How to tap into the FPL hive mind without following the herd: A (Salah) squad structure strategy guide

05/08/2018 Planet FPL


I genuinely believe the FPL community is the greatest hive mind in human existence. Enlightened information flows freely but with that comes the power to seduce or suppress your own opinions. This article sets out to apply the best critical thinking I could find without suggesting which players to pick in YOUR squad.

M Y • S Q U A D • S T A R T I N G • P O I N T

A show of hands please if you’ve had Luke Shaw in your draft team? Jotted down the underpriced Jota as a must have? Perhaps you subscribe to the £7m striker pool school of thought. I have done all the above in the last seven days. If you are part of the FPL community on your preferred social media platforms, it is impossible to ignore the hype. Going hand in hand with the hype this year is a sense of heightened hysteria, due to overlapping issues and assumptions:

  • Mo Salah means Mo problems. At £13m with the extra bang from his retained midfield status, Salah is in his own FPL asset class. The Egyptian is essential due to his 50+% ownership; as a popular fire and forget captain, the thought of out-scoring Salah twice most gameweeks is a tough prospect. But owning Salah also eradicates any plans to arm yourself with a heavy hitting gameweek one squad. The required spending on your 15 man team requires packing almost a quarter of your auxiliary ammunition into one player. Optimising value throughout your squad has never been more important.
  • World Cup question marks. There are 30+ Premier League players that made it to the final weekend of the tournament, most of which will not return for their season openers. This leaves us pining for absent players and has a lot of managers committed to using their first wildcard during the international break, after gameweek four. The wildcard is by far the most important chip in the game and I don’t want to play it to get players back in that are away with their international sides again. Two home and two away games is not enough data to restructure your squad for the longest stretch of the season.
  • Changes to the transfer window. For the first time in the modern era of FPL, we will know the exact makeup of every Premier League squad before we make our own selections. This provides unprecedented opportunities for tactical tinkering that takes late transfer window moves into account. For me, this makes playing a later wildcard a much more practical strategy this season, if lady luck is on my side (and in my FPL team). Having less than 24 hours to integrate deadline deals into – or out of – our squads will catch out unprepared FPL managers and lead to unbalanced teams.
  • No changes to the chips. Having pissed away my free hit chip prematurely last season, I’ll avoid breaking the seal until the second half of this season. My lack of free hit for the blanks dictated my gameweek 31 wildcard team and saw me treading water in the top 5k OR until my final day triple captain play put me back among the top 2,000 finishers. If you don’t intend to play any chips before your first wildcard or even your second wildcard, optimising the value of your starting XI during the opening weeks of the season has a bigger pay off than spreading the money around your squad.

I N • S U M M A R Y

This article details a plan for:

  1. a) leveraging smarter FPL minds than me to formulate some pre-wildcard guiding squad structure principles
  2. b) making smarter transfer decisions that help avoid groupthink fallacy and my own detrimental FPL habits
  3. c) having predetermined failsafe points that will trigger my first wildcard, not a predetermined wildcard
  4. d) A system that rewards more time spent analysing fixtures and player stats over price bandwagons, chasing last week’s dream team surprises or last minute transfer window moves

You might be asking yourself why someone who finished 2,016th in the FPL world last season would want to rip up a somewhat winning formula. The answer cuts straight to why it’s taken me so long to put out a first FPL team draft.

I’m convinced that I am bound to have a worse season this year.

Ending in the top 0.whatever % of players means the probability of a down year happening seems almost certain. Going with Salah reduces the margin of error and of victory, just as much as playing my game is only going to result in a disappointing campaign. Now I’ve convinced myself I won’t do better doing the same thing, what have I got to lose trying something new and dare I say original?

Armed with this mindset, I spent the entirety of my post-World-Cup FPL ‘me’ time, reading game theory articles and related tweets, instead of tinkering with my team.

The result was groupings of complementary research that influenced a particular direction for squad structure strategies.

S A F E T Y •  I N • N U M B E R S

Peter Blake & Peter Blake | optimal squad value structure

To establish an optimal points efficiency per position base for my squad, there is really only one place to start, Peter Blake AKA @mathsafe_fpl.

