Monday, 31 July 2017

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Three Common FPL Mistakes To Avoid

The new Premier League season is less than 2 weeks away and to millions all over the world that means one thing: Fantasy Football! Whether you’ve been playing the game for years or you’ve decided to give it a go for the first time this season, there are some mistakes that often go over-looked by a lot of managers that you need to avoid if you want to win your office’s mini-league. These are three of the mistakes that I made last year that I definitely won’t make this season.

Taking unnecessary points' hits
Since the dawn of FPL, managers have debated over spending those extra few points in order to sign an extra player or two in the weekly transfer window. For many, the logic is “I can spend the 4 points on this player because he’ll score at least that many points this week”. Unfortunately, though that may work out occasionally, a lot of the time it does not.

You may be 100 points in front of your mates in your mini-league but at the end of the season those extra 4 points could be crucial in winning you a top 10% finish. Also managers make a habit of taking point hits much like I did last season. It got to the point that I spent 16 points in order to have 11 starting players during a cup weekend last season. Though I may have beaten the majority of managers that week, the next week I realised my squad was full of Middlesbrough and Sunderland players so I had to take yet another points hit. It’s important to avoid this mistake as often as possible.

Following the crowd too much

Last season everyone knew that Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku scored goals and therefore were in everyone’s fantasy team. Unfortunately I was no different and only at the end of the season did I realise that having players like them didn’t gain me any extra points over my competition. It is vital that you take the risk and invest in a few shrewd differentials. This season, promoted players like Anthony Knockaert and Dwight Gayle could be worth the gamble to potentially score goals and earn bonus points that most of your opponents won’t be earning.

Picking players by their name, not by their points potential

Kante won PFA player of the season and is just £5.0m in FPL. Bargain right? Not so fast. Kante is known worldwide for his pace and positioning but do you know how many points a player earns for staying in Ander Herrera’s pocket for 90 minutes? 0. Though he was undeniably a superstar for the champions last season, N’Golo scored just one goal and made just one assist. He also didn’t frequently pick up bonus points. Kante is just one example of a player that may be brilliant in real life, but fails to deliver in FPL.   

Other FPL mistakes to avoid:
Don’t use your chips too early.
Don’t be stubborn – allow yourself to pick your rival teams star player.
Don’t have a defender in your team that’s playing your star striker.
Don’t pick players that frequently get booked.

~ A.P. Schmitz

Lessons Learnt from the 16/17 FPL Season

Taking risks can be beneficial, but do so sparingly
For FPL managers, there’s no better feeling than taking a big risk that pays off. Doing so can see a steep ascent up the rankings. However, more often than not, big risks fail, resulting in a steep plummet down the rankings. As a result, it worth tossing up the risk vs reward of a decision. In terms of captain choices, there are two options FPL managers can take; ‘sword’ or ‘shield.’ For the most part of the season, the safest thing to do is...CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE 

    By @WFC_Seb | @WFC_17

Friday, 28 July 2017

Chief's Football Survivor League Is Back!


Join the best of the FPLHINTS' community in our '10-life' Survivor League and prove you've got what it takes to be crowned champ!

Basic Rule

Click here to read the rules in more detail.

Prize (via Football Survivor)

Dealing with FPL burnout

Burnout is something that can happen in almost all walks of life. Even in fantasy football. Setting high standards and then failing to achieve them can make you feel beaten and bedraggled which makes quitting the easiest solution. Clearly you should only take part in a recreational activity for the fun of it.

Doing something and hating it is never a good thing. In fact, it's unhealthy and a symptom to a problem. You should enjoy playing fantasy football. Accept that there will be highs and lows. It's never going to be 100% 'fantasy', despite the name. What if there were ways to deal with 'FPL burnout'? Would that help you?


