FanTeam German €50k Monster – GW29 – 30/31 May 2020

Following on from our article on the FanTeam German Monster GW28, this weekend it’s time for gameweek 29 in the German Bundesliga. Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€50k prize pool) German 50k Monster, which has a maximum entry limit of 3,000 participants. The first 555 will partake in the prize pool and for this particular weekend, the winner will take home a cool €7,500 this weekend. Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and which apply to this weekend’s German 50k Monster as well. If you’re not sure how to play FanTeam Fantasy Bundesliga then check out our step by step video guide.

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 German 50K 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 50K 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.

Finally, a new format is being applied to the upcoming German Monster, called Pursuit. In this game mode, you get more bonus points the cheaper your players are (you gain 1 point for every 2 million euros underspent). Your captain will get double points, but he will also cost twice as much. Your vice-captain will get 150% more points, but he will also cost 150% more. You can read about the Pursuit mode in more detail on the FanTeam website.

Don’t forget, the deadline for the upcoming German 50K Monster is set at 2.30PM (UK time) on Saturday, May 30th, 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 2.30PM (UK time) games, so you can change your selections accordingly up until the 2:30PM deadline, but not after.

German 50K Monster matches in gameweek 29

(Times: UK+1 hour)

How did our German 50K Monster team fare last week?

Formation: 4-4-2 |  Budget used: 99.9m |  Finish: 1790 / 2600 |  Prize pool: ///

RETURNS 
Lewandowski (Bayern) home vs Frankfurt1 goal, Impact+1
Goretzka (Bayern) home vs Frankfurt1 goal, Impact+1
Havertz (Leverkusen) away vs. Gladbach2 goals, Impact+1
Alaba (Bayern (home vs FrankfurtImpact+1

Our team suggestion for the German 50K Monster in gameweek 29

Formation: 4-4-2 |  Budget used: 152.4m

General approach

After a few tight gameweeks in terms of available budget, for gameweek 29 of the Bundesliga FanTeam have the Pursuit mode active for this round which means the budget is effectively unlimited and you can choose who you want, albeit you suffer a slight points deduction the more you spend. This has allowed us to load up on potential big hitters, especially considering the fact that this round is providing us with a few very favourable fixtures, on paper at least. We have gone with three Bayern stars (at home to Düsseldorf), three Dortmund stars (away against Paderborn), two Wolfsburg defenders (at home versus Frankfurt), two Gladbach defenders (home against Union Berlin), and an interesting out-of-position Hertha defender.

Goalkeeper

When it comes to away games, Eintracht Frankfurt are currently the worst-performing team in the Bundesliga with 7 points from 13 games in which they scored just 13 goals and conceded a worrying 30. Combine this with the relatively decent (defensive) stability of this weekend’s opponent Wolfsburg, who have conceded just 15 goals in 14 home games, and you can see the potential of Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels. Die Wolfe have not kept a clean sheet since the return of German football two weeks ago, but we should note that they have played two away games (Augsburg, Leverkusen) and one home game (Dortmund). The home game against Frankfurt on Saturday looks like a good opportunity to get that clean sheet taste again, albeit the lack of fans at games does indicate that home advantage may no longer exist.

Defenders

For that reason we have doubled up on Wolfsburg defensive assets. We ended up going with right-wing back Kevin Mbabu mainly based on two important parameters: since the injury of the main rival for his spot (William), the Swiss-Congolese defender is a fixed part of Wolfsburg’s defence, and as part of that defence, he is the one with most attacking returns (1 goal and 2 assists in 14 Bundesliga games). In their own Volkswagen-Arena against a fragile Frankfurt setup, the 25-year will be looking first and foremost for a clean sheet, but we’re hoping for some action at opposite side of the pitch as well.

For gameweek 29, we have opted for a four-men defence and two spots are taken up by two Borussia Mönchengladbach assets, namely Stefan Lainer and Ramy Bensebaini. The former is a fixed feature on the right wing, while the latter fulfils a very similar role on the far left side of the defensive block. Should one or both of them not start on Sunday though, the safety net covers our team as Lainer and Bensebaini are currently the most expensive defensive Gladbach options.

The reason for doubling up Gladbach defenders despite the active stacking penalty is the fact that Die Borussen represent a much coveted fantasy football combination: fixture plus form. The last two games were not great in terms of results (a home loss against Leverkusen followed by a draw away to struggling Bremen), but overall, their season is pretty good so far. They are currently in fourth place, which would mean qualification for the early phases of the Champions League next season. When looking at home games only, Gladbach even sits in third, thanks to taking 29 points from 14 games (31 goals scored, 19 conceded).

Then there is this weekend’s opponent, Union Berlin. A thirteenth place after 28 games out of a total of 34 is really not a bad situation to be in for a newly-promoted side, but it’s mainly the result of Union’s strong start of the season. Since the end of the corona-break, Die Eisernen have taken just 1 point from three games (this week’s midweek 1-1 draw at Mainz). The game against Bayern (0-2 at home) and the derby against Hertha (4-0 away) were both lost without netting. As a matter of fact, we need to go back to February 24th for Union’s last Bundesliga victory, which was three games before Germany’s lock-down. Where opponent Gladbach sits near the top when it comes to home games this season, Union find themselves in 17th place when it comes to away games (14 games played, 11 points won, 14 goals scored, and 29 goals conceded). In other words, this encounter is looking like a great fantasy opportunity for Gladbach picks.

Our final defensive pick is kind of our joker, seeing as Robert Skov is the only player to represent one team in our selection for gameweek 29. The Hoffenheim right-back operates mostly as a right-winger this season, which turns him into a very interesting out-of-position fantasy asset, especially when considering Hoffenheim are playing away against Mainz this weekend. Skov already has 4 goals and 5 assists to his name this season, which is a fantastic return for a player listed as a defender, while Mainz will be battling against relegation until the end of the season. Only four teams have conceded more goals at home than Mainz’s 26 in 14 games, while only one team has scored less at home than Die Nullfünfer’s 15 goals. Hoffenheim, at the same time, perform tend to be very stable away from home (13 games, 20 points, 17 goals scored, and 13 conceded), so we’re seeing a potential haul for Skov in this one.

Midfielders

We’re starting the review of our midfield picks with Borussia Dortmund, seeing as we have stacked our midfield for gameweek 29 with no less than three Dortmund assets. Revelation and star man Erling Haaland is set to miss this weekend’s away encounter with Paderborn, which is why we decided to avoid any related risk and leave him out of our selection. As a result, our team now features Jadon Sancho, Thorgan Hazard and Raphaël Guerreiro, who have scored 4 goals and provided 3 assists combined in the three games since the end of the corona-break.

It’s true that away games have not been Dortmund’s forte in the Bundesliga this season, as all of their direct rivals for the Champions League spots (Bayern, Leipzig, Gladbach and Leverkusen) are above them in the rankings when looking at away games exclusively, but at least one thing has not faltered them away from home: their ability to score goals. In 14 away games, Die Schwarzgelben conceded a sub-par 23 goals, but they also netted an impressive 29 times. Only reigning champions Bayern München and current number three have scored more.

Then there is Paderborn. The home team are currently last in the league, 8 points behind sixteenth place (which avoids direct relegation) and 9 points behind Mainz in fifteenth, which avoids the play-offs for promotion/relegation. They have conceded 55 goals in 28 games overall and an unacceptable 32 of those goals have fallen in front of their own fans. That’s also why we expect Sunday afternoon’s game to largely become a 90-minute struggle for Paderborn, especially when considering the likely possibility that Dortmund feel they have to make up for something after losing to Bayern at home this week and Paderborn won’t have any fans to cheer them on.

