Euro 2016 is right around the corner and it is a good time to start preparing for Euro 2016 fantasy.
This is why we are posting this article to give you some useful tips.
UPDATE: New article with Matchday 1 scout notes and Matchday 2 tips
Player prices and rules are based on official UEFA McDonald’s Fantasy ’16 available here.
McDonald’s Euro 2016 fantasy rules
Let’s start with the rules. When it comes to scoring it is pretty much the same like the good old FPL that we all know and love.
However, there are a couple of differences when it comes to choosing your starting eleven in each matchday. You are free to employ the eleven that are due to play earliest and then if a certain player returns nothing, you are free to bench him.
Example: you own Pogba who should feature in an opening game and if he under performs, you can bench him tomorrow in which case you don’t get any points for his performance but at least you get another chance from a player that comes from a bench.
Same applies for captains. If you give Pogba an armband, you can change it tomorrow or later on, but then you would lose double points from Pogba. These manager substitutions are very interesting and let you calculate a bit and take advantage of the schedule.
I’ve read around the Internet how Cristian Ronaldo is not a good pick for Euro 2016 fantasy teams. Arguments to support that are the fact he rarely brings his A game to the national team and is heavily overpriced. But I strongly believe a player with such a successful season behind him and a very easy group has got a lot of potential.
When you consider Portugal plays the last match in matchday 1, you got to like Ronaldo even more. If all of your captain choices fail until the last day, you can be fairly confident in captaining Ronaldo at the end of the matchday.
You can find the full list of UEFA McDonald’s Fantasy ’16 rules here.
Euro 2016 fantasy football tips – the big teams
France fantasy potential – group A
France opens up competition as a host. They are in a fairly easy group with Romania, Switzerland, and Albania.
Romania is their first opponent and we might not see a lot of goals here as opening matches tend to be nervous. In fact only once in last six opening matches, we have seen 3 or more goals (Portugal, 2004).
Romania looks like a solid team that shouldn’t roll over and die, but France does have a lot of attacking talent.
Griezmann had a great season but many will be put off by the massive price of €10.0.
Giroud is an interesting alternative at €8.5, but you only have 3 forward spots in your team, and better players are available elsewhere.
I would rather turn my attention to Pogba (€8.5 as well) in the midfield as he is overall a great footballer with assisting and scoring potential.
Cheaper but a proven option is Matuidi.
Payet could be an interesting option as well after an impressive season in England. However, he does not seem to be the first choice in his NT.
There is also Martial to consider, who is actually forward disguised as a midfielder. His price of €9.0 is not low on the other hand and his unimpressive season as a Manchester Utd player puts me off.
When it comes to France defenders and goalkeeper, I would advise looking elsewhere, they do not come cheap and you would want to spare some cash to buy high profile attackers. But make sure you keep an eye on who replaces Varane.
UPDATE (June, 4): Varane has been ruled out and Rami is set to replace him in the right spot of central defence. He will make a partnership with Koscielny. Rami is priced at €5.0 which means he is the cheapest option if you want to have a French defensive cover. In the last pre-Euro match, Payet and Coman started against Scotland on the left and right. Both were replaced at the HT which means some headaches for the managers looking to get Payet. He looked good in the match, but could not get enough playing time. Kante also started and played almost full match, but he doesn’t have much fantasy value due to the lack of offensive potential.
Does England have fantasy value? – group B
I would like nothing more than getting Vardy on my team. At €7.0 he looks like a great bargain. However, he faces a lot of competition up front and there is small chance he will get the playing time he deserves. Actually, none of the England players look like a good Euro 2016 fantasy assets.
Maybe just Harry Kane, but he is also likely to be rotated with Rooney, Sturridge, Welbeck and Walcott looking to get minutes as well.
Moving on to midfield: none of the England midfielders had a season to remember (except for Alli), and I wouldn’t trust any of them in my team. There is no true leader in midfield department, a player that will take the responsibility when needed.
Considering England is also in a fairly easy group, at least on paper, there could be some sense in searching for a defender in their team. Smalling had a good season and he might be worth a second look at €5.5.
Dier could be an interesting option as well at €5.0 depending on his playing time, especially if employed further up the pitch just like he got used to at Tottenham this season.
Hart should be between the sticks and he doesn’t look like the best pick at €5.5. However, I would choose Forster at €4.5 any time if he was the first choice GK.
Plenty of fantasy players in Germany – group C
Germany usually tends to perform well in Euro competitions and this year shouldn’t be an exception. They have an intriguing squad with plenty of talent and most importantly they are capable of combining good results with an attractive style of play. This means their players have a lot of Fantasy potential. However, we have to consider players prices as it is a big challenge fitting all the players we want in the team. So with all that in mind, which German players should be considered for Euro fantasy?
