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Traditionally, two or three big hitters has often been the sweet spot in FPL, to allow for greater flexibility using free transfers going forward. If you go too heavy on big hitters, you’ll find yourselves stuck when it comes to switching between assets easily.
The price structure this season, with just four players priced over £10.0m, means that a one premium set up is highly viable especially since Erling Haaland is a viable captaincy pick each week. In fact, according to the Fantasy Football Hub’s AI Points Predictions, Erling Haaland is projected to score the most points in each of the first eight gameweeks, so we really don’t need anyone else!
Transfers and points hits are key elements within the game and getting those decisions and more crucially the timing right, can save you points over the course of the season. I’m an advocate of making transfers as close to the deadline as possible. Trying to bank a transfer where possible is very valuable, as it does allow greater flexibility.
This season we have Friday deadlines in each of the first four gameweeks and so there’s less time between deadlines for players to fluctuate in price. The transfer market and therefore price changes are more active at the start of the season though, so if you have the exact funds to make a transfer early in the week, you may not be able to afford to hesitate.
Traditionally a 3-4-3 formation has been a go-to for fantasy managers. However, it was 3-5-2 which prevailed towards the end of last season and that could be the likely set-up for most managers this year, with a larger pool of mid-priced midfielders to select from.
A 4-5-1 looks tempting but could easily unravel given the lack of £4.5m forwards who will see minutes. With most pricing friendly this season we could see fantasy managers start the season with a starting 11 composed solely of players from the clubs who finished in the top six last season. The Fantasy Football Hub AI Best Team to start Gameweek 1 with is also set up in that 3-5-2 formation.
Most fantasy managers, myself included, tend to opt for maximising their funds on their starting 11 at the beginning of the FPL season, with a paper-thin bench. It might be wise to ensure you have starters on your bench if you can. It’s slim pickings at the moment for £4.0m goalkeepers & defenders, with hopes that Alphonse Areola (£4.0m) can be first choice goalkeeper at West Ham and Sheffield United’s George Baldock (£4.0m) a potential Gameweek 1 starter at the lowest defender price point.
Increase the budget to £4.5m in defence gets you plenty of options & looking at rotations could prove fruitful, with Newcastle’s Sven Botman (£4.5m), Brentford’s Rico Henry (£4.5m) and Everton’s James Tarkowski (£4.5m) among the most favourable picks.
I’m always cautious when it comes to signing players new to the Premier League at the start of the FPL season, whether that be those assets from promoted sides or big name transfers. The Premier League is notorious for being the toughest league in the world. Haaland, Fernandes and Salah have broken the mould but nine out of 10 do tend to flop initially.
Chelsea’s Christopher Nkunku (£7.5m) is the most popular new player heading into this season but he’s listed as a forward while playing the number ten role during pre-season which is disappointing. A Blank Gameweek 2 for promoted Luton Town and Burnley will put many managers off investing in these sides and we need to think carefully before including too many of these options on our benches too.
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