We have returned! After a summer vacation and recuperation, we are waiting for a new season of the Fantasy Premier League.
Due to the month-long break associated with the World Cup in Qatar, this season will be unique.
We will have unlimited transfers between game weeks 16 and 17 to deal with the consequences, plus the usual two wildcards – one for the first half of the season, one for the second.
But as the Friday 6:30 deadline approaches, it’s time to start building your team. Here are 30 players we recommend starting with…
Ederson – 5.5 m, Manchester City
Reducing their top price to 5.5 million has brought premium goalies back on the menu. Considering Manchester City are the toughest defense in the league, counting on Ederson’s clean sheets until a better budget option comes along is a smart play.
Aaron Ramsdale – 5.0m, Arsenal
Ramsdale had a two-half season last year but was for a time the best goaltender in the game, with decent clean sheet potential bolstered by his habit of making saves and earning bonus points. Arsenal matches are favorable from the very beginning.
Robert Sanchez – 4.5 m, Brighton
Picking a 4.5m goaltender has traditionally been a smart decision, but there really isn’t a standout option among this year’s cohort. Sanchez is probably the best of the bunch as Brighton keep things relatively tight, but don’t expect more than the occasional clean sheet.
Danny Ward – 4 meters, Leicester
Choosing a substitute goalkeeper from the cheapest group is usually the right choice and interestingly we have one who is most likely to play. The departure of Kasper Schmeichel to Nice should put Ward in Leicester’s starting XI.
Daniel Iversen – 4.0 m, Leicester
With understudy Ward Iversen also valued at 4.0m, we have the rare prospect of a viable pair of 8.0m. Definitely worth considering if you need the extra 0.5m but you’ll run into trouble if Leicester sign main goalkeeper until the end of the month.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7.5 m, Liverpool
As far as it goes, Alexander-Arnold broke the 200 barrier again last year but is still valued at just 7.5m. While that makes him the most expensive defender in the game, it’s what you pay for an average forward who will only give you half the points.
Joao Cancelo – 7.0 m, Manchester City
Canselu finished just seven points short of Alexander-Arnold and offered more on average for every million spent. The fact that he only scored one goal was disappointing – many of his many shots were from long range – but he was that rarity: a rotation-resistant player on Pep Guardiola’s team.
Rhys James – 6.0 m, Chelsea
James could mock his 6m tag. The Chelsea right-back was prone to double-digit zero-point scoring last season, making him difficult to predict. The easiest thing to do is to simply add him to your squad and wait until you score.
Ruben Diaz – 6.0 m, Manchester City
An alternative route to defending City for those who want to do without Cancelo. With injuries, Dias needs to be as close as possible to a regular at City, while also being an aerial threat to the team that scored the most set-piece goals last season.
Ivan Perisic – 5.5 m, Tottenham
Full-backs under Antonio Conte tend to be brilliant fantasy assets, and Perisic should be no exception. At 33, he’s going to have a lot of rotations and early replacements, but if you can manage it, he could be a game changer.
Gabriel – 5.0 m, Arsenal
Locked in as one of Arsenal’s starting centre-backs, Gabriel opens the season with a set of worthy appearances in terms of a clean slate. The Brazilian also poses an aerial threat, while Crystal Palace and Leicester have been known to struggle with set pieces.
Matt Doherty – 5.0 m, Tottenham
Budget Perisic. Doherty’s minutes on the opposite flank are slightly less consistent, where he faces more competition for a regular start. However, at the moment he seems to be number one and his main stats before the injury at the end of last season were fantastic gold.
Lewis Dunk – 4.5 m, Brighton
Big jumps from behind are popular this year, but there are still potential benefits in the 4.5m range. The dunk will be a mainstay in Brighton’s defense that should keep a few clean sheets and he also reappears at corners from time to time.
Neko Williams – 4 meters, Nottingham Forest
The best defender at 4.0m. If Williams can replicate the influence of Jed Spence from the right-back position, then he will be a good option for your bench, ready to replace any unexpected absence.