Having underperformed by his standards in the 16/17 season, Peter played a blinder last year with his Position Value and Productivity research that set out to find the optimal formation. Based on three seasons of data, he concluded the following optimal squad structure:

Peter acknowledges that the nature of the £100m starting budget requires concessions in certain departments. I decided to apply these particular findings to my squad draft:

  • Put as much money into the midfield as possible as the relationship between price and value appears to be direct
  • Do not ignore the premium forwards as they have the highest PpMin and are essential
  • Budget forwards are extremely high risk / high reward
  • The Upper Standard defenders offer the best value and productivity; only in rare cases are the Elite premium defenders worth it
  • Goalkeepers should be the last position to be filled in your squad, and you should get as cheap as possible

Adjusting for fixed starting prices (the historical data Peter used was the end of season prices), I was able to create two squad structures with a starting XI that fits within Peter’s optimal ‘value structure’ system.

Green represents a fit with Peter’s system. Yes/No represents my current squad coverage.

# 1 • D R A F T • S Q U A D • S T R U C T U R E

Three outfield price points that greatly interest me for gameweek one selections this season are the £5.5m defenders, £6.5m midfielders, and £11m attackers. My first squad structure neatly fits as many of these into one squad as is possible in a 442/352 formation. The upside is a high likelihood of nailing the bandwagon player in these price slots as it’s likely that one of the £6.5m midfielders will perform above his starting price and will enter the £7m+ price range before too long. However, I could quickly see this squad structure disintegrating with a couple of transfer moves required to get a second premium midfielder.

The second variation more closely follows the principle of putting as much money as possible in midfield, within Peter’s optimal price structure. The trade-off was downgrading my second striker to another budget option that still fits the prescribed optimal system. If you wanted to kill the second striker spot, that extra £0.5m could easily be moved into midfield or defence to accommodate that slightly pricier pick.

In conclusion, I believe this rigid squad structure approach is best suited to early wildcarders. It gives you a higher percentage of hitting on early bandwagons by selecting multiple assets in the same price class. As I’m not planning on popping my wildcard in the early weeks of the season, this structure is too rigid to maintain for an extended period of time.

The lack of viable £7m strikers in the past few seasons is the obvious anomaly in the research conducted last year. Peter has since put out some more highly credible work, including the impact of fixtures on player performance (July 2018). It advocates some additional squad structure advice that I intend to apply to my next squad draft:

  • Pick premium defenders on good fixture runs…which I believe requires two £6m defensive price slots to cover the top six teams
  • It matters less for goalkeepers, so put the best budget option between the sticks
  • You get what you pay for with midfielders
  • Forwards offer diminishing returns the more you spend
  • However, there are more points potential in the forwards than the midfielders…which I read to suggest going with one explosive option when faced with a sea of green fixtures

Having analysed my team structure I came to realise that Chelsea is the outlier that this system setup doesn’t account for. In this selected squad of priced positions, I have no way to cover their biggest points scorer in defence (£6.5m), midfield (£10.5m) or attack (£9m). The last time they were out of the Champions League and had a new manager, they won the league, so this is a major concern. I concluded that further analysis is required to optimise my price structure and find a price slot to potentially include a Chelsea talisman. 

P L A Y I N G • T H E • P R I C E • S L O T S

FMLFPL & WhoGotTheAssist | selecting FPL price slots instead of picking FPL players

One of the first informative bits of content that put me on my current strategic path was FMLFPL’s price reveal pod back on 9th July. The podcast’s protagonists, Alun and Walsh, discussed a community question asking about team price structure and thinking about your FPL squad in terms of ‘slots’, as a way of creating transfer consistency. As Walsh eloquently summarised, it means “stripping away the names of the players and looking at them as pure commodities, based on prices and how much you want to spend on each slot”. Walsh followed it up with a blog looking at the different Salah team structures.

Backing this theory up was the WhoGotTheAssist? chaps. In their recent “Positions Please” pre-season pod, Tom referenced how moving your mid-priced midfield assets last season between Groß (GW1-9) > Shaqiri (GW10-15) > Arnautovic (GW16-23) > Shaqiri (GW24-31) > Arnautovic (to end the season) would have netted you 246 points…second only to Salah in the entire game. Three players. Four transfers. One price slot.

