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Pre-Season

Why choosing a budget goalkeeper in 2019/20 could be difficult

Selecting a budget goalkeeper for Fantasy Premier League in 2019/20 could prove a difficult challenge.

Cheap reliable shot-stoppers were hard to come by in 2018/19 and a number of price hikes to that category this time around have made finding one even harder now.

Previous members of the £4.5m club such as Lukasz Fabianski, Ben Foster, Vicente Guaita and Rui Patrício have all risen to £5.0m, leaving the pool at the lower end of the scale quite short of options.

The problem is further shown when we consider the defensive rotation pairings we picked out upon fixture release (when no prices were available to us). Only two of them are comprised exclusively of two £4.5m goalkeepers.

Team 1Team 2
Bournemouth Southampton
BurnleyAston Villa
Crystal PalaceNorwich City
Leicester CityBrighton and Hove Albion
LiverpoolEverton
Manchester UnitedManchester City
Newcastle UnitedSheffield United
Tottenham HotspurArsenal
WatfordChelsea
West Ham UnitedWolverhampton Wanderers

As you can see, only the Bournemouth/Southampton and Burnley/Aston Villa can be undertaken using a pair of £4.5m goalkeepers in 2019/20.

Newcastle/Sheffield United has been ruled out by Martin Dubravka staying at £5.0m, while West Ham/Wolves can no longer be covered by goalkeepers as both Fabianski and Patrício were pulled out of the £4.5m category.

Crystal Palace/Norwich could still happen if Wayne Hennessey (£4.5m) reclaims his place at Selhurst Park but it does seem, at least for now, that Guaita is the main man there.

Furthermore, at this current point in time, the goalkeeper situations at Aston Villa, Burnley, Bournemouth, Southampton and Sheffield United are all far from clear.

Meanwhile, the following £4.5m options are all firm second-choice at their respective clubs:

  • Danny Ward (Leicester)
  • Eldin Jakupovic (Leicester)
  • Simon Mignolet (Liverpool)
  • Karl Darlow (Newcastle)
  • Paulo Gazzaniga (Spurs)
  • Pontus Dahlberg (Watford)
  • John Ruddy (Wolves)

Potential set-and-forgets

Mat Ryan has decent fixtures during the early period of 2019/20

By our calculations, that makes Mat Ryan and Tim Krul the only £4.5m options who, before pre-season kicks off, are nailed-on starting goalkeepers for their respective Premier League teams.

Brighton’s shot-stopper might not actually be a bad choice to start the new campaign.

The Seagulls rank third for defence on the Season Tickerover the first six Gameweeks, which feature favourable home matches against West Ham, Southampton and Burnley.

Their away trips during this period take Brighton to Watford, Manchester City and Newcastle.

Only Everton and Bournemouth rank better than that over the first six Gameweeks, but Jordan Pickford (£5.5m) is some way out of the budget range now and it is not currently clear who the starting goalkeeper for the Cherries is, as we’ll explain in more detail later.

Tim Krul will face a barrage of shots in Norwich’s opening six matches.

Norwich are the other end of the Season Ticker over the first six Gameweeks.

They sit rock bottom for that period as they face Liverpool (away), Chelsea (home) and Manchester City (home) during that period.

Outside of those fixtures, they also host Newcastle and travel to West Ham and Burnley.

Obviously, Norwich’s clean sheet potential during this run is incredibly low, considering Liverpool’s ruthless nature at Anfield, and the fact that the meetings with Chelsea and Manchester City are at Carrow Road – where the Canaries conceded more goals than on their travels last season.

However, Krul does have the potential to really rack up the saves over the early part of the campaign.

During the 2018/19 season, the Norwich man finished fourth for total saves in the Championship (136).

With the shots faced column expected to skyrocket for the Canaries this time around, the saves should follow suit.

We also recently unearthed some interesting data on where Norwich conceded shots from in the Championship, with a higher number coming from outside the box beneficial to Krul’s save potential.

Furthermore, Daniel Farke likes his side to play possession football, which starts with the goalkeeper. That’s why Krul finished top of the Championship for completed short-range passes (631) among shot-stoppers in 2018/19.

Both of those statistics should help boost Krul’s bonus potential whenever Norwich do keep clean sheets, which over the first eight Gameweeks seem more likely against Newcastle (home), West Ham (away), Burnley (away), Crystal Palace (away) and Aston Villa (home).

Goalkeeper rotations

Bournemouth/Southampton

This is arguably the more problematic defensive rotation pairing of the two at this stage, although it could be cleared up by Gameweek 1.

Asmir Begovic (£4.5m) appeared to be the undisputed number one at the Vitality Stadium last season, starting every match in the first 22 Gameweeks.

However, he was inexplicably replaced by Artur Boruc (£4.5m) in Gameweek 23. The Polish international was the goalkeeper of choice for all but two of the matches between then and Gameweek 36, with Begovic coming back in for Gameweeks 32 and 33 only.

Despite playing half as many minutes as the Bosnian (1,080 to 2,160), Boruc kept four clean sheets to his five.

He also recorded significantly better minutes per save figures too (25.7 to 35.4).

Mark Travers threatens to confuse the Bournemouth goalkeeper situation even more

However, both Begovic and Boruc are threatened by youngster Mark Travers (£4.5m) who came from out of nowhere to start both of Bournemouth’s last two games of 2018/19.

