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.
Fixtures for the GW13 Monster:
Our team suggestion for the Midweek Monster in gameweek 13
The Premier League is now entering the yearly festive period and that means six gameweeks in just three weeks! For gameweek 13, FanTeam have created the €50K Midweek Monster in which we had to select a squad of 11 players for a budget of 105M. In this round, our team is built up of four duos combined with three high-ceiling individual picks.
We have gone with two defensive Saints, two Seagulls in search of much-needed points, two Spurs stars who just can’t stop delivering fantasy returns and two ultra-premium Man City picks as they host West Brom. We have also added two strikers who are of enormous importance to their respective teams and a relatively expensive defender who could be up for returns at both sides of the pitch on Wednesday.
No team in the Premier League has recorded more clean sheets than Southampton (5) after 12 games and their shot stopper Alex McCarthy has played a big role in that defensive success. Against Sheffield United last weekend he did not record a save for the first time since the start of the campaign, but the Englishman got 7 FT points from saves over the prior three games. On Wednesday, the Saints are visiting the Emirates Stadium to face an extremely goal-shy Arsenal side. The Gunners have scored just 2 goals in the last eight (!) league games. They’ve got the guns, but they are not firing right now and we hope this will continue against Southampton.
In this light, we even decide to double up on Saints defenders by also picking central defender Jannik Vestergaard. It’s been a while since we felt that a defensive Southampton double-up looked like a very reasonable decision, but that’s how things are at the moment. Vestergaard is actually the second-highest-scoring defender on FanTeam right now, courtesy of 5 clean sheets and 3 goals, which is what makes him extra interesting this round. Arsenal do not only lack goals, but also a certain physicality in the back at times. Hopefully, our powerful Danish centre back can benefit from that as well during the offensive set-pieces.
The most expensive part of our three-men defensive set-up is Aaron Cresswell. The West Ham centre back is having a great start to the 2020-21 campaign as central defender who slots into midfield often. He is also on a lot of set-pieces, which has led to 4 assists already. Combine those with West Ham’s 4 clean sheets this season and you see why Cresswell is currently amongst the ten highest-scoring defenders in FanTeam. The Englishman is facing Crystal Palace at home on Wednesday and the Eagles have been far from prolific on the road so far. Not counting their outlier 1-5 drubbing of West Brom in gameweek 11, Roy Hodgson’s men scored just twice in their last four away games. We’re hoping for a West Ham clean sheet and a few set-pieces for Cresswell here.
Our third defender for the FanTeam €50K Midweek Monster is Brighton’s Lewis Dunk. The Seagulls suffered against a lively Leicester side on Sunday, but it was one of the few games this season in which the opposition was considerably better than them. In general, Brighton play a decent kind of attacking football, the only thing missing so far are the points. That’s why the coming two games are of great importance to them, starting with Fulham away. The Cottagers are finding themselves in a good moment and are coming off a draw against reigning champions Liverpool, but we feel that Brighton will be another type of challenge for them. We’re betting on the Seagulls and an important role for Dunk in this one.
Speaking of important Brighton players, we have also opted for Pascal Gross in our midfield. The Seagulls were overrun by Leicester in GW12, but against Fulham, they should have a bit more time and space to play their game, which should only benefit Gross’ playmaking skills. The German attacking midfielder scored 2 goals and provided 2 assists in the past six games, and he looks like a crucial player when it comes to unlocking the at times shaky Fulham defence. On top of that, he could represent some nice differential value during this midweek round, as he seems to be a bit overlooked at the moment in the world of Premier League fantasy football.
The main men in our midfield, and our entire team actually, are our two Manchester City aces. After a rather dull Manchester dull, the Cityzens are welcoming West Brom to the Etihad on Tuesday. The Baggies have conceded 7 goals in the last two games, which includes an unexpected 1-5 home defeat against otherwise not so free-scoring Crystal Palace back in gameweek 11. City has won their last two games home games rather comfortably (5-0 vs Burnley in GW10 and 2-0 vs Fulham in GW11) and we’re expecting a similar game and result against West Brom.
That’s why we have gone with Kevin de Bruyne (our captain) and Raheem Sterling for this one, two of the three most expensive players in the FanTeam €50K Midweek Monster tournament. Rotation is always a risk when it comes to Pep Guardiola’s City, especially during the festive period, but we’d be surprised to see him bench De Bruyne for this game. A Sterling benching might be a bit more likely due to the English dribbler being less decisive so far this season, but in that case, FanTeam’s Safety Net will replace him with Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva or Ferran Torres for us. Man City are trailing the leading pack at the moment and we expect goals in this one as they work on getting back into the title race.
Our Man City duo are joined by another star, but one that currently plays in North London. Heung-Min Son has been nothing short of spectacular this season with 10 goals and 4 assists in 12 league games. He has recorded 2 goals and 2 assists in his last four games, and picking him for the away game at Anfield could be a very shrewd move. Liverpool seem to be suffering from an injury curse and no less than three of their centre backs could be missing against Spurs in what will be a true top-of-the-table clash. The result is definitely uncertain, but Son could be great as a fantasy pick no matter the outcome.
The same goes for his partner in crime Harry Kane, who is possibly the only player truly outperforming the Korean forward this season. Tottenham’s very own is going through the best spell of his career with 9 goals and 10 assists in the first 12 games of the campaign, and he was on target again last weekend as Spurs drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace. More even so than Son, Kane has the potential to benefit from Liverpool’s defensive injury crisis. If there was ever a time for the England number nine to score at Anfield, it seems to be this Wednesday.
Up front, we have partnered Kane with two other goal poachers who are crucial to their respective teams, starting with Jamie Vardy (our vice-captain). The former England international looks to be getting back to his scoring best once again with an assist in gameweek 10, a goal in gameweek 11, and a goal and 2 assists last weekend against Brighton. Up next are Everton, who have been far from defensively solid this season. The Toffees have already conceded 18 goals so far, only five teams have done worse in that sense, though it should be noted that they did keep a clean sheet against form-team Chelsea last weekend. We find it hard to imagine a repetition of this feat at the King Power though, and the presence of Vardy is the main reason for that.
Finally, Callum Wilson, Newcastle’s talisman who disappointed in gameweek 12 with just 3 FT points at home against West Brom. Prior to that encounter, the England international had been directly involved in an unbelievable 83% of all Magpie goals (7 goals and 3 assists in 9 games), but he did not have a direct hand in the two goals they scored against the Baggies on Saturday. Wilson is quality though, and one of the most fixture-proof players in the game, so we’re backing him to bounce back against Leeds this Wednesday. Even though the home side are likely to dominate the game, they will also allow for a few opportunities for the visitors and that’s always dangerous against a striker like Wilson.