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FPL: 27 essential Fantasy Premier League tips from old winners and experts

FPL - Sadio Mane
(Image credit: Future)

Want to boss the work fantasy football league this season? Of course you do – because you know that if Mike from accounts wins again, you'll be furiously trawling for jobs on LinkedIn faster than he can squeal 'Ryan Fraser!' again. 

Read on with these insightful Premier League fantasy football tips. Heed advice from people who've taken home the trophy and write about it weekly on the best players to pick, how to use the Fantasy Premier League features best and much more. Remember: the deadline is Saturday, August 12 at 11:00 (BST). 

Be sure to check out FantasyYIRMA on Twitter for all the best tips and tricks on all things Fantasy Football

When you're done, there's plenty more content to feast on. We've got you covered with these excellent (and awful) fantasy football team name ideas; while Ed McCambridge checks out the promoted players you need to sign.  

Part one - player tips

By John Wallin (aka @FantasyGaffer) from our good pals at FantasyYIRMA – covering fantasy football since 2012 

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool (DF, £7.5m)

The reigning YPotY broke 200 points last term and has now recorded 28 fantasy assists across the last two seasons! De Bruyne has 26 in that span. KDB was injured you say? Ok, we'll stick with stat: no player has recorded more assists in the past two seasons than Liverpool's right back. On a 'per million' basis, there isn't a better place to invest your limited fantasy funds.

Lucas Digne, Everton (DF, £6.0m)

Arguably the most valuable piece of Everton's midfield, Digne notched eight assists last season. However, he was punished for Everton's nine clean sheets and 56 goals allowed. The lack of CS cost Digne valuable FPL points and bonus points. Everton (49) finished just one goal behind Leicester (48) in expected goals but the Foxes boxed above their weight, allowing 41 real goals en route to 13 CS. If Everton and Digne can get 12-14 clean sheets this year he's a steal at £6m.

Stuart Dallas, Leeds (DF, £4.5m)

Dallas gets the coveted DEF classification but split his time between the backline and midfield in Leeds promotion campaign. A year ago he displaying versatility and some attacking potential playing three positions and scoring five goals. Leeds schedule provides no early joy but he's a good option as your FPL DEF who will score points in October and beyond.

Caglar Soyuncu, Leicester (£5.5m) vs Ben Chilwell, Chelsea (£5.5m)

Soyuncu and Chilwell have benefitted from their partnership but Chilwell's move to Chelsea ends that. Soyuncu's value is straightforward: clean sheet dependant in a side which kept three in their nine Project Restart Matches (but two against Brighton and Palace), Soyuncu can't be trusted until reinforcements arrive.

Chilwell has more potential and joins a Chelsea side on the upswing. Once recovered from his heel injury, he'll get soft match-ups against Brighton, West Brom and Palace.

FANTASY FOOTBALL

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal (MF, £12.0m)

You read that right: Auba: Midfielder. The Black Panther-masked, Wembley-braced, penalty scoring maestro is unquestionably Arteta's talisman and focal point of the Gunners' attack. The price is a bit high, but Auba scores 22 goals a season like clockwork and each of those is worth an additional point this year. PEA is in a purple patch and Arsenal have sights set on Fulham and West Ham to start. He's a no-brainer for GW1.

Son Heung-min, Tottenham (MF, £9.0m)

Sonny is a snip at this price. Concerns that Mourinho will geld Spurs attack are valid - since Mou joined 20 Nov Spurs are 10th in expected goals. But the team posted the largest positive difference between xG (32.9) and goals scored (40, +7.1) of any EPL side in that time. Son's talent and nose for goal (11 goals and 13 assist in only 2478') survived the first 10 months of Mou; give him a full season's minutes and £9 is an excellent investment.

