Fantasy Premier League tips : Misconceptions regarding the choice of goalkeeper

Fantasy Premier League managers generally have three strategies for picking the goalkeeper pairing in their team.


The official, biggest and the most entertaining Fantasy Football game, Fantasy Premier League, is right upon us.

Our goal is simple – to score the most points possible. However, we have some misconceptions which at times hinder the chances of scoring points. In Part 1 of this article I am going to discuss one misconception which many FPL managers have.

Fantasy Premier League managers generally have three strategies for picking the goalkeeper pairing in their team:

  1. Picking a premium goalkeeper and a cheap (mostly non-playing) goalkeeper from some other team. (Examplev- David De Gea and Artur Boruc)
  2. Picking two goalkeepers for rotation purpose (Examplev- Lucasz Fabianski and Rui Patricio)
  3. Picking 2 goalkeepers from the same team (in most cases picking a 4.5 goalkeeper and a 4 million goalkeeper from the same team so as to distribute more funds in the other areas of the team)

Now the thing which I am discussing about is the 3rd point.

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Suppose you have 2 goalkeepers from the same team (For example Asmir Begovic (4.5) and Artur Boruc (4) – Bournemouth’s First Choice and Substitute Goalkeeper respectively) in your FPL team. Who will you be starting in the team and who will you put on the bench?

Most of you would either answer:

  1. Obviously Begovic Or
  2. It doesn’t really matter, as both play for the same team so if one doesn’t play other is auto subbed into the team.

But wait. It matters. FPL is all about getting the maximum points possible, and we all know how luck plays such an important role in this matter. There are certain situations which we cannot control, but there are certain areas where we can reduce the possibility of the worst case scenarios happening with us.

And a good FPL manager makes sure that he/she reduces the worst case scenarios as much as possible. And to reduce such cases you should start the substitute Goalkeeper in your team (in our example, Boruc), and keep the first choice Goalkeeper (in our example, Begovic) on the bench because of the following reasons:

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Red Card to the First Choice Goalkeeper – 

Suppose you start with Begovic and he gets sent off. A red card for a Goalkeeper results in -3 as well as 1 point deduction for every goal the team concedes. So in that case, most probably you would end up with negative points for your goalkeeper (say -2). Whereas, in case Begovic gets sent off, Bournemouth would sub in Boruc and he will most probably give positive points (say 3).

But in your team you will get -2 points for Begovic and the, 3 points which Boruc got would be on your bench. 5 points difference. Had you started Boruc, you would have made 5 points swing.

First Choice Goalkeeper gets injured before 30 minutes –

Suppose you start with Begovic and he gets injured. Then Bournemouth would sub him with Boruc. If Begovic gets injured before 30 minutes, then he will get only 1 appearance point, while Boruc will get 2 appearance points plus a chance of clean sheet points if Bournemouth don’t concede while Boruc is on the field. But if you start with Boruc, then you can make those 3-5 points swing in your favor.

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Chance for the Substitute Goalkeeper to save a penalty if the First Choice Goalkeeper gets sent off and concedes a penalty – 

An example of this situation occurred in 2011/12 season. Blackburn Rovers entertained Liverpool for a Premier League match. Liverpool’s starting goalkeeper for that night, Alexander Doni, conceded a penalty and was sent off. His replacement, Brad Jones, came on and saved the resultant penalty.

Risk Free Approach –

If you have Boruc in your starting 11, and Begovic as your sub and Begovic plays 90 minutes then Begovic will get auto-subbed into your team.

A nice point increase at the end of the Gameweek –

Having the substitute goalkeeper in your starting eleven also gives a nice point boost at the end of the Gameweek if the Starting Goalkeeper plays the full 90 minutes as his points will be added when the Gameweek closes, which will annoy your Mini League rivals (completely psychological).

However, the following is a situation where starting the Substitute Goalkeeper may prove to be a disadvantage to you (I will use same Begovic and Boruc example):

Starting Goalkeeper gets injured after 60 minutes – You start with Boruc in your FPL team and Begovic starts in goal for Bournemouth. If Begovic starts and gets injured after 60 minutes, then there is more chances of Begovic scoring more points than Boruc as Begovic will get 2 appearance points and a chance of keeping Clean Sheet as well.

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Note: There are a couple of situations where starting either the first choice goalkeeper or the substitute goalkeeper will make very little difference to your team.

If the first choice goalkeeper gets injured in between 30-59 minutes – In this situation both the goalkeepers will not be able to able to complete 60 minutes and so will not get 2 appearance points. In this case it comes to which Goalkeeper concedes less goal goals and make more saves while he was there in the field.

Team uses all 3 substitutes and then the starting goalkeeper gets injured – An example of this situation too occurred in 2011/12 season. Again it involves Liverpool, who travelled to St. James’ Park and were 0-2 down and had used all 3 substitutions. To add insult to injury Pepe Reina got sent off leaving Jose Enrique to spend the final few minutes in goal.

In this situation it would not matter whether you start with Reina or Doni (then Liverpool’s 2nd goalkeeper), it would result in the same points total for you.

As you can see from the points discussed above that starting the substitute goalkeeper has more pros than cons and it helps in reducing more worst case scenarios possible in this game and thereby help you get those extra 3-5 points which might prove to be the difference between winning your Mini League or finishing in the Top 10k or whatever is your target for the season.

So, if you are planning to have 2 Goalkeepers from the same team then I would suggest you to start the substitute goalkeeper and bench the first choice goalkeeper in your Fantasy Premier League team.

Photo by wonker


  1. The article was great. But you could have compared the the 3rd point with the first and the 2nd point as well. Like why should we prefer one approach over the other..

  2. The focus was more on the third approach which was great but perhaps u could have stressed a bit more on why one approach should be preferred over another. However the overall points is something which most of the fpl managers like us overlook. In that regard it was very helpful.

    • Hi,
      Thank you for comment and am I glad you liked the post.
      Actually there is no right or wrong approach in FPL, that is the reason it is so popular and fascinating. Every approach has its pros and cons, and successful FPL managers over the years have used all the three strategies (which i mentioned in the article) to good effect. Managers who like to spend more on attackers generally go cheap in defense to free up funds for the attacking slots, and vice versa.
      The focus on this article was maximizing the number of points you could possibly get if you choose a strategy (which in this article was strategy number 3).