One of the most popular pastimes around the Premier League season is fantasy football and Goal helps you get started ahead of the new campaign
The 2018-19 Premier League season will soon be under way and that means the return of fantasy football.
Every season, fantasy football games inevitably suck new players in, while veterans of the game renew old rivalries in leagues that have been running for years.
Boiled down, it’s all about choosing the players that will get the most points, but that can be a tricky task, particularly at the start of the season, when new players are bedding in and managers figure out their best XIs.
To help you get started for the upcoming campaign, Goal takes a look at some of the fantasy football games out there as well as some of the best players to pick.
A number of fantasy football games are available to fans for the 2018-19 Premier League season.
The premise for each is essentially the same, but they all vary slightly in terms of detail, style, user-friendliness and, of course, prizes on offer.
You can see some of the Premier League fantasy football games below.
Goal has its very own fantasy football game for the Premier League, which can be downloaded and played for free.
The new app is easy to play and prizes will be available to gamers during the season. Players have a budget of £75m to work with.
The Premier League’s own official fantasy football game is one of the most popular out there and you can start putting your team together already.
With a budget of £100 million to spend on a squad of 15 players, fans need to be shrewd in their team selection.
A number of newspapers have run Premier League fantasy football games over the years and that will continue for 2018-19.
The Telegraph , for example, has its own version of the game, which challenges players to put a budget of £50m to use.
The most effective and valuable goalkeepers in fantasy football terms are those who keep clean sheets . That not only means that the ‘keepers themselves must be talented shot-stoppers, but their defences must be water-tight too. In most cases, the best options play with the top teams, but each season goalkeepers from teams at the other end of the table emerge as strong candidates.
*Prices based on official Premier League game.
The most expensive goalkeeper in Premier League fantasy football is David de Gea and with good reason: he is consistently one of the highest scoring players. A four-time player of the year for Manchester United, De Gea has proven himself to be among the best in the world. His price may be off-putting to some, but, considering his ability and United’s water-tight defence, it is an investment worth making.
Brazil international Ederson enjoyed an impressive debut season at Manchester City in 2017-18 and finished second to De Gea in terms of points gained in fantasy football last term. The 24-year-old has one of the best defences in the league in front of him, but he has also risen to the occasion individually, showcasing a knack for saving penalties.
Liverpool set a world record transfer fee for goalkeepers when they forked out £65 million to sign Alisson from Roma and they will be expecting an immediate return on their investment after years of uncertainty between the sticks. The former Roma man has been impressive at club and international level in recent seasons and is among the top rated netminders in fantasy football as a result.
World Cup-winning captain Hugo Lloris will hope to carry his international form into the new season at Tottenham as the north London outfit attempt to challenge for the title once more. The 31-year-old is a guaranteed starter for Mauricio Pochettino’s team and, while his overall points haul was underwhelming last season, he has everything expected of a world-class goalkeeper.
Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was one of the outstanding players in England’s run to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 and he will be eager to carry that form into the new season as the Toffees look to challenge for a place in Europe. Despite being one of the top scorers last season, ahead of the likes of Lloris and Thibaut Courtois, Pickford is a slightly cheaper option.
Generally speaking, the best defenders to choose in fantasy football games are those who contribute goals and assists as well as keep clean sheets . As such, attacking full-backs tend to be a better choice than centre-backs, even if there are a few exceptions. Below is a selection of players who are likely to be a good addition to your fantasy football team.
The defender with the most points in 2017-18 fantasy football was Cesar Azpilicueta and the versatile Spain international has what it takes to replicate that feat in 2018-19. Azpilicueta played as part of a back three for Chelsea under Antonio Conte, but still managed to rack up the assists, which is a crucial skill in fantasy football.
Dubbed ‘Superman’ by Man City boss Pep Guardiola, Nicolas Otamendi was one of the few centre-backs among the top 10 scoring defenders in fantasy football last season. The Argentina international struck up a formidable partnership with John Stones at the back to ensure City finished the season with the least goals conceded and he also showed his proficiency at set-pieces, with four goals of his own.
Tottenham’s Kieran Trippier has firmly established himself as one of the best attacking full-backs in the Premier League and was the leading assist providers in the division in 2017-18 (along with Ben Davies and Aaron Cresswell). His free kick goal for England at the World Cup showed that he also poses a serious threat from set-pieces.
