What is Fantasy Football?

Fantasy football is a game in which participants assemble an imaginary team of real-life players and score points based on those players’ actual performance in matches. There are plenty of options in terms of leagues, division, country and so on. Because of fantasy football’s rise in popularity, a lot of new leagues have been created that all come with their own set of rules. Aside from joining one of the leagues, you can also create your own league to participate in with friends and family. In this way, you compete with them directly!

Stats and advice

Stats and advice for Fantasy Football managers including the latest Premier League injury news, latest football news, set-piece takers for each team, live football score updates, and our view of the week’s Premier League action.

Compete with your friends

I can feel your joy throbbing through my servers, and yet I can sense that this feeling of elation is tempered with confusion and even mild panic. “How the hell am I going to beat that smug prick who dominates my work league?” is the question flashing across the minds of every Fantasy Football manager. The answer is simple, with the help of this site. We’ll be here right through the season to offer help and advice for Daily Telegraph Fantasy Football and for the first time Premier League Fantasy Football, starting with a preview of the season giving you the inside knowledge you need to pick the perfect Fantasy Football team.

fantasy football with friends

Risky leagues

For those of you feeling particularly brave, we’ve got a couple of leagues set up in the various games so come and take us on if you’ve got the balls. Stuart Vaughan, I’m coming for this you this year! Entry details can be found on the main site unless of course, you’re a massive pussy. So, let’s crack on then. I’ve got Gary Neville making nest in my loft and I don’t want him to disturb the pigeons.

Strategy

Simple. Pick the players that are certain to do well, predict who will over-perform and don’t cane your transfers through boredom like I always do. It’s more difficult these days without the likes of Henry and Fat Frank smashing in the goals. Even Stevie G is ruled out until October with a ‘groin infection’ or something.

The ‘Must-Haves’

Darren Bent (Aston Villa) – I’m shocked that this guy hasn’t been picked up by a top 4 team. It doesn’t matter what club he’s playing for, Darren Bent is proven Premier League quality who gets goals. Takes pens too which is handy and doesn’t get injured that often. Without Young and Downing Villa won’t be as good this season but if you can score shed loads of goals for Charlton and Sunderland then you’ve got some skills. A Fantasy Football banker.

Luis Suarez (Liverpool) – God reincarnate. That is all.

Robin Van Persie (Arsenal) – If this dude can stay fit for more than five seconds then you have to have him in your team. When fit, he’s an awesome player and almost single-handedly carries Arsenal’s goal threat. The only slight problem is that his ankles appear to made out of glass and tissue paper. He’s an expensive risk but worth a punt in my view. If you’re in our league, why not also pick Jonathan Woodgate…..and Darren Anderton….and Harry Kewell…..

Other players

Nani (Man Utd) – He may have a stupid name and look like a young Michael Jackson but man can this guy play. Finally crawling out of Cristiano’s shadow he was easily United’s best player last season in my opinion, adding an end product to the customary billion step-overs per run down a blind alley.

Leighton Baines (Everton) – The best left-back in the world, despite being a toffee. Clean sheets, assists, goals. Now if only he played for a proper team. Ashley who?

The Risks

The majority of successful Fantasy Football managers have one thing in common. No, not B.O and back hair but the ability to predict the players who are going to over-perform. These usually come from the newly promoted teams and will score most of their points in the first half of the season before everyone figures them out. Who will be this year’s Charlie Adam or Andy Carroll? Probably not Charlie Adam and Andy Carroll i’d wager. Here’s a couple of our suggestions

Picks

Scott Sinclair (Swansea) – The former Chelsea winger seems to have found a home in South Wales, scoring 22 goals last season as Swansea became the first Welsh club to make it to the promised land. His raw pace will unsettle defenders and if the Swans are to beat the drop, Sinclair will surely be a big part of that. He takes pens too.

Adel Taarabt (QPR)

The Moroccan arrived at Loftus Road with a reputation as something of a loose cannon. Despite his undoubted ability, his selfish play and failure to track back had grown all too frustrating for Harry Redknapp at Spurs. Never a good sign from a manager who’s worked with other ‘one-man teams’ like Di Canio. Neil Warnock, however, decided to build his entire team around his enigmatic frontman. The gamble paid off and Taarabt starred as Rangers strolled to the Championship title, banging in 19 goals with 16 assists and picking up the Player of the Year trophy on the way. The biggest problem with picking Taarabt for your team is whether he’ll actually be playing in this country when the season starts, although his proposed move to big-spending PSG seems to have cooled of late.

adel taarabt

Grant Holt (Norwich)

A somewhat nomadic figure in lower league football, Grant Holt has scored goals wherever he’s been. A pivotal figure in the back to back promotions achieved under Paul Lambert, Holt scored 45 goals over the last two seasons. The big question though is if the Football League’s quintessential journeyman can make the grade in the Premier League. It’s an unfortunate reality of the game that some players who thrive in the Championship are just not good enough for the best league in the world (Robert Earnshaw? Michael Chopra?). How will Holt fair? Picking him is probably the biggest risk of them all.

Stephen Ireland (Aston Villa)

Although far from an unknown quantity, it’s clear that Stephen Ireland has lost his way in recent seasons. Much was expected of the Irishman when he arrived at Villa Park after being deemed surplus to requirements at the Etihad Stadium, despite being named Man City’s player of the year in 2009. A box to box midfield who scores goals, Ireland struggled with injury and form under Gerard Houlier and found himself loaned out to Newcastle in the second half of last season. Once more found himself warming the bench, unable to break into a midfield consisting of Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton, and Tiote. The arrival of Alex Mcleish at Villa Park might just be the fresh start needed. If he can steer clear of injury, Stephen Ireland could be the bargain of the season.