FPL guide for beginners

So you just registered your team at FPL. You decided to take part in this amazing game that all your friends are talking about. What next? You have to pick your squad. A piece of cake I hear you say. It actually isn’t if you want to be competitive. Hence, we prepared this FPL guide for beginners but the seasoned player could also find it useful.

FPL guide for beginners

Hopefully, after reading this guide, it will be easier to pick 15 players in your team.

Just like in real football, only 11 of them can actually start a Gameweek. One goalkeeper is on the bench alongside other 3 players. For these 15 players, you have a budget of £100m to allocate wisely.

Good, reliable players don’t come cheap in FPL just like in real life. That means you won’t be able to pick every player you like. You need to compromise a lot. But, that is one of the best features of the FPL game – finding the best value for the money.

FPL is usually open for registering teams in the middle of July, a month before the Premier League starts. This gives you plenty of time to change your mind as unlimited transfers are allowed until the first deadline, just before Gameweek 1 starts. After that, you have 1 free transfer per Gameweek. Picking a good starting team is an absolute necessity if you don’t want to spend your wildcard early. If you are new to the game, make sure you read this Fantasy Premier League guide for beginners. You wouldn’t want to make silly mistakes and ruin your season on the very start.

FPL rules

Before you embark on a mission of finding suitable players for your Fantasy Premier League team you need to make sure you fully understand the FPL rules.

FPL squad limitations

You can pick 15 players – 2 goalkeepers, 5 defenders, 5 midfielders and 3 forwards that you have to fit in an initial budget of £100m. Keep in mind you can only select up to 3 players from a single BPL team.

FPL team management

You have to select 11 starting players from your 15 man team before each Gameweek deadline. These 11 players will get the points for that particular Gameweek.

You have to choose 1 goalkeeper, 3 defenders minimum and at least 1 forward in your first 11.

That means that allowed formations are 5-4-1, 4-5-1, 4-4-2, 3-5-2, 5-3-2, 4-3-3 and 3-4-3. Most popular FPL formations are usually 3-5-2 and 3-4-3. That is because (attacking) midfielders and forwards typically score more FPL points than defenders.

In case one of your chosen 11 players doesn’t actually play in that Gameweek, fear not as 1 player from the bench will be subbed in automatically. This will be your first player on the bench if it doesn’t disrupt your formation. E.g. if you have opted for a formation with 3 defenders and one of them doesn’t play, he is going to be subbed by the first available defender on the bench. Even in case you have a midfielder or a forward in front of him.

This is why bench order is definitely the thing to consider carefully as well.

You can read more about building your FPL team in the advanced FPL guide.

Scoring FPL points

Alexis Sanchez – highest scoring FPL player 2016/17 – Image created by FPL Engineer

Players in your FPL team will get the points based on the performances they have in the BPL. Every player gets a point for playing less than 60 minutes and 2 FPL points for playing more than 60 minutes in a single match. He doesn’t necessarily need to start the match to get 2 points for a performance, but that only happens if he gets subbed in during first 30 minutes of the match.

Typically scoring goals brings the most points. Defenders and goalkeepers are awarded 6 points per every goal they score, midfielders get 5 FPL points and forwards 4. This is because forwards are usually much more likely to score a goal than a defender. But elite midfielders like Sterling or Salah are going to score pretty often too. This is the reason why they are a must have in your FPL team. They usually get assists as well which are rewarded by 3 points.

But not only that, these players are very often viable captain options – and getting the right captain choice more often then not is a key to a successful FPL season.

Further more, if these players score a lot of points, and you don’t even have them in your team, you’re probably getting red arrows in that GW because these players have a high ownership.

Every player regardless of the position on the pitch gets 3 points for an assist. Because defenders and goalkeepers are less likely to collect goals and assists, they get awarded with 4 points for every clean sheet. They get a clean sheet after they spend 60 minutes or more on the pitch in the match if their team doesn’t concede a goal.

There is even a chance your defender or goalkeeper will get 4 points for a clean sheet even if his team concedes a goal. This happens when a player is substituted after spending at least 60 minutes on the pitch and after that, his team concedes a late goal.

