If you are reading this, you want to learn how to play FPL. Perhaps you’ve probably heard the word FPL bandied about by your friends. Or maybe throughout last season, you’ve noticed your friends celebrating when players of rival teams score (we certainly did that last season).

Perhaps you’ve seen your friends lamenting about missing gameweek deadlines. There is a simple answer to all of these nagging questions — FPL.

how to play fpl

Disclaimer: This article may be a tad bit long. But trust me, it’s def worth it.

With millions of players around the globe, FPL is one of the world’s most popular fantasy games. FPL can be played by everybody. Do you watch the English Premier League matches?

Then you can definitely play FPL. It starts at the beginning of every season. Therefore, if you want to create a team, the best time is now. 

FPL is simple to play. This article is going to teach you everything you need to know from setting up your team, how it works, and choosing players for the first gameweek.

What is FPL (Fantasy Premier League)?

Do you think you are a better manager than Guardiola? FPL is a good way to prove it. It’s different from your regular Football Manager games. But first, you need to learn how to play FPL.

In FPL, you pick a squad of 15 premier league players, and your team wins points based on how these players perform every game week. These players are only restricted to premier league players.

Below is a picture of a random FPL team.

how to play fpl

Say you have Salah in your team. If he scores in real-life, your FPL team gets 4 points. Why 4 points? We will tell you more about that in the scoring section of this FPL guide. 

It’s as simple as that. You get points based on how every single one of your FPL players perform in real life. All of these points add up to determine your FPL team’s total for each gameweek. 

How to play FPL?

You start by creating a team. This is the easiest thing to do. All you have to do is sign up on the official premier league website here.

Alternatively, you can sign up via the Premier League app. When signing up, you will need to enter your details, favourite teams and email preferences.

Once you sign up, you enter a unique team name. You can choose any team name, you want. Unsullied, local champions, Phil Jones’ face, Red army. The world is literally your oyster.

Get creative with your FPL name. Of course, you can change it at any point during the season using the FPL web app. 

How to pick players for your team

When you create your team, FPL gives you £100m to play around with. Ah, that’s too small! What can I do with £100m? Van Dijk alone is over £75m. Relax. That’s not how it works in the FPL world. 

The most expensive player in the game is Salah, and he is worth £12.5m. That’s fine now. I can pick Salah, Aguero, Mane and Aubameyang in my team. Relax, champ. Let’s break it down for you.

This is where you have to get witty. Remember that you need 15 players on your team. When you spend money on only 5 players, you will realise that £100m is not that plenty in the FPL world.

Throw in the fact that you can only have 3 players from the same premier league team in your squad and you have a real selection dilemma. 

You have to be creative and prioritise. Do I want to spend the bulk of my money in attack or do I want to shore up my defensive line? Do I want regular team starters on my bench?

how to play fplIf you look closely, you’ll notice that wingers and strikers are the most expensive players in the league. That’s because they are the ones that score and assist. The more goals and assists, the higher the points a player wins for you.

Your team must have 15 players. However, only 11 will be in your starting line-up as per usual. 4 players will be designated for your bench — 1 goalkeeper and 3 outfield players. We’ll tell you all about the bench in the next section of this how to play FPL guide.

How to play the captain card in FPL?

In FPL, you have to pick a team captain and vice-captain. Leadership skills don’t count when picking your team captains. They are not leading anything. The only skill that matters is points skills. Your captain gets double his points haul for that gameweek.

how to play fpl

Say your captain is Aguero. If he wins 4 points that gameweek, by virtue of being your captain that gameweek, he gets 8points. 

Your vice-captain doesn’t get double points. He is a backup plan in the event that your captain doesn’t play a minute of club football that gameweek.

If that happens, your vice-captain becomes the captain and gets double points. And yes, you can change your captain and vice-captain every gameweek.

By the way, in the premier league world, each football week is called a gameweek. This is FPL lingo that you have to get familiar with while learning how to play FPL.

How does my FPL bench work?

Like I said earlier, there are 4 players on your bench. No, there are no substitutes in FPL. Well, there are but not like in real football where you beg Arsene Wenger to sub in a player before the 70-minute mark.

Your bench players are automatically substituted in if any member of your starting 11 does not play a single second of football that gameweek. The keyword is a single second of football. 

If a player on your FPL team starts a match in real life and gets injured, or gets a red card, or gets subbed in the 90th minute, your FPL subs will remain on the subs list. They will not be drafted in to replace the said player. At the very least, you’ll get 1 point for appearance.

The points of your bench players are not added to your total points tally unless they are substituted in if a first-team player doesn’t play a single second during the gameweek. 

Your bench players are ranked 1-3. The first bench player gets subbed in first and so on. It is advisable that you put your most important bench player in rank 1. 

