Rule Comparisons between FPL & Fanteam – Part 2: Defenders

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In Rule Comparisons between FPL & Fanteam – Part 2: Defenders of @Ramorey_FPL’s “How do the different rules in Faneam effect which players we should be choosing, when comparing to the regular FPL game?” series, it’s time to take a close look at the Defenders.

Fancy taking home part of the prestigious €1,000,000 prize? First, you’ll need to wrap your head around the different rules that come with playing the Fanteam season game.

If you missed part one of my four-part series, be sure to read the Part 1: Goalkeeper article here after you’ve finished reading the below.

FPL & Fanteam – Part 2: Defenders

As we did in part 1, I’d like to begin by summarising the differences in scoring when playing the Fanteam season-long game.

Rule Comparisons between FPL & Fanteam

The key takeaways from this, which differentiate the FanTeam game from the FPL game, are as follows:

  • Team “wins” in period player is on the pitch (+1)
  • Team “loses” in period player is on the pitch (-1)
  • Foul resulting in a SCORED freekick (-2)
  • Foul resulting in a penalty (-2)
  • No Bonus Points

Something to note, which appears to be a common misunderstanding. The rule: Midfielder or Forward plays full match (+1), does not apply to defenders.

It seems obvious here, but a lot of people online are referring to it as the 90-minute rule and is commonly misinterpreted.  

Let’s delve into the details so you have the correct information and how best to utilise it.

Team “wins/loses” in the period player is on the pitch (+1/-1)

This rule simplifies down to the following: Gain a point if you win the game, lose a point if you lose the game – nothing for a draw. 

We took a deeper look into this rule when we discussed how the scoring differences affect the Goalkeepers, but let’s take a quick look at how it might effect Defenders differently to Goalkeepers.

I created this table to show how wins and losses affected each team for points in the 2019/20 season on Fanteam,

Rule Comparisons between FPL & Fanteam - Part 2: Defenders wins losses impact points

We’ll keep this in mind for our later analysis, but I found it interesting to think of impact points in the following way:

Example FPL & Fanteam – Part 2: Defenders

Let’s imagine a player performing exactly the same for Liverpool and Norwich, scoring 100 points before taking into account the impact points.

  • If he plays for Liverpool, he can earn a bonus of up to 29 points last season, giving him 129 total points. 
  • If he plays for Norwich, that’s a potential loss of 22 points over the course of the season – putting him down to 78 total points.

How the measly +1/-1 per game adds up! This player would have scored an additional 51 points just by playing for a better team! As we mentioned in the previous article, it isn’t just an additional or subtractive 1 point – it’s a 2-point swing, almost the value of an assist!

No Bonus Points on Fanteam?

Another extremely important thing to consider is their are no bonus points in the Fanteam game.

I analysed all defenders in FPL and the bonus points they received last season. I then filtered it to only show those that received at least 10 bonus for the purpose of easy reading here.

Rule Comparisons between FPL & Fanteam - Part 2: Defenders bonus points

Look carefully at these players, because whilst they might be gems in FPL, they’re losing these points when you play on Fanteam. 

As mentioned above, win (Impact) points can make up for this lack of bonus, whilst attacking players like TAA, Azpilicueta and Wan-Bissaka will make up for a lack of bonus points in other ways.

Unfortunately, players like Dunk, Digne and Fernandez will not. Their negative points from losing games are compounded with the lack of bonus points in Fanteam – doubling down on negativity and massively reducing the appeal of these assets.

Foul Resulting in a Scored Freekick (-2) / Foul Resulting in Penalty (-2)

Whilst I won’t spend long looking at this, as I’m not sure 1 season is a big enough sample size to make a strong judgment, I thought it would still be worthwhile sharing the analysis for you to all take a look at.

Scoring freekicks conceded:

Rule Comparisons between FPL & Fanteam - Part 2: Defenders scoring freekicks conceded

Penalties conceded (Note the penalty doesn’t need to be scored):

Rule Comparisons between FPL & Fanteam - Part 2: Defenders penalties conceded

Now that we’ve analysed all of the differences between the two fantasy games, I thought it would be good to conclude with some point projections for next year.

Projections FPL & Fanteam – Part 2: Defenders

I’ll include the predictions for both FPL and Fanteam, so that we can see how these points differ.

Rule Comparisons between FPL & Fanteam - Part 2: Defenders point difference

Obviously I haven’t included all players in this list, and some have been scaled to assume more minutes were played – but there’s definitely some insightful information there!

If you’d like me to analyse the difference between any 2 players in particular please feel free to message me on twitter and I’d be happy to oblige! @Ramorey_FPL

Final Analysis and Concluding Thoughts

  • Wins are important, losses even more so. A common approach in FPL is to pick the cheap defenders on lower-tier teams and rotate them, but could it be better to go all-in on defenders from the top clubs?
  • Forget the bonus point magnets – they won’t help you in the Fanteam game unless they deliver attacking returns.
  • Negative points for conceding freekicks and fouls could hurt you once or twice, but shouldn’t factor too much into your decision making. (Unless you’re getting David Luiz)
  • Big losses for wing-backs on low win-rate teams such as Digne and Lamptey, who will both likely take big hits to their points.  

In my next two upcoming articles, I’ll be looking at the attacking positions (Midfielders and Forwards), so feel free to message me if there’s anything in particular you’d like me to look at in these.

Thank you for reading ‘Rule Comparisons between FPL & Fanteam – Part 2: Defenders‘ – if you’d like to see more insight from myself or have an questions, please feel free to follow and message me on Twitter here > @Ramorey_FPL

If you are yet to join the Fanteam Million game, then be sure to click the banner below to get involved.

There’s a cool €200,000 1st place prize money up for grabs and it’s not to be missed by any self-proclaimed FPL diehard, like myself.

About the author


Ross is a diehard fantasy football fan who plays both FPL and Fanteam. He enjoys applying underlying stats and delving deep in to the numbers to work out the best statistical picks. (


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