FPL Masterclass

FPL Masterclass: Our panel’s top tips for Fantasy Premier League beginners

Our new FPL Masterclass series unites three of the best Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers around: two-time India champion Lateriser, seven-time top 10k finisher Zophar and five-time top 1,000 finisher Tom Freeman.

Between them they have 20 overall ranks in the top 10,000, nine of which were within the top 1k.

They’ll be chipping in with round-table Fantasy advice ahead of the start of 2021/22, with opinion on everything from tips for newcomers to their methodical process for captaincy selection.

We’re delighted that all three of these elite managers will also be writing for Fantasy Football Scout every week throughout the new season, with Tom additionally now on board as Deputy Editor.

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Only subscribers will be able to read all of their articles in 2021/22; full-year memberships are now available for £20.

FPL price reveal and launch reaction from three-time top 200 finisher Lateriser 1

We begin with general advice for FPL managers ahead of the upcoming campaign, particularly those who are relatively new to the game – although there are plenty of helpful takeaways for the rest of us, too.

Fantasy newcomers can also read up on the basics in our ‘how to play’ guide here.

Tom said…

Giving yourself plenty of time to make decisions is so important in FPL. For example, knee-jerking your £6.5m forward out after he blanks on a Saturday night may not be the smartest move, especially if he has good fixtures to follow. Sleeping on a decision doesn’t necessarily lead to a better outcome but I find it helps, and remember, the player who scored big in the previous Gameweek won’t necessarily do the same in the next.

I’d also suggest building a basic set of custom tables in the Fantasy Football Scout Premium Members Area or use the existing templates if you don’t feel comfortable with that. I always use statistics to back up what I’m seeing on the pitch and this is an easy way of collating all that information in one place. However, the Season Ticker is perhaps the most important tool of all, as you can use it to plan future transfers and captain picks. Captaincy is one of the most important aspects of the game, so ensuring you have a good premium option each week is key.

I also like to spend a bit of time in pre-season researching the newly-promoted clubs. Here you’ll often find under-priced gems like John Lundstram and Patrick Bamford, who started out at £4.0m and £5.5m respectively. In the former’s case, you even got a midfielder who was classified as a defender! Maybe you don’t plan on starting with anyone from Norwich City, Watford or Brentford next season, but get that knowledge in place now, so you’re ready to move quickly once the season kicks off.



Finally, if you have a bad start and find yourself chasing, don’t panic. And if you’re still struggling heading into the final stretch, use calculated gambles rather than going all-in on differentials.

Zophar said…

Fantasy Premier League is, in my opinion, first and foremost a game of patience. It might sound off-putting as a new player but it’s what I’ve learnt over the years. It’s always tempting to be on the lookout for a shiny new toy or the player who banged in a hat-trick in the previous Gameweek but you have to remember that the points from last week are already gone and it’s not necessarily going to happen again in the future.

Faith in the players you pick is important: you picked them for a reason, they’re not going to score or assist every week and swapping them around means you end up chasing last week’s points.

You need to pick players for a longer period than one or two Gameweeks as transfers are precious. ‘Minus four’ for every hit is a lot of points and taking a hit every other week is definitely going to have a detrimental effect on your overall rank.

Fantasy Football Scout’s Season Ticker is one of the most useful tools around as it can rank which club have the best fixture run for a specified period and allows you to plan ahead for when to hop on or hop off a team’s assets. This allows you to plan your transfers in a structured manner rather than make kneejerk decisions.

Lateriser said…

My first suggestion to Fantasy Premier League rookies would be to point them in the direction of the Season Ticker in the Premium Members Area. Have a look at this tool, sort it for six to eight Gameweeks and plan your team for the mid-term.

Make sure that while constructing your team, you have short-term punts only in one to two positions at the most and have at least two premium players in your team. One mistake rookies often make is going for non-premium players as a captain too often. Do this only once in a while and stick to the premium players playing against bottom-half teams as much as possible.

If you can, look at the ‘captainable’ fixtures for the first six to eight Gameweeks and try covering the big hitters from those teams. What happens to me generally is that when I’m looking at the Season Ticker, the loose structure of my squad drops up in my head. Always have the Season Ticker open in another tab when you are building your team.

Other than that, my other pieces of advice would be that during pre-season, don’t spend your time over-tinkering. Once you are aware of all price points, you are more or less familiar with what kind of a team is possible.

Focus more on gathering information. Try finding out which defences were good last season and which attackers underperformed while paying close attention to manager quotes to give you an idea of player roles at the start of the campaign.

