 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.

Second, FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the 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. A reasonable tactic can be to select two defensive players from a club which would see you incur just a single-point deduction if you nail the clean sheet correctly.

Finally, the new Pursuit format is being applied to the upcoming GW30 100k Main Event. In this game mode, you get more bonus points the cheaper your players are (you gain 1 point for every 2.5 million euros underspent). This does put pressure on selecting the higher priced players because, whilst they are more likely to gain you points, if they don’t produce points in the match then they’ve cost you bonus points you could have got by choosing a cheaper player. Your captain will get double points, but he will also cost twice as much. Your vice-captain will get 150% more points, but he will also cost 150% more. You can read more Pursuit in more detail on the FanTeam website.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 30’s FanTeam 100k Main Event is set at 12h30 (UK time) on Saturday, June 20th, 2020. You can enter a team earlier and make changes right up to the deadline meaning you can see the line-ups for the first match.

Gameweek 30 Weekly Monster matches (UK+1 hour)

Times UK +1

Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 30+

Formation: 1-3-3 |  Budget used: 76.0m (3.06 bonus points)

General approach

This weekend’s GW30 100K Main Event lets us pick 7 players from the 4 games played on Saturday, June 20th, based on a 83.7m budget. We have decided to go with three players from Leicester for their away game against Watford (for which we will be able to see the starting line-ups), two offensive Wolves assets, a Palace defender and Arsenal’s star man in the hope he bounces back after Wednesday’s dismal effort. All teams are playing away which may no longer be a disadvantage with the lack of crowds.

Leicester

Jamie Vardy, James Maddison, Harvey Barnes

It sounds crazy, but between gameweeks 19 and 28, Jamie Vardy actually returned just a single assist for a very underwhelming total of 16 FanTeam points over that period blighted by injury etc. He got back to scoring ways in the last game before the coronabreak though, with a brace against Aston Villa during a 31-minute cameo off the bench. It’s hard to say what the status of the striker’s form is after three months without action, but he was still one of the first names on our team for Leicester’s away game against Watford in gameweek 30+. The Foxes are in the middle of a battle for a Champions League spot, while the Hornets are doing everything they can to avoid the drop in a tense relegation battle. The home team have conceded 44 goals in 29 games so far, which is no disaster, but the visitors are the most prolific scorers behind Liverpool and Man City. Vardy is the current Premier League topscorer with 19 goals and we believe he could enter the twenties this weekend.

On our three-man midfield, we saved two slots for Vardy’s team mates James Maddison and Harvey Barnes. As far as the former goes, there’s no denying that his season has been good, but his fantasy output disappointing, at least until now. Maddison has 6 goals and 5 assists to his name, which it not terrible, but he has failed to deliver an attacking return since his goal against Newcastle all the way back in gameweek 21. Add to that the fact that Watford were in decent form before the forced break and it becomes clear that this by no means is a walk in the park for the creative midfielder, but we see potential. He is a nailed-starter under Brendan Rodgers and he is on most of the set-pieces as well, so we’re hoping to see plenty of Leicester attacks flow through him on Saturday.

With Harvey Barnes we have not only selected a player with a reasonably favourable fixture in GW30+, but also the highest-scoring player in FanTeam in gameweek 29, the last one before the coronabreak. If you were lucky enough to have him in your team for the game versus Aston Villa, then you were rewarded with an amazing 18 points, courtesy of 2 goals, 1 assist, a clean sheet and 1 impact point. Do keep in mind that these were his first attacking returns since his 3 goals and 1 assist in the period GW23-GW25. At a price of 9.2m though, he is cheaper this weekend than the likes of Maddison, Tielemans and Ayoze, and looking at his tallies this season (6 goals, 8 assists, 7 clean sheets), we feel he could be very well represent a bit of a differential against Watford.

Wolves

Raul Jimenez, Adama Traoré

We have mentioned this several times before, but when it comes to consistent performers in English football, it doesn’t get much better than Raul Jimenez. The Wolves striker is his side’s topscorer and MVP with 13 goals and 6 assists, and he will be a major asset for them in their chase of a European spot, as he has been all season. In gameweek 30+, he is facing West Ham at their new stadium and we feel there could be goals in this one. Only three teams in the league (Southampton, Norwich, Villa) have conceded more than West Ham’s 50 goals, of which 26 came in front of their own fans.

Adama Traoré joins his fellow Wolf in our fantasy team for the FanTeam GW30 100K Main Event. The Spaniard has shown several flashes of brilliance this season and he was fast becoming a season favourite among FPL managers, but a niggling shoulder injury and a cramped fixture schedule led to his minutes being managed more than most FPL would have like. As a result, he played just 218 minutes of Premier League football spread over the last five gameweeks before the break in which he did not record a single attacking return. Three months of rest have permitted the powerful winger to recuperate his full fitness and we’re expecting him to start against West Ham on Saturday. What better opportunity to try and add to his 4 goals and 7 assists?

Arsenal

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

The Gunners were humbled by City at the Etihad on Wednesday night, though it should be mentioned that the away team were forced to make two substitutions in the first half hour (Xhaka out for Ceballos and Marí out for Luiz). The fact that Luiz completely misjudged De Bruyne’s assist for City’s first goal and then got himself sent off after causing a penalty for City’s second goal didn’t help, either. Our GW30+ pick Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang didn’t really appear in the play, but we’re expecting a different story against Brighton this Saturday. Arsenal might still have a hard time taking away the three points from the AmEx, but we’re confident that Auba will be seeing a lot more action for this one. It’s more or less the Gunners’ last chance to make anything of the 2019-20 campaign and try for a European slot, and we can’t imagine the Gabonese striker not starting for Mikel Arteta’s men. With 17 goals (as well as 3 assists), he is just two goals behind current PL topscorer Jamie Vardy and with contract negotiations still up in the air, this is the perfect moment for a serious Aubameyang haul.

Crystal Palace

Patrick van Aanholt

With Pursuit mode and the related bonus points for spending less budget in the back of our heads, we have gone with Patrick van Aanholt as our seventh and final fantasy pick for the FanTeam GW30 100K Main Event. The flying Crystal Palace left-back is a bit of a fantasy football favourite, thanks to his tendency to get forward and involved in his team’s attacks and he has shown again why this season, albeit a bit less overwhelmingly than in previous seasons perhaps. At the moment of writing, the Dutchman sits on 3 goals on top of his 7 clean sheets for a total of 77 FanTeam points.

This weekend’s opponent Bournemouth took just 1 point from their last four games before the coronabreak and they scored four goals over that period while conceding 9. It should be noted though, that these four games were against Sheffield United (away), Burnley (away), Chelsea (home) and Liverpool (away). What’s more worrying for the Cherries is that there are only four teams in the division who have scored less than their 29 goals. Crystal Palace, on the other hand, booked three consecutive victories before the break and boast the sixth-best defence in the league (32 goals conceded in 29 games). Despite this being an away game for the Eagles, we feel they are capable of taking something away from this one and the same goes for Van Aanholt.

As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Premier League 100k Monster and we hope to report back next week that we’ve shared part of the 100,000 euros prize pool. You can also follow discussions about FanTeam games on FISO’s FanTeam Forum where we have a FreeRoll for those that want to learn a bit more about the game.

Bundesliga 2019-20 Gameweek 33 preview

With two rounds to go including this gameweek 33, reigning champions Bayern Munich crowned themselves champions for an incredible eighth consecutive time with a narrow 0-1 away victory over strugglers Werder Bremen. A Robert Lewandowski goal just before the break was sufficient for the Bavarians to clinch the title, a second yellow card for Alphonso Davies at the end of the second half wasn’t enough to ruin Bayern’s party. Normally, Hansi Flick’s men would be celebrating their success with the home fans this weekend, but due to the corona-related measures, the home game against Freiburg will be played without spectators.

In any case, in this preview for GW33 of the Bundesliga, we won’t be focusing as much on Bayern as we will on what it means for the remaining marbles, i.e. The European spots and the relegation spots. There are only two games to go now and there are still a few tight battles being fought. In other words, the championship might have been decided already, but there’s still plenty to play for just as there are with casino games available online if you’re looking to be a winner just like Bayern Munich from 2013 through to 2020.

The battle for 4th (Champions League qualification)

In the Bundesliga, very much like in the Premier League for example, the difference between fourth and fifth place in huge, as it represents the difference between Champions League qualification and Europa League football. It looks like it’s going to be between Mönchengladbach, currently in fifth with 59 points, and Leverkusen, currently in fourth with 60 points, this year, as Leipzig sits in third with 63 points.

Both teams won last weekend, with Gladbach booking an impressive 3-0 victory over Wolfsburg and Leverkusen brushing aside FC Köln 3-1, keeping the gap between to the bare minimum. What makes this intense battle extra interesting is the fact that both teams have the same schedule in terms of home and away games. Leverkusen are playing an out-of-form Hertha in Berlin this weekend and Gladbach are visiting relegated Paderborn, while in the season’s final gameweek, Leverkusen are hosting number fifteen Mainz and Borussia welcomes Hertha to Gladbach.

