FPL

3 months ago

How to play Fantasy Premier League

The purpose of this ultimate guide is to help beginners find out how to play Fantasy Premier League on the official website of the English Premier League (FPL). We will walk you through the process of team creation, explain how to buy and sell players and demonstrate what you have to do to enjoy playing it with friends.

Millions of football fans around the globe play Fantasy Premier League (FPL). It is absolutely free to play with each Manager given an initial budget of £100 mln. to buy 15 Premier League players at the beginning of each football season. Players you select will receive points based on their performance in the real games for their Premier League clubs. Each player is worth a specific amount of virtual budget money. Once you create a team without exceeding the budget, you are ready to compete with millions of other players.

What can be better than watching a Premier League match where your fantasy assets score a hat-trick for multiple points? That is the driving force behind this fantasy game's appeal — careful planning and then seeing the real action unfold and propel your fantasy team up the ranks. 

 

How to play Fantasy Premier League?

Fantasy Premier League registration page

To start playing Fantasy Premier League, go to the website of the game and click the "Register" button. Fill in your details, confirm your email address, and you are ready to start! The game is absolutely free, which is a huge boon.

First and foremost: choose 2 goalkeepers, 5 defenders, 5 midfielders, and 3 forwards without exceeding the 100 mln. budget.

You roughly have 6.67 million pounds on average per player. For example, Mohamed Salah (£12.5 mln) was the most expensive player at the start of the 2019/20 season, so it is obvious that you do not have the opportunity to pick all the most expensive players in the League for your team. There are other restrictions as well.

You can only select a maximum of three players per club. 

100 million pounds seems like a lot, but premium players will cost a pretty penny. The better the players, the more they will cost you. Deciding on who you will spending your budget at the start of the season is extremely exciting. Will you go for the best of the best and pluck the remaining holes with no-names? Or would you rather build a more balanced team?  

Each player has his own individual price based on his FPL potential and previous season's performance. A high-profile player, such as Harry Kane, will cost you much more than a striker from newly promoted clubs. Players' prices will change over the course of the season, and their cost will increase or decrease depending on their performance and popularity. Popularity is the so-called ownership percentage — the number of users owning the player in their fantasy teams. You should remain vigilant and keep an eye on these transfer values to be able to afford to transfer the player in before he becomes too expensive (more on that later).

To keep the balance in your team,

it's best to divide your budget evenly across four different positions: goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards.

Ideally, you need no more than two premium assets per position, and it would be nice to fill your team with cheaper assets that are important for the so-called small clubs.

By doing so, you can reap the benefits. Your players will suffer injuries, suspensions, and loss of form. If you take steps to choose a more balanced team in terms of cost, it will be easier for you to plug any holes. On the other hand, it is deemed unwise to have many expensive players sitting on the bench not contributing on a weekly basis just waiting for an injury to one of your first-team regulars.

Ideally, you should aim for a situation where a single transfer will be sufficient to solve any problems you may encounter. By investing heavily in one position of the team, you may struggle in case you need to strengthen other positions in your squad without using additional transfers.

Once you have created your team, you need to give it a name. For many players, it is a game in itself as they are trying to come up with creative puns usually involving EPL players' names. Get creative, avoid anything stingy, and you are ready to go.

You are able to change your team's name throughout the season, so don't panic too much if you can't come up with a decent one straight away.

 

FPL Transfers & Team Management

Fantasy Premier League team page

Playing Fantasy Premier League is a season-long commitment, and just like the real football season, it lasts for 38 rounds.

Managing your team and making transfers is what makes you a great fantasy manager.

There is a one-hour deadline before the start of the first match in the round after which you can not make changes for the upcoming round.

You do not have to wait for the deadline and can make changes in your team once the previous deadline had passed. Be aware, the FPL site is usually unavailable for the first hour after the deadline. Therefore, you have a full week to buy and sell players without procrastinating all the way to the deadline. 

Let's take a closer look at a weekly checklist of a successful manager.

1. Check if any of your players are injured or banned. Move these players to the bench.

2. If a player is unavailable for an extended period of time, the best solution is to get rid of this player altogether. Be ruthless.

3. Decide whom to field in the starting lineup this round based on a player's scoring potential this week. In other words, start those players who, in your opinion, have the ability to score the maximum number of points.

