Fantasy Premier League Tips & Tricks

Full Disclosure this article is a compilation of Tips & tricks by various FPL tips sites and we compiled the most important ones to make your job easy to pick the right team.

Most usual Tactics used is either 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 of course depending on gameweek we can go with other tactics, but in general we start with 3 at the back. This is because defenders often score far less over the course of the season than mid/forward players, but if done right they can be a reliable source of points over the season, for cheap.

How to Pick the Goalkeepers

There are two main schools of thought when selecting your keepers, you either go for:

  • ‘Pick and Forget strategy’ – a heavy hitter (a main keeper for a big club like Cech or DDG – with 18 CS last season), and play him pretty much week in week out, and have a cheap gk to back him up. In this 1st case, the 2nd keeper is an cheap option, in the 4.0 – 4.5 range, sometimes from the same team to cover anything that can happen to the main keeper. A premium GK gives to you higher chances of CS, but the save and bonus points are generally low. Also means much money spent on GK combo.
  • ‘Rotation strategy’ – two cheap players who rotate well. You start with 2 keepers at similar price that can rotate well. The common logic in the past was the ‘rotate well’ is players that swap home and away duties, so you always (or as close to always as possible) have a keeper playing at home. However recently the strategy is just play the keeper with the easier fixture – but still not 100% science, so be prepared for frustration on picking the wrong one.

At the start of season you may see some managers with a 4.0 keeper. Most of the time a 4.0 keeper doesn’t play*, however it’s picked to make a combo with a premium keeper, because of their price (save an extra 0.5 to spend in other position could be useful). This is also a valid strategy, but take in note that any injury or red card means a extra transfer. Doesn’t matter the strategy you pick but the best is don’t spend more than £10.0 on your keepers combo to give you a balanced team overall.

How to Pick the Defenders

Defensive strategies are somewhat more varied than the keeper ones, I will just highlight the differing schools of thought here:

  • ‘3 starters’ – Simply having 3 good defenders and 2 cheap ones that will only come in if the starters are injured or have horrible fixtures (or if you need to play 4 at the back). This ties a lot of money up though, and could be very much wasted if one of the players squads is playing poorly and letting in sloppy goals. This is a better strategy in 2nd part of season when the squads are more bedded in and you know more about game time and style.
  • ‘The 2 Plus’ – This is a strategy where you include 2 quality players and 3 players rotating for the final position. It is perhaps the most popular of the strategies as it gives you reliable returns for a decent value.
  • ‘The 1 Plus’ – 1 good player and 4 to rotate for the other 2 positions- cheap, but risky for point potential if not picking the right players.
  • ‘Bargain Basement’ – All your players are cheap, rotate three of the best 5 on a weekly basis… This has been pretty uncommon in recent years, because there are not many teams that have these cheap players, and if a few of them end up going on a bad run (or just being terrible at the back) then these cheapos will lose value quickly, and you may not be able to replace them with anyone decent in the similar price bracket, forcing double transfers. This can be used if you want go heavy upfront in this first weeks.

How to Pick the Attackers

I will put midfielders and strikers in same point. Like I mentioned previously, we can split the offensive strategies into 2 basic groupings – 3-5-2 or 3-4-3. The most popular formation is 3-4-3, due forwards available in game, but at the start of season, this isn’t much visible due our money limitations, so we can have rotate mids.

You have four main options to select when deciding your attacking strategy at the beginning of season, and they will depend on your forwards:

  • A pretty standard setup is 2 heavy hitters + one cheap forward OR 1 heavy hitter, 1 good middle value forward and one cheap forward. In both cases, the cheap forward usually rotates with a cheap mid based on fixture and form – more spread money, easy for transfers.
  • Another option is avoid the cheap forward and go with 2 cheap midfielders who rotate well. In this strategy you can go with 2 heavy hitters or just one but with 2 good middle value forwards – expensive, but in theory gives more realistic options for captaincy each week.
  • 3rd setup it’s go with 3 or more £6.0-7.0 midfielder options and rotate between them based on fixtures. – This strategy should be avoided in my option also. It is more expensive and leads to points on the bench, as it gives to gives you potentially points in all 5 positions. This also leads to less premium mids/fwds and probably less captaincy options.
  • Another option (most common at the start of season) is going with a 4.5 mid or a 4.5 fwd and don’t use rotation. This means that you will just leave him on bench all weeks and coming off the bench when needed and maximise the cash. This is the most useful strategy for those who doesn’t want to have “Mahrez on my bench” problems like it happen last season.

Rotations and Balance

“This will be two words that you need to get used to. They allow you to get a squad together and more importantly, keep a squad together without a fantasy manager suffering from premature wildcarding and/or serial point hitting, hacking away at your squad and your overall rank.”

The biggest mistake we see every year with new people is the high priced backline. This happens because people start building the team from GK to FWD without thinking about their rotations, which leads to an unbalanced team with no big names upfront and premium players at back and most of times on bench.

Generally the ideal budget split is the following:

Position Min Max
Goalkeeper 9.0 10.0
Defenders 23.5 26.0
Midfielders 36 39.5
Forwards 26.0 31.0

The sweet spot in these ranges is up to your preference but stay within them and your team will be balanced and able to react to whatever happens in a season. You have to make sure that while staying in budget you have enough big hitters to not miss out on Alexis Sanchez or Sergio Aguero blowing up a seemingly sedate Gameweek.

The best way to start is knowing your rotations for keepers and defenders – check previous post to check possibilities. Bring your goalkeepers, three or four defenders depending on your rotation tactic used. This cover around 1/3 of your entire squad. The reason why you put these players in first is because you should never have to make a transfer to replace them and therefore it shows you your budget to fill in the other spots within your squad, remembering to stay within the balanced squad boundaries. When coming up with rotations, have in mind when you are going to Wildcard. There is no point letting fixtures that are after this point affect your decision on the rotation.

