Fantasy football betting: a beginner's guide
If you’ve ever placed a sports bet at an online betting site, you’ve probably come across the term ‘fantasy sports’ and 'fantasy football', and maybe wondered what it is all about. In recent years, fantasy football betting as well as fantasy sports in general have become increasingly popular. In this article, we’re going to provide a basic introduction of how fantasy football works and how you can start taking advantage of this exciting betting opportunity.
What is fantasy football betting?
In fantasy football, a team of players is created by selecting real football players, and these players will earn points for the team according to their performance in actual football games. Individuals then place real money bets together with other opponents who have created their fantasy teams, and the one whose team performs the best will win a prize.
Due to the fact that you have to carefully select your team in fantasy football betting, this requires having a lot of sports knowledge, since you have to select the players which you think will perform best. It's very much like being a football manager - you get to pick your own players, who you think can deliver the best results!
How do you get started with fantasy football betting?
There are various ways you can bet on your fantasy football team. First of all, you should choose an online betting site that offers fantasy football betting, like our recommended sportsbook, Bethard.
Normally, you will have a fixed budget from which to pick your team (for example £100 million), and the players are assigned a price based on their track record. There will also be a limited squad size, usually between 15 and 20 players, but normally you can only pick three to four players from each team. Getting points is relatively simple. The players you’ve picked will earn you points based on their performance in a given match. All the players will get points for goals and assists, and midfielders, defenders and goalkeepers will also get points for clean sheets. On the other hand, points will be deducted for events like penalty misses and yellow cards.
Fantasy Football Tournaments
You will find leagues or tournaments that you can enter for a specific time period or for an entire season. Normally, you would have to pay in order to participate although there are some tournaments which you can enter for free. Then you would have to pick a team by choosing from a list of ‘real’ players who will actually be playing in a certain game or league.
When it comes to fantasy football tournaments, there will usually be a prize pool, and the owner of the team which scores the most points will get the highest percentage of this prize pool. Another way is to compete against one other opponent only. In this case, both punters will place bets of equal amounts, and the one whose team performs best will win his opponent’s stake.
There are 3 types of fantasy football tournaments:
Weekly tournaments involve choosing a team for just a week, and the results will be based on a series of fixtures over one or two days.
Season tournaments on the other hand are more committing but usually involve bigger prize pools – as the name suggests, it involves choosing a team for an entire football season. You are given only a few transfers every week during these tournaments, so they require good knowledge and tactics.
Player tournaments involve betting on a specific player to be the most successful during a particular week. These tournaments could earn you quite a substantial profit for just a small stake, particularly if you choose a player who you believe might exceed expectations!
Creating your own fantasy football tournament
Some online betting sites will give you the opportunity to create a tournament yourself. You can choose to make this tournament accessible to the public or to keep it private (between you and a group of friends, for example). Then, you choose the buy-in amount, the prize distribution, the prize ratio and the game type. Naturally, you have to choose from a number of actual football leagues, on which you will base your fantasy football tournament.
If we look at the screenshot below from Bethard Sport, you can see all these options for creating your own tournament. In this case, we’ve selected to base our tournament on the Premier League. You can choose how much participants need to pay in order to participate (buy-in), and also select to bet on a full squad, a five-A-Side, Flexi-Five and more. In this case, we’ve selected the ‘Winner Takes All’ option when it comes to prize distribution, which will result in the owner of the best performing team being awarded the entire prize pool.
Fantasy football tips – how to pick your fantasy football team
Picking your fantasy football team involves a bit of knowledge and strategy. The bottom line is to know the players and their track records well. Here are a few more tips to help you if you’re just starting out:
- Look for special players who are cheap to buy but could potentially perform very well.
- Find out who is likely to get the most points by considering factors like how well certain players perform at home, and how well they have played against their opponents in past games.
- Consider injuries to find out which players are truly fit to deliver.
- Start out small - you will likely lose in the beginning, so it's best to place low bets, at least until you have developed a sound strategy.
Is fantasy football betting licensed?
Yes, the operators we feature on this page are all licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, and this license covers all their products. These online betting sites have various tools in place to ensure that your money will be kept securely and make use of reliable payment methods in order to encrypt your bank details. Our top recommendation at the moment is Bethard sportsbook, since it offers a number of fantasy football tournaments as well as the opportunity to create your own tournament.
Start your journey today!
Fantasy football betting is not something you can master overnight. It takes a lot of experience and strategy, so it’s best to start out with small bets. However, once you do get the hang of it, it can be a very rewarding and exciting experience, since the prize pools are huge and you get that satisfying feeling of being a real football manager! Start out today with our recommended betting sites and enjoy this incredible opportunity from the comfort of your home as well as on the go!