  • I put this ‘price slot’ theory into practice by looking at the outlay in each position that had the most player options I was interested in
  • I applied the principle of making a maximum of four transfer swaps on a given price slot throughout the season and worked out how many ‘fire and forget’ squad options I needed to accommodate
  • The conclusion was nine ‘switchable’ price slots with the challenge of finding six ‘fire and forget’ squad options at the nailed premium and bench fodder price points
  • In theory, I would then save my wildcard for the scenario of having a raft of injuries to my premium ‘fire & forget’ picks requiring a wildcard lifeboat

# 2 • D R A F T • S Q U A D • S T R U C T U R E

In this system, I was able to acquire six price slots with ‘fire and forget’ potential camped around Salah:

£5.5m goalkeeper | £4m goalkeeper

£6.5m defender | £4m defender

£10m midfielder

£4.5m attacker

The benefit of this system is being able to pick midfielders in the ‘set and forget’ price range of talent that tend to tick along over the course of a season, thus hopefully minimising the distraction of spending transfers in these positions until an injury, suspension or cup rotation inevitably hits.

While I would prefer to not spend £6.5m on a defender, there is a certain machine at that price point that doesn’t miss games. The fragility of this system requires certain players who won’t miss games so finding reliable minutes is a must. To get to my desired squad structure and reliable midfield contributors, I had to go with two £4m budget options. This is a high-risk strategy I have avoided in season’s past. But like the newly populated £7m striker slot, there does seem to be a few genuine options at the backline budget price of £4m. I’ve only included one of these slots as a ‘f&f’ pick, knowing the chances are one (if not both) will slip into insignificance once the season starts.

In conclusion, I really like the focus this system places on reduced transfers decisions to a smaller choice of squad positions. The obvious concerns are including four players at the cheapest enabler end of their positions, requiring me to play one of them every gameweek. 

Price slots is definitely a squad and transfer selection policy I will be playing with this season. However, two of my selections are literally yellow flagged with a warning sign, so I don’t feel this current squad setup is robust enough to endure a significant spell at the start of the season.

No prizes for guessing the £10m midfield player I have my eye on as he is the only one in the game. This price slot could easily flex from £9.5m to £10.5m with a couple of moves elsewhere. It is likely he will not start the season. Meanwhile, immediate fixture difficulty is also hard to ignore when given the power to pick more obvious alternatives in other premium squad positions. 

If I compare this squad value set up to what Peter prescribed, I can see where this updated squad falls foul of that original system:

Green represents a fit with Peter’s system. Yes/No represents my current squad coverage.


In my next draft, I will be aiming for better squad balance by finding the unique price slots in each position that offers the most value, enabling me to field a full squad of playing options.

M A K I N G  • U P • A L G O R I T H M S

FPL JERR & FPLMiguel | squad effectiveness value & formational flexibility

In my final research foray I wanted to return to more of a value proposition. Each position in your FPL squad has a unique composition of point scoring potential, so I wanted to see if it was possible to match ‘like for like’ value across different positions and price points; the evolved theory being that I could potentially identify more profitable fixture runs for ‘paired price points’.

I poked around the Twitter hive for further validation of this approach. I discovered it via a new (to me) community member, @Fujtown_ who goes by FPL JERR. His recently pinned tweet was a 2 minute video entitled ‘FPL: A System Approach’:

Click here to view tweet.

JERR suggests that FPL managers lose PPG (points per game) when we mix systems and take hits to pick form players that do not fit our chosen system, leading to an unbalanced team. He suggests a safer approach of having a more rigid system, focusing on brackets (price and position) and select between them throughout the season. One of my goals was to break away from my old FPL habits. A favourite of mine is the comfort of adopting a hybrid formational system. The obvious advantage is playing the fixtures but it also gives me squad decisions to make during the week that quell my desire to make a tasty transfer change. Is this really the best way to play or am I reducing the optimal value of my team by building in escape routes?

The Twitter hive delivered once again. During an unrelated search I discovered the thread by FPLMiguel: I used his analysis to create two metrics:

    • xPP = eXpected Points per Position {expected points divided by 38 games}


  • xVP = eXpected Value per Position {expected pointed divided by price point}



Click here to view tweet.

Comparing Budget Price Slots

The baseline comparison of expected points for the budget £4.5m price slots suggests that surprisingly, there is more value in the midfield and attacking slots than defence. £5m midfielders and attackers are expected to return equal points potential. £5m defenders returned 2.8 xPP | 21.6 xVP. The average ROI of the cheapest three defender price slots slightly favours a £5m pick over carrying the traditional £4.5m options.

My next draft will carry a £5m midfielder/attacking rotation option as they have the same expected points return. If I can afford it, I’ll also throw in a £5m fourth defender to complete the ideal rotational set.

