The FFPundits' Staff Team: First FPL Draft for the 2019/20 Season
Posted by @FFPundits_Drew
9:46am Jul 4 2019
Both Liverpool and Manchester City have attractive opening fixtures, but their FPL assets come at a hefty price on FPL, so how many can we own?
Hello Fantasy Premier League managers and welcome back for another season of headaches, cursing, sleepless nights and ruined weekends.
After seven wonderful (LONG) weeks with our families and loved ones, it’s time to say our goodbyes once again, because FPL is BACK!
Let’s be honest ladies and gentleman – a June launch was very early and unexpected, but like the rest of you enthusiasts out there, we have already put together our first draft before a pre-season ball has been kicked.
Our current plan is to concentrate on the opening 4 or 5 gameweek fixtures – see which players hit the ground running – then activate our Wildcard and attack the first half of the season, aggressively.
Obviously, we hope our team scores well in the opening weeks of the season so the Wildcard can be used at a later date, but it’s a nice safety net to fall back on if things don’t go to plan.
Below you will find our very first FPL draft team for the new season and as always, we welcome feedback, ideas and friendly criticism on Twitter @FFPundits but, please note that this will be the first of many published drafts so, be gentle hey…
It’s no surprise to see that the two best teams in the Premier League also have the most expensive goalkeepers on FPL this season, with Allison and Ederson both coming in at £6m apiece.
Our preference, if we had to choose one, would be the City stopper, due to the greater attacking potential offered by Liverpool’s defenders, making Allison a less attractive option for one of the three Liverpool slots available to us.
For now, and of course this could change, we have opted to go with a budget option for our starting goalkeeper slot, as there are defenders from both City and Liverpool we want in our starting 11.
Whilst the likes of Heaton (£4.5m) and Ryan (£4.5m) have shown themselves to be solid options over recent seasons, we have opted for Brighton’s Mat Ryan (£4.5m).
Whilst the Seagulls’ shot-stopper kept only 6 cleansheets in the 2019/20 season, opening fixtures against Watford (A), West Ham (H) and Southampton (H) look favourable on paper and could deliver excellent value for money.
Now, for one of the biggest talking points within the FPL community so far since the new game launched in late June.
With plenty of defenders now playing as wide and attacking midfielders, last season has shown us that such players are capable of delivering larger returns than midfielders at the same price.
Many fantasy bosses on Twitter are opting to play 5 at the back, and it’s clear to see why – we, however, have decided that 4 is enough for us right now, based on the attacking players we want to own.
First up, and unsurprisingly we have opted to go double Liverpool defence as they are just too good value to turn down.
Andrew Robertson, the top scoring defender last year, will (sadly) not feature in Gameweek 1, as the set-piece responsibilities and general rise of Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.0m), means we favour him at this stage.
In addition to Trent, we have opted to take advantage of a much-needed £0.5 saving on Virgil Van Dijk (£6.5m), as he finished only 5 points behind Robertson last season.
With Trent’s improved delivery and consistent attacking returns (from assists), we expect Virgil to continue being a huge threat from set-pieces, as well as being a safe-starter each week at the heart of that Liverpool defence.
The third member of our back-line is Aymeric Laporte (£6.5m).
Laporte is the most nailed-on member of Manchester City’s back-line, and with his continual goal-threat from set-pieces and favourable opening fixtures, it’s a no brainer for us.
When it came to deciding who our 4th and final defender would be, we all agreed that there was only one man for the job – Lucas Digne (£6.0m).
Everton have a (very) kind early run of fixtures, facing just two top 6 sides in their opening 4 games!
In addition to this good run (on paper), Digne is a set-piece specialist and will hopefully continue taking plenty of free-kicks and corners as well as being dangerous from open play.
With the vast range of points-scoring possibilities on offer from Digne, £6m seems an acceptable price to pay – but as we learned last season, we have to take the bad weeks with the good and rely on his consistency over a longer period of time.
When it comes to playing Fantasy Premier League, the real adrenaline and excitement comes from owning Premium players, in our opinion.
However, premium assets come at a cost and can quickly demolish your £100m budget, so as a team, we asked ourselves two simple question when discussing our midfield picks:
Salah (£12.5m) or Mane (£11.5m) & Sterling (£12m) or KdB (£9.5m)?
Mo Salah (£12.5m), the highest scorer in the game last season with 259pts, has not only avoided being reclassified as a forward, but took a price drop also – making him a lock in our team for the start of the season.
Sadio Mane (£11.5m) also come into consideration as we sat and planned this draft – but even though he scored only 28 fewer points then then his team-mate last season, we feel the £1m difference isn’t sufficient to pick him over the highest scorer for the last two years.
Our second midfield selection is Man City’s star-man, Raheem Sterling, who will eat-up £12m of our precious £100m budget.
Raheem was prolific on FPL last season, scoring 234 points from 2770 minutes played – only 25 points adrift of Liverpool’s Mo Salah, who played 3254 minutes.
Other city midfielders will undoubtedly get some attention from FPL managers – Kevin De Bruyne (£9.5m) comes in slightly under-priced and has potential to make a mockery of that price tag and the same can be said for Bernardo Silva at £8m.
