First FPL Team Draft: Initial Fantasy Premier League Picks for the 2018/19 Season
Posted by FFPundits
2:20pm Jul 10 2018
Liverpool’s Mo Salah makes it in to our FPL draft team for Gameweek 1
Fantasy Premier League is back for the 2018/19 season and in this article, we’ll be taking a look at how the FPLtips team is shaping up in these very early stages.
Who are the bargain players to start the season with and who should we avoid?
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Alex McCarthy (4.5) ended the season on a high, replacing Fraser Forster as Southampton’s no.1 between the sticks and helping his team to avoid relegation.
Partnered with Lukasz Fabianski (4.5), who recently completed a move to West Ham, the pair of goalkeepers offer a strong home rotation strategy, facing Burnley, Bournemouth, Leicester, Wolves and Brighton in their first 5 combined home fixtures.
Amongst the £4.5m defenders, Charlie Daniels and Cedric Soares stand out as good value options; both were utilised as wing-backs for their respective clubs towards the end of last season.
With only 6 clean sheets for Bournemouth and only 8 for Southampton last time around, there is a question mark over the pair defensively.
However, they’ve each recorded higher clean sheet tallies in earlier seasons and begin the new season with a kind run of fixtures.
Andrew Robertson (6.0) secured the starting left-back spot at Liverpool midway through last season and went on to return 1 goal, 5 assists and 10 clean sheet in just 22 appearances.
The Reds host West Ham and Brighton over the first 3 Gameweeks, with a trip to Crystal Palace in-between.
After being left out of Germany’s 2018 World Cup squad, Leroy Sané (9.5) has had the summer off and will have a point to prove when he steps back onto the field.
Kevin De Bruyne (10.0), Raheem Sterling (11.0) and Gabriel Jesus (10.5) have all played key roles for their countries during the World Cup and as a result, may not be as well-prepared for the start of the Premier League season.
Sané was directly involved in 25 league goals for Man City last season; scoring on 10 occasions himself and providing 15 assists, across 32 appearances.
He’s joined by last season’s top scorer Mohamed Salah (13.0). The Egypt international has been handed the hefty but well-deserved price tag of £13.0m but with those kind opening fixtures for Liverpool (WHU, cry, BHA), we surely have to award him a place in our teams.
Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen (9.5) completes the midfield, although Erik Lamela (6.5) may also be an option, as a punt, after the news that Heung-Min Son could be unavailable for the first month of the new season, due to his participation in the 2018 Asian Games.
With Dele Alli and Harry Kane having spent the summer on international duty, we could see Eriksen step up in their absence for Spurs, if the England pair aren’t available to start the first game or two.
The main man up front in this first draft is Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino, who has been handed a £9.5m price tag.
Only Vardy (183) and Kane (217) scored more FPL points amongst forwards last season (181) and following Brazil’s exit from the World Cup at the Quarter-Finals stage, there’s now a chance that Firmino will be available in Gameweek 1.
Sergio Aguero (11.0) is also under consideration upfront but Gabriel Jesus is always a threat to his starting position and minutes. So for now, alongside Firmino, we’ve gone for two budget forward options.
There’s a lot more choice amongst the forwards this time around, with Marko Arnautovic and Wilfried Zaha being reclassified and coming in at the handy price tag of £7.0m.
But due to Southampton and Bournemouth’s kind run of fixtures to start the season and their penalty duties, it’s Joshua King (6.5) and Charlie Austin (6.0) who make this first draft selection.
When fit, Austin tends to be a very strong option up top; he started 10 games (14 substitute appearances) last season and scored a tally of 7 league goals.
King was unable to beat his impressive 2016/17 season tally of 16 goals but he still returned a respectable 8 goals and 4 assists, during 27 starts for Bournemouth last season.
As mentioned earlier, West Ham’s Lukasz Fabianski (4.5) is on the bench, ready to rotate with McCarthy, to take advantage of their home rotation strategy.
West Ham’s Angelo Ogbonna (4.5) and Cardiff’s Joe Bennett (4.5) have been selected as rotation options, to potentially come in for Cedric and Daniels in Gameweek 2, when they face away fixtures.
At this stage, the team has been put together with only the first 3 or 4 Gameweeks in mind, with a view to using the Wildcard early on, to potentially bring in Harry Kane and some of the other World Cup stars who may not be available straight away.
The final place in the squad goes to Brighton’s Dale Stephens (4.5) who is the cheapest available midfield option.
He hasn’t been picked with the intention of being used in the starting XI but if he continues to start for Brighton, he should be able to give cover, in case of any unexpected absences.
BEFORE YOU GO… If you’re new to the channel, please note that this team is subject to change. Follow @_FPLtips on Twitter, to be notified of any updates to the team.