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. Our article will focus on an Early Entry for their Fantasy Premier League tournament held each week in order 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 (€50k prize pool) Main Event. The winner takes home a cool €5,000. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool for those who prefer to play with lower stakes. Join the discussion on FISO’s FanTeam forum.
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. Do though check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your picks.
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.
Gameweek 18 €50K Weekly Monster matches
Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 18
With gameweek 18, we have arrived at the first so-called major blank gameweek of the 2020-21 Premier League campaign. As it stands, this round features just six games, though several of these look appealing from a fantasy point of view. One thing to keep in mind when selecting eleven players for this week’s €50K Weekly Monster is that changes to the schedule may be announced as a result of the new corona outbreak on British territory. Already today there has been a late change with Spurs now playing Fulham rather than Aston Villa in GW18 and well done FanTeam in cancelling the original Monster and starting a new one in quick time.
Due to the limited number of games for the coming round, balancing the available 105M budget was no easy task, especially not with the many interesting fantasy picks on display. We ended up going for a team of big hitters, supplemented with two very much budget-enabling picks and a quality goalkeeper against an in-form opponent. The core of our squad consists of three Manchester City aces facing Brighton at the Etihad, three players from Newcastle as they roll up to Bramall Lane, and two attacking Arsenal assets as they host Crystal Palace. The final two spots are taken up by Palace players – generally we don’t like to pick players from teams playing against each other but there isn’t too much choice with just 6 fixtures.
We’re starting with our goalkeeper for gameweek 18 of FanTeam’s €50K Weekly Monster. Despite Burnley’s rocky start to the season, Nick Pope has still emerged, once again, as one of the league most dependable goalkeepers. Only four shot stoppers have amassed more than his 67,5 points on FanTeam, while he ranks joint-third for most saves. We figured that we’d use the goalkeeper position to save some budget and Pope looks like a decent investment. In truth, his fixture is rather unfavourable with Man United as opponents, but he does play at home and Burnley’s form has improved considerably over the past months as well. The Clarets are not the favourites here, but Turf Moor can be a tricky trip even for the best teams, so we’d be surprised to see them concede loads of goals in this one, especially when Pope has a good day.
Manager Pep Guardiola’s men have probably the most appealing fixture of this entire blank gameweek as they play a struggling Brighton side at home. At the same time, the Cityzens themselves showed glimpses of their best selves last week when Chelsea was given a free footballing lesson at Stamford Bridge. They now boast the best defence in the league, while they have also scored six times in the last three games. Brighton, though often lauded this season for their positive approach to games, are hovering just above the drop zone at this moment. They have conceded 7 goals in the last four games and their last clean sheet dates back to gameweek 13, when they shut out Fulham at Craven Cottage.
In other words, everything is pointing to a sky blue victory by some margin here, which is why we have invested heavily in City assets. As a matter of fact, we have spent almost 40% of our entire 105M budget on Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Joao Cancelo. Out of all City defenders, the latter seems to have the most freedom when it comes to dashing forward and we would not be surprised to see him playing in midfield for large parts of the game on Wednesday. He looks to have the highest potential for returns at both ends of the pitch. De Bruyne (our captain) and Sterling are both listed as midfielders on FanTeam and both will get chances to get on the score sheet against the Seagulls. The Belgian was back to his phenomenal best in gameweek 17, with a goal, an assist and 12 FT points, while Raz recorded 7 FT points, courtesy of an assist. It’s hard to predict who will shine against Brighton this round, but we feel these two are amongst the most probable candidates.
Besides our Man City triple-up, our team for FanTeam’s €50K Weekly Monster in gameweek 18 contains another trio as well. For their away game against struggling Sheffield United, we have selected three Newcastle fantasy assets. The Blades currently boast the worst attack in the league with just 8 goals from the 14 games, while only Leeds and West Brom have conceded more than their 29 goals so far. The Magpies themselves are no free-scoring team in-form either, but they are capable of booking a decent result at Bramall Lane, possibly even a victory with a clean sheet. They took just one point from their last three games, but it should be noted that the opponents were Man City, Liverpool and Leicester, and that they conceded “just” 4 goals over that run.
Against an attack as goal-shy as Sheffield United’s and keeping our limited budget in mind after going all in on Manchester City, we have gone for a defensive double-up with Fabian Schär and DeAndre Yedlin. They have just a single clean sheet to their names this season, but this one did come against Liverpool back in gameweek 16. Both Schär and Yedlin have started at least the last three games for manager Steve Bruce’s side, and the away game against Sheffield United looks like the perfect opportunity for a second clean sheet of the season.
When talking about Newcastle, it’s hard not to mention Callum Wilson, who we have also added to our squad. At 9.0M, the former Bournemouth striker has a relatively friendly price tag, especially considering the opposition he will be facing on Tuesday. He already has 8 goals and 4 assists to his name this season, and he is Newcastle’s principal threat going forward. His last goal does date back to gameweek 14, but we feel a game against the Blades is just what he needs to get back to his scoring ways.
From being a laughing stock just a few weeks ago, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal are currently one of the most interesting teams going into gameweek 18. The Gunners have won their last three league games, which saw them rise to 11th place in the league, just six points of a European spot, as a matter of fact. They have looked more creative going forward without losing their improved defence and next week, they are facing Crystal Palace at the Emirates. The Eagles did win against Championship-bound Sheffield United in GW17, but in the three games before that, they got just a single point and conceded a worrying 11 goals, including 7 against Liverpool and 3 versus Villa.
As a result, we figured a double-up on Arsenal’s attack could end with big rewards this gameweek. We have added Alexandre Lacazette (our vice-captain) to our forward line, based on his latest form. The Frenchman seems to have conquered a spot in Arteta’s starting eleven, which is not surprising, considering his 4 goals in the last three games. He is joined in our team by youngster Emile Smith-Rowe, who has impressed since starting against Chelsea back in gameweek 15. He started every game since then and rewarded that confidence in his abilities with 3 assists and a total of 21 FT points. Some pundits have even gone as far as labeling ESR one of the main reasons for Arsenal’s sudden uptick in form since GW15. Let’s hope he can keep delivering against Palace coming week.
After selecting the above nine players for our FanTeam €50K Weekly Monster team, we were left with very little budget and still two spots to fill. To complete our lineup, we stuck with the clash between Arsenal and Crystal Palace on Friday. Despite the fact that Arsenal are heavy favourites to win the encounter, we did not select any of their defenders on purpose. Not because the Gunners’ defence is fragile, as a matter of fact just three teams have conceded less goals, but because of the individual quality in the Palace attack so we’re banking on a score-draw between Arsenal and Palace.
The likes of Eberechi Eze and especially star man Wilfried Zaha are capable of causing trouble to every defence in the Premier League, including Arsenal’s. Where the former has so far been directly involved in 5 goals (2 goals and 3 assists), including a goal against Sheffield United last week, the latter is once again leading the Eagles to another season with a mid-table position. With 8 goals and 3 assists, Zaha has been directly involved in exactly 50% of all of Palace’s goals, and he will very likely be the main danger man against Arsenal. They will be looking for opportunities on the counter and in case of success, you can count on the Ivory Coast international to be involved.