As far as our individual picks go, the expectation is that Thorgan Hazard will be replacing Haaland up front for this one, though we can see the Norwegian’s spot being filled intermittently by each of our three picks during the game. Hazard already has 6 goals and no less than 12 assists to his name, Sancho currently sits on a rather unbelievable 14 goals and 16 assists, and Guerreiro has scored 8 goals and provided 3 assists. With the absence of crowds in the stadiums seemingly reducing home advantages and away disadvantages considerably, we’re hoping for an extremely attacking Dortmund side and an overall goal fest.

Our Dortmund trio in the midfield is joined by the man who decided the midweek top-of-the-table clash between Dortmund and Bayern with a magnificent effort (check it out if you haven’t yet), Joshua Kimmich. In the last three games, the right-back/central midfielder scored 1 goal, provided 1 assist and recorded 2 clean sheets for a total of 21 points on FanTeam. The 25-year old is a nailed-on part of Bayern coach Hansi Flick’s starting eleven and he is responsible for plenty of set-pieces as well. That’s also one of the big reasons for his tally of 7 assists this season, on top of the 3 goals he has to his name already. Bayern’s home fixture against Düsseldorf is probably the most attractive Bundesliga fixture from a fantasy point of view this weekend and we can see Kimmich perform well here.

Forwards

We expect the real Bayern fantasy fireworks this weekend from striker Robert Lewandowski (our captain for GW29) and shadow striker Thomas Müller (our vice-captain) who form our team’s forward line for gameweek 29. Looking purely at their numbers so far this season, there might not exist a more compatible attacking duo in world football at the moment. Lewa is the finisher, the killer in the area with 27 goals to his name from 26 games (as well as 3 assists), while Müller is the provider, the Bundesliga’s assist king with 17 decisive passes. Of course, for a real idea of their compatibility we would need to look at how many times these two players actually set each other up for a goal, but we’re stating these tallies for a more general reason. They simply show the great form in which these players find themselves this season and they are combining that form this weekend with a very favourable home fixture against Fortuna Düsseldorf. If one of them is rested then we have the cheaper Gnabry waiting in the wings under the safety net (and he will still score 200% or 150% if replacing our captain or vice-captain).

Die Flingeraner were promoted to the Bundesliga at the end of last season and at the moment they sit in 16th place, which would avoid direct relegation but would mean play-offs for promotion/relegation. It’s not the worst result for the new boys, but seeing as the gap with number seventeen Bremen is 5 points and the gap with number fifteen Mainz just 1 point, they are definitely still in the race to retain their Bundesliga status for next season. That’s also why we’re sure they won’t be making it easy for Bayern at the Allianz Arena on Saturday, but we simply feel the reigning champions in their own home will be a bridge or two too far for Düsseldorf. They have conceded 29 goals in 14 away games, which represents an average of just over 2 goals per game, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Bayern exceed that average this weekend.

As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Midweek German Monster and we hope to report back next week that we’ve shared part of the 25,000 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.

FanTeam German €25k Midweek Monster – GW28a – 26 May 2020

Following on from our article last week on the FanTeam German Monster GW27, it’s now time for the Midweek Monster in the German Bundesliga.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€25k prize pool) German 25K Monster, which has a maximum entry limit of 1,667 participants. The first 278 will partake in the prize pool and for this particular weekend, the winner will take home a cool €5,000 this weekend. Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and which apply to this weekend’s German Midweek Monster as well.

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 German 25K 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. If your captain or vice-captain don’t start then in Pursuit their replacement will score the 200% or 150% points increase instead so you can be more relaxed about choosing who to captain and vice captain.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the German 25K 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.

Finally, a new format is being applied to the upcoming German 25K Monster, called Pursuit. In this game mode, you get more bonus points the cheaper your players are (you gain 1 point for every 2 million euros underspent). Your captain will get double points, but he will also cost twice as much. Your vice-captain will get 150% more points, but he will also cost 150% more. You can read more Pursuit in more detail on the FanTeam website.

Don’t forget, the deadline for the upcoming German 25K Monster is set at 5.30PM (UK time) on Tuesday, May 26th, 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 5.30PM (UK time) games, so you can change your selections accordingly up until the 5.30PM deadline, but not after.

German 25K Monster matches in gameweek 28Tuesday

(Times: UK+1 hour)

How did our German 50K Monster team fare last week?

Formation: 4-4-2 |  Budget used: 99.9m |  Finish: 1790 / 2600 |  Prize pool: ///

RETURNS 
Lewandowski (Bayern) home vs Frankfurt1 goal, Impact+1
Goretzka (Bayern) home vs Frankfurt1 goal, Impact+1
Havertz (Leverkusen) away vs. Gladbach2 goals, Impact+1
Alaba (Bayern (home vs FrankfurtImpact+1

Our team suggestion for the German 25K Monster on Tuesday in gameweek 28

Formation: 2-2-3 |  Budget used: 96.3m

General approach

The German 25K Monster varies from the classic Weekly Monster format in a few ways. Select a team consisting of 7 players from the eight teams playing on Tuesday, May 26th. The 7 players are subject to a maximum 3 Forwards, a max 4 Midfielders and a max 5 Defenders (so you can choose 3 forewards and 4 midfielders if you want i.e. no defenders or a goalie) but no more than 4 players per team and, because this is the Pursuit mode, it means that managers are rewarded bonus points in their score for selecting cheaper assets (so you can pick who you want but the more you spend the more it costs you more in terms of points; in other words you gain 1 point for every 2 million euros underspent). The budget given by FanTeam to select 7 players should equate to the total of the top higest priced 7 players (with captain’s price doubled and vice-captain’s price at 150%) so you can pick who you want (strictly the highest budget you can use is 1.3m under the 106.3m budget due to the restriction on max 4 players per club and max 3 forwards). Both the stacking penalty and the safety net still apply to this tournament.

We have gone all in on two teams, namely Leverkusen (at home versus Wolfsburg) and Gladbach (away against Werder Bremen) and a single Bayern star in support. Budget would have allowed us to go all-in on attacking assets, for example, but considering the active Pursuit mode, we decided to trade in some budget expenditures for bonus point rewards (5). Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz is our captain for 26.2 million (2 x 13.1m) and Gladbach’s Ramy Bensebaini is our vice-captain for 13.4 million (1.5 x 8.9m).

BAYER LEVERKUSEN (home vs Wolfsburg)

Picks: Kai Havertz, Kerem Demirbay, Daley Sinkgraven

The Bundesliga has returned and it has done so with all engines blazing. Since restarting the season on May 16th, we have already had two match days and the third one, gameweek 28, is upon us with the first four games tomorrow. Gameweek 29 is then set to start on Friday, which means a hellish rhythm of four gameweeks within 14 days. In other words, keep this in mind when considering starting line-ups for the German 25K Monster. This is another reason the Bundelsiga allow 5 substitutions per match so players can be rested to help prevent injury.

Leverkusen have come out of the corona-break in good form, taking six points from two games (1-4 at Werder and 1-3 at Gladbach). Super talent Kai Havertz played a big role in these victories with 3 goals that saw him record a total of 27 points on FanTeam. That has been in part due to him replacing usual striker Kevin Volland up top while the former was injured. The forward is said to be fit again, though it remains to be seen if trainer Peter Bosz starts him, considering Havertz’ blistering form. Whether he starts all the way up front or in his more natural number-ten spot, his current 10 goals and 5 assists in the league give us cause to believe that he can be decisive from any position. Therefore, he is also our captain in GW28a.

