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 29’s FanTeam Weekly Monster is set at 3PM (UK time) on Saturday, March 7th, 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 (the 1st 5 fixtures listed below), so you can change your selections accordingly up until the 3PM deadline, but not after.
Gameweek 29 Weekly Monster matches
|08/03/20||Manchester United||Manchester Cheaty|
How did our Weekly Monster team fare in gameweek 28?
Formation: 3-4-3| Budget used: 98.6m| GW28 finish: 1472/2248| Prize pool: ///
|NAME (club) (opponent)||RETURNS||POINTS|
|Pope (BUR) vs. Newcastle (a)||Clean sheet, 4 saves||8|
|Alexander-Arnold (LIV) vs. Watford (a)||Goals conceded -1, Impact -1||0|
|Saiss (WOL) vs. Spurs (a)||Goals conceded -1, Impact +1||2|
|Tarkowski (BUR) vs. Newcastle (a)||Clean sheet, yellow card, stack penalty -1||4|
|C Mané (LIV) vs. Watford (a)||Impact -1||4|
|VC Salah (LIV) vs Watford (a)||Impact -1||2|
|Ward-Prowse (SOU) vs. West Ham (a)||1 assist, Impact -1||5|
|McNeil (BUR) vs. Newcastle (a)||Clean sheet||4|
|Giroud (CHE) vs. Bournemouth (a)||1 assist, Impact -1||4|
|Long (SOU) vs. West Ham (a)||Impact -1||2|
|Jimenez (WOL) vs Spurs (a)||1 goal, Impact +1||7|
Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 29
Formation: 3-4-3| Budget used: 99.9m
Gameweek 29 looks to be one of those gameweeks in which the Weekly Monster budget just seems too tight to really bring in all the players you ideally want. With several favourable fixture match-ups on the calendar, plenty of fantasy Premier League assets carry (very) premium price tags this weekend. Here’s an example to illustrate the situation: the likes of Vardy (injury doubt), Maddison (last attacking return in GW21), Raheem Sterling (no returns since GW19) and Wilfried Ndidi all set you back 12% or more of your total budget. Of course, historial performance is not or barely taken into account for the Weekly Monster prices, but it gives you a bit of an idea of the budgetary situation in which we find ourselves this weekend.
For our team selection for gameweek 29, we have focused on Wolves, Sheffield United and Arsenal as our team’s backbone, and Everton as this week’s punt. The remaining two spots in the starting eleven are taken up by a Burnley and a Crystal Palace asset, respectively, partly based on their fixture and partly on each player’s capacity to put down an excellent individual performance without necessarily needing a good team performance or even victory from their respective teams.
We are starting our overview with the previously mentioned Burnley asset, goalkeeper Nick Pope. In FPL, the young Englishman is the highest-scoring goalkeeper, while on FanTeam, he is the second-best goalie after Schmeichel (133 vs 134.5 points). The Clarets’ league-high 11 clean sheets have more than a little to do with these outstanding rankings. He is one of the league’s most in-form shot stoppers at this moment, which is underlined by the fact that, on FanTeam, he has recorded 50.5 points over the past six gameweeks. That’s an average of almost 8,5 points per game. If he can maintain this average on Saturday evening at home to Spurs, we’ll be more than happy.
Our most expensive defender this weekend is Sheffield United left wing-back Enda Stevens. The Blades are facing the Premier League’s most goal-shy travellers in Norwich this weekend. The Canaries have managed to score just 6 goals in 14 away games so far, and just 1 goal in their last 5 games away from home. Sheffield United, on the other hand, boast the league’s second-sturdiest defence overall (25 goals conceded vs. Liverpool’s 20) and the league’s fifth-best defence in home games (13 goals conceded in 14 games). As far as Stevens goes, he already has 2 goals and 2 assists to his name, but he is currently flagged as having a 75% chance of playing. We feel confident he will start on Saturday, but if he doesn’t, we’re more than covered by the Safety Net. Besides that, you will know Sheffield’s starting lineup an hour before this week’s Weekly Monster deadline.
Our second defender is the first Wolves asset in our team selection for gameweek 29. Romain Saiss has been a shrewd investment of late, both in FPL and on FanTeam. The Moroccan national team captain is a mainstay in Nuno Espirito Santo’s starting lineup, but in both games, he has remained in the relative bargain basket. Despite a home game against Brighton this Saturday, playing the full 90 minutes in 13 of the last 14 PL games, and recording no less than 24 points on FanTeam over the past four gameweeks, his price this week was still set at just 7.0M. When it comes to away games only, Brighton share a relegation spot with Bournemouth and Watford as a result of taking just 10 points from 14 games. Over that run, the Seagulls managed to score just 15 goals. A Wolves victory is expected, hopefully with a clean sheet.
The final component of our 3-men defence is Dutch defender Patrick van Aanholt, who is facing Watford at Selhurst Park on Saturday. Palace manager Roy Hodgson has managed to turn his team into a very solid defensive unit, with Sheffield United the only team currently outside of the top five that has conceded less than Palace’s 32 goals in 28 games. When looking at home games exclusively, Newcastle are the only outfit outside of the current top four that has conceded less than Palace’s 13 goals. Van Aanholt is not just a defensive pick though, because he tends to bomb forward quite often as well. His 3 goals this Premier League campaign illustrate the freedom he gets to join in attack when possible. On FanTeam, he has recorded 20 points over the past two weeks, courtesy of 2 clean sheets and a goal. Saturday’s opponent Watford will be buoyant after thrashing Liverpool 3-0 last weekend, but the Hornets have their work cut out for them against a stubborn Eagles side and it wouldn’t surprise us to see them come crashing back down to earth.
