While inter-county managers are putting the final touches to their plans to conquer the respective provincial championships, the sleepless nights for fantasy Gaelic Football managers are also just around the corner.
So if you are worried about withdrawal symptoms from the Fantasy Premier League, look no further than Tyrone’s Dungannon Eoghan Ruadh Hurling club, who are launching fantasy hurling and fantasy football competitions this weekend.
Whether you just like the feel of a fantasy bainisteoir bib on your back, or you want to win some of the €3,000 up for grabs in prize money, you have until Saturday May 12 at 3pm to make the hard calls.
We’ve teamed up with the lads to create our own Gaelic Football fantasy mini-league, with extra prizes for GAA Wrap readers, including a couny GAA jersey to the eventual winner, so get joining with the code ANMZFF-1525944679 on this page.
To help you prepare, here’s a list of must-have players to include in your team for the summer ahead.
Stephen Cluxton (Dublin) – The revolutionary goalkeeper of the four-in-a-row chasing Dublin is at the heart of much of that the reigning champions do.
He is often a launch pad for their attacks and has been known to kick the odd important placed ball for the Dubs.
With two points going for a ‘keeper scoring a point from a placed ball, Cluxton might be your man as he sometimes shares kicking duty with Dean Rock.
Rory Beggan (Monaghan) – The Monaghan shot-stopper is another popular choice with fantasy managers as he is another one that often finds himself on the scoresheet.
With Beggan, you might get even more than you bargained for as he scored a point from play for his club Scotstown last year as he continues to be at the forefront of goalkeeper evolution.
Jonny Cooper (Dublin) – Dublin’s Jonny Cooper has been a rock in the Metropolitans’ defence over the past number of seasons.
The Na Fianna club man, who often likes to venture forward will again command a key position for Jim Gavin’s men as he goes in search of his fifth All-Ireland title.
Colm Boyle (Mayo) – Mayo kick off their 2018 championship bid this weekend with a heavyweight clash against Galway and the seasoned Colm Boyle is another defender that is being snapped up by fantasy Gaelic Football managers.
The four-time All-Star will again be a key figure in defense in what Mayo fans hope will be another long summer.
Peter Harte (Tyrone) – Peter Harte has proven himself as an important cog in the Tyrone defensive system but the Errigal Ciaran man is equally adept playing in the forwards.
If you are backing Mickey Harte’s men to keep it tight at the back, the former All-Star might be one to consider with three points awarded for not conceding a goal and eight points for a defender scoring a point from play.
David Moran (Kerry) – When he is at his best, there are few finer midfielders than Kerry’s David Moran.
The towering Kerins O’Rahilly man took a break from the early rounds of the league but is poised to feature for the Munster champions come championship.
With the Kingdom beginning their provincial campaign with what should be a manageable quarter-final against either Clare or Limerick, Moran could be one to cash in on.
Kevin Feely (Kildare) – 2017 All-Star nominee Kevin Feely is another midfielder that Fantasy managers have been flocking to.
Feely, who returned to Kildare last year after playing professional soccer in England was perhaps one of the midfielders that adapted most to the introduction of the “mark” rule in football.
With Kildare sharpshooter Neil Flynn plagued by injury, Feely has stepped into the breach to take over free-taking responsibilities.
Before taking a punt on the Athy man, fantasy managers may be advised to check on his fitness after he picked up an injury last week playing club championship.
Dean Rock (Dublin) – The man who kicked the winner at the death in last year’s All-Ireland final needs no introduction.
Dean Rock has become a beacon of consistency with Dublin’s frees and his overall contribution to the attack is constantly improving.
Cillian O’Connor (Mayo) – Top scorer in last year’s championship, Cillian O’Connor has been to the forefront of the minds of many fantasy managers.
The Ballintubber has been a mainstay in the Mayo attack since 2011 racking up 20-243 in 43 appearances and again calls for inclusion in any Fantasy line-up.
Damien Comer (Galway) – Galway’s run to the final of the Allianz National Football League division 1 final was spearheaded by Annaghdown’s Damien Comer.
The Galway captain will be a thorn in the side of any defence this year and merits inclusion.
David Clifford (Kerry) – David Clifford is one of the most exciting prospects to come out of the Kingdom in recent years.
The talented 19 year-old corner forward was given an extended run in the senior team throughout the league during which he scored 0-21 in six appearances.
We are however, likely to see the best of him during this summer’s championship.
Michael Murphy (Donegal) – Donegal’s Michael Murphy is one of the first names that comes to mind for consistency among the top forwards in the country.
The Glentees man racked up 0-21 in five appearances in last year’s championship and will lead the Donegal attack again in 2018.
Donie Kingston (Laois) – Donie Kingston of Laois has also been an early hit with Fantasy managers with the full forward leading the county to a division 4 title last month.
The Portlaoise full-forward will provide the attacking threat when Laois face Wexford in the first round of the Leinster championship this weekend.
Colm O’Neill (Cork) – In spite of his troubles with injury, the class of Cork’s Colm O’Neill is something that remains a constant.
The corner-forward racked up an impressive 2-26 in this year’s Division 2 league campaign and looks set to pose his usual threat in the Munster championship this year.
The points system works as follows:
- Appearance = + 2 points
- Game win = + 3 points
- Managers = Match win + 10 points, Draw = + 5 points
- Red Card = – 6 points
- Scoring goals = For a defender/goalkeeper = + 11 points. For a midfielder = + 9 points. For a forward = + 7 points
- No goals conceded = For a defender = +3. For a Goalkeeper = +5
- Each goal conceded = For a defender = -1. For a Goalkeeper = -2
- Points from play/sideline cuts = For a forward = +4. For a midfielder = +6. For a defender = +8
- Scoring points from frees/penalties = Goalkeepers/defenders = +2. Midfielder/forward = +1
- Missing a penalty = -3
- Saving penalty = Goalkeeper +3
- Captain = Double points (+/-)
- Provincial final appearance = +5 points
- Championship final appearance = All players and managers +10