There was contrasting fortune between both of those appearances.

Travers kept a clean sheet, made five saves and earned one bonus for an eight-point haul against Spurs in Gameweek 37 before conceding five times at Crystal Palace on the final day of the campaign.

The 20-year-old missed Ireland’s Euro 2020 qualifiers due to a fractured thumb but he is expected to be fit by the time pre-season begins for the Cherries.

He has also been linked with loan moves to Norwich and Leeds United but he has gone on record in the local press as wanting to stick around for the new campaign.

“I want to play for this club and hopefully I can do that. But at the end of the day it’s down to the manager and backroom staff with who they want to play. I just want to try to have good pre-season and get in the manager’s thoughts.” – Mark Travers

Manager Eddie Howe clearly rates Travers very highly given the comments he made about him after his debut against Spurs.

However, the crucial line from these quotes is, of course, the stress on the fact that a decision will have to be made over the summer over which goalkeeper will be number one come Gameweek 1.

“It was a great display from (Travers), he’s someone we really do believe in. He’s got great temperament and attitude to the game. He played like it was a training session and that’s a huge compliment. He showed real confidence with his feet. He kicked the ball well, made some saves and impressed with his all-round game management. It’s a nice problem to have and a decision I’ll have to make in the summer, in terms of what to do with all the goalkeepers we have. Mark hasn’t been out on loan this season. Aaron Ramsdale, who we rate highly as well, has been out on loan and done really well. It’s great to have two young, promising goalkeepers in our ranks, and of course we’ve got the two experienced goalkeepers at a top level as well. It’s slightly unusual that Mark hasn’t been out on loan to experience League One or League Two. That was the risk we took, but going on his training and the way he has conducted himself all season, as well as the club that we are – trying to give young players opportunities to develop – we decided to do what we did.” – Eddie Howe

Deciphering the Southampton goalkeeper situation is somewhat easier.

Alex McCarthy (£4.5m) started all but one match between Gameweeks 1 and 26, a Gameweek 21 trip to Chelsea.

Angus Gunn (£4.5m) made his first league start of the campaign then and kept a clean sheet, made six saves all for an 11-point FPL haul.

He then started all but one from Gameweek 27 until the end of the campaign.

Fraser Forster (£4.5m) came in for his first start since Boxing Day 2017 in Gameweek 37, where Southampton were decidedly poor and lost 3-0 at West Ham.

Angus Gunns is reported to be the favourite at Southampton currently but there’s a long way to go before Gameweek 1

The Southampton Daily Echo are reporting that Gunn is the first choice for Ralph Hasenhüttl for the 2019/20 with McCarthy and Forster expected to fight it out for second-choice.

Given the late-season run-out for Forster, when McCarthy was injured, concern from those looking in from the outside is certainly understandable.

Hopefully, pre-season matches can clear up any lingering doubts over the Southampton goalkeeping situation.

However, we should also point out the drawbacks of backing Bournemouth and Southampton in their home games.

The Saints kept just three clean sheets in front of their own supporters last season, only Manchester United registering fewer (two).

Furthermore, their first four at St. Mary’s in 2019/20 see them host Liverpool, Manchester United, Bournemouth and Chelsea.

The Cherries are the better of the two in this rotation.

They kept six clean sheets at the Vitality Stadium in 2018/19 and start the new campaign at home to Sheffield United.

Burnley/Aston Villa

The uncertainty over the goalkeeper situation at Burnley is just as bad as at Bournemouth.

Sean Dyche currently has Tom Heaton (£4.5m), Nick Pope (£4.5m) and Joe Hart (£4.5m) and has a real balancing act on his hands during the summer.

Pope signed a new contract in May to extend his stay at Turf Moor, while it was also reported that Heaton rejected a new contract amid supposed transfer interest from the likes of Aston Villa and Bournemouth (ironically).

What that means for Dyche’s team selection remains to be seen.

Hart started the first 19 games in a row, although he could be on the brink of a Turf Moor exit this summer. During that period, Burnley shipped a ridiculous number of shots.

No team faced more on target than them (116) and which helped Hart make more saves than any other goalkeeper (77) between Gameweeks 1 and 19.

However, nobody conceded more goals during this period either (41).

He managed to get just four clean sheets, Hennessey, Begovic and Patrício securing more shutouts, and indeed FPL points than him from the budget category.

Pope has now recovered from his shoulder injury of 2018/19

Heaton then returned to start every match from Gameweek 20 onwards, which seemed to drastically improve Burnley’s defensive prospects.

Indeed, the Clarets conceded 41 times with Hart between the sticks, but shipped just 27 goals once Heaton had returned, with relatively little change to the back-four in front of him.

However, such is the enigma of the budget goalkeeper in FPL to some extent, Hart still scored more points than Heaton despite conceding more goals.

The former Manchester City man amassed 69 points across his 19 appearances, while Heaton managed just 58 from his half of the campaign.

The two of them also kept the same number of clean sheets, meaning that the main difference between the goalkeepers was the saves, as well as Hart’s solitary penalty stop compared to Heaton’s none.

Despite that, it seems clear that Sean Dyche favours Heaton over Hart at least.

Where the uncertainty lies is deciding between him and Pope.

After sustaining a dislocated shoulder last summer, he failed to make a single Premier League appearance for Burnley in 2018/19.