Our second Leverkusen pick is midfielder Kerem Demirbay, who, at 10.8 million and with Pursuit mode in mind, is 1.2 million less expensive than Bellaraby and 1.4 million less than Diaby. The German-Turkish player is a nailed-on part of Leverkusen’s central midfield and he already has 19 Bundesliga games to his name this season, with 5 assists and a goal to show for it. Since returning after the corona-break, he has recorded 1 goal, 2 assists, and a total of 19 FanTeam points. The fact that he is on plenty of set-pieces for Die Werkself reinforces our hopes of a nice return against Wolfsburg tomorrow.

We considered adding Bellaraby, Diaby, or even Volland to our German 25K Monster selection, but with Pursuit mode in mind, we decided to save a minimum of 3 million and a maximum of 3.3 million by selecting left wing-back Daley Sinkgraven. Besides budget and Pursuit considerations though, it’s also worth noting that the Dutchman is a starter in the league’s third-best defence overall (32 goals conceded in 27 games) and the second-best when looking at home games only (13 goals conceded in 13 games). On the other hand, Wolfsburg are not bad on their travels, but they’re no free-flowing goal-scoring machine either with 20 goals from 13 away games. We’re counting on Sinkgraven and his Leverkusen team mates here to justify picking him over more offensive assets in the form of a clean sheet and some bonus point rewards.

BORUSSIA MÖNCHENGLADBACH (away vs Werder Bremen)

Picks: Alessane Plea, Marcus Thuram, Ramy Bensebaini

Whilst our Leverkusen picks are largely based on current attacking form and the fact that they are playing a home game (albeit against a relatively strong opponent), our Gladbach picks attracted our attention with their decent form, the horrid home game performances of their opponent so far, and the increasingly strong indication that home team advantage has been considerably diminished by the absence of crowds in the stands. In terms of the individual players we have picked, we have taken an approach largely similar to our Leverkusen tactic: two premium attacking assets accompanied by a defensive asset. This results in a bonus points reward, plus Werder is the lowest-scoring outfit in home games by far this season.

Our first pick is French striker Alessane Plea, who already has 24 Bundesliga games, 9 goals, and 8 assists to his name this season. What’s more, in the two games since the end of the corona-break, he has scored a goal (during the 1-3 away win at Frankfurt) and provided an assist (during the 1-3 home loss to Leverkusen), rewarding him with 12 FanTeam points. Die Fohlen are chasing a Champions League spot and last weekend’s loss versus Leverkusen was a deception in that sense, so we’re expecting them to make amends and get back on the right track on Tuesday. If they manage to do so, Plea will more than likely be at the centre of it.

We have chosen to have Plea joined in our attack by a compatriot of his, namely Marcus Thuram. The Gladbach winger and son of former-World Champion Lilian Thuram was bought from French side EA Guingamp in the summer of 2019, and in his first season for Die Fohlen, the Frenchman already has 27 Bundesliga games, 8 goals, and 8 assists to his name. Tuesday’s opponent Werder Bremen boast the league’s second-worst defence, with only Mainz conceding more than Werder’s 59 goals from 27 games. When it comes to home games only, Die Grün-Weißen have conceded a worrying 30 goals in just 12 games, a tally bettered by no less than 15 teams in the league.

Very unfortunately for the home team though, their defending is not the only issue. Werder have also scored just 9 goals in 12 home games, which is considerably less than any other team in the league. That’s also one of the main reason for picking Gladbach defender Ramy Bensebaini instead of midfielders Hermann or Neuhaus, or forward Stindl. This saved us a minimum of 2.1 million and a maximum of 2.4 million in terms of budget expenditures. The Algerian left wing-back arrived at Gladbach in the summer of 2019 and has made an impression since then: 13 Bundesliga games, 5 goals, and 2 assists so far in his first season. Werder Bremen look like the perfect opponent for him to further improve his numbers and for Gladbach to get back on Champions League track.

BAYERN MÜNCHEN (away vs Borussia Dortmund)

Pick: Robert Lewandowski

For our seventh and final pick, we could have picked a fourth asset from either Leverkusen or Gladbach, but instead, we went with Germany’s current top scorer. Since the restart of the Bundesliga, Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski has continued doing what he was doing before the coronavirus put world football on hold: scoring goals. In 25 Bundesliga games so far, the Polish assassin has netted 27 times and provided 3 assists. He will be starting in the stand-out fixture of gameweek 28, when Bayern roll up to the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund for an authentic top-of-the-table clash. Not an easy game by any stretch for the reigning champions, not even when thinking back to their resounding 4-0 home victory over Dortmund in November of last year. Since then, Die Borussen were reinforced with the likes of Emre Can and the phenomenon known as Erling Haaland, leading to a run of 9 victories from the last 10 games. They will be raring to make it 10 out of the last 11 tomorrow and to reduce the current 4-point gap between them and the league leaders, but if there is one man who can rain on this potential yellow-black parade, it’s former-Dortmund star Robert Lewandowski.

As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Midweek German Monster and we hope to report back next week that we’ve shared part of the 25,000 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.

FanTeam German €50k Monster – GW27 – 23/24 May 2020

Following on from our article last week on the FanTeam German Monster GW26, this weekend it’s time for gameweek 27 in the German Bundesliga. Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€50k prize pool) German 50k Monster, which has a maximum entry limit of 3,000 participants. The first 555 will partake in the prize pool and for this particular weekend, the winner will take home a cool €7,500 this weekend. Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and which apply to this weekend’s German 50k Monster as well. If you’re not sure how to play FanTeam Fantasy Bundesliga then check out our step by step video guide.

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 German 50K 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 50K 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 50K Monster is set at 2.30PM (UK time) on Saturday, May 24th, 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 2.30PM (UK time) games, so you can change your selections accordingly up until the 2:30PM deadline, but not after.

German 50K Monster matches in gameweek 27

How did our German 50K Monster team fare last week?

Formation: 4-3-3 |  Budget used: 99.9m |  Finish: 1027 / 2574 |  Prize pool: ///

NAME (club) (opponent)RETURNSPOINTS
Gikiewicz (UNI) (Bayern home)1 save, 2 goals conceded, impact-10.5
Angeliño (LEI) (Freiburg home)/////2
Mittelstädt (HER) (Hoffenheim away)Clean sheet, 1 assist, impact+110
Lainer (GLA) (Frankfurt away)Impact+13
Mbabu (WFB) (Augsburg away)1 assist, impact+16
Neuhaus (GLA) (Frankfurt away)Impact+13
Grujic (HER) (Hoffenheim away)Clean sheet, impact+1, 1 yellow4
Nkunku (LEI) (Freiburg home)/////2
Lukebakio (HER) (Hoffenheim away)/////3
VC Werner (LEI) (Freiburg home)/////3
C Lewandowski (MUN) (Union away)1 goal, impact+116

Our team suggestion for the German 50K Monster in gameweek 29

Formation: 4-4-2 |  Budget used: 99.9m

General approach

The 27th gameweek of the Bundesliga brings us a few more so-called favourable fixtures in comparison to last weekend. This has also resulted in a very expensive pool of potential player picks, which is also reflected in our team selection for this gameweek. We initially wanted to stick to players from just a few outfits (Bayern, Leipzig, Freiburg, Köln), but we had to start making some budgetary room eventually. As a result, our team consists of 3 Bayern players, 3 Freiburg players, 2 Wolfsburg players, a Leverkusen star, a Köln defender, and a Düsseldorf budget enabler.

