Fantasy Football Hints & Tips

The new fantasy season is just around the corner, and with the English Premier League game already live the time is quickly approaching when you will need to make your first team selection. This is a VERY indecisive time for us all as we make those vital decisions which could see our team rise to some early season, table topping bragging rights.

Here are a few tips which should help you with those initial selections.


There is a saying in American Football that defense wins championships, and that applies to your fantasy team as well. There are no shortcuts when it comes to selecting your keeper, they need to keep clean sheets. Even if you have a keeper who is going to make a number of saves and collect those bonus points, without the clean sheet the points just won’t add up. There are two strategies that you can play when selecting your goalkeepers, as you must have two in your squad.

  1. Spend big on a keeper from one of the top clubs and get in the cheapest option in the game as a squad filler. This will almost guarantee a top haul of points from your keeper, but does leave you exposed should that keeper get injured or suspended and force you to make a transfer.
  2. Get in two keepers of equal ability and cost from lesser teams with good defensive records (think West Ham and Crystal Palace for example). This enables you to choose your starting keeper for the week based on who they are playing. This can be very frustrating if the keeper you leave on the bench gets the clean sheet, or if both keepers are playing top four opposition in the same week. For what it’s worth, this is the method I have found most successful.

Whichever method you choose you will find yourself spending between £9.5 and £10 million on your two goalkeepers.


When selecting your defenders it is important to remember that teams defend as a unit. It’s no good having a world-class defender in a shocking team because the team is going to concede loads of goals and your defender get no points. You need to select your defenders from teams with good defensive records!

Once you have the teams that ship goals eliminated, there are a few things to look for from your remaining pool of defenders.

  1. Are they a threat from set pieces and corners? Goals from defenders are very valuable and if you can get 10-12 goals from your defenders you will be sitting pretty.
  2. Are they going to get forward and get assists from crosses? Attacking fullbacks tend to be amongst the highest scorers at the end of the season.
  3. Are they regularly cautioned? Yellow and red cards deduct points from your team and can add up over the season. Players who get silly bookings for arguing, lunging into tackles etc. are worth avoiding.

It is worth remembering you are not going to be able to simply get in Chelsea’s back four. A good strategy is to get in one or two defenders from the big clubs to make sure you are getting regular clean sheet points and supplement them with cheaper options from those lesser teams with good defensive records.

(Remember, you don’t have to have a balanced defense. If you want to play all fullbacks you can!)


It is so easy to fall into the trap when selecting midfielders of picking good players, but not good fantasy players. For example, Claude Makelele was one of the best midfielders of his generation, but he was a terrible fantasy player because he didn’t score goals, he didn’t assist goals and got the occasional booking. He was listed as a midfield player but he played in a defensive role without getting the clean sheet points of the defenders whom he had done a superb job of protecting. When picking your midfield make sure they are going to contribute with goals and assists. As a general rule deep lying midfielders don’t make good fantasy players.

Another consideration to have when choosing your midfield is rotation. Is the player going to be a week-in, week-out player or is he likely to be rotated. This can be very difficult to determine before the season starts, but is much more likely to happen in teams competing in Europe.

It is also a good strategy to pick players who are likely to take free-kicks, corners and penalties as they will have more opportunity to score points than those players who don’t.


Much like midfielders, you want to look for those players who will take free-kicks, corners and penalties. It is also worth considering if a striker will be rotated or not, though typically strikers are less likely to suffer from this if they are scoring goals.

Your budget is likely to restrict you from having the big name strike force you ideally want, but this is ok. The best strikers in the game are usually ridiculously overpriced, so unless they have a season like Luis Suarez they’re not worth the money you invest in them. Look through the list of strikers in the game and if you see someone who appears to be underpriced get them in before the price goes up, otherwise I suggest using the strategy I call streaking.

Strikers are notoriously streaky, with very few scoring regularly through the entire season. Look for strikers who have been scoring in pre-season and get them in. The key to streaking is knowing when to get off one streak and onto another. My general rule is if they fail to score or assist for a second consecutive game then the streak is over and it’s time to move on. However, before you change your striker it’s worth looking at his teams upcoming fixtures. Your current striker might be about to play Newcastle or Aston Villa and worth an extra week in the team. Likewise, the next streak you are about to get on might be about the play Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal and find his streak going cold!

(Streaking can also be an effect strategy for midfield players)

A few general tips in conclusion:

- Goals from midfield are worth more than goals from strikers, so don’t be afraid to stack your midfield and have a more modestly priced strike force.

- A player’s position in the game doesn’t always correspond to where they play in reality. If a player is playing in a more advance role than listed in the game then they are worth a second look (eg: a defender playing in midfield), but if they are playing in a deeper role then they are likely one to avoid.

- Don’t be left out of a trend. If the whole world has a player in their team that is scoring crazy amounts of points, get on board. You will only lose out by not having them. The most obviously example of this was Luis Suarez in last season’s Premier League game.

- Don’t play your wildcard before the transfer window closes. No matter how bad August is going, it’s only a few rounds of the season. If you play your wildcard after a disastrous first few weeks and then find yourself in September with players no longer in the league you are only going to make things worse.

- Check the upcoming fixtures before you make transfers. There is nothing worse than taking out a player and seeing them score a boatload of points the next week against weak opposition.

- Check to point scoring system! Different leagues score points in different ways. I had the scoring system within the English Premier League game in mind when doing these tips, but some leagues may reward shot stopping goalkeepers better for example, making a clean sheet less important.

I hope these tips prove helpful as you begin the new fantasy season. Over the next few weeks we will have our team-by-team preview for the English Premier League game posted, with our Subbed In The 59th Minute podcast starting shortly after. To keep up-to-date with everything join our Facebook Group and we hope to see you again soon.

The Subs Bench Is Changing

Over the coming weeks you will notice some changes to the website as we prepare for the new season. This season we will be focusing on Fantasy Football, and not just in the English Premier League! There will still be regular podcasts for you, as well as regular posts informing you of all the vital stats and information you will need to ensure your fantasy team is top of it’s league. Enjoy your summer and be sure to check back soon and join Matt, Kev and Jon for the 2014/15 season!

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To join our tipping contest click here

Be sure to check back for information on our fantasy league once the game goes live on the FIFA website June 8. For full information follow us on Twitter @The_SubsBench


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This week’s C’est le Mot is Enner Remberto Valencia Lastra

To join our World Cup Superbru competition click here

Pool name: The Sub’s Bench

Pool code: stowsoap

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This weeks C’est le Mot is José Pinto de Carvalho Santos Águas


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The guys celebrate Sassuolo’s survival and preview a huge weekend of football with cup finals in England and Germany and a massive final day in La Liga. There are World Cup squads to discuss, a new Jackass of the Week and much, much more!

This weeks C’est le Mot is: Reza Ghoochannejhad and Alireza Jahanbakhsh


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New Podcast: The Reverse Istanbul

Join Matt & Kev as they look back at what should prove to be a decisive weekend in the Premier League at both ends of the table. The guys react to continuing rumours of Louis Van Gaal to be the next Manchester United manager after it appeared that Ryan Giggs brought down the curtain on his playing career at Old Trafford on a night a new star was born. There is a look at a stunning weekend in Spain, a superb win to report in this edition of Sassuolo Watch, a look back of the 2014 A-League Grand Final and much more.

This weeks C’est le Mot: Juan Guillermo Cuadrado Bello


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