The new season is just hours from kick off which also means the deadline for Fantasy Premier League is fast approaching.
For those looking for some last minute tips we’ve picked out a banker, a value pick and some wildcards to consider for gameweek 1.
Banker – Mo Salah 13m
For many, PFA Player of the Year 17/18 Mohamed Salah will be the first name on their team sheet. The Egyptian King has already amassed an ownership of 53.8% meaning that if he bags, and you don’t have him, you’re already playing catch up.
I don’t think I really need to talk about how much of a colossus Mo was last season but for those that are considering leaving him out, he got 32 goals and 12 assists with 8.4 points per game last year – that’s 74 points more than any other player in the game.
He should start the majority of games when fit and with a squad bolstered by some quality signings, he should have just as many, if not more, chances to score. Owning or captaining Salah will be a shield rather than a sword so you might want to consider doubling, or even tripling, up on Liverpool assets with some decent fixtures - Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Andrew Robertson & Virgil Van Dijk are all great picks.
Value - Josh King 6.5m
With only 1 of the top 6 in the first 10 gameweeks Bournemouth can be a great source of budget players. If Josh King can carry on his form from the second half of last season, where he got 6 goals and 3 assists from gameweek 20 (with goal involvement of 50%), he could become an interesting choice as 2nd or 3rd striker.
He’s bagged 4 goals and 1 assist in pre-season, looks to be on penalties and starts off with the plump tie at home to probable whipping boys Cardiff City. Having scored 386 points over the past 3 seasons and finished with 178 points back in 15/16, he has decent fantasy pedigree.
Wildcard(s) – Patrick Van Aanholt 5.5m / James Tomkins 4.5m
We’re having 2 this week… The Palace defence could well be a source of clean sheets early in the season with budget-friendly Aaron Wan-Bissaka & bonus point magnet Mamadou Sakho available at an economical 4.0 & 5.0 respectively. Roy Hodgson’s appointment last year saw Palace improve their defensive organisation, even more so once Sakho returned to the team - Palace became one of the standout teams in term of defensive solidity with only teams in the top 7 gaining more cleans sheet after Hodgson came in. They certainly have the early fixtures to continue that streak facing just 1 team that finished in the top 9 in their first 8 gameweeks.
When a Premier League player sets up his own Fantasy Football League named ‘The League of Doing Bits’ you know he’s one to watch. I’m sure PVA will be making himself his captain and possibly rightly so after ending last season on a high with a points haul of 18. PVA loves to get forward and in each of his last 3 campaigns he’s scored at least 5 goals but at 5.5m there might be more budget-friendly ways into the Palace defence.
If you haven’t got the money for the Dutchman then you could do worse than settle for his teammate James Tomkins. Tomkins missed a large proportion of last season with injuries but, despite that, he still managed to get off 23 shots in 27 games. Combine his attacking goal threat from set pieces with The Eagles improved defence plus great fixtures and you could be on to a veritable goldmine of points.