The Premier League (EPL) is without a doubt the biggest and most lucrative football league worshipped by millions across the world. Thus it’s fitting that there are many fantasy football games for Premier League for fans to choose from. Fantasy football is best described as a game where fanatic fans form their imaginary dream team, and effectively manage their team like a virtual football manager. So here’s a top down review of the best fantasy premier league providers that have the best features but best of all, they are free.

1.    Official Barclays Fantasy Premier League
Being the official fantasy football game for the English Premier League (EPL), http://fantasy.premierleague.com, it offers the very best of what a fantasy game could offer, with its own limitations. It lets users build a squad of 15 with 100 million budget. From there, users pick 11 EPL players using the choice of formations. As with most fantasy EPL providers, this game offers comprehensive statistics and analytics of each player, injury news and live scoring updates. The real bummer is that this game limits users to only one ‘free’ transfer per week, with additional weekly transfers available for the cost of 4 points off users’ total. Another big drawback in this game is it limits entry to one team per registration, greatly disappointing experienced and passionate fantasy managers who want multiple teams. However, with 2.5 million registered users each season, no one can beat this Hercules of EPL fantasy game.

2.    FanXT Fantasy Premier League Commissioner

FanXT is relatively a newcomer to the fantasy premier league scene, but that doesn't mean they don't have a lot to offer. They got this exciting new EPL fantasy game called Fantasy Premier League Commissioner, http://fantasy.epl.fanxt.com, that lets you run your own Premier League fantasy football game. No kidding! You can set your own values for each player, set your own overall budget, own transfer limit and virtually anything else you can imagine. Users have the options to choose to have either the default settings or use the options available to tweak your fantasy EPL league to their own desire. League managers could also allocate custom scoring points for goals, shots on goal, assists, yellow and red card, saves and more. You get built-in message board to trash talk among your league members, plus you get to design your game with your favourite colour, own logo and banner, and even having your own domain name (rumoured coming soon)! Best of all it’s free if you’re playing with around 10 of your friends.

3.    Yahoo! Fantasy Premier League
Yahoo Fantasy Premier League, https://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/fantasy/premier-league, has recently revamped their game on 2013/14 season to try be on par with other providers. Although they have retained core features such as unlimited transfers, with the addition of substitutes and live scoring, as well as injury alerts, player news and team stats among others, there were countless reported bugs on forums that they need to work hard to iron-out by 2014/15 season. They offer a £150m budget with unlimited transfers – which may be a double-edged sword in terms of game credibility. Yahoo is actually one of the largest fantasy sports providers on the internet if you add in fantasy NFL (American football), MLB (baseball) and NBA (basketball). Most Americans use Yahoo for their fantasy sport ventures than virtually any other site on the web, but Yahoo needs to dig deep to see if they could pull through a good one for EPL. All of that being said, Yahoo still categorizes their EPL fantasy as a "casual game," and that really seems to show through. It's certainly fun, but there's little incentive to keep paying attention week after week and there are no customization options.

4.    ESPN Premier Fantasy
ESPN is one of the fantasy providers, http://games.espn.go.com/premier-fantasy/2014/en_gb/game, that thoroughly provide similar settings with other fantasy football providers. The only new thing is their ‘Floating Budget’. This system is basically saying that it automatically calculates the differences between value you purchased that player at and the player’s current market price. It takes the difference in price (+ or -) to applies that to your overall budget. The overall budget is flexible due to player’s performance. They got this section and called it ‘Fantasy Gambles’ where they’ll post on each gameweek of the Premier League. They will post an article on overall performances of the players. Posted by expert and reviewers, this section helps a lot in fantasy managers to pick the players in their team.

5.    Mirror Fantasy Football
Mirror Fantasy Football, http://fantasyfootball.mirror.co.uk, is very much a standard EPL fantasy game, 15 players with £100m budget, except they offer lots of cash prizes (most probably sponsored by their betting partner). Notable differences are you get to have one European player as a wildcard player for your fantasy team. This means you could get Messi, Ronaldo or Ribery to play for your so-called EPL fantasy team. Other features are pretty much the same although they don’t boost too many statistics (no shots on goal, no goalkeeper saves) that you could score fantasy points from. Mirror made it to this top 5 list, mainly because their cash prizes are just so tempting! But here’s the bad news, the game is intended for play only within the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland and is governed by English law. What this means is probably if you’re not residing inside these territories, you won’t be able to cash in the money, but you just need to contact them to confirm this.

About the Writer
Rachel Lee is an independent digital media specialist and writer. She loves sports especially football and motor racing, street foods, and hanging out at social gatherings. Visit her Linkedin profile, http://lnkd.in/b_4UaSe
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