Aug 052012

Following a number of questions being posted on the FFC website last season regarding player suspensions, we thought it would be a good idea to explain the way that suspensions can play a part in the world of fantasy football, and how they will affect us all.

The suspension problem

No doubt we have all been subjected to our players being rotated, and have been frustrated about our ‘star players’ being benched. Unfortunately there is another problem staring us in the face with regard to our players not starting games, and that is suspensions. A player can be suspended due to being sent off, from accumulating too many yellow cards, or for having an over active twitter account!

It is impossible to try and guess who will receive red and yellow cards in games of football or when they will get them for that matter, but what we need to be aware of is the suspension that follows. It may come as a surprise to some of you, but a red card does not automatically mean a three match suspension, nor does it mean that a player will necessarily be suspended for a Premier League game (this is because as far as suspensions are concerned, the FA Cup and the Carling Cup also play a part). And there you were thinking that this fantasy game was only about the Premier League!

In this article we will clear up some of the confusion surrounding suspensions, and how suspensions can affect you in fantasy football, by giving you a brief overview of all the key rules you need to know.

Do I really need to know the suspension rules?

If you want to get the edge over your mates in your private leagues, then the simple answer to that question is yes. Let us give you a real life example from last year to help explain the importance of understanding the suspension rules:

Early last season, many people panicked and sold Bosingwa following his red card against QPR, thinking he would get a three match suspension. However, their lack of knowledge on the suspension rules cost them dearly. Not only did Bosingwa end up getting just a one match suspension, but the suspension was served during a Carling Cup game meaning he was available for the very next league game against Arsenal. The implications were quite significant. Anyone who had owned Bosingwa from the start of the season would have received £5.9m for him had they sold him following the red card, but to buy him back after realising the error they had made would have cost them £6.3m meaning a loss of £0.4m !!! In fantasy football, £0.4m goes a very long way in determining who you can afford to buy in the transfer market, so this lack of knowledge with regard to the suspension rules was a very costly mistake.

Ok, so now you know that understanding the suspension system is pretty important, let’s clear up all the confusion by talking through the key rules you need to be aware of from a fantasy football perspective.

How long will a player be suspended for?

In general the following will apply, although it should be noted that in the case of appeals the suspension can be decreased or even increased. They can also be delayed in certain circumstances.

Red Cards
A player will receive a one match suspension for any of the following:

  • Denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball
  • Denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by an offence punishable by a free kick or penalty kick
  • Receiving a second caution in a match (2 yellow cards)

A player will receive a two match suspension for the following:

  • Use of offensive, or insulting or abusive language

A player will receive a three match suspension for any of the following:

  • Serious foul play
  • Violent conduct
  • Spitting at an opponent

It is also worth noting that an additional one match suspension is added to the above for each and every previous red card already received in the same season.

Yellow Cards
If a player accumulates five cautions between the opening day of the playing season and 31 December in the same season, he will be suspended automatically for one match.

If a player accumulates ten cautions between the opening day of the playing season and the second Sunday of April in the same season, he will be suspended automatically for two matches.

If a player accumulates fifteen cautions between the opening day of the playing season and the last day of the same season, he will be suspended automatically for three matches.

If a player then accumulates a further five cautions then he will be hauled before the regulatory commission, within seven days of the date of the last caution. The members of a regulatory commission will have the power to deal with the player in such manner as they deem fit. The same procedure will apply for every further five cautions received by that player.

When will the suspensions be served?

In the majority of cases all suspensions will take place with immediate effect.

There are exceptions though as players can appeal.  If there is no time to have a hearing prior to the next game then the suspension if upheld is deferred to later matches. This happens a lot less often as of late as if players appeal in order that they can play the next match the FA reserve the right to double the original suspension.

Where can I get suspension information?

Come back to the Fantasy Football Cheat site regularly.  We will publish a weekly suspension report detailing all suspended players for the upcoming gameweek, along with a list of those players closest to receiving a suspension from yellow cards. Basically we’ll do all the hard work for you!

Will suspensions be an issue in Gameweek 1?

The bad news is that ‘yes’ there are suspended players in gameweek 1! The good news is that we are here to help you successfully avoid the problem.  We will release a suspension article ahead of the gameweek 1 deadline with all the information you need to know, including most importantly the players impacted.

Have you any other suspension tips?

We’ve got two final tips which address the problems that most fantasy managers get caught out by when it comes to suspensions! 