Mistakes when creating a team

  • Including defensive midfielders – FPL is all about goal threat, and players with a defensive mindset are almost always a waste of space in your team. It is far better to punt on a risky attacking player, than it is on a nailed on defensive player.
  • Wasting money on the bench – each additional 1.0 you have sitting on the bench is a 1.0 that could be used in your squad. Whilst having players on the bench who rotate well, or can come on and do a job when the first choice is injured is a good thing- Going with 6.5+ attacking players benched, is throwing money away for me.
  • Having not nailed on players – Cameos are the enemy of every FPL player, and having players of considerable value who aren’t nailed on is a potentially amazingly costly risk. Fabregas is very popular, although he is a huge risk without knowing Conte CM preferences.
  • Relying on differential to justify decisions – Differential is one of the words that is thrown around by a lot of FPL managers as justification for picks. And while there is a time and a place for it, there is usually a reason why players are included in a low % of squads. If you think a player has the same point potential to a higher owned player, than by all means include him- punting on differentials with a lower PPG potential is a more end of season strategy when you are chasing leaders, avoid until then.
  • Not planning ahead – having a great team for GW1 is what you want, but if it goes to hell in GW2 then you are not going to do too well. Plan your future 3-4 weeks moves ahead of time, and have backup plans in place for when it inevitably does to shit. Good squads have options, the more the better.

Mistakes During The Season

  • Chasing last weeks points – this is the big trap many players fall into their first few years playing FPL. Whilst jumping on bandwagons before great players become too expensive is a good thing, jumping on a player blindly because he had a good week is a bad option. A player playing well obviously indicates he is in some form, but if his fixtures don’t add up in future weeks then putting him right in your team is knee jerky and often an incorrect move.
  • Waiting to transfer – If a player is rising in value and you want him, it is best to get him in your team earlier rather than later (and reversed for players dropping). Not doing so is throwing away much needed player value.
  • Transfer out players you want in wild-card – Another problem is when people play their wildcards and then proceed to make mass transfers with wild abandon throughout the week failing to realise they have just lost all their team value. When you transfer a player out you will have to buy him back at the current sale price not the initial price you originally paid for him.
  • Captaining defenders – Whilst this is sometimes (in very, very freak circumstances) an OK option. It rarely is.

Fantasy Premier League chips & when to use it

  • Bench Boost: This chip means that Fantasy managers will gain all points accrued from their 15-man squad in that particular Gameweek. In all likelihood, this has the greatest potential of any of the three chips and assessing when to play it will be crucial. Play your Bench Boost chip for the second half of the season when your team value is higher and you have a stronger bench would be the ideal. And in order to get the full benefit from the “Bench Boost” chip, the ideal time would be a double Gameweek where a number of clubs are handed a pair of fixtures apiece. But this doesn’t mean you need to have 15 players with a Double Gameweek or in a Double Gameweek. The main use of the chip is to allow you play the non-premium players with Double Gameweek/favourable fixtures and still play the premium players. Certainly, this chip will encourage Fantasy managers to roll out numerous alterations to their starting line-ups – not only does each double player feature twice, the single Gameweek assets also contribute points, thus helping to offset any possible points hits. Some managers decide to wildcard the week before a bumper double Gameweek to load up on double options – therefore avoiding the need for points hits – and structure their squad in line with the impending double Gameweek. (keep in mind how your team will look like after Double Gameweek). Monitoring the fixtures and assessing when the doubles are likely to fall in place will be key, then.
  • Triple Captain: Again, it seems logical that this chip should be played in a double Gameweek in order to boost your chances of earning more points (one extra chance to win points). Bearing in mind we cannot use more than one chip at a time, the “Triple Captain” is perhaps best utilised in a two-team double Gameweek, in order to ensure we keep our “Bench Boost” chip for a bumper double.Furthermore, the “Triple Captain” also helps to lessen the blow of a faltering armband pick. Alexis Sanchez and Payet were the runaway leaders of our Captain Poll for double Gameweeks 34 and 37 respectively with one scoring 25pts and other 12pts. The “Triple Captain” option would at least have handed us 75 points and 36pts only one player.In the other Double Gameweek of season (gw33) Lukaku (the most captained) would have scored 12pts, despite his failure to produce any returns over their pair of matches. But there isn’t a necessity to play it when we have a Double Gameweek. You should take a look to: Player form, momentum, Easy fixtures, match-ups, Gut instinct to decide if you use the chip in any other particularly gameweek. If your captain doesn’t play, the Triple Captain chip is passed to your vice-captain. If neither plays, the chip was wasted.
  • All Out Attack: This chip is actually the least worthwhile. The chip allows you to opt for a 2-5-3 formation in any given Gameweek, as opposed to a standard week in FPL where you must field at least 3 defenders. When you’re short of defenders in a particular Gameweek (due injuries/suspension and/or doesn’t have favourable fixtures), instead of wasting a transfer at the back and taking a points deduction, keep the defender on the bench while he serves the suspension and use your All Out Attack chip that Gameweek playing all your upfront players (take into account your attackers’ scoring potential that week before using the AOA chip and if they play, of course). The main knock-on effect of the “All Out Attack” chip is that it forces us to reconsider our cheap fifth midfielders. More later in season, more money you have and better players you will have, so freshening up that position will be key to take advantage of this chip, then. Similarly, those operating with a 3-5-2 formation will need to address their third forward slot in order to make the most out of the “All Out Attack” chip.

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