Goalkeeper

We picked out goalkeeper with budget constraints in mind. In that sense, we were happy to see Wolfsburg playing at home this weekend, as Die Wolfe boast the league’s third-best defence, both overall and for home games only. That’s why, for 6.2 million, we brought in Belgian international Koen Casteels. As the seventh highest-scoring goalie on FanTeam’s German 50K Monster, he’s a more than decent pick, but the downside is that this weekend he is welcoming Borussia Dortmund in a crowd-less Volkswagen-Arena. A clean sheet looks complicated, but a few save points not so much.

Defenders

The first pick of our four-man defensive set-up is Bayern’s David Alaba, who, at 10.1 million, is also the most expensive defender in our team. The extremely versatile Austrian left-back, who can also play in the midfield or as a central defender, already has 21 Bundesliga games, 1 goal, and 1 assist to his name this season, and he will be starting against Eintracht Frankfurt at home coming Saturday. On top of that, when a set-piece is positioned well for a left-footed specialist, Alaba is one of the prime candidates for the reigning champions. Frankfurt are dead last when it comes to away games this season, with just 7 points taken from 12 games. Over that run, the scored just 11 and conceded a more than worrying 25 goals. Fingers crossed for returns at both sides of the pitch for our Bayern man.

Christian Günter is the first of three Freiburg assets in our team for gameweek 27. At a price of 7.8 million, he is not super cheap, but hear us out. Not only is he a nailed-on part on the left side of Freiburg’s defence, he is also given freedom to participate in attack. The tangible results until now: 2 goals and 7 assists in 26 games. Add to that the fact that current number 17 Werder Bremen are rolling up to the Schwarzwald-Stadion and Günter’s potential keeps rising. Bremen, after all, boast the league’s worst defence (conceding 59 goals in 26 games), while only Düsseldorf has a less prolific attack than them. In other words, we’re kind of counting on points here.

Our third defensive pick is Toni Leistner, the only Köln player on our roster this weekend. Considering Die Geißböcke were in decent form prior to the sudden corona-break and the fact that they are playing at home against Düsseldorf, we actually wanted to include at least one more team mate of Leistner’s, but budget made us decide otherwise. We stuck with the German 29-year old who arrived on loan from QPR at the very end of the last January transfer window and who has played 5 of the possible 7 Bundesliga games since then. He has no attacking returns to his name yet, but this weekend provides him with a good opportunity to get his counters going. Newly-promoted Fortuna Düsseldorf are coming to Cologne, who have scored just 14 goals in 13 away games, while conceding a whopping 27.

Our fourth and final defender is a complete budget pick. It basically came down to picking a defender from either Mainz (at home against Leipzig), Frankfurt (away to Bayern), and our pick, Düsseldorf’s Zanka. In the previous paragraph, we just pointed out Düsseldorf’s defensive frailty, so we are not expecting too much here. As a matter of fact, seeing as we have a defender from each team in the Köln-Düsseldorf game, we’d be extremely happy with a boring 0-0 draw.

Midfielders

Like our defence, our midfield is made up of four players with Bayern’s Leon Goretzka being the most expensive one at a price of 12 million on FanTeam this weekend. Our preferential midfield pick from the Bayern roster was actually Kimmich, but Goretzka gives us a good way into the starting line-up at 0.6 million less. On top of that, Kingsley Coman is priced 0.2 million lower still, which means that the Safety Net would apply automatically in case Goretzka doesn’t start. It’s very possible that Bayern won’t start with both against Frankfurt, but also extremely unlikely that neither Goretzka nor Coman will start, considering both are fit. The 25-year old German recorded a lovely 21 points on FanTeam from his last three Bundesliga games, courtesy of 2 goals and 1 assist, and he might just continue that purple patch on Saturday.

For gameweek 27 of the German 50K Monster, we have also gone with a real joker. Kai Havertz is the only Leverkusen player in our team, partly due to the prices of Leverkusen assets and partly due to the fact that Die Werkself are visiting Mönchengladbach coming Saturday afternoon. Defensively, Wolfsburg is very stable this season, but traditionally, this encounter has been full of goals. Just to give you an idea: 13 of the last 20 games between Leverkusen and Gladbach saw 3 goals or more scored between them. At the same time, Havertz resumed his Bundesliga in style by scoring 2 goals against Werder Bremen last weekend after trainer Peter Bosz started him all the way up front. Only three teams have scored more in away games than Leverkusen’s 24 goals, so we’re counting on their offensive prowess to deliver again this weekend.

Freiburg’s Vincenzo Grifo is joining Goretzka and Havertz on our midfield. The Italian-German left-winger is listed as a midfielder for FanTeam’s German 50K Monster, which gives him some additional out-of-position potential. In his first season for Freiburg, Grifo has already racked up 19 Bundesliga games in which he scored twice and provided 5 assists. This weekend, he is facing the league’s third-worst defence in terms of away games when Werder Bremen visit Freiburg. Die Grün-Weißen have conceded 29 goals in 13 games, while overall, this total reaches the worrying amount of 59. After Freiburg’s hard-fought 1-1 draw at Leipzig last weekend, we’re hoping Grifo and his team mates will build on that result against Werder this weekend.

Our fourth midfielder is Wolfsburg player Xavier Schlager. The 22-year old central midfielder is a nailed-on part of Wolfsburg starting eleven, which is kind of the minimum you want from a fantasy budget-enabler. On top of that though, he plays for a more than decent team at home this weekend, though the opposition will be formidable. Borussia Dortmund are just coming off an impressive 4-0 home victory over derby rivals Schalke 04, so they’ll be brimming with confidence. Wolfsburg though, is a more than solid unit this season, which is illustrated by the fact that only Bayern and Leipzig have conceded less goals. At the same time, Dortmund are a bit leaky away from home, having given up 23 goals in 13 games already. In other words, Schlager has his work more than cut out for him in the middle, but we would be surprised if the home team don’t get a few good opportunities themselves as well on Saturday.

Forwards

Robert Lewandowski. We’re going to be brief here, because, what is there left to say? He scored 26 goals in 24 Bundesliga games so far. He scored last weekend. He’s on penalties. He’s the highest-scoring game on FanTeam’s German 50K Monster. He’s playing at home against Frankfurt. Yes, his 15-million price tag is extreme, but… just pick him, captain him, and move on to the rest of your team.

Joining our star man in attack is our third Freiburg pick, striker Nils Petersen. The experienced German has been at the club since 2015 and has grown into an inevitability up front for the Breisgau-Brasilianer since then. This season, his tallies stand at 8 goals and 2 assists from a total of 2’015 Bundesliga minutes. With eight Bundesliga games still to go, Petersen will be aiming for at least double digits in terms of goals and what better way to continue that mission with a home game against Werder Bremen at home? Die Grün-Weißen boast the league’s leakiest defence and are already 9 points behind the safe 15th spot (with one game in hand). Petersen might just be the one to complicate things further for them on Saturday.

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.

FanTeam German €50k Monster – GW26 – 16/17 May 2020

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

General approach

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.

Goalkeeper

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.

Defenders

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.

Midfielders

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.

Forwards

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.

Video Guide on How to Play FanTeam Fantasy Bundesliga

For more help and guidance on FanTeam’s Daily Fantasy Sports games please visit FISO’s FanTeam forum where you can also find details of a weekly FreeRoll for FISO members to get you used to playing FanTeam Fantasy Bundesliga. Below is the written script from FanTeam for the above video.