As a result, it’s hard to say which of the two will come out on top in the end and snatch the fourth Champions League spot. In theory, both teams could get six points each from these two gameweeks without surprising too many people. Out of the four remaining games, the relatively trickiest one is probably Leverkusen’s visit to Hertha this weekend and Gladbach will surely have placed their hopes on an unfortunate afternoon for Die Werkself. As far as we’re concerned though, Leverkusen should be able to hold on to fourth place until the end. And who knows, if Leipzig fail against Dortmund this weekend and Augsburg the next, Peter Bosz’ men might even climb up to third.

The battle for 6th and 7th (Europa League qualification)

The difference between sixth and seventh place in the Bundesliga is considerable. as well, as sixth equals a spot in the Europa League group stages, while seventh means entering the tournament in the qualification rounds. With two games to go, Wolfsburg, Hoffenheim and Freiburg are still in the running for a finish in sixth.

Current rankClubCurrent pointsGW33 oppnentGW34 opponent
6Wolfsburg46Schalke (a)Bayern (H)
7Hoffenheim46Union (H)Dortmund (a)
8Freiburg45Bayern (a)Schalke (H)

As you can see, the point differences are minimal here and the remaining fixture calendars are quite evenly matched for each of the three teams. Wolfsburg and Freiburg are even playing the exact same two opponents, While Hoffenheim are playing mid-table Union Berlin followed by current number 2 Dortmund. Due to Freiburg’s opponent being Bayern away from home just after they won the title, we feel the current number eight might be forced out of the race for sixth place. That’s because we can see both Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim win their encounters in gameweek 33, despite the former’s recent form slump. If we have to choose, we’re going with a Wolfsburg win this week and a possible draw the next to clinch the last Europa League spot.

The battle for 16th (avoiding direct relegation through play-offs)

There is a high-stakes battle going near the bottom of the Bundesliga table as well. SC Paderborn have already officially been relegated, but number seventeen Werder Bremen and number sixteen Fortuna Düsseldorf are still in the very middle of an extremely tight battle to avoid direct relegation. Düsseldorf currently sit on 29 points in sixteenth, just one point above Werder and sixteenth place means relegation play-offs while seventeenth means direct relegation.

This weekend, both teams are playing games with potential, at least in terms of their opponent’s respective positions in the table. Düsseldorf is playing at home against number fourteen Augsburg and Werder is visiting a Mainz team having just booked a majorly surprising away win against Borussia Dortmund last weekend. With Düsseldorf coming off a bad run of four games against Bayern (5-0 loss), Hoffenheim (2-2 draw), Dortmund (0-1 loss) and Leipzig (2-2 draw), it remains to be seen how they will turn up against Die Fuggerstädter on Saturday. If the home team wants any chance of remaining in the Bundesliga though, this weekend will be key as they will be going to Berlin in the final gameweek to face an Union side that’s hitting a bit of a purple patch to end the season.

On top of that, main rival Werder Bremen are playing a winnable match away from home against Mainz this weekend, followed by a home game against Köln. Mainz surprised practically everyone last weekend by coming away from the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund with a 0-2 victory, while Werder followed up their 1-5 win over Paderborn in GW31 with a narrow 0-1 loss versus Bayern last weekend. Home and away has been a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde kind of situation for Die Grun-Weißen this season though, as 22 of their 28 points were won away from home.

You can take part in Fantasy Bundesliga on FanTeam.

FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 30+ Preview

“Crowdless stadiums instead of pitch invasions such as the one above (after Stoke promoted to the PL in 2008), but the Premier League is back!” (part of Public domain). Image by Chris Jackson.

The Premier League is BACK, FPL is BACK, and so are we! After just over three months, the Premier League’s Project Restart is upon us and it’s promising to make up for much of the last-minute goals, 59th-minute substitutes and surprise starting lineups we’ve had to miss due to the coronabreak. With no less than 92 remaining games planned to take place within a period of 40 days (June 17 to July 26), there’s going to more work than ever for all of us FPL managers.

There is more though, because this extraordinary situation in football resulted in an extraordinary reaction from FPL. In order to combat the effects of the coronabreak, every manager was given unlimited transfers in the build-up to gameweek 30+ (yes, the revised gameweeks kept their original numbering with a “+” added), something like a free wildcard. In order to help you set up a team and navigate the final nine gameweeks, we have changed the format of our weekly FPL preview this time, with premium, mid-price and budget picks per position.

Since the new fixture schedules were announced, FPL chip strategy has become a very current topic on the fiso FPL forum as well. The FPL announced that used chips would not be reactivated and unused chips would remain available until the end of the revised season. The most frequent differentiator between strategies is the presence (or absence) of the second wildcard, as well as the Free Hit. It looks like a majority of managers will be activating their Free Hit (if still unused) and their second wildcard (if still unused) some time between gameweeks 30+ and 31+, in different orders. On top of that, many managers and pundits seem to be advocating use of the Bench Boost this week (although will only 4 teams, and thus 12 players in an FPL team, playing twice in GW30+ you can only have a maximum of 1 player from the bench that plays twice). That’s why we have taken both the small double gameweek in GW30+ and the longer term into account when selecting our picks for this piece. Now, seeing as there is no time to lose, on to our selections.

Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 30+ and the return of English football is set at 17h00 (UK time) tomorrow, Wednesday, June 17th 2020.

GOALKEEPERS

Premium: Ederson

Ederson (£6.0m) is currently the second-most expensive goalkeeper in the official game, but he only occupies the 15th spot when it comes to FPL points won by goalkeepers this season. So why would we recommend bringing him in for the Premier League restart? The City goalie has 9 clean sheets to his name, which is not bad, but what’s even more important is that he is a sure starter in a generally rotation-crazy City squad with a double gameweek with home games against Arsenal and Burnley on the way. The Cityzens have kept clean sheets in their last two home Premier League games against Burnley and have conceded just one goal in their last five games in all competitions against Arsenal. Sure, some might argue that by picking Ederson we’re actually forfeiting an outfield spot for a City asset, but considering the enormous uncertainty surrounding most of City’s players and their claim to a starting spot, going for the Brazilian goalie could be considered a wise decision.

Non-premium: Bernd Leno

For our second goalkeeper recommendation, we were going with Sheffield United’s Dean Henderson for a long time, but we eventually opted for Arsenal’s Bernd Leno (£5.0m). We know, right? A defensive Arsenal asset? In FPL reality, Henderson and Leno don’t differ all that much. Where the Blades goalie sits on 122 FPL points, courtesy of 10 clean sheets, 1 assist, 70 saves and 11 bonus points, the Gunners man has 108 FPL points, 7 clean sheets, 104 saves and 9 bonus points to his name. To put it very simply, this is a question of clean sheet potential versus save points, and seeing as Leno is £0.3m cheaper than Henderson, we decided to go with the German. On top of that, his immediate schedule looks a lot more favourable, with an away game at Southampton and a home game against Norwich on the agenda after double gameweek 30+ in which Arsenal face City and Brighton away from home in empty stadiums.

DEFENDERS

Premium: Trent Alexander-Arnold

By around 22h30 (UK time) on Wednesday, June 24th, Liverpool will have crowned themselves champions of the Premier League 2019-20, if all goes to plan. Jurgen Klopp’s plan, that is. In any case, it means that Liverpool are not there yet, so expect them to come out all guns blazing when the Premier League returns. The fact that the first game back is the Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park is just adding fuel to the fire. In terms of fantasy picks, this means that the Reds should be fielding their strongest starting eleven for at least two more games and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.8m) is definitely part of that setup. How could he not be, with 11 clean sheets, 2 goals and 14 (!!) assists to his name? The absence of supporters will be felt by Everton, while we feel that it could not have come at a better time for their visiting rivals. With an empty Goodison Park up first, followed by a potential championship game versus Palace at Anfield, it looks mad not to include TAA in your team. Left-back Robertson and central defender Van Dijk provide considerably less expensive alternatives in the Reds backline.

Mid-price: George Baldock

Sheffield United have not only been John Lundstram’s team this season (although that’s one of the things they’ll be remembered for), but a team that has offered consistent defensive fantasy value throughout. Lundstram is, of course, still an option, but the arrival of Sander Berge has made him subject to more rotation, which is why we did not include him as our mid-price defence pick. Instead, we opted for his team mate on the right side of Sheffield’s back five, George Baldock (£5.1m). The Englishman has 10 clean sheets, 2 goals, 4 assists and a lovely 115 FPL points to his name, and in gameweek 30+ there are away games against Aston Villa and Newcastle on the calendar. In other words, more opportunities for clean sheets and maybe an attacking return. Those games are followed by United (away), Spurs (home) and Burnley (away), which are no easy match-ups by any stretch, but at least another clean sheet isn’t out of the question. In terms of the Sheffield United defence, you can also opt for left-back Enda Stevens, or slightly cheaper central defenders O’Connell, Egan or Basham.

