Fantasy Premier League (FPL) is the most popular fantasy football game in the world and I am glad that my past 2 seasons went well. I finished in the top 0.03%: 770th in 2014/15 and 1,284th in 2015/16. Doing well once might be a fluke but twice should mean something. Of course, luck plays an extremely important part as well.
This year, as part of an overhaul and redevelopment of the Premier League (changes to the logo and website), the FPL game is likely to undergo a rebuild, a new look too. Last year there were changes to the wildcards, bonus points system (BPS) and Chips were introduced. In line with the launch of FPL 2016/17, I thought it would be good to write about the things I found useful and share it with the FPL community to be better prepared for whatever changes or situations the new season might have. Reading this will not make you the new FPL champion but I certainly hope it makes you enjoy the game more and do better! I hope you guys like it and find it useful. Do check my blog if you like this piece :)
Be a unique manager, play your own game, be yourself!
There is more than one way to play FPL. You should find your own style, your own strategies, form your own habits or preferences. You will hear or read different opinions and they are all likely to have some form of merits but you are you. Be yourself to fully enjoy the game. After all, it's your game and no one else's. If you have read my earlier post of my analysis of last season's top 50 FPL managers, or if you have played the game for some time, you will know that there are multiple paths/methods to get to the same end result in FPL. It is important to have information and do your homework/research but decide on your moves based on your own judgement. At least for me personally, I enjoy the game more this way.
Have a fixed ethos based on your strategy but be FLEXIBLE, be adaptable
As a continuation of my earlier point about playing the game in your own way, you do need to have some fixed guidelines (your own ethos) in order to do well. You can't be too fickle minded. It will get you no where. At the same time, you can't be too rigid. I want to stress that you have to be alert to spot what is wrong with your plan and be FLEXIBLE enough to change it. This is coming from my experience for the last two years in which I ended strongly in 770th and 1284th after adjusting my strategies/moves slightly during the season. I usually don't have the best of starts. There were many complaints about last season being a freak one, a difficult one and one for the casuals. Well, I think it's true that last season was hard so all the more one has to be flexible and adapt accordingly. Of course, luck plays a big part too but let's leave that out of the equation for now.
FPL is a marathon, not a sprint
I did not coin this phrase. I heard it before and it's one of my favourites. FPL consists of 38 Gameweeks and spreads over 10 months so it is important to think long term. Plan your short term goals/gains as part of your long term plan. It will serve you well, at least it did for me. Don't be too proud or snobbish if you are doing well in the first 10 Gameweeks.. Banter without bad intentions is fine. Also don't be disheartened if you are not doing so well either. Work at it. Remember, things can change a lot over the season.
Don't learn from your mistakes (blindly)
What didn't work previously might work now and vice versa. I purposely wrote DON'T learn from your past mistakes because I want to highlight that your mistake(s) from the previous season(s) might not be mistake(s) this season. Confused? Let me clarify. FPL is first and foremost a guessing game, a prediction game. You guess who will get the most points and make your moves accordingly. Of course there are some parts of it which are not guesswork. For example, not making 15 transfers every week. So in a guessing game like FPL, no one can 100% say that you are making a mistake by getting this player or making this move etc. I personally like to increase my chance of guessing it right and you do that by doing homework. There is no guarantee that what didn't work previously will not work this time. The key is to learn from your mistakes wisely.
I also want to highlight that every season of FPL is different. I mentioned at the beginning of the article that last year brought about new changes such as the wildcard timing and introduction of Chips. The rule changes, the points calculation changes, the options available change, etc. So you have to know the context when you succeeded or failed previously. Don't follow your past moves blindly.
Pre-season Training & Friendlies
My initial final point for this post was "Changes to the game for this season", which I will highlight how the game is different from last season so as to be better prepared and it is related to all my other points. I will post something on the changes in the future after the game is launched. As the game will only be launched during the week commencing 18 July, I decided to change it to something else: Pre-season Training & Friendlies.
The main reason for pre-season is to build up a good physical and tactical base for the actual season. As such, it's a time for some testing and confirmation for the clubs. The players would be physically pushed more. Because of these 2 reasons, personally I am not too bothered about the teams' form or results. The main thing I look out for is clues to who might be in the preferred starting XI. Those players without a proper pre-season training (for example, players coming back from injuries or Euro2016 or Copa America) and not featuring much in the final friendlies are likely to be only on my watchlist. Another thing I would look out for are the formations and tactics used by the teams.
So in summation, I will just reiterate the 5 things that I think will be useful for FPL managers to know before the start of the season. On a separate note, in case you still do not know yet, the mobile app for FPL will be free this season! Hopefully it will be nice and easy to use or you can always go for an alternative free app. Last but not least, good luck for the season!
- Be a unique manager, play your own game, be yourself
- Have a fixed ethos based on your strategy but be FLEXIBLE
- FPL is a marathon, not a sprint
- Don't learn from your mistakes (blindly)
- Pre-season Training & Friendlies
Written by Kidzio
FPL Enthusiast & Blogger
Cheers to the FPL community!