FPL Focus: Getting Started

Fantasy football is played by over 5 million people each season. So what is the fascination with FPL? Is it the immense difficulty of picking just 15 players? The pure entertainment that it provides every gameweek? Bragging rights against your mates? Or just simply the fact that you can manage your own team throughout a Premier League campaign?

Whatever keeps you enthusiastic during the FPL campaign you will not be alone, especially in our focus run league. Fulham fans’ interest from all over the globe will be reignited with our dramatic promotion last campaign.

So, how exactly does it work? If you’re new to FPL then it really is as simple or as difficult as you want to make it, but can be great fun for everyone involved.

The basic rules are; –

  • You have £100 million to spend on a team.
  • Each team must consist of 15 players, a starting XI plus 4 on the bench.
  • 2 x goalkeepers, 5 x defenders, 5 x midfielders and 3 x forwards.
  • You may only pick 3 players from each team (good luck picking 3 of your favourite Fulham players).
  • You can only pick 11 players each game week, including a captain and a vice-captain.

Everything after this stage can become a slight headache, here’s where hopefully I can help you along the road to building a season-ready team.

I will be with you every step of the way this campaign, publishing everything from who to captain, who to transfer in and out, what team’s to look at for players, bargains and where to spend your money. These articles will be released every two weeks but there may be times where they are released every week.

To begin with, I am going to be helping you to explore how to pick a truly valuable team and one that can get you heading in the right direction.

So, how do you build a team which has the potential to be high scoring yet sit within the £100 million figure?

First and foremost, I like to have 15 players that will play almost every match, this in itself is not an easy task but will set you up perfectly to not drop any vital points in the season. If one of your starting eleven doesn’t play, they get automatically subbed out for a substitute, which is why it’s so vital your bench will be playing regular football. Just playing 60+ minutes is worth 2 points and those 2 points each game can really add up in a season.

There’s a reason cheap players are, well, cheap. They do not play so often, with this in mind I would recommend only picking a maximum of 3 expensive players. These players can cost anywhere up to £13 million so will really chomp away at your budget. This is why cheap players, that will play regular football will be vital for your team, to allow leeway for the more luxurious attack-minded players. One coup I made last year was having Pascal Gross in from the start of the season, he cost pennies and was a high points scorer straight away. One major thing I would consider when picking your luxurious players is their world cup inclusion, some may not be match ready in the first few weeks.

My 3 Main Men Tips


Image: Goal.com

The Arsenal man finished the season in fine form last year, after his move from Dortmund he netted 10 goals and assisted 4 times in 13 matches. With a new boss and no extended World Cup break, Aubameyang will be wanting to impress and will have a full pre-season under his belt. Priced at £11m he is one of my three more expensive options. If you want to go for a bit more value but like the look of the gunners this season, Lacazette looks like he could start in a front two with Aubameyang and will only cost you £9.5m, he has also scored more in pre-season.

Bernado Silva

Image: ESPN.com

De Bruyne £10m, Mahrez £9m, Sterling £11m, Sane £9.5m… Bernado Silva? £7.5m! Now, this is not the only reason he’s making the cut for me, I am genuinely excited about the impact he could have this season, and I’m not the only one! Pep Guardiola was quoted saying ‘Right now, it is Bernado and 10 others’ which already suggests he’s cemented a place in the starting 11. What with this and his versatility to play various positions, he’s a must-have in my books and fairly low risk. Besides, everyone needs a Man City player!

Bernado will be looking to higher his tally of 6 goals and 4 assists from last season, he’s already impressed in preseason with 2 goals and an assist in the International Champions Cup and a very impressive performance in the Community Shield.

Andros Townsend

Image: RealSport

REALLY?! I hear you cry, yes, REALLY!

Andros Townsend is in my team for multiple reasons, whilst he only got 2 goals and 7 assists last campaign, the potential is there for him to grab so many more. He’s been described to me as being in ‘sensational form’ in pre-season and is looking great, tie this in with him being a mainstay in a Roy Hodgson team which doesn’t fluctuate all too much, he really has the potential to play every single game.

