Article written and published by @FPLGreenArrow.
With the announcement that last year’s €250,000 season game was getting a huge upgrade in prize money, with €1,000,000 up for grabs this season, FanTeam has exploded across Twitter during the Summer break.
With so much interest in the 20/21 season game, I’ve taken a look back at my first season playing on the platform, from the perspective of an avid FPL player.
Read more about the Fantasy Premier League Cash Game – 1 Million Euro Gtd.
FPL to Fanteam: Initial Perceptions
The thing that drew me in to the FanTeam season game, apart from the huge prize pot on offer, of course, was just how alike it was to the fantasy football game most of us love and play religiously, FPL.
- Very similar scoring system
- Build a 15-man squad
- Start with a 100M budget
- Own a maximum of 3 players from each club
- Two wildcards (GW2-18 & GW19-38)
- Choose Captain & vice captain
- Same Blank & Double Gameweek’s
Fanteam’s Season game had clearly been set up with FPL players in mind and with so many people playing Fantasy Premier League these days, but no major prizes on offer directly for our time, skills and efforts, it’s an easy transition for those who fancy their chances of a decent FPL rank this season.
Another key element that led to me giving FanTeam a go back in 2019 was that the overall number of entries to their season-long €250K game was capped at 12,000, so even if it maxed out, there was ‘only’ going to be 11,999 other teams to beat, which sounds a hell of a lot easier than beating 7,000,000+ in FPL, right?
Last season, they paid winning to the top 1200 finishers, but this year, that has risen, along with the prize pool, to the top 5600.
My FPL to FanTeam transition
I’ve played FPL for the last 13 seasons, though with a penchant for taking hits and too many punty captaincies, don’t have any successful Overall Rank history to gloat about! With that in mind, I took a completely different approach to FanTeam last season.
This was partly to test out a more conservative strategy, but also due to the fact that with less than 9,000 entries by the time late registration closed, and the top 1250 cashing, there was a genuine chance of finishing highly or in the money at least.
I noticed straight away when looking at the list of entries that some people had 20+ teams, so knew there were going to be some serious players involved with so much spent on putting teams together.
With a high number of entries from some users, it did mean that there was a much smaller chance of winning any of the weekly or monthly prizes, as they could tailor one team for each month if they wanted.
Straight away, I made the decision to place my entire focus on the overall prizes, instead of being potentially sidetracked by going for a weekly/monthly prize.
My Gameweek 1 Setup
Most of the Gameweek 1 starting XI I went with were solid picks from a regular FPL perspective, with a few cheap, more risky options thrown in.
One of the things you’ll spot with FanTeam is that they don’t just go with the same prices as FPL and there were some rather large price differences last season.
The most notable one, for me, was Tammy Abraham, priced at 7.0M in FPL, but coming in at just 5.5M on FanTeam, which seemed an absolute no-brainer given that he was expected to feature heavily under Frank Lampard.
Southampton’s Che Adams was also a potential bargain at 5.0M, though obviously this didn’t turn out that way with his early season form had suggested it might. He was still a great option for a starting forward at that price, even if just as a bench warmer.
Picking up on some of these large price differences can be a big help in putting an initial team together, though of course, it does work the other way as there will also be players more expensive in FanTeam as well, but finding those potential gems that free up more funds can be key to your success this season.
2019/20 FPL Season Overview
After a solid if not unspectacular start to the season, helped by Abraham’s early hauls, having Dean Henderson from the off and jumping on Mason Mount in Gameweek 3, my season kicked in more after my Gameweek 12 wildcard – which in itself had shown more restrain than my usual FPL wildcard within the first 4-5 Gameweek’s.
From Gameweek 12 through to the suspension of the Premier League season after Gameweek 29, I managed to get in, and stay in, the top 200 – ending Gameweek 29 in 187th position, but crucially, less than 100pts off first place & around 50pts off the top 10.
With the top 10 definitely within touching distance, which guaranteed a minimum €1250 payout in prize money, I completely changed my tactics post restart, much to my detriment.
Differential transfer decisions were made – Sarr & Saint-Maximin being two prime examples, and riskier (failed) captaincies in Foden and David Silva were all attempts to wander the road less traveled to make gains on the leaders.
But that road is usually less travelled for a good reason, because at the end you fall off a cliff! That is exactly what happened to me at the tail end of the season – instead of sitting happily in the top 200 with solid picks and trying to make small gains, my rank tumbled and I ended up just about clinging on to one of the paid places in 1114th position.
FPL & Fanteam Season Learnings
Even without cashing last year, it would have been a valuable season for me, because it’s helped me realise how much of a difference a more considered and less ‘punty’ approach can make.
So much so, I’m changing the way I plan and play Fantasy Premier League this season.
Through the whole of last season in FanTeam I only took 5 or 6 transfer hits, which, compared to the 21 hits I took in my FPL team, is a huge difference.
I was more patient with transfers and mostly stuck to a solid captaincy pick for most weeks, until the end of the season when I made the decision to get aggressive and really go for it.
While I rushed in to far less transfers in FanTeam, the fact that you don’t lose any value a player has gained when you transfer them out, also means it becomes easier to get rid of a player who is not doing well for you, without the concern of any accrued price increase being flushed away.
Chips & Wildcards
With no other chips apart from the wildcards available, it also meant there was no distraction of potential chip usage and the second wildcard was much more of a plan in itself, rather than forming the basis of attaching a bench boost weekend.
It was actually quite refreshing to be back at having no additional chips to play; while they are a useful tool in FPL, they can also cause a lot of issues when trying to figure out the best usage for them.
Even though the more gung-ho approach in the final run-in ultimately resulted in a drastic fall down the rankings, I’d still do the same again in a similar position this year; though maybe not quite as heavy on the differential captains.
I’d much rather sit there at the end of the season with little/no winnings knowing I had a proper crack at making the jump up the rankings, than continue with the conservative approach for the whole season and look back thinking of what could have been.
I won’t lie, I very nearly let the fact that people could enter multiple teams put me off from entering FanTeam at all, but I’m glad it didn’t as I thoroughly enjoyed last season and am looking forward to the 2020/21 season getting underway.
This season, it’s likely i’ll enter 4 or 5 teams in FanTeam’s €1,000,000 season-long game and spread my strategies and approach across my teams.
If, like me, you’re an FPL diehard and are confident in your abilities of a decent overall rank, be sure to consider giving FanTeam a try this year and be financially rewarded for your time and efforts.
Click the banner below and register for you FanTeam account today to get involved.