Just to make sure there are no surprises - good or bad - on Matchday 1, here's a complete guide to the Official Fantasy Bundesliga points system.
Official Fantasy Bundesliga Expert Matt has always been a bit of a numbers geek. As a kid he had a giant poster of Sesame Street’s The Count above his bed, while his current ringtone is Hip To Be Square by Huey Lewis and the News. Our resident number cruncher will provide you with key facts and stats throughout the season.
Every player in your Fantasy starting XI is guaranteed at least a point - provided they all start for their respective clubs on matchday! Players are awarded one point for playing up to 45 minutes, two points for playing up to 89 minutes and three points for completing the whole 90 minutes. Simple really!
2) Goals, goals, goals!
The old adage that goals win games rings true in the Fantasy Bundesliga: Assemble a team with plenty of goals in them to get the better of your mates - and maybe win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a Bundesliga game of your choice!
The number of points a player earns for scoring a goal depends on his position: Forwards get three points for every goal, midfielders get four, defenders get six and in the unlikely event that your goalkeeper finds the back of the net, he gets a whooping ten points! There are extra points on offer if a player scores twice (one point), scores the winning goal (one point) or scores a hat-trick (three points), while every player who plays at least a minute for a winning side gets one extra point. Players are also awarded two points for every assist.
If none of your players find the net on a matchday, don’t fret: Points are also on offer for every two shots on target a player has (two for forwards, three for midfielders and four for defenders). Make sure you have some reliable penalty-takers among your ranks, too: If a player fails to score from the spot in normal time, he loses five points!
3) Case for the defence
Now to the other end of the pitch! Goals may be the most valuable currency in Fantasy Bundesliga, but a rock-solid defence can further boost your overall position in the standings. Your defenders receive two points for keeping a clean sheet, but lose a point for every goal they concede. Similarly, your goalkeeper loses two points for conceding a goal but gets five points for every shut-out.
Saves are also rewarded in the game, with one point on offer for goalkeepers for every two shots they save during a match, as well as five points for saving a penalty. Your defenders earn three points for every five successful duels, while your midfielders and strikers receive two. If in the extremely unlikely event an outfield player saves a penalty kick in normal time, he is awarded ten points!
A player (whether outfield or between the sticks) who is part of a losing team is deducted one point. If his team loses by three or more goals, two points are deducted.
4) Yellow and red cards
Needless to say, it is beneficial to assemble a squad of players with decent disciplinary records, as yellow and red cards are penalised rather harshly! Players are only deducted one point for every caution, but that is increased to three points if a player receives a second yellow, and five if he is shown a straight red card. Fouls are not penalised, but a player is deducted two points if he concedes a penalty kick.
Keep an eye out for more useful tips from myself and my colleagues, James and Flo, throughout the season. In the meantime, best of luck to all of you!