Banned and injured players are always highlighted in a different color to make your managerial job easier. Some players, based on known information from press-conferenced and post-match reports, may be questionable to starts the next match. When you click the yellow notification icon, you will be informed of that player's probability to start. This info may change throughout the week, keep your ears pricked. 

 

Transfers

If after tinkering with your starting eleven, you realize the squad is too weak, it is time to make transfers. Well, on FPL, you are allowed to make as many transfers as you want, week in and week out. However, there is a catch.

Only one transfer per week is given for free, with each additional change deducting four points from your total score.

The more transfers you make during the game week, the more points you lose. It is generally not advised to lose points making 'paid' transfers unless your team is hit hard by injuries or the players you have face tough matchups for the foreseeable future.  

If you decide not to use your free transfer during a game week, it will be moved to the next one. Thus, before the next game week deadline, you are able to utilize two free transfers without the -4 point penalty. Mind you, you can only have a maximum of two free transfers available per game week. They do not stack higher than that and you will have wasted a transfer it you don't use one of your two available free transfers hoping to get the third one.

If you find yourself making too many paid transfers on a weekly basis, you are probably not managing your team properly. That is why it is strongly recommended to plan for the future, making sure your team is competitive for the next few game weeks. Keep that in mind when making transfers. 

 

Formation and team management

Making changes to your team is absolutely free and doesn't incur any penalties. You can change the formation, move players around, but as soon as you remove a player from your team and buy a new one, it counts as a transfer.

The formation depends completely on a players' preference. You may choose to deploy your troops in these formations: 4-4-2, 4-5-1, 4-3-3, 3-5-2, 5-3-2, 5-4-1 and 5-2-3. One of your two goalkeepers always stays on the bench while the other starts. Most seasons, there is a certain 'meta' formation. used by most managers, with 3-4-3 often being the preferred one in the past couple of years. 

You should choose a Captain and a Vice-Captain for your team every week. It is one of the most important choices you make playing the game because the captain gets double points for the game week. This is usually one of your most expensive players (like Sergio Aguero) unless he has exceptionally difficult matches against one of the best teams in the league. Failing to pick a good captain will see your team fall down the ranks significantly. The Vice-captain is used if your captain does not play in the given match at all.

You must also decide on the order of players on your bench. This is important because players are subbed on in a certain order if one of your first team players doesn't feature in a game. Always make sure your best bench player is in substitute slot #1.

Every week you need to keep your team in check. The most devoted browse match reports and different stats, watch games and highlights tirelessly planning their strategies and looking for hidden gems for their teams. More casual players do not need to spend more than 5 minutes in order to make the necessary changes and select a captain. 

It is up to you how seriously you take the game and how deep you want your team analysis to get.

 

Fantasy Premier League Scoring System

Fantasy Premier League basic points scoring

Transfers made, captain selected, bench in order, time to watch some real games of football! Now it is all about cheering for ýour' players!

The players you select for you fantasy team earn you points when they play in real-life matches. Mohamed Salah will score FPL points for your team every time he scores for Liverpool.

Fantasy Premier League players receive points for the following:

 

All Players

Event Points
Up to 59 minutes for the game 1
Minimum 60 minutes of play 2
Yellow Card -1
Red Card -3
Own Goal -2
Assist 3
Missed Penalty -2
Bonus Points 1 to 3

Points vary depending on the position

Event Pts GK Pts DEF Pts MID Pts FOR
Goal Scored 6 6 5 4
Clean Sheet 4 4 1 0
Every 2 Goals Conceded -1 -1 0 0
Saved Penalty 5 0 0 0
Every 3 Shots Stopped 1 0 0 0

 

Clean sheets

A clean sheet is awarded for not conceding a goal while on the field and playing for at least 60 minutes (excluding stoppage time).

If a player was substituted after the 59th minute but before a goal was conceded, this will not affect his clean sheet bonus.

Red cards

If a player receives a red card, he will continue to be penalized for goals conceded by his team.

Red card deductions include any points deducted for yellow cards.Two yellow cards resulting in a red card will total to -3 points.

Assists

Assists are awarded to the player on the goalscoring team who makes the last pass before the goal is scored. An assist is awarded regardless of whether the pass was intentional (that it actually created a chance) or unintentional (unintentional touch or shot created a chance).

