The 2022 World Cup is now only a couple of days away and participating players are putting in the hard yards every day to get in sync with their teammates and their manager and start off as strongly as they can.
And it’s not just the teams who have been keeping busy, but the fans as well. Thousands and thousands have flown to Qatar for the prestigious tournament, while others who could not make it to the Gulf have found other ways to get involved.
One of these ways is, of course, fantasy football.
Haven’t made your team yet? Fret not, for this post will cover everything you need to know about the game.
Where to play?
The official fantasy game can be accessed here: https://play.fifa.com/fantasy-classic
- 15 players to be selected
- A $100m budget
- The maximum number of players per team increases depending on the stage of the tournament, starting from 3 at the group stage to 8 in the finals.
What is different between FPL and this?
- Captain: Unlike FPL, where the captain stays constant for the GW, here you can change the captain even after the player has played his fixture, provided, the new captain has not played his fixture for the gameweek.
- Substitutions: If a player has not played in his game, the first eligible sub will automatically take his place. But similar to captaincy, managers can swap playing and bench players mid-GW provided the subs player is yet to play.
- Wildcard: Unlimited transfers for the GW
- 12th Man: An additional player scores points for your team but this player cannot be substituted or captained. No budget/team restrictions apply.
- Power Captain: The highest scorer for the gameweek automatically becomes the captain
The number of transfers allowed differs depending on the stage of the tournament.
- Group Stage: 2 transfers per matchday (one transfer carry to the next group stage matchday)
- Round of 16: Unlimited
- QF: 4 transfers
- SF: 5 transfers
- Finals: 6 transfers
A deduction of three points for every transfer that exceeds allocation.
A full list of scoring system can be found here: https://play.fifa.com/fantasy-classic/help/guidelines
It is imperative to note that, unlike FPL, the team being picked here is only for the group stage and not the whole tournament. So a shorter outlook is needed and not the ‘route to final’.
Below we have highlighted a few players from every position that can be picked taking into consideration price, form and fixtures.
Alisson Becker (Brazil) – $6M
Facing Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon, it would be surprising if Alisson fails to keep at least two clean sheets in the group stages. The Selecao have conceded just five goals in 17 games, which bodes well for the Liverpool shot-stopper.
Budget Option: Remko Pasveer (Netherlands) – $4.5M
With Cillessen absent, Pasveer is a strong favourite to start between the sticks for the Dutch. They face a Mane-less Senegal, before playing Ecuador and Qatar. Names like Van Dijk, de Ligt, Ake, and de Vrij only raise one doubt: Can the Netherlands go through the group stage without conceding at all?
Kieren Trippier (England) – $5M
Already selected by 31.6% of the managers, the absence of Reece James cemented Trippier for the right-back spot in England’s XI. Iran, USA and Wales are very favourable fixtures that should earn him some defensive points. Trippier’s authority on set pieces should bring in more points for his managers.
Denzel Dumfries (Netherlands) – $5.5M
While we are not saying one should double up on the Dutch defence, at least one should be in the team. If you have overlooked Pasveer as your GK, then Dumfries offers an alternate route into the Netherlands’ backline.
The team’s wingback system means the player will play high up the pitch and get points by way of assists and goals.
Budget Option: Joakim Maehle (Denmark) – $4.5M
Denmark’s game against France may not bring points, but games against Tunisia and Australia ideally should. But it’s not just his defensive ability that makes Maehle stand out. The Dane has scored five in nine games for the national team and will be looking to add more in this tournament.
Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium) – $11M
His high cost is the only thing that should be a concern for fantasy managers around the world. That being said, KDB has the potential to turn games on his own and rack up goals and assists in the cup. Currently owned by 48.6% of the teams, others risk falling behind when the Belgian inevitably turns up his game in Qatar.
Jamal Musiala (Germany) – $8M
With nine goals and six assists in 13 games in the Bundesliga, Musiala has burst onto the scene this season and become a vital cog for club and country both. The 19-year-old is mid-priced and should make his way into a lot more than the 20% teams currently.
Budget Option: Steven Bergwijn (Netherlands) – $7M
No, I am not a Netherlands supporter, it’s just that their team is stacked. Bergwijn is one of the best budget players to have in the fantasy game. The Depay injury means the mid is likely to play up top and contribute to goals.
Arguably the trickiest position to fill on the pitch due to the dearth of talent and high-profile players available.
Lionel Messi (Argentina) – $10.5M
Messi has been in inspiring form this season, scoring 12 and setting up 14 in 18 outings for PSG this season. In what is most likely his last world cup, we expect some wizardry from the little magician for Argentina. Saudi Arabia, Poland and Mexico, beware.
Neymar (Brazil) – $10.5M
If Brazil are to progress and ultimately win the damn thing as many predict, Neymar will have to be at the top of his game. 11 goals and 9 assists for PSG this season bodes well for himself and his teammates. The PSG star is just two short of Pele’s international goal tally and what better opportunity to break the record than the World Cup.
Budget Option: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Serbia) – $7M
This year’s surprise FPL darling will now look to carry on his record on the global stage as well. Mitrovic has been in super form for Fulham, scoring nine goals in 12 games. His record for Serbia is 50 goals in 75 games. Nothing if not prolific. Switzerland and Cameroon should be avenues for points for the striker.
With so many decisions to make and so many players to choose from, the fantasy game is going to be a major talking point throughout the cup. Make your team now and stay tuned with us for tips and transfer suggestions!