Which is the best formation in Fantasy Premier League (FPL) right now? Which are the best teams to triple up on? Bakchod FPL answers these questions in his latest article.
Best FPL Formation
Is it time to move from 3-4-3 to 3-5-2?
Like most players, I have had Andreas Pereira from day one. And while Andreas is 30th on the overall points tally, I have rarely started him. He has come on as a substitute on a few occasions. I have also started him on a few occasions (in case of a blank or a double for Fulham). But that’s it. As he has been my 5th midfielder, I have never considered playing a 3-5-2. I started with 4-4-2 initially with Haaland-Jesus up top and then moved to 3-4-3 with a rotation of various forwards like Mitrovic, Toney, Darwin, and Martial.
I have never considered playing five midfielders, initially thinking I would get more points from defenders (big at the back) and then moving to forwards. However, now I am strongly considering moving to a 3-5-2. Let’s look at some data first.
Top 20 players by Points from GW1-20* (before DGW fixtures in GW20) – Positions:
- Forwards – 3
- Midfielders – 11
- Defenders – 5
- Goalkeepers – 1
The forwards are Haaland, Kane, and Toney (all in the top five, along with Trippier and Odegaard). For the midfielders, there are three from Arsenal and Brighton and one from City, United, Newcastle, Leeds, and Liverpool. Of course, one can argue that there are more midfielders overall (leading to the higher number), but many midfielders actually play in the front three for their teams. But then, why don’t we select these over a third forward? Haaland and Kane are essential, but why not a midfielder in place of a third forward? Let’s look at some recent points data.
Midfielders vs Forwards – Points from GW17-20* (before DGW fixtures in GW20) for players who have played 300+ Mins:
- Midfielders – 55 players, 883 points – 16.1/player
- Forwards – 10 players, 185 points – 18.5/player
However, if we look at just the top 10 midfielders – 10 players, 293 points – 29.3/player. There are 15 midfielders with 20+ points in this period as compared to five forwards.
What About Double-Digit Hauls?
43 double-digit hauls in FPL from GW 17-20:
- Forwards – 8
- Midfielders – 23
- Defenders – 7
- Goalkeepers – 5
The ratio of forwards to midfielders is 1:2.87. And what about overall double-digit hauls till now?
Meanwhile, 174 double-digit hauls in FPL from GW 1-16:
- Forwards – 28
- Midfielders – 97
- Defenders – 28
- Goalkeepers – 21
The ratio of forwards to midfielders is 1:3.46.
While I initially thought that just recently, midfielders seem to be doing better than forwards, in the long run, they have done even better. For every double-digit haul by a forward, almost 3.5 midfielders have got a double-digit haul. I am not sure why I didn’t move to five midfielders earlier. Andreas at £4.6M has always been a good option, especially when trying to fit in three premiums from Haaland, KDB, Salah, and Kane. While I am okay with three premiums going forward (Haaland, KDB, and Kane), the majority of my starting players are also in the 5-6.5m range, like Almiron, Rashford, Martinelli, White, Shaw, and Trippier.
I don’t want to upgrade Andreas to an £8M midfielder, and I have my eye on lower-valued players like Odegaard (£6.8M), March (£5.1M), or Mitoma (£5M). And with Martial and Cancelo still in my squad, I can downgrade one of them to upgrade Andreas to a player under £7M—a midfielder who will be a regular starter for me going forward.
Brighton & Hove Albion
Many of our followers have requested that we write about Brighton assets. While my partner on @BakchodFpl will be doing a detailed thread on Brighton assets later this week, I am just mentioning a few key points here. Firstly as per @BenCrellin (definitely follow him if you aren’t already), Brighton could blank in GW25 (along with United, Newcastle, and Brentford), so it is probably not the right time to get in Brighton assets.
I wouldn’t advise bringing in a Brighton player with your only FT this GW if it would leave you with >7 outfielders from BHA/BRE/MUN/NEW plus players from other teams who are unlikely to start in GW25; doing so would put you at risk of having fewer than 11 starters without a hit. https://t.co/aheziWlmej— Ben Crellin (@BenCrellin) January 16, 2023
In fact, if you already have >5 assets from these four teams, you will have to start planning over the next few GWs on how to move these out for suitable replacements. Brighton are also favorites to get the highest number of DGWs in the final 10 GWs.
Brighton are currently favourites to get the most DGWs in the final ten GWs. They have 2 Blanks to reschedule and they’re more likely than any other club to get 3 more postponements in GWs 25/28/32, and they aren’t in Europe so games will be able to move to UCL QF+SF midweeks.— Ben Crellin (@BenCrellin) January 15, 2023
At the same time, can I wait till after GW25 to get a Brighton asset in? I am not sure. They have an excellent run of fixtures from GW21-24: LEI (A), BOU (H), CRY (A), and FUL (H)—three teams in the bottom half. As a team, Brighton players have got the fourth highest points (227) from GW17-20 after United (273), Newcastle (246), and Fulham (246). At the same time, they have faced Southampton, Arsenal, Everton, and Liverpool—two teams in the top half and two teams in the relegation zone. Later this week, we will look at the stats for key Brighton players in a thread.
