A Guide to Win Your Mini-League

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Thanks to a guest writer for sending us this. Hope you enjoy… Remember, this is a league strategy, not overall!

Sick of finishing mid-table in your mini-league? Want to have a go at a strategy that will give you bragging rights come the end of the season? Well there’s actually a (fairly) straight forward way to give yourself a massive advantage over your fellow competitors. There’s only a few simple steps and as is often the case, the first step is the hardest.

Step 1: Let go of the idea you can only make one transfer a week

Making one transfer a week is often a good way of maximising your score for the next week, but is a lousy way of maximising your score over a whole season. The reason: doing more than one transfer per week for the first part of the season will allow you to jump on more players going up in price. The increase in the overall value of your team then allows you to buy all the great players for the rest of the season, more than making up for the points you lost with the early season transfers.

Two seasons ago, my team value finished at close to 120 million pounds and around the top 1% on points. Last season was under 110 million pounds due to changes in how much prices went up, but the team was still able to finish in the top few per cent on points. The bigger budget means you can bring in the best points-per-game players (you can sort by this on the FPL website itself) and then cut the transfers back to one a week.

Step 2: Use your head, not your heart

While heart goes a long way in supporting your EPL team (go you Gooners!), it has less of a place in FPL. If a player hasn’t performed for two to three weeks, trade them out. You just have to be ruthless or they will start dropping in price – not good for the strategy of building your team value. If a player looks the goods, don’t hesitate jump on board. For example, don’t write off picking Spurs players as every once in a while a Harry Kane comes along! Just keep half an eye on the fixtures for the player in question to make sure the run of form is likely to continue.

While temporary form without any underlying class is a criticism in the EPL, this isn’t such a bad attribute in FPL. Luckily players at the end of their run can simply be traded out without any messy contract negotiations. Plus you still get to bank a profit!

Step 3: Try to Stay Ahead of the Price Changes

The price change system is always a challenge for newcomers. It is judged by the amount of transfers in/out of a player, which is mostly based on performance, but also affected by job security and injury. I’d tell you there’s an estimated amount of transfers for a player to rise or fall, but there’s a lot of factors to take into account. Having said that, it’s mostly fairly predictable. I know there are some good reasons to wait for deadline day when you’re only making one transfer per week, but there are advantages to taking on board that risk. The main goal early in the season is to get on the price rises before they happen, IF you reckon they are the real deal, or at least a solid monthly cash boost.

Some Words of Caution

I should probably outline a couple of potential problems with this approach. For starters, don’t fall into the trap of making three or more transfers every week – stick to no more than two most of the time. You need to give yourself a chance of getting all the points lost from any extra transfers early on (and more) from your higher value team later on. Also, don’t be afraid of using your wildcard early in the season in a week when you want to make more than three transfers (probably wait for the end of the transfer window though).

Due to the points lost at the start of the season, this strategy will never get you #1 in the world or even in the top 1,000. Remember that. If that’s your goal, please go back to trying to get one transfer spot on for 38 straight game weeks (good luck with that!). The above strategy is a relatively objective way to regularly get you in the top few per cent in the world on points, which should be more than enough to win your league. You don’t even have to watch the games! (Not recommended by the way – where is the fun in that?) The strategy makes even more sense if you’re playing a head-to-head league. Just be mid-table by half-way through season and the higher team value should see you win each week from then on.

I am expecting resistance from those used to the idea that transfers that cost points are simply bad. They’re not – the benefit from the extra team value is so valuable it’s almost cheating come the end of the season. Hope you enjoyed!


3 comments on “A Guide to Win Your Mini-League

  1. Bio Eden Hazard

    Hey Matt, you guys are on fire this season, so many articles is great! I both agree and disagree with your views here. I only played 2 seasons so far but being patient and keeping my nerves got me from finishing 130 000th the first season to 2600th the second one.
    Increasing team value is great but I think you should be weary of one-hit wonders. Yes they will rise in price but they could have 2 great games in a row and not to do anything for the rest of the season. Likewise I think you should be a bit patient with some of your players. You cannot expect a guy like Eriksen to give you returns week in week out. Finally making transfers early on in the week burned me many times. God how I hated those Silva/Aguero training injuries haha

    • mattcraigdt Post Author

      Thanks mate! I didn’t write it, but I think it’s being taken the wrong way. I’ve heard a lot of stories about how people ranked well by being patient, but that wasn’t the aim of the article. He mentions in the last paragraph it’s not a great overall tactic. However it’s an easier way of doing well in your league. Being patient has greater rewards, but can also cost you if you have a poor season.

      Taking multiple hits during a week costs you a lot of points, but that only equates to one game in a league. Your team will be better for it in the long run!!! That’s the point.

      • Bio Eden Hazard

        Fair enough then…at the end of the day I think your tactic should depend on how well your start. I had most of the form players (Sterling, Ramsey, Costa…) at the beginning of last season. which afforded me the luxury of being patient

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