The start of the 2021-22 Premier League is just around the corner and excitement is building for a new season of fantasy football.
While there are plenty of fantasy football games available online, the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) is undoubtedly the most popular and offers users the chance to battle it out with their friends and rivals across the globe.
So, whether you're a seasoned veteran of FPL or a beginner just starting to get to grips with the game, Goal 's guide offers everything you need to new ahead of the new campaign.
- How do you register a team?
- How do you play FPL?
- How are points awarded?
- Best fantasy football tips for a good season
- What are bonus points?
- What is Fantasy Draft?
- Who are the best players to pick?
- What is a Gameweek?
- What are FPL Chips?
- What prizes can you win?
To register a team for the 2021-22 Fantasy Premier League head over to the game's official website and, if you don't already have an account, click 'Sign up'.
Once you've entered the necessary information and, if applicable due to age restrictions, arranged access with a parent or guardian, you'll be able to choose a team name and then it's time for the most exciting part - picking your players!
Each FPL manager is then assigned a budget of £100 million and must pick a total of 15 players: two goalkeepers, five defenders, five midfielders and three forwards. You are limited to a maximum of three players from each Premier League team.
You have unlimited transfers right up until 18:30 (BST) on Friday, August 13 - an hour-and-a-half before the first Premier League game of the new season - and there is an 'Auto Pick' option if you want the game to select a full squad for you.
The basic aim of Fantasy Premier League is to accumulate as many points as possible across the entire 2021-22 season.
From your squad of 15 players, you must select a starting XI for each 'Gameweek' - more on that later - and they will receive points based on their performance in each fixture.
You put your team in any formation although there must always be one goalkeeper, at least three defenders and at least one forward selected at all times.
It is also important to arrange the order of your substitutes' bench, as the game will automatically substitute a player in if one of the players in your starting team doesn't play in the gameweek.
You are also required to select a captain, and vice-captain ahead of each gameweek.
The captain of your team will receive double the amount of points, while the vice-captain is a back-up choice in case your original selection doesn't play, and thus the double points will be awarded to the alternative pick.
You will automatically be entered into various 'general leagues', including a fan league, based on the team you support, a country league, a 'Gameweek' league depending on when you signed up, and an overall league.
There is also the possibility to create an invitational mini-league, both in classic or head-to-head style, to allow you to play against friends and family.
Alongside the standard league format, FPL teams are automatically entered into the cup, with the start date determined by the total amount of players that enter the game.
There are no restrictions as to when you first enter your team although, in the interests of fairness, you are limited to having one team per person.
Points are awarded to each player based on their performance in a match, with the following criteria being applied:
|For playing up to 60 minutes||1|
|For playing 60 minutes or more (excluding stoppage time)||2|
|For each goal scored by a goalkeeper or defender||6|
|For each goal scored by a midfielder||5|
|For each goal scored by a forward||4|
|For each goal assist||3|
|For a clean sheet by a goalkeeper or defender||4|
|For a clean sheet by a midfielder||1|
|For every 3 shot saves by a goalkeeper||1|
|For each penalty save||5|
|For each penalty miss||-2|
|Bonus points for the best players in a match||1-3|
|For every 2 goals conceded by a goalkeeper or defender||-1|
|For each yellow card||-1|
|For each red card||-3|
|For each own goal||-2|
No need to own two expensive goalkeepers
As only one of your two goalkeepers will be able to play each week, aim for your regular starter to be a player worth £4.5m+, such as Ederson (£6m), Edouard Mendy (£6m) or Emiliano Martinez (£5.5m), and ensure your back-up is one of the cheapest £4m players.
A strong bench
Make sure you have at least one or two decent players on your bench, goalkeeper aside. There will be times when members of your starting XI are unexpectedly injured or dropped, so it's important to have players in reserve that you can be confident will be picked in a Gameweek and can automatically step in.
Beat a price rise
After each Gameweek, certain player prices will increase or decrease depending on their popularity among the FPL community, related to transfer activity. If you're certain you want a player in ready for their next game, it's best to make the transfer early to avoid them going up in price and thus eating away at your budget.
Leave transfers & team changes as long as possible
As much as beating a price rise can be important, it's arguably a better idea to wait until the last possible moment to make your team changes before a Gameweek starts. That allows for team updates from managers in press conferences and gives you a clearer idea of which players from your team, or those that you plan to transfer in, will be playing or not.
Take note of bargain players
Over the first few Gameweeks it will become clearer who's starting, and who's in form, in the Premier League. There may be some surprises and a bargain or two to be had a result, with Ilkay Gundogan (£7.5m) being a perfect example having been priced at just £5.5m last season despite his more advanced role at Manchester City that saw him score 13 goals.
Know your set-piece takers
It's useful to know who takes free-kicks and penalties in the Premier League - and Goal's handy guide can help you with that. Defenders are particularly appealing here, with Lucas Digne (£5.5m) being a prime example of a defensive player who takes set-pieces and is thus capable of big point-scoring Gameweeks.
