The deadline for the Matchday 1 of FIFA World Cup 2022 Fantasy Football is almost here and we have less than one week to finish our squads.
There are so many great fantasy options, but there are just 15 spots in our team.
Selecting the right players at the very beginning is very tricky and if you do not get it right, it will be very difficult for you to beat your friends in your mini-leagues.
Do not worry, we are here to help.
We prepared for you 10 essential tips that will help you to select the right players for your squad and help you succeed in FIFA World Cup 2022 Fantasy.
So, how to do well at fantasy football?
Let’s dive in.
1. Plan accordingly, use statistics
When you are picking players for your fantasy team, you should do it with a long-term view in mind.
You should have a plan and you should know how your team will look not just on the first matchday, but also on those after.
So, do not look at matchdays in isolation – but see the whole World Cup tournament. Plan who you transfer in, who you captain, when you use your chips – your chip strategy, etc.
Also, use some stats when selecting players for your fantasy squad. Go to Flashscore and check which players did well in World Cup qualification. Go to whoscored and find out the ratings of players. Go to understat and check the underlying statistics of players from top leagues.
Stats are an essential tool when it comes to selecting the right players for your fantasy squad. Checking them can be time-consuming, but at the end of the day (tournament), it does worth it.
2. It is about the balance
Selecting a fantasy football team is about balance, but you probably figured this out by yourself, too.
Fantasy football is an optimization task with a budget constraint. You have to maximize points that your team will score and respect the budget restraint.
You will have to make sacrifices, and you will not be able to create the team of your dream. You have to do some deep research, found those budget options, and field them alongside your heavy hitters.
So, do not get stressed when you are not able to fit in the players you want. Every other fantasy manager is in the same situation.
Try to find a great balance in your World Cup Fantasy team without leaving weak spots in it.
3. Bench and substitutions are more important than you think
There is one very important feature of World Cup 2022 Fantasy Football – substitutions within the matchday.
It means that if some of your players did not score as many points as you would like them to, you can sub them off and replace them with players from your bench that are yet to play.
Always use manual substitutions
Let me explain it with an example.
Qatar vs. Ecuador is scheduled for 20th November and Portugal vs. Ghana is played on 24th November.
Imagine you have an Ecuador player Caicedo in the starting XI of your fantasy team and a Portugal player Cancelo on the bench of your team.
If Caicedo scores for example only 2 fantasy points for an appearance on 20th November, you can sub him off and replace him with Canclo from your bench who is yet to play on 24th November.
But be careful, you can not do it the other way around – you cannot sub in a player who already played. You can only sub in a player who is yet to play (is unlocked).
You can read more about it in our article: How to use substitutions in your World Cup Fantasy strategy?
Never overlook the bench of your team
Due to substitutions, you will likely use all players from your bench during the matchday.
And that is the reason why you should not have a bench composed only of extremely cheap players that are unlikely to play.
You could pick some cheaper players to your bench, but make sure that they will start for their nation – and ideally also that they have the potential to score you more than 2 fantasy points.
Two playing keepers = big advantage
You should also have two playing goalkeepers in your team – two who play on a different time within the matchday (so not from the same match)
For example, if you have Lloris and Ryan in your team, then you could not use goalkeeper substitution in case that your number one goalkeeper will not keep a clean sheet – because France and Australia play on the same time (against each other).
But if you have Lloris and Courtois in your fantasy squad, you can use goalkeeper substitutions, because they play on a different day.
So, if Lloris does not keep a clean sheet on the 22nd november, you can sub him off and replace him with Courtois who is yet to play on 23rd November.
This strategy increases the odds that your goalkeeper will keep a clean sheet during a certain matchday.
So, do not try to save money on your bench players. They will be very useful for your fantasy team during matchdays.
4. Do not fit in too many heavy hitters
It would be great to have Kane, De Bruyne, Messi, Mbappe, Fernandes, Sané, Foden in our fantasy teams.
But due to the budget constraint, it is not possible.
So, do not get blinded by so many great pricy fantasy picks, and do not try to fit them all in your squad. You would have to sacrifice potential from other parts of your fantasy squad and you would have too many weak links in your team.
Just pick two or three heavy hitters in your team and build a balanced squad around them.
But be careful, try to pick heavy hitters that play on a different day, so you can switch captaincy between them.
More about the captaincy in the following tip.
5. Have two good captaincy options
The captaincy is a huge part of success in fantasy football.
The same goes for World Cup 2022 Fantasy. However, the big advantage of this competition is that you do not have to rely solely on one captain during the whole matchday.
We already highlighted that you should plan ahead. And the captaincy is something you should plan ahead not just on different matchdays, but also within the certain matchday itself.
You can switch the captaincy once in a matchday, after your first captain is locked. So if your first captain fails to deliver, you can change the armband to another player who is unlocked – is yet to play. But if your second option will not deliver, you cannot change your captain for that matchday anymore.
Captaincy points threshold
The question is: what is the satisfying amount of captain points that you should aim for?
Well, based on our experience it is 6 points. So, unless your captain scores 6 points, you will switch the captaincy to the other player who is yet to play.
And that’s why you should know your two captaincy options before the deadline.
6. Do not overlook defenders
When you are trying to fit into your teams some more expensive players, the defense is usually the place when you eventually try to cut some funds.
You start to downgrading 6m defenders to 5,5m defenders, and the 5,5m defenders to 5m defenders or to 4,5m defenders.
Our advice is: do not do that.
