Fantasy Premier League: Top 10 Tips For Beginners

The FPL 2021/22 season is here. Just like every season, Gameweek 1 will bring a host of FPL beginners to the game.

I’ve been an avid fantasy football player for a long time now, joining my first league back in the 2007/08 season. The life of an FPL manager can be crazy sometimes, but if you’re anything like me, then it’s something that has been part of your life since you were young and really enjoyed watching the game with your friends or family.

My daily routine usually involves checking out FPL news articles, making transfers, looking for captain options… all the while listening to podcasts about FPL! There is no set way to play this game.

Here are our top 10 tips for Fantasy Premier League beginners:

1. FPL Research

This is the most important tip. It’s a lot more complicated than just looking at who are the best players.

Here are some key points to consider when picking your team:

  • Keep an eye out for injuries and suspensions
  • Know the fixtures
  • Keep track of player prices
  • Check out who the best budget and premium players are in different categories
  • Listen to the pre-game and full-time analysis
  • Plan your future transfers.

2. No Place for Emotions

I am a hardcore Manchester United fan. But the last time I held on to a United player long term was RVP back in 2012/13 season, and Bruno last year, of course.

A few years back, a friend drafted Schmidfield (Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin) into his team. No prizes for guessing how that turned out. Leave your ego aside and pick up players who bring in the points, even though you might not like them. Emotional investing can hurt your chances.

3. Beginning of the Season

It is advisable to start with a template team. By template, I mean your final 15 should comprise 5-8 highly owned established and proven FPL players. Add to that a mix of three or four differentials (players with low ownership) and a few cheaper players from the promoted sides, and you are all set.

Don’t invest too much on the bench players. Focus on your starting XI. 

4. The Budget

This is where it gets tricky. You have £100 million to pick 15 players. Do you go for the heavily priced forwards, Harry Kane/Jamie Vardy, or pack your midfield with superstars, Kevin De Bruyne/Bruno Fernandes?

There is a section of players who even spend big in defence. And why not when you have the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson, who easily outscore most of their similarly priced midfield/forward counterparts.

Ideally, you want an expensive player in each position. In defence, you can go for two mid-price starters followed by two cheap rotating defenders. In midfield, two heavy hitters, two mid-price players, and one budget player. Naturally forwards also score highly, so spare at least £20/£25 million for your forwards.

5. Transfers

Assess your squad – Is it strong in midfield but lacking up front? If so, buy some forwards!

Look at fixture difficulty – Do you have players that will play against tough oppositions in the next few rounds? Transfer them out now while they still have value! Pick up form players who have good fixtures on their side.

There are two ways seasoned FPL managers operate in transferring out players:

  1. Soon as the Gameweek ends to pick up players who are due a rise in value.
  2. Wait for the managers’ press conferences to get a better idea of who will start and the injury status of players.

Finally, do not forget the transfer deadline, which is an hour and a half before the first kick-off of the week. 

6. Team Value

Some managers jump early on bandwagons and pick up players who are due to rise in value. This is an interesting move best deployed early on in the season.

If you have a greater team value, you can pick a balanced side with many higher value players come the end of the season.

However, last season this tactic did not work that well due to the availability of many budget players who provided extraordinary value for their price.

7. Transfer Hits and Chips

Hits are good fun and sometimes unavoidable. But refrain from using too many, especially when your team is looking good and healthy.

Remember every additional transfer costs 4 points. Never take hits on, say, bringing a defender in. However, if you are taking a hit keeping 4-5 future Gameweeks in mind, go for it.

The chips are very crucial in determining where you end up in the global rankings. Careful thought and execution can pay rich dividends. Get them right, and you can have 50–80 point swings in a single Gameweek.

You must save them for the double Gameweeks (when teams have 2 games in a single week).  

8. The Christmas Bench

You can opt for a strong starting XI throughout the season with little worry about who will come on as a substitute if one of the starters does not make an appearance.

However, it is prudent to go with a strong bench during December and January period. This is because games come thick and fast in this period, managers rotate heavily, and you need bench players who can make an impact. 

9. Choose your Captain wisely

Believe it or not, by the end of the season, most managers secure around 25-30 percent of their total points just through their captains.

Don’t be too clever here; just hand the armband to a premium heavy hitter with a favorable fixture. Your captain marvel can save an otherwise disastrous week.

Choosing a differential captain can be a high-risk, high-reward strategy, but please don’t captain Neal Maupay if Brighton plays at the Etihad.  

10. End of the Season

The run-in is where you can make big jumps in your rank. You can also end up making severe misjudgements and end up in the red. There are several reasons why:

  1. The Beach teams: These usually end up 10-15 in the table. They are not going down to the championship, nor are they going to Europe. Picking players from these teams can be a risky proposition as they have nothing to play for.
  2. The top 4 race: You must pick many players from teams during this period who will leave no stone unturned for that coveted Champions League Spot.
  3. The Relegation Fight: Choosing players who are in teams fighting to stay in the league can be rewarding. These teams sometimes pull off massive upsets during this period. Even if they are going down, key players from such teams tend to do well as they look for a move to bigger and better clubs.

If you’re a new player and want to make the most of your Fantasy Premier League experience, then these top ten tips are for you! All the best for the new season, and may your arrows be green!

Sailor by profession, writer by choice. In love with the beautiful game. I never knew a simple game could become an all-consuming obsession. 13 FPL seasons| Best Rank: 5024| 2020/21 Rank: 12685