FISO are starting a new series of weekly articles on Fanteam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider (and entering the team that we write about!). This series will focus on Fanteam’s Weekly Monster, a weekly fantasy league based on the Premier League games that kick-off on or after Saturday 3pm UK time with €50,000 worth of guaranteed prize money. That’s every gameweek, in case you were wondering. Our article will focus on a Early Entry for this weekly tournament which will help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek so you can win some of that large prize money. Every gameweek, we will choose a team of eleven players from the selected Premier League matches within a virtual budget of €100 million. In that sense, the Weekly Monster is quite similar to the official Fantasy Premier League game we all know and love.
Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€50k prize pool) Weekly Monster, which has a maximum entry limit of 3,000. Every week, we’ll report back on how our team performed in the previous week. A finish in the top 20% of a given week would see us win part of the prize pool of which the winner normally takes home about €4,000. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool (of which the winner normally gets about €500) for those who prefer to play with lower stakes.
Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of Fanteam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and that represent some of the major differences when comparing the game to the FPL.
Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the Weekly Monster, because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. By ‘next’ lowest we mean if our player (who doesn’t start) is priced at 7m and two players priced less than him at 6.8m and 6.5m start then our replacement will be the 6.8m player. The automatic replacement is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule means people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster need not worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead.
Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the Weekly Monster, which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams.
Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 28’s FanTeam Weekly Monster is set at 3PM (UK time) on Saturday, February 29th, 2020. You can enter a team earlier and make changes right up to the deadline. This means you have an hour to check the starting line-ups for the 3PM games, so you can change your selections accordingly up until the 3PM deadline, but not after.
Gameweek 28 Weekly Monster matches
How did our Weekly Monster team fare in gameweek 27?
Formation: 4-4-2| Budget used: 100m| GW28 finish: 774/2248| Prize pool: ///
|NAME (club) (opponent)||RETURNS||POINTS|
|Schmeichel (LEI) vs Man City (home)||Clean sheet, Penalty stopped, 5 saves||8.5|
|Van Dijk (LIV) vs West Ham (home)||Impact +1, Goals conceded -1||2|
|Taylor (BUR) vs Bournemouth (home)||Clean sheet, Impact +1||7|
|Fernandez (NEW) vs Palace (away)||Impact -1||1|
|Saiss (WOL) vs Norwich (home)||Clean sheet, 1 assist, Impact +1||10|
|Salah (LIV) vs West Ham (home)||1 goal, Impact +1||9|
|Wijnaldum (LIV) vs West Ham (home)||1 goal, Impact +1||9|
|Moutinho (WOL) vs Norwich (home)||Clean sheet, Impact +1||5|
|Grealish (AST) vs Southampton (away)||1 yellow, Impact -1||1|
|Ings (SOU) vs Aston Villa (home)||Impact +1||3|
|Jimenez (WOL) vs Norwich (home)||1 goal, 1 yellow, Impact +1||6|
Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 28
Formation: 3-4-3| Budget used: 98.6m
As a result of Manchester City, Aston Villa, Sheffield United and Arsenal blanking this gameweek, and the Norwich vs Leicester Friday night game not being included in this week’s Weekly Monster selection, pickings were considerably slimmer than usual for gameweek 28. Even though this has a negative impact on the number of available potential game-winners, we did find it slightly easier this week to navigate the budget and build our team selection around the teams we consider to have the most favourable fixtures. Having said that, the fixture list for GW28 overall is not great from a fantasy football point of view, with very few clear favourites at first glance.
For our 11-man team selection this week, we have focused on four teams, namely Liverpool (away vs Watford), Wolves (away vs Spurs), Southampton (away vs West Ham), and Burnley (away vs Newcastle). As you can see, all of these teams are travelling this weekend, which is in part what we were referring to earlier when discussing gameweek 28’s hard-to-predict set of fixtures. Let’s move on to our picks for FanTeam’s Weekly Monster in GW28.
