The 2023/24 season is almost here, which means it’s time to get your Bundesliga Fantasy team in shape. Whether you’re new to the game or keen to have the edge in your league, here’s what you need to know ahead of the new campaign - including some new features...
Wait until the Friday line-ups are confirmed
You have unlimited transfers to tinker and change your team up until Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich kick off the first game of the season on Friday 18 August.
After that, however, you have five transfers between matchdays, with the window closing as soon as the first game of the weekend is scheduled to begin, so it pays to use them wisely. Here, as with a late Thomas Müller run into the box, timing is everything.
Bundesliga matchdays generally have one fixture on Friday evening with the rest spread out across Saturday and Sunday. The best strategy, then, is to wait until the confirmed line-ups are out on Friday so that you can see who is starting. Also, check our matchday team news overview, which is updated regularly, to see if a player is unavailable or likely to begin.
Once you’re armed with all the information you need, confirm those transfers!
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Take advantage of star players
You have three stars to use in Fantasy - one each for forwards, midfielders and defenders throughout a matchday.
Starring a player gives you 1.5 times the points, so it can make a huge difference to your tally over the course of the season. For example, if Jamal Musiala (15M) scores 20 points in a game but you had him starred, then he will earn you 30 points for that match.
A new feature for 2023/24 means that, in comparison to previous seasons, you can no longer swap your star to a different player once a matchday has started. Make sure you choose wisely!
Watch: Dortmund's best skills and goals in 2022/23
NEW! The top XI feature
It's up to you how hands-on you are as a Fantasy manager. We at Bundesliga HQ obviously take it very seriously, with the Fantasy tab or app always open on matchdays as we carefully monitor our points and league positions - you can take part in as many leagues as you like with friends, colleagues or total strangers.
Or you might be more the sort who sets their team on the Friday evening and doesn't check again till the dust settles on Monday morning.
The playing field will level somewhat in 2023/24, however, as a new feature is introduced. This will see the best possible XI by points scored - according to the manager's chosen formation, which cannot be changed once the first game has kicked off - automatically selected at the end of a matchday. It means managers no longer have to make their own substitutions during a weekend.
And should a star player, with his boosted points, not make the XI, then he will also be subbed out, but with no replacement star player in that position.
Don’t splurge on goalkeepers
No, we’re not anti-goalkeeper – it’s just the best way to maximise your budget. You can star players in every position except this one, so it makes sense to divert your funds somewhere you can multiply points.
Not only that, but goalkeepers tend not to score as many points as outfield players given the weighting in the rules towards scoring. So while you may think Manuel Neuer (12M) will concede fewer goals than anyone else, or bank on Peter Gulacsi (10M) keeping the most clean sheets, the return on investment probably won’t be worth it.
After all, only three points are awarded per clean sheet, compared to the four points a striker gets for scoring. And while Neuer and Gulacsi - when fit - are both as guaranteed starters as you can get in teams likely to win far more than they lose, it is worth bearing in mind that the top three highest scoring goalkeepers last season were Freiburg's Mark Flekken, Wolfsburg's Koen Casteels and Union Berlin's Frederik Ronnow, while Bochum's Manuel Riemann was fourth, despit his side conceding more goals (72) than anyone else.
As odd as it may sound, a cut-price goalkeeper at a team in the bottom half of the table could be the best way to get you your points. It's often the number of saves you need to look out for. Five transfers per week also mean you can normally reserve one move for a goalkeeper with a favourable fixture.
It’s OK to have players on both teams in the same game
If you’re worried about players in your Fantasy team facing each other on a matchday, fear not; it’s OK to hedge your bet.
Players on losing teams can still earn double-digit tallies in a game, depending on the score and their performance. Take Jonas Hofmann, for example. His Borussia Mönchengladbach side lost more than they won last season, finishing 10th. Yet the midfielder ended with the most Fantasy points of any player in the division.
And if a player doesn't win you as many points as you would like, the aforementioned top XI feature this season means that players on your bench can still rescue you, without you making a substitution.
Watch: Every Hofmann goal and assist last season
Look for out-of-position players
Defenders who actually play in midfield and midfielders who actually play up front are the unicorns of fantasy football, highly prized assets who can score BIG.
For instance, Bayer Leverkusen's Jeremie Frimpong is listed as a defender in Bundesliga Fantasy, but last term he actually operated more as a right winger or wing-back. Given that defenders earn more points than midfielders and forwards for goals (six / five / four), assists (five / four / three) and other attacking contributions, this is a handy way to gain bonus points. Only three players in any position scored more points in 2022/23 than Frimpong.
Werder Bremen's Mitchell Weiser and Freiburg's Christian Günter are further examples of forward-thinking wing-backs, but there are plenty of others available too. It's just about finding the right ones. And this can obviously change over a season as coaches tinker with formations. So be adaptable.
Don’t be scared of picking players in underdog teams
Your 150M Fantasy budget disappears in the blink of an eye, so you need a few bargain options in there to go alongside the superstar names.
There is an understandable temptation to only pick players from teams likely to challenge for the top six given that they should win more games and concede fewer goals. However, that would mean you miss out on some consistent point scorers in underdog sides.
The reason is that, while goals and assists score you most points, there are other routes to getting good numbers. Two points are awarded for playing 70 minutes or more; another two for every two passes to a shot, one for every five duels won (some players win upwards of 20 duels per game), and one for being on the winning team.
This strategy is best when applied to midfielders and forwards only, given that defenders lose a point for every goal conceded. Think Florian Kainz of Cologne, Wataru Endo of VfB Stuttgart, Philipp Hofmann at Bochum, Mainz's Karim Onisiwo - none of them prolific goalscorers or providers, but players who put themselves about and earn you healthy chunks of points. Kainz, for example, only got two points less than Serge Gnabry and three less than Leroy Sane.
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