The first Fantasy Premier League player prices of the 2019/20 season have been revealed by the game’s official Twitter account.
Wednesday evening saw five players priced up, with four of them more expensive than they were at the start of 2018/19.
We also had the first positional reclassification of the season announced.
Lukasz Fabianski (£5.0m) – Goalkeeper
Having begun the last two seasons at £4.5m, Lukasz Fabianski has been handed a price rise to £5.0m for the start of the new campaign.
Fabianski was the sixth-highest-scoring FPL goalkeeper of 2018/19, having been the top Premier League shot-stopper for saves made (148).
The Polish goalkeeper has been in the top four for that statistic in each of the last five seasons.
The Hammers actually sit top of our Season Ticker from Gameweeks 2 to 12, once the opening weekend visit of Manchester City is out of the way.
It remains to be seen how FPL price up other goalkeepers in last year’s budget bracket but Fabianski’s price hike may be a blow to those who considered the Poland international a reliable, cut-price option who they could ‘set and forget’.
Andrew Robertson (£7.0m) – Defender
The top-scoring FPL defender of 2018/19 has, as expected, been handed a price rise ahead of next season.
Andrew Robertson was available for £6.0m 12 months ago but Fantasy managers looking to buy the Scotland international will now have to fork out £7.0m – just £0.1m more than his peak price in Gameweeks 30-32 in the season just gone.
Robertson registered 21 clean sheets, 12 assists and 29 bonus points last season.
It will be interesting to see what price Trent Alexander-Arnold is listed as by FPL, given that the Liverpool and England right-back outscored his teammate in terms of points per match (6.4 v 5.9) in 2018/19 and recorded twice as many assists (ten v five) in the final 11 Gameweeks of last season.
Matt Ritchie (£5.5m) – Defender
The first FPL positional change of 2019/20 has been announced.
Matt Ritchie, as we and many others anticipated, has been reclassified as a Fantasy defender, having been used almost exclusively as a left-back/wing-back from Gameweek 13 onwards.
Rafael Benitez switched to a 3-4-2-1/5-4-1 in November and effectively stuck with it for the remainder of the season.
The Spanish head coach will, of course, depart the north-east when his contract expires at the end of June.
Whoever takes up the managerial role at St James’ Park, then, may have different ideas about Newcastle’s formation and where Ritchie fits into that new system.
We could, therefore, have Ritchie as an “out of position” asset as soon as Gameweek 1.
The Magpies’ opening run of fixtures is one of the least appealing in the division, however, and there may be little interest in Newcastle assets straight away.
Whether the new head coach on Tyneside can match the 11 clean sheets that Newcastle kept in 2018/19 is another question, given how well Benitez organised the personnel at his disposal.
Ryan Fraser (£7.5m) – Midfielder
The best-value FPL midfielder of 2018/19 (based on points per million spent) has, unsurprisingly, been handed a steep price rise.
Fraser started last season as a budget £5.5m option but had risen to £6.4m by the season’s end, having finished as the sixth-highest-scoring FPL midfielder with 181 points.
A total of 21 attacking returns was more than he had managed in the previous two seasons combined, while only Eden Hazard and Raheem Sterling registered more assists than the Scotland international (14).
£7.5m was perhaps at the top-end of what we were expecting but no FPL asset came close to matching the 28 big chances that he created.
The Cherries face all three newly promoted teams in the first nine Gameweeks of 2019/20.
Ricardo Pereira (£6.0m) – Defender
Leicester City’s attack-minded right-back has been handed a price rise, which may be enough to deter many FPL managers.
Nevertheless, only Liverpool duo Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson registered more assists than Pereira (eight) among FPL defenders last season.
The Portugal international was the second-highest-scoring FPL defender who didn’t play for one of the ‘big six’ and outscored Matt Doherty by two points.
Pereira didn’t miss out on any of the ten clean sheets that the Foxes recorded, while he had the occasional “out of position” run-out on the wing – though was very much used as an orthodox right-back under new boss Brendan Rodgers.
It will be interesting to see what price Ben Chilwell is on the opposite flank, given that the England left-back registered half the number of attacking returns (no goals, five assists) in 2018/19.
The fact that Leicester sit bottom of our Season Ticker for Gameweeks 1 to 8 may delay any sort of investment in the Foxes’ backline, however.
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