How to Play FPL – A Beginner’s Guide

Fantasy Premier League is back for another season so Fantasy Football Scout, once again, are here to help.

Perhaps you’ve never played FPL before and have been roped into a mini-league by one of your overly keen friends.

Or maybe you’re one of those die-hard Fantasy managers who needs a complete guide to show your clueless colleagues to make sure they definitely sign up to your mini-league?

Whoever you are, we hope this comprehensive guide tells you all you need to know about FPL this summer.

What is Fantasy Premier League?

Fantasy Premier League is a game that casts you in the role of a fantasy manager. You are given the task to pick a squad of real-life players who score points for your team based on their performances in their own matches.

Do I need to play in a league?

The game can be played solo, with managers pitching their team against all other registered managers in the world. However, the more exciting option is to enter your team in a private mini-league with your friends or colleagues.

How do I pick my team or squad?

FPL hands you a £100m budget which you spend on your squad. If you’re new to the game this budget may seem generous but once you take a look at the player list and start selecting, it’s a good bet that it will start getting eaten up pretty quickly. You will find that the most expensive players will be the attacking options in midfield and forward positions.

Your squad will have 15 players in it but only 11 can start every week, it’s up to you to decide which four to leave on the bench. They will only come into your side if members of your starting line-up do not register any minutes.

Can I change my lineup once I’ve picked it?

Before the start of the Premier League season, you can make an unlimited number of transfers as long as the value of your squad does not exceed the £100m budget.

However, once the first deadline has passed you are limited to one free transfer per Gameweek. If you do not use it then you will have two free transfers the following Gameweek, although you cannot roll more than two.

You are allowed to make more transfers on top of the free ones, but you will be charged four points for each switch made that is surplus to your allocation for that week.

The deadline for each Gameweek is always one hour before the kick-off time of the first fixture. Normally that’s at 11.30am UK time on a Saturday but there will be Friday night matches and mid-week fixtures too this season.

How do I allocate my budget?

In order to maintain a balance in your squad, it is best to split your budget evenly across the four different positions: goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards. Ideally, you want no more than two premium asset per position and would do well to fill your squad out with cheaper assets who are important to the so-called smaller clubs.

Doing so can reap rewards. Your players will get injuries, suspensions and loss of form and if you take steps to select a more balanced team in terms of cost, you may find it easier to repair any holes. Ideally, you need to aim for a situation whereby one-for-one transfers will be enough to fix any problems you may run into. Investing heavily in one area of the team and then being unlucky enough to run into problems in that area, could leave you with surplus cash that will be wasted without using additional transfers elsewhere in your team.

Okay, so which players do I pick?

As there a large number of players available in FPL there are lots of potentially effective combinations. At the early stage of the season, it’s harder to say which assets will be the most important, but we will always have plenty of content available to help you pick your initial squad and make your transfers now and through the season. So make sure you stick around!

For all of our pre-season coverage so far this summer CLICK HERE.

How Do I Score Points?

There are lots of different ways to score points on FPL, with goals, assists and clean sheets the most important match events. Whoever you pick as captain will score double points in that Gameweek. Below is a grid which details how to score with players from different positions.

ActionPoints scored
Playing up to 60 minutes1
Playing more than 60 minutes2
Each goal scored by a goalkeeper/defender6
Each goal scored by a midfielder5
Each goal scored by a forward4
Each assist3
Clean sheet by a goalkeeper/defender (must play 60+ mins)4
Clean sheet by a midfielder (must play 60+ mins)1
Every three shots saved by a goalkeeper1
A penalty save by a goalkeeper5
Bonus points for the best players in a match1-3

Can My Team Lose Points?

Unfortunately, there are a few ways to lose points too.

ActionPoints scored
Missing a penalty-2
Every two goals conceded by a goalkeeper/defender-1
Each yellow card-1
Each red card-3
Each own goal-2


There are four different chips Fantasy managers can use on FPL this season to boost their overall points-score in any given Gameweek. They are:

Wildcard – The Wildcard allows you to make an unlimited number of transfers in a Gameweek without incurring any points hits. You have two of these to use. The first can be used at any point until December 29th, while the second can only be used after that date.

Triple Captain – Normally your chosen captain will score double points in a Gameweek. One week in the season you can deploy the Triple Captain chip to triple his score instead.

Bench Boost – Usually you are forced to bench four of your players but the Bench Boost allows you to, one week a season, add the points from your substitute to your overall Gameweek score.

Free Hit – Just like the Wildcard, this allows you to make any number of transfers you wish without losing points to transfer hits. However, it only lasts one Gameweek; once it is over your old team comes back. This is especially useful for blank or double Gameweeks.

What do I do if my players get injured or suspended?

You need to assess and react to injuries quickly. Monitor our injuries and bans table regularly to check on your team and if a player looks to be out for 2-3 weeks consider replacing him as this could well mean a 3-4 game absence given that he’d have to regain his match fitness and place in the side.

If you have players simply not playing you need to look at just how serious an issue this is on a player by player basis.

As a rule, though, it’s something you need to consider acting upon. Even if the player is getting on as a sub or even starting 75% of the first five games, if he has competition for his place or has been rotated, then it’s something you may have to deal with over the entire season. If you have an alternative on your shortlist who is more reliable and scoring well, it might be best to make the change early rather than have one player distract you and have you guarding transfers for the opening few months.

When should I sign new players for my team?

As for player form, this will fluctuate throughout the season. Keep an eye out for form players but don’t be tempted by one week wonders who hit a hat-trick and then never follow it up for the rest of the season. Sustained form and proven point scorers are what you’re after. Jumping on bandwagons can often be profitable but only when it’s being pulled by a player who can sustain their form.

There’s certainly a wealth of information to sift through on this website if you’re going to try to stay on top of things. We’ll bring you the information you need on a weekly basis to make informed decisions and there will be enough opinion from us and other visitors to the site to consider. Monitor our team news section week-by-week prior to fixtures and also check out the Scout Notes that we provide after every set of matches. These will point out any significant changes to team lineups and offer clues on which players have their place under threat at any given time, as well as those players coming into form.

2,681 Comments Post a Comment
  1. farmerfat
    • 6 Years
    1 year, 4 months ago

    Really wanted to go into this season taking less hits....

    -4 is seriously on the cards this week!

  2. Neale
    • 1 Year
    1 year, 3 months ago

    How do I use my wildcard?


  3. Berkshire Hafaway-Line
    • 1 Year
    1 year, 3 months ago

    Son paying out a bonus dividend today,

  4. Josesurum
    • 1 Year
    1 year, 2 months ago

    How do I form my team

  5. Wrong Captain Choice - Ag i…
    • 12 Years
    1 year, 25 days ago

    I realised I could go a different approach a minus 4 with three single gamweekers Wilson, Dier and Son. For a possible bench boost no Man United.

    It would involve:

    Robertson, Brewster, Ferguson OUT

    Rodrigo, Cresswell Lowton IN

    It is likely that the -4 would be covered by Lowton alone who should get 4 points?

    Full gw19 team