The Fantasy Premier League 2020/21 season is all set to kick off. Here we touch upon all important things to know before kickstarting the new FPL season.
Welcome to the world of Fantasy Premier League!
The FPL family will grow to 8 million by the start of the next season. So, you would have imagined the amount of ‘obsession-craze-mania-passion’ that goes into this game.
This article is basically about how the game is played; what are the rules and how you can have fun even though the game will run for 10 months
If you are a beginner, this article is tailor made for you. And even if you have played a couple of seasons then it’s a revision, no harm in going over basics again, right?
How to play Fantasy Premier League?
Your squad will comprise of a total of 15 player, of which 11 would play for your team on a weekly basis. The remaining 4 players will be on your bench and will be used only if any of your starting XI aren’t playing.
Based on the scoring system (explained below in the article), points are allocated to all PL players and points tally is calculated for your team on a weekly basis. Sounds simple? Let’s dive into details:
FPL Squad Management:
You need to select a squad of 15 players, which consists of:
Each player is assigned a price tag based on their previous performances. You cannot exceed Squad value of $100M.
Just to give you a better perspective, the costliest player of last season-Salah had a price of $12.5M and the cheapest player of the season (who cares who he is! Actually you might start caring about them in future!) had a price of $4M.
You cannot select more than 3 players from the same team. So, stop dreaming about filling out your squad with your favorite club players!
From your chosen 15-man squad, you need to choose 11 players which will play as your starting team for the upcoming gameweek. (What’s a GW? The entire season will be divided into 38 gameweeks and you need to choose your starting XI before each gameweek).
Players are divided into four categories: Goalkeeper, Defender, Midfielder, Forward. The minimum requirement for each category is:
So to save you the headache of which formations are possible, here is the list:
5-4-1, 5-3-2, 5-2-3, 4-5-1, 4-4-2, 4-3-3, 3-5-2, 3-4-3
After selecting your staring XI, you need to choose the order in which remaining players sit on the bench. Yes, it’s important unlike the actual game!
Since goalkeeper position has a solo backup, let’s talk about remaining 3 players. Let’s assume one of your first 11 players doesn’t feature for even a minute in the actual match. In that scenario, the first bench player will get substituted into your squad in place of that player. Let’s break down into scenarios:
If even your first bench player doesn’t participate in the actual game, the next bench player will be subbed. Same applies for 2nd benched player as well.
If multiple players don’t start from your first team, multiple bench players can get into the starting team.
If the substitution causes the disallowed formation, then your next bench player will get into the team.
For example, If you are playing 3-4-3, your first bench player is a midfielder and one of your defenders doesn’t play a single minute, then your first benched defender will get in place of your benched midfielder.
In a decent strategy for getting your starting team play each week is to get 12 or 13 players who regularly start in first XI for their respective clubs. Obviously you can go for all 15 players in the same way, but I reckon that’s not a good strategy. More on that in upcoming articles!
The final part of the managing squad is to select captain & vice-captain. The points of the captain are doubled while calculating the points for your team scoring. So choosing the right captain for each week is one of the crucial decisions throughout the season. It can be a massive rank booster or a subject of mockery in your WhatsApp groups!
FPL Scoring Breakdown:
That’s the part you have been waiting for! So let’s finish with it quickly.
Common points allocation for all positions:
Playing less than 60 minutes – 1 point
Playing 60 or more minutes – 2 points
Bonus points based on match performances – none, 1, 2 or 3 points
Assist – 3 points
Yellow card – (-1) points
Red card – (-3) points
Own goal – (-2) points
Penalty miss – (-2) points
Goal scored – 6 points
Clean sheet – 4 points
Every 3 shots saved (GK) – 1 point
Penalty save (GK) – 5 points
Every 2 goals conceded – (-2) points
Goal scored – 5 points
Clean sheet – 1 point
Goal scored – 4 points
The most important thing to keep in mind for the beginners, is that best player on the pitch doesn’t necessarily mean best FPL player of that game. Your player just needs a goal/assist, clean sheet or penalty save and he will probably be offering you loads of points even though he may be receiving average rating in your football app. For example, Jorden Henderson has been awarded FWA player of the year, he is not a good FPL asset.
So, which player to pick and how to decide is very pivotal but it’s for another day. For now, this will suffice.
FPL Transfers and deadlines:
You get a deadline before each gameweek to make your transfers and manage your squad. It’s usually before an hour of the first match of the GW. So you need to keep an eye on the deadlines, week in week out, if you want to be a successful FPL manager.
You get one free transfer after each GW. So either you can use that free transfer before the next deadline or you can save the transfer for the future. Keep in mind that you can’t save more than one transfer. So in simple words, you can have at most 2 free transfers available at any given point.
If you want to make any additional transfer, it would cost (-4) points per transfer. It’s called a ‘hit’ in FPL language.
Being persistent is the foremost important aspect in FPL. If you miss out on a deadline (hence a transfer and/or selecting your starting team), you are likely to lose points and ranks and it will demoralize you to keep continuing the season.
Fantasy Premier League Chips:
Chips are performance enhancing drugs, but it would impact on ranking based on how and when there are used. Below are the chips available throughout the season:
Wildcard (2 of them) – You can make any number of transfers for free of cost. You can change the entire team without worrying about them. This is probably the most useful chip in terms of your season planning because you get two of those. So in ideal world, you can divide season into 3 parts GW 1-13, 14-26, 27-38, and use it after end of each one.
Bench Boost – This chip enables all your 15 players to contribute to add score for a single GW. In other words, your bench players’ points will be added to your normal points.
Free Hit – You can make unlimited transfers for a single GW. It seems like a Wildcard, but the squad changes are applied for only a single GW. From the next GW, the previous squad will be back. Looks like a good chip, but it’s hated the most.
Triple Captain – Your captain will get triple points instead of double for that GW. Simple to understand.
As mentioned before, chips can be either productive or counter-productive based on the use. So a lot of strategies and calculations goes before using them.
Remember when we said that we would tell you how to have fun with it even though it’s a long lasting season? This is where things get exciting. Let’s be honest, winning FPL among 8 million people is a shot in the dark.
However, you can create your own leagues among friends and family. Be prepared for weeky banter and a ‘down to the wire’ Fantasy Gaming season.
There are two type of leagues: Public and Private Leagues.
You can directly enter into public leagues, but you need a league-code to enter a private league.
Anyone can create a private league and invite the friends/families to join with the league-code.
In the words form FPL site, ‘Private leagues are the heart and soul of the game’ and it certainly is true.
Usually regular FPL managers create two leagues: Classic and Head-to-Head
Classic: Think of it as a Premier League. The manager with the highest total points among all the league managers at the end of the season will be the Champion.
Head-to-Head: This is more of the FA cup. You will be randomly assigned a head-to-head match with one of the other league managers for each GW. Whoever gets the highest points for that GW, gets 2 points and loser gets 0. It goes on till the end of the season and the manager with the highest points takes the cup!
That’s all the elementary information for the beginners.
To conclude, the only positive thing about delay of the last season is that the next one will be starting soon! In a couple of weeks, we will get the updated players with the updated price and the fixtures, and we all will be scratching our heads for the first draft for the next season. So get ready and stay tuned in for more detailed articles into tactics, players’ analysis, when to use chips, which formation to play and many more!
Happy team picking!