If you’re looking for an edge over your mini-league rivals, there are worse places to look for inspiration than the squads of the Fantasy Premier League’s most successful managers.
We have identified over 250 bosses who each have at least five top-10,000 finishes and sent our spies to their training grounds in search of tips.
So which players are the established elite deploying who us mere mortals are disregarding?
Don’t be afraid to jump on the bandwagon
A squad of the players who are selected by top managers includes plenty of names you would expect to see, so piling into popular players is nothing to be ashamed of.
In fact, Virgil Van Dijk is the only one of the current nine most-selected assets not present. The Dutch colossus was owned by over half of elite managers at the start of the season but rapidly fell out of favour as Liverpool struggled for clean sheets.
Top managers are ruthless when it comes to ditching an underperforming player but react quickly to snap up a rising star, with Tottenham’s Dele Alli a case in point. None of the top bosses went near him until gameweek 15 but now over two thirds have him in their squad.
Jack Grealish is another midfielder who was a rare sight until recently, but after a run of goals and assists he is now owned by more than half of the elite.
Move early where possible
If you decided to copy this squad using your second wildcard then there’s a good chance you would come up short, as it currently weighs in at £105m, a hefty chunk over the original £100m budget.
However, at the start of the season it would have been comfortably within budget at just £96.5m, with the likes of Sadio Mane, John Lundstram and Jamie Vardy all yet to surprise the FPL masses.
Even if you didn’t snap these players up immediately it would still be possible to have a squad like this if you’d reacted quickly enough.
The lesson? Don’t wait for players like Vardy to break records before adding them to your squad – show a little faith and reap the rewards.
Spend as little as possible on keepers
While the Premier League boasts some of the world’s best goalkeepers, top managers know better than to fork out £6m for the likes of Ederson when that sort of cash can be put to better use elsewhere.
Even spending £5m on a goalkeeper is considered excessive, with the seven shot-stoppers most popular with elite FPL managers all available for less than this.
A look at the most-selected keeper reveals something else about the typical strategy of a top boss.
David Button hasn’t set foot on the pitch this season but his £4m price tag frees up further funds elsewhere and leaves the goalkeeping burden entirely in the hands of one player.
With 25 outfield players having outscored the top-performing goalkeeper this season, it’s easy to see why elite managers want to tie up as little money as possible in goal.