Pope made two starts in the FA Cup in the month of January, so while he was fit for the second half of the campaign, it was still Heaton who was preferred.

However, it is worth saying that the latter was much further along in his recovery from the same injury last season.

The 2019/20 campaign should see both Heaton and Pope back to their best physical state – so Dyche will certainly face a difficult task choosing between them.

Aston Villa also have a goalkeeping trio to choose from ahead of the new season.

Ørjan Nyland (£4.5m) was the number one at Villa Park last season having just arrived from FC Ingolstadt.

However, he did not play a single match in 2019 after rupturing his Achilles in a December training session.

He is expected to be fully fit for 2019/20 and with two years left on his contract will be hoping to stake his claim for a return to the side.

That said, Nyland did not necessarily impress before his injury. When his season-ending knock was confirmed, Villa had conceded 38 goals in 25 matches, 1.52 per game.

To cover Nyland’s injury, Dean Smith signed Lovre Kalinić but he himself sustained a knock after just seven starts.

Jed Steer is probably ahead in the race to be Aston Villa’s number one this season but is not yet on the game

That’s why Jed Steer was recalled from loan at Charlton and impressed enough to hold off competition from Kalinić once he returned to full fitness.

The uncertainty over the goalkeeper position here stems from the fact that Steer has not yet competed with Nyland – pre-season will have to tell us more.

Interestingly, Steer signed a new contract at the back-end of June and it looks as if he is the most likely to claim the number one spot by Gameweek 1 – although he has not yet been added to the game and neither has Kalinić.

“It’s great to have extended my contract. When I got told last August I could go out on loan I thought that was my Villa career probably over. To be sitting here now and about to embark on the Premier League with Aston Villa is something I couldn’t have imagined. I’m over the moon.” – Jed Steer

We also should make ourselves aware that Jack Butland has been linked with a move to Villa Park. If he were to sign for Dean Smith’s side that could uncomplicate matters, but we will have to see.

Scraping the barrel

There does appear to be little to go on in the £4.0m department at this stage.

The only goalkeepers in this price bracket currently seem unlikely to break into the first teams at their respective clubs.

David Button is firmly behind Ryan in the Brighton pecking order.

Pickford has a strong hold on the number one jersey at Everton, effectively ruling out Maarten Stekelenburg as a viable option.

Freddy Woodman at Newcastle would have to get past Karl Darlow (£4.5m) and Dubravka to earn regular starts.

At Norwich, Krul is the undisputed number one, ensuring Michael McGovern (£4.0m) won’t start much.

Finally, Will Norris (£4.0m) is currently behind Patrício and John Ruddy (£4.5m) in the Wolves pecking order.

Of course, with all of these options, they could come into play if injuries were to occur to their respective goalkeeping colleagues.

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768 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Peter Ouch
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    21 days, 13 hours ago

    It's so hard to fit Salah and sterling without killing your budget.

    If you have to ditch one, who's that

    1. DantheManinaPan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      I really don't think it is.

      It's once you try to squeeze in other premiums such as KDB / Kane that they become an issue.

    2. Differential (c)
      • 3 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Sterling, since Salah has the penalties.

      1. Andy_Social
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        21 days, 12 hours ago

        You can do so much if you ditch both.

        1. Differential (c)
          • 3 Years
          21 days, 12 hours ago

          Early fixtures just too good to pass up, unfortunately. Both teams too dominant to ignore their key assets.

          1. Andy_Social
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            21 days, 12 hours ago

            Right, but without those two I can afford Aguero, KdB, TAA and Robbo.

          2. pingissimus
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            21 days, 12 hours ago

            But in his last full season KdB more or less matched Sterling and pre injury Kane did last time out too.

            One problem I have with Mo is that all 3 of the Liverpool front boys may go all the way in Afcon or CA - even if selected en masse I don’t see them tearing it up over 90 minutes. Game management must be on the cards and Kun style 60 mins and off isn’t a draw to me.

            1. Peter Ouch
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              21 days, 12 hours ago

              Klopp is resting players through training sessions.

              First year in pool Liverpool collapsed after January having klopp doing his typical German tactics.
              They've adjusted the training schedule and as you can see last 2 years not injuries in the front three and almost no time off

              1. pingissimus
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                21 days, 12 hours ago

                I know he said that towards the end of last season when they both played 50 plus games. But they’ll now be coming off Afcon in the summer playing in crazy high temperatures - new territory I think. They’ll have ended up playing close to 60 matches in the season - which was a lot even in the old less energetic days.

        2. Peter Ouch
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          21 days, 12 hours ago

          Thanks but no

      2. Peter Ouch
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        21 days, 12 hours ago

        Fair point and as a pool fan perspective as well

    3. Mikeharbrw
      • 6 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Neither

    4. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      I’m loving the prices this year tbf

      Any pricing that allows you fit in Salah, Sterling, Robbo, TAA, Laporte, Digne, Coleman, Vardy, King, a minimum bench and still have 6.0 left for an attacker is a win in my books 🙂

      1. Peter Ouch
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        21 days, 12 hours ago

        Van dijk scored 5 points less than robbo with a slow start last year.

        Why not van dijk and robbo instead of a prone to injury taa (and 0.5 expensive).

        Also is minimum bench doable?
        I mean don't you need one back up?