The most expensive pick on our midfield this week is also a first-timer in our team selection this season. Arsenal’s Nicolas Pépé has had a bit of a anonymous start to his first Premier League season, but under manager Mikel Arteta, he seems to be finding his place in the team and in the league. Back in gameweeks 16 and 17, Arsenal played West Ham and City back-to-back, just like they will now for their double gameweek. The DGW is of no concern to Weekly Monster players, but it’s worth mentioning that in the previously mentioned gameweeks, Pépé started both games, scored a goal and an assist (away to West Ham) and recorded a total of 14 points on FPL. In terms of his more recent form, the Ivory Coast international has been on fire: over the past 2 gameweeks, he has scored a goal and given 2 assists for a total of 23 points on FanTeam. Despite his hefty price tag for the Weekly Monster (12.2M), we expect Pépé to be the second-most selected Gunner this week, after Aubameyang.
Out of the three Sheffield United midfielders that seem to have nailed down a spot in manager Chris Wilder’s starting eleven, we have gone with John Fleck, who is United’s most expensive midfielder this week. When looking at the Blades midfield though, besides Lundstram’s early-season antics, there is no abundance of goal-scoring potential there. Fleck is the main man on their midfield, at least when it comes to direct goal involvement. In 24 games this season, the Englishman has scored 5 goals and provided 2 assists, which represents an attacking return every 3.4 games. This weekend, Norwich are rolling up to Bramall Lane, and we find it hard to imagine that Chris Wilder would lose this opportunity to add another three points to United’s already impressive points total. Canary confidence will have been boosted considerably by last Friday’s victory over Leicester, but the home team should win this one, in theory. Norwich have conceded 25 goals in 14 away games, and Fleck might well add a bit to their defensive misery this weekend.
The case for our third midfield pick this week is a bit similar to that of Fleck, in the sense that Joao Moutinho, despite being an excellent midfielder and a sure starter for Wolves, is not the most prolific fantasy asset. He has played 2344 out of 2520 Premier League minutes so far this season, and scored a goal and provided 7 assists over that run. The assists, in particular, are of interest, because they reveal Moutinho’s very frequent set-piece duties. The Portuguese playmaker has not returned since his back-to-back assists in gameweeks 21 and 22, so we hope that the upcoming home game against Brighton finally sees him directly involved in a goal once again. The 25 goals that the Seagulls have conceded in their 14 away games this season show us that there will be opportunities for players of Moutinho’s mould and quality.
Our 4-man midfield is completed by one of our two Everton picks this week, Richarlison. At a price of just 6.9M, the Brazilian winger/striker could be a bit of a bargain, considering the Toffees are visiting Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Chelsea have been far from comfortable in front of their own fans this season, which is underlined by the fact that, when looking at results from home game only, the Blues are actually in tenth place in the Premier League. A total of 21 points from 14 games is just not good enough for a team with Champions League ambitions. Since Carlo Ancelotti took over at Goodison, Everton have scored in every Premier League game. Over that period, Richarlison scored 4 goals and provided 2 assists for a total of 49 points in FPL and 53 points on FanTeam. It should also be noted that he missed gameweeks 23 and 24 completely due to injury. In other words, it’s a bit of a punt, but we can see Richarlison score or assist at Chelsea.
Just like last week, we are playing with three forwards this weekend, starting with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, our most expensive pick overall. From an FPL point of view, the Gabonese Gunner is probably the best fantasy asset from Mikel Arteta’s team and he could be in for a nice haul this Saturday at home against West Ham. Auba has played the full 90 minutes in the last three Premier League games and it’s not hard to see why: 2 goals (both at home to Everton and Newcastle, respectively) and 23 points on FanTeam for an average of almost 8 points per game over that period. Arsenal have a double gameweek, but we’re confident their star man will start both games, especially considering the fact that he was rested for Arsenal’s FA Cup tie with Portsmouth last Monday. The Hammers have conceded a worrying 15 goals in their last 6 Premier League games overall and they will be more than nervous about facing the current Premier League joint-topscorer this weekend. Auba is also our captain for GW29.
Our second forward pick of the week has become somewhat of a familiar face in our weekly selection. Wolves are playing at home against Brighton coming Sunday and we’re betting on Raul Jimenez to do what he does best once again: record a modest, but sweet single-digit return over 90 minutes of Premier League football. The Mexican striker has returned in 16 different games already this season and even though that includes just three double-digit returns, this makes him one of the most consistent top performers this campaign. And consistency, especially of this kind, usually means value in fantasy football. From their last 5 away games, this weekend’s opponent Brighton have taken just 2 points, conceding 10 and scoring 6 goals in the process. We think Wolves will better them this weekend and if they do, we certainly see a key role for Jimenez. He is also our vice-captain this round.
Our final fantasy pick for gameweek 29 is partly budget-based, partly form-based and partly based on our wish to include what, hopefully, will turn out to be a meaningful differential pick. Everton are playing away at Chelsea this weekend and with the Blues’ disappointing home form in mind, we have selected Dominic Calvert-Lewin as our third striker. After 3 goals in 4 PL games between gameweeks 23 and 26, many fantasy managers expected the young Englishman to drift off the radar a bit, due to an unfavourable swing of fixtures. From GW27 onwards, the Toffees played Arsenal away, United at home, this weekend Chelsea away and Liverpool at home in GW30, but DCL didn’t mind. Two weeks into this tough run of games and the Everton forward sits on 2 goals from 2 games (1 at Arsenal, 1 against United). With a FanTeam price tag of just 6.8M this weekend and our hope that some players will overlook him, he made it into our starting eleven for GW29 along with his team mate Richarlison and we hope they link up for a goal.
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.