Carefully select your captain
If you're serious about doing well in FPL in the 2021-22 season then your captain picks are going to be vital. Your skipper will score double points during every Gameweek and be sure to always select from your strongest players with favourable fixtures.
Use your wildcard wisely
You get two 'wildcard' chips to use over a season, one before December 28 and then the second after that date. The temptation may be to activate it straight away, potentially after a disappointing first week or two of the season, but try not to make a rash decision and only use your wildcard when you're sure you need to overhaul your squad, and certainly not when you're only looking to make one or two changes.
Don't forget about your chips
It goes without saying but don't waste the chance to use all chips available. This is particularly important if you still have some left towards the end of the season as, for example, you can't use a wildcard and a triple captain in the same Gameweek, you're only able to use one at a time.
Bonus points are awarded to the three 'best'-performing players in each Premier League match.
The official definition provided by the FPL website reads: "The Bonus Points System (BPS) utilises a range of statistics to create a BPS score for every player.
"The three best performing players in each match will be awarded bonus points. 3 points will be awarded to the highest scoring player, 2 to the second best and 1 to the third."
In the event of a tie, between either first, second or third place, the points will be divided accordingly. For example, a tie for first place will see Players 1 and 2 awarded three points each, with Player 3 receiving one point.
For a full explanation of what happens in the event of a bonus-point tie, as well as the Bonus Points System used by FPL and how it works, a full breakdown can be found via the 'Rules' section of the official website.
Fantasy Draft allows you to create or join a draft league against friends and family, or a public league against the Fantasy community.
You can have up to 16 teams in your draft league, although the official FPL website makes the recommendation of eight being a good number, to ensure there are enough top players spread around.
You then need to set a date for the draft to take place, where players will have the chance to fill their 15-man squads, taking it in turns to select individual players from the 20 Premier League teams. As opposed to the original game, no budget rules are applied.
There are 15 draft rounds in total to allow each player to have a full 15-man squad, with a random order initially generated which will then 'snake' from round to round, with the draft pick order reversed each time.
During each round, the FPL manager will have between 30 and 120 seconds, with the default being 90 seconds, to pick a player to join their squad. A failure to pick a player within the time limit will result in a player automatically being assigned.
After the draft has taken place there is the opportunity to bring in unassigned players via waiver requests. Depending on the settings assigned to your league, there is also the chance to trade players with fellow FPL managers.
For a full explanation of Fantasy Draft, the rules and how it works you can head over to the official Fantasy Premier League website.
Each registered Premier League player from the 20 teams in England's top-flight league is assigned a price, with the top-value players considered to be the 'best' and most likely to score the most points over the season.
The two most expensive players on the game are Tottenham striker Harry Kane and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, who are both available for £12.5 million each.
Indeed, midfield and forward players make up the bulk of the most expensive assets on the game, with the highest-valued defender being Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m).
As for the highest-priced goalkeepers, there are three who are valued at £6m; Edouard Mendy, Alisson and Ederson.
- The best Fantasy Premier League forwards for 2021-22
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- The best Fantasy Premier League defenders for 2021-22
- The best Fantasy Premier League goalkeepers for 2021-22
- The best FPL new signings, must-have players & bargain buys
- Every 2021-22 Premier League penalty, free kick & corner taker
A Gameweek essentially refers to the Premier League matches that will be played during a specific timeframe, with the most common gameweek seeing 10 matches played, and all 20 Premier League teams involved.
There are, however, exceptions, with there being specific weeks where a team may have more than one match counted as part of a gameweek, while other sides may not have a match to play at all.
There will be a total of 38 gameweeks played over the 2021-22 Premier League season, with the first getting underway on August 13.
Associated with gameweeks are deadlines, where you must have all your transfers and team changes made before a set day and time.
The deadline for the very first gameweek of the 2021-22 campaign is 18:30 (BST) on Friday, August 13.
Each team is allocated chips that can be used during the 2021-22 Premier League season to aid and enhance performance and point scoring.
They are: Bench Boost, Triple Captain, Free Hit and Wildcard.
Bench Boost allows a team to receive points for their starting XI and substitutes, and can be used once a season. Free Hit, meanwhile, gives the FPL manager the chance to make unlimited transfers to their team for one sole gameweek.
A Triple Captain chip can also only be used once in the season and means that the player selected as your captain will score three-times the amount of points for a single gameweek.
The Wildcard chip can be used twice in a season - the first before December 28 and then the second after that date until the end of the 2021-22 campaign - and allows unlimited transfers to be made.
There are various prizes available across the 2021-22 season for those teams who perform well.
The grand prize for finishing in first place in the overall Fantasy Premier League standings of all global players is a seven-night break in the UK including VIP hospitality at two 2022-23 Premier League matches.
Other prizes are also awarded to that individual including a Hublot connected watch, a copy of FIFA 22 and a games console.
There are also an assortment of prizes given to the overall runner-up, third-place and the 2021-22 FPL Cup winner, as well as those that win the Manager of the Month and the Manager of the Week.