I’m sure plenty of you as beginners to #SkyFF may feel the same way that I did last season. A little bit lost and confused. I had picked a team on Sky Fantasy Football a few times over the course of the last few seasons but never stuck with it.

FPL always seemed to take over for me and I would occasionally log in on a whim, make 5 transfers to fix huge holes in my team, and roll on. None of my friends really played the game (I may have a mini league with 2 or 3 friends who would all play the same way I did – badly!) and we’d never talk about it.

This season, that changed for me. It started with the Planet FPL #SkyFF podcasts – I heard an enlightening conversation with @SkyPlayerinFPL and also heard former winner Dan Cox – and the penny started to drop that I was just playing the game completely wrong – and that if you understand the nuances and the logical planning that can be done alongside the game, it was right up my street. I’m hoping that sharing some of the insights I gained will help you guys to understand the game – and thrive.

There are plenty of other guides and people out there that can support you with your Sky game – people with much better records than I have – and some fantastic content to take in and peruse. But, because I was a beginner last season and perhaps understand the way you may be feeling about the game, I’m hopeful that I may be able to help share some of the things that helped to get me a top 100 finish in my first ‘proper’ season of playing the game – and also some of the mistakes that I made that prevented that finish from being a little higher.

For the first article though, I literally just want to cover the basics. Budget, squad size, formations, how you score points, transfers, etc. My intention then is to go more into the detail and some hints and tips I’ve gathered from some of the more experienced players.

So….lets get started with my idiots guide!

Budget & Formations

Just like FPL, you have a starting budget of £100m. The difference here is that you only pick a team of 11 players with no substitutes. The only distinction from FPL in terms of formations is that you do not have the option of a 5-2-3 formation. You must have a minimum of 3 defenders, a minimum of 3 midfielders, and a minimum of 1 forward.

Transfers and Chips

A huge distinction from FPL. In Sky, you get 40 transfers for the season and that’s it. You can’t opt to use points to pay for more transfers – you have 40 and that’s it. Every transfer is super valuable as a result.

The most transfers you can make in an individual game week is 5 – and gameweeks run from Friday to Thursday. You can only make transfers BEFORE the kick off of the first match on a given day. If you do it after, they won’t take effect until that day is over.

But don’t worry – you also get 2 overhauls during the season. These are usually a blank week in terms of fixtures which acts as a wildcard – you can make as many moves during those weeks as you like, and they won’t affect your transfer count.

The difference between this and a wildcard is that the game dictates when you take these – it’s not a personal choice. Simply put, there are no ‘chips’ to play. You have overhauls when the game dictates but beyond that, its just strategising around transfers and captaincy that you need to focus on.

We’ll go into more detail on this in the upcoming articles.

Points – how do you score ’em?

The most important thing – here is how you score points! I will be elaborating on tiers in the next article.

Team Sheets:
2pts – player in starting XI.
1pt – player comes on as a substitute.

Goals & Assists:
7pts – DEF goal.
6pts – MID goal.
5pts – FWD goal.
3pts – assist.

GKs & Defenders:
7pts – GK clean sheet.
5pts – DEF clean sheet.
5pts – Penalty save (GK).

As in FPL, for every 2 goals your GK/DEF concede in a game, you will lose a point.

The negative shit..

-1 for a Yellow card.
-3 for a Red card.
-2 for an own goal.
-3 for missing a penalty.

Bonuses & Tiers:

This is an area that will get its own article. It’s one of the biggest fundamental differences between Sky and FPL – and you will want to consider tier points massively when making decisions on your team and transfers. But for the basics, here are the points awarded.

Man of the Match

The player that is awarded man of the match in the Sky match report will receive 3 additional points. If this is a live Sky TV match, it is often the player chosen by the co-commentator.

Tier 1 points:

GK makes 3 saves – 2 points.
Player makes 3 successful tackles – 2 points.
Player completes 60 passes – 2 points.
Player has 2 shots on target – 2 points.

Tier 2 points:

GK makes 5 saves – 3 points.
Player makes 4 successful tackles – 3 points.
Player completes 70 passes – 3 points.
Player has 3 shots on target – 3 points.

We will review some of the stats around this in the next article – but looking for trends in this area is crucial.

Finally for now….captaincy and deadlines!

Your captain scores double points just as they do in FPL – the difference with captaincy is that you select a captain for each individual match day. That doesn’t mean you have to log in each day and do it – you can set all your captaincies at the start of the gameweek if you so wish.

This is where you have to make decisions on your transfers with regards to covering certain match days or ignoring them – but we will do more on this in the coming weeks.

Its also important to note that the deadline each day is the kick off of the first day – this could impact your captaincy choices. Will you play safe and pick someone in the first game because you know their XI, or will you gamble on Pep roulette in the evening for a potential higher ceiling?

Thanks for reading!

This is very much just the basics of point scoring and structure – next time, we’ll focus more on the tier points, captaincy and using your transfers to maximise your points scoring.

For any questions, hit me up at @rpick86


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