FanTeam’s German €50K Monster | €10k 1st Place | Daily Fantasy Football

Football is returning to our screens and our life!

The first big European league returns this weekend, with Germany’s top-tier domestic football season resuming behind closed doors on Saturday 16th May.

To celebrate this return, we’ve created a €50,000 German League fantasy football contest, with a 1st place prize of €10,000 – guaranteed.

The contest kicks off with 5 fixtures on Saturday at 15:30 CET and ends with Union Berlin vs. Bayern Munich on Sunday, featuring a total of 8 games.

How to Enter

To enter this contest, head over to fanteam.com.

Once logged in to your account, you’ll see this Saturday’s German €50K Monster contest towards the top of the lobby – click the entry button to begin selecting your team.

Rules

The format is 11-a-side, with no subs and you can pick a maximum of 3 players from any one team.

Oh – and please remember to select a captain as he will earn you DOUBLE points.

For those of you that are new to FanTeam, you can find a full breakdown of how the scoring system works by clicking on the “Scoring” button above the pitch.

Your team must have at least 1 x Goalkeeper, 3 x Defenders, 2 x Midfielders and 1 x Forward.

Build a Team

To assist with your selection, each player is given a coloured icon to the left of their name, indicating his chances of featuring.

Green means the player is expected to start, while red indicates the player is set to miss out and a half green/half yellow icon means it’s 50-50.

Be sure to also keep an eye on the latest team news, as we move closer to the deadline, to give yourself the best chance of fielding an XI.

(Click on GK, show form and points)

You can find details on the form and recent Gameweek’s scoring for each player.

(Click on Neuer’s player info – history)

Manuel Neuer is the most expensive goalkeeper in this contest, at $10.5m.

The German international has kept clean sheets in each of his last 2 outings, earning an average of 5.8 points across his last 6 appearances.

(Show image of 3 defenders filled in on pitch, Pavard, Halstenberg and Hummels)

Leipzig have kept 4 clean sheets in their last 5 games, making their defenders worthy of consideration.

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, meanwhile, have kept out their opponents in 3 of their last 4 outings; earning Pavard and Hummels respective averages of 5.3 and 4.8 points per game, over that spell.

(Show image of 4 midfielders filled in on pitch, Sancho, Coman, Nkunku, Arnold)

So, now we move onto the midfielders, where there is an array of talent, such as Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman and Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.

At $13.3m, the young Englishman has been given the most expensive price tag amongst midfielders, after recording a goal or assist in each of the last 6 Gameweeks.

He’s amassed 3 goals and 4 assists over that spell, to average 7.7 points per game.

(Show image of 3 forwards filled in on pitch, Haaland, Lewandowski and Werner)

And now we come to the business end of your lineup – the forwards.

These are typically the most expensive players in the game and tend to eat up your budget.

Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland and Leipzig’s Timo Werner are sure to be amongst the highest owned forwards, but come at a steep price.

The break has allowed the league’s top scorer, Robert Lewandowski, to recover from a leg injury ahead of the meeting with Union Berlin on Sunday.

He’s bagged 4 goals across his last 4 outings, to average 7.8 points per game.

Once you’re happy with your 11-man lineup, it’s time to decide on a captain.

You can do this by clicking on your chosen player and selecting “set as captain” or you can use the drop-down menu above the pitch.

And remember – this player earns you double points, so be sure to choose a vice-captain incase your captain doesn’t play.

Enter Your Team

Once you’re happy with your team, click the yellow “enter tournament” button towards the top right of the page.

You can still make unlimited changes to your lineup before the 15.30 CET deadline, when the first matches kick off, so be sure to keep an eye out for that all-important early team news.

For those of you looking to play for lower stakes, we also have a German €1.5K Mini-Monster, which is just 50 cents per lineup to enter. This too can be found in the lobby at fanteam.com.

For those of you that are new to FanTeam and don’t already have an existing account, sign up via the link in the description and create your free account today.

FanTeam also have an exclusive offer for new customers – deposit €10 to your account to receive a free €20 entry ticket for this Saturday’s Weekly Monster.

Once you’ve deposited €10, please contact FanTeam support team via the live chat option on the home page or message FanTeam on Twitter @FanTeamOfficial.

Best of luck to all with your entries this weekend.

Fantasy Sports Action Continues! Courtesy of FanTeam.

Whilst all major sport is paused, FanTeam are sourcing sports action from around the world in order to bring entertainment to Fantasy Sports fans. Their offering of Daily Fantasy Sports tournaments for April currently includes Football from the Belarus Premier League and Basketball all the way from Taiwan. In the second half of March, FanTeam brought us Fantasy Football from Australia, Hong Kong, Turkey and Venezuela so are continually sourcing sports action for us to enjoy during the lockdowns. FanTeam do provide some stats information on each club to aid your choices. All tournaments have a guarantee prize level with payouts to the top 20% and have entry fees set at only 1 euro or 5 euros to help keep the boredom away.

The Fantasy Football action challenges you to choose just 4 players. This can be from just one match (i.e. 2 clubs) or from a few matches taking place that day. There are no budget constraints (meaning you have a choice of any 4 players) but so that everyone doesn’t pick the better-rated players for every €2 million less spent on a player you gain 1 point. Those managers selecting the lower priced players will thus start ahead of the managers who have selected the higher priced players – hence this entertaining format of Fantasy Football is called ‘Pursuit’. Here is an example of one of our selected teams for the Fantasy Belarusian Premier League where you can see that because we have chosen quite expensive players (from the team favourite to win) and have captained the most expensive player in the tournament (both the striker’s points and cost count double) we start with only 2.4 bonus points – unless the striker gets a goal or assist then we’re unlikely to finish in the top 20% because other managers captaining a much cheaper player will have scored more points than us due to the Pursuit bonus points system.

FanTeam’s ‘Safety Net’ and ‘Stacking Penalty’ systems are also in place menaing that a) if you were not available to check the starting line-up in the hour before kick-off and your selected player did not play then he would be substituted with the next lowest priced starting-player in the same position from the same team (assuming there is such a player) and b) if you selected more than one defensive player (Goalkeeper/Defender) from the same team then you get 1 penalty point for each extra player meaning picking a block defense is not the easy option that it would be otherwise.

FanTeam have also launched Fantasy FIFA eSports (Premier League and Champions League) on their sportsbook offering.

And launching later today FanTeam will have a new fantasy game for eEuro2020.

Fanteam Weekly Monster Early Entry Team – GW29

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

07/03/20 Arsenal West Ham
07/03/20 Crystal Palace Watford
07/03/20 Sheffield United Norwich
07/03/20 Southampton Newcastle
07/03/20 Wolves Brighton
07/03/20 Burnley Spurs
08/03/20 Chelsea Everton
08/03/20 Manchester United Manchester Cheaty
09/03/20 Leicester Aston Villa

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

FISO’s FanTeam Weekly Monster entry for GW29

General approach

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.

Goalkeeper

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.

Defenders

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.

Midfielders

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.

Forwards

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.

Fanteam Weekly Monster Early Entry Team – GW28

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

29/02/20 Bournemouth Chelsea
29/02/20 Newcastle Burnley
29/02/20 West Ham Southampton
29/02/20 Watford Liverpool
01/03/20 Everton Manchester United
01/03/20 Spurs Wolves

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

General approach

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.

Goalkeeper

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.

Defenders

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.

Midfielders

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.

Forwards

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.

