With another Premier League season underway, fantasy football managers can get back to the serious business of guiding their team(s) for the next nine months. For many, everything else in life takes a back seat. We’re not saying we think that’s right, but, we do ‘get it’ as well! However, maybe do prioritise things like, you know, family and friends above your FPL career.
FPL – A Global Phenomenon
Fantasy football has grown so much over the years that it’s now even attracting people who are not football fans. Such is the style of the game and its suitability to strategic thinking, there has been an influx of statisticians and data analysts who did hold a huge interest in the sport of football previously.
Non-football fans can get by thanks to FPL tips sites that provide fantastic in-depth articles and scouting guidelines each week. There are data tables and up-to-the-minute statistics to analyse too. Most of these sites will ask players to ‘read our premier league possible lineups’ so, while football nous is an advantage, it is not impossible to manage without it.
For the 2021/22 season, over seven million punters signed up to the official FPL game. Imagine what it will take to come out on top of such an enormous competition!
Hundreds of sites from all around the world now offer cash prizes for their season-long competitions. Others do it differently and also offer rewards for the best players in their leagues each and every month.
The Red and Blue Sides of Manchester
The summer transfer window has now closed in the Premier League and there is much to reflect on for the two sides in Manchester. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City went big on Jack Grealish, signing him from Aston Villa for £100 million. However, the drawn out saga of Harry Kane to City never materialised in the end and the England international striker will continue as a Spurs player. No deal could be reached between City and Spurs’ chairman Daniel Levy.
In the red half of Manchester, we saw the return of an idol. One Cristiano Ronaldo back at Old Trafford. How will he fare in FPL? His arrival has been treated like the messiah’s second coming.
The Ronaldo price-reveal in FPL showed us a figure of 12.5 million for the Portugal superstar. Cue the sound of thousands of FPL managers rejigging their teams to get the goalscorer into their lineups.
Premier League Injuries and the FPL
At 37, Ronaldo is depending more than ever on the excellent physique he has maintained throughout his trophy-laden career. Any long-term injury for him now would be devastating.
Injuries are part and parcel of the Premier League, however. Each and every club has players missing games on a regular basis. Managing an FPL team, you must be tuned into this ahead of each gameweek deadline throughout the season.
Some sites list each club’s injuries and provide up-to-the-minute information about players that are missing through injury or on their way back to full fitness. Fitness is an important factor to consider, too. Players returning from a long-term injury will take more time to readjust and get back to what is called full fitness or ‘match fit’. You can’t be expected to know how players are progressing with their rehabilitation behind the scenes so, again, checking the predicted lineups ahead of time will help you no end.
Suspended Players in the Premier League
Another big consideration in the world of FPL is suspensions and knowing which players are due to miss one game or more at any given stage.
Generally speaking, a player will miss a game after accumulating five yellow cards within the first 19 league matches – the first half of the campaign, in other words. The rule continues then for every further five yellow cards received after that.
Any player who is sent off in a game due to a second yellow card will serve a one-match ban, as will anyone who gets a straight red card for a professional foul. Dissent leading to a red card will generally earn a two-match ban, while violent conduct can be punished with a suspension for three games.
Plenty of football sites out there will show you who is unavailable ahead of a gameweek. It is advisable that you always do a final check on the suspended players list before making your FPL changes.
The Road to Ronaldo
If you fancy adding CR7 to your FPL lineup, with his price currently set at 12.5 million, you will need to do some chopping and changing. Unless, of course, it’s a straight swap for someone of a similar price like Harry Kane.
As always in the FPL world, there are some pretty big decisions to be made.
Gather yourself, get your thinking cap on and make those changes!