5 months ago
With Fulham being confirmed as the final team in the Premier League next season, we are now up and running! FanTeam have been moving quickly as we can already access the game, check out prices and tinker with our teams. With €1,000,000 in guaranteed prize money, there is a lot to get excited about. In my last article, I discussed the premium assets worth holding for the entirety of the season. Now I am going to delve into more budget-friendly options by each position, to help you squeeze in as many big hitters as possible.
The £5m goalkeeper category produces some eye-catching options. An injury-plagued season hampered Hugo Lloris this year, but we may reap the benefits this season. A modest 4 clean sheets from 9 matches post restart and an average of 3.33 saves per match could bode well for 2021/22. If Mourinho uses the summer break to shore up the defence even more, as he does best, we could have a potential bargain on our hands.
Bernd Leno was in cracking form before an injury ended his season. He should be back for the new season and Arteta is making good effort to improve this side defensively.
Excluding the game he was stretchered off against Brighton, he managed 113 saves from 29 matches. A healthy average of 3.9 which is nice viewing given FanTeam’s 0.5 points per save
If Henderson remains on loan at Sheffield Utd, he provides a great option. In his 1st Premier League season, he produced 13 clean sheets from 36 starts. Word of warning though, he is ineligible to play against Manchester Utd.
I also recommend Rui Patricio. Wolves kept 13 clean sheets last season but 9 of these came after Boly’s return in GW25. If they continue in this vein, we could be looking at another steal here. A final note here, 13 clean sheets was joint 3rd best in the league last year, which the Great Dane Schmeichel also finished on.
In the £4.5m bargain-basement, Guaita (CRY) provides the best all-rounded option with 10 clean sheets and 111 saves (3.08 a match) for the season. Everton’s form fell off a cliff post-restart, but with a top manager in Ancelotti at the helms from the start of the season, I expect improvements. If so, Jordan Pickford represents great value.
If you are looking for saves, Lukasz Fabianski is your man. Injuries hindered him this season, but he racked up 137 and 148 saves in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons respectively. Just don’t be counting on West Ham for clean sheets. Matty Ryan and Alex McCarthy are also worthy of a shout out too.
In line with their goalkeepers coming in at low prices, Everton and Spurs defenders also represent good value. Everton captain Coleman seems to have solidified his place under Ancelotti. However, his storming runs forward have tempered off recently with only 2 assists in the last 2 seasons.
Ben Davies who used to flourish in attack has not had an attacking return in 3 seasons, but he could collect many clean sheets this season if Mourinho moulds this team into his usual defensive powerhouse that he is known for.
Patrick van Aanholt (CRY) is out for the foreseeable future given his dislocated shoulder. He combined his 8 clean sheets with 3 goals and 2 assists and represents great value at £5m. Keep an eye out on his return date.
Saiss, Coady and Boly all come in at the £5m mark. With their defence looking strong, I recommend getting 1 Wolves defender or goalkeeper in. Out of these three, I prefer Saiss, who got 2 goals for the season.
Kieran Tierney spent most the season in the physio room but he showcased his talents in the final game against Watford, scoring and assisting. With further improvements in this Arsenal defence under Arteta I wouldn’t be surprised if he is a season keeper
Reece James is an emerging talent at Chelsea. However, last season they managed to concede 15.16 goals more than the expected data suggested they should have. That is by far the worst in the league with Norwich being the 2nd worst with 7.19. But if Lampard gets rid of some deadwood as he hopes to, James could become a great option. John Egan (SHU) and Caglar Soyuncu (LEI) are other notable mentions.
If Bellerin keeps his place in the Arsenal team, he could prove to be the biggest price mismatch in the FanTeam defence.
Ryan Bertrand (SOU) is a nice budget-friendly option at this price. He is always one to get the odd attacking return as well as a few clean sheets.
Crystal Palace are a steady ship under Hodgson. They kept 10 clean sheets last season and their defensive options come in at £4.5m. They are great bench enablers, once they can stay fit!
Once fit, Charlie Taylor was an ever-present selection in the clean sheet machine of Sean Dyche’s Burnley. For those who like to spice up their team, you should checkout Premier League new-boy Dallas at Leeds. He scored 5 goals, 3 assists and was involved in 10% of Leed’s goals in the Championship this season.
Picking £4mn starting defenders ahead of the season is always a difficult task. But I would keep an eye on Newcastle’s DeAndre Yedlin and Ben Johnson who started the last 3 league games for West Ham.
Pep’s Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva both come into the game at £7.5mn. Silva managed a wholesome 6 goals and 7 assists last season but he is a continuous rotation threat having only started 23 league games. Phil Foden made 23 appearances last season (only 8 starts) yet he managed 5 goals and 2 assists. I wouldn’t start with either of these options due to rotation threat, but I would assess Foden’s minutes as I would expect more starts following the departure of David Silva.
The £6.5mn price point is looking congested and I am sure this will cause the most debate of who to choose from. Mason Mount may have had plenty of barren spells but the 21-year-old still finished on 7 goals and 6 assists for his debut season.
