Here’s our Euro 2020 fantasy football tips article where Rob Reid outlines his first draft team with player comments and strategy behind his picks
Euro 2020 Fantasy Football Tips – Rob Reid’s First Draft Team
We’ll be doing a load of articles for the Euro 2020 fantasy here. Here’s the link to the site
There’s already a FFGeek league use the league code 49KWOPI907 to copy and paste into the join league section
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Hi everyone and welcome to my first Euro 2020 team article based on the Official UEFA 2020 Fantasy Football game. Geek handily provided an overview of the rules in a previous article, so I’ll not go over too much old ground here. What I would also say, is that my team is likely to change a fair bit before the opening game on the 11th June – the squads are yet to be officially finalised (this happens on June 1st) and there are some friendlies before the tournament commences where there could be some clues on team line-ups but also some injuries.
A few thoughts on the game
For regulars of FPL, the big tournament games produced by UEFA and FIFA have a broadly similar scoring system with a couple of exceptions, but what is different is that the game is a bit more hands-on. You can make substitutions within a ‘Matchday’ (think of a Matchday as an FPL Gameweek), bringing players off your bench and changing your Captain at the start of the next day of fixtures. It therefore helps to have players that play across the different days within a Matchday as well as a different Captain option for each day in order to chase a big Captain haul.
Early rounds are key
Next up, is the nature of these tournament Fantasy competitions. Geek and I mention a lot that Fantasy Football is a game of few events and this applies even more so in these condensed Fantasy games. Much of the heavy scoring (if it occurs) happens in the group phases and early knockout rounds where there is more of mismatch between the teams. Once you hit the 1/4 finals, most teams tend to settle on a few players so it’s difficult to make up more ground.
Another thing to be aware of is Deadlines – these are set for kick-off times, so you will be able to get the team line-ups for the first game or games of the Matchday before the deadline. Similarly, when making substitutions and Captain changes this also applies to the first game that day. Take advantage of this folks, but be aware in previous tournaments I’ve found the game crashes a lot in that hour before the deadline I hope UEFA have updated their servers!
Finally, the Chips. We’ve got a Wildcard Chip (as it is in FPL) and a Limitless Chip (think of this as Free Hit with no budget – a bit like the Rich Uncle chip in Norwegian Fantasy Football if you’ve ever played that.) Plus you effectively get another free Wildcard between the group phase and the knockouts as you can make unlimited transfers again between these. For me, I can see a couple of options here. I think using the Limitless Chip in the group phase makes sense and I think the 2 spots for the Wildcard are either again in the group phase, or after the last 16 to remove any players who have been knocked out (though you do also have a few free transfers for this.)
I’ve been playing big tournament Fantasy Games since World Cup 1994 in various forms and my playing style in these games is completely different to FPL. What I’ve realised over the years is that if you’re serious about doing well, you need a ‘go big or go home’ approach. You need to play very aggressively early on and it can go absolutely brilliantly, or be a complete disaster! So a caveat here – my strategy is pretty risky and it certainly isn’t for everyone.
What I try to do is target specific fixtures in the group phase and really load up on assets for these. The rules for this game will help me for this, as in previous years there’s only been a Wildcard Chip so I’ve had to look at fixture clusters to do this. This year, I’m going to use all my Chips in the group phase – I’ll likely go Limitless first for Matchday 2 and then Wildcard for Matchday 3. As such, I’ll effectively have 4 different squads for the first 4 Matchdays.
I target the fixtures in 2 ways. First of all, I look at where I think there might be clean sheets and I’ll try and have at least 2 defensive double-ups in my set of 2 keepers and 5 defenders. Secondly, I look at where there is a mismatch and try and have a premium attacker from that team as a Captain option along with a second attacking asset if possible.
The fixtures that stand out from a Fantasy point of view for me in Matchday 1 are:
Friday 11th June – Turkey vs Italy – Italy are at home and are solid defensively – target their defence.
Saturday 12th June – Denmark vs Finland – Denmark are at home, have been in good form and there’s a mismatch with the opposition – target Denmark defence and attack.
Saturday 12th June – Belgium vs Russia – Belgium heavy favourites and have key premium options, beat Russia comfortably both times in qualifying though Russia are at home – target Belgium attack and possibly 1 defender
Sunday 13th June – Austria vs North Macedonia – could be a high scoring game, neither side great in defence – target both attacks.
Sunday 13th June – Netherlands vs Ukraine – Netherlands at home and in good form – target Netherlands defence and attack.
Monday 14th June – Poland vs Slovakia – could be quite a high-scoring game, Poland with key premium attacking option – target Poland attack.
Monday 14th June – Spain vs Sweden – Spain at home and have good clean sheet odds – target Spain defence.
Tuesday 15th June – Hungary vs Portugal – possible mismatch on paper though Hungary are at home, Portugal have key premium options – target Portugal attack.
Taking all this into account, here’s a 1st draft for Matchday 1:
My premiums cover a range of Captain options across the days of the Matchday. I’d probably start with a punt on Florenzi on Friday, then go Eriksen or Lukaku Saturday. If they all blank I could punt on Bardi or Wijndal on Sunday, with Lewandowski an option for Monday and Ronaldo on Tuesday. I’ve also got double defence from Italy and Denmark early in the Matchday with the option to switch out blanks as the days progress. There’s 2 cheap fillers in there – Nego looks like one of the few 4.0m playing options for Hungary and at the moment 5.0m Ampadu covers the other spot, but he is purely a place-filler as I suspect we’ll get a better cheap option than him elsewhere.
So that’s me for the moment, but this team will no doubt change several times before the 11th June. I hope this gives people ideas though. Also stay tuned on the site for contributor team previews – my supporters view previews of Scotland and Wales are on the site already!