There’s no denying it, soccer is getting bigger by the day and I’m talking here, in the States, because we already know it’s the most popular sport in the world. So why haven’t you started playing Fantasy Soccer yet? You will have to eventually because all of your friends will force you to, that’s just a few years down the road. It’s time to start the trend.
You already doubt me, but there were over 2.5 million contestants playing the official game onfantasy.premierleague.com last year. And that doesn’t even include people playing at other places like Yahoo! or ESPN.
Below you can find a couple more reasons to play and some of the basics of the game. To get you excited, our friends over at FantasyYIRMA are putting on a league with money prizes. Keep in mind, this game is free to play. If you do well, you can win money. Why wouldn’t you play? You can find the links and how to join at the bottom of this article, but the prizes are right here to get you pumped.
* Overall 1ST place prize: £100 (approximately $150)
* Monthly prize: FantasyYIRMA.com T-Shirt
* Gameweek 1 prize: £25 CASH (approximately $40)
So not only are we going to provide free tips and hints and previews every week for you, but there are also prizes. Sounds pretty fun, right? By the way, this doesn’t even include the prizes that can be won at the official game.
Why to play
As mentioned above, soccer’s popularity is increasing daily in the States, and a first step to getting your feet wet in the sport would be by playing Fantasy Soccer. Even if you don’t like to watch soccer now, this could be your chance to enter the world of the hooligans and see what it’s really like.
The Premier League season runs from mid-August to the beginning of May. That is about 10 months of fun, intense Fantasy Soccer you could be playing, and it isn’t strenuous at all.
The Premiership contains all of the off-the-field banter, referee complaints and media jumble to ample your soccer needs. There are the high-spenders (Manchester City and Chelsea), the non-spenders (Arsenal), and the team everyone loves to hate (Manchester United). The league also has some of the best talent in the world, which provides for weekly highlights of fantastic plays and goals, which will amaze you even if you have never played the sport.
Although the Premier League is the league of England (much like MLS is the American league), some of your favorite Americans can be seen in action. Jozy Altidore (Sunderland) may be the biggest name after his most recent success playing for the U.S. Men’s National Team. Geoff Cameron, Maurice Edu and Brek Shea can also be found at Stoke City. In addition, Juan Agudelo is probably headed there in January. Clint Dempsey just left, but there will most likely be a couple more Americans headed to England before the season is up.
Check any of your preconceived notions regarding soccer at the door. Now is the time to see what it’s all about, and Fantasy Soccer is your first step. After watching an extra time game-winning goal in a thrilling 1-0 battle — yes, we said thrilling — you won’t want to turn your back. The sport is alive, so give it a chance and see what it has to offer; you don’t want miss the excitement of what is the Premier League. Fantasy Soccer is a great way to gear up for the 2014 World Cup (the most popular event on the planet), as well.
The most common Fantasy Soccer league involves a salary cap where each team owner gets 100 salary cap points to spend on a 15-player roster. The vast majority of these leagues have a cumulative scoring system where the league winner is the owner with the most overall points at the end of the season.
In a salary cap league, at the beginning of the season each owner selects their team from the Premier League pool of players. Each player is assigned a numerical value based on their ability. Owners must fill their roster without having their overall player value exceed 100.
Once the regular season starts, each owner is allowed to make one free “transfer” (aka free-agent pickup) per week. If you really hate your team, you’ll get two chances to use what is called a “wildcard” to revamp your squad as much as you want.
The bonus to this method is that you can pick any player you want from the league.
Fantasy Soccer scoring is usually pretty basic (e.g. goals, assists, saves, negative points for red and yellow cards) with a few interesting twists.
Obviously, players earn points by scoring goals, but the value of each goal often depends on the player’s position. For example, in the official premierleague.com game, forwards earn four points for a goal, midfielders five, and defenders six. Defenders who score goals are valuable additions. Assists carry the same value for all players at three points.
Players also receive points for minutes played; usually, one point for starting the game, and then a second point for playing at least 60 minutes.
Goalkeepers pick up points for saves and clean sheets, also known as a shutout. Defenders will also earn points per clean sheet. At premierleague.com, defenders and goalkeepers earn four points per clean sheet, while midfielders pick up one.
Players lose points for yellow cards (usually minus-one) and red cards (minus-two).
Maybe the most intriguing scoring aspect in Fantasy Soccer is the bonus point system. Bonus points are assigned to the top three players in each game, as determined by a range of numbers that is called the Bonus Points System. Basically, it’s about 20 different stats from the game and the top three players with the best stats in that game will get 1-3 bonus points.
The final scoring rule to be aware of is having a ‘captain’. In this system, team owners nominate one team captain each week. That player will receive double points for that week.
Once you understand your league type and scoring settings, the game becomes fairly simple.
Where to play
The main site where most people play is at premierleague.com. It’s popular for a reason. Plus, that is the game in which we will be basing our analysis from. And don’t forget to join the league created by FantasyYIRMA with weekly prizes.
Join now at http://fantasy.premierleague.com
Code for the FantasyYIRMA Mini-League is 7555-3083
Check back next week for a season and gameweek preview.
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Photo via KevininVegas