Date: 21st January 2011 at 12:20pm
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The price of Premier League players is going through the roof! First Chelsea and now Manchester City have pushed the price of top footballers up to an extraordinary level, with Roberto Mancini’s latest signing Edin Dzeko costing City the small sum of £27 million and a price of £18 million being quoted in Aston Villa’s pursuit of Sunderland striker Darren Bent. But how much are certain Premier League players really worth? A new fantasy football game – Player Manager – lets you decide just that!

Player Manager is a pay-to-play game and could be described as a cross between fantasy football and eBay. Just like online auction sites, you get to bid for the players that you want in your team through a fully-automated auction. This adds an interesting angle to the standard game of fantasy football. While you’ll be used to having to pay top dollar for players like Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney, in Player Manager the price of each player is market driven. So if your fantasy football competitors bid high for a player, then you’ll have to bid even higher, while staying within your budget, to secure them in your team – resource allocation as always is key.

The problem with many fantasy football games is that the majority of players end up with similar teams and just a few small differences here and there. The £100 million cap results in the usual suspects being snapped up for between £10 and £12 million. However, Player Manager rips up the fantasy football rule book in this regard, as in each league each footballer can only be signed to one team.

This means that the players in demand go for much more, with the likes of Carlos Tevez, Nani and Didier Drogba going for around £25 million on average (around one quarter of your budget) or even more in a double gameweek. So if you really want a specific player, you’ll have to pay a lot for them, which often means you having to pay over the odds for some footballers. It’s left to you to weigh up just how much you’re willing to pay for a player and whether they’ll prove to be of value for money and give you a decent points return.

Just like Premier League managers, you should be on the lookout for a bargain, too! Last weekend for example, Kevin Nolan was bought by fantasy football managers for an average of £1.6 million, which is an absolute steal for the Newcastle midfielder who scored his 10th Premier League goal of the season against Sunderland. At the other end of the spectrum Cesc Fabregas, Lampard and Drogba all went for over £20 million without picking up big points, so you don’t always get what you pay for!

Like many fantasy football games, in Player Manager you’re given a war chest of £100 million to spend. Your job is to pick a squad of players, putting your high priority targets at the top of the list. Then you have to select how much you’re willing to spend on each player, bearing in mind that if your maximum bid for a player is £50 million, that’s what you’ll have to pay if someone else bids £49 million, but you’ll only have to pay half that if no-one bids more than £24 million. The auction takes place shortly before the first match of the week, so then you can see who you’ve successfully bid for and what the make-up of your team is.

One excellent feature that Player Manager has is that you can generate multiple teams from your list of players to play across different leagues, with it costing £1 per team to play. Also, it takes the same amount of time and effort to generate multiple teams as it does to generate one! This means that you might successfully bid for Carlos Tevez in one league, but miss out on him in another. Before kick-off you can check who’s in your team and then cheer them on as you watch your profit change in real-time depending on the success of your various teams.

After your first week you may have had great success so will only want to tweak your list of players. On the other hand you might have had a complete disaster and want to completely overhaul your squad of players, or at least how much you’re willing to pay for them. That’s the unique thing about Player Manager, as not only do you bid for your players, but you also determine how much of your budget you’re willing to fork out on them. This means that bargain hunting is just as important as out-bidding your fellow managers for Premier League stars. So sign up to Player Manager and get bidding!


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