Nathan Patterson – 4 meters, Everton
Patterson started ahead of Seamus Coleman throughout Everton’s pre-season. Ideally paired with Williams if you choose to play back three, allowing you to distribute funds elsewhere.
Mohamed Salah – 13.0 m, Liverpool
There is a theory that you can do without Salah at the beginning of the season, and it is true that you can, but be aware that you are potentially entering a world of pain. The player with the most points last season will be named captain ahead of the opening weekend trip to Fulham.
Luis Diaz – 8.0 m, Liverpool
There are plenty of options in the 8m bracket, but Diaz nearly outperformed the rest in terms of base stats last season, albeit from a smaller sample size. Whether you choose him or Andy Robertson as Liverpool’s third player depends on your team structure.
Mason Mount – 8.0 m, Chelsea
Of the other 8.0s, Mount stands out. More confident in the starting lineup than Phil Foden or Riyad Mahrez, more dangerous to the gate than Dejan Kulusevski. Bukayo Saka is another viable option, but places at Arsenal are pricey for some.
Marcus Rashford – 6.5 m, Manchester United
At his lowest fantastic price in years since the hot season, Rashford will be a bargain if he regains any form under Erik ten Hag. Perhaps “wait and see” until we know more about this new Manchester United, but those who lash out early may be rewarded.
Gabriel Martinelli – 6.0 m, Arsenal
Martinelli faces stiff competition at Arsenal’s front line, but for now, he appears to be the first option on the left flank. Six goals and six assists was a decent result that should be improved, especially if he becomes the first penalty taker.
Rodrigo – 6.0 m, Leeds
Selected by less than 1% of managers, understandably after last season’s erratic performance, but he should start playing with Patrick Bamford for a Leeds side who are on a strong starting streak.
Pedro Neto – 5.5 m, Wolves
Missed most of last season due to injury but was one of the most exciting young players in the Premier League before then and is a great value with just 5.5m on the rise. Already a popular choice in about 19% of squads.
Leon Bailey – 5.0 m, Aston Villa
Bright fantasy preseason star. Few considered Bailey an option until a string of performances appeared to cement his place in Steven Gerrard’s starting lineup. Prepare an escape route if he loses his spot, but it might be worth it.
Andreas Pereira – 4.5 m, Fulham
A starting 4.5m midfielder with an attacking top in his locker room, Pereira is a great first substitute in case your team gets unexpected injuries, suspensions or benches. Set and forget.
Erling Haaland – 11.5 m, Manchester City
He’s here and he’s going to score a lot of points. One of the unwritten rules of fantasy football is not to pick newcomers to the league, but that has always been more of a guideline anyway. And in the case of Haaland, perhaps an exception can be made.
Harry Kane – 11.5m, Tottenham
Again, you can choose Kane for the same price. Many managers plan to start with Kane against Southampton and then switch to Haaland for his meeting with Bournemouth. You’re wasting money, but that’s what they’re there for, right?
Gabriel Jesus – 8.0 m, Arsenal
It is currently the most popular pick in the game, even more than Salah. It’s easy to see why Jesus plays for so many teams after his hectic pre-season with Arsenal and the attractive $8 million price tag. His first two matches are not the best, mind you.
Alexander Mitrovic – 6.5 m, Fulham
Is this the year that Mitrovic is finally taking the step from championship superstar to Premier League striker? We have been burned before, but when Fulham scores, it will most likely be thanks to Serbia.
Taiwo Avoni – 6.0 m, Nottingham Forest
The same potentially applies to Awoniyi and the newly promoted Forest. A former reserve player for Liverpool, he came from Union Berlin with 15 goals in 31 Bundesliga games and will lead the line alongside Brennan Johnson.
Cameron Archer – 4.5m, Aston Villa
In recent years, value has tended to come from defense and midfield rather than attack. With that in mind, you might not want to spend a lot on a third striker. The Archer looks promising from the 4.5m options.