The Premier League is famous for being up and down, unpredictable – which makes playing fantasy football even more exciting.
It’s an unbelievably popular game, having been played online by an astonishing 6.3 million people last season. That should say something about its weight in the world of e-sports.
If you’ve never played before, it’s an amazing game to get involved with, but it can be complicated, so let’s dive straight into the rules and how you can get involved.
Understanding Premier League Fantasy Football
Fantasy Premier League (FPL) is a simple enough concept. You sign up online, join a league with your friends (if you want to – you don’t have to), pick your team, then change it every week (if you want) to try and get as many points as possible over the whole season.
You get points if someone you have on your fantasy team does something good (like scoring a goal or registering an assist), and you can put anyone on your team – providing you have the budget.
Of course, there are lots of subtleties to it that you can only discover as you play, so let’s get started.
Pick Your Team
Once you sign up, you will need to pick a squad – the initial 15-man group you will pick your team from each week. Here are the rules you need to keep in mind.
- There is a budget of £100 million that you must keep your team to.
- You must have 2 goalkeepers, 5 defenders, 5 midfielders, and 3 forwards (strikers).
- A maximum of 3 players from each Premier League club can be chosen.
Now that you have a squad, you can pick your team.
Each week, you can select your 11-man team to play during that week’s game period. You have until 1 hour before the first game of the week starts to make changes to your team.
So, how do you score points? Well, it’s pretty simple, really (not like American Football Fantasy). You get points for the following moves.
- Clean Sheets
- Bonus Points – if one of your players is among the top performers
Your FPL points will only be calculated for your starting 11 players, unless a player does not feature for their club (for example, if they suffer a sudden injury), in which case the first player on your bench will count towards your score instead.
The FPL system allows you to use special boosts to your team – called ‘chips’ – that can be deployed to make a difference at key points. These are the following.
- Triple Captain
- Bench Boost
- Free Hit
To find out exactly how each one works, head over to the FPL website (link above) to discover more.
You can transfer your players (providing their cost is inside your £100m budget) once per week, or carry over your transfer to change a maximum of two players. Any further transfer will cost you points.
Some of the ‘chips’ can help you with transfers.
FPL is a hugely rewarding game and gives you an opportunity to experience the excitement and passion of the Premier League in a totally different way. It also lets you look at all the talent the EPL has to offer, rather than just the team you support.
With so many ways to play and so many players, it really is a game for everyone. Check out our other sports-related posts!