tips for experienced Fantasy Premier League managers

Chasing the Bandwagon: tips for experienced Fantasy Premier League managers

We close our fantasy football tips and advice series with a focus on advanced players. If you have been playing for a few years but have yet to break into the world top 1% of the Fantasy Premier League, then this this is the article for you. Enjoy as we introduce you to some of the riskier strategies for the FPL Manager.

This is the last article in the tips series and follows the first article focusing on the basics of fantasy football and the second article focusing on advice for the rookie manager.

Chasing the Bandwagon

Bucking the stereotype

We have run a few articles on the importance of some aspects of selecting, running and managing your team such as transfer as late as possible, value your wildcard, and don’t take hits.

And while this is all extremely important to follow, there are really only two rules to remember. You can stick your tongue out at the playing advice written by Chorley, Zorro and HH if you follow my two simple but difficult to execute rules: “Do your research!!” and “Set your foundations right!”

So how do I do that?

First off, familiarize yourself with the plethora of information available on the Net… There’s help my team and the multitude of experienced veterans that sit on the site themselves, Goal.com and WhoScored.com for those players you haven’t heard of before, FISO and Total FPL to see player values and likely increases in price, the Game Difficulty checker to research the upcoming games, and… I know you won’t like the sound of this as it involves something less direct and summarized as the service we provide… watch the games and read the newspaper articles.

All this research is to ensure you know about the players you buy and sell… it’ll save you some of those extra points you lose waiting the 2 gameweeks to sell a player that’s dropped off the cliff and earn you those extra points you miss waiting 2 gameweeks before picking someone up.

Secondly, take advantage of the confusion of team selection early in the season. 90% of FPL players don’t have all too much confidence in the players they select early in the season, few teams are alike and there are TONS of transfers being made. This forces players prices up and down. Clever early transfers means you can make the most of price increases to build up the worth of your team. Come the January transfer window you could be as much as £6m head of your peers and thus buy the best players for the second half of the season. So building value in the early stages, while there is mass confusion and few real standout players, is a novel way to gaining the edge over your competition.…. This is where we start to have the real fun.

Building Team Value, the Herd Mentality and Riding the Bandwagon

The key to building team value is in trading players at the right time, both over the season, as well as every week. We’ve told you a number of times that it is safer to hold your transfer until late in the week to account for injury, player and team news… and here is where I start to cause a few waves… but… you should only really follow this rule if the player’s price will not fluctuate or it is towards the end of the season (where building value should not be a concern anymore).

Player prices go up and down sometime between 00.30 and 03.30 GMT every day. They can’t increase or decrease more than £0.1m in one day, but they can change on each and every day in a week. It is the number of transfers in or out that determines if a players price rises or falls. As a rule a player’s price never increases by more than £0.3m per week.

Now FPL don’t tell us the exact number of transfers needed for a player’s price to change, and the number can be different for any two players. However, FISO and TotalFPL do a good job of estimating when prices will change.

The most important thing about building value is knowing when prices will change so you can transfer before a player’s price rises or falls. This means buy early in the week. Now I say buy early, but I mean you need to buy popular “bandwagon” players early. If Mata has just scored a hat-trick, chances are a whole bunch of managers will rush out an buy him. By tomorrow his price will have gone up by £0.1m. This is what we mean by bandwagon players. You can, and probably should, hold off any transfer on a player who is not moving much on FISO so you can be sure he is not injured come Saturday. And here is the risk of the early transfer, your bandwagon player might get injured in the week forceing you to play a sub …but even if one or two of your players get injured in a week, the building of an extra £5m to £6m over your competitors during the season is worth the risk in my opinion.

So check FISO for price movements. Every day. Or twice a day. At 11pm GMT each day. Before you go to bed at least. [But don’t set your alarm like Jai does].

A similar logic applies to points hits. If you are able to spot a number of players with really good potential to rise considerably in price in any one GW, why should you not take a point hit? Four to eight points early in the season to pick up 1-2 players that may rise up to .6 in the space of only 2 weeks could have been the differential that let you play the famous 5 in midfield WITH RVP and Suarez up front last season. Alternatively you would have had to have given up on one or even two of those players when they were red hot in the point’s column.

Naturally I would advise caution over too many four or eight point hits as it is very easy to get carried away. The best bet in this regard is to look for those players with good transfer values and a great set of fixtures coming up, as these players will not only provide a good chance of increased value but also provide a good chance of scoring points in the upcoming weeks.

Keep CalmFor people looking to build value early on, spotting players is a key. Who will rocket up quickly like Michu, Sissoko or Fellaini? Who are the real bandwagons? Well look to cheap players like Dzeko. If he does well in the game week 1 he can cause a big price movement.  Lets say he gets a goal and an assit in his first game, then he will probably go up £0.1m on the night of the game, he will easily go up another .2 during the week, and probably will also go up £0.1m on the Saturday after as the early morning (pre 11.30am) transfers are processed.

