The only 10 tips you need to do well in FPL (Fantasy Premier League)

As a fairly successful FPL manager for many years, I’ve come to realise the game is simple, and it’s fairly easy to do well if you follow a few core rules.

This is all you need to know to do well in FPL:

1. Minutes are king

There are many factors that make a good FPL pick – xG, track record, positioning, fixtures…but there’s one stat that trumps all, and that’s xMins (expected minutes). In layman’s terms, it’s how nailed on the player is to play 90 minutes each and every week.

Take a player like Kevin De Bruyne; undeinably brilliant, an assist machine… when he’s on the pitch. But because he’s liable to be benched, rested, or subbed off early due to his ongoing fitness struggles, it makes him a player to avoid.

When picking your initial team, and making your transfers, only go for players you know are 100% nailed on to start for their teams. Over the course of the season, those minutes add up, and turn into real compounded points.

2. Spend only on the XI

It may be tempting to fill your entire sqaud with quality players, with money spread across the 15 players, giving you a strong bench.

The hard fact, however, is that you’ll rarely even need to call upon your first bench player, let alone all four. And you may think “well, I’ll rotate all my players so I always play those with the best fixtures”. It’s an admirable strategy at first glance, however the data shows that you can’t predict when good players will score FPL points, particularly attackers, so rotating them will likely end in misery as you bench a points haul.

Also, spreading your funds across all 15 players just serves to weaken the overall strength of your side, and means you’ll quickly price yourself out of the premium options you really should be going for.

3. There is no template

As FPL has become more popular, more content and resources have emerged and become more easly accessible.

Content creators, statistic websites, podcasts, YouTube channels, blogs, subreddits, etc. It’s all good stuff, but a by-product of this zeitgest of information is the concept of a ‘template’ squad, which carries the negative connotaitons of “it’s pointless/boring having x player, becuase everyone else has him”.

If you find yourself thinking like this, stop it. It’s an illusion, for two main reasons:

  • Points are points, whether lots of peple have the player or not. Haaland may be owned by 70% of players, but if he bangs a hattrick and you don’t own him, then that’s not good.
  • Don’t think of differentials in terms of individual players, think of your entire team as a differential. has a neat tool that tells you how many other players in the top 1 million have your exact squad. Even if you feel like your team is totally template, you’ll probably be shocked at how few other teams are exactly like yours. Probably single digits.

So don’t fret about bringing in a seemingly highly owned ‘template’ player. It’s a misconception.

4. Chips – use them on doubles and blanks

If you want sustained success in FPL, the biggest edge you have over the more casual player is the use of your chips. Broadly speaking, this means:

  • Play the Triple Captain chip on a player that has a Double Gameweek (DGW). I.e. they play twice in that week.
  • Use your Bench Boost in another DGW, with an entire squad that doubles, and a bench of players that double. These typically fall on GW34 and GW37.
  • Use the Free Hit either on a Blank Gameweek (BGW) or on another double gameweek, if you’re able to field XI players in the blank.

Using the chips in this way will give you a big advantage over those who can’t resist to splurge them early on, or on SGW fixtures that look tempting.

5. Take hits

If your team needs it, take a -4 hit. Particularly early on in the season.

A -4 hit may appear painful at first glance, but if you look at it this way, a -4 hit in Gameweek 8, gives you 30 subsequent gameweeks for that hit to pay off. You likely made an improvement to your team with it too, so the chances of it paying off are high.

As the season goes on, you have fewer weeks for it to pay off, so perhaps take more caution. But a hit really isn’t the end of the world even though it may seem painful initially.

6. Wait until the deadline before you make a transfer

It can be tempting to make a transfer early on in the week, days before the gameweek starts. Particularly if you’ve just had a bad one and you’re itching to make a change.

But it really pays dividends in the long run to wait until the deadline. Yes, there are price rises, but it’s very unlikely you’ll be priced out of a specific move during the week, and team value isn’t what it’s cracked up to be (more on this below).

You might think that it’s unlikely that the player you want to bring in will get injured. And you’re right – but that’s only a one thing of many that could go wrong. You’ve got 14 other players in your squad that something could happen to during the week, so if you make your transfer early and then your GK falls down the stairs, that’s a -4 hit you didn’t need to take.

Just wait!

7. Use expected data

It may elicit eye rolls, but expected data really is a useful tool in your arsenal.

Particularly when deciding between two or three players to bring in, if they’ve all posted similar FPL returns and you can’t decide, using something like Understat or FBRef can be really helpful in picking one.

One of them may be outscoring their xG by several goals, indicating they may be getting a bit lucky, and conversely one may be underhitting it, suggesitng they may score even more in future.

Combining expected data with the eye-test is probably the best remedy, but honestly I err more on the side of the data than my own perception, which is undeniably bias and narrow, like everyone’s!

8. Don’t spend big on keepers

There are several reason why you shouldn’t spend much on goalkeepers.

Firstly, goalkeepers don’t score many points regardless. So the extra 0.5 or 1m you might want to spend on an Alission or Ederson really would go further value-wise spent elsewhere.

Secondly, cheaper goalkeeepers actually out-perform the more expensive counterparts. The cheaper goalies make far more saves and thus rack up the points more frequently than the GKs from the big teams, who also still concede.

Finally, don’t rotate keepers – the rule of thumb is to go for a 4.5 starting GK, and their backup at 4.0 should they get injured.

9. Follow injury news

Yes, it can be dull, but it doesn’t have to be time consuming. Every Friday you’ll find a summary of team injury news on places like the FPL subreddit, where you can get all the info at a glance.

Do not make the mistake of trusting the FPL website’s flagging system for injured players. It’s unrealiable and they generally don’t have a clue. The ‘% chance of starting’ figures are nonsense.

10. Buy OOP players

With each year that goes by, FPL’s categorization of player positions becomes more archaic, and, as a result, more exploitable.

There are more and more players that essentilly play as FWDs in their team listed as midfielders in FPL. Stock up on these guys.

Similarly, the attacking wing-back is becoming a staple of modern football, so make sure your defenders are mainly of this ilk, as they’ll get the same CS points as centre-backs, but also the attacking points.

So that’s it. If you want to check out your overall career % finish to get a sense of how you’re improving, use this FPL Career History Analyser.