Get Into the World of Fantasy Soccer

Fantasy soccer illustration
Bernhard Lang / Getty Images

There are many different fantasy games, but the fundamentals of most are the same.

  1. Form a squad of soccer players.
  2. The players each accumulate points based on their performances in games which contribute to your team’s overall score.
  3. The fantasy team with the most points at the end of the season wins the fantasy league.


In almost all fantasy soccer games, players are given a budget with which to buy players. The cumulative value of the squad must not exceed this budget. This ensures that fantasy managers cannot simply cherry pick all the ​best and most expensive players, instead of relying on their judgment to select some cheaper alternatives.​

Squad Composition

Fantasy games often differ when it comes to squad size, but one of the most popular in the world is the Fantasy Premier League on the English Premier League’s official website.

In this game, players must build a squad consisting of:

  • 2 goalkeepers
  • 5 defenders
  • 5 midfielders
  • 3 strikers

There are often limits on how many players a manager is allowed to select from a certain team. In this game, the maximum is three (eg. no more than three Manchester United players are allowed in any one fantasy squad).


Once a manager has selected a squad, they must choose a formation for the opening round of league fixtures. In most fantasy games, managers are allowed to alter their formation throughout the season.

Selecting a Team

Before each round of fixtures throughout the season, managers must select their starting 11, in the process deciding which players will be left on the bench, meaning they will not score points.

In some fantasy games, the computer automatically drafts in players from the bench to replace those in the starting 11 if they have not featured in the round of matches, but rules vary.


Once you have confirmed your squad, most fantasy games allow you to make unlimited transfers before the season has begun.

After that, there is often a limit to how many transfers you can make throughout the season.

Some games deduct points if you wish to exceed your transfer quota. The official Premier League fantasy game allows you to make one transfer per week without charge.

In some games, a player’s transfer fee can fluctuate depending on his performances. A player who is performing poorly and not scoring many points may see his price go down, while one who is doing well may see his transfer fee go up.


Again, different games have different scoring systems, so it is recommended to check the rules before selecting players for your squad.

Points are generally awarded for:

  • Playing in a match
  • Playing a large proportion of a match
  • Goals
  • Assists
  • Clean Sheets
  • Shots saved by a goalkeeper
  • Penalty saves

Points are generally deducted for:

  • Penalty misses
  • Goals conceded
  • Yellow cards
  • Red cards
  • Own goals

In some games, such as the Fantasy Premier League, players must choose a captain each game week. Your captain scores double points.


Players compete in an overall league, and the manager with the most points at the end of the season wins.

Players are also able to set up mini leagues with friends and colleagues. Such leagues can ensure that interest remains high right through the season, even if players are well off the pace in the overall race.


In most games, there is a prize for the manager who finishes top at the end of the season. The prize is likely to be more considerable if players have to pay a fee to enter. There may also be runner-up prizes.

There may also be prizes available for winning the ‘manager of the month’ – ie the player who has accumulated the most points in a calendar month. This is another method of ensuring that interest remains high and is an effective way of attracting new players to the game throughout the season.