Budget: Jean-Romain Saiss

The Wolverhampton Wanderers do not have a double gameweek in GW30+, but they do have one of the most favourable schedules on the short and medium-term. This week, the Wolves are visiting a troubled West Ham side before hosting Bournemouth in gameweek 31+ and rolling up to Villa Park the gameweek after. As far as Wolves defenders go, the most popular asset this season has been the tireless right-wing-back Matt Doherty, which is not surprising considering his 7 clean sheets, 4 goals and 5 assists. At £6.3m, he’s pretty pricey as well though, while the Wolves defence actually offers a lot of value elsewhere as well. In that light, and keeping budget limits in mind, we have selected central defender Jean-Romain Saiss (£4.6m) for GW30+. The Moroccan international is a nailed-on part of coach Nuno Espirito Santo’s starting eleven and a good way into the stable Wolves defence. On top of that, Saiss also has 2 goals and 2 assists to his name, and he sits in the top ten for shots in the box among defenders this season. He tends to be very active when it comes to attacking set-pieces, so keep your eyes open when Moutinho is preparing yet another corner or free-kick.

MIDFIELDERS

Premium: Mo Salah

Liverpool do not have a double gameweek, so this pick might be considered a bit controversial by some, but one of the world’s best forwards getting really close to the league title and being in the midst of a Golden Boot chase isn’t something to be ignored either. After 32 goals in 2017/18 and 22 goals in 2018/19, Mo Salah (£12.7m) currently sits on 16 goals (and 6 assists) for the 2019/20 campaign with nine games to go. The Egyptian star is trailing Arsenal’s Aubameyang by one goal and ranking leader Vardy by three goals. In other words, Mo is still in the race and winning that race might just help him win Liverpool’s first league title since the 1989-90 season, or vice versa, however you want to look at it. This also makes it likely that he will remain on penalty duty, especially after the title has been won. The Reds are going to want to hit the ground running against Everton at Goodison in order to host Palace at Anfield for the potential Premier League decider a week later and if they do, it’s hard to imagine Salah not being at the centre of it.

Mid-price: Jack Grealish

Aston Villa are one of the four teams with a double gameweek this round and probably the team with the least appeal in spite of that. A major reason for that sentiment is their schedule: two home games, first against Sheffield United and then against Chelsea, especially now that the absence of crowds in other leagues is already pointing to diminished home team advantages and away team disadvantages. For a struggling team like Villa that seemed to be counting on their fans (17 of their 25 points were won at home), that doesn’t bode well. Despite all the gloom though, Jack Grealish (£6.4m) has been one of Villa’s rays of light upon their return to the English footballing elite. The offensive midfielder already has 7 goals and 7 assists to this name this season, which represents a direct involvement in over 41% of his side’s goals. Most attacking moves pass through him and he is on most set-pieces for the Villans, which helps explain his appeal. Grealish is Villa’s talisman and main hope to avoid relegation, so his minutes are guaranteed and an attacking return is more than possible, if not in the upcoming gameweek then against Newcastle in gameweek 31+.

Budget: John Fleck

As we mentioned before, Sheffield United have been a fantastic source of FPL value this season, but mainly in defence. The Blades boast the best defence in the Premier League after run-away leaders Liverpool, but further up the pitch, the fantasy potential quickly diminishes. We do feel that for the budget midfield category, central midfielder John Fleck (£5.0m) is more than worth a mention, especially for those budget-conscious (or budget-restricted) FPL managers out there. The affordable Scotsman is an ever-present face in Dean Smith’s starting lineup, with the only three games he has missed this season being the result of suspension or minor injury. While his central midfield partner Oliver Norwood is in charge of most set-pieces (and therefore a reasonable alternative to picking Fleck), Fleck is the one with more creative freedom and forward drive during games. This also explains his 94 FPL points (5 goals, 2 assists, 8 clean sheets) in comparison to Norwood’s 1 goal, 2 assists and 77 FPL points. With away games against Villa and Newcastle coming up in double gameweek 30+, Sheffield United’s Scottish midfield maestro might just be the budget-enabler with potential your team needs.

FORWARDS

Premium: Aguero

Despite not recording any attacking return from the last four games before the coronabreak, Man City’s Sergio Aguero (£11.8m) is the first man most FPL managers look at when a double gameweek is around the corner. The explosive Argentinian’s minutes have been managed more than ever before this season, with him completing the 90 Premier League on just nine occasions, but that hasn’t stopped him from netting 16 times and providing 4 assists. City are one of the four teams with a double gameweek this round and after three months without football, we don’t see why Kun would not start both games (against Arsenal and Burnley, both at home). It’s true that with Gabriel Jesus, coach Pep Guardiola has a world-class alternative waiting in the wings who can both replace and complement Aguero, but we expect the Argentinian to start the Arsenal game on top. For the Clarets game next Monday, he might well be partnered with Jesus, but in any case, we’re seeing plenty of minutes for Kun in gameweek 30+.

Mid-price: Rashford

Manchester United are restarting their 2019/20 Premier League campaign with an away game against the man who left them not so long ago, and not on the bestest of terms either, namely José Mourinho’s Spurs. As the Red Devils have shown on more than one occasion this season though, they can play their favourite kind of game in matches where the opponent takes the initiative as Spurs will be expected to do on Friday. That, plus the return to fitness of Paul Pogba and basically any other player that was populating the crowded United infirmary pre-corona, made us decide to go with Marcus Rashford (£8.8m). In an up-and-down season for United, the talented Englishman still managed to score 14 goals and provide 5 assists to reach a current total of 134 FPL points. Only four other forwards have returned more points so far. Thanks to United’s relatively favourable revised schedule, that might be changing soon, though. With home games against Bournemouth, Southampton and West Ham, and away games at Brighton, Villa, and Palace still to go as part of the remaining nine games, few teams have a more enticing schedule than the Red Devils and few forwards will be facing more porous defences than Rashford.

Budget: Diogo Jota

As we wrote earlier in this, Wolves might not have a double gameweek coming up, but they do have a fixture calendar with potential waiting for them. The undeniable star of the Wolves is obviously striker Raul Jimenez, who at £8.1m still represents great value, but we have gone with his team mate Diogo Jota (£6.4m) in attack instead, as our budget forward pick. The Portuguese forward was actually one of the form players before the coronabreak, with 2 goals and an assist against Norwich in GW27 and a goal and an assist versus Spurs a week later. Those returns were more than welcome though, as Jota had just 3 goals and a single assist to his name prior to those games. Next up are some of the league’s most obliging defences though, with GW30+ opponent West Ham having conceded 50 goals so far, GW31+ opponent Bournemouth conceding 47 and GW32+ opponent Villa conceding 56. We’re expecting Jota to remain in the starting lineup for the remainder of the season, which should lead to further improvement of his current tallies.

Not sure who to Captain in GW30+? The FISO Forum Captain poll for GW30+ shows Aguero & KDB out front with most votes, followed by Aubamayeng and Sterling. Not suprisingly all players have a DGW.

Finally if you like FPL but want to have a go at a weekly Fantasy Premier League type competition for large prizes then have a look at FanTeam’s 100,000 euro Premeir League Monster. FISO members could also win a free ‘Weekly Monster’ entry (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 German €50k Monster – GW31 – 13/14 June 2020

Following on from our article on the FanTeam German Monster GW30, this weekend it’s time for gameweek 30 in the German Bundesliga. Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€50k prize pool) German 50k Monster, which has a maximum entry limit of 3,000 participants. The first 555 will partake in the prize pool and for this particular weekend, the winner will take home a cool €7,500 this weekend. Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and which apply to this weekend’s German 50k Monster as well. If you’re not sure how to play FanTeam Fantasy Bundesliga then check out our step by step video guide.

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. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the German 50K Monster not to 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 German 50K 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. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Finally, a new format is being applied to the upcoming German Monster, called Pursuit. In this game mode, you get more bonus points the cheaper your players are (you gain 1 point for every 2.5 million euros underspent). Your captain will get double points, but he will also cost twice as much. Your vice-captain will get 150% more points, but he will also cost 150% more. You can read about the Pursuit mode in more detail on the FanTeam website.

Don’t forget, the deadline for the upcoming German 50K Monster is set at 2.30PM (UK time) on Saturday, June 13th 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 2.30PM (UK time) games, so you can change your selections accordingly up until the 2:30PM deadline, but not after.

German 50K Monster matches in gameweek 31

(Times: UK+1 hour)

How did our German 50K Monster team fare in GW30?

