Here’s our fantasy premier league GW1 team where Rob Reid (aka the FPL Vet) talks us through his GW1 team. Rob finished with a rank of 22k last season 4,701 in 2015/16 and 7,810 in 2014/15.
fantasy premier league GW1 – Rob Reid (aka the FPL Vet) talks us through his GW1 team
After much deliberation, here’s my GW1 line-up and how I arrived at my selections.
I’ve tended to favour a premium keeper in previous seasons, they are a reliable way to cover a Top 6 defence. Unfortunately this hasn’t always worked out – Courtois getting sent off in GW1 a couple of seasons back being noteworthy.
I’ve therefore decided to save some money this year and go for a £9m combo. I narrowed it down to Foster/Fabianski and Forster/Elliott. Both give an appealing run of fixtures to GW8. I did also consider the £8.5m combo of Foster/Elliott but there were a couple of tougher weeks with these 2.
I’ve gone for Forster/Elliott in the end. Saints defensive cover should be popular in the first few weeks with a favourable fixture set. There’s some doubt who may start in their defence so Forster guarantees an entry point.
A playing £4m keeper is great for your budget – look at how the likes of Jakupovic, Grant and Ruddy in previous seasons have made great enablers. It looks like Elliott may fit this bill, though Rafa may still sign another keeper in the transfer window so we’d to watch this.
So this gives me:
for the first 8 gameweeks, provided both hold their place of course.
I’ve gone for the balanced 5 of 2 premium defenders, 2 rotating defenders and a cheap filler.
I really want Man U defensive cover to take advantage of good early fixtures and also to cover DDG’s high ownership. There’s some less secure options at £5.5m but game time is important in a premium defender so I’ve gone for Bailly on this basis. He’s suspended for The Super Cup but looks a solid bet to start at the weekend.
I would have gone for Trippier as the second premium option but he was injured in pre-season last week. I then narrowed it down to City or Arsenal cover. I’ve gone for the latter – I suspect they’ll be tighter at the back this year if they stick to a 3 and I also suspect they’ll rotate less than City in the league.
The options for me were Kolasanic at £6m, Holding at £5m or Monreal at £5.5m. I think Kolasanic has great attacking potential but not starting The Community Shield has cast some game time doubts despite his goal. Holding is great value but again will he keep his place when Koscielny or Mustafi are back? Monreal at £5.5m looks a nice compromise – Wenger seems to favour him and he does sometimes play as a wing-back increasing attacking potential so I’ve gone for him.
I’ve got a rotating pair for my next 2. I’ve opted for WBA / Burnley – gives a nice run of fixtures in first 8 weeks:
These players also need game time security. Mee at £4.5m looks secure so he’s in. WBA is trickier. The only £4.5m option Hegazi has been getting game time but this may change when McAuley is back. I’ve therefore reluctantly splashed out another £0.5m to get Dawson though he does give you attacking threat as well.
The cheap filler is Long of Burnley. It’ll be a bonus if he plays! I am still mulling Hegazi though and if I did pick him I’d upgrade Long to Naughton for a 3 way defensive rotation. I’ll probably finalise this on Thursday – will post on Twitter if I change.
This is the area I’ve found most difficult. A lot of good options in the premium range. A few around £7m and a couple of cheapies but not much in between.
My early drafts leaned towards Alli and Coutinho but I’ve since gone off them. The latter because of the spectre of a move to La Liga hanging over him so I’ve looked for Liverpool cover elsewhere. Alli is a tough one. He’s a consistent returner and has high ownership. The trouble is Harry Kane. He also has high ownership and will be more of a captain magnet. I did put a couple of teams together with both in but they were just too unbalanced. So I’m leaving Alli out. Might regret that…!
So who’s in? Kevin De Bruyne is my premium player. He’s an assist king and looks fairly secure in Pep’s selection roulette. I’ve got no other City attacking coverage and I fancy them to start well, hopefully KDB will be key.
Next up 2 mid-priced options. Willian has looked good in pre-season and has the added bonus of some set-piece involvement. Fabregas was tempting though. Zaha is the other selection- good early fixtures and playing well pre-season. He’s always had plenty of potential but lacked a bit of consistency. Hopefully this can change.
My last 2 are cheapies. Tom Carroll looks the best £4.5m option to me. If Siggy leaves he’ll have some set-piece duties and if the Swans hit some form he has potential to become a true 4th mid. So fingers crossed, but certainly some what ifs.
My last pick is a bit of a punt – Christian Atsu. He’s well priced, has plenty of pace and looked sharp in pre-season. The worry is game time but I fancy him to cause some trouble against a Spurs team minus a regular right-back.
Lukaku has been in all my drafts so he’s in – his ownership is so high I don’t think you can do without him. He’s always been a nemesis of mine but that seemed to change last season when he did me well in the second half. He will certainly get plenty of chances and his conversion rate is pretty good. He did miss a sitter in The Super Cup, but it didnt phase him and he got in the right spot to net his first United goal a few minutes later. I reckon you’d be mad not to have him.
I’ve finally settled on Kane as my next striker. Seems a bit strange that I’d consider not having him seeing as he was top scorer last season, but his captain potential is just too dangerous. I tried other drafts with Alli and Aguero/Morata/Lacazette/Jesus but I think it’s just too risky not to have him.
3rd striker was a nightmare to be honest. I initially wanted a sub £6.5m player so I could have another £9m midfielder but there’s issues with all if them. Austin has game time issues, with J-Rod it’s positional, the promoted teams look risky for a 3rd striker etc etc. So I resigned myself to a lower end premium player.
I kind of wrote him off in an earlier article but I’d like Liverpool cover so Firmino fits the bill. Benteke was my other thought but I’ve already got Zaha and I think 2 Palace attacking players is a bit much. Firmino is in then – he might have the added bonus of pens as well. I’ll be keeping an eye on Hernandez and Ihenacho though who are nicely priced at £7m but have tricky fixtures to start.
So I’ve gone with a kind of ‘Diet Top Heavy’ draft in the end. I’m pleased with my strikers and defence. 3/5 mids I’m pretty comfortable with.
My worries are Dele Alli, City’s other attacking prospects and Sanchez returning to full fitness in GW2 or 3. I can see several routes to get these players in though. I’m planning to WC around GW9 so hopefully I’ve planned ahead enough to deal with this.
Finally my targets for this year are as follows:
1) Win my main mini-league (came 2nd last year.) It’s a tough league, we’ve managed 4 top 10k finishes and 7 top 25k in the last 3 seasons between us.
2) Top 40k finish. I think a Top 1% finish is a good aim. This is based on there being 4 million+ players as per last year.
3) Top 10k finish. This is more difficult year on year and I’m less optimistic on this one!
4) Survive 4 rounds of the cup. Didn’t even qualify last year, so just to get in would be a start.
5) Top 500 finish in FFG league.
Whoever you choose for your team and whatever your aims are – good luck for the coming season folks. Remember it’s your team and your journey and the most important thing is to enjoy the ride 🙂
Thanks Rob, like the team and good luck
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