Both Liverpool’s Mo Salah and Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling in our Fantasy Premier League draft team for Gameweek 1, but they come at a hefty price.
Coming next in to our midfielder is Gylfi Sigurdsson (£8.0m).
Gylfi has been an FPL favourite for many years now, but somehow went relatively under the radar last year, yet finished with a very impressive 182 points.
With Everton steadily improving under Marco Silva, we are expecting a big season for Sigurdsson in our side and Everton assets overall.
In addition to sharing set-piece duties with the already mentioned Lucas Digne (6.0), Sigurdsson is the designated penalty taker for Everton and with VAR being introduced, this enhances his appeal to us.
Our fourth and final starting midfielder is the ever controversial, Wilfried Zaha (£7.0m).
Zaha has always shown big promise as an FPL asset and has been reclassified back to a midfielder this year, which further adds to his appeal.
The Ivorian amassed 143 points as a striker last season, and as midfielders get an extra point for goals and clean-sheets, that figure is expected the increase this season.
One thing we had to consider with selecting Zaha is his uncertain future with Palace. It is reported that Zaha is wanting a move away from Selhurst Park, with Arsenal hunting for his signature.
If Zaha does move to Arsenal but isn’t ready for Gameweek 1, Palace’s Milivojevic (£7m) could be an ideal straight-swap until Zaha is good to go.
Others players to consider if we decide not to risk Zaha include James Maddison (£7.0m) in an improving Leicester side – Ryan Fraser (£7.5m) in an attacking Bournemouth team with a nice run of opening fixtures.
Ayoze Perez (£6.5m) has been reclassified as a midfielder and could be a bargain at Leicester City if the move goes ahead – Moura (£7.5m) with Son (£9.5m) suspended for the first 3 games could be worth consideration.
Finally, Alexis Sanchez (yes, you read that correctly) who comes in at a measly £7.0m, must be in our thoughts based on his performances at the 2019 Copa America, but one eye will be kept on the injury he picked up against Argentina.
With so much of our budget being spent in defence and midfield, there is no room for the likes of Sergio Aguero (£12.0m) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m) and Harry Kane (£11.0m) as things stands. Sounds scary when you read that out loud, doesn’t it?
The first of our starting 11 forwards is Josh King (£6.5m), who we feel offers more value than his team-mate Callum Wilson (£8.0m) for Bournemouth’s kind run of opening fixtures.
King was outperformed by Wilson last season in terms of FPL, but only by 27 points – we do however expect the Norwegian to start the season well and with the addition of VAR, he could be an instant hit.
Our 2nd forward in our team is Gérard Deulofeu (£6.5m), who FPL HQ have now reclassified as a forward.
On the face of it, Deulofeu is likely to regress in his FPL returns as a striker, but we were very impressed with the tricky Spaniard last season and pray he hits the ground running, if we decide to keep him for Gamweek 1.
With a friendly set of early fixtures, we expect Deulofeu to bag early returns against Brighton at home – which may lead to us rethinking our goalkeeper selection, actually.
At £6.5m also and with penalty-taking duties in his armoury, Troy Deeney must also be considered for an improving Watford side.
There are many value options in the forward position this season such as the Wolves duo of Raul Jimenez (7.5) and Diogo Jota – with the latter now being reclassified as a forward, we’ll have to keep an eye on them in pre-season.
Jamie Vardy will be well fancied to continue his impressive run under Brendon Rodgers, but at £9.0, he was too expensive for our current structure, but would love to find a way to accommodate him nonetheless.
Marcus Rashford at £8.5m was also brought to the table by several FFP members when discuss this draft team, but until the Lukaku situation is resolved, we’ve no interest in planning around the United forward just yet.
At the moment we don’t have a back-up goalkeeper due to selecting Brighton’s David Button (£4.0m) for budget reasons, however this could change, as we’ve a strong urge to start the season with Southampton’s Angus Gunn.
Martin Kelly’s (£4.0m) inclusion is very much dependant on if he or Joel Ward takes Aaron Wan-Bisakkas place at right-back for Palace.
Other defenders that will be considered at £4.0 are Diego Rico, who may play whilst Charlie Daniels is injured – and Ben Gibson who is thought to be a target for a number of Premier League clubs.
Leander Dendoncker (£4.5m) and Mason Greenwood (£4.5m) finish off a light bench, but Dendoncker could provide solid returns occasionally, and Greenwood may be given more opportunity to shine if Manchester United sell Lukaku and fail to buy a replacement.
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Also worth reading
> NEW Out of Position Players on FPL
> Newly Promoted Sides – Sheff United
> Newly Promoted Sides – Aston Villa
> FPL Differentials – Defenders
> Team by Team Preview (Part 1)
> Is KdB this seasons top best enabler?
> FPL Differentials – Goalkeepers
> FFPundits First Draft Team
> FPL Set Piece Takers – 2019/20
> Gameweek 1 Draft Team – Salah captain?
> Reaction to the FPL Launch
> Favourable starts for Liverpool & Man City
> Favourable FPL Fixture Pairings
Thank you for reading ‘Fantasy Premier League Tips – The FFPundits’ Staff Team: First FPL Draft for the 2019/20 Season’ which was written and produced by @FFPundits