Marcus Rashford, Manchester United (MF, £9.5m)

Don't let the position fool you, that's the same Marcus Rashford who is an out-and-out No 10 for Manchester United, scoring 27 goals with 15 assists across the last two seasons. And don't let his low selection (6.4% at time of writing) fool you either. United do not play in GW1 which will keep his ownership artificially low. But Ole's squad get a soft schedule after that: they don't face local rivals City until GW12 and actual rivals Liverpool until GW19.

Mason Mount, Chelsea (MF, £7.0m) vs. Jack Grealish, Aston Villa (MF, £7.0m)

A year ago neither of these players were on most FPL manager's minds, but 12 months on each is a star practically bursting with upside. The two are very close on many fronts: Grealish 8g, 7a to Mount 7g, 6a. Last season Grealish scored 149 points including 19 bonus points; Mount scored 137 (11 bonus). But Jack played nearly every minute for Villa and retains his place as the focal point and fulcrum of the Villans' attack. Meanwhile Mount faces heavy competition for minutes, and that's before Kai Havertz arrives. Jack's back, baby.

MORE FROM FANTASYYIRMA

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FantasyYIRMA started in 2012 focused primarily on news and previews for the Fantasy Premier League. Following consecutive fantasy coverage across 8 years and more than 300 gameweek’s, we are confident in saying we’ve wasted a large portion of our adult life on Fantasy Football.

Check out our podcast Bang Average on your listening platform of choice where Ryan, John and MikeP chat all things Fantasy Football related each week.

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Timo Werner, Chelsea (FW, £9.5m)

Chelsea's newest forward has all the pedigree you could ask and is poised to take the league by storm. Two 20-goal campaigns before the age of 24 is remarkable, add in the 15 assists over the past two seasons and Werner moves from quality poacher to dynamic attacking threat. In a side full of position battles, Werner will be an ever present name in Lampard's squad sheet which means he should be the first name in your FPL XI.

Roberto Firmino, Liverpool (FW, £9.5)

If you hate advanced stats, you probably don't love Bobby enough. While the Brazilian has redefined the forward role, he would get more credit for being a traditional No. 9 if he'd just stop mucking about being valuable to the team and score all 17 of his expected goals last season instead of only nine. Firmino is already what we're hoping Werner will be - just absent a bit of luck last term. It's hard to find space for a Liverpool forward in your FPL XI but he's too good to not include here (I know, you're not adding him but he's so gooood).

Aleksandar Mitrovic, Fulham (FW, £6.0m)

Mitrovic is not the 20+ goal scorer FPL managers typically covet. He isn't even odds-on for 15. But he will play every match he's available for Scott Parker, can claim to be the one bright spot for FPL managers in Fulham's last relegation campaign, and is still just 25. Coming off a 26-goal Championship campaign he'll be a popular pick, which will help boost your team's value as well.  

Danny Ings, Southampton (FW, £8.5m) vs. Raul Jimenez, Wolves (FW, £8.5m)

Last season Ings, finally healthy, showed us a full-season return on the potential he's flashed for half a decade. Meanwhile, Jimenez put forth a Herculean effort leading Wolves on a 13-month adventure in England and Europe. The two each contributed to 24 goals last season (Ings 22g, 2a; Jimenez 17g, 7a).

While the Mexican forward logged more miles on the pitch and off, his versatility in the final third makes him the more attractive FPL option. Away to the Blades and home to City is a rough way to start, but across 38 games he'll out-perform Ings and his modest price tag.

Part two: 10 key tips for success

1. Did they play during the summer?

OK - so we've had no internationals. But there have been Champions League runs, Europa League, plus international friendlies where some players have looked more tired than others - take Harry Kane, for example. 

A number of players will have been late back to first-team training after games in August. Keeping an eye on the teamsheets for friendlies this week should help steer your opening selections.

2. Who are the best-promoted players?

Assess the main players from the promoted sides. These teams always tend to offer kindly-priced options that help free up cash to spend elsewhere. Look for regular starters on set-piece or penalty duties and pinpoint defenders who perform well for clearances, blocks and interceptions, which helps their bonus point potential.

