How to play FPL Draft

FPL Rabbi has been playing the Draft version of the game for many seasons. Here he shares his insight into how to play FPL Draft, have a successful draft day and set the league up for a brilliant season.

Let’s start from the very beginning. Draft is the American way of playing fantasy. Every team is different, ownership % is not an issue and the word differential doesn’t exist. Your team really is YOUR team. Only one manager has Salah, one has KDB, another has Kane. A lot of fun!

FPL Rabbi

League type

The first thing you need to do to experience the FPLDraft to it’s fullest is create an Head-to-Head league. This is my preference to the classic scoring.

League structure

In the league you ideally need eight teams, with 10 teams would be the absolute maximum in my opinion. Don’t go over 10 managers per league.

Before draft day

Enter the draft room to create a watchlist according to the number of teams participating. With a 10 team league you’ll need 150 players on that list, so take your time with it. Your list should look like:

Premiums (all positions)

  • Forwards
  • Midfielders
  • Defenders
  • Goalkeepers

I like this order as there are often far few attractive forward options in the game than any other position so securing them first is key.

On Draft day

Pick wisely

The day of the draft is where things get interesting. You should draft players in the following order and prioritise the picks so they don’t get taken by other managers.

Draft order

First you have your premiums. These should be players like Salah, KDB, Kane, Trent Alexander-Arnold etc who you look to get in to your team in the opening rounds of the draft. The premiums usually last around 15 picks. Pick the one you fancy the most when it’s your turn.

Beware of injury prone players

When picking a premium, prioritise players that rarely get injured. You want the premiums that you do draft to play as many minutes as possible over the course of the season.

Consistency and Explosiveness

These are two huge factors when picking players. For me in the draft game I prioritise consistency when selecting players. With the draft game being a head to head in this format then it doesn’t matter if you win by 2 FPL points or 20. A win will still get only three points. That is why managers need as many returns possible every single Gameweek and therefore why I favour consistency.

Second tier players

Once the premium picks have been established its a good idea to then fill your team up based on your watchlist. Generally it is advisable to fill in the attacking players first as even if you get one of the centre-backs rather than a wing back they will still get clean sheet returns.

Using your picks as assets

This one is a bit risky.

Picture this scenario – it’s your pick and the next obvious pick is someone you don’t fancy. You can draft him and immediately trade him to upgrade a later pick on a 2-3 player trade. It’s risky though, so beware.

Not actually a zombie team

Last thing you should be aware of is that many new draft managers think the draft team will become a zombie team. By this they mean that there will never be any good players to sign on a waiver or as a free agent. However, you’ll eventually realise that at least a third of your team will change by the end of the season. Meaning you will need to look of the likes of Jarrod Bowen last season and move on them early as their form grows before the other managers do.

Element of luck

Some of your picks will flop. Other players who flew under the radar on draft night will emerge, so don’t worry about your initial team that much. You only need to get half of your picks right at the start in order to be a contender for the title.

That’s also the reason you shouldn’t be afraid to take one week punts on players you would normally overlook. If they have a good fixture coming up it’s ok in draft to get them on a waiver and move them on the week after. Making three or four transfers a week isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

In a H2H league the element of luck is much greater. The ‘matches’ could easily decide the title winner by the end of the season.

So many times you could have an amazing Gameweek only to be paired up vs. the team who had the best Gameweek in your league. That means you would have beat anyone else but them. Then again it works the other way around as well. You could scrap a win and three important points with a horrendous Gameweek.

Rarely does the manager who scored the most #FPL points wins the title.

Good luck on draft night!


Last season Will walked us through his draft league every week. Read about his thought processes over the season and how he turned his season around here.

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