Top five tips for FPL success this season

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While a 38 gameweek season provides plenty of time to recover from a bad start, it’s certainly best to start strong. Getting your team structure right in Gameweek 1 can be pivotal to early season success. 

Clinching premium attackers from each of Manchester City, Liverpool and Spurs will be tempting in Gameweek 1, but could upset the balance of your squad in the long run. The extra wildcard this season could allow fantasy managers to take some more calculated risks at the start of the season though.

Aim for two expensive attackers (preferably a midfielder and a forward), plus a couple of the more expensive defenders and then you’ll be flexible to hop on and off the form players. Saving £0.5m of the £100m initial budget also allows managers time to examine the transfer market in the early weeks of the season. 

Full-backs have changed football and FPL over recent seasons, so fantasy managers should be much more open to defensive formations than they have in the past, with 4-4-2 perhaps being a good compromise for the start of the campaign. 

It’s always tempting to start the new season by selecting all the hot new Premier League acquisitions, who have been hyped up in the media for their potential prospects.

However, we’ve seen on countless occasions that it takes time for players to adjust to the demands of the Premier League and only a rare few start strong. 

A world-class player like Erling Haland (£11.5m) could be the exception, but don’t take the risk on more than one player who is new to the Premier League.

It’s a similar picture with assets from promoted teams: the Premier League is very different to the Championship and it can take a while for teams and players to adjust. 

Given that Bournemouth and Fulham are towards the bottom of the fixture ticker with poor opening fixtures, and Nottingham Forest have a very different look in terms of personnel from their previous campaign, there are enough reasons to avoid them.

Proven fantasy assets are the ones to invest in for Gameweek 1, particularly those that have performed well over a number of seasons and have a good injury record. If you make good decisions and avoid taking too many risks then you won’t be forced into using an early wildcard. 

Talking of the World Cup, we need to have an eye on the fixture ticker and the overall fixture calendar when setting up our FPL teams. 

This is the first time we’ve had a Winter World Cup splitting the season in two and it’s difficult to predict the impact it will have. 

The schedule is more congested though, particularly for the top six who won’t have a free midweek from Gameweek 4 through to the break in Gameweek 16, except for the international break.

We expect to see plenty of rotation from the top clubs, particularly at Manchester City and Chelsea where Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel are infamous for the number of changes they make. 

We’ve also got to bear in mind that some high profile fantasy assets won’t be in Qatar including Mohamed Salah (£13.0m), Erling Haaland (£11.5m), Riyad Mahrez (£8.0m), Jamie Vardy (£9.5m), Luis Diaz (£8.0m) and Andrew Robertson (£7.0m). 

Form should be considered equally as important in FPL, whether that be individual player form or team performances. 

Delving into underlying data into expected goals, chances created and shots conceded can also hint at when a player or club are about to hit a hot streak. Data isn’t the only tool though, with the “eye test” from watching games also very important to analyse a team’s rhythm and areas of spaces on the pitch that players are adopting! 

As fantasy advice becomes mainstream, with more and more managers seeking specialist advice from websites such as Fantasy Football Hub, the early season template becomes stronger. 

This is often perceived to be a bad thing, but the template is a template for a reason – because the players are good options on paper, having analysed them using all of the tools we have available to us. 

While the fringes of our squads will have differences, there will be lots of similarities in Gameweek 1 drafts and there’s no need to be different just for the sake of it. Likewise, while it’s easy to make plans for future gameweeks, the world of fantasy can change very quickly with injuries and the transfer window remaining open, so it is also important to be flexible in your planning and thinking. 

On the other hand, it is easy to get carried away with the hype of owning a player in a given gameweek and transfer them in purely because of FOMO. However, it’s important to trust your gut at times and think about the bigger picture for transfers rather than just a single gameweek. 

Love it or loathe it, captaincy is a huge part of FPL and gives the biggest shake up in both weekly scores and across the season as a whole. 

We had to learn the hard way in 2021/22 that the captain’s armband should almost always be reserved for premium players from the top end of the Premier League table. Even when a lower rated team has a Double Gameweek, it’s the traditional captain picks who usually win out.

One good way of preparing for a new season is by making a captaincy matrix, using the fixtures to pinpoint key premium players to own and captain over the opening gameweeks. 

Top fantasy managers have already picked out Mo Salah (£13.0m) and Erling Haaland (£11.5m) for the start of the season: between them they face four promoted teams over the opening six fixtures.

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