Thursday, 27 July 2017

Tips From A Top 10 FPL Manager

Jatin Arutla sensationally finished within the top 10 of the world last season out of four million FPL managers (0.00025%!). He also finished top of the FPL Hints League. A die-hard fan of Manchester United, he started college this year and was born at the turn of this millennium. This article provides some insight into the tactics that he followed which catapulted him right up into the FPL stratosphere.


I favoured 3-4-3 for the majority of the season and averaged nearly 63 points over 28 gameweeks. I believe that forwards have the highest chance of returns as they get into more attacking positions than others. Obviously, it works only when there are at least 3 forwards who are in good form. However, I've seen many other managers use different formations through the season and achieve success. It depends on the players you're picking. Also, I tried to spend the least possible amount of money on bench players for two reasons. Firstly, it allowed me to spend the remaining cash on my starting 11 and have the best chance of fantasy returns from premium players. Secondly, it decreased the dilemma of squad rotation every week and saved me from the frustration of having points on the bench. 

Stick with your players and watching lots of footy

There is an underrated relation between these two. It is important that you stick with your players even if they're going through a rough patch. You can't judge the form of a player just by looking at his FPL points. I feel that this is the main difference between the casuals and the more serious ones. The player who isn't getting returns might be getting into good positions but be unlucky with the final product. You can't tell this from looking at stats. I drafted Townsend in my GW1 squad and he didn't return in the first few gameweeks. But I saw that he was getting forward well and started looking more comfortable on the ball as the games progressed. Then he returned with a double-digit haul. Sticking with a player might not always provide the results you want but I think it does more often than not. 

Early transfers, hits and team value

I always tried to avoid making transfers early in the week as the player may get injured and you have to take a hit later in the week to replace him. If you wait until the end of the week, you can watch the press conferences and get to know which players are unfit for the weekend. This tactic was fruitful for me in the last gameweek when King declared that he would be unfit and I transferred in Stanislas who scored. I've never fussed too much about team value as the main goal is to score the maximum points. But having a decent team value helps in the back end of the season when the prices of players are generally higher than the start. I take hits only when a player is injured, suspended or out of form and I can recover it in the long term. Also, saving a free transfer and spending 2 transfers the next week has worked out well for me this season. 

Double Gameweeks and chips

Double Gameweeks (DGWs) are that time of the season where you have the best chance in improving your overall rank. Thus, it is important to plan ahead and bring in players who are more likely to play both the games. Also, it may not be wise to ditch in-form single gameweek players for doubtful DGW players. I took a hit to bring in Sterling expecting that it'd be only a –2 as he had a DGW. And then Pep did his rotational masterclass. It is also important to see if players have the right motivation in the final stretch of the matches, be it for either Europe, a relegation battle or even individual achievements such as the Golden Boot (7 goals in 2 matches). I played my wildcard before GW 36 and Bench Boost (BB) before GW37. Triple Captain (TC) chip and BB are quite a handful but are certainly not season enders. Generally, the players on your bench should be the four weakest players from your team. So, it makes sense to wildcard before you BB and bring in four DGW players who have good FPL potential. The TC chip can potentially be used during a gameweek where there are fewer teams with DGWs.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

WFC's FPL Super Differentials - Five Less Than 3% Ownership Players To Free Up Funds And Help Separate You From The Crowd

Alli, De Bruyne, Coutinho, Lukaku, Kane, Lacazette. The list goes on and on. This Fantasy Premier League (FPL) season, there are a lot of expensive players, most of whom justify their price tag with regular goals and assists. Due to this vast array of expensive options at our disposal, there are a significant amount of players with high ownership. Although the ‘template squad’ (where everyone owns the same players who score well each week) may not play as great a role this season as previous ones, it is still imperative to mix up your squad with high and low ownership players to stand out from the crowd and separate yourself from the rest. In this article, we at WFC have selected five super differentials (players owned by less than 3% of managers) who have the potential to obtain large hauls this season, whilst simultaneously acting as budget enablers allowing us to select more premium players.