If someone has a great GW, jump on Fiso right away and see the total number of transfers for the player. Not all FPL managers are fortunate enough to have found our site, and transfers start rolling almost immediately after the first round of games, so get in early and see what kind of numbers people are being transferred in and out at. With simple math you can roughly figure out about how many managers will be buying and selling… and if the potential for the golden bandwagon of value building is in the works, “The .3 Rise”

The ‘hot property’ players are always susceptible to the bandwagon as well, so keep a special eye on these guys and get your Bale’s, RVP’s and Aguero’s in early if they start performing. Managers tend to panic and buy these players as soon as they show any signs of scoring to avoid their price getting any higher, a perfect opportunity for you to cash in.

Buying and selling players is like playing the stock market. Intuition about players plays a key role, and it helps you know when prices are going to shoot right up or slow down. Sell high, buy low seems a very simple concept, but you never want to sell at the wrong time because it probably means you cost yourself valuable points and money. Ask Chorley about selling Michu in GW8 last season.

Looking at the fixtures and reading how a player was rated for his game performance is a must. Most managers in FPL are only concerned with the points a player is getting not the ones they could have or should have got. If they see 3 straight games of 2 points for Theo they will sell. If I don’t have Theo and I notice the trend of people selling him and if I did not watch the games then I will read up on how he actually played. If he performed well (even if he only scored 2 points) I will buy him on the last day and get him at the lowest possible price. If he does well, I know the next week people will come running back in.

Selling high is tricky because it requires guts to sell a player performing well, but if you think the weak competition was the biggest reason for the points and you see a tough slate of games coming then this is the chance to sell and invest in a player who one feels may be set to start scoring and in turn rising in price. It is a dangerous little game the treating of players like a stock, but if the intuition is right it can pay off big time. Do keep in mind you only get half of the profit on a player when you sell him.

We all have an idea of what an ideal team at the beginning of the season should look like, but after a week or two we will have a different idea as we see the players we missed or underestimated perform well, and the players we expected to perform are simply just not there. This is when you can add value to you team. The blank in week 3 is a headache for many managers, but it’s a golden opportunity for value building. Week 3 will see many a frustrated manager as they already see themselves falling behind and panic. They will look at their squad and see 5 or 6 changes they want to make, they will jump on all the hot players and many will play their Wild Card. This type of panic is what value builders want. The market will be volatile in particular with Chelsea being off that week. So the WC is an option for me that week.

A WC is the perfect opportunity to build some massive team value. Player values change regularly in the gap between gameweeks and the WC allows you to have unlimited transfers so you don’t immediately have to buy your perfect wildcard team – spend some time building your value. Follow sites like TotalFPL and FISO to see players whose price will be increasing and early in your wild card week buy these players in – irrespective of if you want them or not. Over the week these players will increase by £0.2m, so then trade them out for the player you wanted. One of our resident experts who played an extremely valuable role in this article, Mr Bean, was able to increase his player value by 1.5m in GW3 alone last season. This is obviously a massive boost.

Likewise the opportunity is there this year…I could sell all my Chelsea players on the first night of GW1, and bring in all the players getting transferred in by other FPL managers to build value. At the end of the week sell the players I do not care to keep and my get the team set up for the next couple of weeks.

For the people worried about playing their WC too early, let me state this one thing. How far down or behind will you accept being? How many weeks will it take you to straighten out the team based on what you have now seen in the actual games? How many points behind will you fall to a team with more money and a WC played to straighten up the mistakes made with the original team? Obviously there are advantages to holding the WC for later, but that is usually to take advantage of one week, a WC played early will help you the rest of the season if played correctly with the extra money built up.

It is with that… that I call a day on giving Secret Zorro and ChorleyRocks high blood pressure! I give special thanks to all those that helped inspire this article (Mr. Bean and all others) and leave you with this enlightened piece of wisdom “Gotta risk it to get the biscuit… the juice is worth the squeeze”.

What do you think? This approach is controversial, but if played right could be rewarding. If played right then by the January transfer window you could have a team worth £110m and be on the coat tails of your mini-league leaders. All this cash can get you the best players and hey-presto, come April you are at the top of the league.

Equally, it could spectaculary backfire!  This is why we have called it an advanced strategy. Tell us your thoughs below.

Authors

68 thoughts on “Chasing the Bandwagon: tips for experienced Fantasy Premier League managers

  1. Am I right in thinking that if you play your WC, you should really only be looking to cash in on transfers that you’re not going to end up going with? i.e. say you had Walcott, then you WC after GW2, and you still want him in your team… if his price rises from 9.5 to 9.7, you shouldn’t sell. Ignore him and that leaves you with 14 players to sell… and so on.

    It seems like a certain amount of flexibility is needed vs knowing who you want.
    Did Mr Bean ever record how he managed to make his 1.5m last year?

  2. Hi, I want to know how Mr Bean took advantage of Chelsea not playing in GW3 to gain value. How did he gain value over Chelsea not playing that gameweek, what did he do

    • Hi Zakihas,

      Mr Bean played his wild card in GW3. GW2 starts around 11.30 on the day. Then the GW3 transfer window opens around 12 – 12.30. He bought players on the Saturday night of GW2 before any of the prices went up. He picked the players who had scored in GWs 1 and 2.

