Free Fantasy EPL with draft and head-to-head
July 31, 2007 11:36 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a fantasy football league, (soccer) English Premier League specifically, that offers head-to-head weekly matchups, an online draft and is free. The Yahoo league we ran last year was okay but it took weeks for player updates and the scoring was not always accurate. We're looking to upgrade for the right price. The season opener is quickly approaching so I need to get moving. Thanks.
posted by mgrimm to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Could you clarify what you mean by "head-to-head weekly match-ups"? Do you mean a sort of cup competition, or a private league for your friends, or something else?
posted by flashboy at 11:49 AM on July 31, 2007

Is this any good to you? It's the one they use on my hometown club's forum. I know you can have a private league, but can't confirm you other requirements as i've not actually signed up myself.
posted by Abiezer at 11:59 AM on July 31, 2007

Hmm - this is sort of an engineering conundrum: Cheap, light, or strong - pick any 2...

We use Fantasy League - We do a manual draft (tomorrow, in fact), but the point updates are close to real time, and they have different levels of competition ("classic" if people want to pick the best team for "x" money, regardless if players are recycled, "Professional" with a true draft, transfers, etc along with tons of stats and write-ups) Plus all sorts of side competitions set up like an FA Cup or Champions League.

It is not (especially with the dollar/pound exchange rate, if you happen to be in the US) particularly cheap.
posted by jalexei at 12:26 PM on July 31, 2007

The (free) pool on the Premier League website Abiezer linked to will satisfy your need for speedy updates. But it isn't head to head (ie my team is matched up with your team this week as per H2H baseball or football or hockey or NBA on Yahoo).

Still, you can assemble a private pool and invite those you would like to compete against but teams are assembled with a budget.

Each participant creates a team with the same starting budget, and thus can end up with the same team. Thierry Henry was a player that upwards of 50% of all teams using the pool (almost a million) selected in years past - look for Christiano Ronaldo filling that role this year (currently on the teams assembled by 56% of all participants.)

There is no draft since you'd all be assembling a team from the same pool of players, but there is the deadline of having your team set 75 mins before the first game that week kicks off (first games are Aug 11th).

Last season they did implement a H2H element though. Later in the season you'd be matched up with a random punter and they'd have a single knockout cup competition until only one team remained. But that was secondary to the overall pool.
posted by gspm at 1:58 PM on July 31, 2007

Thirding Abiezer's and gspm's recommendation - it's updated very rapidly (provisional scores are updated during games), and contains a good level of detail (e.g, players score points for more than just goals and assists). It's also free.

But note gspm's comments that it lacks the H2H and draft elements that seem to characterize American fantasy leagues. These don't seem common in English fantasy leagues, perhaps because real English sports don't contain a draft system, whereas US sports do. I've played several English soccer fantasy leagues, and never seen one with a draft system.
posted by Infinite Jest at 3:12 PM on July 31, 2007

Response by poster: @flashboy - what I mean by head-to-head is that each week you would match up against one other team in the league, which would, most likely, result in either a win or a loss, possibly a tie in some situations. This would keep the standings much closer. Typical Fantasy Football leagues are just overall points, which can make the league uninteresting for some as the season goes on as they watch their team fall further behind.
posted by mgrimm at 6:08 PM on July 31, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the great responses, I'll let you all know what I decide on.
posted by mgrimm at 6:11 PM on July 31, 2007

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