My name is Shivaan Shah, and I have been playing Fantasy Premier League for the past five seasons. In that span, I have finished in the top 1% of FPL managers in each of the past five years, including three finishes in the top 50k and the best rank of 13,322 in 20/21.
FPL has become more than just a game for me in these past five years, it’s more of an addiction, and it probably causes more arguments and sleepless nights than it should. My aim for this season is to break into the elusive club of top 10k managers, a feat which is getting increasingly difficult over the years with the massive influx of new knowledgeable managers and the wide range of publicly available football metrics and statistics such as expected goals. At least 10 million managers will play FPL this season, almost double the amount when I first started playing seriously in 2017/18.
While playing FPL is more of an art than a science, there are a set of rules and guidelines most managers should follow to help them earn more points and get a better rank.
Here are seven tips you should follow to get a good rank in FPL.
1. Don’t chase points
Arguably the easiest trap FPL managers fall into is by chasing points and making knee-jerk decisions to get a player in who has just scored a massive haul. The number of points already scored by an FPL player isn’t the most reliable metric we can use when predicting future points scored. Don’t chase the players that have done well in the past. Instead, look for players and opportunities who will do well in the future.
2. Use statistics generously (especially Expected Goals)
If someone would ask me what’s the number one secret to a good FPL rank, my answer would be to use stats and data. The key, though, is to know which data and metrics to use to cut through the noise. As I mentioned earlier, the best metric to predict future points isn’t the number of points scored. Instead, xG (Expected Goals) stats are a more accurate metric that correlates toward FPL points over the long term. I have previously explained xG in depth here, and the stats I look at is the number of xG created or conceded by teams of players when looking at who to bring in or transfer out.
3. Play the fixtures
Another excellent tool to identify which player is likely to do well in the future is the fixtures. If a player has easier fixtures against bottom-half opposition, he is more likely to do well than those that face the top teams.
4. Delay your transfers till the end of the week
Injuries, mid-week games, and illnesses can affect players between gameweeks in Fantasy Premier League, so the best move might be to wait till as close to the deadline as possible to make your transfers. This ensures you have as much information as possible before making a decision.
5. Save your chips
You have two wildcards in FPL along with three special chips – triple captain, bench boost, and a free hit. My mantra is to always delay using them till the second half of the season when double gameweeks come into the fray, which increases the possible points benefit from playing these chips.
6. Avoid taking points hits for making extra transfers
Different FPL managers have varying risk profiles, with some willing to take more chances to gain a higher reward. However, statistically, taking a -4 for doing an extra transfer is usually never worth it. I try and minimize the number of hits I take throughout the entire season unless the player is unavailable or not expected to start next week. It’s so hard to gain points in FPL, why waste some of it on making an additional transfer if I can avoid it with some planning.
7. Pick the best captain each week
In FPL, your captain gets double points, making it the biggest trump card you have each week to get a higher score. I try and have the best possible captain each week in fantasy premier league in my team, with a select few premium players usually the best bet to captain each week given their pedigree and form.
For example, this season, Mohamed Salah, Erling Haaland or Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son will be the best captaincy choice every week, and I will make sure at least two of those players are in my team throughout the season.
Good luck with the season ahead!
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