So, here are who we believe to be five of the top super differential picks for the 2017/18 FPL season.

By @WFC_Seb | @WFC_17

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Brighton FPL Preview - Soaring Seagulls or Hexed Hove Albion?

Brighton sealed their promotion to the Premier League on April 17th, 2017 from the Championship. Over the last 8 years, their chairman plugged £250 million into the club to make them a promotion ready side, including funding the construction of the 30,750 seater Falmer Stadium, currently the AMEX Stadium due to a sponsorship deal. 34 years ago, Brighton were relegated from the old First Division, the last time the featured in England’s top flight. 20 years ago, whhile the Premier League format was finding its feet, Brighton were homeless after the club ran into financial difficulties and their stadium was sold – fans were forced to drive 70 miles to Gillingham to attend home matches instead. They were deducted points during the 1996/97 season due to fan protests about this very issue. Needless to say, the Seagulls have come a long way from that season, when they barely held onto their Football League status.

Opening Fixtures

1. Manchester City (H)

2. Leicester City (A)

3. Watford (A)

*International Break*

4. West Brom (H)

5. Bournemouth (A)

6. Newcastle (H)

*International Break*

7. Arsenal (A)

8. Everton (H)

9. West Ham (A)

10. Southampton (H)

With FPL managers traditionally deploying their first wildcard after the second international break, it’s reasonable to select one, if not more, Brighton players in your initial squads. I’ve highlighted Albion’s favourable fixtures by underlining them.

Manager Profile

Chris Hughton is a man we’ve seen in the Premier League twice before with two different teams. He first took charge of Newcastle in 2009/10 when they won promotion from the Championship under his stewardship. He was sacked in December of the 2010/11 season, with the team in 11th position. His sacking was greeted by widespread anger given that the side hadn’t been performing badly for a promoted side.

That season in the PL with the Toon, he had primarily relied upon a 442 formation once his attempts to use a 451 failed were unsuccessful. In his next job at Birmingham City, he led the then League Cup champions in a Europa League run, to the FA Cup fifth round and to fourth in the Championship. They subsequently lost a playoff semi-final. In that job, he once again relied on 442 for the majority of his tenure, while occasionally experimenting with the same formation but deploying two defensive midfielders instead – a so called 442 “double six”.

That solid season led to him being poached by Norwich City, who he led in the Premier League for almost two full seasons. His first season promoted saw him deploy 2 defensive midfielders in almost every game he played, usually as part of a 4231. They finished a credible 11th in that season, a feat he will hope to replicate with Brighton this season. However, about a year later he lost his job in charge of the Canaries as the club battled relegation. He had switched between a 4231 and a 442 double six all season. He mainly used the latter in games where Norwich could reasonably be expected to take all three points such as home games against weaker opposition.

Since then, he has been rebuilding at Brighton. Last season, he switched between a 442 and a 442 double six.

Career Record:
Total: 357 Games || 156 Wins || 98 Draws || 103 Losses || 43.7% Win Ratio

Brighton: 126 Games || 63 Wins || 33 Draws || 30 Losses || 50.0% Win Ratio

So what can we expect?

It seems to me that Hughton is unlikely to experiment with the new 3 man defence with wing-backs that is currently in fashion. Instead, we can expect a traditional 4 at the back, with 2 defensive midfielders for solidity. Two strikers also seems to be his preference, though his quotes back in May suggest he will play with a 4-4-1-1 to start:

"I think it's difficult to go through a season playing 4-4-2, particularly as a new club.”
"Leicester play it generally but they are more established. I would see myself at times playing it but also very much a 4-4-1-1." [Source]

New summer arrival Pascal Groß, previewed below, is expect to fulfil the Number 10 role in the new system.

