We are back! After a summer of rest and recovery, a new Fantasy Premier League season is just around the corner.
Due to the one-month break to host the World Cup in Qatar, this will be a season like no other.
We have unlimited transfers between game week 16 and 17 to take the fallout, plus the usual two wildcards – one for the first half of the season, one for the second.
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But as Friday’s 6:30 PM TBEN approaches, it’s time to assemble your squad. Here are 30 players we recommend to start with…
Ederson – 5.5m, Manchester City
Lowering their maximum price to 5.5 million, premium goalkeepers are back on the menu. With Manchester City as the strongest defense in the league, it is wise to count on Ederson’s clean sheet until the best budget option emerges.
Aaron Ramsdale – 5.0m, Arsenal
Ramsdale had a season of two halves last year but was for a while the best goalkeeper choice in the game, with some decent clean sheet potential enhanced by the habit of racking up saves and bonus points. Arsenal’s fixtures are favorable to start with.
Robert Sanchez – 4.5m, Brighton
Choosing a 4.5m goalkeeper has traditionally been the smartest thing to do, but there isn’t really an excellent option among this year’s cohort. Sanchez is probably the best of the bunch as Brighton keeps things relatively tight, but don’t expect more than a single blank slate.
Danny Ward – 4.0m, Leicester
Selecting a backup goalkeeper from the cheapest category is usually the best choice and interestingly enough we have one that is likely to play. The departure of Kasper Schmeichel to Nice should put Ward in the base of Leicester.
Daniel Iversen – 4.0m, Leicester
With Ward’s backup Iversen also costing 4.0 million, we have the rare prospect of an achievable 8.0m link. It’s certainly worth considering whether you need an extra 0.5m, but you could run into a problem if Leicester sign a first-choice keeper between now and the end of the month.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7.5m, Liverpool
As essential as it is, Alexander-Arnold again surpassed the 200-point mark last year, but still costs just 7.5 metres. While that makes him the most expensive defender in the game, it’s what you pay for a mid-price attacker that only gets you half the points.
Joaoo Cancelo – 7.0m, Manchester City
Cancelo finished just seven points less than Alexander-Arnold, bidding more per million spent on average. Scoring just one goal was disappointing – many of his many shots were from distance – but he was that rare thing: a rotational player on a Pep Guardiola squad.
Reece James – 6.0m, Chelsea
James was able to make fun of his 6.0m tag. The Chelsea right-back was prone to following a double-digit distance with zero points last season, making him difficult to predict. The easiest thing might be to put him on your team and wait for the points to come in.
Ruben Dias – 6.0m, Manchester City
An alternative route to City’s defenses for those tempted to do without Cancelo. Injury permitting, Dias should be as close to a permanent fixture on City’s side as possible and also pose an air threat to the team with the most regular goals last season.
Ivan Perisic – 5.5m, Tottenham
Wingbacks playing under Antonio Conte are usually brilliant fantasy signings and Perisic should be no exception. As a 33 year old there will be a lot of rotation and early substitutions along the way, but if you can handle that he could be a game changer.
Gabriel – 5.0m, Arsenal
Locked in as one of Arsenal’s starting central halves, Gabriel opens the season with a string of solid games from a clean sheet perspective. The Brazilian has also been threatened from the air, while Crystal Palace and Leicester have been known to struggle on set plays.
Matt Doherty – 5.0m, Tottenham
The Perisic budget. Doherty’s minutes on the other flank are a little less certain, where he will face more competition for a regular start. Still, he looks set to be first-choice for now and his underlying stats before an injury at the end of last season were fantasy gold.
Lewis Dunk – 4.5m, Brighton
Going big at the rear is popular this year, but there are still potential bargains in the 4.5m drive. Dunk will be a mainstay in a Brighton defense that should keep a few clean sheets to start with and he’s also popping up in corners every now and then.
Neco Williams – 4.0m, Nottingham Forest
The go-to 4.0m defender. If Williams can replicate the impact of Djed Spence from the rear right, then he’ll be a great option to have on your bench, ready to fill in for unexpected absences.
