Jordan Sadler with his view on the most popular fantasy premier league players


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Here’s FFGeek contributor Jordan Sadler with his view on the current most popular fantasy premier league players.  He looks at the 3 players with the highest ownership in each position

Jordan Sadler with his view on the most popular fantasy premier league players

With there now being nearly 1.5 million fantasy teams I thought I’d review the most popular picked players. I will be reviewing each player by giving their basic statistics and giving my personal opinion on the player. If I feel there are better alternatives at that price then I will state those players and give my reasons.



Goalkeepers:

De Gea – Man United – £6m

Last season De Gea kept 18 clean sheets making 115 saves with a save percentage of 80.4%, the highest in the Premier League. He is obviously a world class goalkeeper and will certainly get you plenty of points. At £6m he’s a little too steep for me as I personally prefer rotating £4.5’s with good fixtures but if you’re willing to invest the £6m then I’m sure you’ll be well rewarded.

Fabianski – West Ham – £4.5m

Fabianski only kept 9 clean sheets last season but he did make 137 saves with a save percentage of 71% the 3rd highest in the division. He did however make 3 penalty saves giving him a 43% save rate which is pretty impressive. West Ham conceded 10 penalties last season so that could be a good source of points for him as well if he can keep a similar rate. I do like Fabianski and he will likely be one of my keepers after I wildcard in week 4.

He’s a very solid keeper and West Ham have done some great transfer business this summer so I do expect them to be a comfortable top 10 team this season. He rotates really well with McCarthy of Southampton as their home and away games are exactly opposite so you can have a keeper playing at home every week. His initial fixtures are terrible however so I’d make sure if you do get him you get another 4.5 to rotate with him, certainly for at least the first 9 weeks.

Pickford – Everton – £5m

Pickford kept 10 clean sheets last season, making 121 saves with a save percentage of 67.6%. Everton were underwhelming last season but hopefully may perform better under Marco Silva. My advice for now with Pickford would be steer clear and that’s for a couple of different reasons. First of all he was at the World Cup late so he’s not a guaranteed starter GW1 in my opinion. He’s yet to start a game in pre-season.

Secondly, Marco Silva’s Watford last season had the worst goals conceded record in the division when he was sacked conceding 44 in 24 games, he may end up with a similarly poor defensive record with Everton so I’d watch them for a few games before investing £5m in one of their keepers. I’d personally recommend rotating two 4.5’s instead like Fabianski and McCarthy.

Defenders:

Trippier – Tottenham – £6m

The Spurs RB got 7 assists last season in 1912 minutes which is an excellent return for a defender, keeping 9 clean sheets in that time as well. He had an excellent World Cup which is why I think he’s so popular. I’d personally recommend to avoid for now. Being at the World Cup so late and with Spurs having Aurier as well he’s very likely to not start GW1. Like Pickford he’s yet to play any minutes in pre-season games.

Trippier is by far the better RB in my opinion but whether Pochettino agrees I’m not so sure. If Trippier is nailed then I think he’s well worth his price but I would recommend monitoring him for now and seeing if just like last season Pochettino keeps rotating him with Aurier. I think for now you’d be better off going for Andy Robertson at £6m as he’s nailed for Liverpool and they have a nice start to the season.

Maguire – Leicester – £5.5m

The Leicester CB scored 2 goals, got 4 assists and kept 9 clean sheets during last campaign of which he played every single minute. Like Trippier he had a very good World Cup which is again why I think he’s so popular. Again like Trippier I’d recommend avoiding for now as I don’t think he’s nailed for GW1 being at the World Cup so late. He’s got great attacking potential for a centre back but I don’t personally think he’s worth £5.5m at Leicester.

I think you’re far better off going with Bailly at United or Coleman at the same price as I do feel his attacking potential outweighs the risk of  Silva’s defensive record which was pretty mixed last season.

Daniels – Bournemouth – £4.5m

The Bournemouth LB scored 1 goal and got 3 assists last season keeping 6 clean sheets along the way. Bournemouth play a very expansive type of football so clean sheet potential I do think is rather low but at £4.5m you are generally looking at mixed clean sheet potential.   He also has okay attacking ability with 19 attacking returns in his last 3 seasons.

It’s also worth remembering that Bournemouth have bought Diego Rico for £10.7m as a left back.  He’s suspended for the first 3 gameweeks but given Daniels shaky defensive form at the end of last season his place can’t be certain. You can see more detail in the Geeks new players to the premier league article Arsenal to Liverpool

I personally prefer Cedric at Southampton if you’re spending £4.5m.



