fantasy premier league strategy – patience is a virtue

Here’s our fantasy premier league strategy article where we talk you through one of the top 10 FPL managers experience this season where he stuck to his guns despite a terrible start

fantasy premier league strategy – patience is a virtue


The FPL season is a marathon not a sprint.  How you start can be no reflection of where you end and it’s never over until it’s over.  Just some cliches to outline the basic premise that you can recover from bad runs and a bad start to get a reasonable rank and either win your mini league or at least get a respectable position.

This season was always going to be a tough one with new managers to the league and with 7 teams all with a chance of a Champions League place.

Alot of managers had a bad start.  Some decided that they would use the season to have fun and not worry about overall rank.

Others decided that the only way to recover was to start getting in massive differentials and bet against established players.

Manager’s also decided just to knuckle down continue to try stick to their strategy and things would turn.

I’m going to focus on one manager who’s always been successful but had a terrible start.  He kept the faith that he could recover and ended up with a great rank

The manager

He’s one of the top 10 FPL managers I follow and his last 3 season’s overall rank history prior to this season is 3k, 2k and 3k

His 2016/17 gameweek history

Here’s the first part up to where he hit his near rock bottom rank of 1 million.

He had 12 red arrows and 4 green arrows.  Ironically he made a fairly solid GW1 with a 51k rank

fantasy premier league strategy

That was the near bottom and after that the recovery.  13 green arrows and 7 red

fantasy premier league strategy

The first 10 gameweeks are always difficult

A lack of data up to around 10 gameweeks makes it difficult to assess players accurately and these first rounds are always a challenge.  You just have to ride them out as best as you can

There’s no need to fill your team with differentials

I’ve given a consistent message that defence, Captain picks and 1 or 2 attacking players can make a huge difference to your gameweek score.  In my view there’s no need to take a high risk high reward approach by packing your team with differentials to increase your rank

A big score will come just be patient.

Often it will seem that you are treading water making no progress but the big scores will come.  The day where everything goes right.

This FPL manager had 2 after he hit the low 1 million mark for the 2nd time

GW21 he moved up 288k from 940k to 652k.  Everything went right

fantasy premier league strategy

GW24 he moved up 240k from 756k to 516k.  Here Lukaku scored big for him against Bournemouth.  I remember his tweet “Lukaku is going to save my season”.  He didn’t mention his defence which also did the business.

fantasy premier league strategy

You’ll notice the team lineups aren’t shocking in the least.  There’s no huge amount of differentials.

The DGWs and chips will also rescue you

Our manager didn’t panic into using his 2nd wildcard early.  He followed the general strategy of wildcarding in GW36 bench boosting in GW37.  Over those 2 game weeks he moved from 145k to 38k.  A massive 107k at that late stage of the season.  His scores were 92 and 173.

The double gameweek and the chips will continue to be a massive life raft until the strategy is picked up among a wider group of managers.

Final day

A GW38 finish of 98 saw him finish on 30k.  A remarkable recovery.

What he did do differently was take hits

This manager doesn’t normally take a lot of hits but he did do that in this season to help him recover.  I personally don’t like taking hits and believe you can recover without them.  Certainly 34 points were spent well before his recovery so close to half were used to no positive rank effect.

How his story would change without them we’ll never know.

Lets compare gargatrons!

If you saw my recent article on the FFGeek FPL team finishes you’ll see that one of the analysis tools I used was the gargatron to give you some basic stats on your FPL team.

Here’s a comparison between our the FFGeek teams and the team that were studying:

fantasy premier league strategy

What the FPL manager himself had to say

As I said above, the 1 area of risk that he took to improve his rank was hits.  You can see he took alot more than me.  76 points on hit is way too rich for me and is 19 hits or a hit every 2 weeks.  Now I have a very conservative playing style anyway so a comparison with me will be interesting to see how many the top FPL managers took.  I know anecdotally that virtually all of them will take alot more hits than me.