There have been phases over the season. Initially, Martinelli was the top pick (Odegaard marginally behind). Then Saka took over, and currently, Odegaard is undoubtedly the top pick.
- GW1-5: Martinelli (34), Odegaard (32), Saka (21)
- GW6-10: Saka (33), Martinelli (21), Odegaard (8)
- GW11-16: Odegaard (37), Martinelli (22), Saka (22)
- GW17-20: Odegaard (35), Saka (24), Martinelli (23)
Overall GW1-20 Stats/90:
- Odegaard – xG: 0.3, xA: 0.3, Shots: 2.6, SoT: 0.9, Points: 7
- Martinelli – xG: 0.3, xA: 0.3, Shots: 2.6, SoT: 1, Points: 5.9
- Saka – xG: 0.3, xA: 0.2, Shots: 2.0, SoT: 0.7, Points: 5.9
Arsenal triple-up definitely looks obvious, given the DGW as well coming up in GW23 (Brentford and City, both at home). We would recommend two midfielders and one defender here.
Strategy for My FPL Team
I currently have Martinelli and White. With the plan of moving to 3-5-2, I will mostly be getting Odegaard in for Andreas as my fifth midfielder and third Arsenal asset. I just have one free transfer for GW21, and I might hold on for this week as I will need two moves (either Martial/Cancelo out to get in Odegaard + one player). With Arsenal facing United this week, I think it will be a low-scoring tight game. I can wait a week before getting in Odegaard for the Everton (A) fixture in GW22.
This will also give me time to decide between who to move out—Cancelo or Martial. As I am going to move to a 3-5-2 with Haaland and Kane as my other two forwards, I will mostly be moving out Martial. With Weghorst coming in, there could be a risk to his minutes. United could also blank in GW25 (as mentioned earlier), so this will also reduce that risk. At the same time, they could have a double in GW22 with both home fixtures against Palace and Leeds.
Meanwhile, Cancelo did look better vs. United (than earlier). The fact that Pep picked him for such a key fixture also gives me some hope that he will continue to start. However, is he worth £7.2M? Definitely not at the moment. Also, small sample set, but two of Martial’s three goals this season came in the 6-3 loss to City at Etihad. I don’t mind starting him vs. Arsenal (at the Emirates) in GW21. City meanwhile play Wolves (at home). I don’t mind Cancelo for that fixture, either.
Which teams should one triple up? Which should be avoided? As mentioned earlier, Arsenal triple-up is certain for me with DGW23 coming up. Are there any other teams that I am considering?
If we look at the total points per team (sum of points scored by all players in FPL) from GW17-20:
- Manchester United – 273
- Newcastle – 246
- Fulham – 246
- Brighton – 227
- Arsenal – 213
- City – 166
- Spurs – 157
- Liverpool – 135
Let’s look at the same numbers in FPL from GW1-16:
- Newcastle – 828
- Arsenal – 827
- City – 822
- Spurs – 695
- Liverpool – 654
- Brighton – 605
- Manchester United – 596
Top 20 players by points in FPL from GW1-20* (before DGW fixtures in GW20) – Teams:
- Arsenal – 6
- Newcastle – 4
- Brighton – 3
- City – 2
- Spurs/United/Leeds/Brentford/Liverpool – 1 each
Definitely United have had better fixtures from GW17 as compared to earlier. ETH has also made them a stronger unit, and they have started playing better in the later part of the season. However, after Rashford and Shaw, I am not sure which is the third asset that I could get in. Fernandes definitely is the best option, but at 9.8m, he is slightly expensive. I will have to downgrade KDB, but I don’t want to at the moment—he is one of the nailed players for City, and I am keen on keeping him.
Eriksen and Casemiro are options, but there are better midfield options (as discussed earlier). Dalot can be considered once he is back to starting regularly. However not sure if I want to have 2/3 starting defenders from the same team with the exception of really good fixtures with a high probability of clean sheets.
Similarly, for Newcastle, I am currently on Trippier and Almiron. Not sure if I should double up on Newcastle’s defence either. Actually, the only way I could triple up on City, United, or Newcastle at the moment will be via Goalkeeper. Currently on Kepa-Ward and Chelsea’s fixtures continue to be decent, but Chelsea aren’t playing well to give me confidence in Kepa. He did get me 10 points in GW20, but only three in DGW19 (one of the main reasons I got him in). Currently inclined towards moving to Pope. Newcastle have a decent run of fixtures. Even difficult teams like Liverpool, Brighton, United, Arsenal, and Spurs are all home fixtures right up to GW38.
Definitely not a priority transfer right now, but Pope looks like a good bet for the remainder of the season. I will definitely be moving to him at some time, either via FT or WC. Brighton do have three players in the top 20 players based on overall points, but these are all midfielders. Also, as mentioned earlier, I am not sure if I should get in one, let alone two midfielders from Brighton right now.
Anyway, to conclude, triple-up doesn’t look like a great choice except for Arsenal. However, in the case of United/City/Newcastle, a triple up with a keeper can be considered.
You can find Fantasy Premier League (FPL) resources for the 22/23 season here.
Two football fans from Bangalore, playing and writing about Fantasy Football in our spare time.