Only in the last seven days before the season starts is when you seriously tinker with your team because at that point, you will have gathered as much information as possible.

Don’t try to imitate any manager’s FPL style while you’re consuming content. Do your own research and over time, you will find your own approach which will be in sync with your temperament and risk appetite.

And most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy the game. Never forget that we are playing it for fun!

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Become a Member and get unrestricted access to our data and articles

Full-year memberships and monthly subscriptions are now available.

Join now to get the following:

  • Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
  • Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
  • Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
  • Get access to over 150+ exclusive members articles over the season.
  • Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
  • Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
  • Enjoy our brand NEW Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables.
  • View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
  • Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.

ALREADY A USER? CLICK HERE TO UPGRADE YOUR FREE ACCOUNT

NEW TO SCOUT? CLICK HERE TO START A MEMBERSHIP ACCOUNT

610 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Timon
    • 10 Years
    3 months, 12 hours ago

    Can anyone tell me who are the likely back 4 for Brentford?

    1. FC Hakkebøf
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 12 hours ago

      Why would you want a defender from a promotion team?

      1. dbeck
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 12 hours ago

        as one promoted team usually performs well and are cheap, its risky but players like Dallas and Doherty, while rare are fpl gems

        1. Vertigo
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 12 hours ago

          And let's not forget Lundstram.

          1. dbeck
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 12 hours ago

            Lord Lundstram, tbf all those sheff utd guys proved value. I always go for a promoted keeper, Hendo 2 seasons ago, Johnstone last season (less succesful)

      2. Andy_Social
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 12 hours ago

        Got my eye on Watford wingbacks myself.

        1. FC Hakkebøf
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 12 hours ago

          Rode could be gold

          1. FC Hakkebøf
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 12 hours ago

            Rose*

            1. Andy_Social
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 12 hours ago

              I don't expect him to start - I'm looking at Femenia primarily, then Masina. See how they do pre-season but one could bag my last defender spot.

    2. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 12 hours ago

      Think they just added one yesterday - maybe not done yet.

    3. Sinixtre11
        2 months, 27 days ago

        roerslev has the potential to create some assists from the right flank..

    4. FC Hakkebøf
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 12 hours ago

      How is this draft looking?

      Sanchez
      TAA Shaw Digne Lamptey
      Salah Bruno Jota
      DCL Nacho Watkins
      ____
      Steele Ayling Gilmour 4.5

      Two popular picks Missing:

      1) Toney: Very popular pick, but we just don't know how well he and Brentford will do in PL. Good pricepoint, but with more expensive forwards it's easy to get him into the team.

      2) Raphina: Leeds do not have favourable fixtures in the first few gameweeks. They have proven that they can score against any team, but surely there are better (and cheaper) options that will out score him. Easy to downgrade Jota to Raphina if need be.

      So I basically opted for Digne + Nacho (4-3-3) over Toney + Raphina. Crazy to go against the two high ownership picks?

    5. dbeck
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 12 hours ago

      Who are people seeing in the 7m mid and below bracket? I know Raphina is great but i am 100% on Bamford and not sure quite yet if i want to commit to the double up

      1. Zim0
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 12 hours ago

        Why not get the cheaper guy? Won't be much difference in the end between them. Raphinha is better value

        1. dbeck
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 12 hours ago

          bamford is underpriced imo at 8m, i want the guy at the top of the attack and on pens

          1. Zim0
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 12 hours ago

            He is underpriced for sure but Raphinha is still better value imo.

            1. Andy_Social
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 12 hours ago

              get both

              1. Zim0
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                3 months, 12 hours ago

                He doesn't wanna double up but yes this would be the ideal solution for an attack like Leeds.

              2. dbeck
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 12 hours ago

                i might but the fixtures dont look the best

                1. Andy_Social
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 9 Years
                  3 months, 12 hours ago

                  They score against anyone - it's at the back you might want to hold off.

                2. Zim0
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 3 Years
                  3 months, 12 hours ago

                  True and they were more cautious against top teams after they got destroyed by United 6-2.

                  1. dbeck
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 4 Years
                    3 months, 11 hours ago

                    I seem to recall towards the end of last season, like last 6 games or something, they tightened up at the back and put up some good xGC numbers. I do wonder if this is Bielsa planning for next year and becoming harder to beat and if it is, at what impact to the attack (if at all)

      2. Vertigo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 12 hours ago

        I'm still on Harrison.