        1. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          21 days, 12 hours ago

          My hesitation with VVD is regression - I was very tempted to sign him around November last year as he’d hit woodwork v both Cardiff & arsenal but was shouted down as he’d literally got 1 attacking return in 2 & a half seasons of FPL at that point

          His second half of the season from an attacking perspective was something to behold. Starting with that bizarre assist for Origi’s even more bizarre goal v Everton, but i’d worry about him going through a similar period again, much moreso than TAA/Robbo

          If either TAA/Robbo get injured it’s also an easy swap to VVD

          1. Peter Ouch
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            21 days, 12 hours ago

            I see Vvd scoring more this year, pool was by far the team that scored more from set pieces ( I know, taa on most set pieces).

            But I am really worried that taa wont play more than 30 games this year.

            Injury prone, lots of ups and downs on his performance that lasts more than a game but occasionally a few weeks and Gomez back on track.

            Atm I am on vvd and robbo l, if taa is nailed then I can find this 0.5 to switch into him

            1. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              21 days, 12 hours ago

              I think the injury risk is part of the deal with TAA - when he plays he scores points better than anyone, so we just have to hope he either plays, or gets a very plannable allow a swap to VVD

              Gómez also adds pressure, but I’m backing TAA all the way

              1. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 9 Years
                21 days, 12 hours ago

                *plannable injury

        2. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          21 days, 12 hours ago

          I hate having money on the bench - particularly in the first few GW’s when budgets are tight - a few 2 point merchants are fine - the likes of dendoncker, Romeu, etc until first WC when it’s easier to build a bit of cover in for when schedules get hectic

      2. NUFCAndrew
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        21 days, 12 hours ago

        How did you do this

    5. Ragnar Lothbrok
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      I think I've managed to put a decent team together with them both it. Yes my bench is weak but the players I've chosen have been fantasy assets before and have good fixtures. Team below:

      Pickford (Button)

      TAA / Laporte / Digne / Smith (Bednarek)

      Salah / Sterling / Bilva (Romeu/Guendouzi)

      Vardy / King / Long

      1. Peter Ouch
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        21 days, 12 hours ago

        Do you think that smith and long will deliver effectively that will allow you to go without a proper backup?

        1. Ragnar Lothbrok
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          21 days, 12 hours ago

          I think I'm willing to take that risk at the start. More confident on Smith due to fixtures. Hoping that Salah and Sterling both give great returns that anything Long does is a bonus

    6. Brosstan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      21 days, 11 hours ago

      Salah and Sterling arent Worth it if you dont captain them. Hence Im going With only one. That being said, its not hard to get both in, you just have to downgrade a few defenders and og for the value strikers like King and Jota

  2. Differential (c)
    • 3 Years
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    Solskjær is prepared to play Diogo Dalot at left-back as well in wide areas further forward #mulive [evening standard]

    https://twitter.com/utdreport/status/1144321015557885952?s=20

    @utdreport

    Dalot - £5.0m(!)

    So possibly, he and AwB can play in the same team. Additionally, could be a viable OOP fullback playing as a winger for a price of 5.0m playing for a top six side.

    1. Whats the Mata?
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      But he will not be nailed. 5m is too much to fit in a non nailed def

  3. NUFCAndrew
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    A: TAA Robbo Digne Coleman

    B: One of TAA/Robbo VVD Laporte Digne

    1. ceerus
      • 4 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      b

  4. Differential (c)
    • 3 Years
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    Ryan
    Robertson Laporte Coleman A.Smith
    Salah Sterling Sigurdsson Moutinho
    Wilson Jota

    Pope McGoldrick Norwood Diop

    Thoughts?

    1. Mikeharbrw
      • 6 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      I think I'd prefer Neves to moutinho if you desperately want a wolves mid

      1. Differential (c)
        • 3 Years
        21 days, 12 hours ago

        Think Moutinho is just the much better chance creator than Neves. Takes decent set pieces too.
        Although Neves is more nailed and shoots a lot more.

        Will ruminate on it. Cheers!

    2. The 5% Team
      • 1 Year
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Dendoncker was Wolves best midfielder in the latter part of last season

  5. Mikeharbrw
    • 6 Years
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    Draft 1 of 1000

    Heaton / 4.0

    Walker // Robertson // Alexander-Arnold // Digne // 4.0

    Sigurdsson // Salah // Sterling
    // Milivojevic // Dendoncker

    Jota // King // 4.5

    Feedback always welcome

    1. Jacky boy
      • 3 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Similar to mine mostly.
      Not sure on walker
      I don't like laporte too.
      Don't know which city defender to chose

  6. Misteak
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    The early part of the season is really difficult on this site because I can't check people's rank when I try to decide if I should copy their team or not.

    1. Peter Ouch
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      It's not fun coping, do your own thing so you can only blame yourself in the end

  7. ceerus
    • 4 Years
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    A)Fraser (3-4-3)
    B)Robertson (4-3-3)

    1. Differential (c)
      • 3 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Robbo. 100%

    2. Jacky boy
      • 3 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Robertson should never be in any comparison and question
      Best value
      Compare fraser with another mid

    3. Devo-McDuff
      21 days, 5 hours ago

      B

  8. Jacky boy
    • 3 Years
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    Which one?
    A) wilson + ake
    B) king + laporte

  9.  Il Fenomeno
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    I had heard on a podcast that after Hazard, Fraser had created the most chances in the league last year. Surely worth a punt again?

