A Beginner's Guide to the new FPL Draft
New to the Fantasy Premier League family for the 2017/18, on Friday evening of July 21st 2017 the FPL finally unveiled its latest game mode. Introducing a Draft game for the first game, players get to play Fantasy a whole new way. With a lot of draft based games being popular amongst American sports such as the NFL, the Premier League has pitched in with its effort to match the popularity of Fantasy Football in the good old USA. We evaluate the basics of the new Draft game and take a look at some of the burning questions that us Draft newbies will asking this season. All aboard.
For FPL Draft Players Ahead of the 2017/18 Season
As we're all new to this we'll begin by providing some basic site information, how the game modes work, and then ask general questions that arise when playing the new FPL.
Basic Information for FPL Draft
The FPL's Twitter Account: @OfficialFPL
Accessible: Computer, tablet, mobile devices, and an official app (though the app is temperamental at times)
Draft Game Formats:
The Draft Format: A new addition to the FPL for the 2017/18 season. There is no budget, a limit of 16 teams per Draft League, a league in which players takes in turns to draft players from the FPL game. It is a separate entity from the traditional FPL game.
1) Classic: When you've settled on your 3 keepers, 5 defenders, 5 midfielders, and 3 forwards from the Draft, set your line up and score traditional points in the FPL. Most points in the league wins, obviously.
2) Head to Head: Instead of scoring points on a weekly basis, bet everything in duelled competition, with victors taking 3 points, a draw equalling one point, and nothing for the losers. Most points wins the league.
The ABC's of Playing FPL Draft
1) Login using the same (or different) email address and password to the Draft website.
2) If you're a League Admin, create your league. All of the information can be changed, so don't be worried of setting information in stone there and then. If you're a league member, wait for the league code to be sent.
3) Depending on how many are in your league, set the league rules, and a date and time for a formal Draft.
4) Use the Draft Room to formalise your plan to build a squad of fifteen. In the meantime you can chat with your friends or your league to organise any last minute bits.
5) Let your Draft begin
6) If for whatever reason you experience technical issues with the Draft, make sure you assign loads of players to your Watchlist. If your internet cuts dead and you miss your two minute window, a player will be assigned for you, from your Watchlist if you have one that hasn't been drafted.
7) When your Draft is complete, the waiver wire becomes active, i.e. a free agents pool of players that weren't picked. You have to submit requests that are processed once a week.
8) Use the live chat to mercilessly berate your rivals terrible Draft squads.
9) Have fun and enjoy the game
10) Oh yeah, and try to win your league!
FPL Draft Terminology:
FPL - Fantasy Premier League
PL - Premier League
Differential - A player with low draft order that might make the difference to your team
Pundits - Member's of the FPL community who blog, vlog, tweet, or have a general influence surrounding the game, but who are not part of the official FPL itself
The Scout - The FPL's official online tabloid, which provides news and puff-piece articles surrounding certain players and tactics
Gameweek - Each round of Premier League fixtures, from an FPL point of view, is refereed to as a Gameweek. On social media there are abbreviations used for each GW - GW1, GW2, GW3, GW4, GW5, etc
Green/Red Arrows - Depending on your performance for any given Gameweek, your Overall rank, and your positions in mini-leagues, might vary. If you did well you're likely to have a green arrow, and if you had a nightmare of a week, your arrows will be red.
Waiver Wire - The term used in NFL drafting games that is essentially where all the available players not selected in the Draft game, go. It's like a transfer market of free agents. Players get priority on the waiver wire depending on their requests.
Free Agent - A player who was not selected in the draft.
Double Gameweek - When PL fixtures are rearranged some teams play twice in the same week, meaning that players can play twice, which means twice the opportunity to score FPL points. On Social Media the abbreviation #DGW is used.
Dead Teams - These are inactive players whose accounts have not made transfers, or maintained their squads, in some time.
What are our impressions of the FPL Draft?
