We’re currently heading into gameweek three, and if this is your first season, hopefully you feel like you’re starting to get a handle on how all of this works. Sure, imposter syndrome may pop up here and there, but at this point you’re a fully-fledged fantasy team manager. Congrats!
Now let’s get to the meat of managing: transfers and chips.
Transfers are by far the hand-wringing-est part of fantasy sports, and this league is no different.
Transfers are where you can get sucked into hours a week of researching, budgeting, and scheming, but only do this if you enjoy it, you masochist you. If you suffer from decision fatigue, let me help you prioritize your transfers a bit with things to look for week-to-week.
First though, the rules:
- You get one free transfer a week.
- After your one transfer is made, it will cost you 4 pts from your point total per transfer. E.g. if you make 3 transfers this week, and made one transfer last week, it will use your free transfer and cost you 8 points.
- If you don’t use your free transfer, it will roll over to the next week giving you two free transfers, but they stop rolling over at two. You can’t build up to 3 or 5 or 11 free transfers over time.
Make sure you have a full squad
Over the course of the season, you will have players that are transferred to another league, injured, or suspended. The results of these events on your players likelihood of playing will be illustrated on the site like this:
There’s also a full list of players’ statuses here. If you see that 2 or more players on your team are unlikely to play, you may want to make some changes.
Two are easier than one:
It’s often easier to make two trades at the same time as opposed to one-offs. It’s rare that the player you’d like to offload and the new player who you want to bring in are the same price so if you trade in twos using your free transfers every two weeks, it gives you a bit more budget flexibility to get the ones you really fancy. Saving up also helps in the odd chance that multiple players are injured or suspended at the same time.
Prioritize according to schedule
Say you spotted a player you really like over the weekend, and you want to get him in your squad. Check his schedule before you make a rash transfer. Nothing crushes a spirit like bringing in a player you’re excited to have only to realize that his middle-of-the-table IRL team is playing the league leaders this weekend. Look to offload players with tough fixtures for the next few weeks and bring in players with what might be easier matches for the next two to three weeks ahead.
In the introduction to fantasy premier league, I talked about triple captains and bench boosts. There are actually two more chips you can use to alleviate transfer stress, and it seems the site builders are keen on you using them sooner rather than later. In the transfer confirmation window, the site may tempt you with playing your “Free Hit” or a “Wildcard.” Because it’s still early, I’d caution against using these too soon as suspensions and injuries tend to pile up later in the season, but it’s good to know what tools you have in your backpocket.
This chip allows you to make unlimited transfers for a week and at the end of that week, your team will be put back as it was, as if you hadn’t made any transfers for that week at all. This chip can only be played once a season, and can be very useful for a week where you have lots of minor injuries or a lot of tough matchups that you just need to skirt around for a week.
Warning: If you use this, it will reset all transfers made in a gameweek, so there’s no way to make some permanent transfers and some temporary ones when using the Free Hit.
The Wildcard is your life raft in this game. This chip allows you to make free, unlimited transfers for one gameweek at a time. Unlike the others, you get to use this chip twice a season, once before and once after the January transfer window which is very kind of the game-makers. I like to use this in the first half of the season to tear down and rebuild a team after I’ve gotten a feel for who is starting regularly and how new players to the league are performing. It’s still a bit early to use it now, but I might use it as early as week 5 if needed.