Calling Fantasy EPL managers of all shape, sizes, and scoring systems!
We’re thrilled to present our latest article—a comprehensive guide for those new to the game. Dive into this treasure trove of advice behind effective drafting, team strategy, matchups, and what makes this format truly invigorating to play!
What is EPL Draft Fantasy on Fantrax?
EPL Draft Fantasy on Fantrax.com has many different league styles for playing Fantasy Premier League Football (Soccer). A redraft fantasy format indicates that a draft is held for each new season of Premier League football. Whereas, Dynasty or Keeper leagues draft in the inaugural season, and you are able to keep a certain number of players from season to season for the duration your league remains active. In a dynasty or keeper league, there are more draft strategies to consider such as drafting young, talented players so they may remain on your team for years to come.
We will go into more detail in this guide as to how different league styles function, what makes DraftPL on Fantrax different from the standard FPL format, how player scoring works, and much more!
What Makes EPL Draft Fantasy different from the Official Fantasy Premier League (FPL)?
Essentially, it all boils down to the way Fantrax scoring works. In the standard Fantasy Premier League (FPL) format a player only scores points for a Goal, Assist, Clean Sheet, or Saves (goalkeepers only). Players can also lose points for yellow cards, red cards, or amount of goals conceded.
FPL’s style of scoring limits the number of viable players available to create a squad and narrows roster construction into a cookie-cutter template that the majority of players use to build a team. If you compare any two random full FPL squads of 15 players, you’re likely to see upwards of 10 players that are exactly the same.
EPL Draft Fantasy on Fantrax changes things entirely. Players earn points for not only goals and assists, but key passes, accurate crosses, shots on target, successful dribbles, and more! Because of this scoring system, there are hundreds of viable players week-in and week-out to help you form a potent squad to win your week’s matchup.
In EPL Draft Fantasy on Fantrax, you are also able to chop and change your roster every gameweek, providing a new level of strategy to the game and forcing you to make difficult decisions on which players to keep and which to move on for someone new!
How do the rules and scoring for EPL Draft Fantasy on Fantrax work?
One of the greatest features of EPL Draft Fantasy on Fantrax is that league rules and scoring are fully customizable! The commissioner has total control to change rules, increase roster slots, add injured reserve spots for players with long-term injuries, and even change the scoring system.
This rule-set allows managers to have a maximum of 16 players on their roster, 11 active players, and 5 players in their reserves. This particular league does not allow for injured reserved (IR) slots, in which case an injured player would take up one of your valuable 16 roster spots if you choose to keep them on your team.
This rule set also gives managers flexibility with how they line up their starting 11. You must have at least 3 defenders, 2 midfielders, and 1 forward. But, you are allowed to play any normal footballing formation such as a 3-4-3, 4-4-3, 4-3-3, 5-3-2, etc. (except for Pep’s 4 forward formations…yet)
As you can see, there is a much larger variety of scoring categories in EPL Draft Fantasy on Fantrax than there are compared to Fantasy Premier League (FPL).
Scoring points for actions outside of goals, assists, or clean sheets are called ghost points by the EPL Draft Fantasy Community. There are even some players that accumulate so many ghost points that they don’t even need goal contributions to be considered a top-tier asset! Finding players that score plenty of ghost points is one of the most fun and challenging aspects of EPL Draft Fantasy on Fantrax!
How many teams make up a league?
This is entirely up to the league commissioner or the league members on how many managers they would like to have in their league. The standard league format is a 12-man league with some leagues opting for similarly common 14, 10, or 8-person leagues.
How does it work?
There are a few different ways to handle your league draft prior to the Premier League season. The worthy commissioner, along with the help of their league mates, will determine the best option for handling the league draft.
There are a few different factors to consider when determining draft style. Some of those factors include the number of league members, the time zones in which those league members live, the experience level of the league members, and how much time league members have to dedicate to a draft.
Below are a few of the most common draft styles and what they mean:
- Live Draft – A draft happening in real-time. All members of the league are present in the draft room (or on auto-draft if they cannot participate). The time between picks is usually rather quick (less than 10 minutes).
- Offline Draft – A draft happening offline away from Fantrax, usually with a draft board to keep track of players drafted and the entire league is present in one physical location. This is a great option if you have an entire league made up of friends in your local community.
- Auction Draft – Usually reserved for experienced players, an auction draft is a great way to add an additional challenge to league drafts. Exactly as it may sound, players are auctioned off to the league and the highest bidder will acquire the player being auctioned off. Each manager will start with a draft budget, and it is up to them to determine the best way of spending that budget to create a competitive squad.
- Slow Draft – Similar to a live draft, a slow draft is performed in the Fantrax draft room, but with much longer times between draft picks. This should only e used for busy managers that cannot schedule a couple of hours for a live draft or for leagues that have members across different time zones. The league commissioner sets the time allotted per pick and can even pause the draft when most members would be asleep. Typically, the draft will start with 4-8 hours per pick, but as soon as a pick is made it is the next manager’s turn to pick. As the draft rounds progress, the time between picks is usually shortened to speed up the remainder of the draft.