Midfielders

Salah – Liverpool – £13m

Salah broke the Premier League goal scoring record for a 38 game season last season so it’s unsurprising he’s the most popular player on FPL currently, even at £13m. Scoring 32 goals and getting 12 assists in a season is just mind blowing. What’s even more amazing is the fact that Salah actually topped the charts as well for missing “big chances” at 23 for the season. Liverpool’s entire system is optimised to get the most out of Salah and I really wouldn’t be surprised to see him break the EPL record again this season, especially now he has Keita behind him.

It took Salah 1 minute to find the net in his first appearance in pre-season and he hit the bar and had one cleared off the line in the next 10 minutes. He’s started where he left off and if you don’t have him in your team I do think you’ll regret it.

De Bruyne – Man City – £10m

De Bruyne scored 8 goals and got 18 assists last season playing 3073 minutes. He returned from the World Cup very late so I would be surprised to see him starting GW1. He has yet to play any pre-season minutes.  However, he is without a doubt the most nailed City attacker so I do think he’s well worth his price once he’s starting games. I will likely be bringing De Bruyne into my squad after my wildcard in week 4. I just feel his security of starts makes him better value than the rest of the City attackers.

Sane – Man City – £9.5m

Sane scored 10 goals and got 15 assists last season playing 2415 minutes. With him not at the World Cup I’m quite confident in thinking him and Mahrez (injury permitting) will start either side of Aguero GW1 so he’s certainly a good short term investment. However, I don’t feel like he’s particularly nailed during this season especially now Mendy is back as Mendy can provide the width on that left hand side instead of Sane. I’d expect to see a lot of Mahrez, Sane, Sterling rotation this year so you’re taking a gamble investing in one as they may only play 67% of games. I think you’re better off finding that extra 0.5 for De Bruyne or getting Eriksen for £9.5m instead.

It’s worth noting that he didn’t play in the last pre-season game and Pep had some interesting words about him:

“It depends on him, He needs more minutes and he needs to regain his principles in terms of playing without the ball.

He has the talent to do that and we are happy that he scored. Still, he is far away from his best.”

Forwards

Firmino – Liverpool – £9.5m

Firmino scored 15 goals and got 8 assists last season playing 2760 minutes his best attacking returns in his time at Liverpool. There is a slight concern around Firmino not starting GW1 as he is yet to play any pre-season minutes.  Also how good the form of Sturridge has been in preseason, so that’s something to keep an eye on. However, in terms of forwards, it’s absolutely no shock to me he’s the most popular player. At £9.5m he’s a great pick, his link up play with Salah and Mane is outstanding and he’s also a bonus magnet scoring the second highest in terms of bonus last season. He’s improved year on year at Liverpool and I do expect him to return even better this year than he did last season.

Kane – Tottenham – £12.5m

Kane scored 29 goals and got 2 assists last season playing 3074 minutes. My advice for Kane would be avoid for now and this is for 3 different reasons. First and foremost he was at the World Cup late so is a gametime risk for GW1 as he has yet to play any pre-season minutes. You do not want a £12.5m player sitting on your bench.

Secondly, Spurs had 8 first team players in the final 4 at the World Cup which means their preseason has been incredibly short. The concern for me is that they may not be at their best in the first few weeks of the season so I’d advise to take caution if you’re looking at any Spurs assets.

Finally, August hoodoo. Kane still has never scored a goal for Spurs in August and always seems to start a season slow. I personally think you’re better off going with Aguero or Aubameyang at £11m and using the extra £1.5m elsewhere for now. Kane will be someone we’ll all likely have later in the season, but for the time being I’d advise to avoid him.

Zaha – Crystal Palace – £7m

Zaha scored 9 goals and assisted 7 last season playing 2549 minutes. Zaha will get you returns but at what rate I’m unsure. There are rumours of Danny Ings being sold to Palace so I’d expect to see Zaha back on the wing this season rather than as a centre forward. He’s a good player but I do think Tosun is a better pick at £7m. I prefer Arnautovic to both but his fixtures are terrible the first 9 weeks so best to avoid him for now.  There are also transfer rumours surrounding him so that’s worth keeping an eye on.

Hope this article helps you with some of your preseason picks. The main thing to take away from this is: just because they’re popular does not make them good picks!

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