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Flexible formation key in Fantasy

The Scout 27 Jul 2017
Charlie Daniels, AFC Bournemouth

The Scout's series on FPL fundamentals continues with how attacking full-backs have altered how we set up our squads

The Scout's series of FPL fundamentals continues.

Favoured formation?

Premier League coaches shift formation based on personnel, and Fantasy Premier League managers should follow their lead.

While it is sensible to set up with a favoured formation in mind, FPL managers must remain flexible in their tactics as the season plays out.

Commit and plan

You should build your initial 15-man squad with a clear starting XI and formation in mind.

The 3-4-3 is the most popular set-up but, if you opt for that, be sure to avoid selection dilemmas.

In that formation, your two benched defenders and a midfielder should be obvious back-up material and planned for the first three to four Gameweeks.

React to value

The value available in the market can dictate a shift in formation.

Forwards top the goal charts, but the midfield was arguably the most crucial position in 2016/17.

Ten midfielders scored 170 points or more, compared with only four forwards.

It is also often in midfield where low-cost gems emerge.

Watford's Etienne Capoue (£5.5m) and Stoke City's Joe Allen (£5.5m) were two such examples last season.

Be prepared to change to a five-man midfield when you see these opportunities.

If you have confidence in midfield bargains from the off, opt for a 3-5-2 and plump for two budget defenders and a forward for the bench. 

Etienne Capoue, Watford
The value offered by Watford's Etienne Capoue led to many FPL managers shifting to a five-man midfield last season

Look to goalscoring defenders

It is considered most effective to field seven attacking players and deploy three at the back.

But the popularity of the wing-back could change that.

Defenders score six points for each goal in FPL, with midfielders earning five and forwards four.

Goalscoring defenders can therefore be precious commodities.

Players such as Chelsea's Marcos Alonso (£7.0m) and AFC Bournemouth's Charlie Daniels (£5.0m) are proven threats who could score between 5-10 goals this season.

That may warrant bigger investment in defence and the use of a 4-3-3 or 4-4-2.

Again, let the value available shape your formation.

Defences may settle early to offer a stream of clean sheets.

If wing-backs also start to promise goals, monitor their points-per-match statistics and react to change your formation accordingly.

Tomorrow The Scout's FPL captaincy strategies

See: How to build a winning FPL squad

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