Fantasy Premier League 2019: Tips to kickstart your season
The Fantasy Premier League season is long and despite there being no guarantee of starting well, there are certain ways in which you can stack the odds in your favor. It is almost impossible to guarantee a good start in FPL but there are ways in which you can work this game of probability to give yourself an advantage in your mini-League.
There are certain basic principles that managers forget while playing the game early on.
One must not forget that we are armed with 2 wildcards, one of which we have to use in the first half of the season (a wildcard is a chip given to us where we can make unlimited transfers in one week without any point deductions). FPL managers tend to pick their initial team like they are picking players for the season.
It is important to note that most good managers (70-80%) use their Wildcard within the first 6 Gameweeks. When you start the season, all you have at your disposal is preseason data and data from the previous years. There is not enough information available to make the right long term calls. This gives us a chance to play the short term fixtures (4-6 Gameweeks) and pick players that have very favorable fixtures upfront. In the meantime, one can gather enough information in 4 to 6 weeks to pick players for the long term.
Once we are confident about the information gathered, we can use our wildcard. Remember, you should not delay our wildcard too much if things are not going your way early season. Keeping this in mind, I'll recommend a few short term assets. Not going to include the obvious Liverpool and Man City picks (they have good fixtures at the beginning).
- Defence: Digne/Coleman (Everton), Zinchenko (Man City), Diop (West Ham), Kiko Femenia (Watford)
- Midfield: Sigurdsson/ Richarlison (Everton), Fraser (Bournemouth)
- Forwards: Wilson (Bournemouth), Deulofue (Watford), Kane (Spurs), Aubameyang (Arsenal)
Another principle that can help get you a good start in FPL is going for a good balance between tried and tested players, well-owned players, and punts. To make sure you don't have too much catching up to do at the start of the season, it is always a good idea to fill your team with a few highly owned players that can cause a lot of damage. Some of the highly owned players you should consider are:
- Defenders: Trent Alexander Arnold, Andy Robertson, Lucas Digne
- Midfield: Salah, Sterling, Fraser, De Bruyne, Sigurdsson
- Forwards: Kane, Wilson, King, Aubameyang
We all want to gain an early advantage by finding the next big thing and it is always tempting to punt on new signings. But when it comes to new signings, we have no idea how they would adapt to a new league and a new team. This is why I recommend limiting your punts to one or two at max and rather going for tried and tested quantities. There are three basic unknown qualities that we should be cautious with:
- Promoted Team Players - The quality of the Championship is very inferior compared to the English Premier League and we don't have a strong idea of how these teams would perform in the EPL.
- Teams with new managers.
- New signings from outside the league.
Keeping these few tips in mind should hold you in good stead while picking your initial team.