For those of you new to the official fantasy Premier League game, or FPL for short, there are many aspects of the game that make it different from other fantasy games out there. My goal here is to give you some insights into how to play FPL. Hopefully this will help you manage your team and navigate the intricacies of this format. Consider this a beginner’s guide to playing FPL.
This guide will focus primarily on the basics of FPL and not dive too deeply into the strategies of setting up your team or week to week strategies. The best advice I can give starting out is to minimize risk. Be safe in your starting strategies. Avoid picking players from promoted teams and focus on the players who will maximize your points to start the season.
To start you will first need to create your team. The constraints in FPL are that you are limited to spending 100M to set up your squad. In addition you can only select 3 players from any one team.
After selecting your team you will need to set a formation. There are several options in doing so and reasons why this is important, especially as the season progresses. Formation can include 3-5-2, 3-4-3, 4-3-3, 4-4-2, or 4-5-1. How you build your team will affect what formation you will want to use.
- 1 free transfer per week.
- You can hold your free transfer for a week to have a maximum of 2 free transfers at a time.
- You can make as many transfers as you want, however, they cost a -4 hit to your points tally for the week after your 1 free transfer.
Captain and Vice Captain
- You choose a captain each gameweek which doubles the points for this player
- The vice captain only comes into play if your captain doesn’t play for the week.
The captain is the heart and soul of your team. Whatever your team is, the captain is the player that you build around. This is going to be the guy that scores the most points for you. You can switch it every week and there are plenty of strategies on how to do this best.
There are 3 “chips” available that allow you to be creative in how you play. The big caveat in this is that you can only play each chip once during the season and there is definitely a strategy in how you do this.
- Includes the points from all of the players on your bench as well as your starters.
This is a great one to save for a double gameweek later in the season.
- Allows you make unlimited free transfers for a single gameweek
Don’t get fooled by this one. You can make unlimited free transfers for a gameweek, however, they aren’t permanent. Your team will revert in the following gameweek. This is another good one to save for later in the season at a time when a majority of your players aren’t going to be available for a week, but should be back the next week.
- Triples the points of your captain
In my opinion, this is the trickiest of the 3 chips. Typically you want to hold out for a time when you think a player on your team is going to score a hat trick. Normally this is when your top player is going up against a weak team. Like the captain pick, there are a lot of strategies on how to do this best.
- Allows you to completely reset your team.
- There are 2 wild cards during the season. 1 in the first half and 1 in the second.
- Once you use your wild card it is gone for that half of the season.
This requires some strategy and planning. Most managers will save this for after the first international break. For this season there is a good argument to use it early this season when a lot of the players return from their World Cup break.
- Each week prices for players will drop or increase based on their performance
- This can have a positive or negative affect on the overall value of your team
It is good to follow this, but not be too reactive to this. You don’t want to change your team too drastically based on the performance from a single gameweek.
That wraps up most of the basics for playing FPL. You can find lot’s of great resources out there. I find that Twitter has a great community of FPL pundits that are always helpful and provide great tips. Till next time, good luck and have fun!