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How to make a flying start to the FPL season

The Scout 1 Jun 2017
Eden Hazard, Chelsea

Fantasy champion Ben Crabtree reveals how a patient approach can help you storm ahead in the early Gameweeks

By Gameweek 3, Fantasy Premier League champion Ben Crabtree was already ranked just outside the top 10,000, without making a single transfer.

In the last of our five-part series, Ben discusses the strategies behind a start to the season that laid the early foundations for his final-day glory

See: Exclusive: How I beat 4.5 million FPL managers

Ben says:

The best single tip I can offer any FPL managers is to guard against both long and short-term thinking. I have found it is far better to base decisions on a timeframe of maybe five or six Gameweeks.

This is certainly true when selecting the initial squad.

See: Wildcard timing vital

Do not think about who could prosper over the full season, because it is very unlikely you will have that player for the duration.

You only need to focus on who is going to start well and take it from there. 

My plan is always to pick an initial team to take me through the first two Gameweeks. I always look to save my first free transfer and give myself those two weeks of information before making my first changes.

Reacting to short-term form can also be damaging.

I have found it is important to give players enough time to deliver. I am often close to selling a player and then, having decided to give them one more week, they produce a big score.

You need to have a little patience and remember why you were drawn to that player and deliberate before you sell them on, even if their form is wavering.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
Ben urges FPL managers against reacting to short-term form

The Scout says:

Ben’s advice is crucial for our preparations for the new season.

It is all too easy to become fixated on potential targets based on their long-term prospects.

The FPL market is volatile in the opening month and, should an in-form budget player emerge (as we saw with Watford's Etienne Capoue) they will rapidly increase in price.

By focusing purely on the fixtures for the opening four to five Gameweeks, you will give yourself the best opportunity to acquire those form players from the off. 

Antonio Conte, Chelsea
Ben Crabtree resisted making any transfers up to Gameweek 3 on his way to the FPL crown

In this way, you can capture their early returns and perhaps gain funds from any price rise.

Ben focused his early investments on the first four fixtures and it paid off. As an example, his decision to start with Chelsea’s Eden Hazard produced two double-figure scores in the opening three Gameweeks.

As Ben also mentions, once the first few fixtures have passed, we have more information to hand with which to judge team tactics, selections and a degree of form.

Plan to save the Gameweek 1 transfer and you will ensure that you will have more flexibility to react to these factors to make two, or even three informed changes to your squad.

See: Crabtree: How to play FPL transfer market like a champion

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