Fantasy Premier League rule changes set to heighten the significance of that FPL Watchlist
If you have played the Official Fantasy Premier League game previously, you may well be familiar with a ‘Watchlist’ that allows you to keep tabs on potential transfer targets. It can certainly be a useful tool but it is likely to take on added significance in the 2017/18 season due to a couple of changes that are afoot. So, what has been announced so far?
FPL Draft Game
The Official Fantasy Premier League site has announced that a separate game format will be available which follows the popular draft format that is widely played in the United States.
While bidding for players and transfers between managers is not expected to be a feature, competing managers will choose players that none of their rivals will be allowed to own.
A date will be set for the draft to commence and players will then be selected using a ‘snake draft’, so if 10 managers are taking part in the contest, one manager would make the first pick and the 20th pick, while the last manager to choose would make the 10th and 11th picks. The sequence would continue until all managers have completed their 15-man squads.
The FPL Free Hit Chip
The much-maligned ‘All Out Attack’ chip has also been replaced ahead of the new season, with a ‘Free Hit’ chip making its debut.
This chip allows for a manager to make unlimited transfers in a single gameweek but it’s only temporary, since his squad will then revert back to type for the following game round.
So, how do these changes affect the ‘Watchlist’?
Compiling that Watchlist
Well, if you plan to take part in a draft format, you will need to put in an awful lot of preparation to ensure that you are fully-equipped to go when the draft commences.
This means prioritising players by both ranking and position. Other managers will pick players you had in mind, so you will need to make sure that your alternatives tick all the right boxes. Somebody like Kelechi Iheanacho might appeal, should his transfer to Leicester go through but there is no guarantee that he would become an automatic starter for the Foxes, with stiff competition for those starting spots in attack. Could you really afford to gamble on such a player, knowing that 10 other forwards might be picked by opposing managers before you get another turn?
Having exclusive ownership of a player gives the game a whole new dimension, since none of your competitors are likely to have too much sympathy for you if things turn sour! You might be feeling smug, for example, if you manage to secure the services of Romelu Lukaku but if he was to embark on a Garry Birtles style goal drought that smile would soon be wiped off your face!
Deciding when to play the ‘Free Hit’ chip could also be critical to your chances of FPL success, so you will certainly want to keep track of a number of options on your Watchlist before committing and pressing that particular button.
The furor that is likely to surround both of these changes just whets the appetite for the season ahead.
We suggest that you crack on with your homework by getting to work on those Watchlists!