Nathan Patterson – 4.0m, Everton
Patterson has started the entire Everton preseason for Seamus Coleman. Ideal for pairing with Williams if you settle for playing a back three so you can spread money elsewhere.
Mohamed Salah – 13.0m, Liverpool
There’s a theory that you can do without Salah at the start of the season and it’s true, you can, but know that you may be entering a world of pain. Last season’s top scorer will be landed heavily for an opening weekend trip to Fulham.
Luis Diaz – 8.0m, Liverpool
There is a variety of options in the 8.0m bracket, but Diaz pretty much sent the rest to the mail last season in terms of underlying stats, albeit with a smaller sample size. Whether you go for him or Andy Robertson as your third Liverpool player will depend on your team structure.
Mason Mount – 8.0m, Chelsea
Of the other 8.0s, Mount stands out. More sure of a start than Phil Foden or Riyad Mahrez, more of a target threat than Dejan Kulusevski. Bukayo Saka is another viable option, but Arsenal spots are expensive for some.
Marcus Rashford – 6.5m, Manchester United
At his lowest fantasy price in years after a scorching season, Rashford will be a steal if he regains some form under Erik ten Hag. We may have to wait until we know more about this new Manchester United, but those who jump on him early may be rewarded.
Gabriel Martinelli – 6.0m, Arsenal
Martinelli faces stiff competition on the Arsenal frontline, but seems to be the first choice on the left wing for now. Six goals and six assists was a decent return that can only be improved, especially if he comes forward as first-choice penalty taker.
Rodrigo – 6.0m, Leeds
Selected by less than 1% of managers and understandably, after an inconsistent show last season, but should play out Patrick Bamford for a Leeds side that has a good opening streak.
Pedro Neto – 5.5m, Wolves
Missed most of last season through injury but before that was one of the more exciting young players in the Premier League and represents excellent value at just 5.5 metres. Already a popular choice in about 19% of squads.
Leon Bailey – 5.0m, Aston Villa
The breakout fantasy star of the preseason. Few would have considered Bailey an option for a series of appearances that seem to have cemented his place in Steven Gerrard’s starting lineup. Prepare an escape route if he loses his place, but may be worth a punt.
Andreas Pereira – 4.5m, Fulham
Pereira is a starting midfielder of 4.5 meters with an attacking head in his locker. Pereira is an excellent first substitute in case your team is unexpectedly injured, suspended or on the bench. Set and forget.
Erling Haaland – 11.5m, Manchester City
He’s here and he’s going to score a lot of points. One of the unwritten rules of fantasy football isn’t choosing players new to the league, but it’s always been more of a guideline anyway. And in Haaland’s case, you can probably make an exception.
Harry Kane – 11.5m, Tottenham
On the other hand, you could choose Kane for the same price. Many managers plan to start with Kane in a plum game against Southampton and then move on to Haaland for his meeting with Bournemouth. You issue a wire transfer, but that’s what they’re there for, right?
Gabriel Jesus – 8.0m, Arsenal
Currently the most popular pick in the game, even more than Salah, it’s easy to see why Jesus is in so many rosters after his stormy preseason at Arsenal and an attractive 8.0 million price tag. His first two games aren’t the best.
Aleksandar Mitrovic – 6.5m, Fulham
Is this finally the year that Mitrovic makes the step from championship superstar to Premier League striker? We’ve been burned before, but if Fulham score, it will probably be through the Serbia international.
Taiwo Awoniyi – 6.0m, Nottingham Forest
The same may be true for Awoniyi and the newly promoted forest. A former Liverpool reserve player, he comes over from Union Berlin with 15 goals in 31 Bundesliga games and will take the lead alongside Brennan Johnson.
Cameron Archer – 4.5m, Aston Villa
Value has moved into defense and midfield rather than front in recent years. With that in mind, you may not want to spend a lot on the third striker. Archer seems to be the promising option of the 4.5 meter.