The Premier League returned with a bang at the weekend after a summer jam-packed with football.
Following the highs of the Euros, Copa America and the Olympics, fans of England’s top flight clubs have sank their teeth back into domestic football.
The new season brings with it new kits, new managers, new players and of course a renewed sense of optimism that this season could be your team’s year.
This belief is felt most when picking your fantasy football team for the forthcoming season.
You may have spent hours carefully selecting your squad for the season, or you may have just picked the names you liked best (within budget), either way the big kick off is fast approaching.
There always seems to be extra importance placed on the first gameweek of the season - maybe it’s the anticipation, excitement or long build up to the opening weekend of action?
It’s always good to remember that while a good start would be welcomed, a bad one certainly won’t define your season, so there’s no need for knee jerk reactions or squad overhauls.
Here’s a quick guide to the Fantasy Premier League 2021/22 football season, complete with tips, transfer strategy and when the best time to play your boosters could be in the long campaign.
How do FPL transfers work?
Each Fantasy Premier League football team manager has £100 million to spend on their 15 player squad for the 2021/22 season.
You can make as many changes as you want before the season starts but once the gameweek deadline passes your squad and team selections are locked in.
From here, each FPL manager is allocated one free transfer per week which is allowed to roll over one gameweek for a maximum of two free transfers.
Any additional transfers made will come at a cost to the manager and their team’s overall points, with a fine of minus four points for every player swapped in or out of the squad.
Though this of course should be weighed up against the potential advantage of having that player now in your team and what points they could achieve for you.
What are the FPL chips?
As well as the option to make transfers each gameweek, FPL managers also have four additional boosters at their disposal for the season.
These are bench boost, triple captain, free hit and wildcard.
A bench boost will count the points scored by players on the bench alongside those accrued by the starting XI for one gameweek. This could prove beneficial in gameweeks with double fixtures.
The triple captain chip will see the selected captain of your side earn triple the points the player would normally get, rather than the usual captain double, for one gameweek.
A free hit allows FPL managers to make an unlimited amount of changes to the squad for one gameweek only before the squad reverts back to what it was prior to the free hit being used.
The wildcard allows FPL managers to make unlimited transfers to the squad within the £100m budget. The squad will remain like this until further transfers are made.
The wildcard is a tempting card to play after a poor gameweek but it’s important to remember the season is long and sprinters aren’t suited for marathons, which this is one.
FPL player selection tips
With so many players to choose from, it can be a hard task assembling a squad you believe will rank highly in the overall standings and also beat your mates.
Here are five players who could well prove their worth for your team over the course of the 2021/22 Premier League season - though they come at a cost!
- Emiliano Martínez - Aston Villa’s man between the sticks might not have been at the top of every FPL manager’s list last year but he quickly showed his worth and finished the campaign by topping the overall rankings. Price: £5.5m. Points: 186.
- Trent Alexander-Arnold - The right-back sat out the summer’s Euros through injury but is expected to be back fit and fresh for the new Premier League season opener. Set piece specialist, assist maker and goal getter from defence. Price: £7.5m. Points 160.
- Son - Ranked third in last year’s midfield standings behind Bruno Fernandes and Mo Salah, Son has the chance to step out of Harry Kane’s shadow for Tottenham Hotspur this season. Pace, trickery and an eye for goal. Price: £10m. Points: 228.
- Harvey Barnes - Leicester City’s flying winger has become an established player among the Foxes pack orchestrated by Brendan Rodgers. A little behind teammates Youri Tielemans and James Maddison last season but with a point to prove. Price: £7m Points: 126.
- Patrick Bamford - Possibly the surprise player of last season, but he proved good value for money for Leeds United and FPL managers up and down the country. With 17 goals in a well drilled Leeds team and a summer’s rest, can he repeat the feat? Price: £8m. Points: 194.