        1. FC Hakkebøf
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 12 hours ago

          Still a double up though

          1. Vertigo
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 12 hours ago

            Double ups aren't a bad thing. I had my best season yet playing Salah and Mané for the best part.

            1. FC Hakkebøf
              • 4 Years
              3 months, 12 hours ago

              Agreed but he didnt want to double up

              1. Vertigo
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                3 months, 12 hours ago

                He said he's not sure yet whether he wants to commit.

      3. FC Hakkebøf
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 12 hours ago

        Buendia, Bowen and Sarr are popular picks as well.

      4. Zim0
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 12 hours ago

        The other one is Buendia probably. Odds are he'll be on freekicks and corners.

        1. dbeck
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 12 hours ago

          cheers, where does Beundia fit into the villa attack?

          1. Zim0
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 12 hours ago

            RM most likely. Possibly CAM.

      5. Holmes
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 12 hours ago

        As of now, it's Raphinha, Gross and Buendia.

        Raphinha is still 50-50

      6. DAZZ
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 12 hours ago

        I’m going Barnes. Electric, explosive option and a great option at 7M

        1. Zim0
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 12 hours ago

          If he starts regularly again then yeah go with Barnes here

          1. LangerznMash
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 12 hours ago

            If we knew Barnes role in the team then yeah.
            5-2-1-2 could be Leicester's go to formation making Maddison the better £7.0m mid option.

            1. LangerznMash
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 12 hours ago

              Vardy 'nacho
              Maddison
              Castagne N'didi Tielmans Pereira
              Soyuncu Evans Fofana
              Kasper

        2. dbeck
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 12 hours ago

          I like Barnes but no same price as Maddo doesnt feel right, is Barnes back from injury?

          1. DAZZ
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 12 hours ago

            Will know more before seasons starts, but what an option @ 7.0M

      7. LangerznMash
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 12 hours ago

        £6.5m - Raphinha
        £6.0m - Harrison
        £5.5m - ESR

        All good value picks.

        1. Andy_Social
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 12 hours ago

          Why is Saka at 6.5 not in the conversation?

          1. dbeck
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 12 hours ago

            i think no europe is huge for arsenal and can seem them improving, dare i say Auba and Pepe might be in the conversationn this year

          2. Zim0
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 11 hours ago

            Arteta rotation love plus pepe and him play the same position I think no?

      8. diesel001
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 11 hours ago

        Based on known information:

        Emile Smith-Rowe (Arsenal)
        Buendia (Aston Villa)
        Raphinha (Leeds)
        Harrison (Leeds)
        Barnes (Leicester)
        Sarr (Watford)

      9. gergin
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 11 hours ago

        It is ridiculous nobody mentioned James. If he stays, of coure. The best option in 7 and under bracket. By far.

        1. Andy_Social
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 11 hours ago

          Big 'if', that. I don't think he will.

      10. Sinixtre11
          2 months, 27 days ago

          roerslev has the potential to create some assists from the right flank..

          1. Sinixtre11
              2 months, 27 days ago

              sorry, I have replied in the wrong thread..

        • Kristobal
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 12 hours ago

          A) Shaw/Digne, Jota

          B) TAA, Smith-Rowe

          Or:

          C) KdB, Shaw/Digne

          D) Son, TAA

          1. FC Hakkebøf
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 12 hours ago

            D

        • RAFA THE GAFFA
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 12 hours ago

          Finally got a free morning at work!

          Time to pick my first team 🙂

          1. dbeck
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 11 hours ago

            Enjoy it Rafa, i'm expecting to see Wilson in your draft

            1. RAFA THE GAFFA
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 11 hours ago

              He was haha. Unfortunately I’m 3m over at first attempt 🙂

              ASM as a forward 😯

          2. Ⓙⓐⓡⓥⓘⓢⓗ CMIUK
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 11 hours ago

            The Summer is officially over.

            1. RAFA THE GAFFA
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 11 hours ago

              Haha! Should I leave again? 🙂

              1. Ⓙⓐⓡⓥⓘⓢⓗ CMIUK
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 11 hours ago

                Nah, I would welcome it getting a bit cooler 😉

                1. RAFA THE GAFFA
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 5 Years
                  3 months, 11 hours ago

                  Haha 🙂

        • dbeck
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 11 hours ago

          Jimenez at 7.5, is there a world where he could back to his old self, if so, 7.5 is under priced. I know nothing about the new wolves manager

          1. Zim0
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 11 hours ago

            Wait and see for me

          2. RAFA THE GAFFA
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 11 hours ago

            Could be amazing value

          3. Andy_Social
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 11 hours ago

            The price kinda reflects that. But they're opening fixtures are tough, so we've all got a few GWs to observe Wolves from a distance.

