August 1, 2022
Written by: FPLijah
This is it! We are officially back, with just a handful of days left until the 2022/23 Premier League season begins, and with the Premier League kicking off, so does Fantasy Premier League (FPL).
If you’re new to the world of Fantasy Premier League, to try explain it to you in its most simplistic form, it’s essentially like you’ve been living in darkness and have just discovered fire and light for the first time. It is a game that makes you appreciate football, the Premier League, and every single player amongst the 20 teams (and not just the team you support) so much more. It brings people together from across the world with a common interest and allows for casual chat and banter, especially when you’re beating your mates, work colleagues, and family. This season promises to be the biggest season yet, with the highest number of FPL managers expected, surpassing last season’s record of more than 9.1 million managers.
I will be your dedicated writer and go-to account for all things Fantasy Premier League, taking you through the highs and lows of the roller coaster that is FPL and providing topics for both beginners and seasoned FPL managers. Any dedicated FPL account can shove content and their opinions down your throat, regardless of whether they’re a noob or not, but I want you to take comfort in the fact that you will be getting advice from me, who has been a touch consistent with regards to overall rank and winning mini-leagues, year in, year out. My name is Elijah, and I am also known by my dedicated FPL account name, FPLijah (you will also find me on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit). This will be my 7th season playing this beautiful game.
FPLijah’s FPL Overall History:
2016/17 – 28k (Top 0.62%)
2017/18 – 7k (Top 0.13%)
2018/19 – 86k (Top 1.36%)
2019/20 – 58k (Top 0.76%)
2020/21 – 7k (Top 0.08%) – Highest rank was 550th during this season
2021/22 – 7k (Top 0.07%) – Highest rank was 1.2k during this season with 4 gameweeks to go
In summary, my philosophy when it comes to playing FPL, apart from having fun, is to go with my gut despite what stats may often say, use the eye test, and be at Rank #1 come to the end of the 38 Gameweek Season. Winning FPL hasn’t happened yet, but maybe this is the year!
Now that you’re a little familiar with me let’s get into the Beginner’s Guide to FPL.
Team Selection and Formation
If you have not already set up your account, the first thing that you will need to do is register on fantasy.premierleague.com. Thereafter you can use the browser or download the Official FPL app on your phone (I tend to use the browser, even on my phone, as there have been quite a few reported bugs on the app in previous seasons, where transfers and captaincy did not save and so on, but maybe that has been improved).
Once you’re all set up, you will then need to select a squad of 15 players with a budget of £100m, consisting of:
2 Goalkeepers5 Defenders5 Midfielders3 Forwards
Your other limitation is that you’re only allowed to select a maximum of 3 players per Premier League Team.
Once you select your 15-man squad, keep in mind that you will be starting with 11 players, and you will have 4 on the bench (we will get to substitutions and bench order later in the article). The next thing you may ask yourself is what to do with regard to formation. Well, any formation is allowed in your starting XI, but there are minimum requirements that must be kept at all times:
1 Goalkeeper3 Defenders2 Midfielders1 Forward
There are so many formations available to you, but typically when we chat formation in the world of football and FPL, we refer to it without mention of the goalkeeper as you absolutely need a goalkeeper. In a formation, we begin with the defense, midfield, and then your forwards. Typical formations are:
4-4-2 (value and likely my formation heading into GW1 this season)3-4-3 (the go-to formation in previous seasons)4-3-3 (good value, assuming 3 strikers are firing)5-4-1 (value, but I generally avoid this formation – Topic for another day)3-5-2 (generally, my absolute favorite formation)
Now, let’s move on to Captaincy.
Captaincy and Vice Captaincy
After you’ve picked your starting XI for the Gameweek, as well as your benched players, then you have to pick a Captain and Vice Captain. Picking a captain does not mean picking the player you like the most, nor the player you feel is a leader on the pitch, but it’s actually selecting a player that you feel will score the most points on your team. Your selected captain will then get his points doubled. Sometimes picking the captain feels like betting, as you never know how a selected player will perform.
In the event that your captain does not play a single second of football for a given gameweek, the player that you have selected as your vice captain will then become your captain, with the first player from your bench auto-subbing in, as long as the minimum formation requirement rules have been adhered to (Pro Tip: Generally, do not captain and vice captain a player from the same team, in the event that a match gets postponed due to unforeseen circumstances, like Covid or weather, etc.)
Since we’re chatting about substitutions/auto-subs, let’s dive into that.
Substitutions and Bench Order
In the event that any player from your starting XI does not play a single second of football in the Gameweek (due to injury, rotation, covid, match postponements, etc.), that player will be substituted with the first player on your bench, provided the minimum formation requirements are met (as stated earlier in the article). I would like to stress that BENCH ORDER MATTERS!
An example of formation being kept due to auto-subs:
You’ve gone with 3 defenders at the back (say, Trent, Cancelo, and James), but one of them did not play a single second of football (James), but your 1st sub on your bench is a forward (let’s say that forward even scored a goal, and his name is Archer). Archer will not be substituted in, as you didn’t keep the minimum formation of 3 defenders. Say you had a defender who was 2nd on the bench (Dalot) but got himself 1 point, then Dalot will auto-sub in for the missing James, despite him not being your first sub.