If an opposing player touches the ball after the final pass before the goal is scored, significantly altering the flight of the ball, then an assist is not awarded. If a touch by one of the opposing players is followed by a defensive error by another player, the assist will not be awarded. If the goalkeeper loses and then regains possession of the ball, an assist is not awarded.

Rebounds

If a goal kick is blocked by an opposing player, saved by the goalkeeper, or hits the post, and the goal is scored from a rebound, an assist is awarded.

Own goals

If a player shoots or passes the ball and forces an opponent to put the ball in their own net, he is awarded an assist.

Penalties and free kicks

In case of a penalty or free-kick, the player who earned the penalty or free-kick gets an assist if the goal is scored directly. If the player earning the penalty or a free-kick scores it himself, the assist is not given.

Some key points for making most of the scoring:

  • Goalkeepers and defenders rely heavily on clean sheets. If they concede even a single goal, the point returns are minimal. A clean sheet for a defender or goalkeeper is roughly equal to scoring a goal for an attacker.
  • The best midfielders usually get their points via assists and bonuses. They don't score as often as forwards, with a few notable exceptions which must end up in every team, like Salah, Mane, Sterling, to name a few. Midfielders earn 1 point for a clean sheet, but this does not compensate for not scoring on a regular basis.

 

Bonus points

Bonus points are awarded to 3 best players in the match. They are usually awarded to the players who have a productive game scoring and assisting based on the number of different advanced underlying data which we will not speak about due to the beginner's nature of the article. In a low-scoring match, defenders or even goalkeepers tend to get them.

These points are distributed after the match in accordance with the BPS (bonus points system). BPS uses various data that Opta (sports statistics provider) provides, and it reflects all actions that occur on the field. All this happens to get an objective performance score for each player. 

It goes without saying that you only get points for the players selected in your starting XI. Players on the bench will only get points if your starting player fails to feature at all. Even if your starting player is subbed on for one minute during injury time, the sub is not made. Sometimes these situations can be very annoying if your player on the bench scores a lot of points and you fall victim to a late sub earning you a meager 1 point.

 

Captaincy reminder

  • From your starting 11 you nominate a captain and a vice-captain. Your captain's score will be doubled.
  • If your captain plays 0 minutes in the Gameweek, the vice-captain gets the armband and doubles his points earned.
  • If both captain and vice-captain play 0 minutes in a Gameweek, then no player's score is doubled.

 

Double game weeks

How to play Fantasy Premier League when league schedules become affected by cup ties? Situations, when teams play more than one game during a single game week, are referred to as 'double game weeks'. 

Any player you have from a team playing twice will earn two sets of points, assuming the player plays in both matches.

Any team captain who plays in two matches will also receive double points for each match in which he plays.

If a player plays for a few minutes in any of the scheduled matches during the game week, they cannot qualify for an automatic replacement by a player from your bench.

The same rule applies to captains. If your captain only plays in one of the two matches, he will not be replaced as captain in a match in which he does not play.

If a team does not have a fixed place in the game week, then all the players you have from that team will score 0 points for that game week. Players will play twice during the next game week when the match is rescheduled.

Points are awarded only to teams that have players selected in their team during the game week when the game is actually played, regardless of whether they were selected for the initial match.

 

Player Prices

Fantasy Premier League price changes example

Player prices change during the season depending on the popularity of the player in the transfer market. Player prices do not change until the season starts.

When you play Fantasy Premier League, player prices will change depending on the number of transfers made involving the player. A player can go up in price if they have received a large influx of transfers, and vice versa. Players' prices will go down if they are being transferred out a lot.

This might seem like a great way to make some quick cash and increase your team budget. Well, yes, but not in the way you initially expected.

Let's say you bought a player for 6.0 mln. and the price went up to 6.1 mln. If you sold him, you would get $ 6.0 million. What? Let me explain.

The player's price had to increase by at least 0.2 mln. for you to make any profit when selling. If you buy a player for 10.0 m and sell it for 10.4 m, you get 10.2 mln.

Another key element of the transfer shenanigans is blocking player prices. This is done when a player is red-flagged and marked as unavailable. As soon as his status switches from unavailable back to available, his price is blocked for a week.

This is done to ensure that the player's price does not fluctuate too much. If a big name becomes available, it helps prevent a massive increase in price when everyone begins loading up on him again.

Team value can become important as the season unfold, as these 0.1 m can be crucial to ensure that you can make the perfect transfer between deadlines.