    1. Jacky boy
      • 3 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      I have him. SHU and AVL
      Best opening ever

    2. jason_ni
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      He tapered off big time towards the tail end of the season, pretty much in line with Wilsons injury.
      I had him for all of last season, but just think hes been priced 0.5 too much, he got majority of his points earlier in the season

  10. jason_ni
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    Does this look awful? 5-3-2, looks weird, normally always start with 3-4-3

    Ryan - 4m
    TAA - Robbo - Laporte - Christensen - Alderwield
    Salah - Bilva - Zaha - (Hayden - Dendoncker)
    Kane - King - (Deeney)

    Probably dont want the bench headache of deeney/king every week, so should prob drop one to 4.5, and reinvest else where.

    For me its a choice between Sterling and Kane, to go with Salah as the other top premium forward.
    Seems like everyone else is going with Sterling, but I just fancy Kane for 1mill less, and has pens to boot.

    1. falafel
      • 2 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      should drop Deeney to Long or Wichkam and invest more money on either Christensen and Alderweireld

    2. jason_ni
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Yeah - know I should save and have just 1 6.5 forward, but I kinda like both Toby and Christensen - who knows, maybe Frank wont even play him, but gut is saying he'll be a stater.

      1. falafel
        • 2 Years
        21 days, 12 hours ago

        then you should go with that, fun when people go with their guts

  11. DavidMunday815
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 1 Year
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    Hey everyone - want to update the polls today now that we have more than just the first 10 prices. Reply below with some ideas of what you'd like to vote on and we'll get them added to the sidebar and some articles!

    1. Peter Ouch
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Madison or siggy
      Madison or vardy

    2. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Back 5
      Back 4
      Back 3

    3. Zilla
      • 1 Year
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Zaha v Mili is an interesting one.

      1. Smurf
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        21 days, 12 hours ago

        There is nothing about Mili that’s interesting.

        1. Zilla
          • 1 Year
          21 days, 12 hours ago

          I am not considering them for now but that's a question I've seen a lot round here. Mili with pens and the addition of VAR could get more points.

          1. Smurf
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            21 days, 12 hours ago

            See my post below re VAR being very unlikely to increase Mili’s pens output.

    4. Smurf
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      King or Wilson
      Maddison or Vardy
      VVD over one of TAA/Robertson

    5. Jacky boy
      • 3 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Kdb worth it or not

      1. Andy_Social
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        21 days, 12 hours ago

        For me the price differential over Sterling makes him more viable. I can afford Aguero alongside Kev.

        1. Andy_Social
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          21 days, 12 hours ago

          For a poll, I'd ask if we're putting more emphasis on defence, midfield or forward line this year compared to last.

    6. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Best 4.5 or below defender

      Best 5.5 or below mid

    7. Skull And Gnomes 9
      • 1 Year
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Banning 5G and releasing clean free energy to the people.
      Having psychological profiling to banish psychopaths from obtaining positions of power.

    8. Captain Kakaroto
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Alexis at 7 most be considered?

    9. Zladan
      • 1 Year
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Sigurdsson v Richarlison

      Which 2 of TAA Robbo VVD

    10. Wolves Ay We
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      21 days, 11 hours ago

      Is Siggy a must? Seems to be in every team.

    11. GinjaWhinja
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      21 days, 11 hours ago

      Formation. Think the standard 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 from previous seasons is off the table. Many thinking 4 or 5 from reviewing the comments.

      Would be interested in a poll to see if that is how all are thinking. I certainly am.

      1. GinjaWhinja
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        21 days, 11 hours ago

        4 or 5 at the back*

    12. Bad Kompany
      • 1 Year
      21 days, 7 hours ago

      1. Wilson or king
      2. Vardy or KDB
      3. Siggy or rich
      4. How would you rank the Liverpool defenders

  12. Jacky boy
    • 3 Years
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    This is mine so far

    Heaton
    Robbo VVD Laporte Digne
    Salah Sterling Siggy Fraser
    King DCL

    Button dendoncker kelly xandesilva

    1. falafel
      • 2 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      if DCL is nailed i really like that

    2. Jacky boy
      • 3 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Surely he is

      1. Andy_Social
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        21 days, 12 hours ago

        Not sure. If Everton start Richarlison up top, DCL might still be an impact sub.

        1. falafel
          • 2 Years
          21 days, 12 hours ago

          and if Richarlison starts up front he is a bargain for 8m as a midfielder

        2. Jacky boy
          • 3 Years
          21 days, 12 hours ago

          He started 10-12 games as CF at the end of season.
          Coach said he is locked for CF

            1. Andy_Social
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              21 days, 11 hours ago

              Good to know, cheers.

  13. Smurf
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    People are hastily assuming that penalty takers are more important this year with the introduction of VAR, but apart from a spike in penalties given in the recent world cup, VAR actually isn’t creating more penalty awards on average. The following article supports this and explains that for every extra penalty awarded through VAR there is another not given using the system.

    https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2018/06/25/var-increases-refereeing-accuracy-but-not-the-total-penalty-count

    For me I’m not going to be focusing on penalty takers any more than I normally would and I think it’s being taken a little out of proportion at the moment.

