Fantasy football is a type of game in which the participants assemble a team or choose real life players. The participants score points based on the actual performance of the footballers. A fixed budget is provided to the participants and the players must fill the team with the required number of players within that budget.
A player scoring a goal and playing for a longer period is likely to get more points than the player who gets a yellow card or misses a penalty.
All the top European football leagues have fantasy football leagues of their own. The most popular league is the Fantasy Premier League for the English Premier League. With over 5 million users, it is the biggest fantasy football game in the world.
Usually, these fantasy leagues ask players to buy 11 players within the budget. But to ensure a more realistic scenario, participants are asked to buy 15 players which include an extra goalkeeper and three other substitutes.
There is a restriction on the number of players that can be purchased from one single club. A maximum of three players can be added from one club.
The team must consist of players with different skills. Participants cannot add 4 forwards or 3 goalkeepers. A typical fantasy team would consist of 1 goalkeeper, 4 defenders, 3 or 4 midfielders and 2 or 3 forwards. The participants act like managers and shuffle their team as per their analysis to earn maximum points.
The scoring system varies from league to league but there are a few parameters on which the scoring is done. Featuring in a match (at least 60 mins), scoring a goal, assist, clean sheets, winning the match and saving penalty will add points to the team.
Conceding a goal, yellow or red card, missing penalty and losing the match will attract deduction of points for the fantasy team. The number of points awarded for each action differs with different leagues.
Participants can join public and private leagues within fantasy football. Public leagues are open to all in which the members of the league compete to determine the winner who usually gets a cash prize for his performance.
Private leagues are for friends circle only. A unique code is generated and private members use this code to join the league.
The transfer system of different fantasy leagues is also different. Leagues that offer unique teams allow the players to be a part of one team only. It means that each player exists only once.
An auction is conducted to determine as to who would buy the players. Managers must remain within the budget and buy the required number of players. For leagues without unique teams, managers can pick players at their will as long as they exhaust their funds.
One or two free transfers are allowed every week usually and points are deducted if a participant wants to make more transfers.
Over the years, fantasy football has become more and more realistic in nature. More and more parameters are being designed to determine a players’ performance to ensure accuracy in the points system.
Fans get the feeling of managing a football team by sitting at home. Fantasy football ensures the development of football knowledge around the world and works towards promotion of the game.