We think for a launch, even though it was done late on a Friday evening, is just enough to not turn away casual players. There's not a lot to look at initially, which is probably for the best whilst millions of players come to grips with the basic functions of the games. What the FPL want to basically tell you is that you have to set a Draft date, set your league rules, and put a Watchlist of players together - i.e. they're trying to get us through the Draft process before they dump any layered information on us. Also, being launch day, I'm sure more information will be trickled down as the game moves on.
In regards to the layout, FPL players should be very familiar to the layout, which is advantageous to returning players. Our first impression is that we love the live chat and the mini-league home page. As an admin for the league it is empowering to be able to set the fate of the league in your hands. We're all massive fans of The League here, so are very hopeful that the TV show is going to have a knock on effect with our league this season.
Draft, on the surface, appears to be a worthy addition to the game, and we can't wait to get stuck into the waiver wire system, mock drafts, and utilising our Watchlist of players. If you're looking to sink your teeth further into the Premier League, and love football, this is a game that will give you more substance than the traditional FPL game, if you have a good group of friends to enjoy the ride with. It's definitely tailored for social interaction between friends and players, which makes us think why a live chat on other FPL games isn't readily available.
We think a worthy addition would be a draft board page on the homepage, which highlights which players are performing well, and those popular in waiver requests, as well as the number of successful first/second/third choice waivers, but this is all added function that can be added once the Premier League has kicked off once again.
General FPL Draft Questions
Why is the FPL and the Draft game on separate sites?:
Different domains on a big server. If you're on a PC and on the Draft website, just click the Fantasy button to switch between the game modes. Rather than the game being an extension, it's more like your aunt that lives down the road.
Can a Draft be redone after its already been completed?:
No, to the best of our knowledge. You'll need to make sure that your Watchlist is stacked with options if you're unavailable for whatever reason.
Is there going to be live scoring on the Draft site?:
We think that the PL matches will be listed, and will be done in traditional FPL style with a delayed bonus points system. The Premier League will utilise their live score centre - which would be a great additional tab at the top of the page so players can quickly go between pages (add it guys).
How to your players earn points?: Via goals, assists, appearance points, clean sheets, and bonus points.
Can points be taken away?:
There is no retrospective taken in the game, so if your players points are confirmed, it's locked.
Are Bonus Points a factor in the Draft mode?:
Absolutely they are. Normal game rules apply.
Factors to consider when playing FPL Draft:
Your position on the waiver wire, player injuries, suspensions, and tracking the form of your players.
Are there any captains in the Draft?:
Nope. Depending on league size, there might be some premium options going around, so to offset too many premium options going into one team, there will be no captains.
Why aren't there any Chips or Wildcards?:
The game is more about being tactically astute and using a Waiver system to flag new players in case any of your squad get injured.
Are there points deductions in the Draft?:
Not as far as we are aware.
What the hell is a Waiver Wire?:
It's basically a free agents market. If you need to make a change to your squad, you use it. There is priority on any waiver, so you may have to wait to get in new players if someone if ahead of you in the queue.
This whole 'Waiver Request' business just makes no sense. Can you simplify?:
- Waiver requests are made to swap players in your squad with a free agent in the same position.
- Requests are processed 24 hours before the GW deadline
- If you make more than one request, they are put into a priority order.
- The bottom placed team in your league will have waiver priority
- The waiver priority list is a reverse of the Draft order. If you're in an 8 team league and have the first Draft pick, you will have number 8 request on the waiver.
- If you put a request in for a player, but are low down on the priority list, and a request above you takes the player, you'll get your second priority pick, if the player is still available.
- After the waiver request period is completed, your team will move to the back of the queue for a request. That means if somebody doesn't put in a request for the first week, they'll be higher on the priority order.
Let's give you an example. We're assuming a tab at the top panel will be made available for your league's free agents once your Draft has been completed. Let's say you're in an 8 team league and drafted second, which means you are the 7th waiver request. You've Alexis Sanchez in your squad, but he is horribly injured or leaves the Arsenal for another league entirely. You will have the option to select a replacement from the free agent midfielders list. Let's say you have put in three requests, one for Matt Ritchie (NEW), Aaron Mooy (HUD) and Andros Townsend (CRY).