Muller is a popular option at this point as an attacker that always tends to find himself in a good chance. He does come with a price, though. Germany has plenty of talent in the middle of the pitch as well. Ozil, Reus and Gotze are all offensive minded players expected to return big regularly.
They are priced in the span of €8.5 – €9.5 but getting one of them seems like a good choice.
Reus and Gotze offer a goal threat while Ozil has more assisting potential. If you are looking for less expensive German midfielder, Kroos might be the way to go. He has maybe a bit less offensive potential than above-mentioned trio, but he is considerably cheaper.
Germany is expected to dominate the group, and they will likely concede rarely, at least in the group stage. This makes their defenders appealing. Hummels stands out the most, but he is the most expensive option at €6.5.
UPDATE (June, 4): Germany won 2-0 against Hungary in a pre-Euro friendly, but this was not a flawless performance. Still, Germany should be able to raise their level when needed. Reus is ruled out through injury. This adds a lot of fantasy value to Draxler who started Hungary match, and looked decent in the process. He is a great bargain at €6.5. However, please be careful as he is likely the first one to be subbed. He was replaced by Schurrle in this friendly at the 60th minute and this could be something we’ll see often. Hummels is a doubt for the opener, but should return for the matchday 2. This means there is not much value in picking Rudiger who started against Hungary. Next best thing is Howedes though. Priced at €5.0 he is the cheapest way into Germany defense.
Spain a no go? – group D
What to expect from Spain on Euro 2016? Considering how poor they looked in the last big competition, you would expect them to do better. But how does that translate in fantasy language?
Goalkeeper de Gea is a popular option at this point among the fantasy managers and I would agree. Spain does play a style of football that shouldn’t allow too many goals in the group they are in. At €5.5, you are getting a reliable GK with solid defenders in front of him. All of the defenders do not come cheap, though, which only makes de Gea more appealing if you want some defensive coverage from the Spanish team.
When it comes to midfield area, Spain has a lot to offer. However, I do not expect them to score much early in the competition. While their opponents (Croatia, Czech, Turkey) might not offer plenty going forward, they are going to be very motivated against Spain and I can see them defending well. Spain should be satisfied only with narrow wins and I would skip their midfielders for now when picking initial Euro 2016 fantasy team.
Italy – group E
To wrap up the top 5 teams let’s see what Italy brings to the table in terms of fantasy value. They are in a very tough group and they should not have an easy job against any of the teams they match up against. It is also because Italian NT has not been on the highest level lately. I wouldn’t go with any of their defenders or GK as they are a bit pricey and likely to concede. Italy is famous for their “conservative” approach, but having watch them play through qualifications, I feel they will have a hard time keeping it clean. They don’t even have an appealing option in the midfield as they lack offensive minded and creative midfielders like Germany or France. Pelle and El Shaarawy are interested options in attack, though, but I wonder how much can they score if they lack support from the midfield.
Best of the rest – McDonald’s fantasy ’16
Belgium is the team with great individuals and they have handful of interesting Euro 2016 fantasy options. However, there were a lot of their players with underwhelming club seasons.
Hazard, Benteke, Fellaini, Mirallas come to mind instantly.
However, De Bruyne did very well in his Man City debut season. He is worth considering for €10.0.
I would also add Lukaku as a good attacking option. He had a great start to the season with Everton but ended up sinking with the team. He expressed his will to move away from Everton and I can see him having a fine tournament in order to help his cause.
In defense, I would single out Verthongen as a cheaper option than his Spurs colleague Alderweireld.
Portugal has the best European footballer in their team, Cristiano Ronaldo. He is on my team for sure as I already mentioned above.
There are some other interesting Portugal players to consider alongside him, but I am only going to mention Fonte. If he gets the starting job in defense, he is definitely a great bargain.
If you are looking for a high quality midfielder, Croatia has a lot to offer. Modric, Rakitic and Perisic are all excellent footballers that are priced in the region of very affordable €7.0.
Either one should be a good pick, but I would single out Rakitic as the best of the three.
Modric might be an MVP of this team, but he rarely contributes with goals or assists which don’t make him a great fantasy asset. Rakitic, on the other hand, does just that: he can score and assist. He is in the form of his life and worth a shot at €7.5.
To conclude these McDonald’s Euro 2016 fantasy tips I would like to mention three excellent forward options from teams that are unlikely to lift the trophy, but they should do some damage in the group stage. These guys are Lewandowski from Poland, Bale from Wales and of course Zlatan from Sweden. All of them come with a price, but getting any of them should be justified. If I had to pick just one of them I would go for Bale as other two look to be in more challenging groups.