With just over a day left for the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Fantasy, we look at the rules, strategies and some tips to consider in this comprehensive beginner’s guide.
World Cup Fantasy Rules
In the Fantasy World Cup Classic game, you will have a squad of 15 players in your team who will score points based on their performances on the pitch throughout the tournament. You will have two free transfers each week until the knockout phase to replace any player in your squad with a player who plays in the same position within the budget constraints. You can roll over one free transfer each matchday and take hits to get additional players, but it will cost you three points for every extra transfer.
Breakdown of your 15-man squad:
- 2 Goalkeepers
- 5 Defenders
- 5 Midfielders
- 3 Forwards
For each gameweek, you must have one starting keeper and 10 outfield players. You can choose any formation as long as you’ve picked one goalkeeper, at least three defenders, at least two midfielders, and at least one forward in your starting XI. Formations can also be changed midweek as you make substitutions and bring in players off the bench. The valid formations in the game are:
You will have a purse of $100M to purchase players from, and there is a limit on the number of players you can get from each country.
|Tournament Stage||Maximum players per team|
|Group stage||Max three players per country|
|Round of 16||Max four players per country|
|Quarter final||Max five players per country|
|Semi final||Max six players per country|
|Final||Max eight players per country|
Note: Player prices remain constant throughout the tournament.
World Cup Matchdays
32 countries are participating in the tournament, with four teams participating in each of the eight groups. Only the top two teams from each group will qualify for the knockouts phase starting with the round of 16. There are seven matchdays in total that span across a period of one month from the 20th of November 2022 to the 18th of December 2022. There are the dates for each matchday:
|Matchday 1||20th November – 24th November|
|Matchday 2||25th November – 28th November|
|Matchday 3||29th November – 2nd December|
|Matchday 4 (R16)||3rd December – 6th December|
|Matchday 5 (QF)||9th December – 10th December|
|Matchday 6 (SF)||13th December – 14th December|
|Matchday 7 (Final/third-place playoff)||17th December – 18th December|
World Cup Fantasy Captains
The captaincy in World Cup Fantasy works similarly to UCL Fantasy. You can change your captain after he has played, but only once. The captain can only be changed once his game is over, and once you have made the change, you cannot switch your captain to another player who is yet to play, so be careful because you will lose your captain’s 2x bonus after the switch.
For example: If you captain Kane and he gets 10 points, you cannot switch your captain until his match is over. So you cannot change your captain to someone who is playing at the same time. However, you can captain someone who plays later, like Bale, but you will lose the 2x bonus from Kane, and you won’t be able to change your captain again for the matchday to any player who has played or is yet to play.
Tip: Any double-digit score should be a good enough score for your captain, and by changing it, there is a bigger risk that you will get a lower score with your final captain than a higher one.
Once again, the substitution system for this game is similar to UCL Fantasy. There are two types of substitutions: automatic and manual.
Auto subs only get activated once the matchday is over and you haven’t made any manual substitutions during that matchday. Any DNP in your starting XI will be automatically replaced by players on your bench according to their order from 1-3, with the first DNP player being replaced by the player who is first on the bench in a valid formation and so on.
Note: Swapping players who are yet to play between the starting XI and the bench or changing their order on the bench won’t turn auto subs off.
For a manual substitution, you can sub any player who has already played in your starting XI for a player that is yet to play on the bench in a valid formation. You can only sub out a player who is playing after his game ends, and you will lose any points he had when you substitute him.
Tip: Leave the players who play last on your bench if you intend to make manual subs.
World Cup Fantasy Transfers
As we mentioned before, you get a limited allocation of free transfers, but that number keeps changing as the tournament progresses. You can also carry over one free transfer each matchday except for the round of 16 when we get unlimited transfers, and it will cost you -3 points for every extra transfer you don’t have. Here is the full rundown:
|Tournament Stage||Free Transfers|
|Matchday 1||2 transfers|
|Matchday 2||2 transfers|
|Matchday 3||2 transfers|
|Before the Round of 16||Unlimited|
|Round of 16||4 transfers|
|Final/Third place playoff||6 transfers|
It is worth noting that the transfers in World Cup Fantasy are a bit similar to the rolling lockouts system in MLS Fantasy. You will have free transfers before the matchday begins and another set of free transfers that you can use throughout the matchday to swap out players who are yet to play based on lineups and team news. If you transfer out a player who has already played, it will only count for the next matchday. An exception to this rule is matchday 3, where your transfer won’t count because the next round has unlimited transfers.
Example: You can make unlimited transfers before matchday 1 begins. Once it begins, you won’t have unlimited transfers but an extra two free transfers that you can use before the matchday ends to make changes. If you have Kane and Bale in your starting XI for matchday 1, but Kane has played already, you won’t be able to transfer him out for the current round. But since Bale is yet to play, you can transfer him out using the two free transfers you have for another player in the same position within the budget who is yet to play, like Alvaro Morata. After matchday 1 ends, you will have another two free transfers that you can use for matchday 2.
The scoring in World Cup Fantasy directly reflects players’ performances on the pitch, so there are also bonus points for actions that don’t lead to goal involvement.
General Scoring Rules
The general scoring rules are the same for players of all positions.
|Appearance (60 minutes or more)||+1|
|Cleansheet (minimum 70 minutes played)||+5|
|First goal conceded||0|
|Each additional goal conceded||-1|
|Penalty save (excluding penalty shootouts)||+3|
|Every 3 shots saved||+1|
|Cleansheet (minimum 60 minutes played)||+5|
|First goal conceded||0|
|Each additional goal conceded||-1|
|Cleansheet (minimum 60 minutes played)||+1|
|Every 2 key passes||+1|
|Every 3 tackles||+1|
|Every 2 shots on target||+1|
Tip: While most of the focus will be on players who can score or assist, don’t underestimate players who are good at racking up bonus points. These players have a higher floor and might be better options if you want a budget player instead of those with slightly better odds of being involved in goals.
World Cup Fantasy Chips
This game has three chips or boosters that you can use to increase your points for a given matchday. Once activated, you cannot cancel a chip and must activate it before a matchday begins. You also cannot use multiple boosters at once.
The wildcard for this game is a bit different because it allows you to make unlimited transfers WITHIN a specific round (cannot be used for the first match of the group stage or for the round of 16). This means that you can keep making transfers within your team as the matchday goes on, which technically means that if you use your wildcard chip during matchday 2, you can make transfers for matchday 3 as it goes on.
Tip: Using the wildcard chip in matchday 2 essentially makes every matchday in the group stages a free hit. Unlimited transfers (MD1) -> Wildcard (MD2 + MD3).
This chip allows you to add an extra player to your starting XI without any budget, formation or team constraints. The 12th man cannot be substituted, captained or transferred.
Finally, a chip that is easy to understand. Power Captain doubles the point of your captain just like a normal captain, but it automatically chooses the highest-scoring player in your starting XI to captain. Helpful when you have a captain dilemma.
Tip: The current template chip strategy is to use 12th Man in matchday 1, Wildcard in matchday 2 and Power Captain in matchday 3.
You can find additional World Cup Fantasy resources for the 22/23 season here.