The hits were often used to make sure he had the best captain.  42 points more than me were scored by his captain choices and also used more players.

He said the high bench sub score was alot to do with Capoue at the beginning of the season

Leave you recovery stories in the comments area below

I hope you found it interesting.  Please leave any stories of your recovery in the comments column below

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  • Josh

    I just finished my first FPL season and after struggling mightily at the beginning had a lot of greens toward the end and at least finished respectably in my league. probably my biggest issue down the stretch was a stubbornly low team value – I barely broke 100 by the end. I don’t get how the above manager’s value kept going up with not-great returns from his team. I guess that suggests not getting on bandwagons but doing the research needed to invest in players before they get hot?

    • Stephen T

      On player value, it appeared more volatile this year than the past few years. Not sure if there were changed made in the algorithms that justify a player increasing or decreasing in price. But watching those players who might move up can help in gaining that 0.1m from potential transfer targets.

      I spent a total of 152 points on transfers and expected to finish near 75k, where I finished last year. Unfortunately when I broke down each week’s final score versus points gained, the strategy truly failed. But it kept the fun and interest going when I was struggle from a poor run after GW6.

      Surprisingly I was ranked 29k at the end of GW6 but say 15 red arrows to just 5 green arrows over the next 20 weeks, dropping at low at 1.6m. Thankfully I did recover with 10 out of 12 green arrows to finish the year, but being so far down I only finished at 415k, well off where I wanted to be.

  • FplKangaroo

    I had a very poor first half of the season were nothing went my way.
    I was ranked 1.1m in GW19 but managed to turn it around in second half of season.
    Got 13 green arrows from the next 19 GW’s.
    Finished with OR of 36k in the end.
    Also just to note , I spent 140 points on transfers throughout the season.
    For comparsion , the FFGeek Team spent ONLY 20 points on transfers & only finished 14k ahead of me ! That’s not much considering I gave away an extra 120 points !
    I took at least a -4 every GW from GW19 to GW38(Apart from GW36 – Wildcard).
    Just shows you hits can work , but it obviously depends on guys you bring in.
    Anyone spend more than 140 pts on transfers this season & finish with a OR higher than 36k?

  • Stephen T

    Patience is tough in this game. Something I haven’t learned quite yet in the 4 years I have been playing. One thing I do know, I need to cut down the number of hits I take. However I would like to start out well the first 10 weeks and attempt to maintain, rather than attempt to play catch up. It can be challenging and was this year. No real template came to fruition until later in the season. Strikers weren’t striking and defenders weren’t defending, it made for a real tough year. The bright spot I can take away, I did finish the season strong with 10 out of 12 green arrows.

  • Tim Oldfield

    I had a very down and up season. The start seemed poor ar the time but by gw10 I had recovered to around 230k. Six weeks and 40 points in hits later I had a rank of 1.1m and had taken 80 points in hits by the half way point when I was still ranked over 800k.

    The second half saw another 36 points in hits but many of these were taken to help navigate the blanks and DGWs. Switching to a stronger defence helped and in gw29 a weekly rank of around 11k with Pickford top scoring with 10 points showed the value in not having permanent passengers in the XI.

    I wildcarded in 35 and produced two strong gameweeks to finish at 10.4k despite the expensive mistake of moving away from 352 in order to bring in Costa and Gabbiadini.

    After two years around 3k the final rank was a fail compared to the pre-season expectations but was also way better than looked possible at the mid point. I’m too dull to fill the team with lots of differentials and the improvement came from players who would be considered template.

  • Richard Delahunty

    hi guys..I held out and did the above and wildcarded for 36 and bb for 37..there was not much choice but to wait. lasthe 3 game weeks were .72 156 and 82. overall score of top 80k.I still lost to my mini league winner by 160 points.he had same patience as me.I am in same mini league next season.I only finished 100 euro a man next season also and about 40 fantasy managers playing. with top 3 prizes instead of winner takes it to I get in top 3?

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