FPL Players to Watch: GW1-4 | Is Aguero the Best Premium Forward to Start the Season?
Posted by FFPundits
9:53pm Aug 6 2018
Liverpool’s Sadio Mane features on our Top 5 Premier League players to watch on FPL for Gameweek’s 1 to 4
With just a few more days until the 2018/19 Premier League season kicks off, it’s time to take a look at the ‘Players to Watch’.
This season, each episode of the ‘Players to Watch’ series will focus on a window of around 4 Gameweeks, with the intention of spotting the players with the fixtures and form to return points during that specific run of matches, in order to shift the focus more towards longer-term planning.
As always, we have provided you with a video version of this article, which you can find above.
If you appreciate the hard work FFPundits and FPLTips put in to providing you with free, fantasy football content, each and every week, be sure to like and subscribe to our YouTube channel – it means a great deal to us. Thank you.
Sergio Agüero – £11.0m | 20.5% owned
Fixtures: (Ars, HUD, Wol, NEW)
Sergio Agüero (11.0) announced his return with a brace during Man City’s 2-0 win over Chelsea in the Community Shield, in what was effectively his first pre-season appearance, following his expected late return from the World Cup.
Despite competition from Gabriel Jesus (10.5), the Argentine’s average of 6.8 points per match last season was top amongst forwards and demonstrates his high ceiling to return points when on the field.
In just 25 appearances last season, the 30-year-old found the back of the net 21 times; only Kane (30) and Salah (32) scored more goals.
His average of 0.8 goals per game was on par with Kane and Aubameyang; with the Egyptian king himself only narrowly improving on that, with 0.9 goals per game.
Pep Guardiola’s side travel to London to face Arsenal in Gameweek 1 but their schedule looks very kind between Gameweek 2 and 4, where they’ll host Huddersfield and Newcastle either side of an away fixture against Wolves.
Joshua King – £6.5m | 5.5% owned
Fixtures: (CAR, Whu, EVE, Che)
It was a season of two halves for the Norwegian last time around; he returned just 2 goals and 1 assist from 16 appearances between Gameweek 1 and Gameweek 19.
Between Gameweek 20 and Gameweek 38, however, King provided a very respectable 9 FPL involvements in 17 appearances; scoring 6 goals and providing 3 assists.
Amongst budget forwards, priced at £7.0m or less, King’s tally of 12 FPL involvements last season was beaten by only Pérez (14), Zaha (16) and Arnautovic (18).
The Bournemouth forward’s underlying numbers also show promise amongst this group of players, ranking 2nd for attempted assists (38) and 4th for ‘big chances created’, while his tally of 21 efforts on target was just 4 fewer than Wilfried Zaha produced (25).
The opening 4 Gameweeks hold promising home fixtures for Bournemouth, where they’ll take on newly promoted Cardiff and an Everton side that have struggled defensively during pre-season, conceding 10 goals across their 3 most recent matches.
Eddie Howe’s side go into the new season following an impressive 5-2 win over Marseille, where King stood out as one of the key performers, contributing 2 goals and 1 assist.
Sadio Mané – £9.5m | 15.0% owned
Fixtures: (WHU, Cry, BHA, Lei)
We’re all well aware of last season’s top goal scorer, Mohamed Salah (13.0) but could a double-up be on the cards with his Liverpool teammate, Sadio Mané (9.5)?
Mané stepped up to take two penalties during pre-season, scoring on both occasions and looks set to keep the responsibility, going into the new season.
A hamstring injury saw the 26-year-old miss a handful of games last season but in 29 appearances, he was directly involved in 18 league goals; scoring 10 times and producing 8 assists.
Amongst midfielders, only Sterling (27) and Salah (40) were involved in more than Mané’s 17 ‘big chances’ last season, or took more than his average of 2 shots from inside the box per game.
Liverpool’s season gets underway with a home encounter against West Ham, a side that shipped more goals last season every other Premier League team, aside from the now relegated Stoke (68).
Jürgen Klopp’s side then face trips to Crystal Palace and Leicester, in-between welcoming Brighton to Anfield for Gameweek 3.
Richarlison – £6.5m | 15.5% owned
Fixtures: (Wol, SOU, Bou, HUD)
Following his big money move to Everton, Richarlison (6.5) looks set to build on his debut Premier League season, where he registered 5 goals and 8 assists.
His end of season form was undeniably poor; between Gameweeks 25 and 38, the 21-year-old took just 16 shots from inside the box, failing to return either a goal or assist during 14 appearances.
However, when compared with other midfielders, between Gameweeks 1 and 24, Richarlison was involved in 14 ‘big chances’; a tally bettered by only Sterling (15) and Salah (25) and his 59 shots from inside the box was second only to the Egyptian king – who struck 73 efforts.
Each of his 13 FPL involvements came while Marco Silva was in charge of Watford, between Gameweek 1 and Gameweek 24, so will we see a return to form from the Brazilian now that the pair are reunited at Everton?
Everton haven’t impressed during pre-season, failing to win any of their most recent 6 matches and scoring just 4 times over that spell. But they begin the season with a kind schedule, taking on Wolves and Bournemouth and hosting Southampton and Huddersfield, in the first 4 Gameweeks.
Benjamin Mendy – £6.0m | 6.6% owned
Fixtures: (Ars, HUD, Wol, NEW)
Benjamin Mendy (6.0) returned to the Man City starting lineup for their Community Shield win at the weekend, after being sidelined for most of last season with injury.
Between Gameweek 3 and Gameweek 5 last season, the left-back produced 17 of his 20 FPL points, during 3 starts, at an average of 5.7 points per game.
For context, Marcos Alonso, Andrew Robertson and Phil Jones were tied as the best defenders last season, with 5.0 points per game.
During that 3 game spell, Mendy’s tally of 7 attempted assists was level with Trent Alexander-Arnold and beaten by only Ben Davies amongst defenders, with the Spurs fullback producing 9 chances for teammates.
Man City conceded just 27 goals last season; fewer than every other Premier League side, on their way to keeping a total of 18 clean sheets. So, if the France international can put together a run of games, he looks likely to offer potential at both ends of the field.
The current Premier League champions begin the defence of their title with a trip to Arsenal, but go into it with confidence, after the 2-0 win over Chelsea.
Beyond the opening weekend, home encounters with Huddersfield and Newcastle over the first 4 Gameweeks offer big potential for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Also worth reading
BEFORE YOU GO… We’ve teamed up with Starting 11 once again this season and will playing their Daily Fantasy Premier League game, alongside FPL.