The popularity of Fantasy Premier League is growing rapidly each year, and a lot of new enthusiasts are struggling to compete against veteran managers with a wealth of experience. The top ranks are occupied by FPL players who can minimize unnecessary mistakes to the bare minimum, which can be only achieved by consistent decisions and analytical thinking, disregarding any bias. How are you supposed to close the gap between people who have been continuously playing the game for the last 10 years? This article will not help you achieve your dream rank (whatever it is) but will give you a solid foundation to start gradually improving and having a better understanding of the game millions adore.
- Familiarize yourself with the rules
Although this might sound pretty obvious, some novices choose to ignore the first steps before taking a deep dive into the strategic part of the game. Take a look at all the information that can be found on the official website of the FPL (building your squad, managing your team, player price changes, transfers, chips, leagues etc).
- Make your own decisions
With all the information on YouTube, Twitter and other social media, it’s very tempting for a beginner to fall into the trap of copying other manager’s decisions with the hopes of achieving a better rank. However, this is not only detrimental for your development as a player but also deprives you of the satisfaction of achieving success after struggling and ultimately learning from your mistakes. Another similar situation is when managers fail to separate themselves from the overall majority. Every season, the FPL community creates certain narratives which can have a (most usually negative) impact on the way you play the game. You should always prioritize your assumptions, but be open enough to change your opinion if someone presents factual evidence on why you could be wrong. There is a fine line between sticking to your plan and completely disregarding sudden changes(injuries, team form, player form, manager sacking, etc.), so try to find the right balance.
- Consider both form and fixtures
One of the oldest debates between FPL managers which has become as iconic in the FPL community as the question: “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” is whether you should base your decisions on the player’s form or his upcoming fixtures when making transfers. The truth is, there isn’t a clear answer. A perfect example of a player in form who performed outstandingly for a specific period last year was Jesse Lingard who registered 1 or more returns for 7 consecutive gameweeks he featured in (GW25-GW32). The fixtures also have significant importance, especially for defenders, goalkeepers or attacking-minded players from weaker teams. Premium picks usually are more consistent in their performance, therefore it is not a bad idea to trust them a bit more than regular picks unless you can afford to rotate between them, which is viewed as “luxury” transfer moves.
Be sure to check the section Fixture Difficulty on our site.
An absolute necessity for having a great FPL season is maximizing the usage of your chips. Unwritten rules of FPL top managers state that Triple Captain and Bench Boost must be used during Double Gameweeks since this increases the probability of higher returns as more fixtures take place. The Free Hit is mostly activated during Blank Gameweeks because a lot of managers fail to fill a starting 11, although a great use of it can be found during Double Gameweeks as well. Last year was a bit hectic and there were plenty of DGWs and BGWs due to Covid, however, it is likely that this season won’t be so unpredictable in terms of schedule. In this case, it becomes even more crucial to pick the right moment for playing those particular chips. Wildcards are widely regarded as the most important chip which can completely change the direction of your season. Restructuring your team requires perfect timing and a lot of thought in order to climb up the ranks in future gameweeks. Long-term success should be the main priority when activating the Wildcard, and you should aim for a steady progression throughout the next 5-6 gameweeks.
Another very important aspect of the game which rookie managers tend to ignore. FPL is an addictive game and many try to justify taking unnecessary hits without looking into the bigger picture. Emotional decisions are usually a consequence of fear of “missing out” or certain biases that lead to a serious rank drop. Try to be as neutral as possible and have a reason why you are going to transfer in/out this particular player. Although this approach might seem boring at first, achieving a top rank is a great way to compensate, right?
There are many ways you can play FPL, however the most vital thing to do as a newcomer is master the basics. This way you can achieve consistent results and find your perfect play-style throughout the process.
Be sure to follow @FPL_Youngster for more content.
FPL Youngster(Alexander Kirov)