This article is aimed primarily at those seasoned fantasy managers who have yet to try Sky Sports Fantasy Football. Sky Fantasy is a great game to play alongside Fantasy Premier League and other fantasy games as long as you live in the UK or Ireland. It is not available overseas.
What is Sky Sports Fantasy Football?
Even though there are different rules and strategies the fundamentals are very similar, you pick players that in their Premier League games earn attacking points, through goals and assists, or clean sheets for defenders and goalkeepers. The Sky Fantasy game has no bench, so there are just 11 players, rather than 15, but analysing fixtures and following form just like in other fantasy games is integral to doing well.
In this article, we will go through some of the fundamentals of the Sky Fantasy game. Like all fantasy games there are hundreds of ways to play the game, so hopefully this well help everyone understand the basics to help you find your own style.
Sky Fantasy fits nicely alongside other fantasy games for any Fantasy Football lover. Here are the main reasons why we think everyone should play:
- There is a real chance of a great rank and even winning. With a £50,000 top prize the rewards are significant.
- Continuing on the money theme, the mini league entry and system is well organised with Sky holding and managing the prize money for you.
- There are multiple ways of scoring points. The main ways are through the usual goal, assists and clean sheets, but there is an added bonus point system that gives the game a new dimension.
- Unlike in most fantasy games certain player categories are not completely ruled out, with defensive midfielders particular adept at collecting bonus points for passing and tackling.
- Multiple captains mean your weekend can be salvaged if you get a captain blank early on in the Gameweek.
- There is a great community of Sky Fantasy players on all the main social media platforms especially Twitter.
Although there are a number of key differences (which we will come onto shortly), the basic principles remain the same.
- Main site: https://fantasyfootball.skysports.com/
- Rules at https://fantasyfootball.skysports.com/help
- Our Sky Tips page: https://fantasyfootballhub.co.uk/sky-fantasy-football/
How is the Sky Sports Fantasy Football different from FPL?
Sky Sports Fantasy Football is fundamentally different in three ways to most other formats. These are the multiple captains, the bonus system and the 40 transfer limit (although since the 17/18 season that has now changed slightly with the Overhauls). Exploiting these three differences is key to winning.
How do I score points?
Points can be seen below. It’s similar scoring system to most other fantasy football games. That said, keepers get more points for a clean sheet and players also gain an extra five points for winning the Sky Man of the Match (MOTM) award.
Bonus points in Sky Fantasy differ from other games and are awarded saves, tackles, passes and shots on target and there are two tiers. Getting your head around the bonus system and how to exploit it is key to becoming good at the game and winning.
One of the main differences of the Sky Fantasy game is the way they award bonus points. Although not worth planning your whole team around, we find it gives added credence to the less glamorous options and can be a good decider between players.
Bonus can be obtained from saves, tackles, passes as well as shots on target and they are in two tiers. Without going into the exact numbers it is worth considering both defensive midfielders for both passing and tackle bonuses and defenders of heavy possession teams for almost guaranteed pass bonus, and that’s not even thinking about those players we know that rack up the tackles.
Shots on target are also a nice little bonus, however, we generally find that the ones that grabs the big hauls get this in addition, but shot hungry midfielders or even defenders are also worth looking out for.
If you can manage to get a player that can grab two or more of these bonuses on a regular basis it’s the equivalent of an assist or goal, so it’s a lovely addition. It also can make some cheaper players, especially defensive midfielders for less desirable teams actually great budget enablers. Across the years some very popular players have included Harry Arter and Idrissa Gueye who were both in the budget price range.
Instead of points per saves Sky Fantasy has a bonus for three or fives saves. This is sometimes tricky to achieve for the bigger team keepers as they often don’t face that many shots, however the mid-range and lesser teams can benefit. If you can find a cheap goalkeeper that adds a few clean sheets supplemented by regular bonus for making three or five saves they can be more than worth it and even match the big keeper’s points. Sheffield United’s Dean Henderson was a prime example in the previous season.
Man of The Match
The final bonus is the Man of the Match (MOTM). This is worth three points, when in previous season it’s been worth five. This is decided by match reviewers, who can have their favourites. For those who remember FPL’s ‘man in the stand’ bonus awards, Sky’s system will be familiar.
Picking a strong player from the mid range sides can often yield benefit in this instance if they are the standout for their teams, think of Crystal Palace‘s Wilfred Zaha or even Brighton’s Lewis Dunk. Of course don’t forget Kevin de Bruyne who rightly gets the MOTM award more than most. Adama Traore was a reporters favourite last season getting 10 man of the match awards, just one less than de Bruyne despite scoring a third of the goals and assisting only half as many goals as the Belgian.
With all these bonuses when a player scores a hattrick the rewards are immense in the Sky format. This usually brings in a MOTM award, and comes with shots on target bonus as well as points for the goals themselves. You will be looking at 23 points at a minimum, so 46 if you captain him. Huge potential for rank movement.
What formation can I use?
Sky Fantasy gives you 100m to spend on 11 players (unlike FPL, there is no bench). There’s a reasonable number of formation options but only 11 players and no subs. There are no restrictions on the number of Premier League players you can select from one team.
The format of the game in general allows the same formations as most other fantasy game, as long as you have at least three defenders and midfielders and at least one striker. Randomly though, the 5-4-1 formation is not available. Always worth remembering when planning moves.