Formation: 3-5-2 |  Budget used: 157.0m |  Finish: 1627 / 2600 |  Prize pool: ///

RETURNS 
Baumann (Hoffenheim) away vs Düsseldorf2 saves
Posch (Hoffenheim) away vs Düsseldorf1 assist
Skov (Hoffenheim) away vs Düsseldorf1 assist
Brandt (Dortmund) home vs HerthaClean sheet, 1 assist, impact+1
Hazard (Dortmund) home vs HerthaClean sheet
Sancho (Dortmund) home vs HerthaClean sheet, impact+1
Olmo (Leipzig) home vs PaderbornClean sheet, impact+1
Werner (Leipzig) home vs Paderborn1 assist

Our team suggestion for the German 50K Monster in gameweek 31

Formation: 3-5-2 |  Budget used: 138.1m

General approach

With Pursuit mode active for another round of FanTeam German 50K Monster fun, budget restrictions are lifted. This allows us to load up on some of this weekend’s potential big hitters, as well as on some interesting assets with favourable fixtures. We have gone with three Dortmund players (away against Düsseldorf), three Bayern stars (home versus Gladbach), three Leverkusen assets (away against Schalke), and two picks from Wolfsburg (at home versus Freiburg).

Goalkeeper

The first of our two Wolfsburg assets is goalkeeper Koen Casteels, who has just come off a decent 8-point haul away against Werder Bremen last weekend, courtesy of a clean sheet and 2 recorded saves.  Only Bayern, Dortmund and Leipzig have conceded less goals than Die Wolfe this season (36 from 30 games), and up next is Freiburg. Die Breisgau-Brasilianer are having a good season and just booked their first post-coronabreak victory last weekend (1-0 vs Gladbach), but they haven’t been very prolific in front of goal (39 goals in 30 games). In fact, just five teams in the league have scored less them.

Defenders

It’s also mainly based on the above mentioned match-up that we decided to add a Wolfsburg defender to our team for gameweek 31. Wing-back Kevin Mbabu has been good to us in the past, so we don’t see why he could not be a profitable pick once again this weekend. The Swiss-Congolese defender is a nailed-on part of Wolfsburg’s four-man defence and he gets plenty of action in the attacking third as well. In 16 Bundesliga games this season, he has already scored twice and provided 2 assists as well. In FanTeam terms, he has been good for 15 points over the past three games, thanks to a clean sheet, a goal, and 2 impact points. Like with Casteels, we’re hoping for a clean sheet here and far as Mbabu goes, maybe a sneaky attacking return as well.

The second member of our three-man defensive setup this weekend is Leverkusen right-back Mitchell Weiser. A lot of focus has been on Leverkusen’s attacking exploits this season, and rightly so, but their defensive displays have been more than decent as well. Overall, only five teams have conceded less than Die Werkself and this weekend it’s time for an away game against Schalke 04, not only one of the most goal-shy outfits in the league (35 goals scored in 30 games) but also a team in full-blown crisis. Die Königsblauen have not won a game since the Bundesliga returned to action and the stats are discouraging: 5 games played, 2 goals scored, 12 goals conceded and 1 point won. Our big Leverkusen guns can be found on the midfield, but Weiser represents our bet on a clean sheet against Schalke.

Our third defensive pick is Bayern Munich revelation Alphonso Davies, who at the tender age of 19 managed to conquer a starting spot in the team of coach Hansi Flick. In 26 Bundesliga games this season, the youngster recorded 11 clean sheets, 3 goals and 4 assists, which has made him the highest-scoring defender on FanTeam (135 points), just 11 points behind teammate and number one Benjamin Pavard. This weekend, Bayern can crown themselves champions with a victory against Gladbach at home (and a Dortmund loss at Düsseldorf) and honestly, we find it hard to imagine a scenario in which they won’t do their duty, especially considering their current form. Since the return from the break, Der Rekordmeister have won all of their 5 games, scoring 17 goals and conceding just 4.

Midfielders

That’s also why we opted for a triple Bayern threat this weekend, so Joshua Kimmich joins Davies in our team. With Müller and Lewandowski suspended for the upcoming game against Gladbach, we shifted our focus partly to Bayern’s midfield. Like the rest of his team, the central midfielder has come out of the coronabreak all engines blazing, which explains how he managed to record a fantastic 36 FanTeam points since then. Over those five games, the 25-year old German managed to return 3 clean sheets, a goal, 3 assists and 5 impact points. As a matter of fact, just last weekend, Kimmich helped Bayern to a 2-4 away victory over Leverkusen with an assist. A big fantasy plus for him is that he is on many set-pieces for Die Roten, which puts him at the heart of a lot of Bayern’s attacking moves and we’re hoping that will be the case on Saturday.

In the middle, the Bayern star is joined by Leverkusen couple Kai Havertz and Kerem Demirbay. Where the former had to miss last weekend’s game against Bayern and the mid-week cup semi-final against Saarbrücken due to injury, the latter played 45 minutes against Bayern and then put in a man-of-the-match performance mid-week with two magnificent assists. For the away game against a Schalke in crisis, Dutch coach Peter Bosz will be happy to be able to count on the both of them as Die Werkselfe are in the middle of an intense battle for a Champions League spot with Gladbach and Leipzig. In that sense, the game in Gelsenkirchen looks like a great opportunity as Gladbach are visiting Bayern and Leipzig are visiting Hoffenheim on Friday.

Before his minor injury, Havertz was probably the most in-form man in the Bundesliga, which is saying a lot when considering the likes of Dortmund’s Sancho, Bayern’s Lewandowski, and Leipzig’s Werner, just to name a few. In the four games he played since the return of the German football, the 21-year old scored an unbelievable 5 goals, often playing as a striker, while also recording 1 clean sheet and 3 impact points.

As far as Demirbay goes, there are no worries about his spot in the starting eleven either. The German-Turkish midfielder is Leverkusen’s number 10 and a main soldier on their midfield. He already has 21 Bundesliga games to his name this season in which scored once and provided 5 assists. As we wrote earlier, he took the spotlights in the semi-final of the DFB Pokal on Tuesday with 2 assists, so we’re hoping he can carry that playmaking form into Sunday’s game.

The remaining two spots on our five-man midfield are taken up by Dortmund duo Thorgan Hazard and Jadon Sancho. Die Schwarzgelben have one of the most favourable fixtures this weekend with an away game against Düsseldorf and we’re expecting some goals, especially from the visitors. After Bayern, Dortmund are the most prolific team in Germany (81 goals in 30 games), while opponents Düsseldorf sit on an average of exactly 2 goals conceded per game this season. This seemingly uneven match-up is the main reason why decided to go big on Dortmund’s attacking assets, but not the only one. That’s because avoiding a loss at the Esprit Arena is also the only way for Dortmund to prevent arch-rivals Bayern from crowning themselves champions coming weekend if they manage to beat Gladbach at home.

Hazard mostly filled in for the injured Erling Haaland up front in the past two games and he did so with success. The Belgian scored a goal, gave an assist, recorded a clean sheet and got 2 impact points for a total of 16 FanTeam points from those two games. Haaland is expected to return to the starting lineup this weekend, but we don’t feel that this diminishes Hazard’s potential at all. His team mate Sancho forms another key cog of the black and yellow goalscoring machine. The talented Englishman has played 28 Bundesliga games so far in which he returned an unbelievable 17 goals and 17 assists. Two of those goals and three of those assists have come since the end of the coronabreak. We’re hoping for another pair of key roles for Sancho and Hazard against Düsseldorf coming Saturday.

Forwards

They are not the only two Dortmund assets we will be crossing our fingers for this weekend, though, because we have also selected the fit-again Erling Haaland. The Norwegian goal machine missed the last two games due to a minor injury, but Dortmund coach Lucien Favre confirmed this week that his star man has been completing full team training without a problem. Considering the devastating impact he has had on Dortmund and the Bundesliga since his arrival from Salzburg during the last January window, there is no doubt that he will start against Düsseldorf on Saturday. In just 11 Bundesliga games so far, the 19-year old scored 10 goals and 3 assists, and to give you an even better idea of the incredible form he is in this season: In the Champions League this season, he has 10 goals and 1 assist to his name after 8 games. In other words, this pick was a no-brainer for us.

In attack, Haaland is joined by Bayern forward Serge Gnabry. In the absence of both Bundesliga topscorer Robert Lewandowski and assist leader Thomas Müller, who are both suspended for this weekend’s home game against Gladbach, many of the eyes will be on Gnabry to deliver. The 24-year old missed the midweek cup game against Frankfurt due to a slight back injury, but he is expected to return for the potential championship decider on Sunday. Should he unexpectedly not be ready to start, FanTeam’s safety net will switch him for either Dutch forward talent Joshua Zirkzee or German striker Jan-Fiete Arp, depending who would start in that case. Our money would be on the Dutchman in that scenario, but like we wrote before, we’re counting on Gnabry to approach the Gladbach game as a great opportunity to work on his current tallies (28 games, 12 games, 11 assists). 

As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Midweek German 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 where we have a FreeRoll for those that want to learn a bit more about the game.

Fantasy Premier League 2019-2020 – THEY’RE BACK!

They’re back! It’s back! It’s ON! After agreeing on a return to training under special conditions from May 28 onwards, a few days ago all Premier League clubs agreed unanimously on a full return for the Premier League (and therefore FPL!) action on June 17th, 2020. It has taken mass testing, surprise inspections, GPS tracking, pages of new health and game protocols and much more, but it looks like Project Restart is going to achieve this football season’s biggest over-riding objective: to finish the season competitively.

