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These are the best Premier League fantasy leagues

Add a little bit more excitement to your season

These are the best Premier League fantasy leagues
22 July 2016

Ten points. Leicester City won the league last season by a margin of ten points

If you weren't already counting down the days until 13 August, allow your mind to mull over that fact. Exciting, isn't it? Unpredictable, brilliant, history-making football is only a few weeks away. We've already stocked up on snacks. But if you need a little extra incentive to get involved with the Premier League this season, how about joining one of these many excellent fantasy leagues.

Be warned - you may lose a great deal of your lunch hours to fine-tuning your teams, calculating the perfect transfer strategies and cursing your captaincy choice. You're going to love every minute of it.

Fantasy Premier League

Best for: Competing with the rest of the world

With over three million players joining in last season, the Premier League's official fantasy football game offers ultimate bragging rights. Being able to tell your mates that you were "in the top 2,000 players in the world last game week" offers, we imagine, a thrill equal to bagging the winner in an FA Cup clash. 

Select a squad of 15 players (with transfers available each week), plot the perfect formation to reap major points, scheme to make use of special 'chips' (triple captain points, bench boost, all-out attack) - the scope of this fantasy league is hard to beat. 

Sign up here

Real Fantasy Football

Best for: A proper 'draft' fantasy football experience

The Americans love draft leagues. Nuts for them. So there must be something to it, right?

Real Fantasy Football applies the draft format to our beloved Premier League, allowing up to 12 mates to create their own league: on draft night, you must take turns to pick players (which can be done remotely or with pre-set priorities in place if you can't be there to take part). This means that no one team will contain the same players, making for a deliciously competitive season of thrills and spills, and teams that aren't made up by the same 20-or-so big-scoring names.

You play through the season in head-to-head matches, as your carefully-selected squad goes up against those of your mates, with player points based on real-life ratings from Premier League games. You'll also be able to transfer players for overlooked gems, and trade with mates, should they be willing to give up a star. In the final two weeks of the season, the action culminates in a final knock-out competition, with the top four teams competing for glory. 

Sign up here

Telegraph Fantasy Football

Best for: Winning cash prizes

Think you've got the tactical skills of Big Sam? Fancy bagging yourself heaps of cash for moving little player names around? Then best pitch your talents toward the fantasy league of the Telegraph.

You can play for free, but for £4.99 you gain 'Premier Manager' status, allowing you to compete for an assortment of cash prizes, from £1,000 monthly wins to a £50,000 end-of-season scoop.

This league also requires that you stick to 40 transfers per season, and select one of six formations. It's a demanding prospect, but if you get your tactics right, you could win big. 

Sign up here

The Sun Dream Team

Best for: Creating secure cash leagues with your mates

You know the score: at the beginning of the season, all your mates claim they're happy to put £5 into the fantasy league pot, yet when May rolls around, there's a mysterious silence from the losing parties. 

The Sun's Dream Team provides a neat system for curbing this issue, holding on to a private prize pot that you and your buddies can compete for over the season - in addition to £1 million of The Sun's own cash prizes. 

The team system is tried-and-tested: a team of 11, with three transfers to make per month. In addition to playing online, there's a decent app to make your weekly team tinkering that much easier.

Sign up here

Sky Sports Fantasy Football

Best for: The best of the rest

The Sky Sports Fantasy Football league has a bit of everything offered by those previously mentioned. It doesn't boast the most amount of players, it doesn't have the biggest prizes, but it's a solid offering that some people might just prefer. It's the Southampton of fantasy leagues. 

Pick 11 players, carefully manage 40 transfers per month, compete for league prizes of up to £1,000 for free. There's also a neat 'Beat the pundit' challenge, allowing you to compete against Jeff Stelling, Paul Merson, Charlie Nicholas, Phil Thompson and Matt Le Tissier. You don't stand a chance.

Sign up here