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How to Play Fantasy Football


Fantasy football is a global phenomenon, with fans flocking to the virtual game in India, America, Australia and around the world. Whether you’re a fan of MTK, Bengaluru, or Manchester United, fantasy football is a great way to celebrate the game. Brush up on your knowledge, build a team, and put your fantasy football skills to the test - but learn the ropes first, with our full guide to fantasy football. On this page you’ll find:

  • How to play fantasy football with expert advice and strategies
  • A list of the leading fantasy football leagues available in India
  • The best apps for fantasy football games in India
Our fantasy football guide

What is Fantasy Football?

Fantasy football is a virtual sports game where you hand-pick your own football team players and enter them as a team in leagues against other fantasy players. Every team is built according to a strict budget, and individual players each given a credit value.

Points are awarded based on how your players perform in real-life football matches. The fantasy football manager whose team collects the most points wins the league.

Rules may differ depending on the fantasy football league, but there a few things that remain consistent across the league.

  • You will always be allowed to select players from two or more actual football teams in a real-life competition.
  • If the fantasy football league you’re in covers the entire season, and not just single matches, certain restrictions will be in place. You will only be able to select so many players from the same team for your roster.
  • Points are awarded based on both individual and team performances. Goals and assists are given a weighting, but so are clean sheets.
  • You must select a set number of players in certain positions. A fantasy football team must have at least one goalkeeper, 3-5 defenders, 3-5 midfielders and 1-3 forwards or strikers. If the game you’re playing allows for substitutes, then you will also have to have a backup goalie.
  • Transferring injured, suspended or sold players out of your fantasy football team costs penalty points. A wildcard can be played once a season in some games which allows you to do this without being penalised.
  • Bonus points are awarded to designated captains and vice-captains, as well as to individual players who excel in their specific roles.


ISL Fantasy League & English Premier League

The Indian Super League (ISL), also know as the Hero Indian Super League, was incredibly popular in India, and saw over thirty thousand players enter in season. The league ran alongside the I-League, with 10 tens played in the space of 6 months under the AIFF. The English Premier League fantasy football, in comparison, is popular all over the world, with a host of international football players to choose from. For top players, the global game gets our recommendation. You can play the official Premier League fantasy football game in India, however, and plenty more popular fantasy football leagues below.


The Best Fantasy Football Leagues in India

If you’re looking to play fantasy football in India, you’ll need to know the best fantasy football leagues in India and around the world. Whether you’re after a real money league or just in it for fun, our team of experts only recommend the best, which include the following:

ESPN Fantasy Football

Better known as fantasy soccer, so as not to confuse it with their American football game, ESPN fantasy football has its own special rules. You must build a weekly roster of eight footballers playing in these real-life competitions:

  • UEFA Champions League
  • English Premier League (EPL)
  • Major League Soccer (MLS)
  • Spanish La Liga
  • Mexican Liga MX

You set a captain who gets double points and can make as many transfers as you want, although that costs you points. Drawing on players from both sides of the Atlantic makes for a fascinating twist on fantasy football.

Dream 11

One of the leading fantasy platforms in India, Dream 11 fantasy cricket and football gives you multiple sports to choose from. What’s great about this is you can get all your fantasy sport gaming done in the same place.

Like its name suggests, Dream 11 requires you to pick 11 footballers in your fantasy team for individual events. These include:

  • Major competitive international football matches like Euro and World Cup qualifiers
  • Continental competitions such as the Champions League
  • Domestic football leagues including the MLS and Premier League

This is perfect for you if you want a daily fantasy football fix. You can also dip in and out, as you’re not obliged to make fantasy picks for every single game of soccer on the planet.

Fantasy Premier League

As the official fantasy football partner of the English Premier League, this game is played all over the world. You must select a squad of 15 footballers; two goalkeepers, five defenders, five midfielders and three forwards/strikers.