Fanteam Weekly Monster Early Entry Team – GW27

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 27’s Fanteam MidWeek Monster is set at 3PM (UK time) on Saturday, February 22nd, 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 27 Weekly Monster matches

22/02/20 Sheffield United Brighton
22/02/20 Burnley Bournemouth
22/02/20 Crystal Palace Newcastle
22/02/20 Southampton Aston Villa
22/02/20 Leicester Manchester City
23/02/20 Manchester United Watford
23/02/20 Wolves Norwich
23/02/20 Arsenal Everton
24/02/20 Liverpool West Ham

Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 27

Formation: 4-4-2 |  Budget used: €100m

General approach

It seems like fitting a decent 11-man selection within Fanteam’s Weekly Monster budget is becoming harder every week. For gameweek 27, Liverpool, Wolves and Southampton assets are particularly pricey as they are all playing at home against West Ham, Norwich and Aston Villa, respectively. Besides that, other teams with relatively favourable (home) fixtures don’t provide much budget-enabling fun either, with plenty of Burnley (at home to Bournemouth), Palace (at home to Newcastle) and Man United (at home to Watford) assets priced way above average as well.

As a result of the above, we have chosen to go big on the two teams we feel are the clearest favourites for a victory this weekend (Liverpool and Wolves), spending more than 65% of our budget on 6 players from these two outfits. A good result also seems to be on the cards for Southampton this weekend, but a double or triple-up on Saints assets was stretching the budget too much. Instead, we’ve gone for quality over quantity by selecting their star man for another 11.8% of our total budget. That left us with around 20m for our remaining 4 picks. Selection of these 4 players was based on their certainty of being in the starting eleven this weekend in combination with a decent potential to put down a good individual performance, seeing as these players inevitably had to come from teams who are not favourites to win this gameweek, in theory.

Goalkeeper

One of these 4 players is our goalkeeper this week, Kasper Schmeichel. Due to Leicester’s home game against Manchester Cheaty, the Danish shot stopper is one of the cheapest options in goal this weekend, but when looking at total points in Fanteam’s Weekly Monster this season, he is actually the highest-scoring goalie. He has recorded 9 clean sheets this season, conceding a total of 26 goals in 26 games so far. On Fanteam, this has put him on an average of 5.6 points per game. Against City, we’re not expecting a clean sheet, but we do count on a few save points from this budget-enabler.

Defenders

As a result of our approach this weekend and the general budget restrictions, we have opted for a 4-men defence, consisting of 2 premium picks and 2 budget picks. The big man in our backline is Liverpool’s big man and captain, Virgil van Dijk. The Reds booked a disappointing result mid-week against Atletico in Madrid, but confidence is still high and they will be looking to get back to winning ways against West Ham at Anfield coming Monday. The Hammers have scored just 10 goals in 13 games away from home (only Norwich have scored less on the road), while Liverpool have conceded just 9 goals in front of their own fans (the least of all teams in the league), so if there was ever a moment to bet on a clean sheet, this is it. As far as Van Dijk goes, over the past five games, he recorded an impressive 37 points on Fanteam, which comes down to 7.4 points per game on average.

Our second premium defender is Wolves man Romain Saiss, who is welcoming Norwich to Molineux on Sunday. The Moroccan international has become a nailed-on feature of manager Nuno Espirito Santo’s starting lineup and not just because of his defensive solidity. Besides being part of 4 clean sheets, he also has 2 goals to his name this season and no other defender has had more attempts on target than him (5) over the past 2 gameweeks. This weekend’s opponent Norwich has scored just 6 goals on the road so far this season, while conceding 22 goals in those 13 away games. In other words, chances for returns at both ends of the pitch for Saiss.

Due to a home game against Bournemouth this weekend, Burnley players carry relatively heavy price tags in gameweek 27, but we identified Clarets defender Charlie Taylor as one of the most promising Weekly Monster picks priced at 6m or lower. The English left-back started and completed the 90 minutes for Sean Dyche’s team in the last 9 Premier League games, a run in which they recorded 3 clean sheets, and we see no reason for him not starting against Bournemouth on Saturday. The Cherries are one of the most goal-shy sides when away from the comforts of their own stadium, with only Norwich and West Ham scoring less in away games than their 11 goals in 13 encounters. We didn’t pick Taylor for his attacking potential (he has no goals or assists this season), but we do feel he represents a decent chance of a clean sheet.

Our fourth and final defender, and absolute budget-enabler, is the only player in our backline to have an away game this weekend, namely Newcastle’s Federico Fernandez. The Magpies are visiting Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon in a game that has all the makings of a very low-scoring affair. Palace is the overall lowest-scoring team in the league (23 goals), while Newcastle have scored just one more goal than the Eagles. When looking at home games only, Palace is the least prolific team as well (10 goals in 13 home games), while in away games, just 4 teams have scored less than Newcastle’s 12 goals. Goalless draws don’t occur a lot in the Premier League, but we wouldn’t be surprised if this encounter turns out to be one.

Midfielders

Our midfield is rather Liverpool-heavy, with both Mo Salah and Gini Wijnaldum featuring. With their home encounter versus West Ham in mind, the Egyptian dribbler was one of the first names on our team sheet, while the Dutch all-rounder represented a considerably less expensive option than Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain or Mané. Fabinho cost a bit less, but we figured we choose Wijnaldum and count on Fabinho in case the Safety Net needs to be applied when the Dutchman doesn’t start. In the past six Premier League games, Wijnaldum started every one and completed the 90 minutes on four occasions (he got 81 and 60 minutes in the other two games). Considering he has netted just twice so far in the Premier League this season (no assists), we are not counting on attacking returns here, but we do hope for a clean sheet, the full 3 points for playing 90 minutes and hopefully an impact point for an acceptable 5 points.

That’s not what we’re hoping for from Mo Salah, though! Both on Fanteam and in FPL, we expect the Reds star to be one of this gameweek’s most popular captaincy picks and with good reason. When looking at his stats on Fanteam, he has only recorded a score of less than 4 points once in the past 10 gameweeks. What’s more, over that run, he scored 10+ points on no less than 4 occasions and 9 points in 2 games. His points average from the past 10 games: 9.8 points per game. With the previously discussed leaky Hammers defence up next for the Egyptian, that’s the kind of return we’re hoping for from him. Salah is also our captain for gameweek 27.

Besides these two Liverpool aces, we have further stacked our midfield with Wolves playmaker Joao Moutinho. At 11m, he is extremely expensive this weekend, but there were not many other ways into the Wolves midfield for their home game against Norwich. Traoré was an option, but also 0.6m more expensive, and Ruben Neves was considered as well, but we gave preference to Moutinho’s regular set-piece duties. The Portuguese midfielder has scored just a single goal this season, but he does have 7 assists to his name as well. On paper, Sunday’s game looks perfect for him, as Wolves will surely dominate against a team that has scored just 6 goals and conceded 22 goals in 13 away games.

Our fourth midfielder is a single pick based on form and importance to his team. Jack Grealish is not only Aston Villa’s captain, but their most influential and important attacking asset. The 24-year old already sits on 7 goals and 7 assists this season, which represents a direct involvement in more than 41% of Villa’s goals. The Villans are not favourites in their away game at Saint Mary’s this Saturday, but that doesn’t mean that Grealish can’t perform for us on Fanteam. They have been pretty awful on their travels so far (only Norwich has won less than their 8 points), but that’s mainly due to their defensive fragility. In an attacking sense, actually only 7 teams in the entire league have scored more away goals than Villa’s 16 successful attempts. Southampton are probably winning this one, but we can see Grealish doing something for Villa nonetheless.