Both fixtures and form are never equal, so your best bench rotation strategy is to have three £5m options across your outfield. If fixtures and form were on par for a particular gameweek, you would start your £5m midfielder and have this as your best (for potential points over the course of a season) bench set up:

Comparing Midfield Price Slots

By comparison, paying £13m for Salah’s outlier 303 points nets you a scarcely believable 8 xPP | 23.3 xVP (!). Taking FPLMiguel’s average score and applying it to Captaincy. Salah (208×2) is expected to return 10.9 (c)xPP, which beats Kane’s 10.2 (c)xPP.

The mantra that you ‘get what you pay for’ with midfielders holds true. The real finding here is the potential return on value of the £6.5m price slot. They offer value matching a £5m pick, with the expected points returns of a £7.5m alternative.

For value, it’s possible that a £5m rotational pick can match Mo Salah, which is another reason to consider having both extreme price slots in your squad. In between, the best strategy appears to be committing to definitive price (read value) blocks.

The result is this optimal midfield price structure to build the rest of your squad around:

By comparison, paying £13m for Salah’s outlier 303 points nets you a scarcely believable 8 xPP | 23.3 xVP (!). Taking FPLMiguel’s average score and applying it to Captaincy. Salah (208×2) is expected to return 10.9 (c)xPP, which beat’s Kane’s 10.2 (c)xPP.

The mantra that you ‘get what you pay for’ with midfielders holds true. The real finding here is the potential return on value of the £6.5m price slot. They offer value matching a £5m pick, with the expected points returns of a £7.5m alternative.

For value, it’s possible that a £5m rotational pick can match Mo Salah, which is another reason to consider having both extreme price slots in your squad. In between, the best strategy appears to be committing to definitive price (read value) blocks.

The result is this optimal midfield price structure to build the rest of your squad around:

FPL Miguel calculated a nine point swing between £9.5m and £10m priced players. With only six options in the £9.5m to £10.5m price slot range, it’s possible that the £1m cheaper alternatives could outperform their more expensive counterparts. Sterling did this last season, which has led to him being priced above this bracket at the start of the current campaign. If you exceed your squad budget, consider coming down from a £10.5m pick to the lower end of that bracket.

These findings makes your secondary premium midfield slot less of a ‘fire and forget’ slot and more of one you should play by the fixture and form rule book. As a knock on effect, it raises the appeal of increasing your third midfield slot from the outstanding value found in the Mid Standard £6.5m range to the more consistent Lower Premium slot at £8.5m, occupied by three kindly priced players on top six teams.

Comparing Value of Your Main Attacking Price Slot

Having a £8.5m third midfielder requires you to take significant funds out of your attack. To this point I have been pretty set on including an £11m focal point up front. But is this necessary?

The data confirms £9.5m strikers have the potential to match their £11m counterparts. Arsenal happen to be the only Club with attackers in both these price slots. The challenge is once you commit to a striker under £11m, it requires two transfers to get back into that elite bracket.

The drop-off in points potential declines dramatically when you go below the premium bracket. The reclassification of talisman midfielders into attackers makes me think that the £7m bracket will contain at least one option that hits above the 4 xPP rate. Having run the numbers on doubling up on £7m strikers, it is a sound strategy which releases funds to pour into your midfield and improving your team’s overall xPP in the process. What puts me off is the higher ownership and lack of flexibility to easily come off one of those £7m picks and not unbalance your team in the process.

A more suitable approach would be to select two £5m strikers supporting a Premium Attacker and be comfortable benching both of them in a 4-5-1 system. The natural temptation would be to go with a £6m second striker. However, both the £5m & £6m attacking slots return 3.4 xPP with +1.3 xVP for the cheaper option.

If you want an Arsenal attacker, the data suggests going with the value saving of Lacazette over Aubameyang. Having an £11m attacking price slot enables a straight swap into the Manchester Clubs, which is why I’ll be including this price slot in my squad. Going with either a £7m or £5m second striker is the safer option, with the £6m or £6.5m striker slots looking limited to managers fixed on playing three up front.

This is how I would recommend spending your attacking coin until the value picks reveal themselves:

Comparing Paired Price Points Across Midfield and Attack

The money I spend on the second striker slot is the other defining variable in my chosen squad setup. The four price points across the two positions that I like the pairing of is a £10.5m upper premium midfielder + £5m striker vs a £8.5m lower premium midfielder + coveted £7m striker slot. Both systems required £15.5m spend.

