An FPL Tutorial (Debut Season)
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.