How to Pick the Best Fantasy Premier League Team [5 Steps Guide]
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Fantasy sport is big business these days, and that includes games related to the Premier League. England’s top division is the most popular soccer competition on the planet, and fans in the United States and beyond are increasingly getting involved in fantasy games related to the ‘EPL’.
In this guide, we provide you with everything you need to know about picking the best fantasy Premier League team.
Fantasy Premier League: Getting Started
If you are new to fantasy Premier League, we recommend FanDuel and DraftKings Sportsbook as the best platforms to play on. It could not be easier to get started. You can sign up for a free account on either site and be picking your fantasy line-up just a few minutes later.
Over at FanDuel, you can choose between two types of games. In ‘Full Roster’, you have a $100 salary cap and are required to pick a seven-man team containing four forwards or midfielders, two defenders, and one goalkeeper. In ‘Single Game’, you pick only five players – three forwards or midfielders, one defender, and one captain who gets 1.5x points – on a $50 salary cap.
There are also two options at DraftKings Sportsbook. Opting for the ‘Showdown’ option allows you to create your team from one Premier League game with a $50,000 salary cap. In ‘Classic’, you are tasked with creating an eight-player roster from a $50,000 salary cap.
Once you have decided which type of game you want, you are ready to start picking your best fantasy Premier League team. Here are some tips and hints you will want to bear in mind.
If you can’t decide which DFS service to choose, have a look at our comparison DraftKings vs FanDuel.
Follow these 5 steps to get started with your Premier League Fantasy team:
1. Choose Your Ever-Present Stars
Regardless of the platform you use to build the best fantasy Premier League team, the same players will be the most expensive. The salary cap is a vital feature of fantasy soccer, as it prevents players from cramming their team with the division’s biggest stars. If you want to be successful, you will have to dig a little deeper to find the players who are undervalued.
It is important not to go too far in that direction, though. There is a reason why the likes of Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane, and Kevin De Bruyne are expensive – they are guaranteed to rack up dozens of points as long as they are fit. Goals and assists are the two biggest ways for a player to score points, and the names mentioned above are among the most prolific in those two departments.
If you are playing a classic form of fantasy Premier League across an entire season, you should be wary of chopping and changing your stars too much. The likes of Kane and Salah tend to score points regularly, so make your pick and stick with it unless injury strikes.
2. Keep an Eye on the Fixtures
Not all Premier League matches are created equal. You should pay attention to the fixture schedule before attempting to pick the best fantasy Premier League team, as it can have a huge impact on how well you perform.
Let us consider an example. Wilfried Zaha is Crystal Palace’s best player, and many fantasy users have selected him in their teams in the 2020/21 season. As of February, he had responded with nine goals, but the majority of those came against clubs outside the elite of English soccer – West Ham United, Fulham, Brighton & Hove Albion, and Southampton, for instance.
If a team is facing one of the big boys, such as Liverpool, Manchester United, or Manchester City, you should think twice about picking one of their players. On the other hand, a home game against a relegation contender would make players like Zaha a lot more attractive. Do your research before making your picks.
3. Collective vs Individuals
Fantasy platforms usually divide players into four positional categories: goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders, and attackers. If you are looking to build the best fantasy Premier League team, a good rule of thumb is to consider the first two as collective players and the latter two as individual players.
That, of course, would be an oversimplification in the real world of soccer, but it generally holds true in fantasy Premier League. Points for defenders and goalkeepers often come through clean sheets, although goalies can also earn extra for the number of saves they make. Matthew Lowton of Burnley might not be a better individual player than Jamaal Lascelles of Newcastle United, but his team usually keeps more clean sheets and that makes him more valuable.
Conversely, midfielders and attackers mostly score points from goals and assists, as mentioned above. Even if they play for a weaker team that loses more games than it wins, these players have chances to pick up points on regular basis as long as they do the business on an individual basis.
4. Look Out for Misclassified Players
Soccer is a fluid game, and it is not always easy to nail down players to specific positions. That is exactly what fantasy platforms have to do, though – and you can take advantage in your quest to create the best fantasy Premier League team.
For example, some sites list Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang because they often play out wide. In reality, though, those two players are the primary goal threats for their respective sides. Indeed, Salah is arguably the most dangerous attacking player in the Premier League.
For the most part, player classifications in fantasy Premier League do not change in the middle of a season. So if a manager suddenly moves a defender into midfield, you could benefit. Defenders usually receive more points than midfielders if they score a goal, so keep an eye out for where players are being deployed in the real world as well as their categorization by fantasy Premier League platforms.
5. Keep up to Date With Team News
Premier League managers tend to give pre-match press conferences a day or two before a game. In these, they usually reveal the players who are available for selection and those who are missing through injury.
You are guaranteed to get zero points if your selected player does not get onto the pitch, so it is crucial that you keep up to date with team news. There is nothing worse than losing to your friends by a narrow margin caused by avoidable mistakes of this kind.
If you want to pick the best fantasy Premier League team, pay attention to the real-life managers.