        • RAFA THE GAFFA
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 11 hours ago

          Everyone getting willock when the toon sign him? 🙂

          1. Vertigo
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 11 hours ago

            Ssshh (Yeah).

          2. Andy_Social
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 11 hours ago

            Not immediately, but if Raph flops ....

        • mcginnntonic
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 11 hours ago

          Opinions please?
          Struggling to decide whether to double on TAA & Robbo or not...
          Don't want to double on brighton defence early on with lamptey so gone fofana.

          Sanchez / (Steele)
          TAA / Coufal / Fofana / (Ayling) / (Manquillo)
          Salah / Bruno / Grealish / Harrison / (Brownhill)
          Nacho / Watkins / Bamford

          Cheers

          1. Vertigo
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 11 hours ago

            Is that definitely in budget?

            1. mcginnntonic
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 11 hours ago

              Yeah lol its my team

              1. Vertigo
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                3 months, 11 hours ago

                Very nice, I must say.

        • Christina.
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          3 months, 11 hours ago

          I own Dallas.

        • Osfezt
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 11 hours ago

          I got two drafts in mind, which one would you go for?

          (1)
          Martinez, (Steele)
          TAA, Digne, Shaw, Lamptey, (Johnson)
          Salah, Bruno, Barnes, (Harrison, Brownhill)
          Watkins, Toney, Antonio

          (2)
          Sanchez (Steele)
          TAA, Digne, Shaw, Fofana, (Johnson)
          Salah, KDB, Barnes, (Harrison, Brownhill)
          Cavani, Watkins, Toney

          1. The Knights Template
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 11 hours ago

            1

        • RAFA THE GAFFA
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 11 hours ago

          Not seeing Kane in many drafts?…

          1. Tony Two Tone
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 11 hours ago

            I'd say it's due to him likely having an interupted pre-season with the extra time he'll be given off for the Euros, and the fact that he's in a bit of a state of limbo club wise. If goes to Citeh everyone and his dog will transfer in straight away, it will be too tempting.

        • Dark Side Of The Loon!
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 10 hours ago

          Hello everyone. Good to be back here. First attempt at building a team. Does it look ok?

          Sanchez Steele
          TAA Digne Cresswell Targett 4.0
          Salah Bruno Mahrez Raph ESR
          Nacho Toney 4.5

          1. Fletch69
              2 months, 28 days ago

              I think you may need a playing sub. Mahrez and Nacho may not play every game.

              But toying with switching to 4-4-2 myself to get Salah, Bruno, Son and a Liverpool defender in

          2. Gabbiadini
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 8 hours ago

            Origi 5.0, what's the likelihood of a move to a PL club where he is a starter?

          3. Ruth_NZ
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 28 days ago

            A critique on the article...

            It is interesting that there is next to nothing about game mechanics (understanding how the game works) from any of the three. 😕

            How to structure a squad and why.
            Benefits and drawbacks of using different formations.
            How to understand value (points per £1m).
            What is the true value of the chips and how best to use them.

            These and other similar aspects are what a beginner needs. Not what is in the article, which is mainly commentary about how those individuals go about picking players. Maybe they assume that people already know the basics. Maybe they have been playing so long that they have forgotten what it's like when you start. Maybe the FFS format only wants bitesize length, which is, of course, nonsensical if the subject requires foundations to be laid.

            To inform and teach someone to play FPL well would take a mini-library, each of the items mentioned above would need a long article to itself. Of course, people don't need to understand what they are doing, they can just copy others (which seems more and more the way of it nowadays). Maybe FFS doesn't want to make it too 'difficult'. But really this article does not deserve the title 'masterclass'. It doesn't begin to address what beginners need to know at all, despite that being its stated intention. 🙁

            1. Jafalad
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              2 months, 28 days ago

              Putting the boot in early, Ruthless?

              1. Ruth_NZ
                • 6 Years
                2 months, 28 days ago

                No, just an honest critique. 🙂

          4. Falko79
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            2 months, 24 days ago

            Noo TAA or Robbo. Good price point players and team based on first 6 gamet. Digne will be sold for Maquire after first GW. Can also sell Greenwood for raph Harrison Barnes or Madison if he doesnt start.

            Sanchez
            Dunk AWB Digne Target
            Salah Bruno Greenwood Buendia
            DCL Watkins Toney
            Bench 4 mill, Stones, ESM, Ayling

            Any input much appreciated