Chelsea wing-back Marcos Alonso has been one of the best fantasy football picks over the past two seasons and he was the defender with the most goals in the league in 2017-18. A new regime at Stamford Bridge may see a change of approach, but, if Maurizio Sarri rates Alonso, he will be a good bet to accumulate points.
It took him a while to settle in to life at Liverpool, but Andrew Robertson excelled as the season progressed at Anfield last term. The Scotland international provided five assists and scored once in 22 league appearances in 2017-18 as well as shining in the Champions League. His price has inflated as a result, but big things are expected of him.
Midfielders can be excellent points-getters in fantasy football. The position itself is so diverse, but those who are involved in goals – either scoring or setting them up – are usually the best types to go for. Interestingly, in some games, players who are deployed as forwards are still classified as midfielders, so there is a chance to pack your team with attacking talent.
With 32 goals in 36 league appearances last season Mohamed Salah was comfortably the winner of the Golden Boot and he will be expected to shoulder most of the attacking burden for Liverpool once more in 2018-19. Salah was directly involved in a total of 44 goals (32 goals, 12 assists) in the Premier League last season and was a guaranteed points-getter. His price has shot up considerably as a result, but it is an expense many will feel is worth it.
Belgium international Kevin De Bruyne has been one of the best midfielders in the Premier League for a number of years and will be expected to lead Manchester City once more as they attempt to defend their crown. De Bruyne topped the assist charts with 18 last term, scoring eight himself. Despite that fact he is actually cheaper than some of his peers from the outset.
He missed the start of last season due to an ankle injury, but once he returned to action Eden Hazard wasted little time, scoring 12 goals and setting up six. Speculation continues to swirl over his head regarding a potential move away from Chelsea, but, should he stay at Stamford Bridge, Hazard will undoubtedly be the Blues’ main man.
The 2017-18 season was not particularly smooth for Alexis Sanchez as he swapped Arsenal for Manchester United mid-way through the campaign, but he still managed to score nine goals, setting up 10. The Chile international showed what he is capable of in 2016-17 when he bagged 24 goals for the Gunners and he will be eager to prove his critics wrong now that he has a full pre-season at Old Trafford under his belt.
Oddly enough, Christian Eriksen continues to be valued lower than other players who perform a similar role for the top clubs. The playmaker is Tottenham’s creator-in-chief as well as the team’s set-piece taker and he has regularly been among the top scoring players in fantasy football as a result.
When considering which forwards to choose, the best approach is to think of the players who will score goals . The top scorers in fantasy football tend to be those challenging for the Golden Boot, but those who are also selfless and provide assists will also be up there.
It’s no surprise that Harry Kane is the most expensive striker in fantasy football. The Tottenham man has improved his goal tally each season over the past four years and hit the 30 mark in 2017-18, a figure that would have landed him another Golden Boot were it not for Salah’s incredible haul. Kane comes into the new Premier League season as the 2018 World Cup Golden Boot winner and he will be full of confidence heading into the campaign.
Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang only had half a season in the Premier League last term, but still managed to hit double figures, with 10 goals in 13 appearances, as well as four assists. The former Borussia Dortmund striker was particularly prolific in the Bundesliga and will benefit greatly from a full pre-season at his new club.
Romelu Lukaku hit the ground running in 2017-18 and surged to the top of the scoring charts in the opening weeks, but he faded away somewhat towards the end of the season. Nevertheless, the Belgium international finished the campaign with 16 goals and seven assists as Manchester United came second in the league. Lukaku’s off-the-ball work was lauded during the World Cup, but he will be keen to make his mark on the goal charts this year.
Argentina international Sergio Aguero is, by some distance, Manchester City’s greatest goalscorer of all time and he has shown little sign of slowing down despite his advancing years. The 30-year-old held off competition from the younger Gabriel Jesus last season to score 21 goals in 25 appearances and also chipped in with six assists. The opening weeks will give a better idea of whether Guardiola still considers Aguero to be his main striker, but from a fantasy football perspective his track record speaks for itself.
The goalscoring exploits of Salah meant that Roberto Firmino was left in the shade somewhat, but the Liverpool striker was one of the top attackers in fantasy football nonetheless. Firmino was directly involved in 23 goals for the Reds in the Premier League last season and it was his best personal campaign at Anfield as he struck 15 times himself. Since he has never been particularly prolific, Firmino’s price is significantly cheaper than that of others, but his overall play means that he is a good option.
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