Fantasy Football Euro 2024: cheat sheet with the best players and tips

Harry Kane will be a popular Fantasy Football selection for Euro 2024 – PA/Nick Potts

Fantasy Football has become an integral part of many fans’ weekly routine, and you can keep up the habit this summer by playing the Euro 2024 Fantasy Football game.

Unlike a 38-match Premier League season, there isn’t much chance to recover from a slow start to your season, so it’s important to nail down your selections from the start. Here are some tips to help you with that.

How to select players

You have a budget of €100 million that you can spend on a squad of fifteen players. To put that figure into some context, the game’s most expensive players are France’s Kylian Mbappe and England’s Harry Kane at €11 million. Your 15-player squad should consist of two goalkeepers, five defenders, five midfielders and three forwards.

You can line up in any formation you choose, as long as you have selected one goalkeeper, at least three defenders, at least two midfielders and at least one forward. There is a limit to the number of players from one national team you can select, starting at a maximum of three from one country in the group stage, and this increases each round.

For each matchday throughout the competition, you must select 11 starters from your 15-man squad, as well as a captain who will score double points. There is also the option to change the captain to a player involved in a later game, if your captain has not scored as many points as you would like.

You may make a maximum of four substitutions between match days.

Transfers are part of the game, but your quota will vary throughout the tournament. You are only allowed to make two free transfers per matchday in the group stage, an unlimited number before the last 16 knockout rounds begin, and then three, four and five per matchday thereafter in the run-up to the final

How to score points

Players score one point for each performance and an additional point for playing 60 minutes or more. Defenders score six points for scoring a goal, midfielders five and forwards four.

Goalkeepers and defenders each win four points if they keep a clean sheet.

Goalkeepers win one point for every three saves made, and can collect five points for saving a penalty (not counting penalty shootouts). Players in any position can also earn two points by winning a penalty.

You want to avoid deductions. Players can lose three points for a red card or two for an own goal, two points for missing a penalty (not counting shootouts) and one point for each yellow card. Players can also lose a point if they receive a penalty. Goalkeepers and defenders lose one point for every two goals conceded.


The case for the defense

In Premier League Fantasy Football it often pays to provide your team with as much attacking talent as possible. However, the different dynamics of international tournament football mean that prioritizing defense can pay off. Summer tournaments are typically low-scoring affairs, and it’s reasonable to expect fewer goals than a record-breaking Premier League season. Portugal conceded just two goals and seventeen shots on target in ten qualifying matches, surprisingly stingy for a team led by Roberto Martinez. Ruben Dias at €6m is likely to be a mainstay, while Diogo Dalot could be a value selection at €5m after a strong season at Manchester United.

Think of penalty takers

UEFA’s interpretation of the handball law is far less liberal (or far more ridiculous) than we see in the Premier League. With VAR also being used, recent tournaments have seen a high number of penalties. Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo are the obvious names when it comes to scoring penalties, but other countries have some more unorthodox takers. Rodri, available for €6.5 million, takes penalties for Spain, and Ilkay Gundogan, worth €7 million, for Germany. Another reason to find a place for two midfield masters.

Note players in different roles

A potential competitive edge is identifying players who are deployed in a different tactical role than we see at club level. An example of this is Oleksandr Zinchenko, who is listed at €5.5 million and plays a more advanced role in midfield for Ukraine rather than as a left back, as he did at Arsenal. German Joshua Kimmich is another player filling the full-back and midfield role at €6.5 million.

Joshua Kimmich celebrates Germany's late goal against Hungary at Euro 2020Joshua Kimmich celebrates Germany's late goal against Hungary at Euro 2020

Versatile Joshua Kimmich will feature prominently for Germany – Reuters/Alexander Hassenstein

Shop for emerging standout talent

A shortage of centre-forwards has been a theme in recent international tournaments, but there are a number of promising players emerging. Denmark has 21-year-old Rasmus Hojlund, available for 7.5 million euros. Benjamin Sesko is the same age and a transfer target for Europe’s biggest clubs, and the Slovenian will only set you back €7m. Another option is Adam Hlozek for just €5.5 million. The Bayer Leverkusen striker could be top of the table for the Czech Republic along with teammate Patrik Schick. Niclas Füllkrug is a late developer, but the German led the charge for a Borussia Dortmund team that reached the Champions League final. At €7 million, cheaper than Alvaro Morata, he could be valuable playing for the host nation.

Defenders taking corners

Set-piece takers will feature prominently in the assist rankings, and there are a few teams asking defenders to take their corners. When Italy wants a left-footer to take a corner, they sometimes use Inter left-back Federico Dimarco, who is available for €5 million. The same goes for Scotland’s Andy Robertson, available for €5.5 million. Trent Alexander-Arnold would be a candidate to do the same for England if he comes on to the pitch.

Watch the draw

This may sound obvious, but it’s worth remembering. A team can play a maximum of seven matches in Euro 2024, three of which are in the group stage. Italy, Spain and Croatia are in a devilish-looking group, and will play tough matches against each other. France is in a group with the Netherlands, Austria and Poland. If you want to take the flat bully route, the Belgian Romelu Lukaku seems a strong candidate with €9 million. He was top scorer in qualifying and Belgium is in a weak group with Slovakia, Romania and Ukraine. Even if you don’t want Belgium to win, four or five goals from Lukaku in the group stage can move your Fantasy team up the standings.

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