As you have 7th priority on the waiver, there is a chance that one of the 6 players ahead of you in the queue have ordered Ritchie or Mooy, depending on who has a good Gameweek. If the top waiver request request has put in for Ritchie, then you won't get him. He's out of stock. Then the fourth pick has bagged in Mooy, when it gets to you, Townsend is the next best available, and it is that request that will be made. If all requests fail, no transfers will be made and you'll get a better waiver request for next week.
Like transfers in the FPL, it might be wise to wait for your waiver priority to rise so you can trade in for in-form players and those in your squad who get suspended or injured.
Can we use the waiver to bring in players for GW1?:
We think active use of the waiver wire happens after the first Gameweek concludes.
If a player moves club, do I still keep that player?:
That's the joy of being a smart Draft player. If Alexis Sanchez moves to Man City, and you've drafted him, he's still your player.
What if a player leaves and I'm left with 14 players in my squad?:
You'll have to dip into the free agents pool, and hope to god that you've got priority. The player should still be listed in your squad, just with a pesky red arrow.
That also raises a question about how many players you can pick from one squad. Is there a limit?:
We don't believe there is. If you wanted to draft the entirety of Brighton's squad, by all means, we're pretty sure you can do it. That's not how to best utilise the Draft though. If you've ever watched episodes of The League, there are dangers in stacking up too many options from one team.
Why is the Draft order called a 'snake'?:
It's a ladder system. Essentially the FPL doesn't think there is any advantage with the selection process. If there are 8 players in your draft league, the choices will go as followed.
And so on...
Is Draft order random?:
We believe so, and haven't read anything to make us think differently. There's no advantage anyway, with the snake order making your picks too far apart for you to get another player of the same level in your team.
When Drafting is there a time limit between picks?:
Yes, the maximum is two minutes. There is just two minutes between Draft picks, so be prepared and use the Watchlist when drafting.
How many players would need to be drafted depending on league size?:
2 Team: 30 players
3 Team: 45 players
4 Team: 60 players
5 Team: 75 players
6 Team: 90 players
7 Team: 105 players
8 Team: 120 players
9 Team: 135 players
10 Team: 150 players
11 Team: 165 players
12 Team: 180 players
13 Team: 195 players
14 Team: 210 players
15 Team: 225 players
16 Team: 240 players
Is all of the League Admin information changeable?:
Yes, if you need to change the time and date of the league's draft, then that can happen. Just be aware that the draft will kick off if it hits the minimum members required (that you selected).
What is I'm unavailable for the Draft?:
You can make a list of priorities for each position from your Watchlist. If all else fails you'll get the best player with points potential.
Does my team value matter?:
There is no team value in the Draft game.
Why is there a limit of 16 teams?:
There's only around 500 players in the Draft mode, and a lot of them don't play. If 16 teams have a full squad of 15 players, that's 240 player selections, with roughly that figure sitting in the waiver wire (free agents list). Any more players and the player selection will be just terrible.
Why is there an online safety warning at the bottom of the page?:
With a live chat on the group, there is always the potential for online predators, especially in random leagues where you don't know the people you're playing with. Our best advice is to play it safe and join in with your mates or members of the FPL community that you can trust. It's easy enough to talk smack with your mates, but it's a whole different ball park, so if you're young or immature, keep the conversation to trolling at best. The FPL and the issued warnings at the bottom, and probably Donald Trump, are watching what we are all saying.
What are we, the Hype Train, mostly asked about?:
The only few questions that have been flagged to us is about what is not in the game. Players seemingly wanted player trading - aka good old fashioned 'Collusion' between players. We're kind of happy that it's not been included. There are hundreds of players in the game, we can't wait to manage the waiver market and get stuck into different options.
Want to know more about The Hype Train?
The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in the Fantasy Premier League (#FPL), providing beautiful graphics and weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb ranking tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review movies, live sport, and professional wrestling.
The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog 2016' by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), with the final presentation held at Old Trafford in Manchester.
You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, or visit our website here at www.thehypetrain.co.uk