With the bonus points potentially rewarding defenders almost any formation can be viable. There does seem to be a bit of a gap in midfield with many of the popular options in other games being classified as strikers including Mane, Sterling and Salah for example. That being said De Bruyne, Fernandes and a few others still remain as midfield options.
If there was one thing to remember about team structure it’s that flexibility is key. You can switch between formation with a transfer and having enough to get in those big hitters when needed is always a good plan.
How do captains work?
As with FPL, captains earn double points; positive and negative. A unique feature of the Sky Fantasy game, however, is the ability to pick a captain for each day of the Gameweek. So if there are games on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday then you can pick up-to four captains over that period. Captains will keep their points for each gameday (i.e., it’s not a case of ‘stick or twist’), so you should aim to have a captain playing every day. One benefit of this is that it really does allow you to quickly get over an early captain fail disappointment.
This does mean that more planning around fixtures is required in the Sky Fantasy game and the televised fixture announcements are key dates for Sky Fantasy players who are dreaming of the top prize of £50,000. Under normal circumstances each fixture televised fixtures announcement gives you two months worth of fixtures to plan for this is great to ensure you have strong captains for each match day.
Don’t worry too much about missing the odd captaincy day, but don’t make a habit of it, especially if it’s a popular player as a big score by rivals can really dent any title challenge. Harking back to the hat trick example I quotes earlier, if you aren’t on him and a decent chunk are you can easily be 40+ points behind just from one game on one day.
We’ll get more into captain strategy and planning later, as this is a vital part of the game.
How do transfers work?
You have 40 regular transfers for the season but can only use five in a Gameweek (which runs Friday to Thursday). You can make them at any time before kick-off for the first match of a match day (unlike FPL you are able to see line-ups for the first match of that day before making a transfer or selecting a captain). Transfers can also be made during the weekend. If you transfer a player out on Saturday for a player on Sunday you will get both of their points. We’ll come back to this later as it’s another crucial part of playing and winning at Sky Fantasy.
Sky is a limited transfer game. You get 40 transfers and once they have gone that’s it. You can’t buy more, you can’t take points hit for more and if you get an injured player you are stuck with them. This means you have to be patient with players, and avoid those with a poor history of injuries. This is why it’s very much a marathon game. There will be people topping mini leagues and leaderboards in January maybe even 200 points clear. They very well may have used all their transfers so will still be caught.
Sky has recently also began offering two wildcards called OVERHAULS. The first is available after Gameweek 4 during the international break, with the second in the international break nearing the end of the season. This means managers may be best advised to select an initial squad that is stocked full of strong captaincy picks and players for the opening few Gameweeks before having the chance to completely change their teams. Unlike other games the overhauls are a use it or lose it scenario. You don’t get to chose when to use it its the same for everyone, so make sure you take advantage.
Are there price changes?
There are no price changes in SKY, I repeat no price changes. This can be liberating for those used to other fantasy games active and sometimes frustrating transfer market, but is also a god send due to the planning that is sometimes required around the captaincies.
As mentioned above there are a vast array of strikers are most will be quite highly priced so normally some big hitters are the way to go. Making sure you can cover as many of the players that can hurt you is a good tactic. Look at the fixtures, look at the prices and make sure you’ve got most of the people you worry might get big hauls.
What are overhauls?
For those FPL managers amongst you, these are essentially wildcards. You can make as many transfers as you want during that period. Here are the timeframes.
- The first Overhaul period will begin following the completion of Gameweek 4. It will then run throughout Gameweek 5 and up until the first kick off of Gameweek 6.
- The second Overhaul period will open after the final match of Gameweek 24. The Overhaul will remain open for the whole of Gameweek 25 and up until the first kick off of Gameweek 26 due to be on 1st February.
Due to many of the details above Sky Fantasy is a bit different to bigger fantasy games like FPL in that it does reward those that know their Fantasy Football and are willing to put the effort in to research underlying statistics, form, fixtures and TV scheduling.
If you are thinking that’s for you then great. For a new player I’d say a top 1k finish is achievable. But always remember it’s a limited transfer game so don’t worry at the start if you appear to be out of the equation – ‘marathon not a sprint’ is a key phrase.
I’ve long been trying to convince some top Fantasy players to try Sky Fantasy and when they finally do they often excel and trust me, when you start tasting possible title glory you’ll get hooked, I promise.
As an aside there are also some weekly/monthly prizes and also a cup that starts in January.
So, what you waiting for, go and make a team and you could win £50,000
Give us a shout if you have any questions, we love talking about Sky Fantasy Football and are best found on twitter as per the intro.
What tools can I use to do well?
Every fantasy manager needs a good fixture ticker and a basic understanding of the key stats. The best place to find these is on our new OPTA data stats tool, which also includes a handy tab for Sky Fantasy bonus points.
How Do I Beat My Mates?
This guide has been on how to play the game. In the next sections, we’ll be teaching you how to win and beat your mates, everything from the golden transfer rule, the best formations managing your team over a season and how to use various resources and tools effectively. This How To Win at Sky Sports Fantasy Football Guide comes as part of our membership package that literally covers everything you need to do well at the Sky Fantasy Game.
Introductory Podcasts on Sky Sports Fantasy Football
How to Win Sky Fantasy Football
Our How to Win Sky Fantasy Football is being updated and will be published very soon. Written by two former Sky Fantasy Champions, it does what it says on the tin.
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