The 2021/22 season is almost here, which means it’s time to get your Bundesliga Fantasy 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.
Wait until the Friday line-ups are confirmed
You have unlimited transfers to tinker and change your team up until Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayern Munich kick off the first game of the season on Friday 13 August.
After that, however, you only have three transfers between matchdays, with the window closing as soon as the first game begins, 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, make those transfers!
You can star players throughout the weekend
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 Erling Haaland (16M) scores 20 points in a game but you had him starred, then he will earn you 30 points for that match.
The good news is that you can change your star players throughout any given matchday. So if Robert Lewandowski (17M) doesn’t get as many points as you’d like (yeah, right) on a Friday, then you can simply give his star to another striker on the Saturday. If they also underperform, you can give the star to a different striker in a later game that same matchday, and so on.
The ploy can pay big dividends, but remember that once you remove the star from a player you cannot put it back.
Watch: All of Lewandowski's 41 goals from 2020/21
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 (11M) keeping the most clean sheets again, 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 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 highest scoring goalkeeper last season was Arminia Bielefeld’s Stefan Ortega (8M), who made more saves 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 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 – particularly if the fixture takes place earlier in the weekend.
Players on losing teams can still earn double-digit tallies in a game, depending on the score and their performance. But if they don’t win you as many points as you would like, you can simply substitute the player on the losing side out for someone set to feature in a later game.
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, Dortmund’s Raphael Guerreiro is listed as a defender in Bundesliga Fantasy, but he played in an attacking midfield role for most of last season. 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.
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 budget 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. For example, Freiburg finished in 10th place last season after winning 12, losing 13 and with a goal difference of zero after scoring and conceding 52 times. Yet midfielder Vincenzo Grifo (12M) was in the top 10 highest scoring Fantasy midfielders; much of Freiburg’s play is channeled through him and he was a guaranteed starter.
It was a similar story with VfB Stuttgart. The newly promoted side ended up in ninth, but Sasa Kalajdzic (12M) was also in the top 10 Fantasy strikers. He scored 16 times, but won his fair share of aerial challenges and brought his teammates into scoring positions.