Quick tips for building the best FPL Gameweek 1 squad

In this article, community writer FPL Paz gives us a checklist on how to build the best Gameweek 1 squad for the upcoming season.

There are five simple things to consider when building a Gameweek 1 squad and they are broken down into five categories for the purpose of this piece. They are: Team Structure, Captaincy, Fixtures, Money, and Pre-Season:

Team Structure

  • Pick players from different price points to allow you to make easy future moves
    • Allows you to fix any post-Gameweek 1 holes in your team quickly.
    • Two mid-priced midfielders allow you to quickly jump on players like Mount, Foden, Diaz, Maddison, Bowen, Saka or other expensive mids.
  • Having the most expensive players in each position (except the goalkeeper) allows you to have “cash cows”
    • Allows you to get direct replacements at each position in one move.
    • Example: if Haaland is a flop, then a direct move to Kane is doable in one transfer.
  • Limit promoted players/punts
    • No need to fall into the trap of “this player can cover for x” (i.e., Diaz can cover Salah).
    • Good to pick proven FPL assets.
    • Bournemouth, Fulham and Forest have bad fixtures and are unknown assets.
  • Avoid booking in transfers
    • There will be other fires to put out post-Gameweek 1.
    • More information regarding minutes, formation, and assets will come up, so booking in a transfer reduces your flexibility.


  • Pick two premium assets to attack easy fixtures each Gameweek
    • Allows you to switch to another premium asset in case of injuries quickly.
    • With Salah/Haaland, you have the two best captains in seven of the first eight Gameweeks.
  • Plan 6-8 Gameweeks ahead
    • You never get to a Gameweek without knowing who your captain will be.
    • It allows you to plan for those Gameweeks in which there are better options.
    • Example: Salah/Haaland owners in Gameweek 6 know Kane/Son are better options)
  • Don’t try to use “cover” for captaincy
    • Captaincy is your most critical decision, so give it to consistent FPL assets.
    • Example: Captaining Kulusevski in Gameweek 6 to cover for Kane/Son.


  • Look at the first 6-8 Gameweeks only
    • No need to plan for the whole season because of the Wildcard and unlimited transfers after Gameweek 16.
    • The earlier you plan to Wildcard, the less ahead you should look.
  • Use a Fixture Ticker for breaking down the best fixtures for both attackers and defenders
    • Ignore the unreliable FPL Fixture Difficulty Rating (FDR)
  • Pick players from the best teams
    • Liverpool, City, Spurs and Arsenal all have good opening eight fixtures
    • Bournemouth, Fulham and Palace have the worst opening eight fixtures


  • Spend most of your money on your starting XI
    • Bench needed less with five subs now brought into play.
    • Leaving 0.5m in the bank allows you to account for price rises/falls.
    • One or two playing subs is fine.
  • Look for value/minutes
    • Easier to find a £4.5m playing defender than a £4.5m playing forward
    • Spending money on players with more expected minutes reduces the chance you will have to rely on your bench.
    • Avoid hyped-up cheap options as they can decrease your team value. Example: Sam Greenwood is highly owned but will get few minutes, which may make tons of managers sell him and decrease his price.


  • Use it to scout players and teams
    • Is anyone playing ‘out of position’?
    • Who is getting the most minutes?
    • What formations are teams putting out?
  • Look at the context of the results
    • Who was the opponent?
    • Are any key players missing?
  • Avoid drawing definite conclusions
    • Only because someone scored does not make them “essential.”
    • Use pre-season as supportive data and not conclusive data.
    • Keep track of transfers as bad picks can suddenly become good picks.

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9 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Skonto Rigga
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 5 Years
    7 days, 8 hours ago

    Thanks for this, Paz! Good to get back to basics with a checklist like this when you're wrapped up in pre-season form, bandwagons and who knows what else.

  2. Dazzler
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    7 days, 4 hours ago

    Nice one, I’ll calm down again now…

  3. Phil the dent
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    7 days, 3 hours ago

    Excellent tactics unfortunately I will mess it up

  4. diesel001
    • 5 Years
    6 days, 1 hour ago

    So something like:

    Meslier - (Klaesson)
    TAA - Cancelo - Dier - Gabriel - (N.Williams)
    Salah - Kulusevski - Mount - Bailey - (Andreas)
    Haaland - Jesus - (Archer)

    All players nailed to start
    Chosen the most expensive at each position (except GK) - TAA, Salah, Haaland
    £0.5m in the bank
    Salah and Haaland as (c) options
    Lots of Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea and City who have good fixtures (as does Meslier for Leeds)
    Cheap bench, but Williams and Andreas should be starters

    1. Werner Bros
      • 7 Years
      6 days, 1 hour ago

      Are Dier and Kulu nailed starters? From what I hear the situation at Spurs is a bit unknown

      1. diesel001
        • 5 Years
        6 days, 1 hour ago

        Dier will be playing RCB (with Romero at CB and one of Lenglet or Sanchez at LCB).
        Richarlison is suspended for the first PL game so Kulusevski will start that one.

        1. Werner Bros
          • 7 Years
          6 days, 1 hour ago

          That's fair. I think Kulu is a good pick then, he was in my initial plans but I've gone with Saka as my 8.0 mid to start, may very well switch to Kulu and switch Kane to Haaland though before the deadline, just hard to ignore Arsenal and Saka's preseason form

        2. norniron85
          • 11 Years
          5 days, 1 hour ago

          Dier plays central with Romero at RCB and most likely Davies at LCB until Leglet settles in.

  5. Werner Bros
    • 7 Years
    6 days, 1 hour ago

    A: Ramsdale Perisic
    B: Meslier James

    ____ (4.0)
    TAA Cancelo Trippier ____ (Neco)
    Salah Saka Neto Bailey (Andreas)
    Kane Jesus Mitro