In the build-up to Manchester City versus Arsenal and Aston Villa against Sheffield United, we will be releasing a few articles to inform you of the latest Premier League developments and their influence on the world of FPL. In this piece we’ll take a look at the recently released adjusted fixture calendar and the potential (hidden) opportunities it presents for FPL managers.

We have also received a few questions about the chips in FPL (these aren’t the same type of chips you’d find at australian slots though!) and what happens to them once the season restarts. To quote the official Premier League website (find full press release here) it says that  “any chips you retain at present (i.e. Triple Captain, Bench Boost, Free Hit and/or Wildcard) would remain available for you, in accordance with the Game Rules” for the reorganised upcoming gameweeks. For those FPL managers who have some or even all of their chips still intact, that’s excellent news, because the revised schedules will undoubtedly require some skills to play around with just like those enjoying Mr Bet casino online for entertainment.

The Premier League has already published the schedule for the first three rounds of games, with 32 games being played on 14 different days inside a period of just 16 days between June 17th and July 2nd. As a matter of fact, only June 18th and June 26th will be football-less during that period, which provides the perfect opportunity for us FPL managers to maybe catch a ray of sunlight and check if the kids still remember our names. It’s nice to see that FPL cares about our physical and social health as well.

All kidding aside, we are providing a full overview of the revised fixture calendar as published by the official Premier League website here. Next, we will take a brief look at a few of the parameters you should keep in mind when preparing for the first gameweek 39 (and beyond) in PL history, starting with those two key stats: fixture and form. First though, a quick public service announcement in regard to the upcoming gameweek 30+, as published by FPL at the moment of writing this piece.

THE RESTART

All FPL managers can make unlimited transfers up until the GW30+ deadline, which is set at Wednesday June 17th at 17h30 (UK time). We figured we’d start with that, as this means we have all just gotten a free extra wildcard, even those managers who had no wildcards left by the end of gameweek 29. Oh and also, gameweek 30+ is going to be a double gameweek. Finally, all of your unused chips remain intact and no player prices will be taking place until after the GW30+ deadline. For more information, do read this official FPL statement. You may have noticed the remaining gameweeks now have a + after their number, so for example GW30 is now called GW30+.

FIXTURES

For the moment, it looks like the order of games for each team has been maintained for the revised playing schedule. Not taking into account several factors that have inevitably been influenced by the corona-crisis, like form, this is pretty good news for FPL managers, especially those who always try to plan a few weeks in advance. In any case, with the free extra wildcard active for GW30+, it’s interesting for any manager to have at least a good idea of which teams have a favourable set of fixtures coming up and which don’t. Keep in mind though, that all teams have been out of action for about three months and that they will be playing in empty stadiums (possibly even on neutral ground sometimes). The Bundesliga, for example, has already shown a seriously decreasing “empty stadium” effect on home team advantage and away team disadvantage. After the first two weeks of German football after the corona-break, just 21% of all home games had been won, in comparison to the season’s 41% average before the break. Also bear in mind that due to the number of fixtures played over a relatively short period of time, fitness will be an issue and the EPL have agreed to increasing the number of subs used from 3 to 5 during a game to reduce the chance of injuries due to tiredeness.

More favourable (GW30+ to GW32+)

  • Wolves: West Ham (away), Bournemouth (home), Villa (away), Arsenal (home).
  • Arsenal: City + Brighton (both away), Southampton (home), Norwich (away), Wolves (away).
  • Newcastle: Sheffield Utd (home), Villa (home), Bournemouth (away), West Ham (home).
  • Leicester: Watford (away), Brighton (home), Everton (away), Palace (home).

Less favourable (GW30+ to GW32+)

  • West Ham: Wolves (home), Spurs (away), Chelsea (home), Newcastle (away).
  • Brighton: Arsenal (home), Leicester (away), Man United (home), Norwich (away).
  • Everton: Liverpool (home), Norwich (away), Leicester (home), Spurs (away).
  • City: Arsenal + Burnley (both home), Chelsea (away), Liverpool (home), Southampton (away)

FORM

Both team and player form are largely unknowns until we have seen at least the first round of post-corona games. That’s mainly because the teams not only did not play an official match in about three months, but also because of the relatively unusual preparation for a return to football, training-wise at least. Still, and especially with a free extra wild card available, we figured it would be interesting to see which FPL assets were on fire just before football’s suspension. In order to keep it relatively “ current”, we have looked at just gameweeks 27, 28 and 29; the three last rounds before the break.

PLAYERPOSITION in FPLTEAMFORM
Diogo JotaForwardWolves3 goals, 1 assist, 30 pts
Bruno FernandesMidfieldMan United2 goals, 1 assist, 30 pts
Marcos AlonsoDefenderChelsea3 goals, 30 pts
Pablo FornalsMidfieldWest Ham1 goal, 2 assists, 16 pts
Ismaila SarrMidfieldWatford2 goals, 1 assist, 22 pts
Harvey BarnesMidfieldLeicester2 goals, 1 assist, 22 pts
Jordan AyewForwardCrystal Palace2 goals, 1 assist, 18 pts
Dominic Calvert-LewinForwardEverton2 goals, 15 pts

Catch up with the latest discussions on what to do about with your unlimited transfers for the DGW 30+ on this fiso forum FPL topic.

FanTeam German €50k Monster – GW30 – 6 & 7 June 2020

Following on from our article on the FanTeam German Monster GW29, this weekend it’s time for gameweek 30 in the German Bundesliga. Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€50k prize pool) German 50k Monster, which has a maximum entry limit of 3,000 participants. The first 555 will partake in the prize pool and for this particular weekend, the winner will take home a cool €7,500 this weekend. Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and which apply to this weekend’s German 50k Monster as well. If you’re not sure how to play FanTeam Fantasy Bundesliga then check out our step by step video guide.

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. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the German 50K Monster not to 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 German 50K 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. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Finally, a new format is being applied to the upcoming German Monster, called Pursuit. In this game mode, you get more bonus points the cheaper your players are (you gain 1 point for every 2.5 million euros underspent). Your captain will get double points, but he will also cost twice as much. Your vice-captain will get 150% more points, but he will also cost 150% more. You can read about the Pursuit mode in more detail on the FanTeam website.

Don’t forget, the deadline for the upcoming German 50K Monster is set at 2.30PM (UK time) on Saturday, June 6h, 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 2.30PM (UK time) games, so you can change your selections accordingly up until the 2:30PM deadline, but not after.

German 50K Monster matches in gameweek 30

(Times: UK+1 hour)

How did our German 50K Monster team fare in GW29?

Formation: 4-4-2 |  Budget used: 152.4m |  Finish: 793 / 2600 |  Prize pool: ///

RETURNS 
Casteels (Wolfsburg) home vs FrankfurtSaves +0.5
Mbabu (Wolfsburg) home vs Frankfurt1 goal
Skov (Hoffenheim) away vs MainzClean sheet, Impact+1
Bensebaini (Gladbach) home vs Union1 assist, Impact+1
Kimmich (Bayern) home vs DüsseldorfClean sheet, 1 assist, Impact+1
Hazard (Dortmund) away vs Paderborn1 goal, 1 assist, Impact+1
Sancho (Dortmund) away vs Paderborn3 goals, Impact+1
Muller (Bayern) home vs Düsseldorf1 assist, Impact+1
Lewandowski (Bayern) vs Düsseldorf2 goals, Impact+1

Our team suggestion for the German 50K Monster in gameweek 30

Formation: 3-5-2 |  Budget used: 157.0m/195.7m

General approach

With Pursuit mode active for another round of FanTeam German 50K Monster fun, budget restrictions have been lifted for second consecutive week. This allows us to load up on some of this weekend’s potential big hitters, as well as on some interesting assets with favourable fixtures. Where we went all-in last weekend in terms of selecting the big names, we have shifted this week to balance between stars and relatively less expensive Pursuit-positive picks with attractive match-ups. We have gone with three Leipzig players (at home against Paderborn), three Dortmund stars (home versus Hertha), three Hoffenheim assets (away against Düsseldorf), and two picks from Eintracht Frankfurt (at home versus Mainz).

Goalkeeper

In defence, we have gone with a block of three Hoffenheim to start with and our goalkeeper is one of them. Only six goalkeepers in the Bundesliga have performed better on FanTeam than Oliver Baumann until now, with an average of 3.56 points per game. A big reason for these good returns is the German’s average of 2.68 saves per game, which in FanTeam already adds up to 1 point. This weekend though, we’re aiming for a clean sheet more than for save points. That’s because Saturday’s opponent Düsseldorf are the second-least productive outfit in front of goal in the entire league, with just 31 goals in 29 games overall.