    1. SADIO SANÉ
      • 4 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      the handball rule has changed - also, how can they say how many there would have been? what if without VAR last season's penalty count in the Bundesliga wouldn't have been like 14/15 but VAR meant there were more? just because there were less penalties than the season before doesn't really mean anything

      1. SADIO SANÉ
        • 4 Years
        21 days, 12 hours ago

        that should say 'doesn't necessarily mean anything'

        and like I say, the handball rule has changed - if you're watching the Women's tournament you'll see what I mean

      2. Smurf
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        21 days, 12 hours ago

        They can say the difference by seeing how many penalties were not awarded by the ref but were by VAR and how many were awarded by the ref but were ruled out by VAR. Quite simple actually.

        1. SADIO SANÉ
          • 4 Years
          21 days, 11 hours ago

          I guess, that's assuming the refs' decision making (and the players too) doesn't change knowing VAR is in place.

          For example, players like Zaha can go down under less contact than previously and be awarded a penalty (because the ref knows he can double-check it) but VAR won't overturn it because there was contact (see Women's WC for examples).

          Either way, the new handball rule is a problem too.

  14. Super Frank
    • 5 Years
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    First draft:
    Ryan/Button
    Van Dijk - Laporte - Digne - Dunk/Rico
    Salah - Sterling - Zaha (Dendoncker/Hayden)
    Lacazette - Jimenez - King

  15. Wolves Ay We
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    Is Jota a good long term pick even if he has been reclassified as a Forward. If he was still a midfielder would he have automatically been chosen as one of your top 4 midfielders?

    1. Smurf
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      You tell us. You are the fan.

      In terms of being a forward, that certainly wouldn’t put me off.

      1. Wolves Ay We
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        21 days, 12 hours ago

        Yep. I think he's worth having as a forward along with Jimenez even though I will be accused of biased. Along with Sterling, Salah (can't afford Mane as well) and Fraser believe he would have been a midfielder to definitely have.

    2. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      For me it depends on whether Wolves get someone like Rondon in.

    3. Peter Ouch
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      21 days, 11 hours ago

      Management time is what worries me.
      Otherwise he's on my team

    4. Brosstan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      21 days, 11 hours ago

      I dont like him. Managed minutes... Would rather Shell out a bit more for Jimenez who is still prime value

  16. ASOUSA12
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    Feel free to tear this draft apart:

    Heaton / Button
    TAA / Robbo / Laporte / Digne / Kelly
    Salah / Sterling / Siggy / Willian
    King / Ings

    Main questions / doubts currently:

    1) Heaton as a placeholder currently for a 4.5 GK... really hoping Henderson signs for Sheffield Utd

    2) Van Dijk as a potential downgrade to Robbo (-£0.5M) if necessary to release funds

    3) Laporte at 6.5M may not offer the same value as last season and if they sign Maguire i think he can be rotated more often than last season. Looking into situation at LB to see who nails that position (Mendy / Zinchenko)

    4) Willian at the moment as a placeholder for a 7.0 MID can become Zaha / Mili / Maddison / Sanchez (if nailed). Zaha is interesting if stays at Palace if goes to Arsenal is not an option as we've seen from their rotation policy last year. If Zaha leaves then Mili becomes a non-option. I expect Willian to be the big Chelsea creator after Hazard leaves and to be nailed on the LW and on set-piece and penalties on a Top 6 team. I doubt Jorginho will be part of the starting 11 under Lampard as Kante will be the DM

    5) If Salah and Mane reach the latter stages of the AFCON then it may be the best option to go Liverpool triple defence and add KDB to the midfield

    6) Really like the look of Ings, if injury free and on pens as expected. Really think Southampton will perform over expectations as per 2nd half of the season and definitely plan to have one of Redmond (OoP), Ward-Prowse (set pieces and pens if Ings not on the pitch), Ings

    1. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      21 days, 11 hours ago

      If Zaha goes to Arsenal there’s a very healthy chance it’ll be at the cost of either Laca or Auba - they won’t be able to fund it otherwise given he’ll be at least 70 mill. If that happens he’ll be nailed imo - as will the remaining forward

      1. ASOUSA12
        21 days, 11 hours ago

        I agree with your reasoning, but we've seen last season that even Auba and Lacazette weren't completely nailed and Emery is even harder to predict than Pep...

    2. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      21 days, 11 hours ago

      You've got 2 bodies missing. Have you budgeted for more fodder?
      Your reasoning is good; only point I'd make is spend another 0.5m on a playing reserve defender in case the likes of Willian and Ings don't play.

      1. ASOUSA12
        21 days, 11 hours ago

        Yes, forgot to add...

        Dendoncker or any other 4.5 fodder
        Wickham or any other 4.5 fodder

        Just hope that it emerges a nailed 4.5 MID fodder and 4.0 DEF fodder that can cover any absences from Willian or Ings

  17. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    How’s she looking chaps? Interestingly, downgrading Vardy allows quite a nice forward line imo:

    Heaton
    Robbo, TAA, Laporte, Digne, Coleman
    Salah, Sterling
    Wilson, King, Arnie
    (Bench: lol, lol, lol, lol)

    Alternatively Vardy/JWP instead of Wilson/Arnie - but the bourenmouth punt may pay dividends early doors before a later switch to Vardy

    1. Smurf
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Mine is very very similar.

      I also have 5-2-3 with King and Arnie up too but I have Vardy over Wilson.

