Fantasy Premier League has grown massively over the years. Since launching back in 2002/03, the first-ever FPL season had a total of 76,284 players.
Twenty years later, in the current 2022/23 season, there are now over 10 million players worldwide.
FPL’s rapid growth has seen it transform into one of the most competitive fantasy sports games in the world.
As an FPL manager that has finished each of the last five seasons in the top 10% of players in the world, I’ve realized that to be successful in FPL requires strategy, knowledge, and a little bit of luck.
Here are my top 10 tips to help you get ahead of your opponents in your mini-leagues and become a true FPL legend.
How to score high points in FPL
Here are some tips you can use to score higher points for your FPL team.
#1 Avoid selecting a ‘balanced’ team
Let’s start at the very beginning. A common mistake made by FPL managers happens at the very start of the season when selecting their initial 15-man squad. FPL managers need to keep in mind that FPL is very different from the actual game of football.
The goal of the game is to accumulate points, so it is vital that you select your team with that goal in mind. Some of the English Premier League’s best players are extremely poor FPL assets. Players such as N’Golo Kante at Chelsea FC or Rodri at Man City FC are good examples of this.
While these players are excellent in their own right, they do not play a role that attracts many FPL points. Defensive midfielders and hard-working attackers are less likely to score goals and provide assists which earn the most points in FPL.
Moreover, they only receive one extra point if their team keeps a clean sheet!
Focus on players that are known to contribute on either the attacking or defensive end.
#2 Plan your transfers carefully
Selecting your favourite players is part of the fun of FPL. But picking the right players is more important. As an FPL manager, having a strategy is vital to remain competitive.
The Fixture Difficulty Rating (FDR) is an excellent tool to help FPL managers. It allows you to plan your transfer schedule and target specific players for ‘easier’ gameweeks.
Based on the FDR example above, over the next seven gameweeks, Brighton, Man City, Man United, and West Ham all have 5 games against easier opponents. By using the FDR and planning your transfers accordingly, you can bring players from these teams into your squads for these fixtures.
Be sure you do not have too many players going up against each other in a gameweek. You will notice that after a good run of fixtures, both Manchester clubs verse each other in gameweek 20.
If you have the maximum of 3 players from each of these teams, your point returns from all six players will be at risk.
#3 Choose players that are regular starters
To have any chance of being competitive in FPL, you need your players to start every gameweek.
While this may seem obvious, it can be quite tricky. The best example of this is evident in recent seasons by Man City. Their frequent rotation of players has become popularly known as Pep Roulette.
Another factor that may affect a player’s game time is injuries. Try to avoid players that are injury prone, as they are likely to rotate often.
#4 Use your chips wisely
FPL chips are like gold dust and can turn your season around when used well.
The Wildcard, Free Hit, Bench Boost, and Triple Captain give you a significant advantage when activated for a single gameweek. It may seem tempting to use these chips early to get ahead of your opponents, but it’s certainly not advised.
The Wildcard and Free Hit chips may sound very similar, and you can find out how they are different here.
The Premier League season is a marathon, not a sprint! Over the course of the season, there is a plethora of challenges that you will have to overcome as an FPL manager.
Injuries and match rescheduling are almost inevitable over the course of a season. Having your chips in the bank can allow you to turn a catastrophic gameweek into an excellent one.
The triple captain chip is a particularly useful one. An excellent strategy with this chip is to hold it for a double-gameweek. That means your captain will accumulate three times the normal points for two games.
FPL expert Holly Shand explains how and when to use FPL chips to maximise your points return.
#5 Make use of statistics
The stats never lie! Even the best FPL managers in the world are unable to watch every football match in a full season. So you cannot rely solely on the eye test to guide your decisions.
Actual stats are always more reliable than other FPL managers’ opinions. Do your own analysis and look for solid evidence to support your FPL decisions.
Here are 20 Free FPL Tools that you can use to improve your rank.
#6 Forget loyalty
If you’re an FPL manager, you’re likely to be a supporter of one of the Premier League teams. Don’t let the support for your club influence your team selection.
For example, if you support Many United, you can’t allow your rivalry with Man City into FPL. In the 2021/22 season, three of the top ten players in FPL were from the Blues.
Swallow your pride. It will show in your rank at the end of the season.
#7 Avoid point hits
It’s easy to feel as though you have to make two or more transfers each week to your team, and it can become a habit.
While a -4 or -8 hit may not seem like a lot, it can cost hundreds of thousands of positions on your overall rank. Saving transfers wherever possible is always advisable. By having transfers in the bank, when your team needs major upgrading, it won’t be too costly.
But if you’re certain that the player you’re bringing in will return a high score, then, by all means, go for it!
#8 Stay engaged with the FPL community
With 10+ million active players, it should come as no surprise that FPL content isn’t difficult to find. FPL managers must be aware of any updates and changes that affect their teams well ahead of the deadline.
Moreover, many website and social media content creators are top-ranked FPL managers. Use their knowledge and research to help guide your decisions if you are unable to do all the research you’d like.
Downloading the Official FPL mobile application is a simple way to keep up to date with FPL. It sends you notifications on all the players in your 15-man squad and has several useful features that can help you plan your season and selections.
#9 Don’t be too aggressive when choosing your captain
As we know, captains receive double points each gameweek. This makes them your most important player. While selecting a differential captain can be exciting, it doesn’t always pay off.
In the 2022/23 season, by gameweek 15, Erling Haaland amassed 121 FPL points. His 18-goal tally included three hat-tricks, averaging nine points per game. Haaland quickly became a set-and-forget captain to millions of FPL managers. And it paid off handsomely for them.
When players are delivering stats like Haaland, there’s no need to try and be too clever with your selection.
If you’re doing well in your FPL leagues, then sticking with the popular captain choice is usually a safe play. Differential choices are riskier and more favourable when trying to make up points on your competitors.
#10 Leave your transfers as late as possible
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a player that just had a huge point haul. But you should resist the knee-jerk for as long as possible. By waiting until as close to the deadline as possible, you’re able to gather all the relevant player news to make a confident decision.
Often, there are crucial team news releases a few hours before the deadline. Watching the manager’s press conferences is also very helpful. They often drop clues on player availability and possible rotation risks.
Remember, you’ve spent a lot of time on your team selection. You should not undo all your hard work to jump on the bandwagon.
You can find out more about the best times to make a transfer for your FPL team here.
Excelling at FPL requires a solid strategy and know-how. And like most things in life, the more you put in, the more you get out. There are many sources of information available to help guide your decision-making. Make full use of them.
Even so, you may want to bear in mind that FPL is just a game. Above all else, you should ensure that you have fun and not take a bad decision or two too personally.
You can always bounce back next gameweek!
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