- Snake Draft – The most common ordering of draft picks is called a snake draft. This means that you start with the 1st overall pick and work your way towards the last pick, 12th in a 12-man league. The 1st round is completed when the 12th pick is made and the second round starts with that same manager with the 13th pick. The round then works its way back to the manager that had the 1st overall pick and they would pick 24th overall and proceed to start the 3rd round with the 25th pick overall. The draft makes a snaking motion throughout with the 1st and 12th spots drafting back-to-back the entirety of the draft.
This is where the fun and creativity of drafting comes into play. There is no limit to the number of draft strategies, and each manager has their own style when it comes to drafting. Some managers want the ever-coveted 1st overall draft pick to secure a player like Erling Haaland and cement their forward line. Others feel added pressure with the 1st overall pick and would rather draft somewhere in the middle of the round, or maybe even at the 12th pick turn.
Remember that drafting at the beginning of round 1 usually means you draft at the end of round 2. Some managers feel there is a drop-off in player quality between the end of round 1 and the end of round 2 and prefer drafting late in round 1 to secure a second high-quality player at the beginning of round 2.
Along with where you pick in the draft, comes the strategy of how you choose to fill out your roster. Do you always choose the best available player when it’s your turn to pick? Or, do you prefer to draft a high-caliber forward first and follow up with a top-tier defender in round 2, leaving the later rounds to find a quality midfielder among a rather deep midfield pool?
The choices are seemingly endless and the best way to determine your draft strategy is to participate in mock drafts (practice drafts). This will help you better determine how the draft may flow and which players are targeted in which spots in the draft.
If you’re on Twitter, ChrisisleS is essentially a robot putting together mock drafts, recently posting 2 per day. Mock drafts are a great way to get your feet wet trying out new strategies, for new and experienced players within the draft space alike.
As most in the community would agree, certain positions are more valuable than others if given equal points scored over the season. As a whole, the defender pool is a wasteland. Barring potential standard scoring changes in the future, they score the least on average between the 3 major positions. This past year especially, having one of the top defenders was a major competitive advantage; whereas managers holding the 20th highest scoring defender may not have even noticed. In contrast, midfielders and forwards have a much more normal scoring distribution over the course of the season. Of the standard league formations available, the 3-5-2 and 3-4-3 are the most commonly played – highlighting the relative supply and demand between the positions which drive player valuations.
The question many are wondering: “what about goalkeepers?” Goalkeepers have essentially no real value, and should be taken with 1 of the last 2 picks of your draft. They will be dropped week-to-week in order to secure favorable matchups, and will typically be short term fixtures in your starting XI.
Overall, player valuations are extremely volatile. For example, in early 2023 Ivan Toney was charged with multiple counts of sports gambling via the English FA – meaning there was the possibility he could miss extended time. Managers rostering him were caught in a dilemma at this point: “Sell low for pennies on the dollar, or pray that he is able to finish out most of the year?” Ultimately, the managers who held onto him were justified, but it could’ve just as easily played out differently. Situations like Toney’s are rare but injuries, Champions/Europa League rotation, red cards, and dips in form can cause any player’s value to implode – no matter what round you drafted them in. This dynamism is what makes this format of Fantasy Premier League so enticing.
Stick or Twist?
Over the course of the season, you won’t hold onto every player you drafted. Never. It’s possible that at the end of the season, you won’t even remember who was drafted, nor who was acquired via the waiver wire or trade. The best managers can discern when to stick with their initial instincts to acquire a player, or whether he’s deadwood worth cutting to open a roster spot for new talent. During the course of the 38-week season, these decisions can make any manager toss and turn. Questions like “what if this guy hits it big the week after I drop him?” or “can I wait 2 more months for DCL to get healthy?” Very rarely is a drop/keep question black and white, since every team has different short & long-term considerations.
It’s pretty simple in the end: score more points than your week’s randomly-generated opponent, and you win! The best strategy to win is unsurprising: score as many points as possible on the week. There may be defensive strategies managers are able to employ against their opponent on certain weeks, but as a whole, these only tilt your chances by a few percentage points at best. Since none of us have a crystal ball, and player scores are volatile, managers must decide between upside and downside with every player they start. Certainly a player’s opponent matters, but does that mean you should bench a round 5 defender who plays against a top 4 side?
Occasionally there may be double gameweeks (DGWs), where managers will have the chance to score in more than the standard 11 matches. You always want to start as many players as possible; however, it’s an age-old debate whether a player’s services are more valuable because he plays 2 games on a specific gameweek. Player, team, and matchup context always matter when you choose a starting XI, and DGWs are no different.
