“I don’t want special relations with one of them (his players). I hate to speak about individuals. Players don’t win you trophies, teams win trophies, squads win trophies.”


The essence of the game is to get points, let’s not complicate things.

Looking at last season’s player rankings we can see which individuals got most points – using information gathered in preseason I can surmise if they might regress, maintain, or better their rank.

Along with players I like to reference team data.

I look at teams as a whole, how they set up/rotate, where they generate most FPL points. The top 6 teams’ assets are most desirable, but the limited budget means selecting enablers, cheaper players from less regarded teams.


Building my team for GW1, I use a price point structure, not only for flexibility, it simplifies things. It makes me objectify players, they are points producers and should be treated as such. Every season is a clean slate, but I like to start with a responsible core who more than likely will keep me in the running and to get me to the next stage, transferring in the form players, without too many hits. I try to put one player of the highest cost in each position to enable me to do this.

My criteria

  • nailed first team players, who get 90 mins, those I trust from last season
  • offensive players get more points, bonus point magnets
  • premiums suitable for captaincy
  • consider 4 weeks fixtures, not only week 1, bookies odds might be useful for CS & goal scorers
  • spread the risk, minimal doubling up ie GK & DEF in same team. Triple Spurs no thanks
  • minimum spend on GK & bench
  • look at rotation for cheap defenders
  • player pool watch list – for enablers, out of position players, newly transferred, promoted, breakouts
  • ownership stats, I trust my judgement but keep an eye on this too


Bucket list for teams to target via position.

This is subjective and rather simplified, it relates to FPL points generated within a team, which throws up some interesting anomalies, which if interpreted correctly might mean opportunity.

  • Goal Keepers – SHU, BUR, TOT, WOL, ARS (MCI 17 CS) MUN
  • Defenders – SHU, WOL, BUR, MCI, LIV, (ARS MUN) (CHE? at home)
  • Midfielders – MCI, LIV, MUN,CHE, ARS. Notables WHU, NEWC, TOT, AVL . BAD – SHU, BUR
  • Forwards – SOU, MUN, LEI, WOL (SHU) TOT -Kane fit

I want to expand on SHU who scored 1588 FPL points in total, ranking 7th overall. Their playing style meant; excellent points value in defence/goal keeping. Poor for midfield. Good for forward points, however, rotation meant these points were split between 4 different strikers. I am eagerly watching to see if they sign a potentially nailed forward.


As FPL is an attack weighted game, this is another important area for potential points.

Reading statistics can be daunting, I narrow my focus to show a teams creativity in attack, in particular big chances created.

The top three were MCI 108, LIV 88, CHE 69.

SHU 61 were 5th, with EVE 59 6th. Food for thought.

Interestingly BHA and SOU both showed 49 BCC, with goals scored over the season 39 and 51 respectively.

Post restart, SOU ranked 5th in attacking stats (shots, shots on target, shots in the box, BCC). I rank their attacking players high priority for my team.


With so many variables already in the mix for how to arrive at the deadline in the best shape for securing points, I need to add one more, pertinent consideration, uncertainty management.

I won’t be deciding my team until the final hours – yes I have names, but I have back up names and contingency names too.

Scripts from press conferences will be examined in detail. The most up to date information is vital.

It occurred to Dr. Lecter in the moment that with all his knowledge and intrusion, he could never entirely predict her, or own her at all.

Thomas Harris, Hannibal.

In conclusion, although I will set up my GW1 team with the best possible chance for points, I do not have a crystal ball, so failure is also an option. I can accept this and will have the flexibility to change things as necessary.

Well the clock is ticking and the information is changing by the minute, see you on the other side.

My job was to give us the best possible chance of winning. That is what drove me.

Sir Alex Ferguson