Here’s Joseph Crilley with his fantasy premier league teams article where he talks us through his first draft plus some of the points of interest in fantasy premier league 18/19.
fantasy premier league teams – Joseph Crilleys first draft team
The World Cup is close to its conclusion and it has been a great summer mainly thanks to the exploits of England which sadly came to an end in the semi-finals! I hope that you are all also enjoying your own summers wherever and however that may be. After the early opening of FPL last week, my head has now been turned towards next season and I thought that I would share a few of my initial thoughts along with my current draft for GW1.
There hasn’t been too much change in the rules which I have no issue with as the game worked well last year in my opinion. It would have been nice to see a slight change in the chips so that we don’t have everyone playing them in the same weeks, but they were fun to use. The most pleasing thing for me is regarding the weekly prize where squads will now only be eligible if they have participated in a minimum of two gameweeks. This should see an end to teams being built with the sole purpose of winning this prize.
As brilliant as the tournament has been this year, it now poses a problem for FPL managers with it looking very likely that we will be short of certain players in at least GW1 due to their required rest. This presents an option to attack the first 3-4 gameweeks and then wildcard when players such as KDB, Kane and Hazard are available again. This is what I am currently looking to do by creating a team for gameweeks 1-4 and then playing the wildcard during the first international break.
Not too many surprises, but there was some relief to see Salah stay as midfielder which was admittedly rather expected. There was a change for Arnautovic and Zaha to forwards, with the latter being a particular surprise to me. I’m not too sure what Zaha has done to warrant the change (unlike Arnie who was fielded as no.9 in the second half of the season) and it seems to me that FPL towers are trying to fill that awkward 3rd striker slot.
Elsewhere, I was a little disappointed to see an end of season hero of mine, Masuaku, reclassified to a midfielder, but he looks an OK option at 4.5mil to sit on our benches. Ashley Young and Fabian Delph moved the opposite way and could become solid options in strong defences with the former registering 2 goals and 6 assists last season.
Similar to FFG, my thought on pricing is that it seemed pretty fair with the premium players coming in at the expected high prices, but this is offset by some good value options across all positions. In particular, I believe that there is some great value in defence where the highest priced players are only 6.5mil which seems promising to me. Specifically, there could be some decent options at Liverpool and United if we are able to narrow down who will be first choice.
Currently, I am planning on utilising the value that I believe is there in defence by using four defenders/goalkeepers from top-8 sides. This has built into my structure of 4-4-2 which involves four premium attackers along with two budget ones and a strong defence. It’s also worth remembering that I plan to wildcard after GW4. That is s part of the reason for the lack of Chelsea and Arsenal in my side because I will look to assess their players under the new managers in the opening fixtures.
My current selection in goal is Ederson who is a secure option in the Man City defence which has some fantastic home fixtures in the first few weeks. It’s unlikely that he would stay in my team for too long, but I like having access to his defence for the opening weeks until we know Pep’s preferred defensive line-up. 4.0mil Stekelenburg is the bench fodder alongside the Brazilian who has the slim possibility of starting GW1 with Pickford at the World Cup.
I always prefer to cover the United defence, especially in the Mourinho era, and I like the look of Bailly at 5.5mil who should return to the heart of the defence though this will need monitoring. Despite the major hike in price to 6.0mil, the fine attacking form of Robertson in the latter portion of the season has persuaded me to splash the cash. He provided some great fantasy returns after cementing his place at left back and I think that he will still prove to be a valuable asset. Everton’s fixtures look very promising and Coleman has a history of attacking returns which is a combination that I can’t turn down for 5.5mil.
My premium defenders will be supplemented by two cheap defenders who are likely to rotate in the 4th defender slot. First up is Tomkins who I think is a fantastic option at 4.5mil after finishing the season with 2 goals and 4 clean sheets in the last 7 weeks. Meanwhile, it looks like Southampton will continue to line up with three centre backs which means Cedric will be playing at RWB which increases his assist potential.
To start the season, I will not be taking the risk of avoiding Salah despite the increased price tag due to his promising fixtures and expected high ownership. He looks the obvious captain pick in GW1 and I’d prefer to not immediately be on the back foot.
I have chosen two premiums to go alongside him from two other strong attacking teams in Spurs and City. Eriksen looks to be the only sure starter for Pochettino due to the abundance of players who have gone deep in the World Cup and it is a similar story for Sané following his unexpected absence from the German squad. Both scored very well last year and hopefully they can step up for their sides in the absence of their teammates returning from the summer tournament.
I always find it very tricky to select budget attackers and I have decided to take a punt on a player in each position in order to give me the opportunity to jump on any bandwagon that presents itself. In midfield, I have elected for Walcott who has a great fixture list in GW1-5 and I’m hoping that Marco Silva can have a similar effect on him that he had with Richarlison at Watford last season. I have also selected Stephens as my 4.5mil midfielder, but there are many choices for this position.
The budget option further up the pitch that I have gone for is Austin who was finally able to cement his spot in the Saints’ team after the appointment of Mark Hughes. I have always been of the opinion that he is a fantastic option when fully fit and secured in his team so he’s in for now following 7 goals in just 10 starts last year.
I get the feeling that the selection of premium forward is going to be key this season with there being several options in the 9.0mil+ bracket. Currently, I have gone for Aguero who had the highest points per match of any striker last season and he should be able to take advantage of the opposition presented to him in the opening weeks, under the presumption that he continues to be first choice.
Quaner appears to be the 4.5mil striker who is most likely to play so he’s in the team as well.
I have the gameplan this year of trying to put some more cash into defence and hence why I have decided to use the 4-4-2 formation. Once that is decided, the tricky decisions will be the choice of premium forward and which budget attackers that I think will hit the ground running, but that’s my current team for the upcoming season. Hopefully there’s some information in there that will help with your selection and I’ll be posting an updated team further down the line. It certainly will be interesting to see how similar this team is to my actual GW1 team!
LINKS TO GEEK LEAGUES