Once you have those within the £100,000,000 budget, you set a formation, captain and vice-captain, and substitution priorities in the event of injuries or suspensions.

You can tweak this each and every week, but remember transfers cost points unless you use a wildcard. Other bonuses you can activate on Fantasy Premier League include triple captain, where you designated skipper gets three times the normal amount of points.

11 Wickets

Like Dream 11 fantasy cricket and football, 11 Wickets also caters for multiple sports. There’s less focus on international football here, however, with Premier League and La Liga matches among the club competitions used.

Once you’ve picked 11 players for a certain game, don’t forget to refer a friend. It’s well worth your while as 11 Wickets furnishes users who do that with bonuses and that gives you real incentive to get others involved.

MyTeam11

Yet another platform in India that lets you play more than one fantasy sport, MyTeam11 has regular and safe modes for football. There’s more of a focus on the international game during designated breaks in the club football calendar.


Choosing a Fantasy Football Team

Whether you’re a pro fantasy football manager or just having a laugh with friends, family and colleagues, the objective is the same. You have a strict budget to spend on eight, 11 or even 15 footballers depending on the league.

Picking the right combination of value and in-form players lies at the heart of fantasy football games. If it’s Premier League matches that you’re making choice around, then picking proven performers can be costly.

Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane have in recent years been regularly high up in the goal charts. That’s what you want from a striker after all, but what is the impact of having them in your fantasy football team?

The makers of the game will always place a high credit value on these established stars, so sometimes it can pay to find a newcomer. If a footballer is stepping up to Premier League level for the first time, then there’s always the risk of him not making the grade.

Balancing this is all part of your job as a fantasy football manager. If you’re impressed by the foreign signings that Liverpool or Manchester United have made, why not include them if they’re cheaper?

Always keep your eyes peeled for instances where the game has got a football player’s position wrong. They may class a wing back as a defender when they really play on the side of midfield in real life, or a wide forward as a midfielder.


Fantasy Football Expert Tips & Strategies

What fantasy football tips should you consider before playing? This sounds obvious, but make sure you follow the actual sport carefully first. Here are some key other things to consider:

  • There is an art to making transfers. As fantasy football leagues penalise you points for making changes, don’t act too rashly. There may be a reason why a particular player scored poorly in his last match.
  • Some fantasy football leagues offer a wildcard option. This allows you to completely reset your team. If you’re playing a Premier League fantasy football league, wait until the January transfer window has closed before doing this in case players are sold.
  • Occasional tweaks to your team, reflecting certain opposition you don’t think will favour your existing players or injuries and suspensions, are encouraged.
  • How are you setting your fantasy football team up formation wise? The secret here is to get as many attacking players in as the game allows.
  • Full backs can be a great source of additional points. They make assists and are more likely to take dead balls like free kicks and corners than central defenders.
  • Always keep the transfer budget at your disposal in mind. If there are loopholes with the position of players, say a forward is wrongly classified as a midfielder, then look to exploit these.


The Best Fantasy Football Apps in India

Android is the most popular operating system for mobile in India, so the best fantasy football apps will be always be perfectly compatible. Some of the best fantasy football apps in India include:

  • ESPN Fantasy Sports
  • Dream 11
  • Fantasy Premier League
  • 11Wickets
  • MyTeam11

Fantasy Premier League is great for EPL fans because it really tests your knowledge of English football. Indian users have to select a squad of 15 here, and that’s more than most other games.

ESPN Fantasy Sports, Dream 11, 11 Wickets and MyTeam11, meanwhile, all allow you to manage multiple fantasy sports teams across football and cricket among others. Having all that on one mobile app really is handy, but which app is the best for fantasy football depends on the individual player’s needs.


FAQs

Fantasy football is a virtual sports game where you select a number of players either for an entire season or individual matches. Each player has a credit value and you’ll have a budget to manage. Restrictions like only choosing so many players from one team may apply. Each player scores points based on their performance in real-life football games.