Forwards

For our forward line, we have gone with a double-up of premiums from Wolves and Southampton. First up is Wolves number nine Raul Jimenez, who is facing a wobbly Norwich defence at Molineux on Sunday. Where our other striker, Danny Ings, has been surrounded by a certain level of (very well-deserved) hype this season, it has been relatively quiet in regard to Jimenez. Maybe that’s because he is not one for huge hauls or simply because we’re so used already to him performing like a world-class striker on a weekly basis, but the reality is that he has actually been directly involved in more goals than Ings. The Southampton star has scored 15 goals and provided 1 assist, while the Wolves ace has 11 goals and 6 assists to his name. Together with Mo Salah, he was the first name on our team sheet for gameweek 27 and he is also our vice-captain this weekend.

As we wrote at the start of this article, we went big on Liverpool and Wolves, which meant that we could not incorporate another three players from Southampton as they prepare for their home encounter with Aston Villa. Instead, we went for quality over quantity and brought in striker Danny Ings. After scoring 10 goals in 11 games between gameweeks 12 and 22, the Englishman went through a bit of a goalscoring dip between gameweeks 23 and 25 before getting himself back on the score sheet last weekend against Burnley. Up next is the league second-leakiest defence in away games, as Saturday’s rival Aston Villa have already taken 26 goals in 13 encounters. The last thing the Villans will want now is to face a Danny Ings working up to another purple scoring patch.

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.

Fanteam Champions League Knockout Freeze 100K – FISO’s Team 2

As expected, with the Champions League knockout phase finally kicking off coming Tuesday, Fanteam has created another big-money tournament called the Champions League Knockout Freeze 100K. Yes, in case you were wondering, that “100K” refers to the total prize pool for this one, with the number one player taking home a whopping €25,000 at the end of this year’s Champions League season. We will briefly go over some of the game’s key characteristics before picking our 15-man squad. Currently there are only less than 600 teams entered (with a maximum 7,500 allowed).

First of all, this tournament is called a “Freeze”, because you will not be able to change anything about your team, once the deadline (set at 20h00 on Tuesday, February 18th) has passed. That means no more transfers, no more captain changes, no more changes to your bench, nothing. Each team consists of 15 players from the 16 teams still active in the Champions League, 11 of which are starters while the remaining 4 players form your bench. Like in FPL, the order of your bench matters when one or more of your players don’t start. Do keep this in mind, because in an ideal scenario, you are selecting players for 7 games (Round of 16 to the Final), spread over a few months time and it’s likely some of your players won’t start every game.

So, in that sense, it’s similar to the FPL approach, but without the possibility of interventions. As far as comparisons to Fanteam’s Weekly Monster go, it is very important to note that neither the Stacking Penalty (when points are deducted from clean sheet returns if you own more than one player from the team in question) nor the Safety Net (which automatically changes a player of yours that doesn’t start for the next-cheapest player in the same position bracket of the same team) are active. Here is a summary of the tournament rules:

As part of the preparation for the Champions League Knockout Freeze 100K, we will be publishing two pieces with recommended picks for a 15-man squad of which this article is the second. For the first piece, we decided to take the odds* of qualifying for the next round of each team as a foundation for our team selection. After all, you want to have as many players that stay in the tournament as long as possible. For this second piece, we will be taking the odds into account as well, but we will be leaning more towards our own predictions and aiming at including more differential picks. To give an example: for the Real Madrid-Manchester City game, the bookies give odds of 17/10 and 5/9, respectively, but in our opinion, in current form, Real Madrid might actually be the slight favourite here. This type of perceptional differences will be reflected in the differences between this article’s team selection and the one elaborated on in the previous article.

*We have used the compounded odds for this market provided by oddschecker.com.

Current odds to qualify for the quarter finals

Team Odds to qualify   Team Odds to qualify
Atletico Madrid 28/11   Liverpool 1/3
Dortmund 14/5   PSG 2/5
Atalanta 11/13   Valencia 21/20
Spurs 21/20   RB Leipzig 5/6
Chelsea 16/5   Bayern 2/7
Napoli 38/11   Barcelona 2/7
Lyon 57/10   Juventus 03/19
Real Madrid 17/10   Manchester City 05/09

This means that the 5 teams most likely to qualify for the quarter finals are, from most to least likely: Juventus, Bayern, Barcelona, Liverpool and PSG. These are relatively closely followed by Manchester City, RB Leipzig and Atalanta. In comparison to our first article for the Fanteam Champions League Freeze, our second selection features 6 repeated picks: goalkeeper Ospina, midfielders Pjanic, Henderson, and Busquets, and forwards Messi and Ronaldo. Much of the team focus has remained the same (i.e. picks from Liverpool, Juventus, Bayern and Barça), but we have also included 2 Real Madrid picks as we feel they could end up eliminating Man City, plus a couple of real differentials that help us cover a potential unexpected Round of 16 upset.

FORWARDS

As we did for our first article, we are again starting this piece with our forward picks, due to the simple reason that just over 32% of our total budget was spent on filling the three forward slots. Two of these picks were no-brainers in our opinion, as Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo  have been so dominant in the Champions League over the past decade or so that it sounds like madness to not include them in this or any CL Freeze team selection. Our third forward pick is Real Madrid number nine Karim Benzema, whose replaces Lewandowski in comparison to our first selection and frees up an additional 3.5m in the process. Seeing as we already covered some of our main reasons for picking Messi and Ronaldo in our first Champions League Freeze article, based on a few irrefutable stats regarding the Champions League and its knockout stages in particular, we will give you another opportunity here to let them sink in.

Both Messi and Ronaldo have been relatively quiet during this campaign’s group stages with two goals a piece, but that doesn’t necessarily say much. They are two of the best, if not the very best, players world football has ever seen and the knockout stages of the Champions League are what they live for. In the history of the Champions League, for example, they occupy positions 1 and 2 when it comes to goals scored in the Round of 16 (Messi with 26 goals and Ronaldo with 23). What’s more, when looking at the most goals scored in the CL knockout stages overall in history, Ronaldo is first (65 goals in 126 games) and Messi is second (41 goals in 112 games). Benzema is actually eight, with 15 goals from 47 games. As a matter of fact, these three living legends take up three of the five spots in the all-time list of UEFA Champions League goalscorers (Ronaldo first with 128 goals, Messi second with 114 goals and Benzema fourth with 64 goals).

As far as Benzema goes, his start to this season’s Champions League campaign has been decent with 4 goals and 2 assists from 5 group stage games in which he played 90 minutes and one game, the final one, in which he featured just 13 minutes. The French striker is manager Zinedine Zidane´s absolute preferred option up front and any new success in the CL will see plenty of involvement from his side. It wasn’t easy to drop Lewandowski for him, especially not when you consider Benz is playing City and Lewa is playing Chelsea, but it did free up plenty of funds to distribute elsewhere in the team. Plus, we have a feeling that, in part due to the bookies marking City as favourites to win this tie, Benzema might end up with a bit of a differential status in Fanteam’s CL Freeze tournament.

Cristiano Ronaldo is our captain and Lionel Messi our vice-captain.

