(Note: This post is all about the other football -- the one with the kicking and the flopping and whatnot. If that's not your bag, feel free to click away. You won't hurt my feelings any. )
I know there are plenty of fantasy junkies here. And I know there are soccer junkies here (and on the Twitterz), too. So I said to myself, "Self, why not create a BHGP Twitteratzi Fútbol League?" So I went ahead and created a BHGP Twitteratzi Fútbol League over at the official Barclays Fantasy Premier League game site.
You just have to go there, sign up, create a team, and then join the league. There are two leagues; please go ahead and join them both
The code to join the classic league is 160942-395791.
The code to join the head-to-head league is 160942-395802
The same team will play in both leagues; in other words, you only have to pick one team of players in order to compete in both leagues. The classic league is just a point accumulation league -- you score points every week and the player with the most points at the end of the season is the champion. The head-to-head league is more like a traditional fantasy football league -- you match up with another owner every week and the results are tracked in a soccer-style table. Wins are worth 3 points, draws are worth 1 point, losses are worth 0 points, etc. Again, the exact same team can play in both leagues.
If you've got questions about the league or fantasy fútbol in general, feel free to post away in the comments. I'll do my best to answer the questions. If you're wanting a brief overview...
* You get £100 to assemble a team of fifteen players (2 GK, 5 DEF, 5 MID, 3 FWD) of your choosing. Unlike many fantasy games, there's no limit on how many people in a league can own a player -- if we all want to own Wayne Rooney (ick), we can do it. Players have different prices based on past performance and the shirt they wear, which means you can't just load up on players from the Big Four and call it a day. (You're also limited to three players per team.) You have to find some gems from the lesser teams, too. It's also worth noting that the values assigned to players will fluctuate over the course of a season; players who go on a tear, score a lot of points, and get added by a lot of owners will see their price go up. Conversely, players who go into a funk and don't score a lot of points will see their price go down.
* Points are accumulated in a variety of ways:
-- GK: minutes played, clean sheet, saves made, goals scored, assists
-- DEF: minutes played, clean sheet, saved made, goals scored, assists
-- MID: minutes played, clean sheet, goals scored, assists
-- FWD: minutes played, goals scored, assists
Goals are worth more or less depending on who scores them (forwards earn 4 pts per goal, midfielders earn 5 pts per goal, defenders and keepers earn 6 pts per goal). Clean sheets are worth more to keepers and defenders (4 pts apiece) than midfielders (1 pt apiece). Forwards get no bonus if their team keeps a clean sheet. Players can also lose points -- if their team gives up 2+ goals, keepers and defenders will lose points (-1 to -2 pts apiece, I believe) and all players will be penalized for picking up yellow or red cards.
Unlike most traditional fantasy leagues, this one is not set up to feature weekly head-to-head matchups between teams (although I could set up another league with that feature if people really wanted it). Instead, you simply try to accumulate as many points as possible. The person with the most points at the end of the season is the overall winner.
* Tactically, you can arrange your team in a wide variety of formations. 4-3-3? 4-4-2? 4-5-1? 3-4-3? I believe the minimum requirements are 3 defenders, 3 midfielders, and 1 forward; any formation that fits with that is fair game (although you can't just go bombing ahead with four forwards, sadly).
* A few other wrinkles to know about are captains (and vice-captains), substitutions, and transfers. Whoever you designate as captain earns double points for you. If your captain doesn't play, the player you designate as vice-captain becomes the captain and earns double points for you. If one of the eleven players you select doesn't play at all, one (or more) of your bench players will be automatically subtituted for them, assuming they also played and it still leaves you with a legal formation (i.e., you set up a 4-3-3 but one of your forwards doesn't play; a midfielder could be automatically substituted for him and you'd then have a 4-4-2).
Transfers are this game's equivalent to waivers or free agency. You get one free transfer (i.e., costs you no points) per week; you can make more than one transfer, but it will cost you (4 pts per additional transfer). The only exception that policy is the transfer wildcard -- you can play that and make unlimited transfers during a week. (The catch is that you only get two of them, one that can be used at any point during the season and one that can only be used in January, mirroring the EPL's own January transfer window.)
EDIT: And if you want more tips 'n' tricks on how to succeed in this game, click here.
That's the nuts and bolts. I'd encourage you to bone up on the official FPL rules, too, of course. Bring it on.