Fantasy Sports Games
Everyone fancies themselves as a football manager and Fantasy Football games gives you the chance to put yourself in the hotseat. The concept of fantasy sports games pre-dates the Premier League and The Internet. I remember playing Microcoach which was a play by mail style game. However fantasy football has taken off online and has become an important part of the season. Each season there are big games from the likes of Sky, The Sun (Dream Team), The Telegraph and Fantasy Premier League.
Fantasy games are not limited to just football or The Premier League. NFL games are incredibly popular and it's usually possible to find versions for horse racing, golf and cricket. Sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel have paved the way for daily games. These allow players to enjoy the fun of fantasy sports but without a season long commitment. Paddy Power have just launched their own Fantasy Sports channel which gives players the chance to wager on EPL, UCL, WNBA, NBA and NFL games.
How To Play
Individual games will have their own rules, but most have the same general method of play. As a fantasy sports player your task is to assemble a group of players within a set budget. During real games your players will score points based on goals, bookings, appearances etc. The aim is to put together a side that will perform to get the most points each week. At the end of the season the player with the most points is awarded the Manager Of The Year title.
It all sounds so simple, but to be a successful fantasy sports player you need to be on the ball. You need to be aware of how your selections are performing, who they are playing, if they are playing and whether you're better off changing the team. The most successful players are the ones who spend time each week analysing and assessing their choices. Even those that choose to play daily sports games need to be clued up on who's who in order to try and accumulate the most points.
Daily Fantasy Games
The problem with many fantasy games is that they require a season long commitment. Many players quickly lose interest after drafting their side at the start of a season. Additionally if you miss the start then it's either not easy to catch up or you can't join. To overcome this problem there are now a wide range of daily fantasy sports games. Sky used to run such a game with their Fantasy Six A Side however sadly that has closed and won't return for the 2019/20 season.
Sites like FanDuel and DraftKings have become incredibly popular in The US, especially for NFL matches. Paddy Power are hoping that similar success will occur in The UK with their own Daily Fantasy Games. These cover a variety of sports including The Premier League and Champions League. Players can also try NFL, NBA and golf games too. Entry to these games is not free but you can play from as little as 25p a play.
Where To Play
There are plenty of fantasy sports game opportunities online. Sky Sports' Fantasy Football, Dream Team, Fantasy Premier League and The Telegraph Fantasy Football are just some of the main games. Dig deeper and you play Real Fantasy Football, Fanteam and Fantasy SPFL. Many of these games are free to play, but others will incur a cost. The prizes on offer are usually always impressive. For example Dream Team has a £100,000 prize pot whilst Sky's Fantasy Football offers up to £50,000 in prizes.
We've mentioned FanDuel a couple of times but they are not available in The UK. They did launched in 2016/17 and almost £1 million was won in prizes. However Paddy Power acquired the company and they've now integrated a version of these fantasy games within their own betting site. DraftKings is very similar to FanDuel but offers access to more sports. These include NASCAR, MMA and eSports. Players from The UK are welcome.