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FPL secrets: Finding the right formation

The Scout 4 Aug 2021
Brendan Rodgers

The Scout says flexibility is key when it comes to deciding which shape to use for your team

As the 2021/22 season draws ever closer and Fantasy Premier League managers step up their preparations, The Scout explains the secrets to success.

It's not too late Use GW1 matches as a guide to start your FPL season in GW2 Create Squad
Finding the right formation

While it is sensible to build a squad with a starting XI and formation in mind, managers must be flexible as the campaign progresses.

The 3-4-3 system is the most popular in Fantasy. In that formation, the fifth midfielder and two benched defenders should be cheap back-up options for the first three to four Gameweeks.

But the value available in various positions can prompt a change of plan.

The success of Patrick Bamford (£8.0m) last season is a fine example.

The Leeds United striker started at just £5.5m and finished as the second top-scoring forward in the game on 194 points, thanks to 17 goals and 11 assists.

By snapping him up, managers were able to invest more in midfield, targeting premium picks such as Mohamed Salah (£12.5m), Bruno Fernandes (£12.0m) and Son Heung-min (£10.0m). 

Look for the best value

A number of budget-friendly midfielders also made a huge impact in the last campaign.

Three of the 10 top-scoring players in that position - Jack Harrison (£6.0m), Ilkay Gundogan (£7.5m) and James Ward-Prowse (£6.5m) - started 2020/21 at a cost of no more than £6.0m.

If this trend continues, the improved output from reliable, budget-friendly midfielders will again give managers the option of investing more money in defence or up front.

See: The Scout’s preset squads: Premium five-man midfield

This would allow them to target Harry Kane (£12.5m) as one of their strikers. The Tottenham Hotspur forward had his best ever Fantasy season in 2020/21, racking up 242 points.

Dangerous defenders

The goals and assists offered by wing-backs or attacking full-backs can also be a factor.

Defenders score six points for each goal in FPL, while midfielders earn five and forwards get four.

Finding the players who offer a big attacking threat from the back can again lead to a change in tactics.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) and Luke Shaw (£5.5m) were among the top seven players overall for chances created last season, with 77 and 72 respectively.

That threat can merit more investment in defence, with a switch to 4-4-2 or 4-3-3.

See: FPL experts: The best premium defenders

Players getting a new role

Reacting to on-pitch changes is also vital.

Leeds' Stuart Dallas (£5.5m) thrived after being moved into midfield midway through last season.

Listed as a defender at the start of 2020/21, he went on to score eight times, matching the best ever goal haul by a player in that position in Fantasy.

Monitoring such changes, as well as player form, will help shape and dictate your formation.

Also in this series

Part 1: Building a successful squad
Part 3: Picking the perfect captain
Part 4: How to create a 'mini-Wildcard'
Part 5: Be tactical with your chips
Part 6: Bonus-point kings offer edge

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