2 years ago

Bench Boost FPL: Rules & Strategy [Full Guide]

Fantasy football bench boost is considered one of the strongest chips in FPL. Every point matters when playing Fantasy Premier League, and, if played at the right moment, this chip becomes a powerful tool in any fantasy manager's arsenal. Today we will explain what Bench Boost is and how it can help you climb the global rankings or take down your mini-league. 


What is Fantasy Premier League Bench Boost?

The Fantasy Premier League Bench Boost chip allows you to get all your 15 players earning points for your fantasy team in a selected game week. Typically, only your starting XI players generate fantasy points for your FPL team and any points earned by your bench players are not taken into account when calculating your total score for the game week. The Bench Boost chip changed that, permitting those players from the bench to contribute alongside your starters just once per season. The score of all 4 players on your bench will be added to your team’s total score when you play Bench Boost. 

You have to carefully choose the best moment and get your team in shape to maximize the effects of this powerful FPL chip. In this guide, I will share some tips on how to make the best use of this chip, what steps you need to take prior to activating it, and when the most opportune time to take action is.

Read more: Big DOs for FPL Season


How to Activate Fantasy Football Bench Boost

The process is rather simple, but I thought I had to mention this technicality nonetheless. To activate the chip, all you need to do is go to My Team tab and click Play Bench Boost. Yes, it’s that easy.

Bench Boost FPL, Activation Button

The Bench Boost button is found below My Team screen on FPL’s official site. In the mobile app, it can be found above the team selection screen.

You may cancel Bench Boost anytime before the Gameweek deadline

Things to Do Before Activating Bench Boost in FPL

The only thing that is worse than wasting your wildcard is wasting your Bench Boost in FPL. Read this carefully to maximize your fantasy returns from this powerful tool. 

First of all, you have to make sure you have enough quality on your bench when considering playing the chip. At the very least, you need all your 4 bench players to be healthy, in their respective team’s starting XI’s, and free of suspension or injuries. 

This can be problematic, as most managers try to fill out their benches with cheap assets. Typically, this is done in order to maximize point returns from the better players that make up the starting XI of a fantasy team. When a cheap bench player gets injured or suspended, rarely will a fantasy manager look to transfer him out as he is not earning points for the team on the bench anyways. Usually, there are more pressing needs in terms of transfers, and bench players are often overlooked when it comes to swapping players around. Sometimes a fantasy manager might find himself in a situation when 2 or 3 of his bench players are unavailable, but his starting XI is tearing the fantasy world apart. If such is the case, playing Bench Boost will do you no good. 

Only when you are happy with your starting XI (if it is even possible in the ever-changing world of fantasy football), should you proceed to swap out your injured, suspended, or those who have lost their starting role and are just dead weight on your bench.  

Bench Boost FPL, Check-List

To sum up, before even considering playing FPL Bench Boost, you have to make sure all your bench players are available for the coming game week and are likely to feature from the get-go. It goes without saying, that every player in your starting XI should be up and running as well.

Ideally, you also want your substitues playing in favorable fixtures when you activate your bench boost

Sounds a bit far fetched? Well, there is a way to make it happen as I will explain below. 


Best Times to Use Bench Boost

The veterans of the game often go with the Wildcard + Bench Boost the following week combo. Let me highlight the advantages of this strategy. But before we do, an important note:

You may only have 1 chip active during a gameweek on FPL

That means that you may not activate your Wildcard and Bench Boost in the same game week. The same goes for Free Hit + Bench Boost or any other FPL chip combination.

Wildcarding with Bench Boosting the following week in mind allows you to refresh your team without neglecting your substitutes. You still shouldn’t overinvest in your bench players, as they will be confined to the bench after being in the limelight for the Bench Boost gameweek anyways. What you want here is to find and transfer in guaranteed starters priced in the 4.0-5.0 mln. range with favorable fixtures the following week. Don’t worry about the rest of their games no matter how difficult they might be. All you need from these lads is one favorable game (and, hopefully, a substantial fantasy return) the week after your Wildcard. 

The best managers always try to time the Wildcard+Bench Boost combo so that the bench boost is activated during a Double Gameweek

The logic behind this is rather simple. Even if your bench players do not yield any fantasy returns apart from the 2 points for playing 60+ minutes, they will still contribute 16 points (4 players x 2 points x 2 games played) to your cause. So whatever you do, make sure you single out and transfer these cheap guaranteed starters before you play your Bench Boost. 

The second part of the EPL season (28+ game week) is typically when Double Gameweeks start to emerge due to teams playing in various Cup competitions. That is why I strongly recommend saving your second Wildcard and your Bench Boost chip till this time. 


Contingency Plan

If your team was in shambles sometime during the course of the season, and you had to activate your Wildcard before going into the Double Gameweek madness, you have two options. 

The first one is to time and play your Bench Boost when all of your subs are available, have favorable fixtures, and just hope for the best. While the math suggests that you are more likely to get more points with your bench players featuring twice during a game week, it is not always the case. Bigger (longer, in our case) is not always better, and it's favorable fixtures that do the trick at times. Sometime your bench players would yield substantial fantasy returns playing just once, but against weak opponents.

The second option is to slowly build your team for Double Gameweek in mind using free transfers, trying to squeeze maximum value out of the chip. The problem with that approach is that rarely does a fantasy manager have enough free transfers to really improve his bench as I have highlighted earlier. You might end up with Bench Boost intact, but no decent bench when the Double Gameweek comes knocking at your door. 


FPL Bench Boost Tips

  • Your bench players should be injury and suspension free when activating Bench Boost
  • Your bench players should be 100% starters when activating Bench Boost
  • Wildcard + Bench Boost combo is often the best strategy to maximize point returns 
  • Do not overinvest in your bench just for Bench Boost’s sake
  • Use Bench Boost during a Double Game week for increased value

We hope this article has been helpful and you do have a better understanding of how the chip works. Feel free to check out other helpful FPL guides here to elevate your game further. Good luck!

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Alexey Bobrov

Alexey Bobrov

Alexey, also known as KJIIOIIIKA, has been playing daily fantasy football since 2015 on various European sites. Scratches his fantasy itch on FanTeam, where he has a net profit of €6000+ with more than 2500 tournaments played and a 30%+ ROI. FanTeam's 2018 World Championship of Fantasy Football finalist. As Head of Content at DraftGym, his mission is to help our young European fantasy community grow. A proud father of two, plays ice-hockey at the regional level, loves board games.