Before the first deadline, I’m sure you’ve made a ton of transfers as you continue to tinker and try to find that perfect squad with unlimited transfers, but once the Gameweek 1 deadline comes, you only get 1 free transfer per gameweek. If you feel like your team is still quite perfect, well, then you don’t have to make a transfer and will indeed save that transfer. A limitation when it comes to transfers is that you’re only allowed to have a maximum of 2 free transfers saved, so if you decide not to make a transfer for a further gameweek, you essentially would lose out on 1 transfer. Every additional transfer that you make beyond your free transfer/s will be at the expense of four points hit (-4 points on your overall points total).
ADVANCED FPL HACK: Some of you may have four players from one team, and you’re not flagged and may be wondering why that is and how you’re able to have this when the game explicitly states that you cannot have more than three players from one team. Well, if you currently had three players from one team (let’s use Chelsea as an example – James, Chilwell, and Mount), and you also had Sterling in your draft whilst he was still a Manchester City player. Sterling then transferred to Chelsea, making him a 4th player from one team. The moment you transfer out any of your four Chelsea players whilst you’re tinkering, you won’t be able to get a 4th Chelsea player, but if you keep your four players as is, it is completely allowed heading into the first gameweek, as you had Sterling before he moved. The downside to this is that after the Gameweek 1 deadline, whenever you want to make any transfer, the game will tell you to remove a Chelsea player, and you won’t have the flexibility to make a different transfer (unless, of course, you take a 4 point hit).
Now that we’ve gone through some of the basics involved with FPL, how on earth do your players actually get points?
There are various ways for your players to get you points in FPL. Some ways of getting points are the same regardless of the player’s position, which is summarized in the table below.
ALL PLAYERSPlayed < 60 mins1Played > 60 mins (excl injury time)2FPL Assist3Bonus Points1-3Yellow Card-1Red Card-3Own Goal-2Penalty Miss-2
An FPL assist works a little different from just the regular assist that you may be accustomed to. Identifying an FPL assist is as follows:
Final pass/cross before a goal is scoredThe player takes a shot at goal, and the keeper saves it, and it rebounds into play, and the immediate player thereafter scoresThe player takes a shot at goal, and it hits the post/crossbar, and it rebounds into play, and the immediate player thereafter scoresWinning a penalty that is converted (Note: If the player wins the penalty and also scores the penalty, that player will only receive points for scoring the goal and not get the assist points as well)Attempted shot/cross/pass, but hits the opposing player and goes in as an own goal
Bonus points are awarded to the three best players in the game according to the Bonus Points System implemented by FPL (as serious FPL players, we don’t often agree with who these points are awarded at the end of the game hence we still ask for transparency with regards to this).
No FPL manager wants their player to receive a red card, but in the event that your goalkeeper or defender gets a red card and gets -3 points, the punishment does not just end there. Negative points for goals conceded in their absence will still apply.
The Tables listed below will show the difference in how points are awarded based on your FPL player position:
GOALKEEPERGoal Scored6Cleansheet4Every 3 Saves Made1Penalty Save5Every 2 Goals Conceded-1
DEFENDERGoal Scored6Cleansheet4Every 2 Goals Conceded-1
To spice things up, making FPL more fun, as well as introducing a further element of strategy, Fantasy Premier League has added four Chips for us throughout the season (well, technically five chips, but we’ll discuss that soon).
Allows for you to make unlimited transfers and change your entire squad without incurring any deduction in pointsYou get 2 Wildcards per season (1 is to be used by the GW16 deadline, Saturday 12th of November 2022). If the first Wildcard is not used by the GW16 deadline, you will, unfortunately, lose that chipAny saved free transfers before using the chip will be lost. You will be back to the usual 1 free transfer the following Gameweek
The Bench Boost allows for you to get points from all 15 players from your squad for a gameweek, and not just your starting XI1 Bench Boost per season
Your selected captain will get triple his points instead of the usual double1 Triple Captain per season
Similar to the Wildcard, the Free Hit allows for you to make unlimited transfers and change your entire squad without incurring any deduction in points, but FOR 1 GAMEWEEK ONLY. Your squad will return to what it was before using the Free Hit chip in the following gameweek; after it was used1 Free Hit per seasonAny saved free transfers before using the chip will be lost. You will be back to the usual 1 free transfer the following Gameweek
NOTE: ONLY 1 CHIP CAN BE USED PER GAMEWEEK
Essentially a 5th chip has been added this season due to the curveball that is the World Cup, where it’s been confirmed that we will get unlimited free transfers during the World Cup, when there is no FPL (between GW16 and GW17). This basically means that we will be doing exactly what we’re doing now ahead of GW1 and being able to use a chip immediately in the same Gameweek, which isn’t allowed for the other available chips.
HAVE FUN! The most important thing about why I play this game is to just have fun. If you feel constantly upset or rage a bit too often when things don’t go your way, then take a step back from the game/social media regarding FPL (depending on which 1 upsets you).Beating your mates is definitely a massive perk for those bragging rights and banter.FPL is HUGE and could possibly reach 10 million managers this season, which allows for casual talk amongst football enthusiasts and friends all over the world, so get involved.If you’re a serious player (like me), the aim should be to finish at RANK #1, so go with your gut. If we all just followed the heard, we’d never win FPL.Lastly, play your own game. There is no fun in just copying another person’s team (either from YouTube or Twitter etc. Nothing beats the feeling of your differential or your captain absolutely smashing it and it was completely your decision (even more so if you were 50-50 on that call).This article will also be converted into a video, with some pretty decent graphics and so on, on my YouTube channel in the next day or so.If you have any questions regarding your team or for more information regarding all things Fantasy Premier League, as well as maximum interaction, follow/subscribe to FPLijah on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit.
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