Fantasy Premier League continues to go from strength to strength with virtual managers eagerly anticipating the start of the new season in just a few weeks time.
Avid players of the ever-popular game will be busy assembling their squads ahead of gameweek one, as managers seek to build a team capable of hauling huge points and winning competitive mini-leagues.
Success in FPL requires both knowledge and good fortune, so whether you’re an experienced campaigner or a Fantasy novice, we’ve teamed up with the excellent Fantasy Football Hub to provide some essential tips and advice ahead of the new season.
10 tips to help you succeed at Fantasy Premier League in 2021/22
1. Stay up to date with the latest football news
It sounds obvious, as many of these tips may, but paying close attention to the latest news can often lead to the marginal differences that brings your side success.
Before you click confirm on your transfer for the week, make sure you’ve checked up on the player’s status with injuries and suspensions presenting selection headaches for FPL managers.
Premier League press conferences generally take place on the day before fixtures, so listen closely to real-life managers ahead of each gameweek to make sure you are up to date with who is absent ahead of the forthcoming round of fixtures.
2. Don’t pick a ‘balanced’ side
Fantasy Premier League is wholly different to real-life on-pitch success, so make sure the players you’re picking are ones who can haul those much-needed points.
The Premier League is home to some of the best players in world football, but whilst the likes of Fabinho and N’Golo Kante are world-class defensive midfielders and essential to their sides, they are not exactly the type of players who score big in FPL.
Make sure your side contains players capable of delivering regularly in the three staples of FPL – Goals, assists and clean sheets.
Set-piece takers and threats can be an invaluable way of accruing extra points and you can find up to date information on each clubs notable assets on Fantasy Football Hub’s superb FPL set-piece tracker.
3. Plan ahead! Assess upcoming fixtures when making moves
FPL may work on a game by game basis, but the very best managers are planning one or more steps ahead.
Analysing upcoming fixtures is hugely important to delivering success, with a quick scan of the fixtures providing you with a better indication of which players or teams to target for your transfers.
Managing your team proactively instead of reactively is essential over the course of a long campaign, and the Fantasy Football Hub provide a Fixture Ticker to help you assess the upcoming gameweeks, including a difficulty assessment of each side’s games.
4. Pay attention to price changes
For those new to the game, the valuations of FPL players fluctuate throughout the season, with a wealth of transfers in for a player seeing their price-tag increase and transfers out resulting in a drop.
Managers can often miss out on desired transfers due to midweek price changes and it can be wise to bring a popular player in early before their valuation changes, whilst the same can be said for players you want to transfer out.
Urge on the side of caution however, and ensure you aren’t sucked in to making transfers just because of upcoming price changes.
5. Minimise knee-jerk reactions
Your premium asset has just cost his – and your – side dearly by missing a succession of clear-cut chances, squandering opportunities you’d put a handsome wager on your nana converting.
Every player has an off day on occasion, but when it’s a proven Premier League performer it’s important to give them the benefit of the doubt and knee-jerk reactions to one-off performances can prove costly.
Shipping out a leading name after one bad performance could come back to haunt you.
6. Make your transfers later in the week
Speaking of knee-jerk reactions, there can be a tendency for FPL managers to get impatient when it comes to transfers and make their moves early in a bid to beat the bandwagon.
Whilst price changes can be frustrating when looking to squeeze the latest player hitting a purple patch into your side, early moves can often proven costly with the potential for mid-week injuries – particularly for players featuring in European competition.
7. Stats, stats and more stats
Having had your eyes caught by a certain player during the weekend’s action, it can be worth delving into the statistics to see whether the underlying numbers stack up against the eye test.
It’s almost impossible to watch every single game of every weekend, but there’s plenty of useful information around to help you with future selections ahead of upcoming gameweeks.
Using stats is the best way to decide whether a player can maintain the form that has captured your attention.
Fantasy Football Hub provide all the latest Opta data for managers to analyse and assess, with filters across a wide-range of metrics to find everything you’re looking for!
8. Ignore allegiances
Refusing to include Manchester City players in your team because you’re a die-hard United fan?
Whilst the undivided loyalty to your side is commendable, it’s certainly not going to help you climb your FPL mini-leagues if you’re avoiding selecting squad members from the Premier League’s best side.
The same can be said for players from your own team, keeping faith despite said player being hopelessly out of form is only going to lead to red arrows as you tumble down the rankings.
9. Use your chips wisely
Planning the right chip strategy can be difficult but it is essential to take a patient approach, with FPL managers handed just one of each invaluable chip to use.
Wildcard, Free Hit, Bench Boost and Triple Captain can all be huge difference-makers if used correctly, so avoid the temptation to activate the chips early if you fail to get off to a fast start.
FPL is a long, long season with twists turns and several blank and double gameweeks later in the campaign, save your chips for when you are absolutely certain it’s the right time to use and avoid hitting the proverbial panic button.
10. Don’t try and be too clever
Everyone loves a great differential don’t they? An asset overlooked by others who delivers your side major points.
The problem is, however, that high-scoring differentials are a rare as rocking horse sh*t and rarely stay as differentials for long, so don’t try and be too clever when it comes to transfers and captaincy selections.
The premium players in the game – i.e Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah, Bruno Fernandes etc – are premium for a reason – they deliver points on a consistent basis.
The safe option is more often than not the right option for the armband.