Your bench is usually located at the bottom of your screen when viewing your team and it looks like this. You can clearly see the rank under each player.

The system can automatically sub in a defender for a striker and so forth as long as the rule of the games are not broken. The limitations to this automatic switch is that you must have at least 3 defenders,3 midfielders and a striker in your team. 

Also, an outfield player cannot be subbed in for a keeper. If your bench and first team keepers don’t play in real life — only God kan safe you, eventuarry. 

How to Play FPL – FPL Deadlines?

Ayy, the dreaded gameweek deadlines. First of all, you can change your squad anyhow you like before the season starts. However, once the premier league season starts, you can make only ONE transfer every gameweek within the £100m budget.

These transfers have to be made before the game week’s deadline. This deadline is usually 1 hour before the first premier league match of the week. If the match is on Friday, then the gameweek deadline is on Friday too. 

You can reach the CrossAndNod team on Whatsapp to keep yourself abreast of FPL activities and deadlines. More info on that at the end of this article.

Can I make more than one transfer every gameweek? Yes, you can. However, each transfer made after your free gameweek transfer comes with a 4-point deduction from your points total for the week. 

This means if you make 5 transfers. You’ll start the week with a deficit of -16 (4 extra transfers times 4). 

Can I get more than 1 free FPL transfer? Yes, you can. If you don’t make a transfer this gameweek, you get that transfer added to your next gameweek. That means you have 2 free transfers the next week.

No, Oliver Twist, you can’t skip transfers for 4 weeks and expect to have 4 free transfers. The maximum number of free transfers is 2. If you don’t make transfers for 37 Premier League gameweeks, you still get 2 free transfers. 

Always be aware of the Fantasy Premier League deadline. If you make a transfer after the deadline. That means what? That meins, you will sleep there. 

The transfers will show eventuarry — but for the next gameweek. Also, you can’t cancel transfers once made. To sell a player you just bought for that gameweek, you would have to incur a -4 deduction. 

So, how do I get the best players with £100m?

First of all, you can’t have all the best players. You have to buy players to give yourself a balanced squad. Don’t rush to buy all the most expensive players. However, you still have to pick the best defenders and best forwards for FPL.

You’ll only end up with basket players in other positions. Basket players don’t start matches. They don’t even play and are usually the cheapest. This is an important fact to note in this FPL for Beginners Guide.

Also, don’t think your bench players are useless. As much as possible, try to pick regular starters on your bench. 

They can save your team when your first-team players are suspended, injured, or benched in real life. You can check out this and this for our best options for the first gameweek of the season. Those articles should guide you. 

How to Play FPL – FPL points?

There are many ways to get points on FPL. Goals, assists, clean sheets, bonus points etc. all count. 

Also, remember your captain for each gameweek gets double points. This is how your FPL players are scored based on their performance in real-life premier league matches. 

General Points

These are points that are the same for strikers, midfielders and goalkeepers.

  • For playing 60 minutes or less: 1 point 
  • For playing more than 60 minutes: 2 points 

Goalkeeper points

This is a breakdown of how your goalkeeper is scored

  • Clean sheet: 4 points 
  • For every 3 shots saved: 1 point (West Ham’s keeper Fabianski had the highest number of saves per match last season)
  • Penalty save: 5 points for every penalty save
  • Goal: 6 points for each goal 
  • Assist: 3 points for each assist (Yes, Man City’s keeper Ederson actually had an assist last season)

how to play fpl


Defender points

This is a breakdown of how your defenders are scored based on their real-life performances.

  • Clean sheet: 4 points 
  • Goal: 6 points for each goal 
  • Assist: 3 points for each goal assist

Midfielder points

This is a breakdown of how your midfielders are scored based on their real-life performances.

  • Clean sheet: 1 point 
  • Goal: 5 points for each goal
  • Assist: 3 points for each assist 

Forward points

This is a breakdown of how your strikers are scored based on their real-life performances.

  • Goal: 4 points for each goal
  • Assist: 3 points for each assist

As you can see, it may be wiser to get defenders and midfielders that are known to score goals. Their goals are more valuable than your striker’s goals. 

Although, your strikers will definitely score more frequently than your defenders. Choices. Choices. And more Choices.

how to play fpl

You should know that any player that wins a penalty or direct freekick leading to a goal gets awarded the assist for that goal in FPL. Also, your players can earn bonus points. 

These bonus points are based on outstanding performances during matches. After every match, the FPL committee gives each player 0,1,2 or 3 bonus points based on how well they played. You can follow us on Twitter for info on bonus points after every match. 

Apart from transfer deductions, can my team lose points?

Oh, yes, they can. Your players can actually help you lose points. This is where “had I known” crops up in FPL. Below is a breakdown of how your players can lose points. 