      Defence very similar too as is my lol bench.

      So I’m a big fan.

      1. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        21 days, 12 hours ago

        Good stuff - I think both the unprecedented lineup of attacking defenders combined with their kind prices are subliminally funnelling many of us towards a back 5 this year - and Salah/Sterling is similarly attractive from a captaincy perspective...

        So 5-3-2's & 5-2-3's should do well I think

        No Vardy is the compromise - and one I'm not entirely happy with & may yet revert to Vardy/JWP tbh

        1. Smurf
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          21 days, 12 hours ago

          I completely agree with you.

          After last year I decided I was going to start the new season with at least 4 at the back if not 5. Now the prices have released this has made it an even better choice.

          The 1 million I have for Vardy over Wilson if for having VVD and Walker over your Roberston and Laporte. But it’s all just personal preference.

          I must admit it feels weird not having Robbo.

    2. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Wilson AND King! Is Arnie in or out of favour? Will Heaton have the gloves?

      Def and Mid I like!

      1. Andy_Social
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        21 days, 12 hours ago

        Oh, if we're comparing 5-2-3 formations (I thought I was the only one!) - here's mine:

        Ederson (4m lol)
        Robbo, TAA, VVD, Laporte, Zinchenko
        Lucas Moura, Zaha (Noble, Dendonker, Kante - playing fodder)
        Kane, Auba, Jota

        1. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          21 days, 12 hours ago

          Oooohhh Laporte/Zinchenko double up - could be tasty! I'd love to know Pep's thoughts on the LB slot

          If I knew either of Mendy or Zinch were nailed I'd get them in for Laporte straight away

          With no Salah/Sterling you'll absolutely fly if they happen to start the season slowly... but vice-versa is the health warning!! 🙂

          1. Andy_Social
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            21 days, 11 hours ago

            Swings & Roundabouts - that's the beauty of this game. My working hypothesis is that with Pool and City's early fixtures they'll be up against waves of parked buses - with no one attacking clean sheets should stack up, and wingbacks will be loosed to stretch play.

      2. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        21 days, 12 hours ago

        Ya Wilson + King as a potential early advantage play... It needs Bournemouth to score goals though, but they have the early fixtures...

        Heaton is more of a placeholder really - Henderson probably my ideal in that slot if he gets his move. Ryan, Krul also options... but a 4.5 keeper is required for budgetary reasons i can't stretch higher

    3. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Yay another 5-2-3

      Not convinced by double Everton at the back. Have something very similar but hope Luiz seems nailed - just prefer to spread the risk and Chelsea normally prosper under new management.

      Like Arnie

      1. pingissimus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        21 days, 12 hours ago

        Lloris
        TAA Vvd Coleman Mendy Luiz
        Zaha KdB
        Laca Kane Vardy

        1. Andy_Social
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          21 days, 11 hours ago

          That looks very good. First Time I've seen Laca, there.

          1. pingissimus
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            21 days, 11 hours ago

            Secretly hoping Zaha goes to Arsenal and they move Auba on to afford it

      2. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        21 days, 11 hours ago

        Yeah i want to see how many are planning on Back 5's in the poll in the hot topic - I'd wager its going to be a bigger % than has ever been seen in the history of FPL 🙂

        Are you worried about Emery swaping about with Laca/Auba? Zaha is extremely interesting as a midfielder - definietly on the watchlist

  18. MysticMac17
    • 1 Year
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    Pope
    TAA VVD Laporte Walker Digne
    Sterling Salah Sigurdsson Zaha
    King

    Subs: Button, Deodoncker, Wickham, Greenwood

  19. Zladan
    • 1 Year
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    The foundation of my team:

    4.5 4
    Robbo TAA Digne 4
    Salah KDB Sigurdsson
    Kane King

    20m to spend on the remaining 4 players.

    1. OldBenKenobi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Ha good luck

      1. Zladan
        • 1 Year
        21 days, 12 hours ago

        Jota
        Ibe
        Dendoncker
        Gibson (4m but rumoured to be sold to a PL team)

  20. OldBenKenobi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    Am I crazy or could this 5-3-2 work at the beginning of the season?

    Ryan
    TAA Robbo Digne Coleman Zinchenko
    Salah B.Silva Siggy
    Aguero King

    Button Greenwood Dendoncker Hayden

    1. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Yes, could be decent. I'm on a thread comparing 5-2-3 formations. 5 at the back is very viable this year.
      Personally I'd upgrade the keeper and maybe have Zaha in mid.

    2. Holteenderinthesky
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Your in trouble if Mendy plays instead of Zinchenko with a poor bench.

      1. OldBenKenobi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        21 days, 12 hours ago

        Yeah obvious will monitor that situation. Can easily swap to a 6.0 mid instead of 5.5 def too

    3. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      21 days, 11 hours ago

      Nice

      On something similar in 5-2-3 but with Kane and KdB for Kun and Bilva which you could do(and the small matter of no Mo)

  21. AFC49
    • 5 Years
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    Thoughts on this draft?

    Heaton
    Robbo, Aké, Alonso
    Salah, B Silva, Maddison, Zaha
    Firmino, Arnie, King

    Ryan, Digne, Dendoncker, Aarons

    1. OldBenKenobi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Might want Digne off your bench

    2. KUNingas
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Not sure about Alonso..

  22. Captain Kakaroto
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    I see The 7M MID Bracket as the most interesting for now.
    A lot of good players - Willian, Zaha , Maddison, Sanchez, Felipe Anderson.
    If one can put good performance at preseason it could be gold.