The results show that this ‘price point pairing’ is almost identical, meaning I could potentially switch funds from midfield to attack between the two pairings when the fixtures, form and player availability suits. With question marks over my preferred set and forget £10m midfield points ticker, I am considering starting with a £10.5m midfielder, both of which are under 11% owned. By committing to this £0.5m transfer ‘downgrade’, I could scrap the plan to keep £0.5m in the bank.

 Before I move on I also thought it important to check the potential pairing of two price slots I have been pretty quick to dismiss; the £6m midfielder and £9.5m attackers. To make it relevant to my forming team structure, I compared this £15.5m spend to the £16m I have sitting in my draft team.

On paper, the more even spread of funds is expected to score roughly the same points and expectedly offers better value return. The results are close enough that the direction I go in is very much fixture and form dependent.

If I had built a £4.5m midfielder into my team to get to an £11m attacker, then I would likely be going for the £6m – £9.5m price point pairing. Having included a £5m fifth midfielder in my draft, I prefer the security of the Upper Premium Attacker while keeping a close eye on the form of the (now greatly less disregarded) Lower Premium option.

Moving significant funds around requires two transfers and is best suited to switching an attacker and midfielder, rather than two players in the same position. This approach protects yourself against squad unbalancing, detailed by FPL JERR above. Having a second expensive acquisition makes it tempting to play it safe and not opt for a third. I would argue the opposite is true and that you should go in on a third £10m+ player.

My overall conclusion is that spreading your funds out across midfield and attack gives you the best chance of expected (non-Captain) points. However, when a tasty fixture run presents itself, that is when you want to own the Upper Premium assets. 

If you fancy a second expensive midfielder, this is how I would suggest spending the majority of your Salah supporting cash at the start of the season:

Comparing Premium Defensive Price Slots

With Alonso dropping in price down to £6.5m, there is no true ‘Elite’ priced defender. Therefore I have classified the five £6.5m options as Elite. Based on the data, £6m defenders offer up the best value, while the £5.5’s match the small pool of Elite options. As mentioned earlier, what you really want from your defensive line is a combination of:

  • top 6 coverage
  • out of position attacking returns
  • topped off with unmissable value at your rotation and bench fodder slots

The amount of money you spend in defence will be affected by your goalkeeper strategy. The two principles I will be applying to my squad are:

  • spending a maximum 36% of my total budget on goalkeepers and defenders
  • having at least three players from the ‘top six’ in my defensive set up

 Based on the price slot that returns the most value and players I like at each price point, my preferred defensive shape is:

If you can’t get to this defensive investment, you are statistically better off downgrading your sexy £5.5m fullback. When I looked purely at the expected points, £5.5m goalkeepers outscored £5.5m defenders. It’s also true that £4.5m goalies have historically outscored £5.5m defenders, but there are no £4.5m goalkeepers in the top six sides.

I would also be happier with the prospect of rotating a £5m, £4.5m and a potentially playing £4m set of defenders than having another season of benching the unexpected dream team keeper.

Over the course of a season, injuries and rotation opportunities usually find ways of unearthing cheaper routes into top defences, which is when I would consider downgrading into the £4.5m defender slot if I’m not forced into starting the season with one.

Comparing Starting Goalkeeper Price Slots

On the advice of Mr Blake I have left my goalkeeper decision until the end. *I included DDG in the £5.5m category to reflect his price last season.

I can’t argue with the common consensus that £4.5m goalkeepers are where the value is at. A £9m rotating pair of gloves boost this points potential further if you are happy to put up with unexpected points on your bench.

The key question when I get to this final part of my squad building puzzle is whether I have £0.5m left to add a top six keeper between my sticks that increases my top team coverage, especially within teams that don’t have a settled back line.

I N • C O N C L U S I O N • T H E • O P T I M A L • S Q U A D • S T R U C T U R E • I S • • •

I am confident that the players exist at or around these price points where anyone could, with future fixture ticker planning, optimise potential points output while taking the minimum number of hits along the way.

The squad is constructed with one Elite Premium and five Upper Premium price slots. There are an additional four Upper and Mid Standard price slots can be potentially worked into top six teams or moved to lower table talismen. The squad is rounded out withwith three £5m rotation pieces that should all contribute to their teams. Finally, there are two £4m pawns that enable the rest of the squad to come together.

The go-to formation is 3-5-2, with 4-4-2 the strongest plan B to begin the season with. If the Upper Budget £5m striker starts games and shows some good underlying stats, the system can switch to a 3-4-3. If you picked the wrong Upper Budget attacker, it’s an easy transfer that avoids unbalancing the expected points return by dramatically shifting funds away from the departing striker.

