Who you DO & DO NOT need in your Fantasy Premier League team

As a Fantasy Premier League nut, you’re either doing one of two things right now.

  1. Making your final transfers, playing around with your budget to fit in that extra star signing and removing Phil Coutinho from your squad.
  2. You’re stressing over your hit-list and doing your homework in preparation for Draft Night with your buddies. (It’s a new game style introduced this year)

If you’re like me, you’ll be pulling your hair out over point no.2 – Draft night is tomorrow night and the past three days has seen me knee deep in statistics, news articles, form predictions and injury reports. The result?

My Playbook.

A ten-paged strategic dossier that has me prepared to ensure I win my Fantasy Draft League. And as kick-off is this weekend, I thought I’d share a few hints on who I’ll be trying to pick up tomorrow night.

*PSA: If you’re in a league called Heskey’s Haters, this run-down isn’t for your eyes.*

“The Stars”

This is the big name players, the superstars – and if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to pick up two or more in the draft. You wanna ensure you’re picking the right stars, ones who are banging goals and are sure to bring you points.

I’m liking Harry Kane and Dele Alli – both delivered points last season; and if you can pick them both up, you’ll be dreaming. Aguero, De Bruyne, Sterling or Firmino seem like rock-solid picks as well.

I’m really not liking Alexis Sanchez. He wanted out at the start of the summer and will still be at the Emirates for another season, against his own wishes. Players like this are dangerous, and you want to avoid players who don’t want to be there. Diego Costa, despite his great work last season is also in this boat – proceed with caution.

I’m not sure about Romelu Lukaku, following on from Paul Pogba’s disappointingly average performance last season after arriving at United. However, he’s still definitely worth a gamble if you think he will be the answer to all of United’s problems.

“Consistent Scorers”

Ensuring you have a few consistent high point scorers in the team will go a mile to ensuring that you’re still in the mix when you suffer an injury or two. Kyler Walker was a great example of this last season in defence and is expected to do the same at Man City. Charlie Daniels and Ashley Williams did this as well last season – and are well priced for those of you playing the standard version. Zaha and Snodgrass also get a look-in as well – averaging around 3.5 points per game.

Pick up Pedro in round 3 onwards if (by some chance) he’s still available – he’ll get the job done.

“Bolters”

Here’s where it gets interesting. Who do you think will come out of the woodwork? Lift their game? And make you sure damn glad you picked him up!

Marcus Rashford at Man United is very highly placed in my playbook. Zlatan & Rooney’s departures will see him getting a heap more game time, especially if he can link up well with Romelu Lukaku.

Aaron Mooy, the Aussie superstar. You’ve all seen what he can do in the A-League, then the Championship and now he’ll have the chance to do the same in the EPL. Expect plenty of game time, goals and assists. At £5.5 for non-draft players, he’s a must have player.

Alex Iwobi, Theo Wallcott and Yaya Touré have the potential for big seasons. If you can fit them in, worth a punt.

“Hmmmm, I’d think about it…”

Daniel Sturridge might be worth the time. He’s been given little game=time under Klopp, but if Liverpool re-shuffle given Coutinho’s departure – there may be a more solid spot for him. Watch it.

Newcastle midfielder, Christian Atsu is said to be full of potential and worth some attention from Fantasy managers. Rob Eliott, also at Newcastle, is a cheap keeper pick – who is likely to score points. Eric Bailly down back needs to be high on your list too. You’ll see more game time and, from all pre-season reports, more points from him as well this season.

“Avoid at all costs”

To be really clear, and to make sure you don’t make a mistake – here are some players you need to avoid. It’s likely they’re injured or have transfer speculation flying around them. There’s nothing worse than picking up a player, only to find he’s off to France a week later.

  • Eden Hazard is sidelined until mid-September, you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you pick him up. Nobody will buy your ‘playing the long game crap.’
  • Phillipe Coutinho looks off to Barcelona. The word on the street is Barca will continue to throw their PSG money at Coutinho to fill their Neymar sized hole. Save yourself the trouble – don’t pick him up.
  • Adam Lallana is out until mid-October with an injury/
  • Andy Carroll is gone and nobody knows when he’s ever coming back. Sorry West Ham fans ;/
  • Olivier Giroud is pissed at being Arsene’s substitute striker, has talked about a transfer and has the newly signed Lacazette competing for his spot. Enough said.
  • Seamus Coleman is injured for ages.
  • Any player who has made it known they don’t want to be at their current Premier Leauge club anymore. Inter-club fighting does nothing for nobody.
  • Marouane Fellaini – just because.

That’s about all I’m willing to share with you from my Playbook. The season will come with many twists and turns, but the more preparation you’ve put in now, the better chance you’ll be looking at glory come May next year. Good luck.

Who’s in your squad that you think will be the difference this year? Tell us on Facebook.

This is general advice, and please for the love of Messi, take my advice with a pinch of salt. Do your research before you sign a player.

Jacob Arnott