The defense of your FIFA World Cup team is not a place where you should save some funds.
But do not get me wrong. If you find some amazing 4,5m defenders (like Maehle) it is not a bad idea to pick them into your team. They offer great value per 1 million, and they have huge potential to score you fantasy points for a low price.
The bad idea would be trying to put together a defense full of 4m or 3,5 m defenders from Saudi Arabia, or Iran – defenders who have a very low chance of keeping at least one clean sheet in the World Cup Group stage.
Hopefully, you get my point now.
Clean sheets are great routes to fantasy points
So, if you think that teams like France, Argentina, and England will keep two or three clean sheets in the group stage, you should pick some of their defenders in your team regardless of their price tag.
And if a defender offers even an attacking potential – he is on penalties, free kicks or play like a wing bag – that could be a golden player for your fantasy team, even if he costs 6m.
Personally, I like a balanced defense composed of players that have a high chance of a clean sheet + offer something extra. For example, a good fantasy defense could look like this:
- Cancelo 6,0m – high chance of clean sheets + attacking threat (high assist potential)
- Dumfries 6,0m – high chance of clean sheets + attacking threat (high assist and goal potential)
- Trippier 5,0m – high chance of clean sheets + attacking threat (high assist potential, goal threat, free kicks)
- Pavard 5,0m – high chance of clean sheets + attacking threat
- Maehle 4,5m – goal threat, great value due to low price
7. Bring in Talismans
Now you know, you should have approximately two-three heavy hitters in your team and that you shouldn’t save money on defenders.
So, let’s look at some other players you should have in your fantasy squad for FIFA World Cup 2022.
If you are uncertain which budget players you should field around your heavy hitters, try to get in talismans: players that are key players for their team and that are the most likely sources of fantasy points from that team.
To help you understand what we mean: for example, Messi is the Talisman of Argentina, Eriksen of Denmark, Depay of the Netherlands, Mitrovič of Serbia etc.
So when that nation scores a goal, the talisman is likely going to be involved.
8. Target teams that play against whipping boys
Fixtures do matter in fantasy football.
The fixture is the only thing we can “predict” and we can take an advantage of it. Try to identify, which teams have easy groups, and which teams will play against “whipping boys”.
There can be a lot of fantasy points in these kinds of matches (remember England vs. Panama 6:1 from FIFA World Cup 2018?).
So, which teams are whipping boys of World Cup 2022? We used bookies odds of winning the tournament to find out.
There are 5 teams that have probabilities of winning the tournament lower than 0.2% (according to bookies odds).
These teams are outsiders of the FIFA World Cup 2022 and potential “whipping boys”:
|Team||Probability of winning EURO 2020 Tournament|
So, bring players from good teams that play against these “whipping boys”. Especially against Costarica, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
There should be a lot of fantasy points in these matches – especially on the side of good teams.
9. Maximize the potential of boosters
We have three boosters available in FIFA World Cup 2022 Fantasy Football:
- Power Captain
- 12th Man
With a wildcard, you will get an unlimited number of transfers for one matchday.
Power captain allows you to get double points from a player who scores the most points from your lineup.
12th Man allows you to pick one additional player to score points for your squad in a given matchday.
All three chips (boosters) are extremely powerful, and you should plan how and when you use them.
We have just 7 matchdays in World Cup 2022 Fantasy, so there is not a lot of room where you could deploy these chips.
But we have some ideas about when the best time to use both chips is in order to maximize their potential.
Change your whole squad with Wildcard
When deciding about using your wildcard, you should take into account the number of transfers we have available after each matchday.
Best time to use wildcard is probably in MD2 as it allows yout to change your team for MD2 and MD3 (where is heavy rotation expected from teams that have secured spots in R16) as well. Also, after R16 the number of free transfers we are awarded between matchdays increases to 4,5, 5, and 6 on at the start of each matchday.
Also, in the group stage, you can pick from all 32 teams. And you can easily target heavy hitters that play against whipping boys that are unlikely to advance to the R16.
Another potentially good time to use wildcard is before QF when 16 teams get eliminated but fantasy managers have only 4 transfers (awarded after start of R16) and 5 transferes (awarded at the start of QF) available to deal with that.
Bring in 12th man to your squad for one matchday
Because you can pick any player from any team as your twelfth man, it makes the biggest sense to use this booster in a matchday where we have many good fixtures – a matchday where many heavy hitters play against whipping boys.
Basically, the best time is in a group stage where many crazy scores can happen.
And if you use Wildcard in MD2, it leaves us MD1 or MD3 as potential matchdays for using this powerful chip (you can use just one booster per matchday). We like MD1 more from those two.
Do not worry about captaincy in one matchday
You could use power captain booster on matchday where: captaincy is unclear (and you are not sure which players from your team are the best captaincy options). This chip will help you catch a big captaincy haul.
10. Have fun and be patient
Fantasy football can be very emotional.
However, you should always have in mind, that it is just a game and try to not get angry when your captain does not score.
You should enjoy the game and the points your team score. But in the end, there could be only one winner in each mini-league and you have to accept that.
And also, sometimes, there is patience required regarding some players. If you believe that some players will do well, include them in your team, but then they do not score in the first matchday, have patience with them and do not rage transfer them out. You have to keep your head cool when it comes to fantasy football.
Enjoy the FIFA World Cup 2022 Fantasy Football.
FPL Reports will be here, and we will be posting our tips for each matchday of the tournament. You can start picking your squad at the Official World Cup Fantasy website.