3. Who will be this season's bolters?

Analyse the player list. There are typically one or two players who emerge from the budget bracket to cement a role in our starting XIs. Pinpointing any players who are wrongly classified and playing in a more advanced role can also give us the edge – a 3-5-2 could allow certain full-backs to be pushed up into midfield, for example.

4. Which big club players to go for?

Utilise your three-player allocation for the top clubs wisely. N’Golo Kante is a popular pick due to his budget-friendly price tag but generally offers little attacking threat from the centre of midfield. Focusing on the goal-getters or raiding defenders should reap greater rewards.

5. Forget the new signings

Don’t go overboard on new arrivals. It’s easy to succumb to the allure of a big-name signing, but there’s a definite risk in overloading your squad with players unproven in the Premier League. Give them time to acclimatise and then reconsider if they show signs of settling.

6. Which games to target?

Always keep an eye on the fixtures. Those teams with favourable upcoming schedules are more likely to bring in the points, so it’s wise to be aware of runs of easy or tough fixtures and plan your transfers accordingly.

7. Always check the injury news

A long-term lay-off can suddenly promote players from the fringes and has the potential to offer us a cheap option with the security of starts.

8. You'll need a strong bench

Keep your squad well stocked for Christmas. The threat of rest and rotation is rife over the festive period and strong benches are essential as top-flight managers shuffle their options to cope with the hectic fixture list.

9. When to cash in your 'chips'

Be patient with your three Chips. Both the 'Triple Captain' and 'Bench Boost' chips are particularly effective when wielded during double gameweeks. These are best played when explosive options such as Raheem Sterling or Mo Salah are handed a pair of fixtures in a gameweek to maximise their points potential.

10. Watch out for influential players

Watch the matches. Studying the statistics can help to an extent but there’s nothing quite like scouting your targets in action to help guide those vital transfer decisions.

Part three: General tips from an ex-winner

Pick loads of left-backs, says Greg Wright, who previously won the Telegraph’s £40k prize. Oh, and don’t make changes after being at the pub...  

1. Have a solid pre-season

Aymeric Laporte

"You need to do your research, starting in the summer. A few weeks before the season starts I’ll look at injury news, transfers and so on, trying to find those unknown players that other people miss. Then in the last week of pre-season, when it’s still unlimited transfers, I’ll just start throwing players in, tossing teams around – you’re looking for that good combination to start with. Once you’re happy with your team – unless someone’s injured – then it kind of manages itself."

2. Don’t be afraid to gamble

"It’s no good having the same team as everyone else. In defence, a lot of people go for five players from different teams, playing it safe. I’ll go for three from one, two from another. I’m only relying on two teams to keep a clean sheet then. You have to gamble a bit, especially at the end of the season. Don't be afraid to take form players out when they've gone cold – especially if you know most people around you have them in their teams."

3. But be mean in the market

"Think like a real manager. A player might have a goal spurt, but is he actually any good? Would you normally want to buy him? You want the maximum games out of potential signings, so look at their upcoming fixtures, possible suspensions – no matter how desperately I want someone, I won’t buy them if they’re on four bookings. And, most importantly, don’t make drunken decisions at 1am. I’ve done that before."

4. Ignore reputations

"The best players don’t always make the best team. I used to fall for the flashy, skilful players, but they weren’t earning enough points, and in most games defensive midfielders never win any. Attacking full-backs are always good, because you might get points at both ends – I played three left-backs in some games. And this is something I got over a long time ago: don’t ignore players just because you don’t like them." 

5. Recharge the batteries

"People’s teams usually go wrong when they forget about them, so I have a regular routine. Thursday and Friday, I’ll follow the managers’ press conferences and check the predicted line-ups. There are also some good Fantasy Football websites. But as soon as the weekend games are finished, unless there are midweek fixtures, I switch off until Thursday again – you get too into it otherwise. And I stop altogether in June. It’s a long season. You need a life as well."

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