A few months before the world started going into lock-down, FISO had started a new series of weekly articles on FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider, entering the team we write about each week into the game as well. This series focused on FanTeam’s Weekly Monster, a weekly fantasy league based on the Premier League games that kick-off on or after Saturday 3PM (UK time) with €50,000 worth of guaranteed prize money. That’s every gameweek, in case you were wondering. Each of our articles focused on an Early Entry for the 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.
Like the rest of the football world though, we had to temporarily put our new FanTeam article series on hold when the Premier League was suspended indefinitely on the 13th of March, 2020. As far as English football goes, there is still no clarity as to how the 2019-20 season can be finished, but that’s not the case for all football leagues. The German Bundesliga has actually already announced a return to footballing action and this weekend will see the first round of the rest of the season in Germany take place (GW26 of their season). Seeing as, just like you, we can’t wait for a return to footballing normality, we decided to write a piece on this weekend’s German 50k Monster. If you’re not sure how to play FanTeam Fantasy Bundesliga then check out our step by step video guide.
Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€50k prize pool) German Monster, which has a maximum entry limit of 3,000 participants. The top 525 teams will share in the prize pool and for this particular weekend, the winner will take home a cool €10,000 this weekend. Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that apply to this weekend’s German Monster.
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. 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 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 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.
Don’t forget, the deadline for the upcoming German Monster is set at 2.30PM (UK time) on Saturday, May 16th, 2020. You can enter a team earlier and make changes right up to the deadline. This means you should have an hour from when teams are announced to check the starting line-ups for the 2.30PM (UK time) games.
German 50K Monster matches
Our team suggestion for the German Monster in gameweek 26
Formation: 4-3-3 | Budget used: 99.7m
A first glance at the player selection and prices for this weekend’s German Monster immediately revealed budget constraints to be the talk of the day. There are not a lot of stand-out fixtures from a fantasy points of view (Saturday’s derby between Dortmund and Schalke does stand out footballing-wise, and how!), and player prices on the rosters of Bayern, Dortmund and Leipzig are sky-high. Nonetheless we identified Leipzig (3 players) and Gladbach (2 players) as our favourites for this weekend, supplemented with a punt born out of necessity on Hertha Berlin (3 players). Union Berlin provides the (cheapest) goalkeeper, Wolfsburg the fourth defender, and Bayern’s star man leads the way up front.
We have picked Union Berlin goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz as our man between the sticks, purely out of budget concerns. He is the cheapest goalkeeper in the game this weekend, which is no surprise knowing they will be facing current leaders Bayern München. We’re not expecting a lot of points from Gikiewicz, but a few save points may be on the cards. On top of that, when it comes to home games, only six teams in the league perform better than Union’s 16 conceded goals.
Leipzig’s left wing-back Angeliño is our first and most premium defensive pick for this weekend. The Spanish set-piece specialist is the ninth most expensive defender in the game, but with a home game against Freiburg coming up, we feel he’s worth it. Die Roten Bullen have conceded just 13 goals in 12 home games (only Bayern and Dortmund have conceded less), while their opponents have managed just 18 goals in 13 away games, a tally better by 10 other teams. As far as Angeliño himself goes, since he came over from Man City on loan in January of this year, he already has 6 Bundesliga games and 1 goal behind his name.
Our second defender is part of a Borossia Mönchengladbach backline that has conceded 30 goals in 25 games, and 14 of those goals came in 12 away games. Right-back Stefan Lainer has become a nailed-on part of Gladbach’s starting eleven and this weekend, him and his team mates are facing Eintracht Frankfurt away from home. The Austrian 27-year old is quite prolific for a defender with a goal and 2 assists from 11 Bundesliga games, so we’re hoping that he can mark his post-lock-down return with another decent FanTeam return this weekend.
In defence we also find the only Wolfsburg asset we picked for this weekend, namely right-back Kevin Mbabu. The Swiss-Congolese 25-year old was transferred in from Swiss side BSC Young Boys in the summer of 2019 for a fee of €9.2 million. Since the turn of the year, he has played himself into Die Wölfe’s starting eleven, with a goal and an assist in a total of 11 Bundesliga games as a result. This weekend, he is facing Augsburg away from home, knowing that the home team has scored a decent 36 goals in 25 Bundesliga games. At the same time though, they have conceded a worrying 52 goals. Taking home the three points won’t be easy for Wolfsburg, but a victory is definitely possible and while we’re at it, why not a few points for Mbabu as well?
