We’re back!! It’s been 74 loooong days since the curtain closed on the 2017/18 season but with just 8 days to go until we hit our first FPL deadline of the new season we have finally decided to post our first draft line up of this pre-season. FPL Updates XI version 1.0 so to speak.
In the 3 weeks that the Official Fantasy Premier League has been live I have seen an array of teams posted and one thing is for sure, opinions within the FPL community look to be stronger than ever. Saying that I don’t think we have ever had so many question marks around the top 6/7 teams like we have this pre-season. Potential new systems and huge transfers in have meant that all of the top 7, bar Spurs, could be lining up in a completely different way to last year. Throw in the fact Spurs have left White Hart Lane and you just can’t be sure about anyone at this point. I guess that’s what makes it even more fun though isn’t it?
With all of that factored in we at FPL Updates XI HQ have decided to focus more on the short term with our first line up here. I have always been an advocate of an early Wildcard and this year is no exception. So much will be answered within the first few weeks that I want to build a team that looks safe for gameweek’s 1 to 3 but also has great potential given the fixtures. So here’s a look at the the team
I have personally never agreed with spending big money on keepers. The extra million or two that you can save here can be far more wisely spent elsewhere. Just looking at last season it was Tom Heaton at 4.5m who was the top scoring keeper. Add in the fact that the points gap between the the keepers for the top 6 and the rest is so minimal you can score plenty of points by finding a nice rotating pair. We have initially gone with Wayne Hennessey and Joe Hart. Aside from gameweek 2Hennessey has a nice start and with Hart I just couldn’t help myself. He may have a f*ck up in him but he’s one of the best shot stoppers in the country and at 4.5m he could be a great pick.
One glance at our back line and you’d think I had a right back fettish. Completely unintentional but I feel it says a lot about how the modern full back is evolving. With so many teams utilising their fullbacks in the opposition half nowadays I think there are are huge fantasy points to be had from them this year. We have gone for Manchester City new boy Kyle Walker, his former Spurs team mate Kieran Trippier and Southampton’s Cedric. All three will have a license to attack and I’m confident they will all deliver. On the bench I have gone with a couple cheap bargains. With Nathaniel Clyne out for the opening couple of weeks Trent Alexander Arnold could be a cheeky differential. Klopp clearly rates him and the timeline for Clyne’s return is uncertain. The last defender is DeAndre Yedlin. Newcastle have a nice opening set of games and Yedlin is an absolute flier. He will bomb forward for fun and doesn’t look bad value at 4.5m. At the time of writing there have been suggestions that he will miss gameweek 1 so he is likely to be replaced if so.
The midfield is where I wanted to invest this season. It’s fair to say you can find the odd midfield bargain, as players like Josh King and Etienne Capoue showed at stages of last season. But even though 46 midfielders broke the 100 point barrier last year only 2 of the top 12 scoring midfielders were under 7m. So even though you can pick up bargains along the way if you invest in 5 pricier mids you are likely to benefit more consistently. This is by no means a foolproof plan but when you look at ways in which you can yield the most points on a consistent basis I think a 3-5-2 could be the way this year. So looking at ours let’s start with Paul Pogba. I’ve been fairly vocal on Twitter all summer that I feel he is the biggest bargain in the game this year. This has only been enhanced by the signing of Nemanja Matic. Pogba will likely have a more attacking role his year and I’m a big fan of how this United team is starting to look. Throw in the fact that they don’t face a title rival until October they look the team to pick from early on. Sadio Mane makes our line up too. He suffered a few injuries last season but still managed to contribute 20 attacking returns in 27 games and picked up pretty much every team award in his first year with Liverpool. I’m confident he will push on from last year and break the 180pt mark. His performance against Bayern this week did nothing to dampen my expectations. Next up is Leroy Sane. It took him a few months to push his way into Pep Guadiola’s starting line up but once he did he didn’t look back. He averaged an attacking return every 148 minutes. A rate that put him just outside that of the big boys last year. I’m sure I’m not alone in believing City will take some stopping and I’m incredibly excited to see Sane continue to improve. There may be worries about about rotation but now City have failed to sign to Sanchez there’s no real left wing competition. Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling will likely feature more to the right or centrally so pick Sane with confidence. Willian gets the nod from us. With Hazard out for the opening month the Brazilian could have a big impact early. He has always delivered when he plays and given that he is on most set pieces he holds huge value at a seemingly budget friendly 7m. Regardless of tweaks I think he is safe here for gameweek 1. Last up is Wilf Zaha. The Palace winger has seen a large price hike this year but I think its fair given his development over the last 12 months. 18 attacking returns last year showed he has started to add an end product to his undoubted skill and ability.
Our front line inevitably starts with Romelu Lukaku. 49% ownership suggests I don’t need to explain in detail why he’s in the lineup and suggests we won’t be alone when he scores against West Ham in gameweek 1. Alongside the new United striker we have Roberto Firmino. Newly listed as a striker he looks great value at 8.5m. Liverpool simply won’t have any troubles in front of goal and with a good opening set of fixtures Firmino could be a nice player to own. Last up is Aleksandar Mitrovic. I’m not sure who’s more mental. The unhinged Newcastle striker or me for picking him. What I will say is he will likely remain benched most games but at 5m he looks an absolute steal. He will should get plenty of starts and did in fact register 13 Premier League attacking returns in 2015/16, so he has proven his ability here before.
So there we have it. A line up that will no doubt change before the season starts but it has some method.
We will be posting the confirmed gameweek 1 line up next week and this year we will be choosing our weekly captain based on the article vote. So please keep you eyes peeled for the article next week and we look forward to hearing any feedback.
Written by FPL Guru (@FPL_Guru_)