The new season of Bundesliga Fantasy is here, and the rules of the game have changed from previous years. In this article, FBL expert FBLThinker builds a template team, i.e. team of popular highly-selected players, who are expected to score well and give you an edge in the game.
Unlike other years, it's no longer possible to manually substitute players. Instead, there will be an automatic substitution that selects the best 11 players including the bench players according to the formation played.
Here we use a 4-4-2 formation - 4 defenders, 4 midfielders and 2 strikers - and on the bench we have 1 defender, 1 midfielder, 1 striker and 1 goalkeeper, giving us cover in all positions and ensuring high flexibility.
I built the team with a budget of 150 million. This will give you a good idea of how to build a high-performing yet safe team that will ensure a good start to the season-long fantasy game.
ALEXANDER NÜBEL, VFB STUTTGART, 7M (6.3M ON SALE)
Returning to the Bundesliga after a stint in Ligue 1, Nübel is a good addition. His price is less due to the sale, and while Stutgart aren't expected to keep too many clean sheets, they are expected to face a lot of shots, so Nübel should still score well in the fantasy game.
JANIS BLASWICH, RB LEIPZIG, 5M
A starting goalkeeper for Leipzig, Blaswich is a no brainer pick for his price. He is expected to keep his spot until Gulasci is back, which looks like a while away. He has a tricky game against Leverkusen first, followed by an easy home game against Stutgart, and should deliver good fantasy points.
ALPHONSO DAVIES, BAYERN MUNICH, 15M
Davies plays as a left back and is involved in attacks from the left, linking up with the likes of Gnabry, Coman and Sane. His average position is much higher up the pitch than the average left back, making him essentially an extra attacker when Bayern push forward. He had an injury hit last season and still managed 4 assists & 1 goal. I expect more attacking returns this year, and he will be an essential part of our fantasy teams.
RAMY BENSEBAINI, BORUSSIA DORTMUND, 13M
Bensebaini has joined Dortmund from Gladbach this season and is expected to play as a left back. His attacking style of play is very well suited to Dortmund and he is expected to take advanced positions on the left side. He had 6 goals and 1 assist last season, although he will most likely lose the penalty taker role, thus decreasing his goals, but his assists will increase due to Dortmund's potent attack.
ROBIN KNOCHE, UNION BERLIN, 7M
Playing as a centre-back, Knoche is one of the more nailed down defenders in a Union backline that is known to rotate randomly. Union have a good record at home and he is expected to start most games and has a high clean sheet potential. An addition to his game is that he is the penalty taker for Union, so he can contribute points from both defense and attack.
LUKAS KÜBLER, FREIBURG, 6M
Kubler plays as a right back in Freiburg's defense, which is known to be one of the best in the league. He has good tackles and interceptions numbers and decent assist potential. For his price, he is a very good budget pick.
PASCAL STENZEL, VFB STUTTGART, 4M
Stenzel is another budget enabler at 4M. He is the starting right back for Stuttgart and has a favorable matchup against Bochum.
JAMAL MUSIALA, BAYERN MUNICH, 15M
Musiala is the most expensive midfielder in the game, but he is worth every bit of his price as he is instrumental in creating chances for the forwards and starting attacks from midfield. Kane's presence will increase his assist potential and his advanced role in the midfield will see him make more runs into the box and score more goals this season.
FLORIAN WIRTZ, BAYER LEVERKUSEN, 14M
A German wonderkid and arguably one of the best young attacking midfielders in the world, Wirtz will be instrumental in coordinating Leverkusen's attack. He will be involved in most of the set pieces and will play right behind the striker, getting into the box and scoring as well. Although the matchup against Leipzig is not an easy one, Wirtz can still rack up a good fantasy score.
MARCEL SABITZER, BORUSSIA DORTMUND, 11M (9.9M ON SALE)
Returning to the Bundesliga after a season in the Premier League, Sabitzer will be looking to make a name for himself with his new team. He is expected to play the role of Bellingham, linking the midfield with the attack. He comes at a very reasonable price and offers good fantasy value.
RIDLE BAKU, WOLSFBURG, 9M
Playing on the right side for Wolfsburg, Baku has great assist potential with his crosses. He also makes a lot of tackles and interceptions in the game and has two ways to fantasy points. He now looks settled in the Wolfsburg team and has a favorable matchup against newly promoted Heidenheim at home.
JULIAN JUSTVAN, HOFFENHEIM, 4M
Justvan is the new signing for Hoffenheim and looks set to take over the left wing-back role previously played by Angelino. He is a budget option, and if he can have the same attacking impact as Angelino, he could become an essential player for the fantasy game.
HARRY KANE, BAYERN MUNICH, 15M (13.5M ON SALE)
Kane will lead the line for Bayern after joining from Tottenham. He is one of the best strikers in the game and has been a prolific goal scorer in the English Premier League, scoring 30 goals last season. Kane starts off with a game against Bremen, who have looked defensively weak in pre-season games, and has the potential to be one of the top scoring forwards of the matchday.
SEBASTIEN HALLER, BORUSSIA DORTMUND, 14M
Haller will be the focal point of the Dortmund attack and has looked sharp in pre-season games. He has a home game against Köln, a game that tends to be a high scoring game, and we can expect Haller to get some attacking returns.
LOIS OPENDA RB LEIPZIG, 14M (12.6M ON SALE)
Openda was signed by Leipzig after a breakout season in the French league last season. He has fitted well into the Leipzig attack and looked good against Bayern in the Supercup. Leipzig start the season with a tricky match against Leverkusen, who are also in good form. Traditionally, this is a high-scoring game, and for his price, Openda can match other high-scoring strikers in the game.
This completes the template selection, and we have used most of the 150 million budget with only 0.7 million left. The game has changed this year, and remember its a marathon, not a sprint. You cannot win it on matchday 1 but a low score can certainly see your rank plummet, so use the template team above to get off to a good start.