Midfielders get 1 point per every clean sheet and the same above mentioned rules apply for them. Goalkeeper gets an additional point for every 3 saves he makes which can be an incentive for picking quality goalkeepers playing in weaker teams as they are more likely to collect plenty of saves. These goalkeepers are always cheaper than the ones from elite teams like Chelsea or Manchester City.

Bonus FPL points

In addition to the ways players get points mentioned in above paragraphs of this FPL beginners guide, every player has a chance of getting extra points – 1, 2 or 3 FPL bonus points per match. Various stats are considered when awarding a player with bonus points. The player with a highest BPS score in a match will get a maximum of 3 bonus FPL points, second gets 2 and finally third gets 1 bonus point. Some of the most valuable statistics that are used for calculating BPS score include scoring goals, keeping a clean sheet (defenders and goalkeepers are only eligible), goalkeepers saving a penalty and each player getting an assist.

Negative FPL points

There are also negative FPL points available for players.

Defenders and goalkeepers will receive one negative point for each 2 goals they concede in a match. So when a team concedes 2 or 3 goals, your defender or goalkeeper from that team will get -1 FPL point.

In rare situations when a team concedes 4 or 5 goals, you will be “rewarded” with -2 points for every defender or goalkeeper you own from that team that was on the pitch. Each penalty miss will deduct 2 points from the player that failed to convert it and the same amount of negative points gets the player that scores an own goal.

Most negative points (-3) will get a player for a red card, so try to avoid players that are nervous and known to commit a lot of fouls. This is why defensive midfielders are usually a big no when you are choosing players for your team.

They tend to pick up yellow cards (-1 FPL point) and rarely score goals or assists. There are exceptions to that rule. Defensive midfielders come cheap in FPL so make sure you check out our list of top 5 FPL cheap midfielders that are worth considering.

Selecting FPL captain and vice-captain

Harry Kane
Harry Kane – very popular captain pick since 2014/15 – Image created by FPL Engineer

In every Gameweek, you have the possibility of nominating your captain and vice-captain. This is important as FPL captain will get his earned FPL points in that Gameweek doubled. Choosing a captain is a delicate matter, it has to be the player you have the most faith in for that Gameweek.

Fixture difficulty and player form is what you will typically assess in order to make a good FPL captain choice. In case your captain does not, in fact, play in that Gameweek, vice-captain will get his FPL points doubled.

Importance of picking a good captain in FPL each gameweek is discussed in advanced FPL guide.

Making transfers

As mentioned before, when you pick your initial team it is possible to make unlimited changes until the Gameweek 1 deadline. After that, you can only make 1 free transfer until the next Gameweek. Usually, you wouldn’t want to make an extra transfer as it would set you back by 4 points that you earned before. So think carefully if that is something you want to do.

It is worth mentioning that if you choose not to make a transfer in a certain Gameweek, it gets transferred into the next one. However, 2 free transfers are the maximum per a single Gameweek unless you spend your wildcard.

Player Prices

FPL player prices won’t change until the first Gameweek, but after that, they could change depending on how popular certain player is. Players with high ownership on the start could drop in price a lot if they under perform and managers start selling soon. That is when you lose value if you wait and don’t sell soon as well.

On the other hand, there are players with a low ownership that will see their price grow a lot if they exceed expectations and managers start bringing them into their teams. Keep in mind though that if you had that player from the start to the finish of FPL season you wouldn’t have reaped any benefits from it as even though your budget did grow in that case, you can only use that money if you actually sell the player.

One more thing to keep in mind is that in order to earn £0.1m by selling a player, his purchase price has to grow by £0.2m.

With that in mind don’t concentrate much on price changes when buying or selling players. Instead, focus on buying players that will get you FPL points and on selling players that won’t. Simple as that.

Another thing to remember is paying attention to injuries, as long term injury to a popular player is likely going to affect his price a lot. Good place for checking the latest injury table is Premier Injuries website.

FPL chips

Chips are a fairly new feature introduced in FPL season 2015/2016. If used wisely, they could provide a serious boost to your team’s overall FPL points.

There are 4 FPL chips in total. Wildcard chip can be used twice during the season, the first one only before 30 Dec 14:00, and the second one is employable only after that deadline. When using your Wildcard you can make unlimited transfers in that particular Gameweek.

Because of that fact, you can use your wildcard straight after one Gameweek ends (typically on Monday) so you can make speculative transfers in order to gain some money in your bank.