  • Yellow cards: -1 point for each yellow card 
  • Red card: -3 points for each straight red card 
  • If your player gets two yellow cards and then a red: -3 points in total 
  • Own goal: -2 points for every own goal
  • Penalty missed: -2 points for every penalty missed 
  • Goals conceded: For every goal conceded by a goalkeeper or a defender, -1 point. 

how to play fplBeware of “unfortunate” players. These are players that will earn you points and then throw it all away by getting a red card. 

Or players that will only get you 2 points for attendance and then get a red card. Also, be aware of basket goalkeepers, the more goals they concede, the more points are deducted from your team. 

How to play FPL – FPL chips

These are the holy grail of FPL. They are designed to help you improve your team’s performance. The catch? There’s no catch. However, the number of times you can use them is limited. 

Also, you can only use 1 chip each gameweek, and you must play them before the gameweek deadline. If you play them after deadline, they work for the next gameweek.

Okay, it looks like there may be a few catches.

how to play FPL

There are four main chips:


You can only use this chip twice in a season. You get 1 which expires if you don’t use it by 3pm on Dec. 28. You get another one after Dec 28. 

This one expires by the end of the season. How does the wildcard chip work? 

With a wildcard chip, all your transfers for that gameweek are free of charge. In fact, if you make 790 transfers, they will be free, no points deduction. 

The only thing is that you might need to check into a hospital after that because who makes 790 transfers? A wildcard chip is activated when confirming your transfers for that gameweek. Also, it can’t be cancelled after it has been played.

Triple Captain

This a fave of the team here at CrossAndNod. Remember that your captain is supposed to give you double points. When you play this chip, they give you triple points instead. 

Also, this chip automatically works for your vice-captain if your captain does not play that gameweek. Every FPL manager can only use the triple captain chip once throughout the season. 

You can activate it when saving your team selection for the gameweek. You can cancel it after you have activated it as long as you do so before the gameweek deadline. 

Bench boost

Remember we mentioned that the points tally of your bench players are not added to your total points tally. A bench boost gives you that luxury. 

With a bench boost, the computer adds the points of your bench players to your total points tally for that gameweek. You can only use it once throughout the season. Also, you can cancel it before the gameweek deadline if you change your mind. 

Free Hit

The free hit chip is similar to the wildcard. With it, you can make unlimited transfers. You can make as many as 790 transfers and check into a hospital again. 

The difference is that after the gameweek, your team goes back to how it was before the gameweek.

Don’t think it’s useful? Free hits come in handy during double gameweeks and when a group of players have very favourable matches. 

You can only use the free hit once during the season. You activate it after making your transfers for that gameweek. Once activated, it cannot be cancelled. 

What if my players are injured or suspended in real life?

This is easy. Make transfers or replace them with a player from your bench. 

I have an FPL team; how do I compete?

Once you create a team, you automatically qualify to compete in your national league, the world league and a world cup. 

Every season the Premier League awards prizes to the top 3 winners of the world league. The prizes include an all-expense-paid trip to see a premier league match. 

Also, the FPL computer drafts your team into an automatic cup competition where you compete against other people from all over the word in a traditional head-to-head format. 

This cup competition starts at the halfway point of the season. To qualify for it, you have to be in the top half of the world league. 

You face off against every opponent. The team with the higher points tally for that gameweek qualifies and moves on till the next round. The cup spans 18 gameweeks.

However, these are not that interesting. There’s no opportunity for banter, cash prizes or bragging rights. There really is nothing like competing against people you can talk to. 

That is why we created the CrossAndNod private league and cup. This league comes with a WhatsApp group where you can discuss football, your favourite players, banter and win unexpected giveaway prices. 

For an entry free of N700, you are eligible to win cash prizes of up to N100,000. Check out the poster below for a prize breakdown. For more details chat up the CrossAndNod team up on WhatsApp.

how to play FPL

Remember, you need to create your team before the season starts. It’s pretty hard to catch up if others have left you behind.

Other FPL Tips for Beginners 

  • Tune in every Thursday for our weekly CrossAndNod Scout picks for every gameweek.
  • It is easier to create a team and make changes to it with the Premier League app. Just download it from your app store. 
  • Don’t rush to use your chips. Keep calm; you only get one every season for most of them.
  • Don’t miss the deadlines. Our WhatsApp group can help you keep up with that. 
  • Don’t make your transfers too early in the week. Injuries and other issues can affect player availability. 
  • Keep an eye out for budget players that deliver.
  • Watch out for Pep Guardiola’s rotation policy. Go back, read that again. It’s important for learning how to play FPL.
  • Pray to God for luck 
  • Pray again. 

Best of luck to you. You can ask questions using the comment button below. 

Also, don’t forget to share this article, other FPL newbies also need to learn how to play it. May the God of football be with you!




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