What is season-long fantasy football?
Traditional Fantasy Football (Seasonal)
The number of fantasy football options on offer can be daunting for people who are brand new to the game.
With so many websites offering fantasy football it can be hard to know where to start, while there are often a lot of types of game mode to get to grips with too.
Before we look at daily fantasy football, here is our beginner’s guide to the most traditional type of fantasy football game – the seasonal mode.
How seasonal fantasy football works
To play seasonal fantasy football, players put together a squad of footballers before the first ball is kicked on the opening weekend of action.
While a lot of people simply pick their squad and forget about it for the next nine months, there is usually the chance to use transfers throughout the season.
This gives you a chance to regularly freshen up your squad, transferring out players who are injured or have lost form and adding stars that have been performing better than expected.
At the end of the season, the players with the most points win the big prizes. It’s that simple.
Picking your squad
With so many footballers to choose from, it can be difficult to work out where to begin when building your fantasy football team.
You will usually have a budget to work with, so you cannot just pick the biggest star names in the league. You will have to balance your expensive picks with some bargains to balance the books.
While it is tempting to splurge most of your money on strikers, it is often a better idea to spread your cash evenly between all areas of the pitch – but it is your budget to spend how you like.
Weekly team selection
The idea behind seasonal fantasy football is that each week you pick the strongest available team from the squad you have put together.
To do this you will have to examine the fixture list and guess which players are likely to perform best over the course of the weekend – which is often typically referred to as a gameweek.
You should also keep an eye on injury and suspension news, as if you pick a player who does not get on the pitch for whatever reason you are missing out on the chance to earn valuable points.
Each seasonal fantasy football game has its own way of allocating points to teams, but they usually share a lot of the same DNA in this area.
You can expect to earn points for goals and assists for your midfielders and attackers, while clean sheets and penalty saves are what you are trying to find with your defence and goalkeeper.
Many seasonal fantasy football game models also allocate bonus points to the players who have shone the most during each gameweek – think of these as equivalent to man of the match awards.
However, you can also usually lose points as well as earn them. If one of your players gets a red card or misses a penalty there will usually be a point punishment your team will have to absorb.
A lot of the enjoyment of playing seasonal fantasy football will come from competing with friends.
Most seasonal fantasy football games allow you to set up leagues to play against your friends and family and there are sometimes prizes up for grabs, as well as those all-important bragging rights.
You can also compete against people from the same country, supporters of the same club or even join a league of random teams to see if you can come out on top.
Most leagues operate on a simple basis – the team with the most points wins – but some fantasy games also offer a head-to-head option where your club faces another player each gameweek, with the team that scores the most points earning three points for a win, or one each for a draw.
Fantasy football managers now have the option of competing in daily fantasy football contests rather than season-long events, so let’s take a look at those next.