World Cup posters courtesy of Christiano Siqueria and ESPN


For those of you who follow either myself or some of the other soccer/football mad members of Fake Pigskin (or Regan) you may have noticed this hash tag appear in the last two hours and although you will have got the idea of what is going on based on the fact it is often followed with the name of a footballer I thought I would just introduce you to our newest game! The idea for a different style of fantasy football (yes I know many prefer soccer but I am English and this is what I call it!) came about one day when I had a slight case of food poisoning and Regan introduced me to Luke Taylor and the idea for a fantasy football aspect to the Fake Pigskin family and from then on producing a game of fantasy football in a similar vein to that of fantasy NFL became something of an obsession of ours. What has followed is many months of debating scoring systems and arguing about how players should be valued but we believe we now have something resembling a scoring system that we want to use. So we decided what better way to try out the new fantasy football scoring system than by testing it on the greatest month of entertainment in the world …. The FIFA World Cup!

So basically that is how #FPWCFantasy (Fake Pigskin World Cup) began and before I review the first round I thought I would just run you through the scoring system so that if you and a group of friends wanted to play along at home you can. So without further ado here are the rules!

Squad Size: (These numbers are obviously adjustable up or down depending on the depth you want to play)

  • 1 Goalkeeper
  • 5 Defenders
  • 5 Midfielders
  • 4 Forwards


All Players

  • Hat trick (3 goals) +5 points (as well as the points for each of the three goals)
  • Assists: 3 points
  • Penalty Miss: -2 points (Does not include shootouts!)
  • Own Goals: -2 points
  • Yellow Card: -1 point
  • Red Card: – 3 points
  • Player Rating on WhoScored: 0= -5 points, 1= -4 points, 2= -3 points, 3= -2 points 4= -1 point, 5=0 points, 6=1 point, 7=2 points, 8=3 points, 9=4 points, 10=5 points

(WhoScored.com is a great website full of stats and they provide brilliant player ratings for every game. I highly recommend a visit if you enjoy statistics of sports!)

Goalkeepers Only

  • Penalty Save: +3 points (Does not include shootouts!)
  • Each Goal Scored: +10 points

Defenders and Goalkeepers

  • Clean Sheet (no goals conceded) +5 points
  • 2 Goals Conceded -1 point
  • Each Goal Conceded Over two goals -1 point

Defenders Only

  • Each Goal Scored (Defenders): +6 points


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  • Clean Sheet (no goals conceded) +1 points
  • Each Goal Scored: +5 points


  • Each Goal Scored: +4 points

So hopefully that all makes sense and wasn’t too much of a bore to read but I really want people at home to be able to try this format as it is something we are very excited about here at Fake Pigskin.

Now without further adieu it is time to review the first round of the #FPWCFantasy draft:

Pick 1: Lionel Messi – Argentina (Neil)

There isn’t much to say here as this is pretty much a no brain pick. Messi is one of the best players in the world right now (who is the best is a debate for another day) and is on a team that could easily make it to the quarter-finals or even go further.

Pick 2: Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal (Luke O)

This would be a player I reckon may have crossed Neil’s mind because he is an absolute beast and has had one of the single best years any player can have in football. However, the reason Messi is a better choice without a doubt is that Portugal have very little good talent around Ronaldo meaning that he could get isolated and cancelled out and that the team could crash out as early as the group stages. There were two players I would have thought about with this pick and I actually think Luke went for the wrong one!

Pick 3: Neymar – Brazil (Matt)

The same as Messi at #1 was a no brainer so was this for Matt. Neymar isn’t quite as good as Ronaldo and Messi but he is, in my opinion, on the best team out of the three and I would be shocked if they were not in the semi-finals or finals come July. Neymar is a few years younger than the guys above and with him being the poster boy of this tournament he could potentially feel the weight of expectation. He would have been my #2 choice over Ronaldo.

Pick 4: Luis Suarez – Uruguay (Regan)

This is a big gamble from Regan because although Suarez has torn up the Premier League this year he has fallen off a little late in the year and now with his knee concerns meaning he COULD miss the World Cup there are a chance this pick may backfire. Even if he does play they are in a tough group with England and Italy and qualification could be tough. However, if Suarez hits the ground running in Brazil then he could easily be in with a shout of 5 goals in the group stages alone with his talent. If they get out of the group a quarter final berth is a real possibility and if that happens this will have been a great pick.

Pick 5: Robin van Persie – Holland (Ryan)

This is a pick that I cannot make my mind up about, on the one side RvP is awesome and Holland are really good but at the same time he has been injured and they have a really tough group. Let alone the fact they face the holders (Spain) they also have a really fearsome looking team in Chile to deal with and after a poor Euro’s it is conceivable we could say good bye to the Dutch in the groups. Oh and the bad news continues to mount because after that they face a potential tie with Brazil if they finish second in their group. Now the good news is that RvP will be first choice and he is a deadly striker who won’t hesitate to punish opposition mistakes and if they go deep in the tournament he will be the reason. Overall a decent pick but there were possibly safer bets out there.

Pick 6: Romelu Lukaku – Belgium (Ben)

Yes this was my pick so I cannot be objective about it so I will tell you why I did what I did. Basically I accept this pick may have surprised a few but with Benteke out Lukaku is the first choice striker for Belgium and they have a relatively easy group that could see them score a bucket load of goals. At this point there are so many options upfront but for some of the main teams (Spain and Germany for example) their strikers aren’t not set in stone, for others (Brazil, Argentina, Holland, Portugal) the best player is already gone and lastly for some teams (Italy, England) it is tough to be sure they will get out of their group. Therefore I went for the striker of a quality team that I am confident will be going to the quarters who have an easy group and should score a load of goals.

Pick 7: Marco Reus – Germany (Luke T)

Picking German players is always a safe bet when you are looking for a team that will play 5+ games but picking a German has its own risks in that they have more quality players than positions. And while I feel Reus will play it is a risk I may not have taken here when there are others available who I feel will play for sure (Hazard, Balotelli, Aguero). However, as I say Reus should play and if he does he could be a causer of mayhem for Germany.

So there you have my introduction and first round review for #FPWCFantasy. Keep your eyes peeled for further reviews as the rounds progress! Any questions about our game or the world cup in general be sure to contact myself or one of the other Fake Pigskin guys and if we cannot answer for you we will endeavour to find out for you.




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