Our fourth and final defender for the German 50k Monster is also the first of three Hertha Berlin picks in our team. Maximilian Mittelstädt is actually a left wingback, but he often operates as a left midfielder or even a left winger for Die Alte Dame. As a result, he has 1 goal and 3 assists to his name this season, from 21 Bundesliga games. Not a bad return at all, especially when considering he is a guaranteed starter playing fellow mid-table team Hoffenheim away from home this weekend. No team has conceded more goals at home than their 31 from 13 games, while 9 teams have scored more than their 19 goals in those same home games. Herta are not the favourite here and Mittelstädt is a bit of a punt as a result of budget issues, but we are not discarding him right away either.
Like in our defence, the star man on our midfield is also part of the RB Leipzig roster. Offensive midfielder Christopher Nkunku was bought from French side Paris Saint Germain in the summer of 2019 for a hefty fee of €13 million, but the Frenchman did not need long to justify his club’s expenditure. After 23 Bundesliga this season, his tallies sit at 4 goals and no less than 14 assists, which is the most in the entire league. Rolling up to the Red Bull Arena Leipzig on Saturday is current number eight Freiburg, who have conceded 21 goals in 13 away games. This is not a worrying total (only eight teams have conceded less), but Leipzig’s 32 goals in 12 home games make us think that points could be won here.
Nkunku is joined in the middle by Gladbach winger Patrick Hermann, who is listed as a midfielder on FanTeam. The young German is a key cog in Gladbach’s system, which explains his 5 goals and 6 assists in 19 Bundesliga games this season. He is playing away against Frankfurt this weekend, at the Commerzbank-Arena, where he will be looking to add to the home team’s 16 conceded goals so far (from 12 home games). Hermann has suffered from injuries this season, so in case he can’t start on Saturday (he is currently marked as fit), FanTeam’s safety net ensures that he will be replaced by Florian Neuhaus or Jonas Hofmann.
Our three-man midfield is completed by Hertha Berlin’s Marius Wolf, who, like his earlier mentioned team mate Mittelstädt, is mostly a budget-enabling kind of pick. Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t or don’t expect anything from him. The 24-year old German offers some out-of-position potential, as he is listed as a midfielder on FanTeam, but often operates more like a right winger for Die Alte Dame. With 1 goal and 3 assists from 21 Bundesliga games so far, he has shown his worth in an attacking sense as well, and we’re hoping that he will do so again when Hertha visits Hoffenheim on Saturday.
We’re starting with our most expensive pick, our captain, our team’s star man, and the Bundesliga’s current top scorer with an incredible 25 goals from 23 games. Robert Lewandowski doesn’t need any introduction, as the 31-year old Polish assassin has been scoring goals in Germany and the Champions League for ages, it seems. On paper, and together with Leipzig’s home game against Freiburg, Sunday’s game between Union Berlin and Bayern is probably the weekend’s most attractive fantasy fixture. That’s also why we decided to include at least one Bayern player, despite their extremely high price tags, and Lewa was the chosen one. All we need know is another goal or two to keep his purple patch alive and the long break has allowed him to recover from a leg injury.
Lewandowski is not the only premium pick on our front-line, though. That’s because we figured Leipzig’s Timo Werner is a must-have this weekend as well. He is the only player who is more or less capable of keeping up with Lewa’s scoring this season, with 21 goals from 25 games and we feel that he has a chance to catch up a bit this weekend. Saturday’s opponents Freiburg have conceded 21 goals in 13 away games, which is not bad, but doesn’t constitute a fortress either. We’re hoping that Werner will be coming out of the break ready to fire and keep his team in the race for a Champions League spot next season. He is also our vice-captain.
Our third striker and final pick for the German 50K Monster is Hertha Berlin new boy Krzysztof Piatek. The ex-AC Milan man was brought in from Italy during the 2020 January transfer window for a juicy €24 million and he played six Bundesliga game since then. So far, he has just a single goal to his name, but there could be much more to come, especially when taking his scoring stints in Italy into account. Picking Piatek was mainly the result of budget constraints, but we do expect him to start on Saturday and if he does, he could well be a source of some seriously differential points.
As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam 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.