The wildcard is used on Transfers page when you select more players than you have free transfers. Right before you click Make Transfers button you will have the option Use Wildcard opened so make sure you click that if you don’t want to lose 4 points per every player you transfer above free transfers allowed.

Other FPL chips are [1] Free Hit, [2] Bench Boost and [3] Triple Captain.

Free Hit allows you to make unlimited free transfers for a single Gameweek. At the next deadline, your squad is returned to how it was at the start of the Gameweek.

This is a very interesting chip, introduced in season 2017/18 instead of the fairly useless All Out Attack chip we had before. It is likely going to be heavily utilized for double Gameweeks (DGWs). DGW is a rare situation (usually happens a couple of times per season) when two or more teams have two fixtures in a single FPL Gameweek, but it can be very profitable, especially if you have chips available, such as Free hit or Triple Captain.

Bench Boost chip includes points scored by your bench, in the Gameweek you choose to use it, to the point total for that specific Gameweek.

Bench Boost is a very attractive FPL chip. It will reward those FPL managers that are choosing to pick more balanced teams with all the 15 players starting for their respective teams. There are managers that choose cheapest defenders and/or one midfielder worth £4.0m that won’t play to use extra cash elsewhere. These FPL managers won’t feel much of the benefits of this chip.

This FPL chip can be used when you have a hard time deciding who to bench for the particular Gameweek.

Triple Captain chip will triple your captain’s points when used in a Gameweek instead of doubling it which is a great opportunity to captain heavy hitters capable of picking up more than 20 FPL points in a single match if the fixture is favourable to do so. Triple that and you can get as much as 60 points from a player like that alone! Another good opportunity to utilize this chip could be a double Gameweek situation.

Want to know when is the best time to use each of these FPL chips? Read our advanced FPL guide.

Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard – used to be very popular FPL player – Image created by FPL Engineer

FPL leagues

After you’ve studied all of the above and picked your team you are ready to compete! Upon creating your team you are automatically added to the following global FPL leagues:

The overall FPL league featuring all registered teams

A league for fellow FPL managers from your country

An FPL league made for supporters of your favourite Barclays Premier League team

A league for managers starting the same Gameweek as you do

The Fantasy Cup

Fantasy Cup is a very exciting competition that starts in Gameweek 18. First-ranked 2,097,152 FPL managers from Gameweek 17 alone are entering this competition. Each of the qualified teams will be drawn against random another team. Fantasy Cup is an h2h competition, which means in order for you to advance you have to outscore your opponent in the respective round. If not, you get knocked out.

Other than that you can create and/or participate in the private league with your friends, or join a public league with 20 randomly assigned teams. There are two types of calculating points in leagues – Classic and Head-to-Head type. In classic leagues, your FPL points from an each Gameweek are accumulated and a top scoring team wins. In the event of a tie, a team that used the least amount of transfers will be placed higher. Scoring in h2h leagues is different, if you win against your opponent in a particular Gameweek, you get awarded 3 points and just like in real football you get 1 point for the draw. If there is an odd number of teams in an h2h league average team joins the league as well to ensure that each team has a fixture in each Gameweek. That average team always scores an average of the entire Gameweek. At the end, if two or more teams are tied, the team with the higher total of game points is placed higher.

FPL draft

In season 2017/2018 FPL draft is finally released. This is a new exciting opportunity to play in a league with your friends or within a public league of fellow FPL managers. Difference is that you actually get to draft players simultaneously, meaning two or more teams in the league can’t have one or more of the same players. Each team in the league will be 100% unique. This will only add to excitement and offers a new way of planning a squad. You can’t afford to leave out a good player from your initial draft, not even if he is not expected to play opening GW or two due to fatigue or injury. Chances are, he will be picked by somebody else.


There you have it, this is Fantasy Sports info FPL guide for beginners. Hope you find it useful. We will look to write advanced FPL guide, later on, that will feature more in-depth ways to properly pick your FPL team, tools that could help you in that process. We will also discuss FPL strategies that you could try throughout the Premier League season in order to maximize the return of FPL points. At the end, to sum everything up you can check out the infographic below from guys at Guide to Matched Betting.

Fantasy Premier League guide for beginners