Our defensive set-up contains two Burnley players and the first of those two is our goalkeeper, Nick Pope. After last weekend’s sort of fortunate clean sheet against Bournemouth, the young Englishman is now the highest-scoring goalkeeper in FPL and on Fanteam. As a matter of fact, when looking at points earned per million of his price tag (or Points per million), Pope is the most valuable player in the entire official Fantasy Premier League game. Burnley have booked three clean sheets in their last four games and next up is Newcastle, with 12 goals in 13 home games the second-least prolific team in front of their own fans. The Magpies haven’t scored in three PL games and we see a chance for that number to increase by one this weekend.
Seeing as we started with Burnley’s goalkeeper, we’ll cover James Tarkowski as our first defender for this week’s Weekly Monster. The budget allowed us to go for Burnley’s most expensive defender this week, which means we have certain coverage from the Safety Net should the Englishman not start on Saturday. Chances of that are extremely slim though, as he has literally not missed a single minute of Premier League action yet this campaign. He went through a productive phase in gameweeks 12 and 13, scoring a goal and providing 2 assists, but he has had no other attacking returns. He did record 10 clean sheets and we’re hoping for an eleventh against Newcastle this weekend. In case of a clean sheet, the Stacking Penalty will apply with just a 1 point deduction.
Our second defender is a repeat from last weekend, when Wolves defender Romain Saiss brought us a victory, a clean sheet and an assist. The remaining 1.4m of our budget allowed us to pick any Wolves defender we want for our current set-up, but we chose to stick with the Moroccan international after his fine displays of late. From his last three Premier League encounters, he has taken 3 clean sheets, 1 assist and 2 bonus points for a total of 23 FPL points over that period. Considering his budget price tag in FPL and on FanTeam, this average of 7.6 points per game is nothing short of fantastic. Up next is an away game against a depleted and largely uninspired Spurs side. Normally, this fixture would not tempt many fantasy managers to pick a Wolves defender, but as things stand currently for both teams, we feel Saiss and Wolves could get away with something here.
With Trent Alexander-Arnold, we have saved the best for last in the coverage of our defensive picks. By now, it starting to feel kind of pointless to go over TAA’s weekly improving stats, simply because the young right-back can’t stop performing, both for his FPL managers and his real-life manager. With 2 goals and 14 assists to his name after 27 games, he is not only this season’s most prolific defender, but one of the most productive defenders in Premier League history. Add to that his 11 clean sheets and 18 bonus points in FPL, and it’s clear why he is the third-best performing FPL asset overall this season. Our budget allowed us to bring him in for this weekend and we all know what he can do, so we hope that he’ll be doing just that against Watford on Saturday evening.
Especially in weekly tournaments like FanTeam’s Weekly Monster, but even in season-long games such as FPL, one of the most relevant returning questions is “Which of the two should I pick?”. The fact that both of the players in question boast similar price tags, similar positions in the team, and similar stats in the Premier League this season does not make the decision any easier. We are, of course, talking about Liverpool’s African attackers, Mo Salah and Sadio Mané. Sometimes, like against West Ham in GW27, both return points, but sometimes Salah outperforms Mané, and sometimes Mané outperforms Salah. Due to their heavy price tags, the key is picking the right one at the right moment. Or is it?
For this week’s Weekly Monster, we decided that it is not and that we’re not going to play this guessing game. Instead, we started our team selection by selecting both Salah and Mané for their away game at Vicarage Road. Salah has been in great form of late, scoring 4 goals, providing 1 assist and being part of 3 clean sheets in his last four games, but Mané did not take long to re-join the race for the Golden Boot after missing gameweeks 24 and 25 through injury. Both in GW26 and GW27, the Senegalese winger scored, which has resulted in 14 points on Fanteam over that period. In other words, both forwards are coming into Saturday’s game in very good form, so the decision we need to make now is who of the two to captain. We’ve gone with Mané for this one, but as it stands now, you can’t go wrong with either one.
