QBE Fantasy Football in association with Insurance Times is back and it’s bigger and better with more chances to win

Today is the start of a new exciting season for all football fans. QBE Fantasy Football starts here. All the passion, enjoyment and heartache of the game itself can be experienced by choosing a team to compete for the top prize.

And this season there are even more chances to win, with a main prize of £30,000 and eight manager of the month prizes of £2,500 up for grabs. It’s free to enter and easy to play.

Even if your management skills are more Sunday league than Premier League, with a £55m budget for 11 players and your flair for leadership it could be you walking away with the big prize.

So how do you play? Well it’s easy. You can join in three easy steps:

1. Go to: www.insurancetimes.co.uk/qbeleague

2. Register and pick a team, or just use the lucky dip option.

3. Challenge colleagues, make transfers, enjoy the game .

Once registered you can set up your own private league to challenge your friends and wworkmates.

The scoring for the new season of QBE Fantasy Football starts on 15 September so make sure you have your team selected by then – you do not want to miss out on those, all important, early season points.

Elstree Insurance’s Matthew Hewitt was last year’s QBE Fantasy Football winner.

He has been enjoying the rewards of his massive first prize, with a new kitchen and car. Next week he will take his family to Disneyland, before enjoying a trip to Jamaica with his wife in February.

Here are Matthew’s top tips for choosing your team:

• Go easy on the transfers. Make sure you use them wisely throughout the season and have some left for the final weeks to make the changes that matter. That nearly cost me last year

• Choose your team from the back. Defenders are an important part of your team selection and the best ones are more likely to keep a clean sheet most weeks than strikers are to score every week

• Pick penalty takers. Those who take penalties, especially if they are defenders can really boost your points

• Identify the goal scoring midfielders that will contribute to your points. Cristiano Ronaldo and Mikel Arteta were very important in this regard for me last year

• And pick Sunderland defenders, so I have a chance of winning again next year. Only joking on that one.

Points tally

Take a look at last season’s statistics for inspiration. If you look at this list there are some players who top up a good points tally while not costing that much.

Identifying these is the key to your success. For example, among goalkeepers Tim Howard stands out, accumulating 35 points over the season but costing only £3.5m.

Among the full backs Matthew Taylor, the Portsmouth full back netted 46 points while also costing £3.5m.

Among centre backs the top five are predictable. Terry, Carvalho, Agger, Carragher and Ferdinand all dominated, but Everton’s Joleon Lescott stands out by achieving 38 points and costing £3.6m.

Midfielders were similar, in that Ronaldo and Lampard could be predicted to be among the best point scorers but Blackburn’s Morten Gamst Pedersen was a great buy at £4.8m and obtaining 40 points.

And Pedersen’s Blackburn striking colleague Benni McCarthy was the pick of the cheaper strikers outside Drogba and Rooney, accumulating points with a £6.1m price tag.