- Use the Appropriate Resources: Every year there is more information available to everyone playing FPL. Always try to base your team picks based on underlying data rather than opinions. This data can, but is not limited to, expected goal involvement xGI (which is a metric designed to measure the probability a shot results in a goal and an pass results in an assist), heat maps (graphical representation of the location of a player on the field), and touches in the opponents penalty area. Avoid choosing players based on opinion alone and even be wary of the so called ‘eye test’.
- Plan Ahead: This is one that I personally could do a much better job at. Having a future plan for your team such as captain picks, rotation, possible transfers, and chip strategy is great for maximizing points as well as preventing yourself from making frenzied transfers that do not really help your team.
- Fixtures Are Crucial: This one is simple. A team is more likely to score and keep a clean sheet against an inferior opponent and often (although not always) tends to perform better at home.
- Use Preseason as a Guide not as a Manual: This one took me a little longer to get used to. Try to look more for where players are located and being utilized versus actual returns (goals and assists). There’s always a couple players that just fly getting multiple goals and assists in preseason but then fall off immediately come the regular premier league season. Some reasons may be weak opponents i.e. even the MLS All-Stars aren’t the same as a top level premier league team (had to get an Arsenal knock in here somewhere). Another may be that preseason player is playing more because the typical starter is still recovering from injury. Yes he looks good, but if the manager is planning on going back to his usual starter it doesn’t matter if he scores 5 goals in 3 preseason games.
- Bank a Transfer When Able: Opposed to most American fantasy sports in FPL you are limited to either one or two transfers a week (aside from when you use your Free Hit or Wild Card chip). Often having two transfers allows you more flexibility to make bigger moves ie maybe you can drop one player down to get enough money to go for that player that is starting off hot but is just out of your current budget. Not to mention you never know when an injury may happen, especially when mid-week games like Champions League or Europa. If your opponent cannot get to a certain player due to limited funds or has to take a hit (-4) that gives you a huge advantage.
Lastly and most importantly, have fun! It’s a game and meant to be enjoyed with friends and family!