GAFFR is a brand new fantasy football experience focused on the EFL Championship.
While the game contains many of the mechanics made popular by the Fantasy Premier League, there have been some tweaks to scoring and the introduction of a compelling new Boost (i.e, chip) system.
As a competition, the Championship is famously unpredictable. Norwich, the favourites this year can be backed at 8/1 but no student of EFL history would rule out relegation (33/1).
The Championship boasts over 600 players, from up and coming talent to ageing former Premier League stars (Wayne Rooney for one) clocking up an inconceivable amount of matches before culminating in – the envy of all leagues – The Playoffs.
All these variables should create the perfect circumstances for all the highs & lows we’ve come to expect from fantasy football!
The budget, team selection and transfer system are the same as FPL. You can make 1 free transfer each week, which will be carried forward if unused, up to a maximum of 2 free transfers in a week. Any additional transfers will incur a 4 point deduction to your gameweek score.
So far so FPL but from here we start to see some interesting tweaks.
Your Captain receives double points as usual but your Vice Captain also gets a x1.5 multiplier applied, rounded down where needed. If either of your captains do not play, the selected Emergency Captain comes in and picks up the extra points instead.
The scoring is also similar to FPL but with some notable changes:
For a full breakdown of the scoring check out the Rules page.
Performance Points are equivalent to bonus points and can have a significant impact on a player’s score. The max bonus is +4 for the highest-ranked player in a given match, with +3 to the next highest and so on.
These points are awarded based on a number of factors, not just goals and assists. Defensive actions, key passes, successful dribbles and other actions are all taken into consideration by the algorithm – again, check out the Rules on site for a full breakdown of the calculation.
Boosts are the GAFFR version of the chips system but with a bit of a twist.
The season is split into 3 periods of 15 gameweeks. There are 6 boosts to choose from in each period, of which you can pick 3. The options and picks are refreshed at the end of every period and you begin again. This may sound a little complicated in print but the process itself is quite intuitive. The idea is to give managers the flexibility to choose the boost that suits their team at the time.
The boosts are liable to change at each refresh and you can’t necessarily count on a particular one being available later in the season. The boosts available at the start of the season up until Gameweek 15 are:
You can make unlimited transfers for the Gameweek. These are permanent changes to your team. They will not revert the following gameweek.
All substitute points scored count towards your total for the week.
Captain will score triple and vice-captain will score double. Normal Emergency Captain rules apply.
Park The Bus
Defenders score double. No captain multipliers applied for any player or position.
x1.5 multiplier applied to all midfielders (score rounded down if not a whole number). No captain multipliers applied for any player or position.
Captain, Vice-Captain & Emergency Captain all score double.
No surprise to see last year’s Premier League relegated teams amongst the favourites to go straight back up, but a quick look at how relegated teams have fared over the years will tell you this isn’t necessarily how things play out.
Daniel Farke’s progressive style of play might not have got them the results needed to keep them in the Premier League but it certainly worked the last time they were in the Championship, and they still have the quality to repeat the success of their 2018/19 campaign. With one of the kindest fixture runs to start the season, they are expected to hit the ground running.
An astonishing early impact on the FPL and the swift fallaway earned Teemu Pukki (10.0m) notoriety last season but he was top scorer (29 goals and 9 assists) in the Championship the year before and his price tag here reflects his rating as the favourite for the golden boot. Jordan Hugill (7.0m) has also been signed from West Ham after a successful loan spell at QPR and could be an option if he can nail down a place in the side.
In midfield, Todd Cantwell (8.0m) will be familiar as a budget option from last year and still comes in cheaper than Emiliano Buendía (9.5m). Both are expected to feature heavily if Norwich are to have a successful season.
Max Aarons (6.5m) is their premium defender and the favourite for attacking returns with 2 goals and 6 assists in his last Championship season. However, Ben Godrey (6.0m), Jamal Lewis (6.0m) or Tim Krul (6.0m) are all good options for anyone looking for a slightly cheaper route into the backline.
Having narrowly missed out on promotion to Fulham in extra time of the playoffs final, Brentford will be looking to build on the success of last season and finally clinch promotion to the Premier League.
Unfortunately for the Championship, their star attackers Ollie Watkins (12.0m) and Saïd Benrahama (11.5m) are widely rumoured to be on the brink of moves to bigger clubs. The Watkins rumours, in particular, have been amplified by the recent signing of Ivan Toney (9.0m) from Peterborough. If he can come anywhere near Watkins’ numbers he’ll be a bargain at that price.
Bryan Mbeumo (9.0m) is the stand-out pick in midfield. Just 20 years old, but 16 goals and 7 assists in his first year in the Championship shows the kind of potential we’re dealing with. Josh Dasilva (7.5m) provides a cheaper route into the midfield and will be looking to improve on his tally of 10 goals & 4 assists from last season.
David Raya Martin (6.5m) is one of the most expensive keepers in the game but he was an ever-present last year and with a record of only 38 goals conceded he could be worth every penny. Alternatively, fullbacks Henrik Dalsgaard (6.5m) or left-back Rico Henry (6.5m) should both provide security of starts and clean sheets.
The owners sacking 8 managers in 5 years has earned Watford a reputation for planned disarray and after flirting with relegation for a number of years, their time in the top flight is finally at an end. Their talent for bouncing back will be tested this year, hated rivals Luton await on GW3.
To the surprise of many, Watford have so far kept most of their stars including captain Troy Deeney (9.5m), scorer of 21 goals in his last stint in the Championship, and the sometimes world-class Gerard Deulofeu (9.5m) up front. We expect great things from these two at those prices with Danny Welbeck (8.5) waiting in the wings for an opportunity.
The highly coveted pair of Ismaila Sarr (9.5m) and Abdoulaye Doucoure (9.5m) should be too good for most Championship midfields. There’s a very good chance they will have been snapped up by Premier League teams before deadline day but if they stay, these are potentially premium assets.
There have been some interesting signings in defence too. Ben Wilmot (5.5m), a young Stevenage prospect, is unlikely to play too often but the promising 19-year-old right-back Jeremy Ngakia (5.5m) has been poached on a free from a reluctant West Ham and could be ready for regular game time.
FPL asset of many campaigns and a man who holds the record for most saves in the Premier League, Ben Foster (6.5) is a sure thing in goal with a price tag to match.
The Cherries return to the Championship in search of the consistency that’s been eluding them in recent years. A squad which struggled with injuries and a lack of depth will need to grind out wins in the 2nd tier and adapt to life without Eddie Howe.
The Bournemouth forward line are going to be crucial if they’re to maintain a challenge for automatic promotion. Callum Wilson (10.0m) struggled last year returning just 8 goals and 1 assist in 32 appearances but we expect him to get much closer to his 2015/16 haul of 20 goals & 7 assists in the Championship. Josh King (9.0m) could be the value call considering the price difference and is expected to start most games while you would only expect bit-part player Dominic Solanke (8.0m) to become a factor if Wilson is sold.
In midfield, David Brooks (7.5m) looked a fine prospect two years ago but after a season blighted by injury a lot depends on how his return is managed. 8 goals and 5 assists in 39 PL games gives a glimpse of what this young man is capable of. If you’re looking for a more established attacking midfielder, Junior Stanislas (9.5m) is highest priced and will be expected to get on the scoresheet more often.
Set-piece specialist Diego Rico (6.5m) is an interesting defensive option. He’s never scored a goal for Bournemouth but contributed 4 assists last year and will be a mainstay at left-back.
Link to signup for GAFFR is here and the code to the FFS League is ffscout
We’ll have another pre-season article coming next week with a rundown of our top picks from the rest of the league.