The tweet below shows a rough calculation for what we can expect from Brighton as a second placed promoted side. I acknowledge that it’s a rough  yardstick, but it’s the best we have to work with right now:

Players to watch


Mathew Ryan (4.5)

Given that Ryan just arrived at Albion for a club record transfer fee, we can expect that he will take over first team duties, especially given that last season’s number one, David Stockdale, has left the club. Stockdale led the Championship for clean sheets (20 in 45 games), which indicates the solidity at the back of this Brighton side last season. They conceded 40 goals in total, which was the joint-best in the division with Newcastle. However, it was at home, where they let in just 13, that they really proved their mettle.

Ryan, 24, has had a stellar career to date. He already has 31 international caps for Australia to his name. However, it’s interesting to note that his career has stalled in recent seasons. He was signed by Valencia in 2015, but only played a bit-part role for them, making 10 appearances across a season and a half. However, he was Genk’s first choice once he arrived there in the winter transfer window last season as part of a loan agreement. He kept eleven clean sheets in 24 matches, conceding 20 times in total. Only one of those cleanies came in the six Europa League matches he featured in. The other ten came in lower standard domestic games in Belgium.

I think it’s fair to say that Ryan has been overhyped by pundits in the fantasy football sphere since the fixture list was announced. I wouldn’t be in a major rush to acquire a player as unproven as Ryan at Premier League level – search him on google, he’s outranked by a musician. Sure, he’ll face a lot of shots and make a lot of saves (Brighton hope) but I think that other goalkeepers at his price level provide a more dependable option for gameweek one.


Lewis Dunk (4.5)

Dunk is attracting a lot of interest among FPL managers because he is one of Brighton’s many set-piece takers. However, as a man who stands at 6’3” (192 cm) (some sites say he’s a centimetre taller), he is not going to be on corners or crossable free-kicks. Most of their direct set-pieces are taken by Anthony Knockaert.

However, having scored just 2 goals off 31 shots last year, we’re not talking about a player like Phil Jagielka in April. Instead, what we have in Dunk is a consistent starting player who does his defensive duties well. He’s likely to be in line for bonus points if the Seagulls manage to keep a clean sheet, though he could scupper his chances by picking up a yellow card – he was joint 4th in the Championship last season with 13 (0.32 per game).

A quick look at the positives – he was second for the Championship for interceptions with 125, 8th for blocked shots in the division with 39 too, which was the best total for the promoted teams. He also won 68% of his aerial duels (152 won), but you’d expect that given his stature. He popped up with 14 key passes all season too.

Shane Duffy (4.5)

Duffy is a man that is close to my heart given he’s a Republic of Ireland player, though I’ll try to stop his international exploits from clouding my judgement.

I believe Duffy is a much better option in fantasy than Dunk. He scored twice last season as Dunk did, though he did so in less games. He betters Dunk’s per game ratio in aerial duels with 5.62 (70% success rate) and he was also superior to Dunk on a per 90 basis for clearances (8.45 v 7.8), while he was second among the Brighton defenders in pretty much every other defensive stat. However, Duffy is more likely to pick up FPL bonuses given that he’s less of a card magnet, getting 0.21 per game ie. About once every five matches.

From the matches I have seen of Duffy, he can be a bit rash and prone to dips in concentration. However from a fantasy point of view, Duffy is the superior choice – more likely to score and more likely to get bonuses.

Markus Suttner (4.5)

Chris Hughton has already brought in Markus Suttner (4.5) to take over duties on the left side as part of his two part raid of Ingolstadt. The Austrian got four goals and five assists in his 31 Bundesliga games, so he’s obviously quite attack minded – 1.7 key passes, 1.5 crosses and 1.4 shots per game. Intriguingly, he had the second highest shot count by a defender in the German league (43), although 37 of those efforts came from outside the area. Furthermore, he provided more key passes than any other defender in the Bundesliga too with 49. Let’s see how he fits into the system for Hughton and whether or not he takes set-pieces before getting too excited, but this boy could be a hidden gem.

