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.
Only subscribers will be able to read all of their articles in 2021/22; full-year memberships are now available for £20.
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.
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.
- READ MORE: The Promoted – Norwich City’s goalkeepers and defenders assessed
- READ MORE: The Promoted – Norwich City’s midfielders and forwards assessed
- READ MORE: The Promoted – Watford’s goalkeepers and defence assessed
- READ MORE: The Promoted – Watford’s midfielders and forwards assessed
- READ MORE: The Promoted – Brentford’s goalkeepers and defenders assessed
- COMING SOON: The Promoted – Brentford’s midfielders and forwards assessed
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.
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.
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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