27 essential Fantasy Premier League tips from old winners and experts
1. Did they play during the summer?
Consider the summer internationals when constructing your initial squads. A number of players will have been late back to first-team training after major tournaments. Keeping an eye on the teamsheets for recent friendlies 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. As Bournemouth duo Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson proved last season, 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...