Friday, July 20, 2012

How to Play Fantasy Premier League 2012/13 Edition

Are you ready for the battle?
As the new Fantasy Premier League season is getting closer and closer, let us have a recap on the important rules and strategies that one should adopt when playing FPL.

Game Objective
To deploy the right players and score as many points as possible over the course of the fantasy season.

Game Rules
  • Pick 2 goalkeepers, 5 defenders, 5 midfielders and 3 forwards (a total of 15 players) with a budget of £100m.
  • Pick 11 players to play every gameweek. The 11 players must consist of 1 goalkeeper and 10 outfield players consisting of at least 3 defenders and 1 forward.
  • Pick 1 captain and 1 vice-captain out of the 11 starters every gameweek. The captain's score is doubled in that gameweek. Vice captain will take over the captain's armband and have his score doubled if the captain does not play.
  • Pick the order of substitutes every gameweek. They will feature according to order if any starters do not play during the gameweek, subject to formation constraints.
  • Every gameweek you are allowed to make 1 free transfer. A maximum of 1 free transfer can be carried forward to the next gameweek if there are no transfers made during current gameweek.
  • For each season there are two wildcards, for which you can make unlimited transfers once activated for the gameweek. One wildcard is free to be used at any point of the season, while the other can only be used during gameweek 21-24.
  • Click here for official rules page.

Scoring System
  • For playing: 1 point if less than 60 minutes, 2 points otherwise.
  • For scoring a goal: 4 points for forwards, 5 points for midfielders, 6 points for defenders and goalkeepers.
  • For delivering an assist: 3 points.
  • For keeping a clean sheet: 1 point for midfielders, 4 points for defenders and goalkeepers. Players must play for at least 60 minutes to be eligible for clean sheet points.
  • For each 3 saves (goalkeepers only): 1 point.
  • For each 2 goals conceded (defenders and goalkeepers only): -1 point.
  • For scoring an own goal: -2 points.
  • For saving a penalty: 5 points.
  • For missing a penalty: -2 points.
  • For each yellow card: -1 point.
  • For each red card: -3 points.
  • For becoming the top 3 performers based on EA Sports Player Performance Index (PPI): 3, 2 and 1 points for the best, second best and third best players of the game respectively in terms of PPI.
  • Click here for official rules page.

Statistics Rules
Past performance does matter. Therefore, it is important to study a player's fantasy scoring history before you decide whether to get him or not. The criteria that you should consider before you make any transfer decision include team, goals, assists, playing minutes, bonuses, clean sheets and more.

A successful fantasy manager always pick his team by statistics and a little bit of personal instincts, but not via his personal preferences. Also, he/ she will not get an unproven fantasy player hastily, until it is proven that the player does well in FPL.

Calendar Planning
Most of the time the opponents that a team encounters will determine its performance, and the same can be applied for fantasy players' gameweek scores. Therefore it is important to plan ahead a few gameweeks and do strategic transfers based on that to maximize your fantasy scores.

In general it is favourable to take in players when their next few fixtures are against inferior oppositions (for example teams that stuck in relegation zone) as it will be relatively more likely for them to score goals or deliver assists, and also keep clean sheets.

Double Gameweek
Occasionally due to reasons such as unfavourable weather, cup fixtures and more, there may be some match reschedules, and sometimes a team may play twice in one single gameweek. This is usually termed as "double gameweek" in FPL.

When you do encounter such situation, it is favourable to stock several players who will face a double gameweek and captain the one whom you expect to score loads of fantasy points. The aim is to take advantage of this situation and make your gameweek score as high as possible.

Nonetheless, do not practice that if you do not think that team is going to perform.

Let Cash Do the Talk
In FPL, players' value rise and drop, just like the reality. The rule states that for every £0.2m of price increase in a player, you can profit £0.1m from his sale. The player's price is both affected by his performance and also the supply-demand interaction.

Therefore, it is important to buy and sell the right players at the right time. By this, not only that you can acquire good fantasy scores, but you can also gain significant amount of additional transfer funds for you to get better quality fantasy players.

Give Priority to Attackers
As recent trends of Premier League has become more open and offensive, it is advisable to spend more money on offensive players than defensive players. Offensive players are not limited to forwards and midfielders. It simply means players who are productive in offence. For example, Benoit Assou-Ekkoto is one of the defenders who scored a lot of offensive points last season.

The rationale behind this is there is unlimited upside potential in offence (a player in theory has chance to score a lot of goals and assists in one game). On the contrary, the upside potential in defence is limited (4 points only in maximum per game for clean sheets) and there is unlimited downside potential for defenders (-1 point per 2 goals conceded).

Captain Marvel
As you were told, a player's score is doubled if he is the captain for that gameweek. Therefore it is important to place the armband on players who are capable of scoring big points (whom I would label as "big guns"), as those scores will become even bigger with the captain armband on.

Picking the correct captain week in week out is not an easy task, but when done correctly it will save you from misery when the rest of your team fail, or give you a big leap in rankings when the rest of your team do equally well.

Dead Ball Master
It is considered important to take in those players who are the main set piece takers in their team. This is because they will give you better chances to score higher fantasy points as the frequency of scoring goals and delivering assists is increased via taking dead balls.

Primary penalty taker of teams are the most important ones to get - you will gain the chance for cheap goal points occasionally through them.

Say No to Benchwarmers
There are two meanings on this statement. Firstly, the fringe players in your fantasy squad should be able to deliver you some decent fantasy points when needed; secondly, you should not get players who warm the bench in reality most of the time.

This will ensure that you will still get a decent gameweek score when fixtures are not that favourable for the primary scorers in your fantasy team.

The Art of Transfers
As mentioned in rules, you have only one free transfer available per gameweek. Each additional transfer costs you 4 fantasy points, and such transfer penalties can be significant if you keep on transferring players without any self-control.

Therefore it is wise to think twice before you do a transfer. Only make a move when it will bring more points to you in long term or when it is inevitable (for example player injuries). Being hot-headed in transfers will most probably end your fantasy season in misery during next May.

Wildcard Strategies
As written above, wildcards allow you to do a squad revamp without any points deduction. It is important to utilize them wisely as wildcards are capable to change the tide of your fantasy season. Use it only when you think your squad has been performing awfully or if you think you can form a new team which can score much better in the long run.

One of the popular strategy of wildcard is to use one in gameweek 2 or 3. This is because the performance of players in the first few gameweeks will most probably determine the trend of the season. Moreover, by picking the performing players as soon as possible, you will be able to reap the rewards of price rises and boost your transfer kitty significantly.

There Exist No Free Lunch
You need to spend some time to learn and study in order to excel in FPL. Check the statistics, read fantasy blogs and check for the latest news regularly to beat your fantasy rivals!

Can't wait to get more? Like FPLZ official Facebook page to get the latest updates regularly!

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