Pair this with his price of £6m, you’re not going to be breaking the bank an awful lot and it’s a player who has the potential to rise in price for you in the campaign, the reason behind this is Crystal Palace’s fairly kind start of the season’s fixtures, they only play one team from last season’s top 7 in their first 9 games!

Bargain Buys

So, you may now have 8/9 players on your team who you want to keep for the majority of the season, which is great! But, how do you pick the remaining players? Well, this is where you can really score those extra valuable match points. I would recommend that you study the fixture list before you decide which teams to pick from to fill up your team. This is made even easier by the developers of FPL if you do not want to do your own research when you click on a player’s profile they have a fixtures list and alongside they will have a fixture difficulty rating to show how easy or hard the fixtures could be.

Joe Gomez (Liverpool) – £5m – With Klavan and Matip knocked, Gomez has featured heavily at CB this pre-season and has impressed.

Lewis Cook (Bournemouth) – £5m – Ready to play a key role in the heart of Bournemouth’s midfield this season, Cook could really chip in with some assists in an attack-minded Bournemouth side, partner this with the easy beginning fixtures, you could be onto a winner here.

Cenk Tosun (Everton) – £7m – Tosun should be Everton’s key striker this season, in a Marco Silva side which love to attack. Again balanced with their easy beginning fixtures, Tosun can be a real point grabber as a second/third striker.

Josh King (Bournemouth) £6.5m – another alternative to a third striker, Josh King has done well in the latter stages of pre-season and has got a lot of minutes under his belt. Should he stay fit he’s a great shout to pick you up some extra points.

To fill up your team at a fair price, I would be looking at these following teams to find some gems, with the potential to score high with their fixtures;

Crystal Palace – Defender/Midfielder.

Everton – Goalkeeper/Midfielder.

Bournemouth – Midfielder/Striker.

Burnley – Goalkeeper/Defender (although consider their European contributions).

Who should captain your team in the first two weeks?

Gameweek 1 – Joshua King/Bournemouth player. Whilst this is a bit of an outside call, they face new boys Cardiff city in their first game of the season and I can really see Cardiff getting an eye opener of a campaign. So there is some real potential for goals there.

Gameweek 2 – Bernado Silva/Any Manchester City player. They face Huddersfield Town at home, which logically thinking, should be too hard a task for Huddersfield to take anything from. Any Manchester City home game is a fairly safe bet for a captaincy choice.

When should you use your added chips, Wildcard, Bench boost and Triple captain?

I would refrain from using these too early, especially the wildcard. The wildcard lets you use unlimited transfers for that gameweek, the problem with this is a lot of players see this as an escape route and panic sell their team, with the right research before the first game and not including too many players who got into deep rounds of the world cup there’s simply no reason why you should have to play this chip too early. Save it for near the Christmas period.

Bench boost and Triple captain should also be used late into the season in my opinion, there will be chances for double gameweeks (where a team plays twice in one gameweek) and these have massive potential to score high points, especially with the added factor of your bench boost and triple captain chips.

Oh and last but not least, who should you be looking to pick from Fulham?

Well, there really is only one place to look for me and that is Mitrovic. He’s going to score goals and he is only £6.5m, the defensive positions are up in the air at the moment and we don’t know exactly how the new players will settle in, pair this with our fairly uneasy starting fixtures, I would only be looking to pick a maximum of two Fulham players at the start of the season. I personally do not like choosing Fulham players too much as I don’t like anything distracting me from the matchday itself.

In the next article, I will be looking at who we should be looking to transfer into our teams, which teams have the easiest fixture lists coming up and what you can do to improve your teams, as well as taking an in-depth look at who is doing well in our FPL league.

Please tweet me any questions you have regarding FPL or simply any feedback and I will get back to you personally and via the next article, thanks for taking your time to read. – @lukealele.

Please also feel free to join our free to play Fulham Focus league, just enter this code – 762968-176694.