Goalkeepers are the cheapest position in Fantasy Premier League, but they also provide some of the greatest value. If you’ve decided you want to save money and avoid a premium keeper, these guys are some of your best options. Whether you prefer a rotation or to set and forget your keepers, these guys will be perfect for either option.
Rui Patricio (Wolves, £4.5m)
The Portugal number one arrives at Molineux with 71 international caps and leaves Sporting Lisbon after spending his whole career there. Last season he kept a clean sheet in every other game, conceding 24 goals for the Portuguese club. After reaching the last 16 in the World Cup, he won’t be short of match fitness.
Wolves managed a total of 24 clean sheets, spread evenly home and away, which was the highest in the Championship last season. Wolves had the joint tightest defensive record with only 39 goals conceded in their 46 games.They only conceded 21 goals on the road during their 23 games which is very impressive.
Wolves start the season with 3 home games in their first 5, which includes champions, Manchester City. Their start is relatively favourable but will give Patricio a chance for save points. Wolves have also invested well and with the likes of Euro 2016 winner, Joao Moutinho in their midfield, their defence will have a lot less to worry about. At £4.5m he’s the cheapest nailed on defensive option at Wolves.
Lukasz Fabianski (West Ham, £4.5m)
The new Hammers keeper moves to London after Swansea were relegated to the Championship. After Joe Hart, who hasn’t returned on loan and Adrian rotated during the previous campaign, Fabianski is now in charge of the No.1 shirt.
Fabianski is the second most selected goalkeeper in FPL and I can see why as he’s a very shrewd pick. He scored the 3rd most amount of points last season only behind De Gea and Ederson, earning the most amount of points he’s ever got in FPL. A big reason why the relegated keeper got so many points was down to his saves. He came second only behind Jack Butland in the number of saves he made with 137. Even more impressively he made 30 catches, the highest out of any keeper showing his quality. He also managed to top the list for penalty saves, making 3 saves during the campaign.
Will this move improve or hinder his points output? In my opinion it will improve as I see West Ham being better defensively. West Ham kept one more clean sheet than Swansea last season and conceded 14 less big chances. The two teams differed by 3 on shots on target conceded so I can’t see Fabianski’s save points potential decreasing which is good news. West Ham face 5 of the top 6 in their first 9 games, so it might be clever to wait and see or plan a rotation. However, I can see him racking up the saves in a couple of these games.
Ben Foster (Watford, £4.5m)
Foster has joined Watford from Relegated West Brom and the 35 year old comes with bags of experience. He joins Watford for the second time after a previous loan spell and looks set to drop Gomes to the bench after he was rotated by Javi Gracia during the previous season.
Watford got 9 clean sheets last season which was joint 13th and conceded the 3rd most amount of goals with 64. Nothing special there. With the acquisition of Foster and some new defensive signings I imagine this to improve.
Gracia will enter his first full campaign after picking up the pieces from Marco Silva. This will hopefully improve after a rocky start to his career in England’s top tier. Watford’s opening 3 fixtures are one of the kindest but they toughen up facing 3 top 6 teams in their next 4 games. It could be a clever move to include Foster as part of a rotation with his opening run being a mixed bag.
Pickford (Everton £5.0m)
England’s No.1 is returning from the World Cup after a very impressive tournament. He enters his second season as Everton keeper after his £30m move from Sunderland and will hope to improve after being the 6th highest scorer last season.
Pickford came fourth for saves made last season and will always guarantee you save points throughout the year. He’s also handy for bonus points as he earned the third highest amount last year with 16 extra points. With the arrival of Marco Silva, Everton will be deploying a new system and it will be interesting to see whether or not they adapt quickly and if this hinders their defence. At £5.0m Pickford is their cheapest nailed on asset alongside Keane. The 2nd centre back spot is still up in the air and we won’t know who Silva will favour until the seasons starts.
Looking at the fixtures, Everton have one of the best opening runs. They only face one top 6 team, Arsenal, in their first 9 games. If you’re liking the look at the Everton defence, investing early might be the best time.
Bernd Leno (Arsenal, £5.0m)
It’s not often you see a keeper priced below £5.5m for a top 6 club and there’s one this season. Emery has signed the German keeper for £22m and brings Cech, who is also priced at £5.0m, competition at the Emirates. Due to Arsenal competing in the Europa league it’s likely that there will be a designated keeper for the league and for Europe.
Over the past 7 seasons, Cech has made only 1 penalty save in the league and it came during last season. When Arsenal conceded a penalty it seemed a guaranteed goal. Arsenal gave away the most spot kicks last season with 6 and gave away 10 in the previous season. Leno has fared better when it comes to penalties, he’s saved 9 of the 39 pens.
Whoever gets the nod in goal is currently the cheapest route into the Arsenal defence. Arsenal’s opening two games are the trickiest (Man City and Chelsea) for any team but they improve significantly and are definitely a viable pick if you can ride out the first two. Once we know Emery’s preferred option, they’ll be a cheap way into a top 6 defence.
Written by FPL Junior (@FPL_Junior)