Defenders

Düsseldorf’s shyness in the opponent’s penalty area isn’t our only reason for stacking up on Hoffenheim defenders, though. In our defensive line, we reserved spots for out-of-position performer Robert Skov and “keeping Pursuit mode in mind” pick Stefan Posch, thanks to Hoffenheim’s own defensive stability as well. Die Kraichgauer have conceded 48 goals in 29 games, which is average in comparison to the rest of the league, but it’s in away games especially that they have shown extraordinary resilience by conceding just 13 goals in 14 games. No team in the league has done better so far. Add to that the seemingly diminished home and away bias due to games being played without spectators, and you’ll understand why we’re putting our money on Hoffenheim’s defence this weekend albeit we lose 3 stacking penalty points.

Skov is actually a right-back who is playing as a right winger in trainer Alfred Schreuder’s team. As a result of this situation, he already has 4 goals and 5 assists to his name, as well as 82 FanTeam points. A goal, an assist and a clean sheet in his last three games allowed him to record a more than decent 21 points over that same period.

Like Skov, Posch is a nailed-on starter in Hoffenheim’s starting eleven. The central defender is one of the eight players in the team with more than 1,800 Bundesliga minutes to his name this season and is expected to start on Saturday as well. He has not scored or provided an assist yet this season, but he is also a cool 1.2 million less expensive than Pavel Kaderabek. We decided to prioritise budget for this one and select Posch with a clean sheet in mind against Düsseldorf (and half a bonus point extra).

Our third and final defender for gameweek 30 is our first RB Leipzig pick, left-wingback Angeliño. Die Rote Bullen are facing the league’s red lantern Paderborn on Saturday afternoon in what is probably the most attractive fixture from a fantasy football point of view. Where only Bayern and Dortmund are more productive in front of goal than Leipzig (74 goals scored), only Bremen and Mainz have conceded more goals than Paderborn’s 61 from 29 games. At the same time, only Bayern has conceded less goals than Leipzig (31 conceded), while only Düsseldorf and Bremen have scored less than the 32 goals scored by Paderborn. In other words, one of the leagues strongest offences and defences is facing one of the league’s weakest offences and defences in Leipzig this weekend. Add to that Angeliño’s up-field positioning and his current stats (1 goal, 1 assist, 4 clean sheets, 8 games), and you can see why we’re crossing our fingers for returns at both sides of the pitch from him.

Midfielders

The Spanish left-back is joined by his Leipzig team mate Dani Olmo in our selection for gameweek 30. The 22-year old Spaniard was bought from Dinamo Zagreb for €19 million in January 2020 and it was last weekend that he recorded his first goal for his new club, good for 8 FanTeam points. He looks to have conquered a spot in Julian Nagelsmann’s starting lineup, in which he switches between the number 10 spot and different positions on both wings. Besides his goal, he also has an assist to his name already and we wouldn’t be suprised to see him improve on his current tallies when Paderborn roll up to the Red Bull Arena Leipzig. On top of that, picking Olmo over more expensive Leipzig options like Sabitzer (16,1 million), Nkunku (15,9 million), Laimer (14,9 million), or Schick (15,1 million) has saved us a minimum of 1,7 million and a maximum of 2,9 million with Pursuit mode in mind.

Our second midfield pick is Eintracht Frankfurt’s Filip Kostic, who, with 4 goals and 11 assists to his name, is currently Eintracht’s joint-MVP. As a matter of fact, he got his eleventh assist of this Bundesliga season just last weekend in the game against Werder Bremen. That meant that the Serbian international brought his total FanTeam points over the past three weeks to 18, which is not a bad average at all. Die Adler have a home game against current number 15 Mainz this weekend and we’re expecting goals for this one: no team has conceded more goals than Mainz (62) and only five teams have scored more than Frankfurt (49). Hopefully, Kostic can get involved once again on Saturday.

The rest of our five-men midfield consists of Dortmund assets, namely Thorgan Hazard, Jadon Sancho and Julian Brandt. Star striker Erling Haaland is reported to miss Saturday’s game against Hertha Berlin at home, which is why we have opted for these three midfielders. Just like last weekend against Paderborn, we’re expecting Hazard to take up Haaland’s spot up front, but the likes of Sancho will also get plenty of opportunities to pop up in front of goal as Hazard’s associative and link-up play is extraordinary. This was illustrated last weekend, when the Belgian got a goal and an assist, while the young Englishman recorded the first hattrick of his professional career (all in one-half). In that same game, Brandt brought his owners 6 FanTeam points, courtesy of an assist and one impact point.

The reason why we decided to load up on Dortmund midfielders despite their ultra-premium price tags is their current (goalscoring) form in combination with a relatively winnable home fixture this weekend, though opponent’s Hertha are in great form at the moment as well. Only Bayern have scored more than Dortmund in the German league, both in terms of home games and overall Bundesliga games, at an average of almost three goals per game. Hertha, on the other hand, are the team in the top half of the table that has conceded the most goals (50 in 29 games). The team from the Capital books results with an attacking approach that comes at the cost of some defensive stability, which is similar to Lucien Favre’s tactics at Dortmund. Both teams score and concede relatively easily and even though we see Die Schwarzgelben take the victory here, there could be plenty of goals on the horizon for both outfits in this one.

Forwards

Timo Werner is our first forward and our captain for this weekend as well. The RB Leipzig striker is gameweek 30’s most expensive player on FanTeam and that’s really no surprise. The young German has already shown to be a very dependable source of goals, which is underlined by the 25 goals (and 7 assists) already recorded by him in the Bundesliga this season. Only Bayern phenomenon Robert Lewandowski has scored more up until this point with an unbelievable 29 goals from 27 games. Werner is the focal point of one of the Bundesliga’s most prolific outfits though, and this weekend they are hosting the league’s number 18, Paderborn. Football is and remains an unpredictable game, of course, but we feel there is a considerable haul on the cards here for the striker.

Our final pick of the week is another in-form striker, namely André Silva from Eintracht Frankfurt. The Portuguese forward has scored a goal in his last three games for a total of 20 FanTeam points, but that’s not at all. Despite playing for a (lower) mid-table team, he has already scored 8 goals and provided 3 assists in 20 Bundesliga games this season, and the home game against Mainz looks like the perfect opportunity to work towards the double digits for Silva. Die Nullfünfer have conceded a staggering 62 goals in 29 games so far this season and 35 of those goals came in away games. We’ll have to see what the effect of an empty Commerzbank-Arena will be on both these teams, but we find it hard to imagine Frankfurt not winning this one by a comfortable margin.

As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Midweek German 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 where we have a FreeRoll for those that want to learn a bit more about the game.

FanTeam German €50k Monster – GW29 – 30/31 May 2020

Following on from our article on the FanTeam German Monster GW28, this weekend it’s time for gameweek 29 in the German Bundesliga. Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€50k prize pool) German 50k Monster, which has a maximum entry limit of 3,000 participants. The first 555 will partake in the prize pool and for this particular weekend, the winner will take home a cool €7,500 this weekend. Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and which apply to this weekend’s German 50k Monster as well. If you’re not sure how to play FanTeam Fantasy Bundesliga then check out our step by step video guide.

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. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the German 50K Monster not to 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 German 50K 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. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Finally, a new format is being applied to the upcoming German Monster, called Pursuit. In this game mode, you get more bonus points the cheaper your players are (you gain 1 point for every 2 million euros underspent). Your captain will get double points, but he will also cost twice as much. Your vice-captain will get 150% more points, but he will also cost 150% more. You can read about the Pursuit mode in more detail on the FanTeam website.

Don’t forget, the deadline for the upcoming German 50K Monster is set at 2.30PM (UK time) on Saturday, May 30th, 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 2.30PM (UK time) games, so you can change your selections accordingly up until the 2:30PM deadline, but not after.

German 50K Monster matches in gameweek 29

(Times: UK+1 hour)

How did our German 50K Monster team fare last week?

Formation: 4-4-2 |  Budget used: 99.9m |  Finish: 1790 / 2600 |  Prize pool: ///

RETURNS 
Lewandowski (Bayern) home vs Frankfurt1 goal, Impact+1
Goretzka (Bayern) home vs Frankfurt1 goal, Impact+1
Havertz (Leverkusen) away vs. Gladbach2 goals, Impact+1
Alaba (Bayern (home vs FrankfurtImpact+1

Our team suggestion for the German 50K Monster in gameweek 29

Formation: 4-4-2 |  Budget used: 152.4m

General approach

After a few tight gameweeks in terms of available budget, for gameweek 29 of the Bundesliga FanTeam have the Pursuit mode active for this round which means the budget is effectively unlimited and you can choose who you want, albeit you suffer a slight points deduction the more you spend. This has allowed us to load up on potential big hitters, especially considering the fact that this round is providing us with a few very favourable fixtures, on paper at least. We have gone with three Bayern stars (at home to Düsseldorf), three Dortmund stars (away against Paderborn), two Wolfsburg defenders (at home versus Frankfurt), two Gladbach defenders (home against Union Berlin), and an interesting out-of-position Hertha defender.

