When we think of fantasy sports, we’re perhaps more likely to think of football or basketball, but across Europe and increasingly in the USA there is a growing phenomenon of fantasy soccer, with the Premier League welcoming millions of players.
It works in much the same way as fantasy football, but there are a number of differences and plenty of tips you can pick up along the way.
The art is of course picking the perfect side, and with that comes knowing exactly what to look for in a fantasy soccer player. There are many things to consider when it comes to picking your team, in some cases prior to the season and even on a week-by-week basis.
So, without further ado, here are our top tips on what to look for in a fantasy soccer player…
Previous Season Form
When selecting your team prior to the season’s start one of the first things you should do is explore the players who were a success last season, and in particular, enjoyed good form and picked up points towards the end of the season.
For example, a player who is among the leaders in terms of points may be worth picking, but perhaps not if the bulk of their points came at the early stage of the season. The form would maybe say they won’t quite be in as good form this time around.
Additionally, make sure when you do look at this aspect, check for any transfers. While a player may have been a big goalscorer in the Premier League in one season, they may have earned a transfer to a bigger team and not be a regular starter, which will have a major impact on points.
The best fantasy soccer players don’t just look at the next fixture but explore the next month’s worth of fixtures.
Examine a player’s run of fixtures and how they may perform in order to maximize the number of points you will score. For example, if Liverpool had a run of games against sides at the foot of the Premier League table then it may be worth adding the likes of Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino, or Sadio Mane to your team as they have a high chance of scoring a couple of goals.
Equally, if a side has a run of games in which their opponents aren’t conceding many goals, a striker from that particular team may be worth avoiding.
A good way to determine this is by not only checking the table and fixtures but also what the bookmakers are saying.
That’s because you can get a much firmer idea of how likely a team is to win, as well as insights into goals thanks to the likes of the BTTS markets alongside correct score and specific goalscorer markets.
bet365 is one of the leading bookmakers in the UK and worth exploring, particularly as they also have a large range of live streams so you can potentially even watch players firsthand you may wish to select.
Filter by Form
During the season, it’s well worth exploring transfers by filtering by player form. Many of the top fantasy games such as the official Premier League game allow you to do this and you can see some of the players who are picking up points now, rather than have done it across the season.
You can unearth some real gems doing this, and combined with looking at upcoming fixtures can prove a really successful tactic that many of your opponents may not be adopting.
Value for Money
Budgeting is also a big part of fantasy soccer, so finding players that offer value for money is also key. While it’s great to have the league’s top scorers on your side, it can funnel much of your budget into those players and leave you weak elsewhere.
It’s important to develop a squad rather than a series of individuals, with the defense just as important as your attack.
In some cases, it might mean sacrificing a star player, but by looking for value for money players, you may be able to find two players that will exceed the likes of Mo Salah, Harry Kane, or Sergio Aguero alongside a cheap player who gets no game time, as well as giving you more squad depth.