When selecting your team its very important to plan the structure first, before introducing the players. A budget needs to be allocated for each position . Otherwise a very unbalanced team will result. The best by test method is to concentrate the bulk of your budget on the midfield and forward lines.

I will illustrate the point with an example . This illustrates what i regard as just about perfect distribution for a team set up to play 343 formation.  Dont worry to much about the players selected, this is intended more as a guide to asset allocation .

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  • 9m on keepers 
  • 24m on defenders 
  •  37.50m on midfielders 
  • 29.50m on strikers

Naturally there is some leeway, but the above is a very good rough guide. Such a structure has served me well over the last four seasons.  However it isnt simply a case of allocating money into each category, that is only the first step.

Keepers

Nine million on keepers is best spent on finding two keepers that rotate together well. Dosent have to be for the entire season, but preferably up to the winter wildcard. Any starting keeper with a price of four million would be especially welcome. Having keepers from poor clubs isnt as bad as it sounds due to the increased amounts of save points generated. By having two keepers its possible to avoid their worst fixtures

Defenders

There are a number of different strategies for defence, they all have their merit. Personally i like to have two defenders that i will play every week. Naturally they need to be playing for good clubs and preferably have plenty of attacking potential. They will take up around half the defence budget, the remainder being split between the other three. Only one of those three will be starting each week, so we are dont mind them playing for poor clubs as we will only use them when they have a favourable fixture. At least two should cost the minimum 4m as we dont want to leave extra money sitting on the bench

Midfielders

Again there are different strategies, but there are a couple of important points. Its very good to have one midfielder that is of the minimum price, usually 4.5 he is the bench player and again keeps money sat on bench to a minimum. I like to leave two spots for premium mids , one for mid priced and another for a cheaper option. There are normally good options at all price points so its important to be able to slot them in without having to make multiple changes

Strikers

I like to be generous in allowance for strikers, these are where most of the weekly capt choices come from and need all three spots to be firing. For the top two spots you really want the best two players in the game. The third spot can be used for a cheaper option.

I hope this guide has been helpful, remember its only a guideline, i have tweaked it here and there on occasion myself, and remember its only a template for 343 if you plan to use another formation then budgeting would need to be very different




15 Comments

  1. Interesting article Triggerlips. Having played for 7 seasons I had reached the same conclusions, though in the early seasons with Ronaldo, Lampard and Gerrard it paid to load up and captain in midfield. Changed days now though. After being very consistent for 6 seasons it all went wrong for me last season. A strange season I thought, but you managed to navigate your way through it. Excellent and insightful blog.

  2. Trigger, first I completely agree that starting off the year with a balanced squad is the only way to go.

    That said, the FPL has slowly altered its opening price structure & gone are the days of the nailed on ₤4 mill defender.

    And, we see many mid-tier keepers now priced at ₤5 mill rather than their typical ₤4.5 mill.

    So, seeing as we’ll need an extra ₤1-1.5 mill to be spent on our backline & keepers, where do you anticipate finding that extra cash?

    Will our 4th mid have to suffer?
    Perhaps we hope another viable cheap 3rd striker becomes available again like last year?

    How are you planning to keep balance in your squad this season with the newer pricing structure sir?

    • I will be sticking to the template, give or take half a million or so. If you look at the example from the start of the 2014 season you notice i had Terry who was 6.5. This season i will replace the 6.5 and 4 with 5.5 and 5 same cost, one less 4m player to have to find.
      There are some great looking options in the 5m bracket this season, the like of Janmaat, Clyne Skrtel etc

      Likewise if i decide not to have a 4.5 mid then the extra money will come out of the midfield budget

      • Excellent response, thank you.

        I agree there is some great value to be found in the 5mil price bracket.

        And, speaking of that, what are your general thoughts on PVA?

        I’m very high on him.
        Exceptional underlying attacking stats last year.
        Sunderland has a great set of fixtures to start the year as well.

        Now, I know you’re a Janmaat fan so, what separates these two in your eyes?

  3. Last seasoni like PVA very much. But at 5m not so much. For that money i would prefer Janmaat, although he has bad fixtures to start

    • Actually it looks like its the 5.5 category where the real action is

      Clyne Skrtel Kolorov Bertrand Cresswell Bellerin Jagielka Trippier Mertesaker Shaw Jones Mangala

      I would personally be looking at two from that group for
      11m
      Two 4.5s and a 4
      thats 24m

  4. Do you think sakho at just 6.5m is worth considering for occupying one of the three precious forward spots?

    i am looking at kun, sakho and one of kane/rooney

    also do u think hazard is worth the 2.5mil over fabregas? the only thing is his high ownership that might suggest to go for the Belgian

    some thoughts please?

    thanks

  5. Howdy Triggerlips!

    I found this site through a link from FFS. I’m banned from posting there as I tend to be a bit of a nuisance.

    Anyhoo, great stuff, I ‘m heap relieved to see that I seem to be filling all the criteria you’ve mentioned with my own team. After that it’s just about having the right players in the right price categories, I suppose.

    Thanks for your help.

  6. I agree with balance but I wanted to know your take on this season and playing a power 5 in midfield and going mid tier with someone like Benteke and Kane up front. I just feel that there is so much in midfield to choose from.

    • Its possible, but personally havent tried to start with five big mids. So cant tell you if it would work particularly well

  7. Some are saying the game has changed and this kind of structure is now obsolete. However it is worth noting that recent analysis by Rob Fraser showed that a fair few of this seasons top Ten finishers began with a very similar setup.

    I regret not sticking too it myself last season. I made the error of trying to save money on keepers, and that decision proved very costly. I learnt the hard way that trying to skimp on a position is risky. Back to basics this season with a pair of rotating keepers.

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