A new season of fantasy football will soon be upon us when the 2022/23 season of the English Premier League kicks off on August 6.
FPL adds an extra exciting way to keep up with the football season as ordinary fans will be allowed to predict the top performers of each game week. This can be particularly exciting, especially when competing against friends in those mini-leagues.
You might be finding it difficult to rank in the top 100 out of the over 9 million managers worldwide, but here are some FPL tips to at least give you some upper hand as you compete against friends in your private leagues.
1. Start strong
As the saying goes, if you’re starting behind, it will be very difficult for you to get ahead of the line. Well, the same is true for fantasy football. Managers must aim to get maximum points from the early games of the season. This can be achieved by analyzing the first five fixtures to determine which strikers have the most favorable schedules and which defenders are most likely to keep a clean sheet. Managers should target the most likely heavy-hitters – Liverpool’s Mo Salah and Man City’s Haaland seem very promising to start the season strong.
2. Always get rid of underperforming players
The second most important FPL tip anyone can be given is to always get rid of out-of-form players sooner rather than later. if I have a motto after playing FPL for 5 years now, it will be, “it’s not personal, just business.” We all have favorite players that we want in our teams, but if you want to win your mini-leagues, you have to get rid of those players the moment they go out of form. Leaving them in your team is usually double jeopardy – they are taking up space and not giving your points, while your competitors are raking in points from their alternatives. A player is usually out of FPL form when they don’t return points in more than two consecutive game weeks. Of course, how much money you have in the bank, cost of transfer, and short-term schedule should always influence your in or out transfers.
3. Start with 15 first-team players
One of the biggest FPL mistakes most managers make is to include in their teams some cheap non-first-team players to save money. This might seem logical in the short-term – you have a 100 million, to get those premium players, you might need to include one or two cut-price players in your team. Besides, you only start 11 players out of your 15-man squad.
In the long run, this strategy usually backfires in my experience. See, you get only 1 free transfer every week. When players begin to have injuries or miss games due to manager rotation, you will have no options on your bench to rotate them with. Plus it also makes it difficult to transfer players without spending points. It limits your flexibility with transfers as you won’t be able to hold out of-form players on the bench to see if they will improve in subsequent weeks.
4. Always follow the news
The difference between successful managers and the struggling ones in most mini-leagues is usually last-minute information. Knowing which player is injured, which players will be rested, etc can help you adjust your team before the match week deadline to avoid having non-starters in your starting 11.
5. Pay attention to your captain
Captain selection will perhaps be your most interesting decision as an FPL manager each week. Captains get double the points for their game-week performance and your choice will be greatly correlated with how many points you finish with that week.
Generally speaking, a midfielder will make a better choice of FPL captain compared to defenders or strikers. Midfielders get 5 points for each goal they score compared to strikers that get 4, defenders get 6 points though. But how many defenders are more likely to score a goal or assist one ahead of their midfield teammates? Midfielders like Mo Salah and Kevin DeBruyne can be reliable captain options when they are in form.
With these fantasy football FPL tips, you might not finish in the global top 100, but you can at least finish top of your private leagues for the bragging rights among friends.