How Does The Bench Work On FPL? Rotating & Navigating Fixture Congestion

FPL Strategy

August 22, 2023

How Does The Bench Work On FPL? Rotating & Navigating Fixture Congestion

Greetings, Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers, to a comprehensive guide on How Does The Bench Work On FPL and utilising the bench effectively and navigating through the challenges of fixture congestion in the world of fantasy football. In this blog, we’ll delve into the intricacies of managing your substitutes, implementing a rotating strategy, and making the most of your squad during periods of heavy fixture congestion.

The Basics of The FPL Bench & How It Works

In FPL, your team consists of 15 players: 11 starters and 4 substitutes. These substitutes are essential for dealing with injuries, suspensions, and fixture pile-ups. Understanding the mechanics of the bench is crucial to your overall FPL success.


When a player in your starting lineup doesn’t play a single minute in a match, the first eligible substitute from your bench takes their place. This process is automatic and happens at the end of a gameweek. If more than one of your starting XI doesn’t play, the highest priority non-playing substitute is brought in.

Manual Substitutions:

You also have the option to manually substitute players before a gameweek’s deadline. This is useful when you want to replace an injured player or when you have a strong bench player with a favourable fixture.

Rotating FPL Bench Strategy

A rotating bench strategy involves selecting players with complementary fixtures to maximise points potential. This approach is particularly effective for positions like goalkeepers and defenders, where clean sheets are a significant source of points.

Goalkeeper Rotation:

Many FPL managers employ a rotating goalkeeper strategy. This means selecting two goalkeepers from different teams who tend to have alternating favourable fixtures. For example, if Team A’s goalkeeper has a tough fixture, you can opt to start Team B’s goalkeeper for that week.

Defensive Rotations:

Similar to goalkeepers, defenders can be rotated to capitalise on favourable matchups. Look for teams with strong defensive records and choose defenders from those teams who have upcoming easier fixtures.

Navigating FPL Fixture Congestion

The Premier League schedule can get incredibly congested due to domestic and European competitions. Handling multiple matches in a short period is a challenge, but it also presents opportunities for clever squad management.

Squad Depth:

During fixture congestion, having a deep squad becomes vital. Having bench players who are likely to start due to rotation can mitigate the risk of missing out on points. Prioritise having versatile players who are likely to play even if it’s not their usual starting role.

Form and Fixture Analysis:

Analyse both team form and upcoming fixtures before making substitutions. If a star player from a top team is in a great run of form but has a tough fixture, consider benching them for a player from a mid-table team with an easier fixture.

Captains and Vice-Captains:

During congested periods, the risk of your captain or vice-captain not playing is higher. Ensure your vice-captain is someone who has a high chance of playing and potentially delivering points.

Prioritise Starters:

While rotating your bench is important, prioritise fielding your strongest starting XI. In most cases, the majority of your points will come from your starters.

Final Thoughts

Thank you for reading our blog on How Does The Bench Work On FPL. Effectively managing your FPL bench and navigating through fixture congestion can give you a significant edge in FPL. A successful FPL manager doesn’t just focus on their starting lineup but also leverages their substitutes to adapt to changing circumstances. The art of rotation and bench management requires a blend of statistical analysis, fixture awareness, and a bit of luck. As the FPL season progresses, keep honing your skills and adapting your strategy to stay ahead of the competition. Happy managing!



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