Goalkeeper

When it comes to away games, Eintracht Frankfurt are currently the worst-performing team in the Bundesliga with 7 points from 13 games in which they scored just 13 goals and conceded a worrying 30. Combine this with the relatively decent (defensive) stability of this weekend’s opponent Wolfsburg, who have conceded just 15 goals in 14 home games, and you can see the potential of Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels. Die Wolfe have not kept a clean sheet since the return of German football two weeks ago, but we should note that they have played two away games (Augsburg, Leverkusen) and one home game (Dortmund). The home game against Frankfurt on Saturday looks like a good opportunity to get that clean sheet taste again, albeit the lack of fans at games does indicate that home advantage may no longer exist.

Defenders

For that reason we have doubled up on Wolfsburg defensive assets. We ended up going with right-wing back Kevin Mbabu mainly based on two important parameters: since the injury of the main rival for his spot (William), the Swiss-Congolese defender is a fixed part of Wolfsburg’s defence, and as part of that defence, he is the one with most attacking returns (1 goal and 2 assists in 14 Bundesliga games). In their own Volkswagen-Arena against a fragile Frankfurt setup, the 25-year will be looking first and foremost for a clean sheet, but we’re hoping for some action at opposite side of the pitch as well.

For gameweek 29, we have opted for a four-men defence and two spots are taken up by two Borussia Mönchengladbach assets, namely Stefan Lainer and Ramy Bensebaini. The former is a fixed feature on the right wing, while the latter fulfils a very similar role on the far left side of the defensive block. Should one or both of them not start on Sunday though, the safety net covers our team as Lainer and Bensebaini are currently the most expensive defensive Gladbach options.

The reason for doubling up Gladbach defenders despite the active stacking penalty is the fact that Die Borussen represent a much coveted fantasy football combination: fixture plus form. The last two games were not great in terms of results (a home loss against Leverkusen followed by a draw away to struggling Bremen), but overall, their season is pretty good so far. They are currently in fourth place, which would mean qualification for the early phases of the Champions League next season. When looking at home games only, Gladbach even sits in third, thanks to taking 29 points from 14 games (31 goals scored, 19 conceded).

Then there is this weekend’s opponent, Union Berlin. A thirteenth place after 28 games out of a total of 34 is really not a bad situation to be in for a newly-promoted side, but it’s mainly the result of Union’s strong start of the season. Since the end of the corona-break, Die Eisernen have taken just 1 point from three games (this week’s midweek 1-1 draw at Mainz). The game against Bayern (0-2 at home) and the derby against Hertha (4-0 away) were both lost without netting. As a matter of fact, we need to go back to February 24th for Union’s last Bundesliga victory, which was three games before Germany’s lock-down. Where opponent Gladbach sits near the top when it comes to home games this season, Union find themselves in 17th place when it comes to away games (14 games played, 11 points won, 14 goals scored, and 29 goals conceded). In other words, this encounter is looking like a great fantasy opportunity for Gladbach picks.

Our final defensive pick is kind of our joker, seeing as Robert Skov is the only player to represent one team in our selection for gameweek 29. The Hoffenheim right-back operates mostly as a right-winger this season, which turns him into a very interesting out-of-position fantasy asset, especially when considering Hoffenheim are playing away against Mainz this weekend. Skov already has 4 goals and 5 assists to his name this season, which is a fantastic return for a player listed as a defender, while Mainz will be battling against relegation until the end of the season. Only four teams have conceded more goals at home than Mainz’s 26 in 14 games, while only one team has scored less at home than Die Nullfünfer’s 15 goals. Hoffenheim, at the same time, perform tend to be very stable away from home (13 games, 20 points, 17 goals scored, and 13 conceded), so we’re seeing a potential haul for Skov in this one.

Midfielders

We’re starting the review of our midfield picks with Borussia Dortmund, seeing as we have stacked our midfield for gameweek 29 with no less than three Dortmund assets. Revelation and star man Erling Haaland is set to miss this weekend’s away encounter with Paderborn, which is why we decided to avoid any related risk and leave him out of our selection. As a result, our team now features Jadon Sancho, Thorgan Hazard and Raphaël Guerreiro, who have scored 4 goals and provided 3 assists combined in the three games since the end of the corona-break.

It’s true that away games have not been Dortmund’s forte in the Bundesliga this season, as all of their direct rivals for the Champions League spots (Bayern, Leipzig, Gladbach and Leverkusen) are above them in the rankings when looking at away games exclusively, but at least one thing has not faltered them away from home: their ability to score goals. In 14 away games, Die Schwarzgelben conceded a sub-par 23 goals, but they also netted an impressive 29 times. Only reigning champions Bayern München and current number three have scored more.

Then there is Paderborn. The home team are currently last in the league, 8 points behind sixteenth place (which avoids direct relegation) and 9 points behind Mainz in fifteenth, which avoids the play-offs for promotion/relegation. They have conceded 55 goals in 28 games overall and an unacceptable 32 of those goals have fallen in front of their own fans. That’s also why we expect Sunday afternoon’s game to largely become a 90-minute struggle for Paderborn, especially when considering the likely possibility that Dortmund feel they have to make up for something after losing to Bayern at home this week and Paderborn won’t have any fans to cheer them on.

As far as our individual picks go, the expectation is that Thorgan Hazard will be replacing Haaland up front for this one, though we can see the Norwegian’s spot being filled intermittently by each of our three picks during the game. Hazard already has 6 goals and no less than 12 assists to his name, Sancho currently sits on a rather unbelievable 14 goals and 16 assists, and Guerreiro has scored 8 goals and provided 3 assists. With the absence of crowds in the stadiums seemingly reducing home advantages and away disadvantages considerably, we’re hoping for an extremely attacking Dortmund side and an overall goal fest.

Our Dortmund trio in the midfield is joined by the man who decided the midweek top-of-the-table clash between Dortmund and Bayern with a magnificent effort (check it out if you haven’t yet), Joshua Kimmich. In the last three games, the right-back/central midfielder scored 1 goal, provided 1 assist and recorded 2 clean sheets for a total of 21 points on FanTeam. The 25-year old is a nailed-on part of Bayern coach Hansi Flick’s starting eleven and he is responsible for plenty of set-pieces as well. That’s also one of the big reasons for his tally of 7 assists this season, on top of the 3 goals he has to his name already. Bayern’s home fixture against Düsseldorf is probably the most attractive Bundesliga fixture from a fantasy point of view this weekend and we can see Kimmich perform well here.

Forwards

We expect the real Bayern fantasy fireworks this weekend from striker Robert Lewandowski (our captain for GW29) and shadow striker Thomas Müller (our vice-captain) who form our team’s forward line for gameweek 29. Looking purely at their numbers so far this season, there might not exist a more compatible attacking duo in world football at the moment. Lewa is the finisher, the killer in the area with 27 goals to his name from 26 games (as well as 3 assists), while Müller is the provider, the Bundesliga’s assist king with 17 decisive passes. Of course, for a real idea of their compatibility we would need to look at how many times these two players actually set each other up for a goal, but we’re stating these tallies for a more general reason. They simply show the great form in which these players find themselves this season and they are combining that form this weekend with a very favourable home fixture against Fortuna Düsseldorf. If one of them is rested then we have the cheaper Gnabry waiting in the wings under the safety net (and he will still score 200% or 150% if replacing our captain or vice-captain).

Die Flingeraner were promoted to the Bundesliga at the end of last season and at the moment they sit in 16th place, which would avoid direct relegation but would mean play-offs for promotion/relegation. It’s not the worst result for the new boys, but seeing as the gap with number seventeen Bremen is 5 points and the gap with number fifteen Mainz just 1 point, they are definitely still in the race to retain their Bundesliga status for next season. That’s also why we’re sure they won’t be making it easy for Bayern at the Allianz Arena on Saturday, but we simply feel the reigning champions in their own home will be a bridge or two too far for Düsseldorf. They have conceded 29 goals in 14 away games, which represents an average of just over 2 goals per game, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Bayern exceed that average this weekend.

As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Midweek German Monster and we hope to report back next week that we’ve shared part of the 25,000 euros prize pool. You can also follow discussions about FanTeam games on FISO’s FanTeam Forum where we have a FreeRoll for those that want to learn a bit more about the game.

FanTeam German €25k Midweek Monster – GW28a – 26 May 2020

Following on from our article last week on the FanTeam German Monster GW27, it’s now time for the Midweek Monster in the German Bundesliga.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€25k prize pool) German 25K Monster, which has a maximum entry limit of 1,667 participants. The first 278 will partake in the prize pool and for this particular weekend, the winner will take home a cool €5,000 this weekend. Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and which apply to this weekend’s German Midweek Monster as well.

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. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the German 25K Monster not to 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. If your captain or vice-captain don’t start then in Pursuit their replacement will score the 200% or 150% points increase instead so you can be more relaxed about choosing who to captain and vice captain.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the German 25K 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. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Finally, a new format is being applied to the upcoming German 25K Monster, called Pursuit. In this game mode, you get more bonus points the cheaper your players are (you gain 1 point for every 2 million euros underspent). Your captain will get double points, but he will also cost twice as much. Your vice-captain will get 150% more points, but he will also cost 150% more. You can read more Pursuit in more detail on the FanTeam website.