The Other Defenders

Brighton’s main man on the right flank, Bruno, is 36 and should be fading. He played 39 of their league games last season and got four assists off 28 key passes. It’s unlikely he’ll reach those levels in the PL. Uwe Hünemeier, Bong, former fantasy favourite Rosenior and Goldson are all unlikely to feature in the early season starting elevens. That said, if nobody is brought in to share minutes with or completely replace Bruno, we could see Rosenior get his chance on that right side of the back four.

You can read the rest of this preview over on the Rotoworld site, where Stag continues by examining Albion's midfield and forward prospects. For Anthony Knockaert and Pascal Gross alone, you're not going to want to miss that! Click this link -> Brighton FPL Preview 2017/18 continued

If you want to hear more from Stag, you can follow him on Twitter for #FPL hints, tips, help and reaction.

Monday, 17 July 2017

FPL Invite Codes 2017/2018 | 8 Clicks, 8 Mini-Leagues |

Twitter: @FPLHINTS
League Code: 965-426

Fantasy Yirma
Twitter: @FantasyYirma
League Code: 3675-1308

FPL Updates
Twitter: @FPL_Updates
League Code: 1655-583

Football Fan Cast
Twitter: @FootballFanCast
League Code: 6659-10453

FPL Tips
Twitter: @_FPLTips
League Code: 1202-29714

Fantasy Football Pundits
Twitter: @FFPundits
League Code: 1331-2943

Twitter: @FPL_Fly
League Code: 141-321

The Hype Train
Twitter: @RealHypeTrain
League Code: 18269-6792

What's an #FPLDraft?

This year - for the first time ever - the OFPL has decided to offer draft format fantasy Premier League. Other sites - notably Togga - have been offering draft FPL for quite some time. Regardless of where you want to play, there are a few basic differences that you need to know. We know some of you have played FPL draft for years, so we'll provide a short bit about the differences in the games and a few players who you should value more highly in draft formats. For those of you who are going to play FPLDraft this season - head to a buy my 38-page Draft Guide. In it you'll find mock drafts, cheat sheets, key stats, and articles from many of your favourite FPLers including Ben Dinnery.

The Basics...
In draft you are only competing in a minileague. Each manager takes turns selecting players round robin. Most formats use 'snake format' which means the first manager to make a selection in the odd rounds (1, 3, 5...) is the last manager to make a selection in the even rounds. Once each manager has selected a full roster - OFPL looks like 15 while Togga uses 16 - the rest of the players who aren't selected will be available to add to your roster throughout the season. This means you need to keep track of not only your own selections, but a running tally of which players are selected at which position. You don't want to be left needing a forward when the best one remaining is Jordan Ayew.

You might not think it, but formation matters much more in draft that in salary cap. Why? Because the number of players who are actually productive in OFPL scoring makes it difficult to maintain tactical flexibility. Let's say you want to start three up front. Well, you can't just spend big and use 40M to land Kane, Aguero and Lacazette. In a draft league you'll be lucky to own ONE of them. So if you're starting three up top it will more like be Kane, Gabiaddini and Slimani!! Remember, if you play in a 10-team draft league each team must start a minimum of three defenders - so 30 defenders will start each week. That means players like Cedric, Jose Fonte or Joel Matip aren't afterthoughts. Those are players who will be starting for you or someone in your league every single week. If you decide to start four defenders regularly, you'll need to secure at least one top flight defender in the first five rounds.

Managing The Draft
If this is your first year playing FPL draft, you'll need to know that managing the draft is important. Managing a draft can be tricky and this is why the comprehensive FPLdraft guide is so important to your success.  Before draft day you'll want as much information on how to plan your draft strategy, how to find value players later in the draft and create (or buy) several cheat sheets for your use during the draft proper. [For example the linked Guide includes a sheet of every player to earn 10+ BPS last season.] 