Understanding when to sell a player to nail a profit and use it to strengthen the squad and when to sell not to lose value is utterly important. 

 

Wildcard and Chips

There are several special tools available for each Manager throughout the season playing Fantasy Premier League. They are called chips and they are visible under your team on My team page. There you will see three PLAY buttons: bench boost, free hit, and triple captain. Each of the chips can only be used once during the whole season. You can also use only one of the chips during a game week.

  • Bench Boost totals all the points of your 15 players (not only the starting XI) in a particular game week. This chip should be used when your players on the bench have favorable fixtures. If you have injured/suspended players on the bench or they face very difficult opponents, it is better not to use the chip.
  • Free Hit is an alternative to Wildcard (more on that later). A free hit allows you to change all players without penalty for one round. After using Free Hit, your team will return to the same state as before the chip was used. This option should be used in case your squad is nursing many small injuries or many players are questionable to start.
  • Triple captain will give triple points to your captain instead of the usual double. If your captain gets 10 points, it is doubled to become 20 in a normal match, but with a triple captain, you get 30 points. This should be used when your best players are playing one of the easiest home games of the season or during a double game week.

Then you have a Wildcard that can be activated on the "Transfers" page. There is one wildcard for the autumn period (game week 1-19) and one for the spring period (game week 19-38). The wildcard allows you to make unlimited transfers without any point deductions. It is usually used after 4-5 rounds by players who feel that they had made mistakes in the first few game weeks and would like to freshen up their squads. A wildcard can also be used if you get a lot of injuries and suspensions in your team.

In the second part of the season, it is sensible to keep your Wildcard until the final game weeks, where some teams play two matches during a single game week due to changes in the league schedule. It will allow you to draft a strong team with many players playing twice in a single week netting you more points.

Remember, only one chip can be active in a single game week. For example, it is not possible to make transfers using your Wildcard chip and subsequently use your Bench Boost chip in the same game week.

 

Leagues

Despite all the details we have provided you with, the answer as to how to play Fantasy Premier League is actually fairly simple. All you have to do is select 15 Premier League players and see how they perform, while you cheer them on week in and week out. The most interesting thing is that anyone can beat anyone in FPL! Even if you are a complete beginner, you may get lucky and select some players that many others had overlooked. 

The gameplay is fairly straightforward, the website is easy to navigate, the mobile app is top-notch. These are some of the reasons why FPL is so popular with over 7 million managers competing in the EPL season of 19\20 . 

This game is easy to play, but you will see how difficult it is to be on top after a whole season. The world is full of fantasy enthusiasts who spend endless hours analyzing players. It is tough to get into the top 100k players, but competing with your mates in mini-leagues (a personal league that may be limited to any number of players, as little as only 2) is what many people enjoy more than vying for the world supremacy. 

You may want to play against your friends or against other managers in your country, Go to "Leagues" tab to join a League or create your own.

"Status" tab allows you to see how other FPL managers are doing. This page also shows the best teams in the game and the latest injuries and suspensions.

 

The Cup

Fantasy Cup is a very exciting competition that starts in Gameweek 17. The top half teams of Gameweek 16 enter the first round. 

Fantasy Premier League Cup

How it works

Each qualifying team will be randomly drawn against another in the first round. Fantasy Cup is an H2h competition, which means in order for you to advance, you have to outscore your opponent in the respective round. If not, you get knocked out. The winner (the team with the highest Gameweek score minus any transfer points), will progress to the second round and another random draw. This process continues until the final Gameweek when the two remaining teams face each other in the cup final.

If a cup match is drawn, then the following tie-breaks will be applied until a winner is found:

1. Most goals scored in the Gameweek

2. Fewest goals conceded in the Gameweek

3. Virtual coin toss

 

The Fantasy Premier League is an exciting way for any football fan to enjoy the games even more. Fleshed out and very new-user friendly, the website makes your managerial duties easy to handle. Mini-leagues add the excitement of competing with your mates and some of the public leagues offer prizes for top finishers. A mobile app allows you to manage your team on the go if short on time. With the number of participants growing every year, it is criminal for you not to try it if you follow English Football. After all, 7 million players can't be wrong, can they?

CRyl7
Author

CRyl7

Sports fan and fantasy sports fanatic. Loves statistics and tries to find the right way of applying it in fantasy sports. Winner of Fanteam Premier League Experience Tournament in 2018.