Rob Reid with his FPL gameweek 1 player picks


Here’s Rob Reid with his FPL gameweek 1 player picks to help you decide on players for your team. Rob has finished 3 of the last 5 seasons in the top 0.5% of FPL managers

Rob Reid with his FPL gameweek 1 player picks

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Hi everyone and welcome to Player Picks!

After the success of the previous 2 seasons, Player Picks is back again for 2019-2020 with a fairly similar format. I’ve decided to pare back the stats from previous weeks picks so that they will just include an average for the season – hopefully this should make the article a little bit simpler. Otherwise I’ll be sticking to the same format of a Banker, Ace and Joker as I’ve followed in previous years.

As a reminder:

The Banker is predominantly a fixture-based pick where I follow them for 4 weeks and average the score over that period.

Ace is a 1 week pick who I think will do well and would make an appealing Captain choice.

The Joker is a differential pick with less than 10% ownership who I think might do well that week.

For reference, the overall 2018-19 picks averaged as follows: Banker 5.22, Ace 6.11, Joker 4.92. Hopefully (with some help as you’ll see below) we can beat that this season!

This season I’m also going to add a ‘Key Fixture’ analysis to Player Picks. This is where I’ll pick one fixture for the gameweek in question which I think FPL managers should consider covering in their squad. I’ll look at previous meetings, bookies odds and form in this – it might be a fixture where we already have a Player Pick, it might not!

There will still also be Twitter polls where the FFG Twitter Community have an opportunity to select players, but also new for this season is a contribution from the FFG Slack Channel where Patreon users will have chance to directly contribute to the weekly picks through the Player Picks forum. So without further ado, let’s get on with this weeks Picks!

Gameweek 1 Picks

Banker – Gylfi Sigurdsson (EVE) – 8.0m (cry/WAT/avl/WOL)

First up this season is the contribution from the FFG Slack Channel and it’s a big thanks to Shaun O’ Connor who suggested this weeks pick. Everton have the best fixtures over the first few weeks starting off against an injury-ridden Palace defence that has haemorrhaged goals in pre-season. Siggy looks the safest route into the Toffees attack with the added bonus of set-pieces and penalties to add to his creativity and attacking intent. I’d also expect him to benefit over the first few weeks from the arrival of Moise Kean from Juventus, hopefully to the tune of some attacking returns for the Icelander. Cheers Shaun for your Pick – the Slack Community will get a shot at the Joker next week!

Ace – Mo Salah (LIV) – 12.5m (NOR)

It will be a brave manager who enters GW1 without FPL’s leading scorer from the previous two seasons, especially seeing as he’s going to heavily backed as captain against one of the Premier League’s newly promoted sides. Mo may miss a few chances and thus also miss out on a few bonus points, but there’s no arguing with 562 points across the last 2 seasons. Despite missing a few of those said chances at Wembley last Sunday, he’ll fancy his prospects against the winners of the 2018-19 Championship who topped the table despite conceding 57 goals in the process. There’s a near 40% of FPL Managers who are hoping that it will be a long night at Anfield for The Canaries!

Joker – Kyle Walker-Peters (TOT) – 5m (AVL)

At 2.7% ownership, KWP looks a nice punt for GW1 and indeed could be a good player for the first few weeks with Foyth injured and Aurier not fully fit. Spurs are solid defensively and KWP likes to get forward so he could supplement a possible clean sheet with an attacking return. And at 5m what’s not to love? I guess the caveat is that you know he’s a likely transfer out after a few weeks, but if you’re on a strategy where you’re playing an early Wildcard then he could fit the bill nicely. Like Norwich, Villa also shipped a lot of goals in their 2018-19 campaign – 61 to be prescise. They were more solid in the second half of the season and the addition of Heaton in goal should help their cause but a visit to the Tottenham Hotspur stadium is a tough ask for GW1 and you’ve got to like Spurs for a clean sheet and a few goals to boot.

Key Fixture Pick – West Ham vs Manchester City (Saturday 12.30pm)


Win – West Ham 10/1; Man City 1/5; Draw 2/5
Clean Sheet – West Ham 9/1; Man City 10/11
Selected Anytime Goalscorer Picks – Aguero 4/6; Jesus 10/11; Sterling Evens; Chicarito 10/3; Haller 7/2

Pep Guardiola’s City boast a healthy record versus The Hammers, winning all 6 EPL meetings during the Spaniard’s City reign scoring 18 goals, conceding 3 and keeping 3 clean sheets in the process with 2 of these clean sheets coming away from home. City assets will be heavily backed going into this fixture and Sterling is arguably the stand out here, with 30% ownership, strong pre-season from and a goal in The Community Shield on Sunday. Bernardo Silva, De Bruyne and Aguero will also be heavily fancied though the latter does present a game-time risk based on his minutes at the Coppa America over the summer.

Defensively, there is the usual Pep Roulette over who may start, with keeper Ederson probably the only nailed on route into the City defence. Otherwise you pay your money and take your chance – Laporte would be a fairly safe option bar for an injury doubt followed by Walker, Stones and then Zinchenko but the impending arrival of Cancelo from Juventus complicates this considerably.

For West Ham, there is a big worry regarding their defensive fragility in this game echoed by a pre-season where they shipped goals left, right and centre. If I was going to punt on a West Ham player, the safer strategy may be to have someone who you’re happy to bench in GW1 seeing as their fixtures improve considerably in GW2. At the back, Diop and Balbuena at 4.5 could sit on the bench this week but if you want to take a chance going forward then new arrival Seb Haller comes with a good Bundesliga record and could be one to watch for future weeks.

That’s all from me this week folks – good luck!

See Rob’s latest team article and on our Patreon podcast of Tuesday

Also find Rob on twitter

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