Two rules to remember: always have a plan b and never take a goalkeeper early. Plan B is important because the draft will happen quickly. If you are waiting for you turn so you can select Jason Puncheon and he gets drafted one pick ahead of you you'll be in a scramble and might panic and draft...N'Golo Kante! Whew. Crises averted - he's the reigning Player of the Year. Except in OFPL he doesn't score any points. No goals. No assists. [Note: if you're playing in a format like Togga where Opta stats are used DEF MID have more value as interceptions, tackles won and aerial duels are all worth FPL points]. 

Don't Draft a GK EARLY
Why does this get its own section? Because it is that important. Last season Tom Heaton was the No. 1 GK. He scored 149 total points. Across 38 games that is less than 4 pts per match. The 10th GK was Ben Foster. He scored 113 points. Across 38 games that is 2.9 pts per match. One point per gameweek. Meanwhile, you say to yourself 'but Heaton outscored Troy Deeney last season, I should pick him ahead of Deeney'. It's true he outscored Deeney. But you only need 1 GK. If you pass on Troy Deeney to select Heaton - your next chance to draft a forward may mean you end up with 10-12 spots behind the Hornets' rotund hitman. Last season that would be Abel Hernandez and his 72 points. So, before you think of draft a GK think of it this way "would I rather have Heaton and Hernandez or Deeney and Foster"? We assume you know what the right answer that is.

Managing the Season
Unlike OFPL salary cap game where you can simply buy and sell players, in draft you'll need to compete with the other managers to scoop up value off of the waiver wire. We'll leave that concept to a longer post, but the short version is that you will be able to add/drop players off of your roster, it will just be a more competitive process and the players available will be of much lesser quality. For example, in a 10 team league with 15 roster spots, there will be 150 players already owned. So players like Salomon Rondon, Charlie Austin, even Benick Afobe will all be owned by you or a competing manager. That means if you want to make your side better you'll be left making moves like dropping Granit Xhaka to add Didier Ndong (he finished last year 87th among midfielders with 67 total points). Making those moves is as important to your draft success as finding a good poundshop defender is in salary-cap.

The FPL official game will not allow trades of players between managers. Every other FPL draft format allows this. It is a necessary part of the game. With a limited pool of players you need to be able to trade your 3rd best midfielder - someone like Matt Phillips - to a rival to get back a second striker - maybe Sandro Ramirez. Without the ability to trade, the OFPL is risking leagues where one manager has a very good draft and wins their mini-league from the jump. To make sure that you're that manager you should research a bit beforehand (or find a format which allows trading).

Advice in draft leagues is very different from salary cap, because every team in draft is different. It's easy to say 'Harry Kane is playing Huddersfield this week, pay the penalty to transfer him in.' It is much more difficult to manage a roster and starting XI when you need to know how many shots Etienne Capoue is taking in away games against top half defenses. Find good FPL draft accounts and ask them questions! We've been doing this for ages and would love to help you dominate your new league.

Above all - FPL draft is a game which is more competitive, personal and enjoyable than salary-cap. You'll feel a connection to your players unlike any other game because they will be your players, and your players alone. We hope this was helpful. If you're looking for additional assistance with your FPL Draft preparation find the author @FantasyGaffer and find his regular writing on FPLDraft at Togga! And if you are playing Draft - buy a Draft Guide

EPL Title Contenders, Relegation Battlers, Key Players and Ladder Prediction


Lacazette! Lacazette! Lacazette! The word that inspires Arsenal fans to believe for another season, but unfortunately the Gunners will need three Lacazette’s to push for the title. Although the Frenchman brings a quantity of goals with him (37 in 45 games for Lyon in 2016/17) and fits nicely into the Wenger system of pace and creativity down the wings and through the middle, the team as a whole still only has a big 3 of Sánchez, Özil and now Lacazette. For a team that scores goals, but concedes its fair share the addition of another striker won’t assist in a title run.

Key Player: Mesut Özil

Top Goal scorer: Alexis Sánchez

Predicted Finish: 4th