Though far away from the Liverpool duo’s respective price tags, our third midfield pick is a premium one this week as well. Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse is the most expensive Saints midfielder for their encounter with West Ham on Saturday afternoon, which means that we are covered by the Safety Net for this one. The English playmaker is in charge of almost every kind of set-piece imaginable for the Saints, which automatically raises is appeal as a fantasy asset. Add to that the fact that West Ham have conceded more goals (14) and more shots inside the box (63) than any other PL outfit over the past four weeks, and you can see why we have pinned some of our hopes on JWP. His stats this season are not out of this world (4 goals, 3 assists, 6 clean sheets), but not bad for a budget pick (in FPL) either and we can definitely see him improve on these figures this weekend.
Our fourth and final midfielder is also the third Burnley player in our team for gameweek 28, midfielder slash singer Dwight McNeil. To begin with, the young Englishman is a mainstay in Sean Dyche’s starting eleven, having started every single Premier League game so far this season. In a team that is not known for its offensive creativity, McNeil is often looked at to provide the creative spark and not without reason. He has scored 2 goals and provided 6 assists already, which represents a direct involvement in just under 25% of Burnley’s goals. He racked up the best fantasy score of his season last weekend (14 points in FPL, 15 points on FanTeam), courtesy of a goal and an assist, and we’re hoping that he can continue this fine form into coming weekend’s away game at Saint James Park.
Due to the scarcity of really convincing premium picks on FanTeam this weekend, and thanks to Southampton’s decent current form and upcoming fixture, our forward line contains not one but two Saints. The first of the two is the inevitable Danny Ings, who, despite blanking last weekend at home to Aston Villa, is still in the thick of the Golden Boot race at the moment. His 15 goals (and 1 assist) are nothing short of impressive and West Ham will want to keep him on a tight leash on Saturday. Unfortunately for the Hammers, that is just the thing at which they have seemed largely incapable this campaign, which is illustrated by the 48 goals they have already conceded so far. Only Norwich and Villa have fared worse. Funnily enough, when Ings went on a rampage during a few months between gameweeks 12 and 22, scoring 10 goals in 11 games, the only two teams against which he did not find the net over that run were Chelsea at the Bridge and… West Ham at home! It’s true that the Hammers have potential and have bee performing way below it this season, but we see Ings returning points in this one.
Joining Ings in attack is fellow Saint Shane Long, who seems to have conquered a spot in Ralph Hasenhüttl’s starting eleven. In the past six Premier League games, the Irish striker has scored 2 goals and provided 1 assist, and all of his FPL bonus points this season (4) were collected over that period as well. On top of that, he played a minimum of 69 minutes in each of these games, which increases his FanTeam Weekly Monster appeal. As we have already mentioned in the previous paragraph about Danny Ings, up next is a West Ham side with performance issues in front of their own fans. Here is to hoping that our duo of Saints forwards can do some damage.
Our final pick for gameweek 28’s Weekly Monster is a personal favourite, a more than steady FPL performer, and one of the finest additions to the Premier League in recent years. Wolves striker Raul Jimenez has been one of the season’s most consistent performers so far, with his 12 goals and 6 assists spread over 15 different games. What we find more interesting though, is the fact that he has so far returned against Burnley at home, Villa at home and Norwich away, to name a few of the easier fixtures, but also against City at home and away, Liverpool at home and Everton away, for example. At a relatively low price (in FPL, at least), Jimenez offers valuable consistency combined with a kind of fixture-proof quality. He is an extremely skilled player who can score against anyone in the league, including away to a toothless Spurs side coming Sunday.
As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Weekly Monster and we hope to report back next week that we’ve shared part of the 50,000 euros prize pool. You can also follow discussions about FanTeam games on FISO’s FanTeam Forum. FISO members could win free ‘Weekly Monster’ entries (worth 20 euros) via the FISO FanTeam forum. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks. Read all about a fiso member who won 30,000 euros on FanTeam from just a 2 euro entry fee. FanTeam have also just launched a 500,000 euro Fantasy Premier League game.