MIDFIELDERS

The big difference between our midfield in this article and the midfield we selected for our first Champions League Freeze 100K tournament is the presence of a big name and premium asset in this one, namely Liverpool’s Mo Salah. Like Benzema, he sits on 4 goals and 2 assists from 6 group stage game, the main difference being that the Egyptian only missed a single minute of the group games. That’s just one goal short of his total production last season, when the Reds took home club football’s most prestigious prize for the sixth time in their history. The Round of 16 encounter with Atletico is going to be a very tough one as manager Diego Simeone has once again moulded his team into one of the most solid defensive units in the top-5 European competitions. With 15 goals conceded in 23 La Liga games, they are right behind arch rivals Real Madrid (14 in 23) and Premier League leaders Liverpool (15 in 25). We believe the Reds will overcome this hurdle though, especially considering their 22-point domestic lead, and we can only see Salah’s role in the Champions League grow from here.

Our second midfield asset is a repeat from our previous, bookmaker odds-based article, so we will repeat our motivation behind this pick. Miralem Pjanic, has missed just 3 minutes of Champions League group stage football for Juventus and averages 5.2 points on Fanteam this season. He has not scored or assisted yet in Europe this season, but the double encounter with Lyon might be a good chance for him to get off the mark. The Bosnian technician is a crucial key in coach Maurizio Sarri’s midfield, he is on plenty of set-pieces, and he will be instrumental in their push for European glory this season.

The second of our three repeated picks in midfield is Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, who has been in outstanding form domestically of late. Over the past three games (not counting this weekend’s encounter with Norwich), the Englishman scored 2 goals, provided 2 assists, helped the Reds get 2 clean sheets, and brought the few FPL managers who own him an impressive 29 points. Like with his team mate Salah, Liverpool currently being 22 points ahead of number two Manchester City in the Premier League has us thinking that Henderson will be starting and completing every single Champions League game until they either get eliminated or consolidate their status as Champions League winners a second year in a row.

As our fourth midfielder, we have gone with Bayern youngster Leon Goretzka. The German attacking midfielder missed out on the first half of the group stage this season due to an ankle injury and he was left out of the starting eleven for Bayern’s last group game (when they had already qualified for the Round of 16). That’s why, when solely looking at his stats this campaign, he might not grab your attention. Goretzka is a part of Bayern coach Hansi Flick’s starting eleven though, and in the two games that he did play during the CL group stage, he scored a goal and was part of 2 clean sheets. In Fanteam, this plus his three minutes in the final group game has resulted in 15 points, which is not bad at all.

Finally, our fifth midfielder is Barça veteran Sergio Busquets, and for the same reasons as those justifying his selection in our previous article. The combination of being a regular starter for one of the favourites in not just this Round of 16 tie, but in the tournament overall, and his absolute bargain price tag makes him the ultimate budget enabler in this Champions League Freeze tournament. True, his performances in the Champions League have not been phenomenal so far this season, with an average of 70 minutes played and just 1.8 points recorded on Fanteam over this campaign’s six group stage games, but as a fifth midfielder on our bench, we could do much worse.

DEFENDERS

In defence, we have gone for a similar structure as in our first article, namely two premium picks, one player from the category just below, and two budget/differential picks.

Starting with the premiums, we have gone with Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson and Bayern left-back Benjamin Pavard, who are facing Atletico Madrid and Chelsea, respectively. The former is a nailed-on starter for Jurgen Klopp, but he did miss playing minutes in games 3 and 4 of the group stage as he was rested a few times in that period. He played 63 minutes and 16 minutes in those games, respectively, but he completed the 90 minutes in the other four group games. Despite missing out on some playing time, Robertson still sits on an average of 3.5 points per game in Fanteam, in part due to 1 goal and 2 clean sheets. Pavard, on the other hand, could not be more nailed-on as part of a starting eleven, having missed not a single minute of Champions League action so far this season. Not only did he help his team bring home 3 clean sheets from 6 games, but he also contributed offensively with 2 assists over that run of games. Up next is Chelsea, and even though we don’t necessarily expect clean sheets for the Frenchman here, we do feel confident that Bayern will qualify. If Pavard can take advantage of Chelsea’s occasional shaky defending, all the better.

Should the Blues surprise and eliminate Bayern instead, Chelsea budget defender Kurt Zouma remains in our team for at least another round of the knockout stages. The French central defender currently finds himself just outside the top-10 highest-scoring defender in Fanteam’s Champions League tournament, which is in big part thanks to his 2 clean sheets and 2 goals. What increases his appeal from a CL Freeze point of view is that he has so far missed just 17 minutes of the 2019-2020 Champions League campaign, in the first group game against Valencia. The harsh reality is that in our current set-up, either Zouma or Pavard will be out of the Champions League after the Round of 16, but the good thing is that one of them will for sure be in quarter finals. We felt this is a calculated risk, considering the fact that we have 5 defenders to fill 3 slots.

In our team, Real Madrid’s Dani Carvajal is just in front of Zouma in the picking order though, forming our starting defensive line-up together with Robertson and Pavard. The Spanish defender is Zinedine Zidane’s preferred (and in reality possibly only real) option at right-back and we expect him to start every game in Europe. From a defensive point of view, it’s unlikely that Carvajal will be getting much joy from the Round of 16 encounter with Manchester City, but he is part of our strategy involving the scenario in which Real eliminate City from European football in the coming weeks. During the group stage, he completed the 90 minutes in all but the last game, for which he was rested, and he currently boasts a Fanteam points average of just under 4 points per game. The Spaniard was part of 2 clean sheets and he also provided an assist in the 6-0 home victory over Galatasaray.

Finally, another budget pick and with this one, we wanted to go differential for real. In our opinion, the Spurs versus Leipzig game is probably one of the most difficult to predict in this Round of 16. The combination of Spurs’ so-so form and equal playing style, and Leipzig’s status as serious challenger for the Bundesliga title this year (they are actually leaders at this moment) make this a very interesting game. We can see more than a few scenarios in which the Red Bull team overwhelms Spurs with their energetic, offensive play and probably not many CL Freeze player will be rooting for the Germans to pass this round. This is why Leipzig right-back Lukas Klostermann makes our bench. The young German defender is a mainstay in manager Julian Nagelsmann starting eleven, which is why he has not missed a single minute of 5 out of 6 group games this season. On top of that, he also has a clean sheet and an assist to his name, giving him an average of 3 points per game on Fanteam.

GOALKEEPERS

Finally, our goalkeepers. Due to extreme budget restrictions in this Champions League Freeze tournament, we decided to go with one nailed-on starter, which meant a relatively expensive pick, and one budget-enabling bench fodder kind of pick. Following this approach, we came up with a combination of Juventus shot stopper Wojciech Szczesny and Napoli’s reserve goalie, David Ospina. In our first article, we took a similar approach and ended up with Alisson and Ospina.

On paper, Juventus has one of the easier match-ups in this Round of 16 with a double encounter against French side Olympique Lyon. In the group stages, only PSG conceded less goals than Juventus (2 vs. 4) and only three teams matched Juve’s defensive performance (Man City, Barcelona and Napoli). Domestically, where Szczesny is rested in favour of living legend Gianluigi Buffon from time to time, only Inter and Lazio have so far conceded less than Juve’s 23 goals in 23 games. The Polish goalie played the full 90 minutes in all but one group game (the sixth and last game) and over that run, he recorded a more than decent 28 points on Fanteam, courtesy of 2 clean sheets, 14 saves and 4 impact points. If he can keep up his current average of 5.6 points per game until very late in the tournament, we’ll be more than happy.

Our second goalkeeper Ospina is not expected to play a single minute in this Champions League Freeze 100k tournament. He was the cheapest available keeper and allowed us to save another million or so to spend elsewhere in our team.

This team has been entered into the 25 euro FanTeam Champions League Freeze 100k and we hope to report back that we’ve shared in the 100,000 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.