Title image of FPL Dictionary

FPL Dictionary

28 June 2024


Want to get better at FPL? You have to know the lingo. There is tones of FPL content made every game week to help you. People like Let’s talk FPL give weekly tips on which players to buy. But if you don’t know what he’s on about it’s not going to help you. What does he mean when he talks about following the template or going with differentials? You have to know the lingo to understand the strategy and get better.

So that’s what this dictionary if for. These are all the FPL terms commonly found in FPL community chat. Learn them, understand what people are talking about and get better at the game. Hopefully my definitions are clear but if they’re not or if I’ve missed anything please let in know in the comments!

Red/Green Arrow

Let’s start with a simple one. You may hear someone say “I’m on a red arrow this week” or “I’ve got a small green arrow”. A red arrow or green arrow means their FPL rank has gone up or down.

If your team goes up from rank 1,000 to rank 803 you’re on a green arrow. And if you’ve gone down from rank 1,000 to 1,504 you’re on a red arrow. The term comes from the game week history page which shows an arrow next to your rank:

Game week history page shows green and red arrows next to your rank.

Effective ownership

Ownership is a stat included in the default FPL game. It’s called “Teams selected by” on the player page. It gives the percentage of FPL teams that own the player. It’s a nice and simple metric to see how popular a player is. But it is missing a level of detail that Effective Ownership includes.

Effective ownership includes captaincy. When a player is captained their score is doubled and so is their ownership in effective ownership. If a player is owned by 50% of teams but all those teams captain them then the effective ownership jumps to 100%. It does mean that the ownership of a player can go above 100% if they’re a very popular captain. Even going above 200% is possible with triple captains!

Why is this useful? With effective ownership you can gauge how much a player scoring will effect your rank.

In your team?Ownership?Rank change if they score
YesHighSmall green arrow
YesLowBig green arrow
NoHighBig red arrow
NoLowSmall red arrow

Effective ownership is found in most fpl tools. The screenshot below is from livefpl.net showing Haaland with an effective ownership of 191.5% ownership for the top 10k. The 175% ownership stat is for teams just around my rank. And yes I did triple captain and it completely failed 😀

Effective ownership of Haaland shown in livefpl.net

Ownership is an important concept that feeds into a lot of FPL strategies.

The Template

Now we know ownership it’s time to talk template. The template is the team of the most owned players in the game. The highest-owned goalkeeper, defenders, midfielders and forwards. It’s the wisdom of the crowd.

Do you follow the crowd and copy the template? Or go against it and potentially get seriously hurt? Most of the time there are some template players that you can’t live without. Not having them is too painful when they score points. And there are only so many players in FPL. The best players are just the best players. But it’s impossible to completely follow the template. There are many many nuances to take into account when talking about the template.

Most of the time the most popular players cost too much to go into a single team. Especially with changing player prices and team value. There can be more then one template depending on which strategy you’re following. There can be templates that include multiple big hitters (players costing more than 10 million) or there are templates where the money is spread around cheaper players. Templates that depend on when you use your chips.

The template changes every week. Players fall out of the template as they’re sold and new players come into the template as they’re bought. The template follows the trends of the season. If a team comes into a patch of good fixtures or double games weeks suddenly all their players become part of the template.

The template is different for teams at different ranks. Using the template of every FPL manager in the game is a bad idea. It includes millions of FPL managers who will be inactive by the end of the season and are not paying attention to the trends of the game. Only the template of the top 10k or 100k should be given any value.

In my experience, understanding the template has been the best way to improve my game. Most people play FPL wrong. They try to get the most points. But it’s not about getting the most points… it’s about beating the other managers.


Differentials are players outside of the template. While most FPL managers have gone with player X you could go with the differential of player Y. It’s all about risk and reward. These players have low ownership so will give you a huge rank boost if they score points. But you’re going to feel pain if the template player that you have ignored scores.

Every season there are huge debates around having differentials. How many should you have? When in the season should you have them? It mostly depends on how you want to play FPL. I like to have 1 or 2 differentials the entire season because it keeps things interesting. A lot of managers have way too many which kills their rank. Most managers add differentials around special events like double game weeks or the end of the season to push for rank at those times. Differentials can be fun just don’t shoot yourself in the foot 😀


Money is tight in FPL. We often can’t have every player we want. We have to make sacrifices and go without players that everyone else seems to own. It sucks but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. We can limit the damage of not owning a player through covering.

Covering is owning a cheap player hoping that they will gain the same points as an expensive player in the same team.

The most common place of this tactic is in defense. There may be a £5.5m defender that many people have but you can’t afford. Hoever, there is a £4.5m defender in the same team who will get all the same clean sheet points! It’s not perfect because they’re usually not as good and won’t get any bonus points or attacking returns. But clean sheet points will help a lot in defending your rank against the highly owned expensive player.

Form vs fixtures

Form vs fixtures is another constant debate in the FPL community. Should you target players with easy fixtures coming up? Or should you go for players who are in form and scoring lot’s of points? In reality it’s probably abit of both. Targeting players who are reliable points scorers with good fixtures is always going to be best. You don’t want bad players in bad teams even if they have good fixtures. And even bad players get into hot streaks which make them tempting. But all hot streaks come to an end and reliable point scorers win out in the end.

Rotating cheapies

Rotating cheapies is having two or more cheap players that you rotate in and out of your starting 11 depending on the fixtures.

Even cheap options can be good in the right fixtures. Rotating with other cheap players is a good option to get the most out of them. Rotating is powerful for defenders and goalkeepers as clean sheets are more likely in easy fixtures. Getting cheap rotatable options takes planning and luck, so it’s not always possible. But pay attention to fixtures if you’re forced to have multiple cheap players because of budget.

Cheap players with alternating easy fixtures

The example above shows two cheap defenders: Doughty and Sensei. They have good alternating fixtures. We could play Doughty for GW1 and GW2 then switch to Sensei for GW3 and GW4. It’s a toss-up for who to play in GW5. Finally back to Doughty for GW6.

It’s always a fun tactic. There’s nothing more satisfying than getting a jammy clean sheet from a £4m defender or goalkeeper.

Fixture swings

There are always moments in a season where all managers abandon players from one team for another. The template completely changes in one game week because of fixtures. A fixture swing is a popular team coming into a set of hard fixtures while another comes into a set of easy fixtures.

Swings can be exciting as everyone lurches from one team to another. It will test you as either a conservative or risk-taking manager. It’s just good fun, it feels like in LOTR when that one uruk hai shouts “Looks like Chelsea’s back on the menu boys!”.

Dead ending your team

Usually we make transfers thinking about the long term health of our team. But if a big fixture swing or double game week is coming we might want to build our team just for that. This what is meant by dead ending your team. Set your team up with players to fully focus on a short term event. Don’t worry about having players for the long term. Then wild card your team after the event to get back to a team for the long term.

Taking bigger advantage of fixture swings and double game weeks is want the best players do.