How Do Automatic Substitutions Work in FPL?

fpl substitutions explained

This article aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the FPL substitution rules. Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Choosing Your Starting 11

Each Gameweek, you must select 11 players from your 15-player squad to form your team. The 11 players you choose will be your starting players for that Gameweek, and they will score points based on their real-life performances in their respective matches.

It’s crucial to keep an eye on the fixture schedule and any potential injuries or suspensions that might affect your players. If one of your starting 11 doesn’t play in a Gameweek (plays 0 minutes), they will be automatically substituted by one of your bench players according to the order of players on the bench while respecting formation constraints.

Read more: How to order your bench in FPL?

Rules of Automatic Substitutions in FPL: How do they work?

Automatic substitutions are a key feature of FPL, designed to replace any of your starting 11 who don’t play in a Gameweek with players from your bench. The game considers a player to have played in a Gameweek if they have been on the pitch for at least one minute or if they have received a yellow or red card.

The automatic substitutions are processed at the end of the Gameweek, and they follow the priority order that you set. If more than one of your starting players doesn’t play, the game will first try to substitute the player who is first on your bench, then the second, and then the third. However, the game will only make a substitution if it doesn’t break the formation rules.

Prioritizing your bench is an important aspect of FPL strategy.

For example, if you play in a 3-5-2 formation and one of your starting defenders doesn’t play, and the first player on your bench is a forward, the game won’t bring the forward on if it would mean you have fewer than three defenders in your team. Instead, it will move to the next player on your bench who is a defender.

When do automatic substitutions happen in FPL?

Substitutions are processed at the end of the Gameweek, not immediately after a player fails to play. This rule means you won’t see any changes to your team during the Gameweek, even if one of your players doesn’t play.

If you believe your automatic substitutions are wrong, it’s worth checking the formation rules and remembering that substitutions are processed at the end of the Gameweek. If you’re still unsure, the FPL website has a comprehensive set of rules and FAQs that can help.


Can all 4 substitutes come on in FPL?

Yes, all four substitutes can come on in a single Gameweek, but only if your goalkeeper and three of your field players don’t play and the substitutions don’t violate the formation rules.

Can you make subs in FPL?

Yes, you can make substitutions in FPL, but only before the Gameweek deadline and not during the Gameweek. Any changes you make to your team during a Gameweek will be effective from the next Gameweek.

So you cannot do manual substitutions in FPL in a way it is possible to them in World Cup Fantasy or UCL Fantasy.

Do your FPL subs get points?

Your substitutes only get points if they are automatically substituted in for a player in your starting 11 who doesn’t play in that Gameweek. If they remain on the bench, they don’t earn any points.

How many auto subs can you make in FPL?

There can be up to 4 auto subs, as long as the substitutions don’t violate the formation rules.

What happens if a player is injured in FPL?

If a player in your starting 11 is injured and doesn’t play in a Gameweek (play 0 minutes), he will be automatically substituted by a player from your bench, depending on the priority order you’ve set and the formation rules.

Can an injured defender be swapped for a forward in FPL?

Only if it does not violate the formation rules. For example, if you play 4-4-2 and have a forward first on your bench, and your injured defender plays 0 minutes in that gameweek, he will be replaced by the first player from your bench, in this case, a forward.

Can a striker replace a midfielder in FPL?

Yes, a striker can replace a midfielder in your starting 11, as long as the substitution doesn’t violate the formation rules. For example, if you start with a 3-5-2 formation and one of your midfielders doesn’t play, a forward from your bench can be substituted in (if he is first on your bench), changing your formation to 3-4-3.

Matej Šuľan

Fantasy Football enthusiast with two top 1k finishes in FPL. Best FPL overall rank: 119th in 2019/20 season. Five top 500 finishes in UCL Fantasy, best overall rank: 23rd in 2018/19 season. Founder of Fantasy Football Reports.

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