    1. KUNingas
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      I agree. Hard to choose the right horse

    2. Holteenderinthesky
      21 days, 11 hours ago

      Has to be Zaha or Mili for me

      1. Captain Kakaroto
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        21 days, 11 hours ago

        Too many questions about both. Will Zaha move to Arsenal? If he moves it will be big yes for him and big no for Mili.
        I wont take out of considertation Fanderson and Maddi.
        Will willian get the nod at Chelsea?
        A lot of questions...

  23. Holteenderinthesky
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    We thinking Jorginho is on penalties? Can't see who else it would be. 5.0m is a steal if that is the case with VAR coming in.

    1. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      He was on pens last season - didn't help much though. His place might not even be secure if the new manager reverts Kante back to his role.

      1. Holteenderinthesky
        21 days, 11 hours ago

        Hazard was on pens last year. If I remember Jorginho scored one before Hazard returned after the world cup.

    2. Thescaff
      21 days, 11 hours ago

      Noble definitely is at same price

      1. Holteenderinthesky
        21 days, 11 hours ago

        I currently have them both

        1. Eytexi
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          21 days, 11 hours ago

          I assume rotation? Jorginho doesn't appeal to me and, personally, am currently punting on Norwood as 5th midfielder. Can't see him doing much worse than Jorginho or Noble having corners and free-kicks rather than penalties.

          1. Holteenderinthesky
            21 days, 11 hours ago

            Most of the time it will be rotation between the two. Other 3 are Zaha, Sterling and Salah.

  24. Jacky boy
    • 3 Years
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    Best penalty takers who are good even without penalties?
    Vardy, salah, siggy ? Any more?
    Don't want kun. Not sure on pogba

    1. Holteenderinthesky
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Kane

      1. Jacky boy
        • 3 Years
        21 days, 12 hours ago

        Nice. Food for thought

        1. Holteenderinthesky
          21 days, 11 hours ago

          If he stays fit 11m is a steal. Guaranteed starter, on penalties, and always close to the golden boot.

          1. Jacky boy
            • 3 Years
            21 days, 11 hours ago

            He is good. But you should sacrifice someone for him. For me it is sterling most likely!

            1. Holteenderinthesky
              21 days, 11 hours ago

              Why ? I currently have a core of Kane, King, Sterling, Salah, Zaha, TAA and Robbo. With some good enablers

              1. Jacky boy
                • 3 Years
                21 days, 11 hours ago

                Whole team?

                1. Holteenderinthesky
                  21 days, 11 hours ago

                  Currently set up as
                  Heaton
                  TAA, Robbo, Ake,
                  Salah, Sterling, Zaha, Jorginho, Noble
                  Kane, King,

                  Ryan, Diop, Ward, Greenwood.

                  Not sure on Jorginho and Noble, might drop one to 4.5 and upgrade to a 5.5. But other than that fairly happy.

                  1. Holteenderinthesky
                    21 days, 11 hours ago

                    Sorry Kelly not ward

    2. GoonerByron
      • 7 Years
      21 days, 12 hours ago

      Aguero. Salah, Kane, Auba, Vardy, Siggy.. Maybe Jimenez, Deeney

    3. Christina.
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      21 days, 11 hours ago

      Ritchie

  25. Please Answer Me
    • 4 Years
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    How would you rank (best FPL prospect to worst) these players:
    A - Salah
    B - Aguero
    C - Sterling

    I'm thinking if you have Mane in your team you can ditch A and go B or C

  26. My heart goes Salalalalah
    • 2 Years
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    Good to be back! Anyone that knows of a legit cash league in South Africa that I can join?

  27. GoonerByron
    • 7 Years
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    For once, I think I’m going to pick a team and not tinker in preseason until the week leading up to the first game.. Always find my original quick picks end up doing better!

    How does this look?

    Ederson
    Robertson - TAA - Digne - Cathcart
    Salah - Siggy - Bilva
    Kane - King - Sharp

    4.0 - El Mohamedy - Isaacs - Dendoncker

    1. Jimmy Boy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      21 days, 11 hours ago

      Initially thought 'oh here we go' when I saw the Robbo/TAA double up but this is actually a really decent team.

  28. falafel
    • 2 Years
    21 days, 12 hours ago

    A- Gray, Aguero, and Maguire
    B- DCL, Sterling, and Ake

  29. Peter Ouch
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    21 days, 11 hours ago

    Best striker next to kane?
    No more than 7

    1. Brosstan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      21 days, 11 hours ago

      King. Jimenez if you can squeeze out an extra .5

    2. Holteenderinthesky
      21 days, 11 hours ago

      King for me. Bournemouth have some great fixtures.

    3. Gregor
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 9 Years
      21 days, 11 hours ago

      I’d get King and spend the change elsewhere.

    4. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      21 days, 11 hours ago

      Giroud (or Bats presumably) could be interesting given Chelsea record with new managers. Other than that Jota

  30. Brosstan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    21 days, 11 hours ago

    What's the deal With Tielemans and what do you think he will come in at if Leicester signs him? If hes 7.0 he will be straight into my team instead of Zaha. Harsh if he comes in at more than that.