An FPL Tutorial (Debut Season)

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My “10 Commandments” of playing FPL

Exclaimer: The following piece was a summary after I finished the 19/20 FPL season. I believe these points are still prevalent to anyone that plays.

Previously, and to the day, I have been an addicted Sun Dream Team player since 2004 (1 x top 1k & 2 x top 3k). Goodness me there was a lot of harsh lessons that I want to share for my debut FPL season.

Considering last season was an “education” – I would say finishing inside 300k was a positive and a platform to work from.

As of writing this piece, I am currently 57k.

Let Us Begin:

1. Make sure to select a playing bench

From my first draft, it was all or nothing on the first 11. I never considered rotating based on fixtures as I was naïve enough to think everyone will start in my team.

With my experience being more of picking eleven players with different fantasy football games, this was a brutal initiation that gave me a mountain to climb very early.

2. Be patient with premium assets

In the first 6 months, I must have yoyoed every week on Salah, Mane, Sterling to a point of dizziness. It wasted transfers, I took needless hits and the player I evolved to in January ‘20 is in stark contrast (I’d gone up around 600k at that point) – I stopped making sideway moves and planned efficiently around my premiums.

3. Minimise hits

I calculated making 14 hits last season – 10 of those hits in the first 6 months… the changes themselves were wasteful and mostly from the former point of switching between premiums.

4. Don’t rage WC

I rage used my first WC in GW3 which I am embarrassed about – so keen to jump on Sterling and KDB that I picked a potentially worse squad during that time.

5. No GK from a “top team”

I only really realised the power of the budget keeper in February ‘20. Save points are a thing and selling Pope (as many of us did during his run of tough FDR fixtures) was such an error of judgement as he plays for a defensive team and is a great shot stopper (similarly Henderson for SU last season).

6. Promoted team assets

Pukki was a player I watched in Norwich’s promotion in 2018/19, yet I cowered to bring him in last season. This proved a bad move, especially with his early season form. However, with the likes of Mitrovic, Bamford and Watkins being in the league, I did not hesitate to own each at different points this season.

7. Do not FH just because it’s a double

I think last season’s FH was wasted on the lockdown return GW as we didn’t get the data yet – I got 93 points but I really should’ve held as the haul opportunities would have borne more fruitful for future gameweeks. 

8. Do not rage transfer

Listen, I understand the temptation to rage change a player after a poor performance. However, I feel this “trigger finger” behaviour can be very detrimental and cause more long term affects on your team. 

Despite it being difficult, I sleep on it and if I still have the same feelings the next day – then I make the move accordingly with a much more logical mindset. 

9. Talk to the community

What has really made me climb and play smarter is talking to the FPL community – it has been most enjoyable, and the banter is also great.

10. Enjoy the game

Obvious I know, but this is ultimately what it is. I spend countless hours on videos, written pieces or just messing around with my team. However, I compartmentalise this into a “hobby” rather than a way of life. 

FPL must be put into perspective when analysing our day-to-day lives in work and family.

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