Fantasy Premier League Players to Watch - Newcastle United

8:35pm Jul 10 2017

Our FPL Pre-season series continues, with a look at players to watch from Newcastle.

Newcastle gained promotion to the Premier League following their 1st place finish in the 2016-17 Championship season, with a points tally of 94; 1 point clear of 2nd place Brighton.

Rafa Benitez’s side scored 49 goals at home last season, compared to just 36 on the road. They won 15 and drew 3 of their 23 home games.

On the whole, not much separated their home and away form. Newcastle won 14 and drew 4 of their 23 away games and kept 11 clean sheets on the road, compared to just 8 at home.

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Dwight Gayle – £6.5m

Former Crystal Palace striker, Dwight Gayle (£6.5m), was an important figure for Newcastle last season, featuring in 32 league games, including 26 times from the start.

The forward ended the campaign as Newcastle top goal scorer, providing a total of 23 league goals, to match Brighton’s Glenn Murray. Leeds forward, Chris Wood, was the only player to score more goals in the Championship last season (27).

Gayle’s tally of 48 shots on target was more than any of his teammates; only 2 players managed more in the Championship last season, but neither of those players gained promotion.

Having been named the PFA Fans’ Championship Player of the Season, Gayle is certainly one to watch for next season, from the newly promoted sides. His previous experience in the Premier League with Crystal Palace should give him a head start, when it comes to making the step up.

Matt Ritchie – £6.0m

27-year-old midfielder, Matt Ritchie (£6.5m), was another player to make a big impact for Newcastle last season. The Scottish international made 42 appearances in the league, starting 40 times.

With a key role on set pieces, including penalty duties, Ritchie was directly involved in 19 of Newcastle’s league goals last season and found the back of the net 12 times himself. His tally of 7 assists was beaten only by Jonjo Shelvey, amongst teammates, with the former Liverpool midfielder producing 8 assists, as well as his 5 goals.

As with Gayle, Matt Ritchie also has previous experience in the Premier League. However, the midfielder was far from impressive last time around, returning just 4 goals and 6 assists in the 2015-16 Premier League season, with Bournemouth.

Jamaal Lascelles – £4.5m

Newcastle captain, Jamaal Lascelles (£4.5m), made 43 appearances last season, including 41 times from the start. He was a key part of a back line that kept a total of 19 clean sheets; only Brighton kept more, with 21.

The centre-back also provided 3 goals and 1 assist last season, producing 4 shots on target and 10 attempted assists. His defensive partner, Cieran Clark could also be one to keep an eye on, from a fantasy perspective. Clark produced 8 shots on target last season, twice as many as Lascelles, whilst still returning 3 goals.

However, given Newcastle’s tendency to keep fewer clean sheets at home than away last season, investing in their defence could cause a few headaches if the plan is to use them as part of a home rotation strategy.

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Thank you for reading ‘Fantasy Premier League Tips: Fantasy Premier League Players to Watch – Newcastle United’ which was written and produced by @_FPLTips