Using the power of the FPL community hive mind, I was able to apply data driven decisions to construct the most efficient FPL squad structure in just three drafts. By removing player names, hopefully this research has had a positive impact on your team structure rather than given you a template team that will almost certainly fail to deliver in certain spots.

I’m sure staring at two blank teams at the end of this analysis has left some managers a little disappointed. If that’s you, I can’t help you, no one can. You have been mindfucked by the FPL hive mindhunter and will inevitably fall in with the herd. Maybe that’s a good thing, we can’t all be right or wrong. I don’t claim to be an FPL expert and you don’t have to look far in the FPL hive to find managers who are more than willing to sell you on their favoured selections.

There are so many options to choose from at each price point that it’s impossible to draw a template team from this analysis. Or blame me if your team tanks! This game we all love is about trying to predict the unpredictable, so all you can do is your own research and pick a system you personally believe in. This is mine. Maybe it can be yours too.

B O N U S • S E C T I O N • M Y • G W 1 • S Q U A D • S T R U C T U R E • T I N K E R I N G S

With the final round of friendlies and the Community Shield curtain raiser still to play at the time of writing – not to mention the end of the transfer window –  the truth is that I’m still open to changing the final makeup of my own squad away from the optimal setup and price slots in favour of tantalising opening fixtures. I have narrowed it down to a pair of squad structures that formed as a result of two key questions:

  • How much do I want to spend on my second Premium Midfielder?
  • How quickly do I want to upgrade my third midfield slot into that (lower) Premium price slot?

To get to the first answer, I first have to solve the second. I want my £8.5m midfielder in by gameweek three. And in two transfers to avoid taking an early hit.

Structure Option #1 – The Upper Premium Midfielder

Starting with a £10.5m Salah sidekick requires me to break away from the recommended £5m three way+position rotation and downgrade to a £4.5m somewhere:

  • My two transfers would be: (M) £6.5M > £8.5M + (A) £7M > £5m
  • This makes me favour starting with a £4.5m striker so that I’m operating in two different budget attacking price slots
  • To rank my overall squad selection and anticipated transfer moves, I worked out the eXpected average Points Per Gameweek with Salah x2 as Captain (xPPG)
  • Starting Squad xPPG = 59.4
  • Revised Squad xPPG = 59.3

The conclusion is reducing my £5m rotation and removing my £7m second striker doesn’t lift my squad potential and could hurt it. In order to even slightly improve my squad potential score, I would have to abandon a lot of my established data-led principles, opting for a three-way £4.5m rotation, playing a £5m defender every week and shifting money around in midfield with (M) £10.5m > £10m + (M) £7.5m > £8.5m.

Structure Option #2 – The Lower Premium Midfielder

Opting for a £9.5m secondary Upper Premium midfielder means I can bring another transfer option into play – downgrading my Upper Premium attacker to a Lower Premium substitute.

My two transfers would be: (M) £6.5M > £8.5M + (A) £11M > £9.5m.

  • I would also start with £0.5m in the bank, which was the approach I was keen on from the outset
  • The eXpected average Points Per Gameweek for this squad is:
  • Starting Squad xPPG = 59.4
  • Revised Squad xPPG = 59.8

The data suggests a slightly improved outcome if I went with this approach. Coupled with the £0.5m bank buffer as well as retaining my £5m three-way rotation, I’m favouring this approach for the flexibility it gives me going into the season with the option of an alternative one transfer move to my £10m midfield darling.

Despite all of this number crunching, my final decision is going to come down to the Community Shield eye test and last minute gut check. I’m happy with that outcome and if you are somehow still reading this article, you probably should be too.

W H A T ’ S • N E X T

The final week of the FPL pre-roll has always been my favourite part of the game. This year more than any other, I’m buzzing to see if my personal research pays off. Already knowing 14 out of 15 price slots I want to fill should help me stay laser focused on running the rule over pre-season form, early season fixtures and optimal times to use my transfers on each price slot.

If you have a particular price point you want a second opinion on, chat with me on Twitter @fpl_fitballer.

I plan to analyse the success of my squad structure during the international break; where I’ll either be riding high, regretting my price slot selections as the alternative option goes on a points run, or looking to recover from an early season hiding and give in to the wildcard reset button.

This is the first piece of in-depth FPL insight I’ve offered up in the 10 plus years of playing the game. Thoughts and feedback from the hive is always appreciated. Thanks for reading and good luck in gameweek one.