Yellow card count
One other thing to watch for is a player on 4, 9 or 14 yellow cards. You may spot this player has an easy game the following week and pick him as captain only to find out he has been rested. The reason being that if he picks up a yellow card in the easier fixture he would miss the game the following week against stronger opposition when he is needed. Cunning, but it happens more often than you would think!

Suspensions picked up in domestic Cup games
As we stated earlier, Bosingwa’s suspension took place during a Carling Cup game so we need to watch out for this, as it can happen the other way round. i.e. a player can get a yellow card in the Carling Cup or FA Cup which results in that player being suspended from a Premier League game.

To help explain, let’s imagine the following scenario:

On Tuesday night you select your team and captain for the following gameweek. On Wednesday evening your ‘star player’, who you have selected as he has an upcoming Double Gameweek, collects a 10th yellow card of the season during an FA cup match. He is therefore suspended for the following two Premier League games. Nightmare!

It is therefore imperative that you keep an eye on your players card count and make sure you check your team on a Friday night or a Saturday morning for all the latest suspension information. The yellow card count typically becomes much more of an issue in fantasy football later in the season – you don’t want to be transferring a player into your fantasy team who has 14 yellow cards, as he will no doubt very soon be on a three match ban!

Hope this helps and good luck to all.


This article was written by Mutley

  143 Responses to “A Guide To Suspensions In Fantasy Football”

  1. Taking a bit of a risk for week 1, but here’s my provisional lineup.

    GK: Green / Friedel
    DF: Lescott / Hangeland / Williams / Jones
    MID: Noble / Allan / Sigurdsson / Hazard / Sessegnon
    FW: Pogrebnyak / Torres / Tevez

    1.5 in the bank and will use this to upgrade Torres for Aguero in week 2. also monitoring what price Carzola will come in at. Monitoring the chances of Tevez starting.

    Thoughts aprreciated.

  2. My team, which is giving me a nightmare in midfield and i have cheap defenders. All comments welcomed.

    Foster LIV (H)
    O’Brien – Taylor R – Caulker.
    Silva – Song – Bale – Mata WIG.
    Sturridge – Pogrebnyak – Rooney

    subs: Krul.
    A Ferdinand. N Dyer, Fox.

    Team value is 100m, Mata as Captain for week 1.

    • Bombers – on whole, I’m not a fan of your lineup – I think you could get better bang for buck.

      I’ve heard injury question marks over mata and sturridge. If they look like they’re going to be fine for week 1, then you’re set. Mata is a great signing. Unsure of sturridge will start. Song might not even be at arsenal much longer either.

      If you play the fixtures, swansea and west ham have a lot of good fixtures coming up. You need more Man City coverage in there somewhere other than Silva. Lescott is a good deal for defence, and I’d probably go Aguero over Rooney at this stage.

      • if i replace Rooney for Aguero I have 0.5m, which i can use to upgrade my midfield. who do you reckon for 7mil if i off load Song??

        I was banking on gaining points for chelsea double game in 1st week. do u think this is bad call?

        and with Sturridge, maybe replace him for Hernandez, thoughts?

        • @ dzzmzz.
          my re-vised team, what do you think now>?

          O’Brien – Taylor R -Caulker.
          Silva – Valencia -Bale – Ramires
          Torres (CAP) – Pogrebnyak – Aguero.

          A Ferdinand- Britton – Fox.

          Still open for suggestions,

          FFC – keep up the good work, love this site and articles.

          • Like this one a lot better. You’re pretty strong in attack. If your first 11 play each week, you’ll do well, but your bench might be a bit on the weak side.

            Lots of choices to make! Obviously, I’m in the same basket with mine. I’m going

            Green / Friedel
            Lescott / Jones / Hangeland / Shawcross / Williams
            Sigurdsson / Hazard / Noble / Allen / Sessegnon
            Tevez / Torress / Pogrebnyak

          • dzz sess is a injury doubt?

          • He is? Thanks for the heads up.

  3. Please rate my team guys

    Federici (Begovic)
    Hangeland, Harte, Rangel (R Taylor, Tierney)
    Cabaye, Yaya Toure, Bale, Mata (Noble)
    Torres, Van Persie, Pogrebnyak

    Assuming RVP to Man Utd

  4. Morning fellas, need a long shot for the USPGA, I’m thinking the kid Rose, what do you reckon! ;-)

  5. Morning Cookie, not banged up them for in-appropriate behaviour then!