The FPL community, particularly on Twitter, is awash with fabulous content. The quality and number available this pre-season is the best I’ve ever seen, granted the amount of paid content has gone up drastically as well but let’s not kick that hornets nest.
Articles such as - Value in FPL by @WhoGotTheAssist gives a detailed and in-depth analysis on the concept of value in FPL and is an absolute must read, it gives you a great foundation to start to improve your FLP knowledge.
Another great example is this Twitter thread from @Roneildinho - 7 counter-intuitive pieces of advice for FPL which really gets you thinking differently and makes you realise that there is more than one way to play this game.
There are hundreds of other top-quality articles out there, with a multitude of ways you can become a better FPL player, all thanks to a great FPL community.
So what can I bring to the party? How can I make you better at playing FPL and therefore increasing your chance of winning a free to enter FPL prize league? What can I say that hasn’t already been said before? Things that have been said by people who are better at working with stats or undertaking in-depth analysis and are just generally, better.
To be honest, nothing really.
So what’s the point?
Well, what if I told you that you can increase your chances of winning a free to enter FPL prize league without actually becoming a better FPL player. This concept is something that is pretty well known in the Poker and Daily Fantasy Sport (DFS) community but isn’t often applicable to FPL, it’s called contest selection. You analyse which prize leagues you are going to enter in detail and choose those that give you the biggest edge. If you were to put in just a fraction of the effort you put into choosing your leagues as you do creating your FPL line up, your chances of winning would increase dramatically.
Simply put, which do you have more of a chance of winning, a league with 6 million people where first place gets tickets to a premier league match (I know it’s better this season, but still, come on) or a league which only has you in it and a £100 first prize. I'd rather take a guaranteed £100 every day than a 1 in 6 million chance of £1,000.
At this point, it's worth pointing out my credentials. I have won 100’s of prizes over the years totaling well over £5,000 and if, in 2015, I hadn’t started making a lot more money on Daily Fantasy Sport (DFS) then I’m sure I would have won more. In 2014 I even won a decent amount whilst my overall rank wasn't that high and that was purely due to contest selection.
So now we’ve eventually come all the way around the houses and have finally reached the point of this article, here’s my tips, I hope they help you win the prize of your dreams.
1) Join those leagues that take the most effort to join - Contest selection is about getting the biggest edge you can. Balancing the value of the prize against the number and skill level of the people in each league. The harder it is to enter a contest the better, this will put off a lot of people who will just go for the contests that are easier to enter. Those leagues who ask you to click here, rub there, send 82 tweets and do a jig are just what you want.
2) Go for the lower value contests - If you look at the top 20 or 30 leagues in our list with the big prize money these are going to attract the most people and most likely people who are very good at FPL. If everybody automatically looks at the top end then work your way down and consider some of those leagues nearer the bottom, that way you will have lot less people to beat. Winning something small is better than winning nothing at all.
3) Go for the prizes that other people don't want - If there are four prizes of £200 and a fifth that is £200 worth of Cryptocurrency, which are people going to enter? If you go for the Crypto league you may have ten times less people entering and most likely those that do won't be at the same skill level as you.
4) Find your own prize leagues - I know we are just about to give you a list of over 80 free to enter FPL prize leagues with prizes projected to eventually total more than £30,000. But if you do the work to find one that other people (and even us) haven't found you will drastically reduce the number of competitors you are up against and increase your chances of winning massively.
5) Check how many entries there are - Before the start of the season check how many entries there are in each league before deciding which to join. Enter those with the smallest number of entrants to help lower the number of competitors you have to beat for the prize
6) Check league entry deadlines - Some leagues allow people to enter really late in the season, find out these deadlines and keep checking them to see how you would be doing if you switched to them later in the season. If during the season you are in some leagues where the person in first is virtually unbeatable then look to switch.
7) Consider which leagues have the least skilled players - If there are two leagues being run bith offering a £200 prize, one run by a major FPL account and one run by a local knitting group, join the one from the knitting group. There will be a lot lower proportion of people in this contest who have FPL knowledge. Consider for each league, where has it been advertised, who will have seen it, do the people discussing it have a football or FPL background?
8) Check the Terms and Conditions - FootstockChat has no involvement with these leagues, we have seen each league advertised on the internet and created a list of them. We are not responsible for the leagues and have no relationship with the organisers. This means we do not know if there are any eligibility requirements attached to winning any of these prizes.
Please read all terms and conditions thoroughly and even consider asking the organiser to confirm you are eligible before entering a league. There is nothing worse than winning a league to find out in the T & C's that only Teachers from Tewkesbury who drink Tea on a Tuesday can win the prize.
9) Leagues with restrictions - But the converse to 8 should also be considered, look for leagues with restrictions that you meet, the more onerous the restrictions, the fewer people will be able to enter thus increasing your chances of winning.
If you can get leagues that meet a lot of the above, that is great and will really increase your chances. Obviously there is a trade off, you are reducing the amount you can win to improve your chances of actually winning, you have to consider what balance suits you. As you have 20 mini league slots there is nothing to say you can't use some for the big prizes, who doesn't want to shoot for the moon. Whatever you decide I wish you all the best and hope that these tips help you get a prize at the end of the season.
If all this talk of making money by using your Fantasy Football knowledge has got you excited then why not take the step I made in 2015.
Since then I've never looked back, I actually made over £2,300 profit in just the last month of the season purely from tournaments on Footstock
...and there is absolutely no reason you can't do the same.
If you want to find out more about Footstock check out this Quick Read article.
But if you want to take the leap and give it a try, then remember this moment, this is the day when you became a Footstock Fanatic, welcome to my world!