Don’t forget, the deadline for the upcoming German 25K Monster is set at 5.30PM (UK time) on Tuesday, May 26th, 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 5.30PM (UK time) games, so you can change your selections accordingly up until the 5.30PM deadline, but not after.

German 25K Monster matches in gameweek 28Tuesday

(Times: UK+1 hour)

How did our German 50K Monster team fare last week?

Formation: 4-4-2 |  Budget used: 99.9m |  Finish: 1790 / 2600 |  Prize pool: ///

RETURNS 
Lewandowski (Bayern) home vs Frankfurt1 goal, Impact+1
Goretzka (Bayern) home vs Frankfurt1 goal, Impact+1
Havertz (Leverkusen) away vs. Gladbach2 goals, Impact+1
Alaba (Bayern (home vs FrankfurtImpact+1

Our team suggestion for the German 25K Monster on Tuesday in gameweek 28

Formation: 2-2-3 |  Budget used: 96.3m

General approach

The German 25K Monster varies from the classic Weekly Monster format in a few ways. Select a team consisting of 7 players from the eight teams playing on Tuesday, May 26th. The 7 players are subject to a maximum 3 Forwards, a max 4 Midfielders and a max 5 Defenders (so you can choose 3 forewards and 4 midfielders if you want i.e. no defenders or a goalie) but no more than 4 players per team and, because this is the Pursuit mode, it means that managers are rewarded bonus points in their score for selecting cheaper assets (so you can pick who you want but the more you spend the more it costs you more in terms of points; in other words you gain 1 point for every 2 million euros underspent). The budget given by FanTeam to select 7 players should equate to the total of the top higest priced 7 players (with captain’s price doubled and vice-captain’s price at 150%) so you can pick who you want (strictly the highest budget you can use is 1.3m under the 106.3m budget due to the restriction on max 4 players per club and max 3 forwards). Both the stacking penalty and the safety net still apply to this tournament.

We have gone all in on two teams, namely Leverkusen (at home versus Wolfsburg) and Gladbach (away against Werder Bremen) and a single Bayern star in support. Budget would have allowed us to go all-in on attacking assets, for example, but considering the active Pursuit mode, we decided to trade in some budget expenditures for bonus point rewards (5). Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz is our captain for 26.2 million (2 x 13.1m) and Gladbach’s Ramy Bensebaini is our vice-captain for 13.4 million (1.5 x 8.9m).

BAYER LEVERKUSEN (home vs Wolfsburg)

Picks: Kai Havertz, Kerem Demirbay, Daley Sinkgraven

The Bundesliga has returned and it has done so with all engines blazing. Since restarting the season on May 16th, we have already had two match days and the third one, gameweek 28, is upon us with the first four games tomorrow. Gameweek 29 is then set to start on Friday, which means a hellish rhythm of four gameweeks within 14 days. In other words, keep this in mind when considering starting line-ups for the German 25K Monster. This is another reason the Bundelsiga allow 5 substitutions per match so players can be rested to help prevent injury.

Leverkusen have come out of the corona-break in good form, taking six points from two games (1-4 at Werder and 1-3 at Gladbach). Super talent Kai Havertz played a big role in these victories with 3 goals that saw him record a total of 27 points on FanTeam. That has been in part due to him replacing usual striker Kevin Volland up top while the former was injured. The forward is said to be fit again, though it remains to be seen if trainer Peter Bosz starts him, considering Havertz’ blistering form. Whether he starts all the way up front or in his more natural number-ten spot, his current 10 goals and 5 assists in the league give us cause to believe that he can be decisive from any position. Therefore, he is also our captain in GW28a.

Our second Leverkusen pick is midfielder Kerem Demirbay, who, at 10.8 million and with Pursuit mode in mind, is 1.2 million less expensive than Bellaraby and 1.4 million less than Diaby. The German-Turkish player is a nailed-on part of Leverkusen’s central midfield and he already has 19 Bundesliga games to his name this season, with 5 assists and a goal to show for it. Since returning after the corona-break, he has recorded 1 goal, 2 assists, and a total of 19 FanTeam points. The fact that he is on plenty of set-pieces for Die Werkself reinforces our hopes of a nice return against Wolfsburg tomorrow.

We considered adding Bellaraby, Diaby, or even Volland to our German 25K Monster selection, but with Pursuit mode in mind, we decided to save a minimum of 3 million and a maximum of 3.3 million by selecting left wing-back Daley Sinkgraven. Besides budget and Pursuit considerations though, it’s also worth noting that the Dutchman is a starter in the league’s third-best defence overall (32 goals conceded in 27 games) and the second-best when looking at home games only (13 goals conceded in 13 games). On the other hand, Wolfsburg are not bad on their travels, but they’re no free-flowing goal-scoring machine either with 20 goals from 13 away games. We’re counting on Sinkgraven and his Leverkusen team mates here to justify picking him over more offensive assets in the form of a clean sheet and some bonus point rewards.

BORUSSIA MÖNCHENGLADBACH (away vs Werder Bremen)

Picks: Alessane Plea, Marcus Thuram, Ramy Bensebaini

Whilst our Leverkusen picks are largely based on current attacking form and the fact that they are playing a home game (albeit against a relatively strong opponent), our Gladbach picks attracted our attention with their decent form, the horrid home game performances of their opponent so far, and the increasingly strong indication that home team advantage has been considerably diminished by the absence of crowds in the stands. In terms of the individual players we have picked, we have taken an approach largely similar to our Leverkusen tactic: two premium attacking assets accompanied by a defensive asset. This results in a bonus points reward, plus Werder is the lowest-scoring outfit in home games by far this season.

Our first pick is French striker Alessane Plea, who already has 24 Bundesliga games, 9 goals, and 8 assists to his name this season. What’s more, in the two games since the end of the corona-break, he has scored a goal (during the 1-3 away win at Frankfurt) and provided an assist (during the 1-3 home loss to Leverkusen), rewarding him with 12 FanTeam points. Die Fohlen are chasing a Champions League spot and last weekend’s loss versus Leverkusen was a deception in that sense, so we’re expecting them to make amends and get back on the right track on Tuesday. If they manage to do so, Plea will more than likely be at the centre of it.

We have chosen to have Plea joined in our attack by a compatriot of his, namely Marcus Thuram. The Gladbach winger and son of former-World Champion Lilian Thuram was bought from French side EA Guingamp in the summer of 2019, and in his first season for Die Fohlen, the Frenchman already has 27 Bundesliga games, 8 goals, and 8 assists to his name. Tuesday’s opponent Werder Bremen boast the league’s second-worst defence, with only Mainz conceding more than Werder’s 59 goals from 27 games. When it comes to home games only, Die Grün-Weißen have conceded a worrying 30 goals in just 12 games, a tally bettered by no less than 15 teams in the league.

Very unfortunately for the home team though, their defending is not the only issue. Werder have also scored just 9 goals in 12 home games, which is considerably less than any other team in the league. That’s also one of the main reason for picking Gladbach defender Ramy Bensebaini instead of midfielders Hermann or Neuhaus, or forward Stindl. This saved us a minimum of 2.1 million and a maximum of 2.4 million in terms of budget expenditures. The Algerian left wing-back arrived at Gladbach in the summer of 2019 and has made an impression since then: 13 Bundesliga games, 5 goals, and 2 assists so far in his first season. Werder Bremen look like the perfect opponent for him to further improve his numbers and for Gladbach to get back on Champions League track.

BAYERN MÜNCHEN (away vs Borussia Dortmund)

Pick: Robert Lewandowski

For our seventh and final pick, we could have picked a fourth asset from either Leverkusen or Gladbach, but instead, we went with Germany’s current top scorer. Since the restart of the Bundesliga, Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski has continued doing what he was doing before the coronavirus put world football on hold: scoring goals. In 25 Bundesliga games so far, the Polish assassin has netted 27 times and provided 3 assists. He will be starting in the stand-out fixture of gameweek 28, when Bayern roll up to the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund for an authentic top-of-the-table clash. Not an easy game by any stretch for the reigning champions, not even when thinking back to their resounding 4-0 home victory over Dortmund in November of last year. Since then, Die Borussen were reinforced with the likes of Emre Can and the phenomenon known as Erling Haaland, leading to a run of 9 victories from the last 10 games. They will be raring to make it 10 out of the last 11 tomorrow and to reduce the current 4-point gap between them and the league leaders, but if there is one man who can rain on this potential yellow-black parade, it’s former-Dortmund star Robert Lewandowski.

As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Midweek German Monster and we hope to report back next week that we’ve shared part of the 25,000 euros prize pool. You can also follow discussions about FanTeam games on FISO’s FanTeam Forum where we have a FreeRoll for those that want to learn a bit more about the game.