The Waiver Wire
We need an equitable way to determine who gets the hotiticket item on the waiver wire each week, instead of an apocalyptic first come first served free-for-all. Managers have busy lives, and this method would inherently benefit the least busy of them all. By default, Fantrax will select waiver priority instead of using a free agent acquisition budget (FAAB). It’s a matter of personal preference where the former may be easier for beginners, and the latter for players with a year or two of experience. Waivers will typically “run” at the same time of day at least twice per week, at which point everyone is assigned their requested players – assuming someone higher in the queue didn’t already request that player.
A typical waiver priority bidding system will begin in the reverse order of draft day. For example, draft pick #12 receives 1st overall priority, and draft pick #1 receives 12th. The first person to use priority goes to the bottom of the list, bumping everyone else up 1 spot in the queue. High waiver priority holds the most weight during transfer season in August and January. 1st and 2nd priority may elect to only use the free agency in order to preserve their selection for a transfer window, forfeiting most of the top options on a week-to-week basis to lower ranks in the queue.
Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB)
Everyone starts with a fixed amount of FAAB, typically $100. For each waived player, you have the option of “bidding” any amount of your funds in order to acquire him after waivers run. Each player goes to the highest bidder, for the amount that was bid. If you lose your bid, your FAAB is returned to you afterward to use another time. You are able to see how much FAAB other managers have before bidding, but you aren’t able to see how much has been bid on another player until after waivers run. Should there be a tie, FAAB systems still have a waiver priority to determine who is deserving of the player’s services.
There is no exact science to it, but it’s advisable to only bid what you think the player is worth, as opposed to what you think is required to win. Team needs can affect your bid slightly, but it’s very important to not overbid and blow your budget quickly.
How they Work
The typical manager should be making at least a trade or two per season, potentially up to 5 even. Trades can entail players, waiver priority, and/or FAAB. They should be seen as a chance to rebalance both parties’ teams for the future, especially if someone has had a major change in their team’s value or positional makeup. The best trades benefit both sides at the time of the trade, even if they end up looking lopsided at the end of the season. It’s important to keep trade discussions open at all times, and to be reasonable with your valuations; otherwise, you may find managers unwilling to deal fairly with you in the future when you need it most.
Trading means both parties involved receive something they consider of value. This means that it is rarely the case that someone “wins” a trade. Keeping an open line of communication with your league mates is a must when it comes to trades. You have a better chance of coming to a trade agreement if you understand their sentiment regarding specific players.
Has one league member given up on one of their better players due to poor form? It may be the perfect time to strike a deal if you believe they can turn things around. On the flip side, do you have a player on your roster that you believe has significantly over-achieved? Try to deal them out on a high and receive a player that you think can keep up their current form and continue at a high level the rest of the season.
Most managers think in terms of “what have you done for me lately?” and tend not to consider future returns as well as upcoming fixture difficulties. You can find diamonds in the rough just by searching through your league mate’s rosters.
Trading players is a great way to balance out your roster if you believe that you are too heavy in a certain area of the pitch. Do you have 3 defenders that are consistently wracking up points but you fail to roster a forward that has scored a goal in the last 5 games? It might be time to try and strike a deal with a league member that has a wealth of forward options.
There are a few common types of trades.1-for-1 trades, 2-for-1 trades, or player-plus FAAB trades. Sometimes in order to get a 1-for-1 trade across the line you may need to include a few dollars of your FAAB budget to “sweeten” the deal. In a 2-for-1 trade, you may want to secure a top-tier player but will have to give up 2 quality players in return.
Trading is an ever-evolving art form and can happen at any time throughout the season or even before the season starts. Some leagues allow for the trading of draft picks, meaning you could trade your 2nd and 4th-round picks for someone else’s 1st-round pick. The possibilities are endless, you just have to keep an open mind and open line of communication with your league mates.
Keep a Level Head
The Premier League season is a long endeavor. Players and teams fall in and out of form, injuries happen, and the January transfer window allows for new blood to join the player pool.
Keeping your wits about you throughout the season is crucial if you want to compete for the top spot in your league. Knowing when to move off underperforming players, when it’s no longer worth holding that player that has a long-term injury, or rolling the dice on players before the rest of your league sees their quality, are just a few of the decisions you will face throughout the season.
Most leagues always have something to play for regardless of where you stand in the league table. Mid-season tournaments are a great way to boost the engagement of managers that have had a rough start to the season. Always chasing the highest game week score is another achievement that any manager can strive towards, and it can even pay out a good chunk of change in some paid leagues.
Don’t let the highs get too high and don’t let the lows stop you from participating in your league. Keeping a level head throughout the season keeps the game fun not just for you, but for everyone in your league. And if you ever need to be talked off the ledge, reach out to us at Premier League on Tap, we’re always available to help talk through strategies or provide our thoughts on certain players or teams.
Thank you for reading the Beginners Guide to Fantrax Draft Premier League, and we hope you have an amazing season. Enjoy the best form of Fantasy Football around!
~ Nate and Zach