After a break following his excellent performance in World Cup fantasy Rob Reid is back with his fantasy premier league first draft teams plus his methodology in picking players
fantasy premier league first draft teams – Here’s Rob Reid with his
With the drama of Russia 2018 now confined to the memory bank, the 2018-19 season is approaching fast. The pre-season anticipation is building and social media is steadily becoming populated with draft after draft as we all search for perfect combination of strikers and that elusive £4.0 playing defender. Yep folks, FPL is back!
So here’s an opening 2018-19 salvo from me, along with a few thoughts for the season ahead.
Setting up for Gameweek 1
We’re in one of those pre-seasons where we have a few more things to consider because of The World Cup. I’ll touch on that a bit later but here’s what I generally think about going into GW1 and some players I’m liking in some of the categories.
These are the core FPL players, ones with a proven track record who are going to score points season after season. They will be priced high and owned by many and if you leave them out and they hit the ground running you’ll be chasing from the word go.
Key Players: Salah, Kane, Aguero, Sterling, De Bruyne, Hazard
This applies to both clubs and individuals and although it should be taken with a pinch of salt, can be a handy marker of things to come. There are several clubs under new management including big guns Chelsea and Arsenal and pre-season will give us a clue towards their new playing style, favoured players and who might benefit or lose out. Similarly, certain individuals can carry good pre-season form into GW1 – think of Mahrez a couple of seasons back for example.
Key players: Arnautovic, Zaha, Tosun, Mane, Pedro, Aubameyang
It’s worth taking a good look at the fixture list and identifying teams with good runs at the start as well as home and away rotation pairs. This especially relevant to defenders and cheap midfielders. Good pre-season planning and an idea as to when you will play your Wildcard can pay handy differential dividends early on.
Teams: City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Everton, Burnley, Southampton, Palace
Shape of the squad
Or more precisely, how I’m going to divide my budget. Historically attacking players are more expensive but can provide more points. As a general rule 9.5% spending on goalkeepers, 26.5% on defenders, 38% on midfielders and 26% on forwards is a fair guide for the standard 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 formations. As part of this, budget players become crucial especially in defence and midfield.
Budget Players: Wan-Bissaka, Peltier, Bennett, Lennon, Masuaku
Ah this old chestnut, a key for protecting your overall rank from calamitous red arrows. Anyone with over 25% ownership will seriously hurt your rank, even more so if they are prime captain candidates. I’ll be keeping a careful eye on this when I select my squad.
Key players: Salah, Kane, Firmino, De Gea, De Bruyne, Zaha
For 2018-19: The World Cup Factor
You can read the Geeks article on this so I won’t go into too much detail, but it looks suspiciously like many of the players who figured in the last week of the tournament won’t make GW1 at the least. As we are all too aware there’s some big FPL players in this group so there needs to be a contingency in place for bringing these guys in when they’re ready to go.
Key players: international players from France, Croatia, Belgium and England in particular.
First Draft Teams
Ok so I’ve actually done 2 first draft teams and here they are. Draft 1 is with a top heavy attack. Draft 2 spreads and balances the funds a bit more.
I’ve seen a lot of debate this pre-season, mostly revolving having a strategy around bringing in World Cup players who aren’t likely to be match ready until GW2 at the very earliest.
A popular strategy seems to be to set up your team for GW1-4 then play your Wildcard for GW5. I like the idea if this, I’ve been a frequent proponent of the early Wildcard in my FPL career, however I can see the virtue of being flexible also. I’m therefore going to try and set up a team that can do either, possibly using the mini-WC tactic of a 4 transfer minus 8 if necessary.
There’s also a lot of debate around formations with a number of managers favouring moving funds into defence at the start away from the more traditional allocation I’ve mentioned above. To stay flexible, I am more inclined to keep the funds in midfield or attack. This makes it much easier to get a high value player in 2 moves if he fires early on.
Percentage ownership is rather odd at this stage and slightly scary I’ll be honest. Salah looks a must own and he should be playing GW1 – he’s not really an issue. De Gea also has very high ownership so covering United in defence looks sensible, especially as they were top of the clean sheet charts last season.
The problems are some of the others, players who I can only think are very heavily owned by casual players but may hurt if they are back early and hit the ground running. I’m looking at Firmino, Kane and De Bruyne here who all are high value players and may be tough to bring in without a Wildcard.
The high ownership of Zaha and Arnie is also something to watch but both are more budget friendly so would be easier to bring in, would be more a case of who you’d leave out.
So Draft 1 is with 2 premium attackers but does compromise midfield and defence; I’ll probably rethink my two Saints defenders for example.
Draft 2 goes for 2 mid-range strikers, I’d rejig the midfield a little though so there’s more funds available to do Sane to a cheap mid and be able to upgrade either £7m to Kane. I’ve put Tosun in initially but I’d be tempted to swap to Zaha based on his % ownership.
So that’s an opener from me, I’ll continue to monitor pre-season form and will be keeping a close eye on the team sheets for The Community Shield. Happy tinkering folks!
There’s also a few other first draft teams about in FFGeek
Last seasons FPL 17th place overall ranked Prakhar Patel’s starting 11
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