Fantasy Football

Goalkeeper Selection Tactics for FPL

Goalkeeper Selection Tactics for FPL

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How to pick your goalkeeper in FPL

Two of the trickiest positions to fill in your Fantasy Premier League team are the ones occupied by goalkeepers. With these two positions potentially fleecing you of 10% of your budget it is important to have a philosophy and stick to it for the season – otherwise 10% can turn in to 15% as the season progresses and your whole team suffers.

In this article I will look at some different strategies to employ when choosing your goalkeepers and look at some of the players who could be good choices for the season ahead.


Goalkeeping philosophies:

Now you may think that you need to buy the best goalkeeper to be successful in Fantasy Premier League and to an extent that could be true. But, how much should you invest in your goalkeeper and how much should you spend are two common questions.

How much to spend on your goalkeeper?

Well first off, there are no goalkeepers who cost more than £5.5m at the start of the season, which is just as well really as want to ensure we don’t spend too much in this position. It stands to reason that you should be prepared to spend as much as you would on a decent defender if you want a decent points return from your keeper. There were no goalkeepers in the 2014/15 season who outperformed the top defenders and there were no defenders who outperformed the top midfielders or attackers, so it stands to reason that by viewing your goalie as an extension of your defence to be a sensible perspective to take.

How much you are prepared to spend really depends on how much you put in to your defence too.

We would suggest a spend of around £33-34m on your 7 backline players (5 defenders and 2 goalkeepers) with our preferred formation being 3 first team defenders, 4 midfielders and 3 attackers in an average week.


The blow out and the down and out:

Many people will go all out on a first choice keeper, which at £5.5m for a Chelsea, Arsenal, Man Utd, Man City first choice defensive player is a decent price. Try getting a guaranteed starting Chelsea defender for £5.5m – it’s not gonna happen! These managers will play this keeper in every game of the season unless their keeper is injured or suspended and so they supplement the blow out with a budget keeper who probably doesn’t play (this will set you back £4m – the cheapest squad players possible).

This is a good philosophy to adopt but the key to success with this is to pick your top keeper well and stick with him for the season. Courtois or Cech are best options in this case and they will almosy definitely increase in price once the season starts, so if you want them – now is the time to put them in. Bear in mind that last season it was Swansea and Liverpool goalkeepers who came out on top in terms of points, and this was partly down to those players keeping their spots for the majority of the season and playing a higher amount of minutes when compared to the likes of Courtois.

Likely cost: £9.5m

Tactic Summary: 7/10 This tactic will ensure you have a decent enough return from your keeper but be prepared to have your free transfer hand forced when your keeper is injured or suspended… even worse, if they don’t play and this is unforeseen then you will gain no points as your second keeper is most likely not playing either.


The Mid-Table Double Up:

If you listened to this week’s podcast then you will have heard Quigliano talk about this strategy and it makes a lot of sense. Quigliano looks for a team with two goalkeepers who are relatively cheap and chooses both for his team. That way, you are pretty much guaranteed that one of them will play and you keep your costs fairly low. With this technique you could opt for last season’s top keeper Fabianksi at £5m and the Swansea backup keeper Nordfelt for just £4.5m.

The real benefit of this tactic however is that it can free up some cash to use elsewhere, so a double up of the two Crystal Palace goalies would come to a combined price of £8.5m giving you an extra £1m to spend elsewhere. If that meant you could afford Aguero or Hazard in your team then this is where this tactic really makes sense as no goalkeeper will earn anywhere near that amount of points.

Likely cost: £8.5m-£9.5m

Tactic Summary: 8/10 The goalkeeping position is the one that is going to return the least amount of points so it makes sense to try and take a budget approach as much as possible. Of course, as Chelsea start to rattle in those clean sheets you might regret not choosing Courtois, but if you are enjoying an Aguero hat-trick as a result then it will make the pill very sweet indeed upon swallowing!


The Gambling Option:

This option is for the brave and those of you who fancy taking on lady luck by predicting where those clean sheets will occur. This option will usually involve picking two keepers at around £4.5-£5m and you will rotate them as per the fixtures for that week. An example of this would be Butland at Stoke £4.5m (our standout choice by the way) and Howard at Everton for £5m giving you the choice of Everton and Stoke fixtures to predict for clean sheets.

The biggest problem with this tactic is that it gives you a lot more to think about each week when making changes to your team and the potential frustration that a bad choice can bring will bring with it future decisions based on emotion that will ultimately be bad decisions. The benefits are that you can really make the fixtures work for you with a bit of insight and foresight.

Likely cost: £9.5m

Tactic Summary: 7/10 This tactic is not for the lighthearted and it is also not for the less dedicated player who occasionally forgets to sort his team ahead of the weekly deadline. There is potential to increase your points return from your goalkeepers but there is also potential for a lesser return from an increase in investment. This option does not allow you to save any extra cash either so you really need the tactic to work if you are to make it worth your while.


Our Top Goalkeeper Picks:

Whichever strategy you opt for we have a few keepers that we really like – here they are:

Fabianski – Swansea (£5m): The top keeper last season with 151 points and Swansea should be fairly solid again this season. With a £5m price tag this could be a shrewd investment.

Jack Butland – Stoke (£4.5m): Having spoken to players who played with Butland at Birmingham City it is clear that he has immense talent and the potential to be a world class keeper. Mark Hughes has said that his time is now (following the departure of Begovic to Chelsea) and at just £4.5m he plays with one of the meanest defences in the league. You could almost have him as your blow out keeper and then opt for a £4m keeper and still save money.

David De Gea – Man Utd (£5.5m): It looks increasingly like DDG will stay at Manchester United for one more season and they have solidified the spine of the team and will probably still bring in one more centre back. If he stays he is a very good pick as he picked up a lot of bonus points last season and really showed his class.

Courtois – Chelsea (£5.5m): If you are going to spend the full £5.5m then it probably has to be on Courtois. He will get more game time this season if he stays injury free and he will gain more points than last season as a result of this. Personally, I would rather opt for a cheaper keeper like Butland and then put that extra cash in to a Chelsea defender like Azpilicueta for £6m.


What tactic will you be choosing? Listen to the podcast to hear these explained in more detail and subscribe to the YouTube channel here.


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