Per my previous article, Chelsea were also the joint 2nd best-attacking team alongside Liverpool yet they managed to score 16 less goals. With the added class of Ziyech and Werner, Mount could benefit greatly. He is also a Lampard favourite and is great value at £6.5m.
Adama Traore’s biceps took the league by storm this year as he powered to 4 goals and 9 assists. If Wolves keep progressing into Europe rotation may become a factor, but if they fail to win the Europa League he is a great shout.
Playing in an Aston Villa side that barely stayed up Grealish still managed to create the 2nd highest amount of chances in the league with 91
2nd to DeBruyne in this category is a win in itself. With a big club transfer of the horizon, he is one to track.
Zaha had a quiet year by his standards with 4 goals and 6 assists compared to the 2018/19 season where he managed 10 and 11 respectively. His talent alone warrants inclusion on this list. If the fixture run is kind, he is a good pick for your team.
Pablo Hernandez managed 9 goals and 9 assists in the Championship last year. Thanks to taking 2.1 shots and making 2.3 key passes per game. But unfortunately, age (35) and the high intensity of Biesla’s tactics work against him. I expect a new signing and some rotation.
Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron flourished for Newcastle at the end of the season, but they would be my least favourite options out of those I have mentioned.
Looking at the £6mn bracket first, we see Stuart Armstrong and Nathan Redmond of Southampton both fall into this category. Southampton had a terrible 1st half to the season but were much improved in the 2nd half. With Danny Ings staying fit and finishing off any chance afforded to him, we also saw Armstrong and Redmond rack up 5 goals & 4 assists and 4 goals & 4 assists respectively. I expect a much more consistent season from the start this year for Southampton, meaning we could expect higher returns from these two over the season.
Leonardo Trossard’s debut season was mixed, to say the least. He only started 22 games but still managed 5 goals and 5 assists in a team fighting for survival for the majority of the season. If the starting XI is more settled, we could see a much improved 2nd season for Trossard and Brighton under Graham Potter.
New boys Matheus Pereira and Kieran Cairney come into the Premier League following great Champsionship seasons. Pereira bagged 8 goals and 16 assists from midfield. With a staggering 5.4 shots and key passes a game. Great potential if he can bring this form into the Premier League. Cairney’s 2018/19 Premier League season did not go to plan, but playing in an advanced role he notched up 8 goals and 3 assists last year. Hopefully, he can learn from his 2018/19 experiences.
Adam Lallana comes in at £5.5m to Brighton having been at the fringes of Klopp’s squad for numerous years. However, we know he is a talented player. In 2016/17 where he managed 2,338mins, he scored 8 times and had 7 assists. But rotation between himself and Trossard could make investing in either an unfruitful task.
Spot-kick assassin Luka Milivojevic also comes in at £5.5m. He only managed 3 goals last season, following 10 and 11 goals in the subsequent. If he can get closer to his previous numbers he is worthy of consideration.
At £7mn Chris Wood still represents great value. Although injuries limited him to 29 starts, Wood still scored 14 times. More impressively, he had 31 big chances this season, the 5th highest in the league.
Looking at the £6.5mn strikers we now have a reclassified Michail Antonio. He finished the season like a mad man!
In the last 6 gameweeks, Antonio had the highest number of big chances (10), was tied first for most goals (7), 2nd for shots on target (12) and 1st for expected goal involvement (6.16)
If he remains anywhere near this level, he will prove an essential forward at this price. The promoted Mitrovic and Patrick Bamford also come in at £6.5mn. I would proceed with caution with these two. I would expect Leeds to make a signing upfront. Last season Bamford scored 16 times but had 30 big chances, not a great return. Contrastingly, Mitrovic scored 26 times and averaged 3.7 shots per game. He is the better of the 2 and has Premier League experience. I prefer Wood and Antonio over the season, but if Fulham have a decent run of fixtures, I would be jumping on the Serbian.
Charlie Austin comes back up with West Brom at £6m and is a good option if you are counting your pennies. He has Premier League experience, is likely to be on penalties and scored every 150mins last season.
A decent punt is Che Adams at £5.5mn. He really impressed me the last few gameweeks and stole the show when Ings was chasing the Golden Boot. Scoring 3 times from 1 start and 1 sub appearance in the last 2 gameweeks. He seems to have finally settled since his move from Birmingham in the Championship. I am a big fan of this pick but believe he will be inevitably rotated with Shane Long and Obafemi.
That should give you plenty to chew as you are making your FanTeam squad. My advice is to select your big hitters and hold them for the season while changing your mid-priced and budget assets based on form and fixtures. Form is difficult to gauge ahead of a new season, so once the fixtures are announced, I suggest you assess the teams with the best fixtures for the next 4-6 gameweeks and load up with players on their teams.
As always, if you want to reach out to me with any questions DM me on Twitter or create a thread on the website. Enjoy tinkering and keep an eye out for the next installment of Fanteam's season-long game preview — the differentials.
Sports fan and FPL addict from Ireland (still has not forgiven Thierry Henry). Loves numbers in both studies & profession and has incorporated this into FPL in recent seasons. Has played FPL for 8 seasons, finishing in the top 40k 5 times, with the best finish of 8k. Find on Twitter @FplPup if you have any questions