      Over the following week, as others did their transfers, the prices of Mr Bean’s players went up. Then, on the morning of GW3, before the 11.30 deadline, Mr Bean sold the players he did not want which banked him a load of profit to then spend on the players he wanted.

      Does this make sense?

      • Yes, but was there a reason as to why he chose that week? Like this year, in gw3 Chelsea aren’t playing, so how does that affect the values and why would you choose this week.

        Thanks

  3. Hi

    Excellent site. What do you think of my team so far.

    Mignolet
    Cole, Mertesacker, Zabeleta
    Walcott, Hazard (c), Nolan, Thomas
    Van Persie, Anelka, Soldago

    Subs

    Davis, Turner, Chester, Collback

    Worth having RVP in there or take him out and get better midfield.
    Views appreciated. Many thanks in advance

    • Hi StreetWise,

      Welcome to the site and thanks for the kind words.

      Davis won’t play. We prefer subs who play so they are there when you need them.
      Swap Collback.

      Have a read of /latest-stats/to-robin-van-persie-or-not-robin-van-persie-that-is-the-question/

  4. Hi,

    I wonder if you could tell me from last years database; last season which gameweek had the most price rises? or the highest total value of price rises?
    I’m thinking about using my wildcard early and will probably either do it as soon as GW2 starts or as soon as GW3 starts. Doing it after GW3 starts means I’ll be able to make transfers during the 14 day international break, but if the transfer activity is traditionally more hectic after GW2 starts then I’ll prob go for that week.

    Cheers.

    • Hi Bally,

      I’m sorry, I don’t have such stats. I do remember the most spectacular price rises were between GW4 and GW10 as struggling managers panic bought, and a lot of managers made good money in GW3 -as you say, when internationals are on.

  5. One Question, actually 2, since no one answered my first one :(

    Question 1: considering the next few fixtures and their recent form, which of these strikers should form a team of 3 in FPL:

    Bony | Sturridge | Soldado | Lambert | Welbeck | Benteke ??

    I will tell you why i included Welbeck and Bony there: Welbeck showed brilliant form in pre-season as well as in GW1 and is likely to flourish further. Bony is a class player and will score no matter who the opponent is.

    Question 2: The FPL site says that we can use the 1st Wildcard any time. Does that mean we can use it even after the second WC, like in Feb/March ?

    • Sorry Bron’ missed the 1st time, I’m going Benteke, Soldado & Bony!
      when Shrek’s back on form Danny Boy might be out again & Hernandez needs game time too…
      Second question, yeah, you must use the Jan wildcard within the dates given; your current wildcard you can use now, or for GW38 mate.

    • Giroud, Dzeko, Sturridge for me

      The January WC can only be played when the January transfer window is open. The other can be played at any time. The two most popular times to play the general wild card is in GW3 when we have an idea of who is performing and there are a lot of price movements over the 14 days between fixtures; and in GW33 as a lot of the top teams miss fixtures around GW31-32 due to the Euro Cup so play twice around GW33.

  6. Any chance of a follow up on this article for those of us bandwaggoners who have decided to WC early in GW3 looking to build value ie. potential big risers, new transfers, and recommended WC team based on current stats? Or am I just getting greedy now? Thanks for the brilliant site.

    Here is my WC team planned for starting GW4 (4-3-3):

    Mig, Davies
    Merte, Coleman, Zaba, Collins, Chester
    Redmond, Barkley, Ward-Prowse, Y Toure, Walcott
    RVP, Benteke, Negredo (or Sturridge)

  7. Very good article, and a lot of good tips!

    Am I the only one who is reading this in 2016?
    And does this strategy with the use of WC early on, and the use of FISO to make your transfers still work to make team value?
    This is my second year on FPL, so I’am new to this. Have anything changed from 2013 to 2016? If anyone have anymore tips to a new manager like me, i will be more than glad to get them.
    Thanks again for an excellent site.

    • @jajaja

      A few things have changed since 2013.

      1. There is no longer a January Wildcard. These days, you have one wildcard to use by GW19, and one wildcard to use from GW20 – oh, and they are called CHIPS now!!

      2. There are now 3 other CHIPS that can be used – Bench Boost, Triple Captain and All Out Attack. But you cannot use more than ONE CHIP in any week.

      3. And most importantly – this site has grown a lot in those 3 years. Check the 3 “drop-down” menus at the top of the page (Player Help, Team Help and Tips & Guides).

      4. Oh, and this site has also won awards in a few categories for “Best Fantasy Football Sites”.

      • @OldGoat

        Thank you for that update. Appreciate it.

        But does the strategy with the use of WC early on, and use FISO to make transfers to build team value still work? Or is there a better way to build team value now?

        • @jajaja

          Once the season has started, you will be able to monitor player potential price changes on this site under the Player Help Menu (Player Prices).

          Using your wildcard during the international break would be a good time, as there is a two week gap between games, so more players are likely to have price rises during that time.
          However, you also need to consider how good your current team is. If you are sat in the top 10K, I see no reason to change the team to get a bit of extra money in the bank.
          Plus, do bear in mind that you won’t be able to use your other Wildcard until GW20.

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