A Fantasy Football guide for beginners
If you want to sign up to Starling’s UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Fantasy Football game but you don’t know how to play yet, you can find out everything you need to know here.
In our Fantasy Football game, you can create Fantasy teams made up of footballers from across the 16 competing nations. The objective of the game is to accumulate more points than competing Fantasy teams created by other people.
Fantasy teams earn points based on how well the players in their team perform in real life matches. All players (even goalies!) get bonuses for goals they score and assist, but only keepers and defenders benefit from a clean sheet (where no goals are conceded). Points are lost when players on their Fantasy team concede (allow) goals or are given red and yellow cards for foul play.
Balancing the budget
When you sign up to the game, you’re given a Fantasy budget of £84 million. You can use this to sign up to 16 players to your team, made up of 11 players on the pitch and five substitutes.
You cannot exceed the £84 million Fantasy budget. For example, a Fantasy team with star players like England striker Lauren Hemp (£8.5 million) and Norway striker Caroline Hensen (£9 million) will need to be balanced by up and coming players like Lisa Lichtfus (£3 million), the Belgian goalkeeper.
Substitutes’ performance in real matches will earn you half of the points they would if they were in your starting 11.
Positioning your team
You choose the formation of your team and your starting line-up. There’s a limit to how many players you can choose from each national team and from a certain position. You can have two goalkeepers, six defenders, six midfielders and five strikers across your chosen 16.
For each round, you have the opportunity to choose a Captain from among your 11 starting players. This player’s points will then be doubled.
Transfer windows are open between six rounds of play. During these windows, and only during these windows, you can make tactical player transfers.
- Round 1: First game day of the group phase
- Round 2: Second game day of the group phase
- Round 3: Third game day of the group phase
- Round 4: Quarter finals
- Round 5: Semi-finals
- Round 6: Finals
You can transfer footballers to try and earn more money and boost your points. For example, if a defender is performing badly, you can sell that player and purchase another defender in the hope that they will perform better.
But there’s a catch: players’ Fantasy values are determined by real-time match data. This means that the player you no longer want on your team might now have a smaller financial value, compared to when she first joined your team. Equally, swapping out a high-performing player could make you a substantial profit that you can use to invest in other players - although you must be prepared to part with her skills and take a risk on another player.
During each transfer window, you’re tasked with making tricky decisions that balance players’ abilities with budgets and profit margins. Some people make these decisions on gut feeling, while others make informed decisions based on player analysis. We’ve partnered with GirlsontheBall to bring you expert insights, should you want them - you’ll be giving England coach Sarina Wiegman a run for her money in no time!
The points system
Points are accumulated or deducted for different match events. For example, if a striker scores a goal, she’ll earn 12 points for her Fantasy team. If a goalkeeper scores a goal, an event that’s highly unlikely, she’ll earn 25 points for her Fantasy team. The points vary from player to player.
Players also earn points for their Fantasy team depending on how well their national team performs overall in a match. For example, if Italy’s midfielder Arianna Caruso scores an own goal, she’ll lose five points for her Fantasy team. But if Italy wins that match, she’ll accumulate nine points for her Fantasy team. You can find out all the details on this aspect of the point system in the game rules.
It’s the taking part that counts
Another choice you have is whether to make your team public or private. If you enter your Fantasy team to a public league, they will compete against other teams from all over the world.
Alternatively, if you set up your own private league, you can personalise game play for a group. For example, you can set a different budget or change the limit for the number of players you can have from one nation.
Whichever league you choose - public or private - other people within that league will be able to see your points, something that boosts healthy competition between each round of play.