Fantasy Premier League Tips - Pre-season Gameweek 1 draft team

10:38pm Jul 12 2017

Here’s @_FPLTips‘ first attempt at a Fantasy Premier League squad for the 2017/18 FPL season, with a view to an early Wildcard…

Fantasy Premier League is back and in this video, we’ll be taking a look at the first draft of the FPLtips team for the 2017/18 season.

Before we get into it, it’s worth noting that this team has been picked with just the first 3 Gameweeks in mind, with a view to using the early Wildcard in Gameweek 4, to switch to a more long-term squad.

For that reason, a lot of these players have been picked on the basis of their strong opening fixtures.

Ben Foster – West Brom [£4.5m]

Lining up in goal is Ben Foster. It’s become tradition for us to start with the West Brom goalkeeper and after keeping his £4.5m price tag from last season, he looks set to be a great value option once again.

West Brom didn’t have their best defensive record last season, keeping just 6 clean sheets. However, Tony Pulis’s men have done much better historically, keeping 11 clean sheets in the 2015/16 season and a huge 16 clean sheets in the 2014/15 season.

Cedric Soares – Southampton [£5.0m]

Southampton right-back, Cedric Soares, will be a starting defender. At £5.0m, he’s in competition with the likes of West Brom’s Gareth McAuley and Bournemouth’s Charlie Daniels, but Southampton’s 11 clean sheets last season were more than either West Brom (6) or Bournemouth (10) could manage.

Cedric produced an impressive tally of 39 attempted assists last season; only Chris Brunt (40), Nathaniel Clyne (46) and Leighton Baines (47) managed more amongst defenders, but they all played more games than Cedric and have been given a higher price.

Craig Dawson – West Brom [£5.0m]

West Brom defender, Craig Dawson, lines up as the 2nd starting defender. He’s been selected as a differential to the popular Gareth McAuley.

Whilst McAuley managed an impressive tally of 6 goals last season, the Northern Ireland defender scored just once in the previous season. Dawson, meanwhile, has shown more consistency, with 4 goals in each of his last 2 season.

Dawson’s underlying stats were also better than his teammate’s last season, providing 19 attempted assists and 8 shots on target, compared to McAuley’s 5 attempted assists and 7 shots on target.

Ryan Bertrand – Southampton [£5.5m]

To complete the starting back 3, it’s Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand. The English left-back joins Cedric in the team for a double up on Saints defence for their opening 3 fixtures against Swansea (H), West Ham (H) and Huddersfield (A).

Bertrand produced 2 goals and 5 assists last season, from 6 shots on target and 27 attempted assists, so his attacking threat justifies the extra £0.5m.

Fantasy Premier League - Gameweek 1 FPL draft team
Matt Phillips – West Brom [£6.0m]

Moving into midfield, we have the generously priced Matt Phillips. The West Brom midfielder comes in at just £6.0m, and joins Ben Foster and Craig Dawson in this first draft, for West Brom’s opening fixtures against Bournemouth (H), Burnley (A) and Stoke (H).

Phillips takes a share of set pieces for his team, and produced 4 goals and 9 assists last season, before picking up a long-term injury.

Christian Eriksen – Spurs [£9.5m]

Spurs midfielder, Christian Eriksen, makes the team, ahead of the popular Dele Alli. The pair produced a similar points tally last season but it’s Eriksen’s far lower ownership that makes him appealing, as a differential.

Eriksen’s 111 attempted assists last season were more than any other player in the Premier League last season, while only Alexis Sanchez (49) and Gylfi Sigurdsson (50) managed more shots on target, amongst midfielders.

Paul Pogba – Manchester United [£8.0m]

France international, Paul Pogba, is proving to be a popular option this season, now the 4th most selected midfielder in the game.

Whilst Pogba provided a fairly average tally of 5 goals and 4 assists last season, his 57 attempted assists and 32 shots on target, prove his potential to comfortably outscore that tally this time around.

With the arrival of Romelu Lukaku and generous price of £8.0m, it seems very difficult to overlook the Manchester United midfielder, ahead of their kind opening fixtures.

Wilfred Zaha – Crystal Palace [£7.0m]

To complete the starting midfielders, it’s Wilfred Zaha. The Crystal Palace midfielder was directly involved in 18 of his team’s goals last season; scoring 7 times himself and providing 11 assists.

With a kind price tag of just £7.0m, Zaha provides a strong budget option to begin the season, ahead of home fixtures against Huddersfield and Swansea in the opening 3 Gameweeks.

Romelu Lukaku – Manchester United [£11.5m]

With an ownership of almost 50% after less than 24 hours of the 2017/18 Fantasy Premier League game opening, Romelu Lukaku is easily the most selected player in the game so far and with that comes a big risk for those without the Belgian in their teams.

His 25 goals last season were beaten only by Harry Kane, as were Lukaku’s impressive tally of 55 shots on target, with the Spurs forward managing 58.

With home fixtures against West Ham and Leicester, and an away trip to Swansea, in the opening 3 Gameweeks, it’s easy to buy into the Lukaku hype.

Harry Kane – Spurs [£12.5m]

Priced at £12.5m, the Spurs forward is now the most expensive player in the game and rightly so, for his consistent performances last season.

With 29 goals and 7 assists in just 29 Premier League starts last season, Kane provides a go-to captain option, which is an important factor to consider.

Roberto Firmino – Liverpool [£8.5m]

Finally, completing the starting lineup, is Liverpool no.9, Roberto Firmino. The Brazilian has been changed in position from a midfielder to a forward this season, but in my opinion, that change will be useful.

It means that Firmino is no longer in direct competition with teammate, Philippe Coutinho, who remains a midfielder and is priced slightly more expensive, at £9.0m.

Coutinho will be the far more popular option and is certainly worth considering, with his tally of 13 goals and 8 assist last season, as well as a share in set piece duties. However, he’s likely to be playing in a deeper role this season, with Mohamed Salah looking set to take his place in the front 3, along with Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino.

Firmino was directly involved in 22 goals for Liverpool last season, scoring 11 times and providing 11 assists. His 45 shots on target matched Christian Eriksen and only Alexis Sanchez (49) and Gylfi Sigurdsson (50) managed more, amongst midfielders.

The Bench

As mentioned earlier, this squad has been created with just the first 3 Gameweeks in mind, with a view to using the Wildcard in Gameweek 4, so the bench is far from strong.

Hopefully, there will be no need to draw upon any of these players, but Swansea’s Tom Carroll is selected as the 5th midfielder. He made 16 starts for Swansea, following his move from Spurs last season.

Jamaal Lascelles is the only other nailed on starting player on the bench. The Newcastle captain comes in as a £4.5m defender and is there simply for cover, should one of the starting defenders fail to play.

£4.0m Huddersfield goalkeeper, Joel Coleman and Watford’s Adrian Mariappa are there just to make the numbers up. Long term, it’s not a great idea to have rotation risk or non-playing options on your bench, but for a short-term team, it’s a risk that may be worth taking, to maximise budget elsewhere.

BEFORE YOU DISAPPEAR: We’re hosting our own league over at Football Survivor this season. Once again, it’s completely free to enter and one lucky winner will take home a copy of FIFA 18.

Join us in the FFP league by clicking the banner below. Don’t forget to join before 11th August to be sure you don’t miss out.

Thank you for reading ‘Fantasy Premier League Tips – Pre-season Gameweek 1 draft team’ which was written and produced by @_FPLTips