Here’s another in our series of FPL first draft teams from another new FFGeek contributor Mikael Hietala who finished with an overall rank of 22k last season.
FPL first draft teams – new FFGeek contributor Mikael Hietala shows his first draft
With just over a week to go until the first game kicks off, it seems a fitting time to submit a serious first draft team. I would consider myself quite an aggressive manager, so my plan at the start of the season is to try to guarantee a good haul of points over the first four weeks, before that first wildcard. In that way, I am looking for players that are certain to play and will hit the ground running. Manchester City and Liverpool are the first to come to mind for this upcoming season.
I have been cautious with Arsenal and Chelsea players in this team, as I am not sure who has a guaranteed spot in Sarri’s or Emery’s starting XI. It is too early to tell whether Morata will start this season as he did last, or if Kolasinac is excellent value at 5.0. Those are both decisions that will have to wait until that first wildcard.
I doubt this will be the final team as there are some exciting transfers on the cards. Will Spurs make a blockbuster signing, will Everton or Man United win the race for Mina, and will Mawson switch Swansea for Fulham.
Let’s move on to the team:
At 0.5 cheaper than De Gea, Ederson gets the nod. He had a great first season under Pep, and I feel he will continue to shine. After opening the season away at Arsenal, City have an easy run of fixtures.
Only Fabianski had more saves than Ryan, but I think the Pole will take some time to settle at West Ham. Quite a tricky fixture list for the start but I rarely use my back-up goalie anyway.
My main two defenders will be Bailly and David Luiz. Mourinho really seemed to trust Bailly the season before he missed most of last season with injuries, and I was in some trouble at the end of last season because I passed up the chance to sign some United defenders earlier. This season I’m starting the right way. Luiz, after seeming to be heading for the exit door, actually fits the Sarri defender mould perfectly. He has started all three of Chelsea’s friendlies and I might just experience something of a renaissance this season. This may see him rack up a tidy set of bonus points over the first weeks.
Tomkins, at £4.5m, will be my cheap choice. He will be a useful rotation player as Crystal Palace only have one tough game in their opening eight. Three goals in both of the last seasons is not a bad haul at all, so I will be hoping that he matches or improves those stats this year!
Bertrand is a bit of a punt, and I may well change him before the start of the season. He was one of my gut buys, mainly due to his assist returns in the Premier League (5 assists in both of the last two seasons). Southampton will have to do noticeably better than the second half of last season if he stays in my team.
Lastly I’ve gone for Ward of Burnley. They have a great run of fixtures to start with and a manger with a strong defensive mindset.
Salah and Sane will be my two bankers. This combo even has a nice ring to it! Salah had the most points by a mile last season, with almost 100 more than Kane, so this is a no brainer. That he is still classed as a midfielder makes this even more tantalising. Sane just missed the top five, but with Löw axing him from the Germany WC squad he has had plenty of time to recovery for the upcoming season. It should be highlighted that he was explosive at the start of last season, and had the most points of any midfielder for quite a few gameweeks!
Pedro has been having an excellent pre-season, and is quite cheap at £6.5m. Last year was a season to forget, but he may be a starter under Sarri rather than a bench warmer. There is some risk that he will be dropped once Hazard returns to the team. That is why prior to gameweek 5 presents an opportune time to wildcard: managers will have hinted at their favoured starters and the WC stars will have returned to the line-ups.
I am always on the look-out for out-of-position players and this season we have a gem in Diogo Jota. He was Wolves’ leading scorer last season, scoring 17 and assisting 5 more in the Championship. These numbers prove that Jota could be a shrewd differential pick as he may be overlooked by many managers. I am just not completely sure how Wolves will line-up at the start of the next season. Staying in the Premier League after promotion usually hinges on teams being able to scrape together quite a few boring 0-0 or 1-1 draws. It may not be the most exciting strategy, but every point counts! For this reason, I hope that Jota will not be axed in favour of bringing in Moutinho to add some stability to the midfield
Cairney at £5.0m could be one of the bargains of the season. He had 13 goals and 10 assists in 2016/17 and 6 goals and 5 assists in 2017/18. The additions of Seri and Schurrle have only strengthened Fulham, and we may be in for some surprising results from Craven Cottage at the start of this season.
I spent the most time choosing my three forwards. This choice was especially difficult because last season’s big names (Kane, Lukaku, Firmino) all went far in Russia.
In the end I went with Aubameyang, King and Wood. Aubameyang will be my marquee striker as he had plenty of time to rest this summer. He had an explosive start to his Premier League career, and many managers expect him to continue to rack up the goals and assists this season. I remember one gameweek last year when he scored a brace and then let Lacazette take his penalty. This is evidence of his FPL value.
King was exceptional in 2016/17, and will hopefully lead the line for Bournemouth now that Afobe moved to Wolves. I chose Wood as another differential player. I expect him to have low ownership just because he is low on the list of strikers calculated based on total points. 10 goals in the Premier League with several injury setbacks is not a bad haul, especially when he scored a goal every 161 minutes! Both King and Woods cost £6.5m, and are only in the team until I double up on quality strikers in the first wildcard.
Here’s how the team lines up:
Good luck with your teams. Hope my selections helped.
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